We frequently hear audiophiles proclaim they know what instruments sound like and thus by extension if a component is reproducing that instrument correctly or incorrectly. I've always thought such talk was rubbish because not only do different versions of instruments sound different (ask a violinist if the Molitor Stradivari sounds different from the Lord Wilton Guarneri del Gesù), but the microphones used to record these instruments have a huge impact on the final sound. What's more, the placement of the microphone(s) has a huge impact on the final sound reproduced in one's home system.
How are we as audiophiles and music lovers supposed to have any idea what something is "supposed" to sound like? Pianist, composer, producer, arranger, co-founder of Chesky Records, co-founder and CEO of HDtracks, David Chesky has created a one of a kind "album" demonstrating the impact of microphones, and microphone placement, on a recording. Blumlein, mono, stereo, omni, ribbon, wide, close, etc... it's all there for the ears to listen to and learn what a recording engineer's decisions, with respect to microphones, do to a recording. Plus, it was all recorded in typical Chesky style in 24/192, with great musicians in a great venue.
The "album" is available now from HDtracks AIFF, ALAC, FLAC, and WAV at 16/44.1, 24/96, and 24/192.
Use the following code for Audiophile Style readers to get 25% off MICSCPU
From Chesky Records:
Dr. Chesky is fascinated by audiophiles who obsess about the sound of their cables, AC power, magic rocks, or isolation stands, but rarely consider the choices of microphones engineers use to make recordings! The microphones are, after all, the first transducers in the recording chain. Their impact can’t be understated. Then there’s the question of how the microphones are placed in relationship to the instruments and vocalists -- everything makes a difference.
With that in mind, Dr. Chesky went into the vault and pulled some of his favorite microphones and LARS (the binaural head) and recorded a singer and a band playing the same tune over and over again.
Now it’s your turn -- listen over your audio system or pop on headphones, and check out the sounds from our binaural, Blumlein, and spaced-omnidirectional microphones. Enjoy!