Musician, Derek Brown recently tested out an Austrian Audio OC818 microphone, using it to capture his unique style of saxophone playing – dubbed ‘BEATBoX SAX’.
Part beatbox, part instrument-slap technique, and part saxophone playing, Brown has turned BEATBoX SAX into a phenomenon – his YouTube music videos and tutorials are enormously popular among saxophonists and music lovers alike, racking up over 150,000 YouTube subscriptions.
Previously the director of jazz studies at Abilene Christian University for six years, Brown received his BM in Music Performance (Classical and Jazz) from Hope College in 2006, and his MM in Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music in 2008.
Crossing genres from jazz, to classical, to funk (and without using any looping or electronic effects), Brown’s unique playing style was born out of a love of blending musical genres.
“I grew up with a very normal way of playing the saxophone,” he said. “I studied classical music and I started liking jazz. I went to university and I studied all the techniques and different ways of improvising. I was always feeling a bit lost, thinking ‘what’s my new thing to say on this?’ Am I a jazz musician? Am I a classical musician? Am I a pop musician?”
Brown decided that he didn’t need to choose – the result being a unique blend of jazz and pop-style saxophone playing, combined with instrument-slapping techniques.
Requiring a microphone that was up to the challenge, Brown tested an Austrian Audio OC818:
“It was great; it is everything I look for in a mic,” he said. “I had a very quiet signal and it seemed to pick up all the different things I’m doing on the saxophone, which is very important because everything I do – even though it sounds like it’s being looped or has an electronic effect – it’s not, it’s all acoustic. So I need a microphone that is going to pick up every little detail, from the ring scratching that I’m doing, to all the intricate sounds coming out of the belt, and my voice. This was a perfect mic; it had a great sound to it. It seemed to produce a very natural-sounding saxophone.”
Brown also likes that the OC818 microphones are handmade in Vienna:
“I love the idea that these are being created in Austria,” he enthused. “I know it’s very easy to have things outsourced to other countries, so I love that this tradition is being continued. I can’t wait to see what Austrian Audio comes up with next.”
Handmade in Vienna, the OC818 is a multi-pattern dual-output condenser microphone equipped with a world-first: optional wireless control. At the heart of the range is the patent-pending, handmade CKR12 ceramic capsule, made to the same critical dimensions as the legendary CK12 capsules. However, the CKR12 goes further still, utilising a revolutionary new material offering far more stability, meaning every OC818 is inherently paired with any other OC818, or even Austrian Audio’s OC18 mic.