Simon Todkill, Chief Engineer at Miloco Studios on the award-winning Austrian Audio OC818 microphone
From the Chemical Brothers to Ed Sheeran: Meet Simon Todkill
Austrian Audio recently interviewed Simon Todkill, chief engineer at Miloco Studio in London, UK. In addition to their headquarter in London, the Miloco company manages bookings for around 170 studios all over the world and boasts that; ‘if a studio exists in the location you want, we will find it’. So, it’s no surprise that Miloco clients include: Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé, George Ezra, Stormzy and Years & Years, to name only a few.
Simon Todkill is a busy man; he’s not only chief engineer but also head of immersive audio, mix and recording engineer. “We call this the Electro Bank room, previously it was the residence of the Chemical Brothers. I came to the UK from my home in Australia and joined Miloco six years ago since when I’ve worked with all sorts of artists and musical styles ranging from currently; Guy Chambers, James Smith, Sasha Keable, Holly Humberstone, Frank Carter, The Horrors and recently I produced the Atmos mix for Florence and the Machine.”
The Unparalleled Quality of the OC818 Microphone
“Many of the classic microphones are from years gone by, some pass by and get forgotten, the 818 is different, it’s competitive with the best, it has some unique features; I can put it on vocals and strings, I absolutely love it on piano, acoustic guitar and choirs. Everything I’ve put it on I love the result and don’t want to touch it, and that’s the same feeling I get when I use a U67 or U47 or any of those high-end microphones from years gone by, I want to use it on everything, I love the way it sounds.”
“My genuine opinion [of the OC818] is it’s the best modern microphone I’ve heard… since forever!”
Breaking new creative grounds with the OC818 Microphone and Polar Designer Plug-in
“I often use the [OC818’s] dual outputs so I can tweak the polar patterns (with Polar Designer) later. Once the artists have left, I can tweak it and bring things in and out of focus, I love that,” says Todkill. “The OC818 is great on drums, not just overheads. I love to do minimal miking on drums, some of my favourite drum sounds were from this mic in the Toy Shop studio upstairs here. I use them like a kick mic but placed a few feet back then use the Polar Designer to process it, using a simple two-mic setup sounds amazing! More info on the plugins and the app can be found here.
I use it on everything I can, particularly harmonically rich recordings where they have to have detail and clarity, it’s my first choice, it’s multi-pattern, small and easy to place, for example, if I want to put them on drums I can put them right above the drum and they won’t get in the drummer’s way, I also love the sound on vocals, it outshines several microphones seven times its price!”