Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson discover the twin delights of Gemini
Engineer Sven Lens reveals how Snoop and Nelson’s latest collaboration highlighted just how great the sE Gemini mic sounds compared to much more expensive competition…
Sven with his sE mic
Sven Lens is one of Holland’s leading engineers. He’s an expert in Pro Tools, runs his own studio and works freelance in many other facilities across the country. Recently he was involved in an extraordinary recording session involving two international superstars from what you might call very different sides of the street. Rap superstar Snoop Dog and country icon Willie Nelson got together to record the track My Medicine and Sven was engineering the session and able to witness this meeting of very different minds…
“I was asked by Wisseloord Studios, a big commercial studio over here in Holland where I frequently work, to be the engineer for the session,” he says. “It went very smoothly. Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson are both very nice, talented guys, and easy going.”
As well as an sE Gemini, the studio had other mics available for the session, but Sven believes that the sE Gemini easily had the best sound.
“I had a couple of expensive mics from Germany and Latvia plus the sE Gemini,” he says. “From the moment my assistant talked through it [the Gemini], I knew it was something special. Actually, it blew both of the other mics away. I can hardly believe that the Gemini sounds so good. Willie Nelson also recorded another track with Snoop, which I actually like better than the one which is out right now, where he used the Gemini to record guitar and vocals, at the same moment, balancing his voice and his guitar. The Gemini was somewhere between his mouth and his guitar. It sounded awesome.”
“Actually, thinking about it,” Sven continues, “when people sing through the Gemini, it sounds like they are three feet closer to the mic compared to others, which gives you a more modern sound – that's addictive! I actually bought the Gemini I used with Snoop and Willie right after the session, since it sounded so good. It is my first [choice] mic for vocals now, so I don't have to look what the studio has for me, as I always bring my own Gemini !”
Sven is currently in the studio with up and coming Dutch band Terry Bogus and, since we interviewed Sven, we hear he’s already used his new Gemini with a certain Nelly Furtado – more on this later!
Sven’s top recording tips
1. Have respect for, and listen to what the artist(s) have to say – don’t only do your own thing.
2. Try to be as prepared as possible.
3. Try to have a good time!
The Gemini II dual valve microphone is sE Electronics ultimate design. A no holds barred piece of microphone history. The dual valve design means pure valve warmth from the 12AX7 input valve coupled with a 12AU7 valve on the output stage in place of the traditional transformer. The result is an incredibly large detailed and intimate sound reminiscent…