George Duke, a highly accomplished session player and versatile touring musician, has performed with a diverse range of artists including Frank Zappa, Anita Baker, Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, and many others.
Duke has always found accurate sonic reproduction of the piano challenging, given the instrument’s wide frequency range and complex harmonic characteristics. This has been true particularly in live settings: “I wanted a microphone that could consistently reproduce the quality of the piano, while producing an acceptable amount of gain at the same time,” says Duke. “This is important when considering the variable levels of other instruments on stage and the different acoustic characteristics of the venues we play.”
During his search for a suitable microphone, Duke was introduced to Earthworks’ PianoMic™ by fellow jazz great Chick Corea, who arranged a mic audition for him during a studio session. “We A/B’d the PianoMic™ in many situations — with a closed lid, partially opened lid and open lid,” recalls Duke. “I found that the unit maintained the depth of the instrument while at the same time giving me the level that I needed to compete with the other electric instruments around me.” Impressed with the PianoMic’s™ responsiveness and natural sound, he brought it out on the road and hasn’t looked back since.
“If you are playing in a situation where you need level with quality, you’re talking about the PianoMic™,” continued Duke. “No matter at what level you are playing, it still feels like you are getting the depth and full dynamic range of the instrument. It’s a relief to know that my piano is being reproduced as it should and that I can just play without worrying about it.”
George Duke recently finished a tour with recording artist Anita Baker in November. In January, his tour schedule continues with dates in Guadeloupe and Martinique, before he begins a European tour in April, 2010.