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When he needed to capture the rousing sounds of the renowned Metropolitan Opera
brass section for its latest CD, Andrew Bove, owner of the music and recording
production company Bove Audio, turned to Sound Devices. Bove relied on the
Sound Devices 788T digital audio recorder to capture the performances for each
track on the CD, titled The Metropolitan Opera Brass – Waltzes, Songs and Festive
Scenes. The newly released CD showcases the talent of the MET’s brass section,
bringing its trumpets, french horns, trombones and tuba — usually the supporting
instruments for the rest of the opera orchestra — into the spotlight. The Sound
Devices 788T played its part as well, lending its superior reliability to the
flawless recording of a flawless performance.

Bove employed the Sound Devices 788T to capture all of the audio for the CD,
which was recorded over a three-day period at Gene & Shelley Enlow Recital
Hall at Kean University in Union, NJ.  The 788T’s eight full-featured inputs
were especially handy for the task, with Bove making use of all of them. Two
of the inputs were devoted to the main stereo pair, capturing the overall
sound of the group in the concert hall.  Two other channels were dedicated
as spot mics for the french horn section. Bove used the remaining four
inputs as spot mics for varied instruments, depending on what the musical
texture of each track required. The flexibility and ease of use, along with
the 788T’s reliability, impressed him.

“Before the 788T, we would use a computer workstation for recording, but it
wasn’t always reliable,” says Bove.  “The 788T is awesome – when you press
record, you know it will always work, plus it easily records to three
different types of media at the same time, so you always have a backup.
Recording budgets are small these days, and when you're on a tight budget
and don't have infinite time in a concert hall, quick setup time is
essential.  You want to devote as much time as possible to recording.  Using
the 788T instead of a computer workstation reduces the amount of devices
that need to be connected, which saves time, reduces the amount of equipment
transported, and increases reliability. ”

Much of the gear used for high end studio or location recordings, including
microphones and digital mixing boards, can be plugged directly into the
compact recorder, reducing the complexity and duration of setup. The 788T’s
eight inputs accept either microphone or line-level signals as well as AES
digital inputs; providing 48 volts of phantom power for condenser
microphones, peak limiters for microphone inputs and fully adjustable
high-pass filters.  Adding to the simplicity of setup is a back-panel
multi-pin connector for a one-cable connection to a digital mixing board
(AES input/output, power, switch closure in/out). 

For this recording, Bove's setup included several external pre-amps and A/D
converters alongside the 788T, as well as a variety of microphones.  The
main microphone array was a pair of Schoeps CMC6MK2, through Forsell
Technologies SMP-2 preamplifiers and Lavry Engineering “LavryBlue” AD
convertors.  Another pair of the same preamps and AD conversion was used
with the AEA R84 ribbon microphones dedicated to the french horn section.
Schoeps CMC6MK21, Schoeps CMC4 MK41 and Sennheiser MKH 8040 microphones were
used as additional spot mics.

Aside from recording, Bove also performed the editing, mixing and mastering
for The Metropolitan Opera Brass CD.  For this, he utilized a Magix Sequoia
audio workstation. To keep the large quantity of high resolution eight
channel WAV files organized before importing into Sequoia, Bove utilized
Sound Devices’ Wave Agent WAV file librarian software. Wave Agent provides a
comprehensive set of tools for preparing audio files for problem-free
passage through complex production workflows.

The Metropolitan Opera Brass – Waltzes, Songs and Festive Scenes CD was
produced by David Krauss, Javier Gándara and Andrew Bove, and recorded,
edited, mixed and mastered by Andrew Bove. Released October 5, 2010, it is
available at the Met Opera Shop.


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