When he needed to capture the rousing sounds of the renowned Metropolitan Opera brass section for its latest CD, Andrew Bove, owner of the music and recording production company Bove Audio (www.boveaudio.com), turned to Sound Devices. Bove relied on the Sound Devices 788T
digital audio recorder to capture the performances for each track on the CD, titled The Metropolitan Opera Brass Waltzes, Songs and Festive Scenes
. The newly released CD showcases the talent of the METs brass section, bringing its trumpets, french horns, trombones and tuba usually the supporting instruments for the rest of the opera orchestra into the spotlight. The Sound Devices 788T played its part as well, lending its superior reliability to the flawless recording of a flawless performance.
Bove employed the Sound Devices 788T to capture all of the audio for the CD, which was recorded over a three-day period at Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Union, NJ. The 788Ts eight full-featured inputs were especially handy for the task, with Bove making use of all of them. Two of the inputs were devoted to the main stereo pair, capturing the overall sound of the group in the concert hall. Two other channels were dedicated as spot mics for the french horn section. Bove used the remaining four inputs as spot mics for varied instruments, depending on what the musical texture of each track required. The flexibility and ease of use, along with the 788Ts reliability, impressed him.
Before the 788T, we would use a computer workstation for recording, but it wasnt always reliable, says Bove. The 788T is awesome when you press record, you know it will always work, plus it easily records to three different types of media at the same time, so you always have a backup. Recording budgets are small these days, and when you're on a tight budget and don't have infinite time in a concert hall, quick setup time is essential. You want to devote as much time as possible to recording. Using the 788T instead of a computer workstation reduces the amount of devices that need to be connected, which saves time, reduces the amount of equipment transported, and increases reliability.
Much of the gear used for high end studio or location recordings, including microphones and digital mixing boards, can be plugged directly into the compact recorder, reducing the complexity and duration of setup. The 788Ts eight inputs accept either microphone or line-level signals as well as AES digital inputs; providing 48 volts of phantom power for condenser microphones, peak limiters for microphone inputs and fully adjustable high-pass filters. Adding to the simplicity of setup is a back-panel multi-pin connector for a one-cable connection to a digital mixing board (AES input/output, power, switch closure in/out).
For this recording, Bove's setup included several external pre-amps and A/D converters alongside the 788T, as well as a variety of microphones. The main microphone array was a pair of Schoeps CMC6MK2, through Forsell Technologies SMP-2 preamplifiers and Lavry Engineering LavryBlue AD convertors. Another pair of the same preamps and AD conversion was used with the AEA R84 ribbon microphones dedicated to the french horn section. Schoeps CMC6MK21, Schoeps CMC4 MK41 and Sennheiser MKH 8040 microphones were used as additional spot mics.
Aside from recording, Bove also performed the editing, mixing and mastering for The Metropolitan Opera Brass CD. For this, he utilized a Magix Sequoia audio workstation. To keep the large quantity of high resolution eight channel WAV files organized before importing into Sequoia, Bove utilized Sound Devices Wave Agent WAV file librarian software. Wave Agent provides a comprehensive set of tools for preparing audio files for problem-free passage through complex production workflows.
The Metropolitan Opera Brass Waltzes, Songs and Festive Scenes CD was produced by David Krauss, Javier Gndara and Andrew Bove, and recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Andrew Bove. Released October 5, 2010, it is available at the Met Opera Shop (www.metoperashop.org).