Ludwig van Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas Equipment

Sidebar 2: Equipment

Two DPA (B&K) 4011 ½" cardioids arranged in an ORTF pair, mounted on a Manley Starbird stand, connected via 75' Cardas 300 balanced cables to a Millennia Media HV3B low-noise, transformerless two-channel microphone preamplifier. This, in turn, was connected via 1m lengths of AudioQuest Lapis x3 balanced cable to a dCS 904 two-channel A/D converter operating at 88.2kHz. The two channels of 24-bit audio data were taken via 1m lengths of AudioQuest Digital 2 AES/EBU cable to an open-reel Nagra-D digital tape recorder, with each 88.2kHz-sampled, 24-bit channel stored on two of the Nagra's four 24-bit/44.1kHz channels.

Two DPA (B&K) 4006 ½" omnidirectional microphones, carried on conventional boom stands with sprung isolation mounts, were connected via 75' Beyerdynamic balanced cables to a second Millennia Media HV3B preamplifier. This was connected via 1m lengths of AudioQuest balanced Lapis x3 to a dCS 902 two-channel A/D converter operating at 88.2kHz and word-clock-slaved to the dCS 904. The two channels of 24-bit audio data were taken via 5' lengths of Canare 110 ohm AES/EBU cable to a Tascam DA-38 MDM recorder. Each 24-bit/88.2kHz channel was split into four 16-bit/44.1kHz datastreams with a PrismSound MR2024T "bit splitter" and stored on four of the Tascam's eight channels.

Both stereo mike preamps and the two two-channel A/D converters were fed AC power by a PS Audio P300 Power Plant running at 60Hz. For backup and immediate playback, either the two cardioid 24/88.2 channels or the two omni 24/88.2 channels (but not all four at once) were taken to a dCS 972 digital/digital converter via twin lengths of Canare 110 ohm AES/EBU cable and downsampled/noiseshaped to 16/44.1 and stored on a Panasonic 3700 DAT recorder. Monitoring was via Stax Lambda Pro, Sennheiser HD580, and Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Peak levels were checked with a Dorrough AES/EBU level meter.—John Atkinson

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