WWBW | Artist Interview - Bob Reynolds

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Artist Interview: Bob Reynolds

Bob reynolds

 

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Bob Reynolds Interview

 

Bob Reynolds

WWBW: You seem to have a restless energy that causes you to seek out new opportunities; you get such a wide variety of gigs.

Bob: Yeah, it’s a mix. I’ve got something going on tonight that I’ve got a whole bunch of music to learn that I haven’t quite gotten to yet. I’ve got three different things this week that that’s sort of the case for. I have shows coming up next month with two new bands. Like, my material, but two entirely different bands. So I’m trying to prepare for that, as well.

WWBW: So when you’re doing your own material, but with a new group, what kind of surprises does that present, and what kind of challenges does that present?

Bob: Good question. That certainly presents both. The main challenge, I suppose, what I’m going through right now is trying to – partially, every time I play with a new group, I want to just play entirely new material. So that’s always my desire, but it never really works out that way. There’s always a balance of trying to pick from my existing material and then maybe a few new things, and trying to figure out whether there’s going to be a rehearsal or is it just going to be a sound check. How much time of preparation? Who are the musicians? That kind of stuff. Trying to anticipate, basically, what would be the best scenario to put together for any given presentation. I’m doing something in New York with some fantastic musicians, but there’s only one of them I’ve worked with. The others, this drummer, Antonio Sanchez, who’s been Pat Metheny’s drummer for, I don't know, 15 years, and Kevin Hayes on piano. They’re fantastic guys, but we haven’t worked together before, so I’m trying to select tunes of mine that I can imagine will be really good for them. You know, they could play anything, but what would be the best thing for that band.

WWBW: I absolutely get it.

Bob: I’ve also learned over time that that can be a hindrance. I’ve done stuff before, and I’ve gotten great players and I’ve basically overwritten for them, thus sort of stifling what they would otherwise bring. It’s a balance. I’m learning every time I do it, still. So I kind of have, like, two sets of charts. If I’m going to do a recording, something’s getting captured in a recording setting, and then the charts will be more ornate, more specific. That’s actually what I’m doing right now, is take a few of my tunes that are really strong, but maybe a little complex in terms of the arrangement, and how do I boil this down to something that these great players could use? How can I make it easy for them to pull it off, even if there was not time to rehearse it? The good news is that I have the recordings to go with it. So part of it is you send the guys the material and say, “Hey, here’s the charts.” And then, fortunately, I have for a lot of it, records to back it up. You can hear exactly how it sounds.

WWBW: What was your strategy when you were coming up as a young player? You started when you were 13. Did you take to it instantly?

Bob: Yeah, I did, actually. But it was a little bit accidental. I wasn’t looking to play the saxophone. I kind of fell into it. I was looking to get involved in learning an instrument of some kind, but it was very nondescript. I was playing the piano at that time the way I more or less play it today, which is just sitting there and exploring. I know more about what I’m doing now, but I used to love to just sit at the piano and make stuff up. So I didn’t know if it was called composing or improvising or any of that. I just knew I like to make stuff up, and I really did not like to try to read music, like piano music or anything. So I knew I wasn’t interested in taking piano lessons, but I wanted to learn an instrument, mostly because at that time, I was about 12, 13, I was making a lot of home movies. I had some early recording gear, and I was pretty set on becoming a film director. That’s what I wanted to do for my life. I was making all these little movies, and the only thing I couldn’t do myself – I could shoot them, edit them, write them, cast my neighborhood friends in them, but I couldn’t make my own music, so I was dubbing in stuff off the radio. I thought, well, if I just learn how to play the clarinet I’ll be John Williams in a couple of weeks.

WWBW: [laughs]

Bob: So I went for band. The first week – I’m sure this is probably what they still do today. The band director, it was beginning band, right? So he went around with, like, a flute head joint and some brass mouthpieces and some saxophone mouthpieces, basically just let everybody get some hands on experience with those things. Through that I discovered that what felt like the most reasonable choice for me would have been, like, a woodwind. The flute didn’t make sense to me, and the brass thing, I was, like, I want to play the one where you put your fingers on it and I don't know. Just give me the clarinet. And so I thought I was going to play the clarinet, and it turned out that my neighbor across the street found out I was going into band. She told my mom that she had a saxophone that my daughter used to play. So if Bob wants it, he can have it. So she gave me the saxophone, and I thought, well, this works. And I think because I had such a strong desire to start making music that I wasn’t thinking of it even as much that I was going to learn the saxophone as that that was going to be my first vehicle for writing my own music. So I just kind of took it in the house and I put it together and there’s a little Yamaha getting started book, and I just started playing. I don’t remember . . .

