Rafa Sardina Chooses Audio-Technica

Audio Technica Rafa1 Horns

Multi GRAMMY & Latin GRAMMY-winning producer/mixer/engineer Rafa Sardina has built an eclectic and impressive client list over the years that includes some of the biggest names in the music industry. With a catalog that includes such talent as Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello & The Roots, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, John Legend, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Placido Domingo, Shakira and many more, Sardina continues to be sought out by high-profile artists looking for his help in capturing their signature sound. A key element in Sardina’s workflow is a wide selection of microphones from Audio-Technica, a leading innovator in transducer technology for over 60 years.   

“I’ve been using Audio-Technica for basically my entire career,” stated Sardina. “When I go into a session, I know there is an A-T mic that I have at my disposal that will work on the instrument or vocalist to help me capture exactly what I need – and it has been that way forever.” 

Recently there are several projects that Sardina employed A-T mics on during sessions in Bogotá, Colombia, and here in the States. “Currently I’m actually producing and engineering a huge array of different types of projects,” commented Sardina. “I’m producing this band from Colombia, which is a very eclectic band called Monsieur Periné. It’s a duo band, and all of the instrumentation is acoustic, but they’re venturing to many different styles of music and arrangements. I mean, it is really a very challenging project. And I’ve been recording with them in the U.S. at East West Studios & AfterHours Studios here in L.A., but also in Colombia. For this project, I used Audio-Technica exclusively. We recorded all kinds of instruments – not just the typical drums or percussion, but even Middle Eastern percussion and all kinds of string instruments, horn sections, big bands, etc. In Colombia, I used the AT4080 and AT4081 ribbon mics for strings. I used them for the first violins, second violins and violas. Two additional standouts were the AT5047, which I used for room microphones, and AT5045s, which I used as spot microphones but also for the guitars and percussion. Additionally, I’ve used the AE2500 a lot for percussion and for the cajon. The AE2500 has become my favorite microphone to capture that instrument. Every year I’m either producing or engineering several flamenco projects, and the AE2500 has become my secret weapon (really) for cajon. The cajon is used extensively for flamenco music. It is basically the backbone of the music. And I managed to get like the full sound of that instrument with just a single AE2500 microphone.” 

Audio Technica Rafa2 MiguelGuerra

Recently, at another session held at East West Studio One (the big room) for French jazz singer and recording artist Raquel Bitton (who is recognized as the foremost singer of French jazz music in America today), Sardina captured a 28-piece big band orchestra using Audio-Technica. “For Raquel’s sessions, I used the AT5047 for the room mics to capture the string section and the AE2500 for kick drum; and of course my go-to has always been the AE3000 on toms.”

When asked about his long-term association with Audio-Technica, Rafa Sardina said, “When I began my career, I was introduced to Audio-Technica mics early on, and I became very familiar with several models within their line. They rapidly became my go-to mics for a wide range of recording applications. Years later they are still an intricate part of my workflow, simply because they work, they are reliable, and I know I can capture what I need regardless of the situation, time-after-time. Plus, their customer service is second to none. Whether I am in the studio or in a live situation, Audio-Technica is always a guaranteed good fit.”