New York, NYâ€¦ The Vision Festival is the world's premier festival of experimental music (typically free jazz/avant-garde jazz), art, film, and dance. Held annually in the Lower East Side of New York City, the musical extravaganza recently completed its 15th year. Having just completed his ninth year as the festivalâ€™s chief recording engineer, Cologne, Germany-based Stefan Heger, recording and mastering engineer with Fisheye Music and Supow Studio, used several microphones from Burbank, CA-based Mojave Audio to record this yearâ€™s performances.
Heger commutes regularly between New York and Cologne, Germany as part of his professional responsibilities. After spending the early part of his career at Bristol Studios in Boston as a full-time engineer and at the Music Room in Cambridge, MAâ€”plus a considerable amount of freelancing in New York City at Sterling Sound and several other studiosâ€”he re-located to Cologne, Germany and opened Fisheye Music, a privately owned surround sound mixing and mastering studio. When he completed recording this yearâ€™s Vision Festival performances, he returned to Germany with approximately 300 â€“ 400 GB of recorded audio. He now mixes and masters these recording for the various artists and their labels who prepare to issue live releases of the Vision Festival performances.
â€œSo far this year, Iâ€™ll be working on releases for several artists,â€? explained Heger. â€œThese performers include Rob Brown's New Quartet, free jazz pianist Borah Bergman, the Dave S. Ware Trio, along with Jayne Cortez & the Firespitters. I used Mojave Audio microphones extensively on this project, including two MA-200 vacuum tube condenser mics, two MA-100 small diaphragm condenser mics, two MA-101fet condensers, and the MA-201fet condenser mic.â€?
â€œThe performances at the Vision Festival force me to approach music differently than I would typically do with pop music,â€? Heger continued. â€œI always want to capture the best sound possible, but this is more about capturing the energy of the performance and, for this, the Mojave Audio microphones really came through.â€?
â€œFor the most part,â€? Heger said, â€œI prefer to use a vacuum tube mic like the MA-200. This microphone provides a refined, studio-type character. This mic does a great job with the acoustic bass. I also like it positioned out in front of the drums and, for horns, itâ€™s incredible. When positioned at a distance from the horns, it makes the overall sound of a sax or trumpet sound absolutely gigantic!â€?
Heger is equally impressed with the Mojave MA-100, MA-101fet, and MA-201fet microphones. â€œA pair of MA-100â€™s makes a terrific choice for drum overheads or for capturing the marimba,â€? he said. â€œThis microphone adds a wonderful â€˜shineâ€™ on the high end. For drums, I used a pair of Mojave MA-101fet mics to capture snare drum and hi-hats. The MA-101fet has tremendous headroom to handle the sharp attack transients and delivers a very full sound. Rounding out my Mojave mic arsenal was the MA-201fet, which I used on the piano. Every one of these mics performed beautifully.â€?
With the Vision Festival XV behind him, Heger now has the task of taking all those recordings and mix / master them for public release. He reflected on the project, â€œThe Vision Festival offers a lot of really creative performances and some very fresh music. The microphones I use to capture those performances play a huge role in the sound of the final recordings. Iâ€™ve been very impressed with Mojave Audioâ€™s products. They offer well balanced and very natural recordings of the instruments, and the quality of those tracks is what, ultimately, helps make a fine recording.â€?
For more information about Stefan Heger and Fisheye Music, visit www.fisheyemusic.com.
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of high quality microphones for the recording professional. For additional information on Mojave Audio and all of the companyâ€™s product offerings, visit them online at www.mojaveaudio.com.
Photo info: Image of Stefan Heger on location during New Yorkâ€™s Vision Festival XV.