WWBW: So when, when did you discover that performance saxophone was likely going to be your life’s orientation?

Bob: [laughs] Let’s see, probably, I think I can safely say by the time, or around the time I was, had turned 16. So, like, three years later I knew I was just going to do this, like, be a saxophone player. And what was in between there was two things. Maybe, like, three things. One was I just started enjoying playing the saxophone more and more, you know, just noodling around on it. I had no problem spending a few hours just going in, like, the master, my parent’s master bathroom, where there’s nice reverb, and playing the blues scales. I just love making stuff up, you know, the same way I had done the piano. I had a terrible time reading music. It’s just hard for me. My friend who played saxophone, he could read music incredibly well. But if you took the music away, he could not even make a sound on his instrument. He was, like, well, there’s nothing to read, so I can’t play music. I was the opposite.

WWBW: Yeah. And probably each is confusing to the other.

Bob: For sure. Because looking at the sheet music to me, it’s like looking at Greek, because I just didn’t know what to do with it. And then two things happened. My mom took me to a concert where a saxophone player was being featured with the local college big band, one of these regional jazz festival things. This was in Jacksonville, Florida. I think Ernie Watts was the guest soloist with, like, the local big band.

WWBW: I saw him play with Charlie Hayden at Scullers.

Bob: Oh wow. Yeah. Well, interestingly, all I remember about Ernie Watts was that I remember the picture in the paper that was like, black and white, and it featured him and I read that. But I don’t remember a darn thing about the concert that had to do with him. What stuck with me was that I saw a few of the local high school bands play. And then, before the college bands came on, the one that was going to have Ernie playing with it, the final high school band was the local art high school, called Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. When those guys came on, like, the first jazz band, I was blown away. My jaw dropped. I could to believe how awesome they sounded. And they were a year and two years older than me at that time.

WWBW: I think that seeing a peer deliver that kind of a sound –

Bob: Yeah.

WWBW: - and saying, hey, this is a real possibility for me.

Bob: Yeah.

Bob: Yeah. I mean, I just felt like I had no, it was like somebody had just opened some door into an entire other world I didn’t know about. Where I thought I was doing just fine, you know what I mean? I didn’t know anything other than I was the only one that was playing the sax. And my family’s, like, oh, that sounds good. Like, I didn’t know any better. And then when I heard those guys, that was really the thing, the turning point. It was like, holy crap. Like, these guys are my age? I don’t even know what they’re doing, but it sounds so amazing I want to know how to do that.

WWBW: And then you said, hey, I got work to do.

Bob: Yeah. Exactly. And so part of that work for me was discovering, I don’t even remember how we did it, but somehow we discovered, my mom probably called the school, we found out that of that saxophone section in that first jazz band, we found out that the tenor player was a senior and he would be moving on, and the really burning alto player was only a junior. I said I’m going to switch from alto to tenor, because if I switch to tenor, I’ll have two chances to get into that band, but if I stay on alto then I’m going to be surely competing for that second alto spot, and then I might be screwed.

WWBW: Because first chair is taken.

Bob: Exactly. So I switched to tenor, and incidentally, that switch to tenor was where my first encounter, I had started taking some saxophone lessons, and my teacher gave me a Woodwind and Brasswind catalog and we ordered a Selmer USA tenor sax. So that was my first saxophone that I bought. So I had that. I worked on that for a little while and then I got into school. The plan worked. I made first tenor, despite not being able to read really well. Because of that, I got in that jazz band and I met this alto player, whom I had seen a year earlier, and he was fantastic, and he became like a mentor to me. And then, also, this other kid came in who was the other alto player, and we became best friends. In fact, we’re to this day still best friends. I just made an album with him that I put out with him like a month ago.

WWBW: Who’s that?

Bob: His name is Juan Rollan. I just did a record that I'm started to put out. I put it out on Bandcamp, but it’s not going to be officially released until a couple months. But it’s called Deja Vu. I just got exposed to an incredible amount of local talent through those guys, and was mentored by some people who were just a year or two older than me, and there was, like, a really thriving jazz scene in Jacksonville at that time. So I got lucky, I guess, in terms of all of those things coming together. Somewhere along the line, that just took priority over my previous desires, like the movie directing. That was always sort of in my mind somewhere, but I was, like, no, this is what I’m going to do, at least first. I've got to play the saxophone.

WWBW: Now, did you go to Berklee right after high school?

