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Music Production

Recording the Emerson String Quartet

Recording effort required high-end mics, new cables and all cell phones turned off.

Bronxville, NY (February 6, 2019)—Classical record producer, recording engineer and violinist Da-Hong Seetoo recently recorded the Emerson String Quartet performing works by Robert Schumann at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY.

Seetoo explained that he always requests that listeners at the concerts turn off their cellphones for obvious reasons, but also to avoid RF interference with his microphone cables. “The phones are constantly talking to the tower, and they generate a lot of RF hash and noise that usually gets picked up by the microphone cables. But the Sommer cables for this session provided additional protection because they are outfitted with Neutrik EMC series connectors. The ring capacitors are configured to reduce the RF interference from cell phones, as well as from high power local radio stations. The difference can be quite dramatic if you have a cell tower or a radio station close by that generates all this RF noise.”

Sommer Cable Unveils SC-Micro Duo Aramid Cable

With those concerns in mind, he also used new microphone cables designed and manufactured by Germany’s Sommer Cable: “We recorded in the same concert hall with the same musicians and with the microphones in exactly the same places. All the measurements were exactly the same, but this new recording was much healthier sounding—very clear, very robust, and with no distortion,” he said.

For this year’s concert, Seetoo used Sommer’s EMC Quad cable for the four omnidirectional Sennheiser MKH-800 microphones on each of the two violins, viola and cello. In addition, he used two of Sommer’s Carbokab cables for an M-S configuration; one for his Sennheiser MKH-30 figure-eight bi-directional mic as the side mic and another Carbokab cable for his Sennheiser MKH-8020 omni condenser as the center mic.

Seetoo has worked for the German classical record label, Deutsche Grammophon, and has recorded artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Daniel Barenboim, Gil Shaham, David Finckel, Wu Han, and numerous others, earning him several Grammy Awards for his work.

Sommer Cable Germany •