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The Manchester Scene Rocks to sE!

Published: Wed June 07, 2006  News Feed

Roger Lyons is at the centre of the Manchester music scene engineering with New Order and producing a supergroup featuring Hooky, Andy Rourke (The Smiths) and Mani (Stone Roses and Primal Scream). They are even getting Liam Gallagher involved in this latest project and when you’re working with the best musicians, you need the best microphones…

Meet Roger Lyons, a man very much at the heart Manchester’s music scene. Name a famous band or artist from the area and the chances are that Lyons will have either worked with them or plans to! Roger first found fame with Justin Robertson as part of Lionrock in the 90s…

“I prefer to think of Lionrock as being ‘on hold’,” says Roger. “Me and Justin are still friends. We had a really good time doing it all… in the studio and on tour. Good times!”

After Lionrock, Roger got involved even more in the production side of things and produced Olive’s second album before setting up his production company Major Tweaks UK. He has since worked with Ian Brown, FC Kahuna, the Bee Gees and Heather Small, but his pet projects are both New Order and supergroup Freebase, which counts Hooky, Mani and Andy Rourke among its members…

“We’ve done about 17 tracks but not one has a completed vocal yet as everyone has commitments and they all overlap,” says Roger. “Liam Gallagher is going to do the vocal on one and Pete Wylie on another while Howard Marks is going to do a reading of one of his works over one. It’ll probably be finished by 2025!”

While Roger awaits the vocalists at least he knows for certain the mics that they will be using as he’s fallen in love with the sE range…

“Like a lot of people I was quite sceptical about the whole Chinese thing which is really unfair,” he recalls. “When I was a kid people were the same with Japanese gear and now look at it! I’d been speaking to a guy one day who was saying how much he liked this Gemini mic and I thought it was a US company.  It sounds ace. I’ve used loads of mics over the years and this has its own character and puts a sonic imprint on whatever you are doing with it, but at the same time whatever I’ve done with it sounds great and I wrote an email to sE to tell them so!

“I’ve just been using it on the soundtrack for Cracker with Steve and Gillian from New Order. I used the Gemini to record a string quartet. sE sent me a load more mics on loan to see what I thought of them and I like pretty much all of them. They are really good mics and blow any old stigmas against Chinese manufactured mics away.”

“I’m getting another Gemini as I like it so much but also have a pair of sE3s (which you can use for pretty much anything) and Z5600a’s which I use for ambient drum recording. They sound great – really warm and crunchy. I’ve mainly been using the Gemini on vocals; it really does have a fantastic sound. I can sing but don’t particularly like to… I wouldn’t stand up on stage and do it, but I’ve done some vocals with this mic and all of a sudden I have some confidence back in my own voice as it sounds so good!”

It’s hard to know where Roger finds the time but he is also working with a Portuguese band Loto who are set for big things and his own band CircusGirls “We don’t have a deal but it’s on iTunes and selling well. It’s the sum of all our influences, Glam Rock, electronic, Beach Boys with a contemporary twist.”

And with projects as varied as Roger’s it shows just how flexible the sE mics are!

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