Bob: I went there straight out of high school because there was a good, or there is a good college in Jacksonville called the University of North Florida, UNF, that’s got a renowned jazz department. But by the time I was ready to go to college, I was already sitting in on local gigs with the college professors who played around town. I already knew, I just felt like I already knew all those people. I had a meeting with the head of the jazz department, there. The incredible Bunky Green, this kind of legendary jazz guy. He basically said, “Let’s take a walk.” We went for a walk, and he said, “Don’t come here. You have to go somewhere else. I don’t care if it’s Berklee or Manhattan, or whatever, Miami, but don’t stay here.”

WWBW: Why? It sounds like you had some great support, between your mother and Bunky, just the way the whole thing went down.

Bob: Yeah. A lot of support. I’ve definitely always been pretty driven, wanting to do stuff and setting my sights on stuff. But when this came along, and this sort of stuck and sort of just fit really well. I don't know. It just seemed really natural, and I was fortunate to have all these people around me who were encouraging and supportive, for sure.

WWBW: Now, you studied with Garzone at Berklee. That’s some top shelf instruction.

Bob: Yeah. I studied with him more or less for the whole four years I was there, at least on and off, which was incredible. It was not at all what I thought it was going be, but it was fantastic. A little scary at first, coming there as a high school student, just being deep in the throes of bebop and post-bebop language, I was expecting more of the same. George kind of really opened my eyes and ears to new stuff that was definitely difficult at first. Garzone was fantastic. I tell students of mine, or just tell people now one of the main things about my time studying with George was that what I got from him didn’t show up for years later, years after I was done studying with him. It was so heavy that I had to kind of wrap my head around it and then leave it alone for a while before it finally crept back in, in a way that made sense to me. I can directly trace a lot of stuff to my time with him.

WWBW: Let’s talk about the gigs. Touring with John Mayer, that has to be fantastic. Were you playing to sold-out hockey rinks and stuff?

Bob: Yeah, definitely. That’s exactly what we were playing to when I started with him. The thing with John is kind of interesting in that we met at Berklee ten years before I started playing with him. We weren’t friends there, just the same age, and we were both freshmen there. We had a couple of mutual friends, and wound up on a recording session in the middle of the night. I agreed to do somebody’s project. The recording started at 2:30 in the morning. That’s where I met John, just very casually. The way he would tell the story, at the time he was just another guitar player in a school full of guitar players. I was, like, whatever. I’ll just do this favor for a friend. Maybe I’ll get some recording time. I had no idea who John was going to become. Just no way.

WWBW: Yeah. Best New Artist Grammy. I think he was, like, 21 when he got that Best New Artist Grammy, or somewhere around there.

Bob: Yeah. That sounds about right. 21 or 22, yeah. He left school, so I didn’t get to know him, either. He left after, I think, a year, and I was there for the full time. So John was there, and he left. He was, like, OK, this is interesting, but I know what I want to do, and I don’t need to stay in school to do it. As much as I grew up playing jazz and whatnot, I also grew up with a really strong passion for really great pop music. I always loved and admired Bradford Marsalis’s work with Sting. That was something I put up on a pedestal. It was, like, “Oh, man, if I could ever just play with Sting one day that would be incredible.

WWBW: Yeah. That “Bring on the Night,” group. Completely amazing.

Bob: Yeah. All that stuff. When I heard John, and I love, like, the early Dave Matthews stuff, I was just really a fan of a certain kind of saxophone in pop environment. I did not like saxophone on Pop 40 Hits, for the most part, like the stuff that everybody associates.

WWBW: You mean like Baker Street?

Bob: Yeah. Baker Street, Careless Whispers.

WWBW: [laughs]

Bob: But hearing the saxophone the way that Branford played with Sting and some David Sanborn, like Wayne Shorter with Don Henley. There are lots of examples. I was always drawn to that kind of sophisticated saxophone playing in pop settings. It wasn’t overtly hitting you over the head with jazz. Somehow the guys just found a way to become a part of the pop texture while still maintaining their artistic integrity.

WWBW: That is beautifully put, Bob. I think that’s your pull quote.

