San Francisco, CA (December 5, 2013)—Jack Vad, producer/engineer for the San Francisco Symphony, used seven Royer Labs SF-2 mono ribbon microphones during the recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony for release on the SFS Media label.
“Obtaining the best possible vocal tracks starts with quality microphones and good positioning,” reports Vad, a Grammy Award-winner with over 200 commercial classical releases to his credit. Completed in 1824, Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (also known as “the Choral”), is Ludwig van Beethoven’s final complete symphony.
“For comparison purposes, each of the four soloists had a dual, semi-coincident microphone setup that included one Royer SF-2 and one conventional small diaphragm condenser microphone,” Vad continues. “The height of each microphone array was adjusted so that the capsules could ‘see’ the soloists above their handheld music scores.”
The process of comparing a small diaphragm microphone and a ribbon microphone yielded some very interesting results, as Vad pointed out. “I was eager to use both types of microphones,” he said, “as I wanted the ability to choose the best vocal quality—regardless of which microphone type it happened to be captured with. The results proved most interesting. There were two main differences between these microphones; the Royer SF-2 had the most natural mids and highs without any exaggeration of sibilance or attacks. Additionally, the warm quality of the SF-2 presentation enabled the voices to better integrate into the musical texture, which really helped create a superior mix.”
“The Royer SF-2 is one of the most significant acquisitions that the San Francisco Symphony has recently made for its microphone inventory,” says Vad. “Over the last two years, we’ve been extremely happy with both the microphone’s versatility and sound quality. The Royer SF-2 is an essential part of the San Francisco Symphony’s recorded sound.”