Discuss with the clients...
Always ready to discuss or confront ourselves with the requirements
of musician clients or lovers of music, some technical choices are part
of our operating philosophy achieved through experience. Although we
have analogue recorders of the highest level, our clear preference is
in favour of the digital system (much better if it is at 24 bit) motivated
more by the dynamic superiority than to the extended response to frequency.
At the time of disks in vinyl the orchestral "pianissimo"
had to be artificially exalted to dominate the back ground noise. We
have carried out accurate tests with two identical microphone systems
putting into contest a Nagra IVS (analogue, calibrated for a Basf 911
tape ) and a Yamaha D24, Apogée converters (digital, 24 bit,
96 khz) that literally overcame the rival in transparency, micro-contrast,
timbre and obviously dynamics. Even the Nagra D a 20 bit e 44,1 khz
revealed itself superior.
Analog or digital?
The analogue nostalgic people normally base their opinion not on tapes
but on listening vinyl records already penalised by the mechanical reading
of the needle, always subject to inertia and geometrical problems, without
speaking of wear, fanciful equalisations, etc., comparing them maybe
with bad CDs. The problem of the digital system lies all on the good
quality of the converters and in the analogue network before and after
the disk recording: preamplifiers, microphones and finally, obviously,
the equal quality of microphone and loudspeakers. First try and then
In the recording phase we favour the use of a minimum number of microphones
without a mixer. The ideal number is only two, but when required you
can employ up to 4 or 6, by employing more will frequently give you
phase problems of recording and you will loose a good space and location
effect or will be forced to recreate the surrounding in a study of postproduction.
With a multiple track system these things change provided that each
microphone has its own track and therefore you can do without a mixer
during the recording. Of course when you record with a small amount
of microphones you must rely on an excellent environmental acoustic,
carryout tests and arrange carefully the monitoring microphones, connected,
preferably, also to loud speakers and not only to headphones, this should
be a irremissible starting point. If not so, every artifice is allowed
but then we open a chapter of compromises.
A soft sound...
Valve or solid state microphones? Authoritative colleagues (even in
the USA) that swear only on the "mythical" Neumann U47 or
U67 now thirty or forty years old. We, more than to the charisma, prefer
to rely on the ear, our own or/and those of the musician clients so
much more as the same Berlin technicians of Neumann declare that if
we want a wonderful valve microphone it is better not to take consistent
risks and surprises (especially in the case of humidity) tied to the
use of antique objects, it is miles better to rely on a modern M149
or M147 that also Mina likes. But we prefer to find the warmth of a
soft sound with valve preamplifiers. With regard to the location and
the surroundings. To know more click on our LSS (Live Surround System).