Bob: [laughs] That was something of a gold standard for me, something I was aiming for. Even out of college, I was playing with more singers than I was traditional jazz bands. When I say traditional, I just mean regular jazz bands. There’s a singer I played with, I was in a band with a guy named Jonas Smith for about six years. We toured all over. I just loved that environment. Years later, when I reconnected to John, after he was already getting big – I forget what it was. Somehow we were back in touch. I saw a show of his. I was in Florida, he was in Florida. We were both in Jacksonville at the same time. I went to his show, and then a few years later, after he put out “Continuum,” he asked me to come on the road for a year. I had just gotten married, and I took my wife to the show. I let him ask my wife. That worked out pretty well. I introduced them, and he said, “Hey, nice to meet you. Do you mind if I borrow your husband for a year,” and she was, like, “Uh-huh. Sure. Can you sign this?”

WWBW: [laughs]

Bob: It worked out well, and yeah. It was great. And that first year was definitely like (inaudible). In fact, this almost sounds way too Hollywood to be true, but it is the truth. My very first show with John Mayer, absolutely first show ever I played with him was at the Concert Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, where I grew up.

WWBW: Like 10,000 seats or something? [laughs]

Bob: Yeah. Probably more than that. It literally was the hockey arena in Jacksonville, or a basketball arena. It was just odd. We rehearsed in Miami for a couple of weeks, and then the first show was in my hometown. So, yeah, that was sort of the beginning. My favorite time and stuff with John was where I would either do duets with him, occasionally, where we would just do acoustic guitar and soprano stuff. Or various other tunes of his that definitely he would make room for me to do my thing in, which was really cool. I really enjoyed that.

WWBW: I have some nice monitors on my system at home, some Event monitors. I listened to that thing top to bottom and was just transported. It’s really a fantastic piece.

Bob: Awesome. Glad to hear that.

WWBW: Hey. Tell us about the rest of the Loop Loft project. It’s a series of recordings, all of which are appropriate to sampling and grooves, and they’re all royalty free? Is that what’s happening?

Bob: Yes. You got it right. The company was started by one of my best friends. I met him at Berklee. We actually met the very first day of school, and we were roommates. He’s a drummer, a very fine drummer. But after working for a few different companies, living briefly in L.A. and New York, and playing drums in some bands and everything, at a certain point, he discovered this was something more in line with his strengths than playing drums full-time. He’s started this really cool thing. The idea is to have artist-branded loops. Not just drum loops, but particular people, Matt Chamberlain loops. Now he’s got Eric Harlan, Matt Chamberlain, a lot of different guys. I did the little loop platform right at the beginning. I was one of the first to do it. The way he does it, is all those loop packages, they work on all the different platforms. You can use them in Logic or ProTools, in Reason, [enabled in Live,] any of those things.

WWBW: So what’s next for you?

Bob: At the moment I’m trying to do a little more playing with my outfits this year, my various bands, here and there, doing a little bit more booking.

WWBW: Do you ever go out under your name, or –

Bob: Very rarely. Mostly because I don't know how guys do it. I mean, it’s so expensive to tour. It’s like the chicken and egg thing. I have a reputation in a certain circle, mostly, I feel like, just musicians and saxophone players. But festival bookers and club owners have no idea who I am. Because of that, it’s like I don’t really know where to start. All I know is if you just get four or five guys in a van and I’m playing, it’s a real quick way to rack up some credit card debt if you don’t have a plan on the other end.

WWBW: Yeah [laughs].

Bob: It’s always a little bit hard. It’s like I end up playing in New York, and then play in L.A.. Then maybe I’ll play in Atlanta, where I know musicians there. I feel like more and more I’m playing in different places where I can use a musician in that town or something. So I’m doing a little bit more of that. I’m putting out two albums this year, if not, maybe, three. Probably actually three by the time the year is done.

WWBW: OK.

Bob: One’s this Déjà vu, one with the two tenors, bass and drum, me and my best friend from 21 years ago.

WWBW: OK.

Bob: Another one is a quartet album with Aaron Goldberg on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Obed Calvaire on drums, with the drummer in the, um, San Francisco, they call it the SF Jazz –

WWBW: Jazz Collective, I think.

Bob: -- Collective, yeah. And one or two others that are sort of in the works right now. I’m doing that, and outside of that, I run a virtual lessons shop. I do video lessons for saxophone players and I’ve got hundreds of students all around the world. In fact, we just opened up a new class today. Once or twice a quarter I kind of open that up to a new group of people, but it’s a very interactive, online thing, and I’ve got hundreds, well over 300 video lesson in there and I do monthly courses and lessons and online streaming stuff and whatnot. I’ve been doing that for four years, and I’ve had almost a thousand people come through there [this month].

WWBW: Oh, wow. And there are links to that from BobReynoldsMusic.com?

