Young Drumming Prodigy Owen Bonaventura Makes His Sound Count Measure for Measure with Sennheiser and Neumann
Bonaventura Moves to the Head of the Class with Classic Sennheiser Dynamic Microphones and Neumann KH 120 Nearfield Monitors
Old Lyme, Conn. – September 25, 2013 – If you are a musician and you have not already heard of Owen Bonaventura, you will. A drummer of extraordinary natural talent since he was just 11 years old, his YouTube channel has already received over half a million views by music fans and aspiring drummers who watch him play technically diffi-cult rock tunes note for note — most notably by the progressive rock trio Rush. As his drumming talent continues to develop, Bonaventura is honing his own sound and has turned to Sennheiser and Neumann for his microphone and monitoring solutions.
After a visit to the Winter NAMM show two years ago, Bonaventura’s profile began rising in the music industry and he began putting together a home studio of his own. He says he began feeling a ‘passion for sound’ around this time, when his father gave him a cou-ple of microphones as a Christmas present. “I branched off into mixing and began sculpt-ing my sounds so that I can portray the sound that I hear in my head out to the drums,” he says. It wasn’t long before he gravitated to classic dynamic microphones from Senn-heiser to capture the sounds from his drum kit. “I now use a Sennheiser MD 441 on my snare and have all MD 421s on my toms. All the other mics I tried from other companies had a midrange response that sounded muddy and boxy,’” he says. “The MD 421s have a classic warmth that isn’t muddy whatsoever.”
Currently, Owen is playing in a funk/jazz trio and working on two new projects: a straight ahead jazz album and a Christmas album featuring Grammy nominated singer Tina Fab-rique, which he says combines jazz with just the right touch of funk and gospel. On his Christmas album, Fabrique sings through a Neumann M147 tube microphone, which Bonaventura says sounds ‘tailor made’ for her voice, accenting the low to mid frequency range. On his drums, he is using the aforementioned Sennheiser MD 421s and MD 441s in combination with a pair of Neumann U87s as overheads. “The U87s have a great low-mid characteristic you simply can’t get with other mics, and they pick up the entire image of the drum kit, versus just the cymbals — this lends a great sense of space to the record-ing,” he says.
“I play a really broad range of musical styles and wide dynamic ranges, and I know the MD 421 can handle the high SPLs as well as pick up the softer nuances,” he continues. As for the snare, he appreciates how the MD 441 captures the ‘sizzle.’ “I could never get the high end articulation of the snare wires mixed in with the nice body of the DW snare I had,” he recalls. “The presence boost on the MD 441 also seems to enhance the ‘airy’ frequencies of the snare drum.”
Neumann KH 120 Monitors: when accuracy counts
Owen maintains similarly high standards in his choice of monitoring equipment, opting for the recently launched Neumann KH 120 nearfield monitors, which he says are a great ‘bang for the buck.’ “These speakers are really flat and reveal all kinds of details and nu-ances in the mix,” he says. “However I decide to make my final mix, I can be confident that these decisions will translate and will sound exactly the way I wanted them to.”
He says that even though the KH 120 monitors have a small footprint, they perform par-ticularly well in the lower frequencies. “I do a lot of Hip hop production, and with other monitors of this size, I find that I can’t hear the kick drums,” Owen observes. “For exam-ple, on an 808 machine, details in the lower frequencies tend to get lost. On the KH 120s, I can hear below 60 Hz no problem and the crossover is very, very smooth.”
As Owen continues to sculpt his own sound in both drumming and mixing, he trusts Senn-heiser and Neumann implicitly: “With these products, I find that I am able to portray the sound as I hear it in my head. I really want listeners to experience what I was feeling when I was creating my music.”
Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Conn. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the com-pany with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Sci-entific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.You can find all the latest information on Sennheiser by visiting our website at www.sennheiserusa.com.
Owen Bonaventura mics his snare drum with a Sennheiser MD 441, and mics his toms with Sennheiser MD 421s.