Renowned classical music engineer/producer Da-Hong Seetoo recently recorded the Emerson String Quartet performing works by Robert Schumann. For the first time, Seetoo recorded with special microphone cables designed and manufactured by Germany’s Sommer Cable. He utilized the new cables at Concordia College in Bronkxville, NY, where two months previously, he had used premium cables from another manufacturer that he has employed for decades.
“We recorded in the same concert hall with the same musicians and with the microphones in exactly the same places,” Seetoo shared. “All the measurements were exactly the same, but this new recording was much healthier sounding — very clear, very robust, and with no distortion.”
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.
Classical record producer, recording engineer, and virtuoso violinist Da-Hong 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.
The Emerson String Quartet has maintained its stature as one of the world’s premier chamber music ensembles for more than four decades. The quartet has made more than 30 acclaimed recordings, and has been honored with nine Grammys(r) (including two for Best Classical Album), three Gramophone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year”.
After this new recording, 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 phone’s 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.”
For A-B comparison between his new Sommer cables and the cables he has used in the past, Seetoo brought his previous session recordings for evaluation. “It didn’t take much effort to hear the difference. Everything was all set exactly the same, and the sound was significantly better. It’s like, whoa, it’s very good. I was very happily surprised.”
Da-Hong Seetoo has emerged as one of a handful of elite audio engineers, using his own customized gear, monitor speakers, and computer software. His recent clients besides the Emerson Quartet, include Miró, and Tokyo String Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio, pianists Daniel Barenboim and Christopher O’Reilly, violinist Gil Shaham, the Singapore and Taipei Symphony Orchestras, and David Finckel and Wu Han for the ArtistLed label. His 2005 recording of the Mendelssohn String Quartets for Deutsche Grammophon was nominated for three Grammy Awards, and won Best Classical Album and Best Engineered Album.
For these new Emerson Quartet recordings, Seetoo utilized Sommer’s microphone reference cable EMC-QUAD:
1-foot samples of the Carbokab and test-cables of the EMC-QUAD are available for qualifying customers upon request.
ABOUT SOMMER CABLE
Sommer Cable Germany is a foremost development and manufacturing company of innovative and unique cable, connector and electronic products for the Studio, A/V Installation, Live Sound, Broadcast, Video, Music, IT and HiFi markets, with business partners in over 50 countries. In 2015, Sommer Cable America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sommer Cable Germany, was established in Santa Rosa, CA by CEO Martin Ucik. The new company supplies the North American markets with Sommer’s wide range of innovative and high quality products. 707.200.4020 http://sommercable.com/en