Burbank, CA, 3 January 2007 — When it comes to the challenging task of recording the trumpet, many of the music industry’s greatest artists—including world-famous trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and big band /jazz trumpeter Wayne Bergeron—look to LA-based Gary Grant to get the job done right. As a trumpeter himself, Grant understands the intricacies of capturing the sound of this magnificent instrument. The veteran producer/engineer just completed yet another prize project—this time with Malcolm McNab’s Exquisite, his new recording on the Kinnell House Records label. To help bring all the pieces of the puzzle together, Grant relied on the SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone from Royer Labs.
For those unfamiliar with Malcolm McNab, he is unquestionably the world’s number #1 movie trumpet player. McNab is a virtuoso trumpeter and a top LA session player who has recorded more than 2,000 film soundtracks.
Gary Grant and Malcolm McNab setting up the Royer SF-24 during the Exquisite sessions.
Exquisite—two years in the making and completed in November 2006—is a revolutionary and magnificent recording featuring the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, J.S. Bach, Frank Zappa, and Bruce Broughton. Accompanied by the Altadena Pro Musica under Grant’s direction, McNab performs Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra, Op.35, Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, Frank Zappa’s Be-Bop Tango, and the only music commissioned especially for this CD—Bruce Broughton’s Saloon Music for Bb Cornet and Pit Orchestra, conducted by the composer.
According to Grant, “This was an incredibly challenging project. The Tchaikovsky Concerto is a monumentally difficult piece to perform, and since this CD was recorded over a relatively long period of time, gaining a consistent room sound on all the pieces was yet another issue we had to address. The orchestral pieces were multitracked by instrument section, and it was the Royer SF-24—consistently placed in the same position throughout all the various sessions—that served as the audio glue in terms of providing consistency to the overall sound.”
With the exception of the Broughton piece, which was recorded live at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, the remaining three selections were recorded at Dreadnought Studios in Altadena, CA. In addition to producing and engineering the project, Grant also served as conductor.
The Royer SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone.
“Throughout the various sessions,” reports Grant, “we used a 1950s vintage RCA KU-3A Unidirectional Ribbon Microphone with a Universal Audio 2-610 Dual Channel Tube Microphone Preamplifier as the close-field instrument mic. The orchestra was recorded with close field miking of Neumann TLM-170’s and the Royer SF -24, both going into a Millennia HV-3d 8 channel mic-pre. But interestingly enough, it’s the Royer SF-24 that provides 60% to 70% of the sound you actually hear. The SF-24 has a tremendously rich, spacious character that provides the fullness of sound I was going after. When we needed a slight bit more articulation, we brought up the level of the other mike, but for the most part, it was the SF-24 that really made this recording shine. During all the sessions, the SF-24 effectively served as the Decca tree. We placed the SF-24 ten feet up in the room and twelve feet back from the primary mic and it performed flawlessly—with clarity and a beautiful presence.”
With the CD completed and available online from McNab’s website (www.malcolmmcnab.com), Grant summarized his experience with this project, “Exquisite is an absolutely gorgeous recording. While much of the music is orchestral in nature, it’s really a trumpeter’s solo album, with the accompaniment playing a supporting role. The Zappa and Broughton pieces provide wonderful contrast to the Tchaikovsky and Bach selections and, in the end, this is a CD that will appeal to a wide range of musical preferences. The CD’s title aptly describes what the listener will experience.”
About The SF-24 Phantom Powered Stereo Ribbon Microphone
Designed as a premium instrument for stereo and distance miking applications, the SF-24 represents a significant improvement for many ambient and critical applications due to the inclusion of Royer’s exclusive active electronics system for ribbon microphones. Available in black or gold finishes, the SF-24 consists of two matched ribbon microphones placed one above the other, each aimed 45 degrees from center in the classic Blumlein configuration.
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labs’ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities the world over.