Neumann Microphones Help RUNA Make Celtic Roots Music Come Alive
Neumann KMS 104 Plus and KMS 105 Condenser Microphones Help RUNA Capture Nuance and Dynamics of Onstage Vocal Presentation
RUNA is a Celtic roots band that fuses music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada and the U.S., creating refreshing contemporary arrangements of traditional, Celtic–based material. Now an internationally touring band that routinely plays at large national concert halls such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the band quickly emerged from its humble beginnings playing coffee houses and dive bars in Philadelphia just four years ago.
RUNA’s live presentation is rich in its authentic Celtic instrumentation and dynamic storytelling through song—and is made all the more sonically engaging by the band’s choice of vocal microphone: the Neumann KMS 104 Plus and KMS 105 handheld condensers. This month on May 17th, the band returns ‘home’ to Philadelphia to sing the National Anthem before 40,000 some odd baseball fans at Citizens Bank Park to celebrate the Philadelphia Phillies’ Irish Heritage Night.
Lead singer Shannon Lambert-Ryan explains the band’s transition to Neumann on stage: “I had been using a popular competitor’s mic and someone suggested I try a Neumann,” she says. “We tried it at a gig and there was just no comparison. I heard better tone, warmth and clarity while singing through the KMS 104 Plus. It was like singing against silk, and I cannot speak highly enough about it.”
For RUNA, a band that prides itself on connecting with audiences through dramatic and lyrically vibrant performances, microphone clarity and sensitivity go a long way: “The Neumann KMS microphones pick up all of the nuances of the human voice,” observes Lambert-Ryan. “It provides the definition and clarity to cut through the mix, but also has a huge, warm tone. I’ve noticed that other microphones deliver great clarity, but often sound too thin and don’t have enough sonic definition.”
Over the last two years, RUNA—a five piece band consisting of Shannon Lambert-Ryan on vocals, Fionán de Barra on guitar, Cheryl Prashker on percussion, Dave Curley on mandolin/vocals, and Maggie Estes on fiddle—has been recognized with many industry awards and accolades. This year, they captured nominations in the Independent Music Awards for their song “Amhrán Mhuighinse” (Somewhere Along the Road), in the Irish Music Awards for Best Female Vocalist, and in the past have received multiple accolades from the Montgomery Buck Music Awards.
RUNA’s other vocalist, Dave Curley, has been using the Neumann KMS 105. “He was really struggling to find the right vocal mic that works for his voice, which is very gentle and has a different timbre than mine,” recalls Lambert-Ryan. “The first time he sang through the KMS 105 onstage, he said, ‘Wow—what is this?’ It was very smooth and had such a nice balance.”
For Lambert-Ryan, the Neumann KMS 104 Plus has given her more control over her vocal dynamics on stage: “Since we don’t have a bunch of electronic instruments happening in our style of music, the vocals tend to be much more ‘exposed.’ Therefore you need to hear all the nuances that are occurring,” she says. “With the KMS 104 Plus, Neumann has delivered here.”