The Giovanni String Quartet. Photo credit: Michael Werner.
A combination of DPA miniature microphones and Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless systems captured classical music and instruments for the Giovanni String Quartet. The quartet, made up of members of the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, set up a recording session to produce video and audio samples for promo packages, and to update their Website. For the session, the quartet played on a collection of instruments all made between 1745 and 1780 by the Gagliano family of luthiers in Naples, Italy.
To keep the microphones as invisible as possible, they chose to use DPA 4061 lavalier units hung from a ceiling fan in the home that had been converted into a studio. "We had used their 4090 studio mics for an audio-only recording, but for this project, we needed something supersmall," says Lectrosonics’ Karl Winkler, the violist in the quartet and the recording engineer for the session. "Since the capsules in the 4061 were the same as those in the 4090 mics, we decided to use the lav version. Our group plays a wide variety of musical styles and gets a huge range of tones from these spectacular instruments. The results were outstanding. These mics captured every nuance!"
So that no cables were visible in the video, Winkler chose to use wireless transmitters to shuttle the mic signal to the digital hard disk recorder. "We used a pair of the Lectrosonics IM transmitters for their wide frequency response and R400A receivers. These products were chosen for this demanding task since they don't compand the signal and sound as close as possible to a hard line," he says. The transmitters were placed out of site on top of the ceiling fan blades, while the receivers and recording equipment were kept out of the camera shots.