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Sean ‘Sully’ Sullivan Touring with Beck and Three Snare Mics

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Sully placing the first of three Snare Mic's on Joey Waronker's drum kit

Sean 'Sully' Sullivan has a reputation for being the person you call when you need the best live mix, no matter what... His more than three-decade live sound career includes work with Roger Waters, Rage Against the Machine, Rhianna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shania Twain, and more. On Beck's latest Summer Odyssey tour, Sully began using a trio of Lauten Audio Snare Mics on all three of Drummer Joey Waronker's snare drums.

“We really have to pick microphones that work in hostile environments in a very specific way,” he said. “If you’re picking up obnoxious stuff and amplifying it through a massive PA system, you’re not doing yourself, or the audience, any favors. I really need tighter, better, cleaner mics on my sources that don’t give me too much data. That kind of feedback made it back to Lauten Audio, and when they told me that Snare Mic was being developed for that exact need, it got my attention right away.”
Joey Waronker’s touring drum kit is an exercise in maximalism. An 8x8ft riser is crammed with three snare drums, two hi-hats, 11 rack tom drums, a gong, and 10 cymbals.
“Typically, I'm not using condenser mics live — they may sound incredible, but they pick up everything, and it’s not ideal for a clean mix. What was immediately incredible about Snare Mic is that it’s a condenser mic that behaves like a dynamic mic — it has those amazing clear sonics that I can expect from any other Lauten mic, but it’s not so overly sensitive that it’s picking up anything else in a fifteen-foot circle around it.”
Snare Mic in a tight squeeze
“It’s also the perfect size — it fits perfectly into the kit just deep enough that it never gets in the way.”

Using placement and onboard filters to mitigate bleed
“The Lauten Low Pass Filters are some of the best sounding I’ve ever heard built into a microphone. They are very subtle but exactly what you need — just enough to keep the cymbals and other sounds of the kit out of the equation. It lets you really focus on the detail you’re getting out of a drum that you don’t normally hear without being so overly sensitive that you’re picking up someone sneezing from across the stage. It’s a complete game changer for condenser mics in live environments.
Sully dialing in drum sounds
“I'm pretty straightforward and right to the point, and I don’t have a lot of tricks and techniques that people don’t know about,” he concludes. “There’s not much to do aside from picking the right stuff and putting it in the right space — and in this case, Snare Mic is exactly the right tool for the job.”

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