Grammy-nominated recording artist/producer
Buddy Miller’s unique blend of traditional country genres has come to epitomize the heart and soul of roots-rock and throwback Americana. From straight-ahead blues tracks to gospel-tinged folk ballads, Miller’s distinctive voice and guitar style can be heard on records by Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Jim Lauderdale, The Dixie Chicks and Hank Williams III. His legendary guitar skills have earned him a permanent place in Nashville history—and a signature model acoustic guitar produced by the Fender company.
Many of Miller’s fans can instantly recognize the unique sound of his home studio where he recorded his Grammy-nominated album, “Universal United House of Prayer.” Though larger than most personal recording spaces at 1800 square feet, its organic ambience owes to the lack of acoustic treatment on the walls of Miller’s 100-year-old Nashville home. His vast collection of gear includes both priceless vintage pieces and modern-day classics—including the Pulsar II and Sputnik condenser microphones from M-Audio.
Your personal studio is home to an impressive collection of high-end and vintage mics. How does the M-Audio Sputnik compare to classics such as the Neumann U47?
I put the Sputnik up against my vintage mics for comparison—it sounds so close to the U47, it was just astounding. Visually, the Sputnik looks similar to the Neumann CMV563, but it sounds much better—it’s got beautiful warmth and clarity. I actually put some of those microphones back in their cases, because I don’t feel like I need to keep using them all the time. The Sputnik is my go-to microphone. It has a sound that just fits with everything I’ve used it on so far. Whether it’s hit hard or hit soft, it picks up those details and doesn’t overload.
What mics are you currently using to record acoustic guitars?
The Pulsar II microphones haven’t left the acoustic guitar position for weeks. I love them! They don't have the hyped 6-8K that most new small diaphragm mics have. They sound natural, and because they aren’t hyped they seem to capture more of the guitar’s midrange and woodiness. I felt good enough to use the Pulsars on my guitar and put the Neumann KM54 and M582 mics away.
In your home studio you are currently using a ProjectMix I/O. Can you tell us about your experience using it?
A few great things about the ProjectMix I/O are it’s overall ease of use, and the crisp, clear sounding preamps. It also gives me the ability to easily switch between software platforms. I have other control surfaces with many extraneous features that I never use, so the well thought out design of the ProjectMix I/O allows me to focus on making music and recording.
How has using digital recording software like Pro Tools M-Powered helped in your music creation?
Since I record at multiple locations within my studio (or on the road), it has been very beneficial for me to record an overdub, put it on a flash drive or onto a laptop and carry that same session to another location and continue working. The fact that Pro Tools M-Powered sessions can do just that allows me to take my recording sessions with me anywhere I go.