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November 7, 2019, 6:56 pm
Sound Designer Paolo Principi chose DPA for this prestigious recording project because he knew he could rely on them not to color the sound in any way.
ALLEROED, DENMARK, NOVEMBER 7, 2019
– When musician and sound
designer Paolo Principi was asked to record the authentic sound of a Fazioli
Grand Piano for a new silent system and virtual instrument multi-sample, there
was only one microphone brand that he felt could do the task justice – and that
“I wanted to capture the rich and complex
sounds of this piano in the most natural way,” Principi explains. “For this, it
was important that I used the best solution for each element of the audio path.
I chose DPA for the microphones, Vovox for the cables and Apogee for the
converter because each of these brands is renowned for delivering high-quality
audio without coloring the sound in any way.”
Principi, whose company, PSound, specializes
in sampling and creating virtual instruments, says he was delighted when
Fazioli asked him to record its flagship piano – the F278 Gran Coda. To
accomplish this task, Principi chose two matched pairs of DPA 4006
Omnidirectional Microphones (including one pair with nose cones for a perfect
response across the whole audio frequency range) and a pair of 4015 Wide
Cardioid Microphones. These were supplied by DPA’s Italian distributor, M
Casale Bauer, and used to record ‘binaural,’ ‘close’ and ‘side’ sounds
“I was really delighted by the naturalness,
precision and detail that all the DPA microphones delivered,” adds Principi. “I
was also very surprised by the linearity of their frequency response,
especially for the off-axis sounds – thanks to the incredible nose cones.”
Principi recorded the piano note-by-note
(all 88 keys) and across numerous dynamic levels (12 main levels, plus noises
and different articulation levels), so that he could accurately capture its
entire range of sounds. He also used a special machine to play each key with
the same dynamic level and spent a great deal of time working out the best
microphone position for each of the three sounds (binaural, close, side) that
he was recording. He then listened to the audio in his own studio until he was
sure he was obtaining the real sound of the instrument.
“I knew I was getting a great sound during
the recording session, but it was only when I got into my studio that I realized
how wonderful the DPA microphones were because they didn’t color or change the
real sound of the piano,” continues Principi. “What I was hearing was exactly
what I had recorded.”
Principi adds that, as one of the world’s
most famous and prestigious piano brands, he finds Fazioli pianos both
technically and musically fascinating. “The company has been in existence for
nearly 40 years, but this project was its first experience with digital sound,
so it was important to get it right,” he explains. “Until now, Fazioli has been
using a standard Silent System made by an external company. While this allowed
customers to play an acoustic piano and hear a digital sound through
headphones, it didn’t give them the original Fazioli sound. Now, thanks to this
project, customers buying these very expensive acoustic pianos can hear the
original and beautiful Fazioli sound when they play the digital version.”
The same attention to detail applies to
the Virtual Instruments multi-sample that Principi is releasing later this year
through PSound (www.psound.it) in collaboration with Fazioli. It will be the only official Fazioli
digital virtual piano on the market, and will be aimed at composers,
keyboardists and digital pianists who want the highest quality sound samples.
The recording sessions for this project
took place over the course of one week in Fazioli’s own concert hall in Sacile,
Italy, using a Gran Coda piano made in 2005 and signed and tested by Aldo Ciccolini.
“The binaural 3D sound, for the Silent
System, simulates the F278 Gran Coda in the Fazioli Concert Hall, which has
excellent acoustics and allows for the possibility of changing the
reverberation by moving wooden panels on the stage,” Principi says. “The
‘close’ sound, which is incorporated into the Silent System and the Virtual
Instrument, replicates the real sound of the piano from a pianist’s point of
view. The ‘side’ sound gives the audience perspective and is only used for the
Virtual Instrument. My greatest satisfaction is that when I play the virtual
instrument in my studio, I can close my eyes and feel like I'm back in the
Fazioli hall playing the Fazioli F278 signed by Aldo Ciccolini. As a pianist,
musician and composer, the musical feeling is the best test.”
Prinicipi is so sure that he chose the
right microphones to record the Fazioli that he has now purchased a matched
pair of 4006s for his own mic locker and will be using them for all future
PSound Virtual Instrument recordings.
ABOUT DPA MICROPHONES:
DPA Microphones is the leading
Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone
solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide
its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its
markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and
broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor
does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the
DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for
their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications,
supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound. For
more information, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com.
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