New York Philharmonic Brings in Lynx AES16 Recording System

Audio director Larry Rock recently upgraded to a new streamlined digital recording system anchored by the Lynx AES16 192 kHz interface, Steinberg Nuendo and Yamaha DM2000 V2 console for recording and broadcasting weekly performances from the New York Philharmonic.
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Audio director Larry Rock recently upgraded to a new streamlined digital recording system anchored by the Lynx AES16 192 kHz interface, Steinberg Nuendo and Yamaha DM2000 V2 console for recording and broadcasting weekly performances from the New York Philharmonic. The system allows Rock to digitally record, edit and deliver the performances in three to five days to Chicago’s WFMT Radio Network for national syndication of "New York Philharmonic This Week."

With performances usually on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, radio stations broadcast the program as early as the following Tuesday. With editing and post-production in New York and Chicago, there is no time for error. The data is stored on hard drives throughout the production and the music remains in the digital mode from the mic preamps until it is aired.

Rock’s three primary goals for the new system were that he needed to record and edit 24 tracks using a PC; that he wanted the system to be tape-free; and that he demanded the best possible audio quality with no data compression.

Says Rock: "Some of the other digital I/O solutions were quite limited. Audio quality and synchronization were problems. The AES16 is extremely flexible, especially in post-production, and locks well to all signals. And the AES16’s SynchroLock jitter reduction helped significantly. The AES16 gives us 16 AES/EBU channels per card and with a PC loaded with four, we can run 64 channels in and out! They just make life easier."

The system front end begins with the best available microphones, such as the small mics in the Schoeps and Neumann line. The mic preamps are Millennia HV-D3D’s, which feed Tascam MX-2424 converters and into the Yamaha DM2000 V2 digital mixer. A Z-Systems Digital Detangler enables routing of all channels to the four Lynx AES16s in his Supermicro computer. The entire performance is recorded to removable IDE drives.

Typically, Rock records two or more of the concerts, picks the best overall performance and edits for the best musical content, and removes coughs and noises, pulling segments from other concerts where necessary. Often, due to time constraints, Rock will grab the removable hard drives to take them home for final post-production. At home, he has a Dell system with a removable drive bay, using the LynxONE for D/A conversion and two channel audio output.

Once the editing is finished, Rock uploads the entire performance via FTP in stereo to WFMT by Monday, where voice-over is added and the broadcast is aired on Tuesday. The radio station returns the final broadcast to the Philharmonic, where Rock encodes it for streaming by anyone from their Website, www.newyorkphilharmonic.org, using RealAudio. When performances are mastered for CD or DVD, Rock utilizes WaveLab from Steinberg.

The New York Philharmonic and the WFMT Radio Network are currently collaborating on “The New York Philharmonic This Week” series. Between October 4, 2004 and June 27, 2005, concerts by the Philharmonic will be syndicated nationally. The concerts will also be available online for one week following the broadcasts on www.newyorkphilharmonic.org. WFMT’s Kerry Frumkin is the program’s host, WFMT’s Mark Travis is broadcast producer and the New York Philharmonic’s Rock is engineer and music producer.

For more information, please go to www.lynxstudio.com.