The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra goes ‘all-digital’
KOREA: A total of 56 Neumann and Sennheiser digital microphones are currently in use at the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s (SPO) recording studio, reportedly making it one of the first studios to go ‘all-digital’.
The SPO is produced by Michael Fine, while tonmeister Wolf-Dieter Karwatky is involved with music recordings. Mr Karwatky has been pleased with the digital microphones: ‘This new digital microphone system provides us with more quality, flexibility and speed than any other existing system, and this applies both during the recording sessions and in post-production,’ said Mr Karwatky. ‘Furthermore, the Sennheiser/Neumann system is free from interference and any kind of technical restraints, as it cuts out analogue cables and interfaces. With the remote capabilities we can immediately adapt to any recording situation – even during the recording process.’
The microphone equipment includes 44 digital small-diaphragm condensers from Sennheiser’s MKH 8000 studio range plus four Neumann TLM 193 large-diaphragm condenser mics. All of the microphones are digitised directly behind the microphone head by the Sennheiser MZD 8000 digital modules and powered and controlled via Neumann DMI 8 digital interfaces.
The MKH 8000 microphones include 24 cardioid models, six super-cardioids, six wide cardioids, four multi-pattern microphones and four MKH 800 TWINs with remotely adjustable pick-up patterns. The TWINs are used as the main microphones due to their ability to have their pick-up pattern fine-tuned either on the mixing desk during recording or in post-production. Meanwhile, the cardioids, wide cardioids and super-cardioids are employed as spot microphones and selected according to the type of music that the orchestra plays and the venue in which they are performing.
Mr Fine started working with the orchestra in 2005 and has reportedly been working with Sennheiser microphones for many years. ‘One of our first comments was that it almost sounded like there was nothing between us and the stage. It felt like we were actually in the room with the musicians. The clarity was breath taking and quite extraordinary. Whilst I’m not saying that we can’t make great recordings without this technology, I’m impressed by that additional degree of clarity, beauty of sound and faithfulness of reproduction that we are achieving with these digital microphones.’