London, UK (August 9, 2010)--Andrew Levine used a Metric Halo setup to record a concert by the Charities Philharmonia at the historic St. John's, Smith Square hall in London.
Levine, an engineer and label owner based in Hamburg, Germany, specializes in remote recordings using a mobile, environmentally friendly (bike or public transportation) system. He maintains a small cache of cables and microphone stands in London so as to minimize his luggage when he travels. He captured the most recent recordings of the ensemble performing Rachmaninov's Isle of the Dead and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 using a Metric Halo ULN-8 mic-pre and interface with a Metric Halo MIO virtual mixer.
Levine focused initially on the principle stereo and surround imaging, which required both stand-mounted mics behind the conductor and flown outriggers. The main microphones were an AB pair of Earthworks QTC-50s. DPA 4060s served as ambient outriggers in the tier above the audience.
"It turned out that imaging on the 4060s was too direct, possibly because of reflections from the close walls," said Levine. "During a break, I moved them higher up above a lateral passage to capture more of the sound of the hall itself." To capture the violins and cellos, a pair of Royer Labs SF-1 ribbons flanked the conductor, facing sideways and angled 30- to 40-degrees downward. A United Minorities UM-1 in figure-8 configuration captured the woodwinds, and an Elation KM-201 with an omni-directional capsule provided the lead bass with a small boost.
"The Metric Halo ULN-8 has been a godsend for my mobile recording operations," enthused Levine. "The mic pres and converters sound amazing and deliver the highest quality live recordings with any mics--including the Royer ribbons, which require a huge amount of quiet gain. Also, having reliable mic pres and converters in one box leaves less to go wrong in what are already very stressful situations."