Norwegian live sound engineer Anders Aasebøe relies exclusively on an arsenal of AKG microphones when working with some of Europe's top acts on a regular basis. With a passion for the ultimate concert experience, whether 50 or 50,000 fans attend, Aasebøe stays true to his reputation for full and clear sound solutions to fans and musicians with AKG.
A native of Drammen, Norway, Aasebøe began his professional engineering career while attending Norsk Lydskole from 1994-1997. After graduating, he was hired as a sound engineer at Det Norske Teatret in Oslo, Norway, while he also held a position at the Oslo live music club, Bla. Throughout his professional career, the live sound designer has worked with Christel Alsos, Jon Balke, Beady Belle, Big Bang, Cloroform, Mathias Eick, Hanne Hukkelberg, Huntsville, John Erik Kaada, Aasund Nordstoga, Odd Nordstoge, Number Seven Deli, Jim Stark, Susanne Sundfor, Wibutee and Bertine Zetliz, among others.
Thomas Züllich, Marketing Director of LydRommet AS, AKG/Harman distribution partner in Norway, recently sat together with Anders Aasebøe talking about his experience with the various Harman Pro products.
It is our pleasure to share this interesting interview:
Anders, tell us a little bit about this period
I had the great pleasure learning a lot at the Norsk Lydskole. My main mentor there was Asle Karstad. He was a great teacher and influence and I am happy to say that we became good friends as well. After I left school I worked at the Norsk Teater. A very interesting and demanding work. Creativity at a very high level with a lot of structure around it. Besides that job I started moonlighting at Blå around 1998 and worked there until 2006.
Looking back I must say that was maybe the highest density of work one can have. It was great. Lot´s of Jazz and acoustic music. Many different styles and approaches - and of course people.
In aftermath, what did you learn the most from this time?
Thanks, that is a good question. Of course there is a lot of technological things one learns when working, but such can be learned from a book or at school. The most important thing I learned was how to interact with the creative people and musicians involved. I really bloom when being involved in the creative process and the musicians appreciate that the most. What type of equipment one uses is not so very important, it i s more the why and how.
Interesting, so what do you regard important? What is your main stake?
For me a concert is a true experience. For all people in that room, might it be many or just a few - it is a very special occasion. Not repeatable so to say. My part is to help getting the audio part of the musicians' message to the audience.
What do you mean with that?
The musician or say the band has a an idea of what they want to get across. This of course varies from genre to genre, from band to band. The task is to understand the concept and meaning behind the artists' performance.
OK, how does that fit with reproducing what is been produced in the studio?
Well, that depends on what the artist wants. If that is the task, fine, but it is important to understand the differences in technical possibilities also. The easiest example is the very different miking techniques. In Live sound one is mostly forced to mike very close. This is different in a studio where musicians may stand in acoustically separated places or even record at different times.
I try to work with the band to make this transition clear and help them to get across live what they are about.
Is that possible in a one off gig situation?
No, hardly. Therefore I prefer to work over long periods with artists. I tend to become part of the band in a way (laughs)
I´d like to come back to the more technically aspects. What is important there?
I think the tools used (microphones, mixer boards, effect etc.) need to be of high quality. Most of my work is focused on a very true and natural reproduction of the musicians sound. This doesn't work when the equipment colors or alters the result all too much. Choosing the right tools for the job can be quite a painstaking task. However, here in Norway and specifically with suppliers like LydRommet it is actually quite a fun job. All the testing and trying in the past kept me coming back to Soundcraft consoles. Mostly because of the superb sonic qualities, but also for the ease of use. I don´t want to break my head over menu structures and user interfaces that are more in the way than helpful.
With the Vi it's easy to keep the creativity going. All the parameters of the desk are not more than maximal 2 buttons away from you.
The last tours I did with Susanne Sundførs and Odd Nordstoga I reverted to an all AKG mic set. LydRommets open and result oriented approach gave me a good chance to try out all the product range, and I must say I became a real AKG fan now.
Great to hear. We like to help. Could you go a bit more into details of the last tours setup maybe?
Yes, of course. I do it simple and fly you through my input list.
Kickdrum - D 112 ( It's not so dark like other kickdrum mices, and that suits Erlands kick quite well)
Snare - AKG C 480 B with a ULS 61 capsule (Erland is playing a lot with brushes so I wanted a condenser and the C 480 is a very good mic that handles a lot of SPL)
Hihat - AKG C 451.
Toms - AKG C 518 ( these mics have a really good mounting system. Erlands kit is from the 40's and have really high wooden rims. The C 518 was suiting them perfectly)
Overheads - AKG C 414 (75 % of the sound from the drumkit was coming from the overhead mikes. I tried to put them as close as possible to the drums without getting in the way for Erlands playing. That made the drums sound clear and nice)
Hand drum - AKG D 40 ( It's a working horse in a small and neat package)
The electric bass was picked up with a dbx DI and a AKG D 40
The doublebass was picked up with a dbx DI and a AKG C 518
Øyvind's and Odd's guitaramps were miked with AKG C 214. They have made the guitars sound bright but not too bright.
The Leslie and the amp for the rhodes were miked with AKG D 40
Odd's vocal mic was mostly an AKG D 5. It has a little bit more energy in the lower mids than other dynamic vocal mic. Which I think is nice. For Odd's solo show I use a AKG C 5.