Recording engineer John Cuniberti created the OneMic Series with four simple goals in mind. His project aimed at capturing a band in one take, without edits, and without overdubs while sounding as balanced as a conventional multi-track recording– all around a single AEA R88 stereo microphone.
The fourth artist featured in the OneMic Series is Bay Area band, Essence. Recorded at 25th Street Recording in San Francisco, the 6-piece group performs two original songs, “1000 Pieces” and “Black Wings”. Arranged around a single R88, “1000 Pieces” features vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric bass, organ, and drums. “Black Wings” features vocals, ukulele, electric guitar, organ, upright bass, and drums.
Watch Essence perform “1000 Pieces”
Watch Essence perform “Black Wings”
About OneMic by John Cuniberti
OneMic – the minimalist recording series by John Cuniberti demonstrates that an entire band can be recorded with only one stereo microphone in one take. Each recording session is shot in 4k video on a Sony a7RII by filmmaker Nathaniel Kohfield. What makes this series so different from other live performance videos is that the artist is in complete control of his/her presentation. This means that the sound, balance, dynamics and stereo image is decided upon at the moment of creation, not in post-production. The artist (band) is responsible for the final product. There is no editing of the audio or video. It’s as honest as it can be including imperfections.
This organic presentation isn’t limited to “acoustic” music as seen with live classical and folk music. In this series veteran recording engineer John Cuniberti records bands with electric guitars and drums that would normally require a multi-mic, multi-track approach. This is not the first time this has been done but this technique was quickly forsaken soon after the multi-track tape recorder was invented and with it a loss of a level of musical intimacy. The OneMic series demonstrates the positive aspects of the minimalistic recording process of the 1930s but is captured on modern stereo recording equipment.