HARMAN Professional Asia-Pacific recently teamed up with a Singapore Ensemble of the StrIVngs orchestral learning and performance organization. The ensemble is made up of 25 new and seasoned learners who all share a quest for orchestral music education and performing.
The Ensemble was founded by Music Director and Conductor Dwayne Leow in 2022 and includes several HARMAN Pro Asia-Pacific associates that took their support and interest in the organization a step further by providing and offering to capture and record rehearsals and performances using legendary, studio-quality AKG C-Series Reference Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphones.
About the Microphones and How They Were Used to Capture the Ensemble
- C214 – First and Second Violins – The C214 is ideal for acoustic instrument recording and for capturing natural sounds without adding unwanted frequency response or picking up ambient background noise in the background. Five C214s were used for the first and second violins and double bass.
- C314 – Third Violins and Violas – The C314 comes with four multi-polar patterns of the renowned one-inch diaphragm capsule microphone. The C314 has low self-noise and high headroom, a pre-attenuation switch, and a switchable low-cut filter. One C314 was used to mike the Third Violins and Viola using the cardioid pattern set, and no additional settings.
- C414 XLII – Cello and C414 XLS – Double Bass – C414 XLII and C414 XLS models are the most versatile C-series microphones. The XLS is known for its darker and warmer sound and the XLII’s slight high-frequency boost typically gives it more presence. One C414XLII was used for the Cello and one C414 XLS was used for double bass – both using the super-cardioid pattern.
- C430 – Concert Master and Overhead of Conductor – The C430 is a small diaphragm unidirectional microphone that delivers exceptionally clear and well-balanced sound. Because of its neutral and meticulous sound image, the high quality of the C430 is most suitable, placed overhead of instruments. C430s are used as stereo overheads at the conductor’s stand and concertmaster’s location.
- C3000 – Cello – The C3000 is an incredible entry-level C-Series microphone that is excellent for podcasting or a variety of audio recording needs. It utilizes a one-inch capsule, making it ideal for high details and wide frequency response. One C3000 was used to mike the cello.
“The microphones picked up the orchestra very efficiently as string instruments can be challenging … The recording was clear and concise, and the range and dynamics were great also. These microphones were easy to configure and use. They almost felt like plug-and-play… This is a great microphone series from AKG!”
Miking the Performance
C214, C314, C414, and C3000 microphones use larger one-inch diaphragm capsules, which were ideal for producing balanced frequency response, low self-noise, slower transient response, and ultimately a beautifully lush and warm low-frequency range as well as increased clarity in the upper mid-range. Using these microphones, the team captured deep, rich, vibrant, and gargantuan bass response from the cello and double bass whilst bringing up the mid-high frequency from the violins and viola.
The C430 was perfect for recording the soloist and for overhead recording. The small diaphragm of the C430 was ideal for capturing minute playing details from the soloist while also capturing the overall stereo image of the ensemble sound from the conductor’s point of view. Overall, 10 C430s were used across the string instruments and two overheads to capture the ensemble sound at the conductor’s stand using the C430’s XY setting.
Members of the HARMAN Professional Asia-Pacific Application Engineering team recorded and mixed the performance at the Singapore School of the Arts (SOTA). 12 tracks were recorded and mixed down to two-stereo tracks.
StrIVngs Conductor and Music Director, Dwayne Leow, shared his thoughts on the use of AKG C-Series microphones to record the performance, “The microphones picked up the orchestra very efficiently as string instruments can be challenging to record due to the high frequency from the violins and the very low notes from the double bass. I have had previous experience with other brands of microphones, which required considerable tweaking and adjustment to get the correct sound. The recording was clear and concise, and the range and dynamics were great also. These microphones can be trusted and most importantly were easy to configure and use. They almost felt like plug-and-play. We also appreciate the sound engineers who did a great job getting the mix just right. This is a great microphone series from AKG!”
We welcome you to explore complete product details and descriptions of all AKG C-Series Microphones. And if you’re interested in learning more, check out this article: AKG 75th Anniversary Retrospective: C-Series Microphones – The Legacy of a Studio Icon.