The London FolkFest 2015 recently took place at The Bedford in Balham. It was the fifth year for this boutique festival, which has grown into a four-day event with more than 50 acts playing across three stages all under one roof.
This year, The Bedford worked closely with Shure Distribution to provide a whole range of microphones and DI’s that could cover every kind of voice and instrument.
Head engineer, Phil Davidson said, “The beta98a was a stand out for me. Its external preamp design makes the microphone very small, so no matter where it was placed, it was completely unobtrusive for both the musicians and the audience. The inherent design, coupled with the incredible sound quality, made it an invaluable tool, and throughout our four day festival, I used it on a huge range of instruments, including acoustic guitars, drums, accordions and cellos.”
When it came to lead vocals Phil was equally impressed by the KSM9 commenting that “Every aspect of the KSM9’s design has been engineered with vocal capture in mind, and this was abundantly evident when put to practice. Specifically, the low proximity effect and great off-axis tonal response allowed each performer to use their vocal and microphone techniques to control level, whilst maintaining a solid tonal character. For me as an engineer, this meant less need for compression and dynamic EQ, but most importantly, no compromises on EQ settings between loud and intimate performances. I used the KSM9 on 40+ vocalists, each time, with great success.”
For such a wide array of instruments to deal with, each stage benefitted from a selection of Radial DI boxes to cover every eventuality.
Festival director, Tony Moore said, “When choosing a DI box, we look for a solid bottom end, clear mid-range, and a delicate top-end. Radial’s DI boxes deliver these qualities in abundance. No matter the format, mono, stereo, active or passive, Radial have cracked the art of impedance matching, giving our engineers a range of tools that do exactly what the say on the tin.”
The Bedford has long had a reputation for finding new and emerging artists and helping them early on in their careers. Acts like KT Tunstall, Ed Sheeran, James Morrison and James Bay all played there before they achieved success. Part of the secret of The Bedford’s critical acclaim is the dedication to achieving audio excellence at every level along with an intuitive and passionately musical booking policy.