German Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra using the new Digital Audio Denmark AX24 Analog-to-Digital converter.’ border=’1′> Six-time Grammy-winning engineer Michael Bishop recorded a new version of Telarc’s 1984 landmark recording of Brahms’ German Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra using the new Digital Audio Denmark AX24 Analog-to-Digital converter.Cleveland, OH (January 10, 2007)–Back in 1984, Telarc International recorded what has become a definitive version of Brahms’ German Requiem. Robert Woods, president of Telarc, produced the landmark recording with Robert Shaw conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO). In addition to capturing an amazing performance, the album was, for its time, considered to be a sound engineering masterpiece.
Twenty-three years later, recording technology has advanced dramatically, but Telarc’s 1984 version of the German Requiem remains emblazoned in the minds of Brahms fans as a near-perfect realization of the composer’s vision. This makes Telarc’s decision to record the German Requiem anew challenging. They had their own past to live up to and, if possible, exceed.
Telarc again went to the ASO with its chorus and soloists, this time with Robert Spano at the conductor’s podium. Grammy-winning producer Elaine Martone and six-time Grammy-winning engineer Michael Bishop were responsible for directing and capturing the talent of Spano and the ASO’s musicians and singers at an unnerving cost of nearly $300 a minute. With wry understatement, Bishop noted, “That puts a lot of pressure on the producer and engineer.”
Bishop has recorded with Spano and the ASO numerous times and has refined his technique to elicit the very best tonal and spatial response from his equipment. He set up a temporary control room in an adjoining music library, complete with a 5.1 complement of ATC SCM150 and SCM50 mastering-grade monitors and modular RPG acoustic treatment. The main microphones were a combination of Sanken CO100Ks with response out to 100kHz, and AEA R-84 ribbon mics, which, together with the UpState Audio Sonic Lens preamps and custom-modified Studer console, gave a wide-open recording chain.
New in Bishop’s signal chain was a Digital Audio Denmark AX24 analog-to-digital converter recording to the Sonoma DSD workstation. The eight-channel AX24 is capable of all sample rates, from 48kHz to 384kHz, and the new DXD, as well as DSD, a special non-PCM mode commonly associated with Super Audio CDs. Bishop used his AX24 in its DSD mode for this version of Brahms’ Requiem, ruler flat well beyond 100kHz for release on Super Audio CD. From the console, Bishop mixed direct to two-channel for stereo and direct to five-channel for surround. He mixed both formats simultaneously and recorded no backup multitracks. Thus, the mixes he committed to disc were the masters.
“Until DAD released the AX24, our old converters were the top-of-the-line, and any engineer would be thrilled to work with them,” commented Bishop. “Nevertheless, the AX24 takes us one step closer to realizing Telarc’s goal of removing everything between the source and the listener. Although it’s hard to put into words, the AX24 has greater clarity and depth than any other converter I’ve heard, and it allows me to hear deeper into the orchestra. Its clarity comes with no shift in the tonal balance. In short, the AX24 gets rid of another layer of something. You can hear it, but it’s hard to put a finger on.”
Las Vegas Pro Audio, a division of TransAudio Group, is the exclusive U.S. source for Digital Audio Denmark.
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