New York (January 7, 2008)--On his latest recording, Music of Venezuela, Grammy-nominated flutist Marco Granados performs the music of his homeland, blending the traditions of native South American, African, and European cultures. A pair of Crowley and Tripp Proscenium ribbon microphones were used to record his flute tracks.
To back him up, Granados enlisted Venezuelan musicians for percussion, bass, and guitar, including Jorge Glem, Roberto Koch and his brother Leonardo Granados. Granados traveled twice from his New York home to Caracas to record with them.
The recordings from that first session were good, but Granados felt they would have been much better with the Prosceniums. "I wanted to record the entire album with the Crowley and Tripp Prosceniums," Granados said, "but the conditions in the Venezuelan studio were less than ideal. I was concerned that they might be damaged so I left them at home on my first trip.
"I spoke with Bob Crowley, conveying my concern for the safety in shipping the microphones around," Granados continued. "He assured me that although the Prosceniums sound like classic vintage ribbons, they aren't nearly as delicate. He said I should be no more concerned bringing the Prosceniums than I would bringing any other nice microphones." Relieved, Granados returned to Venezuela, Prosceniums in hand, to record the rest of the tracks.
To get the very best sound for each instrument, Granados and his collaborators used a multi-track approach, laying down rhythm, bass, and guitar before the flute tracks. They used a pair of Shure KSM 109s for the percussion and a Neumann KM 184 for bass; the latter was a personal recommendation from jazz bassist John Patitucci. Granados gave special treatment to the acoustic guitar, using his Sennheiser MKH 40s and an API 512C preamp to give it a warm, full body.
For his flute, Granados experimented with the figure-8 Crowley and Tripp Prosceniums in both a Blumlein configuration and an M/S configuration. Positioned four feet back, both methods of stereo capture delivered beautiful results. "If the acoustics had been a little better, the Blumlein would have been the way to go," Granados said. "As it was, the M/S gave a slightly better, more direct sound."
Granados used Enhanced Audio m600 mic mounts with the Prosceniums. In contrast to shock mounts, the m600s hold the microphones rigidly, removing subharmonic resonances that interact to affect the frequency response in the audible range. A customized DAV Electronics BG1 preamp amplified the Prosceniums before they went into Pro Tools|HD at 96kHz.
"The Crowley and Tripp Prosceniums have a very smooth frequency response," Granados allowed. "They sound very natural, but at the same time have a broad, smooth presence that's very appealing. The difference between the recordings made with the Prosceniums and the other recordings is in the high-end of the flute. The flute is spectrally complex, especially on top. The Proscenium tracks are simply sweeter and more natural sounding. I wish I had done the whole album with them."
Crowley and Tripp Microphones