Stylus Fantasticus with Arend Grosfeld Feb 09 by Jung-Hoon Choi in Producer's Notes, Recording Reports

Stylus Fantasticus is the latest album by harpsichord player Arend Grosfeld. Arend focuses on baroque and modern music for historical instruments. He splits his time between The Netherlands and Seoul, Korea.

Stylus Fantasticus was recorded at Audioguy Studio. This studio was originally designed to have a fairly long reverberation time (2.7 seconds) for baroque instruments. It is an Ideal place for a harpsichord recording such as this one. The Studio is a quiet place where we can capture even the most smallest sound, the same moment as it is diminishing through the studio.

Arend Grosfeld: Stylus Fantasticus

The music was recorded using an AKG C426 stereo microphone using MS (mid-side) recording techniques. The microphone preamp we are using was created by legendary recording device producer Rens Heijnis.

I find it interestingly that the MS method resembles how we hear as humans. When we listen to music, we rely on the very large part of the sound that is right in front of us. But our ears also react sensitively to the reflections from the side walls in certain spaces. This is why I like using the MS method for instrumental recording such as we have on this album.

To keep the values of recording in DXD and DSD we have not used additional processors such as equalizers or compressors and reverbs. As a recording engineer and audiophile, this provides the best way to experience the differences in the artist`s interpretation of the music.

For example, digital reverb units don`t have the tonal or reverb time differences that are produced naturally by the volume level of the instrument. As a result, using a digital reverb unit produces music and sound that can feel quite monotonous.

“DSD and DXD recording captures these differences of resonance (…)”

In comparison, the resonance in the natural space changes by the artist’s interpretation. For example when artists play small subtle sounds, you’ll notice that reverb is shorter and can be as soft as whispering. On the other hand when an artist plays large and flamboyantly, reverb is longer and tone changes are much more colorful.

I find that DSD and DXD recording captures these differences of resonance. It can be most powerful advantageous when used on a recording like this in comparison to using ordinary high resolution sources.

The new album is a DSD Exclusive. Only distributed in DSD and Stereo CD disc, not on SACD.

Jung-Hoon Choi

Recording engineer & producer at Audioguy

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