MOJAVE AUDIO THE MICROPHONE OF CHOICE ON NEPALESE MUSIC PROJECT

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Image of the Mojave Audio MA-101fet miking a percussionist

Kathmandu, Nepal … Located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India, Nepal is a landlocked sovereign state of roughly 30 million people. In addition to being home to Mount Everest (the world’s highest mountain), Nepal has a rich musical heritage. Recently, the country’s music came into focus as a result of a soon-to-be released recording project. Capturing both contemporary and traditional styles, the recording offers a fresh perspective on Nepalese music. For this project, the microphones of choice were none other than those from Burbank, CA-based Mojave Audio.

Alejandro Sánchez-Samper, Assistant Director of Commercial Music at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, spearheaded the project. Intended to further an understanding of the musical styles of Nepal and create opportunities for Nepalese artists to promote their music throughout the world, the recording—titled Nepali Ho: traditional and contemporary music of Nepal—is slated for release on November 22nd. Sánchez-Samper discussed the project.

“I travelled to Kathmandu (the country’s capital) in mid August and worked with seven of the most influential music groups of Nepal through early September,� Sánchez-Samper reports. “We recorded a full length album at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory founded by Florida Atlantic University alumnus Mariano Abello. During this time, I had the opportunity to meet some truly wonderful musicians and record some really inspiring performances. For this project, my ‘go-to’ microphones consisted of one Mojave Audio MA-201fet and four MA-101fet condenser microphones. The MA-201fet served as my vocal microphone while the MA-101fet’s captured everything from traditional Nepali stringed instruments to percussion. The mics delivered terrific results.�

On one of the recordings, Mojave Audio’s MA-101fet was used to capture a Yamaha 88 key electronic piano while the MA-201fet served as the vocal mic. “This was an impromptu recording session,� notes Sánchez-Samper. “We had time for one take and ten minutes to do so. We placed the mics, made a few adjustments, and went for it. The results were incredible—particularly the vocal performance. The MA-201fet has a very smooth, wonderful presence that handled the vocal dynamics beautifully. The mic delivered a very even vocal quality throughout. The more I worked with the mic, the more I appreciated it. For both male and female vocals, theMA-201fet does a terrific job of capturing the full spectrum of the voice with a remarkably even quality.�

Sánchez-Samper was equally impressed with Mojave Audio’s MA-101fet’s. “I used the MA-101fet’s extensively with percussion instruments,� he explained. “These are the best drum overhead mics I’ve ever used. The sound quality is very transparent, they deliver great imaging so you can hear the placement of the various instruments throughout the stereo field, and they have an amazing ability to smooth out the drums’ sharp attack transients.�

“I used the MA-101fet’s to record percussion on a live performance of the group Kutumba, a folk instrumental ensemble consisting of six musicians from Kathmandu,� Sánchez-Samper continued. “The MA-101fet’s did a phenomenal job with all sorts of percussion. I used them to record the madal, a double-headed hand drum that is mainly used for rhythm-keeping in Nepalese folk music. The percussion on the recordings really shines—thanks to the MA-101fet’s.�

The Mojave Audio MA-101fet’s also did an impressive job on the sarod, a popular stringed instrument. “I tried a variety of mics to capture this instrument,� Sánchez-Samper notes, “but being a bright sounding instrument with sharp attack transients due to a metal pick against metal strings, this is a complex instrument to capture. Not only did the MA-101fet capture the sound’s attack accurately, it also captured the body of the instrument. I used a stereo matched pair in ORTF configuration on the sarod and was floored with the results.�

Of the four Mojave Audio MA-101fet’s, two were a matched set that, upon completion of the project, were donated to the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory. “This was a really gracious and greatly appreciated gesture on the part of Mojave Audio,� says Sánchez-Samper. “These mics are an invaluable tool for the school’s audio production program and I’m confident they will go to very good use.�

Before re-focusing on preparations for the project’s November release, Sánchez-Samper offered this parting comment, “It’s not every day that a company like Mojave Audio steps up and demonstrates its willingness to support a project of this nature. We are all very grateful. These mics did a phenomenal job and I’m confident the recording will go a long way toward highlighting the music of the Nepalese people. The project was a huge success—thanks in part to Mojave Audio’s microphones.�

To learn more about Nepali Ho: traditional and contemporary music of Nepal, visit www.siganepal.com.

About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. Additional information on the MA-300 and all Mojave Audio products can be found at www.mojaveaudio.com.

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