Arturo Sandoval (left) and Robert Fernandez
Arturo Sandoval placed his signature sound on the forthcoming film My Life in Idlewild, directed by Bryan Barber. In addition to the film’s score of approximately 60 minutes, there are audio loops and assorted tidbits provided by rap artists André 3000 and Big Boi.
According to scoring engineer Robert Fernandez, “Arturo plays on a good 15 minutes’ worth of the score and his contributions are interspersed throughout the course of the film. Arturo performs both open horn and with a number of mutes, so there’s a considerable variety of trumpet timbres in this soundtrack.”
To capture Sandoval’s performances, Fernandez employed Royer Labs’ R-122 phantom-powered ribbon microphone and the company’s SF-24 phantom-powered stereo ribbon microphone. By placing the R-122 about six feet from the bell of Sandoval’s horn and the SF-24 another three feet behind the R-122, Fernandez reports that he captures the ideal blend of hard center and stereo spread.
“By including the SF-24,” says Fernandez, “I was able to bring it into the mix as an ambient mic, or I could make the trumpet a bit more present by just pulling the SF-24 back a bit and allowing the R-122 to come forward. This combination gave me exactly what I needed to blend Arturo’s performances into the overall ambience of the film.
“Trumpet is known as a difficult instrument to record because of its characteristically high sound pressure levels,” continues Fernandez. “For me, the R-122 is the perfect microphone for recording Arturo because it can withstand the trumpet’s level without distorting, and that’s what I love about the microphone. With the R-122, I get a very musical recording.”