Allen Sides Wants to Help You Find The Perfect Microphone

October 23, 2012 9:49:19 PM PDT

Finding the right combination of microphones for that next recording project can take a lot of time and research, especially if you don’t have them in front of you to sample. Thankfully Grammy-winning producer/engineer Allen Sides and close friend and Grammy-winning guitarist Steve Vai take out the guesswork with the Ocean Way Microphone Locker app for iPad and iPhone.

Utilizing Sides' astounding collection of vintage and contemporary microphones at Ocean Way Recording studios in Hollywood, this new app helps recording engineers find the right microphone for the right instrument. Not only does it contain a comprehensive list of go-to microphones and a wide variety of instruments, the app also lets you listen to multiple sound samples for each different mic/instrument combination.

“We brought in a multitude of talented session players for this project — guitar players, piano players, you name it,” explains Allen Sides, Ocean Way Studios’ owner. “For each instrument, all the various mics were placed in the exact same position, at the same distance, and had matched leveling. We worked very hard to make each sound recording fair and competitive so users can do an honest evaluation of the different characteristics of each microphone.”

From the electric guitar and drums, to the oboe and the human voice, to the AKG C 12 to the Neumann U 47, the Ocean Way Microphone Locker also provides detailed specifications on each instrument and mic, including some of Sides’ personal micing tips from his nearly 40 years of recording engineering experience.

Not only does Sides see the Ocean Way Microphone Locker App as a great resource for producers, he sees it as a great educational tool for budding recording engineers as well.

“Ocean Way is an ‘old world’ kind of studio. We have runners and engineers and record everything from orchestral music to rock acts like Green Day or Radiohead. Nowadays there are few places that still do what we do; most engineers get their experience in a smaller project studio instead. This app is an extremely valuable resource for students who wish to learn the different personalities of many microphones quickly and easily.”

Check out more info on the Ocean Way Microphone Locker app and Ocean Way Studios at

— Amanda Whiting