This is KRAMER speaking...
In my 30 years as an independent record producer, I've made one or two things you've surely heard (like the hit single from the PULP FICTION soundtrack, "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon"), and a few thousand things you just as surely haven't heard.
KRAMER with Michael Joly modified or designed mics
Top - Oktava MK-012, Nady RSM-3, MK-012 and(2) MJE-K47H with Nady CM-90 bodies
Bottom - Unreleased Cascade / Michael Joly Edition "Vin Jet" and award-winning "Gomez" Michael Joly Edition.Photo: Tess Kramer
Since I sold my Noise New York 24 track analog recording facility back in the late 90's, I've been traveling the world to produce & record artists from Australia (Bridezilla, Leader Cheetah, Cuba Is Japan) to Sweden (Mono Stereo) and the UK (Dot Allison, Ambulances) with my MacBook Pro, an Apogee Duet (or Ensemble), and a few mics that I know from experience are the very best in the world.
I own literally dozens of mics, but I would not be able to do what I do without OktavaMod and Michael Joly behind me every step of the way. I kid you not.
I began years ago by sending Michael my trusty old Oktava 319, which I already loved. When he sent my 319 back to me with his "premium mod", I put several other far more expensive large condenser mics up for sale on eBay, and went shopping.
I then bought a matched pair of Oktava 012's on eBay for about $150. This was YEARS ago, of course. People have caught on since that time, and you just can't find these so cheaply anymore. I sent the pair to Michael. When he sent them back to me with his "premium mod", I did a blind test with my old Neumann KM 84s. The next day, I put the Neumann's up for sale on eBay, too, and went shopping again.
Shockabilly on KRAMER's 1983 Spring St. rooftop, NYC
(l to r) KRAMER, David Licht, Eugene Chadbourne
photo © Macioce
This went on for years. Not too many months ago, I finally found the "first edition" of Nady's RSM-3 ribbon mic that I'd been looking for; the "wooden box edition" with the original Royer-based design. I sent it to Michael. When I got it back, I took it to a local studio that had a closet filled with Royers, old RCA ribbons, and each and every AEA ribbon available to mankind.
The studio owner was NUTS for ribbon mics, as any conscientious studio owner SHOULD be. No condenser mic on earth can offer the "Truth" in sound that a finely designed ribbon mic can. We blind-tested Joly's modified RSM-3 against each mic in various applications (guitar cabinet, acoustic guitar, grand piano, and even VOICE!!!!), and each time, that $100 RSM-3 with a $300 mod job beat the daylights out of those multi-thousand dollar ribbon mics. This is no joke, folks, and the studio owner who spent about $30,000 on all those classic ribbon mics found no humor in it at all. I think he was logging onto eBay as I left.
KRAMER with Urge Overkill during the recording of
"Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" at Noise New Jersey, 1994
photo © Macioce
I produced BRIDEZILLA in an open barn. I produced MONO STEREO in a summer cottage in the dead of winter in Denmark. I produced AMBULANCES in a tent in Fife, Scotland.
And for each of these jobs, I traveled with the mics you see above - a pair of Oktava 012 small condenser mics for drum overheads; the aforementioned Nady RSM-3 ribbon mic for electric guitar cabs and ALL vocals, the Cascade "Joly-Gomez" ribbon for acoustic guitars, pianos and ALL other acoustic instruments, a rare and unreleased Cascade Vin-Jet Michael Joly Edition ribbon for ambience/room sound and small percussion, and most recently, my new MJE-K47H Stereo Kit, which are so good for almost ANYTHING at all, I sold my Neumann U-87 the day after I got them.
Michael Joly, the genius behind OktavaMod, has made what I do possible, but he's really outdone himself now with his new MJE-K47H capsule head. And when I have to go somewhere fast to record a live concert, or a solo artist, this new Stereo Kit is all I take with me. The reason why is simple: it's all I'd ever need.
Thanks to Michael Joly, I spend my life making digital recordings that listeners think I recorded onto analog tape. Sure, it takes more than just great microphones; it takes great A/D converters, and, without sounding TOO self-congratulatory, it takes a lot of experience, and EARS, too.
But it all begins with great microphones, and OktavaMod is the only place I go shopping. Why go anywhere else?
-Kramer, Florida 2010
Read more about the work of KRAMER in this Magnet Magazine article.
NEW! Check out the MJE-K47 Upgrade Suite - a universal problem solver for bright and sibilant mics
Award-winning Microphone Design by