Recording and Production in the News
Prism Sound helps John Barnes and Luiza Borac capture a critically acclaimed performanceCambridge, UK - April 2007: Romanian pianist Luiza Borac is celebrating after winning the BBC Magazine's Instrumental CD of the Year Award 2006 for her recording of Volume 2 of George Enescu's published piano music.
And Prism Sound is delighted to join in the congratulations because the recording chain used by producer John Barnes to capture her performance included the company's AD2 and ADA-8 analogue-to-digital converters.
Pianist Luiza Borac
Borac received her award at a ceremony in London earlier this month at which BBC Music Magazine editor, Oliver Condy, said: "When the artists control the label, they are also able to control what, when and how they record - playing to their strengths and passions."
John Barnes recorded Borac's performance at St. Dunstan's, Mayfield, in July 2005 during a project to record all of George Enescu's published piano music, including several works that have hardly ever been heard before. The recording was issued as a hybrid SACD by Avie Records and has received ecstatic critical acclaim throughout the world.
"In addition to the acclaim given to the inherent musicality of Luiza Borac's interpretation, this recording has been highly praised for its sonic transparency, in which the piano sounds completely natural without harshness or distorted dynamics," John Barnes explains. "The acoustic of St. Dunstan's, Mayfield, was ideal for a large-scale piano recording of this kind and it was possible to make use of a very fine Steinway Model D grand piano for the project. Good piano recordings are difficult to make because of the wide frequency range needed to handle the dynamic transients. It was therefore necessary to use equipment of extremely high quality in order to achieve satisfactory results."
Barnes used four microphones including a pair of direct-coupled DPA 4006TL omni- directional units near the piano and a pair of transformer-coupled DPA 4006 omni-directional microphones further back in the church to provide natural ambience.
A four-channel 1024 Earthworks microphone amplifier was used to provide transparent analogue paths to the Prism Sound AD2 and ADA8 analogue-to-digital converters. These converters were operated in PCM mode at a sampling rate of 88.2 kHz and a resolution of 24 bits. The resulting digital PCM data was routed through a Lynx AES16 PCI interface into a very fast computer and the session management was carried out with Steinberg Nuendo Version 2.
"The entire system, including the computer, was synchronized to the low-jitter word clock of the Prism Sound AD2 converter and this resulted in a very clean transfer of the digital data," Barnes adds. "The Prism Sound converters were an essential part of the recording set-up. Their bandwidth, coupled with their extremely wide dynamic range, permitted the use of reasonable headroom whilst preserving a very low noise floor."
Ian Dennis, Technical Director of Prism Sound, says: "We've worked with John on a wide range of projects since the earliest days of Prism Sound. He has fantastically high standards and a keen eye for detail, which have been a great help to us in the development of our converters. It's good to see him and Luiza getting the credit they deserve for these magnificent recordings."
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