Internationally acclaimed pianist Ramin Bahrami has recently completed two new CDs, both of which were recorded in DXD/DSD formats using a full complement of DPA microphones.
Two recording sessions took place in March and May 2015 at the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome to capture the audio for the CDs. Renowned classical sound director and producer Igor Fiorini was responsible for both recordings.
“I chose DPA microphones for this project because I wanted to capture the natural, full bodied sound of the musicians within the acoustic space of the concert hall,” he explains. “Ramin was accompanied by six musicians and it was very important to me that we preserved the sonic detail and realism of all of their instruments. DPA microphones make that process so much easier because they have such an incredibly wide bandwidth. With DPA, you feel as though you are working with the true sound of the instruments because they have such a great linear response.”
Fiorini, who is also chairman and CEO of VDM Studios in Rome, has been a DPA fan for many years and owns a large selection of the company’s products. For the Ramin Bahrami recordings he adopted a multiple stereo miking technique that he calls ‘multi-zoom’. This involves positioning different stereo microphone pairs at certain distances to recreate a complete and natural sound image. The next stage is to correctly balance the different pairs according to their characteristics.
“We decided to use two DPA d:dicate™ 4017 Shotgun microphones as our main stereo pair because they have a highly directional supercardioid pick up pattern,” he says. “They were mounted on a boom alongside a pair of d:dicate 4006 omnidirectional microphones, which picked up the ambient sound. Having them mounted in the same line meant there were no phase issues and we were able to zoom in and out with the d:dicate 4017’s so that we focused on specific instruments. This gave us a perfectly balanced, natural sound without hearing the mechanics of each instrument.”
Fiorini also recorded the CDs for the High Definition market using a Merging Technologies Pyramix DXD system.
“The precision, dynamics and high SPL handling of DPA microphones works perfectly for projects like this where quality is paramount,” he says. “The system we used allowed me to capture the full dynamic range of the instruments and I must say, even knowing DPA microphones as well as I do, I was impressed by the naturalness and fidelity of the sound they delivered in DXD/DSD. It was like hearing them for the first time. I couldn’t have done this project without DPA.”
Widely viewed as the most remarkable living interpreter of J. S Bach on an international level, Bahrami’s latest recordings feature the composer’s Musikalisches Opfer (a collection of keyboard canons and fugues) and Das Wohltemperierte Klavier Teil II. They will be commercially available on the Decca/Universal label, with the first CD due for release this autumn and the second in 2016.
Fiorini is now planning his next major project, in conjunction with acclaimed Italian live sound engineer Luca Giannerini, which will take place at the end of September 2015. This will involve the live performance, recording and broadcast in High Definition DXD/DSD of a concert to mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Entitled The Amen Project, the concert will take place at the main Arena in Verona and will use music, words and dance to trace the history of the Armenian people to the current day.
“We will have plenty of musicians to capture, plus a number of choirs including a children’s choir,” Fiorini says. “This is a massive cultural event that will be broadcast live on television so it is imperative that we get it right. Of course, DPA microphones will be deployed to ensure that the sound is perfect.”