Boutique Mic Company Making A Difference: Launched in 2008 by prolific engineer/producer/mixer Rob Chiarelli (Will Smith, P!nk, Christina Aguilera, Mary Mary) and engineer Chandler Bridges (Jennifer Lopez, Leann Rimes, Bette Midler), Gauge Microphones lives up to its branding slogan “A Difference You Can Hear” and sets itself apart from the large manufacturers in many ways, including a unique quality control standard. Their relatively small operation allows Gauge to “ear test” every microphone with a platinum-selling engineer before they are approved for shipping. Chiarelli won a GRAMMY® this year for mixing Erica Campbell’s Help album, and Bridges is currently completing his doctorate (Ph.D) in music. “Just like our customers, Chandler and I need microphones that sound great, but won’t break the bank,” says Chiarelli. “We can’t afford to lose a great performance because of a crappy microphone. And neither can you.”
A Happy Accident Leads To Great Sound: Gauge Mi- crophones is a labor of love that began accidentally, when Chiarelli couldn’t find affordable, great sounding drum mics for his son’s kit. He and Bridges found a quality manufacturer, and after making modifications and improvements they began giving mics to industry friends; soon others wanted to buy them. Their website boasts glowing testimonials from numerous luminaries, including artist/producer Shaun Labelle, Grammy- nominated songwriter/producer Steve Diamond, Grammy-winner Larry Whitt and producer/saxophonist Tom Saviano.
Featured Mics: Gauge’s line starts with the ECM-80 Dynamic Vocal Mic, a hand-held model, which is geared toward live performances. Studio models include recently updated versions of their original product line. The ECM-47 ($479) is the company’s higher-end, multi-pattern tube mic that uses the legendary 6072 tube. It has a selectable response pattern and comes in two styles: the “Classic” (brass/chrome) and the “Stealth” (black/chrome). The ECM-87 ($149) is their large diaphragm condenser mic that is perfect for vocals, acoustic guitar and drum over- heads; it is also offered in “Classic” and “Stealth” models. The ECM-84K is a matched pair of small diaphragm condenser microphones available in a stereo kit with mounting bracket, omni and cardioid capsules and two shock mounts.
By Jonathan Widran