Bob: BobReynoldsMusic.com. You can get to everything from there. I’ve struggled with whether to call it something else, but at the end of the day, it keeps coming back to it’s tied in to what I do as a player. So it makes sense to be there.

WWBW: How about running through your equipment?

Bob: Sure.

WWBW: So you’re a tenor player. What do you play?

Bob: I play a Mark VI from the late 60s, Selmer Mark VI. I did, for a couple of years, play the P. Mauriat horns, but typically their System 76, 2nd Edition. It’s a clunky name, but a really nice horn.

WWBW: Yeah. They make incredible instruments. I’ve been manning the Woodwind & Brasswind booth at some of the trade shows, and we show the Mauriat instruments. Some have this gunmetal gray kind of a look and feel to them, and man, they bark.

Bob: Yeah, they’re great. That’s part of the thing that attracted me to them initially. I was at NAMM, and that’s how I discovered them several years ago. Somebody put me in touch with them. I loved how they looked. Esthetically, they had the vibe of an old horn, and I really like that.

WWBW: They’re all about those rolled tone holes, as well.

Bob: They are, although, interestingly, the ones that I chose to play were the straight tone-holed ones. I didn’t care for, and I was really open with them about this, of all the horns they made, there were some ones that I specifically liked, and then the rest of them just weren’t for me, the way they sounded or felt. But I really did like the System 76.

WWBW: So have you always had a Holy Grail kind of perception of, ‘Geeze, I’ve got to find a 50s or 60s Mark VI?

Bob: No. Absolutely the opposite, as a matter of fact. Maybe when I was younger a little bit. It’s actually kind of, people who come through after my lessons or see my videos online or any of that stuff, it’s almost a joke with me, how anti-equipment I am, in terms of searching for gear. My thing is that I think, by and large, people spend so much time looking for gear that’s going to solve problems that gear will never solve.

WWBW: [laughs]

Bob: It’s not that they have problems getting great gear, but if they get to a certain point, you’ve got to buckle down and do the hard labor that’s going to give you a good sound.

WWBW: Us trumpet players have the same fantasy about the magical mouthpiece [laughs].

Bob: Yeah. The thing is, you go to NAMM or something and you play a mouthpiece or try some new piece, and for the first couple of minutes, they’re, like, “Oh, yeah. This feels different, totally.” But you play that thing for two days, you’re going to be right back to the same frustrations you had before.

WWBW: You are cracking me up, Bob [laughs].

Bob: It’s the God’s honest truth. I’ve been playing the same saxophone mouthpiece, type of reed, ligature. The saxophone for over 20 years, and the rest of that stuff for over 15 years. I’ve played the same, exact mouthpiece since 1997 or ’98.

WWBW: Which is what?

Bob: It’s a hard rubber Otto Link, Number 9. And I was just going to say the question I often get, the follow up question after I say that, people go, “Oh, is it the Tone Edge?” It’s a Tone Edge, for whatever that’s worth, but it’s just a store-bought stock mouthpiece. Nothing has been done to it. In fact, it’s very faulty. There, like, a little chip on the end. It’s just not a great mouthpiece, but I’ve worked with it for 17 years.

WWBW: So you know what it’s going to do.

Bob: Exactly. In fact, I have backup copies. Well, they’re not copies, but I have two other Otto Link Number 9s. They were given to me, actually, by students. They’re, like, “You don’t have a backup mouthpiece?” So I have them, and I’ve tried them, and they’re not the same. I hope I never have to use them, because every time I try to play with them, even a little bit, it just sets you back. That’s the thing about messing around. At the beginning, everybody’s got to experiment with stuff. I’m not saying don’t look for better stuff. But when you get to a point where something feels right and settled, I think it’s important to recognize that at some point in the future, you’re going to get reckless and feel the need to change. But really, that’s just a feeling you’re bumping up against as a player. Nine times out of ten, a new piece of gear isn’t going to solve your problem, as much as just sticking with it. Especially when it comes to some of the more ridiculous mouthpieces or whatnot.

WWBW: Yeah. You can spend a lot on a mouthpiece if you want to.

Bob: Look at, like, all those crap things that Charlie Parker played on and it sounded amazing.

WWBW: Yeah. The little white plastic one that he did the Massey Hall Show on.

Bob: Exactly. Exactly. When I was in high school, I saw a guy do a clinic, a tenor player named Don Menza did a clinic. He brought a pillow case half-filled with mouthpieces, and dumped them out on a desk. He probably played through a dozen or 20 of them, from a very expensive, I think, Guardala mouthpiece all the way to the little Brilhart, you know, a little $20 thing he got at a garage sale. Sounded the same on every single one of them.

