Black Orchid Empire Choose Audix Microphones

Last week SCV caught up with British alternative rock band Black Orchid Empire at The Recording Studio London for a hands-on live shoot-out between three fine Audix live microphone models – the favourite of which would make it to their permanent lead vocal line up on stage.

Black Orchid Empire formed in 2011 after the dispersal of a band playing under the name Cape Fear. The three remaining members (Dave Ferguson, Billy Freedom and Paul Visser) began jamming as a three-piece and went on to organically develop an entirely new band. After a series of highly acclaimed releases and scoring support spots for acts such as Biffy Clyro, Skunk Anansie and Editors, the band honed its unique sound and amassed a fiercely loyal fan-base.

Throughout BOE’s journey up till now, Audix Microphones have played a fundamental part in both their live and recorded sound:

"We love Audix mics both on the road and in the studio - our D6 is glued to the kick drum and the vocal mics deliver the sound we need whilst killing the feedback. Great stuff.

“Currently we use a D6 for kick both live and in the studio as well as an ADX51 for either OHs or hi-hats depending on the setup. I also use an i5 on snare regularly.”

Paul Visser (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Black Orchid Empire

Prior to the shoot-out, BOE had narrowed its vocal microphone hit list down to the Audix OM6, OM7 hypercardioid dynamic, and the pre-polarised supercardioid VX5 condenser. Each microphone was gain-matched to ensure a fair comparrison, and tracked through a Burl Audio B1D preamp followed by a Mothership AD converter. No EQ or compression was added to the recording.


So which microphone came out on top?

Audix Mic Comparison - OM6 vs OM7 vs VX5

We teamed up with the lovely dudes at SCV Distribution and Audix Microphones to give some new mics a thrashing in prep for our live shows - what you guys reckon? The OM6 and OM7 are dynamics, whilst the VX5 is a handheld condenser. They all sounded pretty sweet, but all had subtly different flavours. The mics were tracked through a BURL AUDIO B1D and Mothership with no EQ or compression, then gain matched to make a comparison. We recorded the video in the studio here at The Record Label. Posted by Black Orchid Empire on Friday, 17 March 2017


“The OM7 was the clear winner for us - slightly better in terms of definition and isolation as well as great headroom. The VX5 sounds great but a condenser would feed back for us live as a loud rock band - it'd be perfect for pop or jazz vocals. I've since been running the OM7 in rehearsals and it sounds great.”

Black Orchid Empire are currently working on an upcoming album release as well as preparing for a jam-packed UK Summer Tour.

Full details and listening materials can be found via the links below:

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