Switzerland (June 30, 2009)–A Merging Technologies Pyramix system was used to record, edit and mix Homage, the 2008 album by Canadian violinist James Ehnes, which has now won Classical Album of the Year at the Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys.
The album sees Ehnes, accompanied only by piano player Edward Laurel, playing some of the finest violins in the world from the private Fulton Collection. A track from Homage was included on the free CD accompanying the March 2009 edition of Gramophone, alongside a review where it was described as having been “stunningly recorded.” The videodisc that accompanies the CD won the DVD Of The Month award in the same magazine.
Homage was recorded and produced in 2007 at the Fulton Performing Arts Centre in Redmond, Washington by producer/engineer Tim Martyn. Martyn, the founder of New York’s Classic Sound Inc. who now runs his Phoenix Audio location recording company from Glen Rock, New Jersey, has been a Pyramix owner for over 10 years, using it to provide broadcast recording and production services for the Baltimore and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras, amongst other clients. Like most Phoenix Audio productions, Homage was recorded into Pyramix at 24-bit/96kHz resolution, using Grace mic preamps and Apogee A/D converters on the front end, with a vintage RCA 44 ribbon microphone chosen by Martyn as the primary spot mic on the violins and violas played by Ehnes during the recording. Once completed, the recordings of Ehnes and the piano never left Pyramix, the DAW being used for editing, mixing, and production of the final CD master.
“Juno awards may be overshadowed in the USA by their ‘big brother,’ the Grammys,” comments Martyn, “but James Ehnes has won several of both, so we consider it a great achievement that he’s been honored not only in his own country, but also in the USA. A great deal of work went into the recording, which was also a video shoot for the DVD that was released concurrently with the CD–we were concerned about the noise the camera crew might make during takes, but they were terrific.
“Pyramix is an incredibly well-behaved and adaptable system to use on all sorts of remote recording work, because it can be easily integrated and synchronized with all sorts of other gear, as we had to do on this video project. Moreover, for any type of classical music production, the choice of system is simple: Pyramix has a music editing interface for doing ultra-fine work which is unparalleled. Hearing that the CD had won a Juno was a delightful surprise, coming at the very end of a project that had already been such fun to work on. And we’re very pleased for James.”