WWBW: I think if you hand Eddie Van Halen a $100 Cort Electric Strat copy, he’s going to sound an awful lot like Eddie Van Halen.

Bob: I don't know how it works with a guitar, but somehow, yeah, the tone is in your fingers, they say.

WWBW: Yeah. That doesn’t translate to my mind, either, but it’s true, and it’s consistently true.

Bob: True, yeah. So that’s my tenor setup. Rovner ligature.

WWBW: Rovner ligature. Yeah, OK. Is that one of the string ones?

Bob: It’s probably not, no. It’s just like, I don't know what the material is, canvas or rubber or what the heck it is. Again, I’ve had that ligature for more than 15 years. It’s definitely not a new thing.

WWBW: OK.

Bob: I use a deJacques neck strap. It’s kind of a pricy strap, but I’ve just used them since high school, and they’re really cool. My soprano that I play is a Yamaha, what the heck it? I’ve got it right here. YSS-675. My alto, my Yamaha alto is a 62, I think, YSS-62. I play very, very little alto, only super occasionally. Not that I don’t like it, but switching between the two is always messing me up a little bit. So, for soprano, I use an alto Otto Link mouthpiece, here. I’m looking at it. I think it’s an 8 hard rubber Link. One thing I am pretty consistent, well, I’m consistent in all this stuff, but I use Rico reeds. Well, now they’re calling them D’Addario. I’ve used, basically, Rico Royal 3 ½ is what I’ve used on tenor for years and years and years. And I play Rico Royal 4 on alto, 3 ½ Rico Reserve Reeds on soprano. So pretty much any horn I’m playing is getting those reeds in one fashion or another.

WWBW: How about the pro audio end of things? Do you get microphone obsessive, you know, only an RE20 is going to do?

Bob: No. I do like the RE20 for live stuff.

WWBW: Tenor, yeah?

Bob: Definitely. I have some fancy mikes for, like, clip ons I have these mikes by a company called SD Systems that are really nice, but unfortunately they’re a little clunky to me. The way that they’re set up with their packs make them a little bit clunky to use. My go-to microphone for live situations is actually a little clip on Audio Technica mike. I want to say it’s about $150 mike, a little condenser clip on mike that I’ve used for years. It’s a wired microphone that’s super clear sound. Generally, no matter what, if I’m on a gig and it’s, like, hey, it’s an SM 58 or 57, I just try to make sure the EQ is flat as can be, at least to start with, and hope that you have a somewhat decent sound you hear. It’s like you roll of a little bit around 7K and you’re OK to go. For recording I use a microphone that I like a lot made by a company called Lewitt Audio.

WWBW: Yeah, we’re dealing Lewitt right now. We’re actually fairly new to Lewitt. I haven’t heard them, but they look fantastic. Their pricing seems right on the money.

Bob: Yeah. I use an ATT 540. They have a 640, as well. It’s just a nice condenser. I’ve done some mike shootouts with it and for me, if I use that mike and I enable a certain feature on it, where you can do, like, a 10 dB cut. When I put that on, I can’t tell the difference that and a Norman 67 or 87. I use that mike for recording stuff at home.

WWBW: How about monitoring? Do you go in for the in-ears?

Bob: Like on stage?

WWBW: On stage monitoring, yeah.

Bob: I do only when I’m doing like either the gigs I’ve done when I’m on tour with John or doing, like, Usher or Amos Lee or any of those things that are more like the pop gig stuff. I just have a couple pairs of Ultimate Ears only because that’s what I got back when I started working with John.

WWBW: Yeah. I think in those stadium environments, not like I’ve done those gigs, but I imagine that’s kind of a necessity.

Bob: Yeah, it is. The funny thing about it is I feel like we all end up taking one ear out. I was always looking at John, he had one of his ears hanging out. Especially if I was playing soprano, I’d have to have one ear out, because I just couldn’t –

WWBW: Can’t tell what’s happening [laughs].

Bob: Yeah. I can’t rely on the intonation just coming through those in-ear things. It’s weird, you know. Especially when you’re playing something connected to your mouth. I’m sure it’s different if you’re playing drums or keyboard or guitar. But when it’s connected to your mouth, it’s tough.

WWBW: Cool. I think we’re getting close to done. I’ve been beating up on you for 50 minutes. You’ve been very gracious with your time with me, and I can’t thank you enough.

Bob: Absolutely. Happy to do it.

 

WWBW: Alright. Bye.


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