Location recording engineer Rob Friedrich traveled to Don Grusin’s new studio high in the Colorado Rockies to record the hi-resolution album “Out of Thin Air” with his Sanken CO-100K microphones. Friedrich, president and co-founder of Five/Four Productions, is part of the team of Grammy-winning producers and engineers that have made the company one of the most respected in the recording industry.
Don Grusin is seen in his Moose Sound studio at his Yamaha C7FII grand piano. Photo by Rob Friedrich.
“I recorded Don’s solo piano album in his new Moose Sound studio with these remarkable 100K mics,” explains Friedrich. “He’s been a fan of Sanken for years and still has his original CU-41 dual-diaphragm condenser mic. For this album, we recorded DSD and mixed live to 2-track and also for 5.1 SACD. The DSD sample rate was 2.8MHz to Sonoma and 11.2Mhz through the Playback Designs system. The entire project was a perfect match for the 100K bandwidth of these mics.”
“The definition of all frequencies was amazing, because of the mics, of course, and Rob’s sense of where to place the mics,” Grusin remarked. “But I’d also like to draw attention to his and Gus Skinas’ use of the Sonoma recording system. I’m thrilled with the sound of our project for sure, and intend to do more here.”
The album is the inaugural release from PS Audio’s new Octave Records label and is an impressive hi-res two-disc package, containing both an SACD and a DVD version. Disc 1: DVD Data Disk, Includes Stereo DSD & PCM HiRes files.
Disc 2: Super Audio CD, DSD Pure, Stereo/Multi-ch, Compact Disc Digital Audio.
Engineer Rob Friedrich in the Moose Sound control room. The mixer is an SSL SIX, the workstation is the Sonoma Pure DSD recorder, the unit under the screen is the AK Designs Pino DSD A to D converter, the D to A converter under the window is a Meitner MKIV, the EQ to Rob’s left is the Millennia NSEQ-2, the limiter is the Masalec MPL-2, and the TC Electronic 6000 was used for reverb. Photo by Gus Skinas.
Friedrich continues, “We wound up with a three-Sanken CO-100K L-C-R setup close on the piano and an AEA R88 ribbon mic raised up in the room as the surround pickup. The center Sanken mic was not used in the stereo mix, just in the immersive recording.”
“Because we are at 8440 feet elevation here,” Grusin explains, “the humidity and barometric pressure have something to say about the cleanliness of the flow of sound throughout the studio. The piano also factors in – my Yamaha C7FII from 1992 is a wonderful recording instrument, used by many players in LA before I brought it here.”
Don Grusin grew up in Colorado with his brother Dave, who is also a pianist, record producer, and co-founder of GRP Records. In 1975, Quincy Jones invited Don to tour with his band, and Grusin decided to leave his teaching career for a career in music. He worked as a studio musician on albums by such artists as Randy Crawford, Billy Eckstine, Joe Pass, and the Pointer Sisters. He formed the fusion group Friendship with Lee Ritenour, Ernie Watts, and Alex Acuña and recorded one album, followed by solo albums in 1981 and 1983.
In 1985, Grusin produced the Grammy-winning album “Musican” for Ernie Watts. Grusin’s live 2004 album “The Hang” was a Grammy Award nominee, and he won Grammy Awards for his work on two albums by The Paul Winter Consort. As a record producer or keyboardist, Grusin has worked with Patti Austin, David Benoit, Larry Carlton, Oscar Castro-Neves, Dori Caymmi, Jim Hall, Sérgio Mendes, Brenda Russell, Zoot Sims, Leon Ware, and Sadao Watanabe, among many others.
Sanken CO-100K microphone.
The new “Out Of Thin Air” album was recorded in DSD (Direct Stream Digital) using Five/Four REVEAL SDM(tm) technology and mixed live to 2-track and also in 5.1 for SACD. “This project was perfect for the extended 100 kHz bandwidth of the Sankens,” added Friedrich. Editing and mastering was by Gus Skinas on his Sonoma DAW with Meitner ADC/DAC Mk IV and PS Audio DirectStream DAC. Mixing was done through the SSL SiX console.
From the UK magazine Hi-Fi News review, “This is a vibrant recording that will make you sit up in your chair, so real is the experience.”
Learn more about the album and order here:
ABOUT FIVE/FOUR PRODUCTIONS
Five/Four Productions, located in Barboursville, Virginia, was founded by Michael Bishop, Robert Friedrich, and Thomas Moore in 2009. With decades of record industry experience and a cadre of top high-res recording tools, the Five/Four team quickly became known for the quality and precision of their work. For over 20 years, Friedrich, a life-long musician with extensive musical training, has worked with some of the most talented and innovative artists in classical, jazz and a variety of other musical genres. His work has been recognized industry-wide with three Grammy(r) Awards and numerous nominations. Learn more about Five Four Productions:
ABOUT SANKEN CHROMATIC
The Sanken Chromatic range of 12 professional studio microphones provides musicians, sound designers, engineers and producers with the optimum set of pure, transparent sounding mics for a wide variety of applications. They are designed and meticulously engineered in Japan using the latest technology and include many innovative features. The result is a set of mics that have phenomenal frequency response, accurate off axis response, exact patterns, minimal proximity effect, low noise and high SPL tolerance.
Sanken Chromatic mics are distributed in the USA and Canada by plus24.