Normally when recording a live concert, I record the ”dress rehearsal” as well in order to have repair material just in case parts of the actual concert does not go as planned. However due to a technical failure, which I only managed to solve 10 minutes(!) before the start of the concert, this was no longer possible. So this recording is all one-take!
Carmen Gomes Inc. is a working band with lots of “road experience” they remained calm and in good spirits despite the mildly chaotic rehearsal situation. Maybe the failed dress rehearsal contributed to the extraordinary dedication and concentration they performed with at the actual concert. It was now or never.
The 11 songs were recorded live in the studio in front of a studio audience. When an audience is present, a synergy occurs. The audience becomes part of the music making and help spur the musicians on to greater heights. And it was a great audience that afternoon, all ears and smiles, the whole band truly enjoyed playing for them. We placed the musicians in front of a stereo pair of microphones with additional spot microphones on each instrument. The musicians were playing without headphones, the reason being that we believe that when we get the musicians to play together in the same room, without headphones, it creates a number of musical and technical benefits: As they are not ”separated” by the headphones, the musicians, in order to hear each other are forced to create a natural and musical balance, a balance which is then easily captured by the main stereo pair of microphones. Because of this natural and musical balance the need for compression to control levels is no longer necessary, and since everybody is in the same room, the boxed sound which is so common in many modern recordings is absent.
This all sounds very straight forward but for this approach to work, certain criteria has to be fulfilled; The studio has to have a good sound. The musicians have to be very good and well prepared as it is very difficult to repair mistakes because of the “cross talk” between the instruments. We have to be very precise placing the microphones and the musicians at the right distance to the main stereo microphones and the right distance to each other. And with a live audience in the studio, we pray that they remember to turn off their cell phones and that the ones with a bad cold choose to stay at home.
The room where the recordings has been done is the now legendary Studio 2, situated in the the building of the Dutch Music Centre of Broadcasters (MCO). It is the oldest recording studio in the Netherlands and has hosted a wealth of prominent artists; Django Reinhardt, was there in 1937, Jazz at the Philharmonic featuring Ella Fitzgerald in 1953, and in the 1960’ Wes Montgomery, Clark Terry and Eric Dolphy all recorded in the studio.
– Frans de Rond, Recording & Mastering Engineer
Recording by Frans de Rond for Sound Liaison
Mixing and mastering by Frans de Rond and Peter Bjørnild for Sound Liaison.
Recorded at M.C.O, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on November 14, 2016.
Music arranged and produced by Peter Bjørnild.
Recording format: DXD (352kHz)
Microphones: Carmen: Audix SCX25, Folker: Josephson C700a, Peter: Josephson C700a, Bert: Josephson C617 (overheads) – Audix D6 (basdrum) Main system – Schoeps MK5 (AB)
Micpre’s: Merging Horus Premium
Microphone cables: Grimm Audio TPR
Mixing speakers: TAD Compact Evolution One
Mixing headphones: Sennheiser HD800s
Power Amplifier: Moon 760A
Speaker cables – AudioQuest Aspen
Power Conditioner: AudioQuest Niagara 5000