Nagae and Weigelt recorded their samples at the UdK Concert Hall, which has a mid reverberation time of 1.5 seconds. The instruments they chose include violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn, clarinet (B flat, A and bass), bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba (B flat and F), snare drum (with and without snare), bass drum and timpani. Every instrument was recorded simultaneously with 14 AB stereo pairs of microphones placed in different horizontal and vertical angles.
“We wanted to record samples in a realistic environment and situation, so we opted for stereo recording in a concert hall because we believe that stereo listening is important for the perception of the colour of the recorded instruments,” Thorsten Weigelt explains. “Based on a standard setup, we adjusted the geometry of the system for every instrument to get the most interesting recording points. Also, the distance to the instrument was chosen specifically for every recording, but with the same distance for every pair of microphones (for example violin 248cm, horn 226cm, timpani 265cm). Where possible, we recorded the musician in a standing and sitting position and adjusted the height of the whole microphone setup accordingly. For every instrument, we recorded a few orchestral studies offering different styles and characters, plus one short solo piece and scales.”
A total of 26 d:dicate™ 4006A
microphones were used to capture the sound and they were chosen for their neutral characteristics and excellent sonic qualities. They also used a pair of PZM in front of the musicians.
“We decided to use an AB-mic setup, which is realistic because it is often used as a main mic setting in classical music,” Nagae says. “The most popular mic pattern for this type of work is omnidirectional, which has the advantage of being free from proximity effect and gives a flat response at low frequencies. Even though we recorded in a concert hall and were not too close to the instruments, we wanted to ensure a flat response for the recorded direct sound by using free field equalized capsules. The d:dicate™ 4006A
is famous for its very flat 0°- response if you use the standard silver free-field grid. It was important for a project like this to have very neutral microphones that didn’t colour the sound and offered the best high quality specifications in terms of signal to noise ratio, dynamic range and maximum SPL. DPA fitted this brief perfectly. Also having the same type of microphone throughout was another important consideration, otherwise it would be impossible to be sure that the differences you hear are down to microphone position and not some specific microphone characteristic.”