Ron Streicher, audio production manager of the Aspen Music Festival and School’s Edgar Stanton Audio Recording Institute since 1996, will once again be supervising the recordings of the Festival’s concert season. This year, Streicher is adding a TRUE Precision P2 Analog 2-channel microphone preamplifier to the two TRUE Precision 8 8-channel units in his setup.
Every year, the Aspen Music Festival and School presents a nine-week summer season of over 200 classical music events at its Colorado mountain retreat. Now in its 55th year, this year’s festival will see 750 music students coming to study with 200 artists and participate in a busy concert calendar at the Rocky Mountain resort.
“I am very pleased with the quality of the TRUE Precision,” said Streicher. “It’s the pre that I use whenever I pull out my ribbon mics. It’s got lots of gain and it’s clean and quiet. I can also turn off the phantom power.”
Streicher established his Pacific Audio-Visual Enterprises professional audio service in 1972, and is the co-author of The New Stereo Soundbook. He has been a faculty member at Aspen since 1988, preparing students for a career in classical music recording through an intensive four-week course. The TRUE Precision system travels with him for all of his critical recording needs, he said. “I’m using it for recordings both here at the Aspen Festival and my own work. Almost everything we do here at the music festival, and most of what I do on my own, is live stereo mixing. Our media and mastering product is Digidesign Pro Tools. We’re just going in 44.1kHz/16-bit. The reason for the choice of sample frequency and bit rate is simple: Here at the music festival, we are selling CDs the day after the concert. We record a concert, edit it that night, the next day it’s mastered, and they’re on sale that afternoon.” The concerts are also captured for broadcast on National Public Radio and WFMT, Chicago’s Fine Arts Network.
Streicher uses an impressive collection of more than 150 microphones. “Among my ribbon microphones, I now own a pair each of the AEA R84s and the R44s. I also own four Coles 4038s and I have about a dozen miscellaneous RCA ribbons, 44s, 77s and others—all originals. My TRUE Precision 8 travelswith me for all of my critical recording needs. I usually use it with all of my ribbon mics, but I’ve also been known to put Neumann mics through on several occasions.”
At this year’s Aspen Music Festival, Streicher said that all microphones had to be kept either very low or very high. “In order to cover the woodwind section of the orchestra, I chose to hang the new Sennheiser MKH 418 stereo mid/side interference ‘shotgun’ microphone high over the winds. This proved to be a very successful addition to the mix, and, as a result, I’m ready to add the 418 to my rather extensive inventory of microphones.”
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