Old Lyme, CT (November 28, 2012)-For her latest project, Sabine Kämper embarked on a culinary journey through Namibia, recording ethnic choirs as she went with a stereo pair of Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardioid microphones.
Kämper set off for Namibia for a 9,000-kilometer trip from the Kalahari to Kaokoveld during the summer. With Sennheiser mics and a windshield prototype from Rycote in her backpack, the journalist and author from Hamburg traveled through Namibia to record ethnic choirs at different lodges. "In Southern Africa, it is customary on many of the lodges and guest farms for the kitchen staff or even the entire team to perform a few traditional songs after the meal…that was the birth of Chorus and Cuisine. The book, just published, is an unusual mixture of travel guide, recipe book and music CD.
"It was clear to me, of course, that I would have to do a lot of improvising when it came to the audio recordings. We expected to be recording in all different kinds of rooms, from libraries to laundries. For that reason, we needed microphones that guaranteed good recordings whatever the situation, and so I turned to Sennheiser's experts for help," said Kämper. The company recommended that she use MKH 8040s due to the high temperatures of the location, and also because Kämper was planning to make outdoor recordings for another project.
"In the end, we never actually needed to record in a laundry," Kämper recalled. "Most of the time, we somehow managed to squeeze the choir into our lodge room or we were able to record in the kitchen. Once, the lodge manager even let us use his living room. We used an ORTF arrangement for the recordings and fed the sound from the pair of microphones directly into a computer via a small Mbox2 interface. This lightweight and compact audio system provided us with excellent recordings. After the rough cut, I asked the audio engineer what he had done to the recordings to make them sound so perfectly 'rounded,' and he said, 'Not much. I only put the songs in the order you wanted.'"