Sonic spaceXtension

My friend, the organist Jakob Schönborn-Dietz invited me to check out the acoustics at his church St. Johannis Baptist in the heart of Jena.

Panorama © Jakob Schönborn-Dietz

The space is rather dry sounding, especially obvious with an organ of this size. The question was if it could be improved electronically.

So I visited with some microphones, audio interface and laptop. We explored the interior of the organ and placed two spots.

DPA 4060 taped to the ceiling above the “Hauptwerk”. Photo © AL
DPA 4060 on a rod above the “Schwellwerk”. Photo © AL

The two mics were fed into a Metric Halo 2882 (+ DSP & 3D) audio interface and into the Cockos Reaper DAW where AudioEase Altiverb did it’s magic.

The Metric Halo Console. Photo © AL
MacBook Air running Altiverb. Photo © AL

The resultant output was time delay compensated and routed to three speakers facing towards the wall to increase diffusion.

Front stereo pair. Photo © AL
Sidefill opposite the organ. Photo © AL

After tweaking the direct-reverberant ratio, experimenting with different impulse responses and carefully adjusting the levels Jakob and I were very happy with the results. The audience of our improvised evening session was also very appreciative of the results of the first trial run of this “sonic spaceXtension”.

My setup of electronic instruments. Photo © AL

2003-2023… 20 years of environmentally friendly travel

Recording Festival OBOE at Maison d’Italie, Paris © 2012 Olivier Gascoin

My first trip to Festival OBOE was in 2009 where I recorded three concerts. One year later I documented the 10th instance of the event. Eight concerts at five locations, the Cathédrale Americaine, the subterranean Auditorium de la Cité des Arts, the glass enclosed Conservatoire du Centre at Les Halles, Bateau Daphné on the Seine and the venerable Schola Cantorum. And in 2012 I added video to the mix. Check out this clip from the Dhun in raag Bhairavi featuring Sanjeev & Ashwani Shankar (shennai), Anand Shankar (tabla) and Alain Lutic (surshehnai), performed at the Centre Mandapa.

Traveling light © 2009 Stephen Levine
Traveling with my “BIG RED BOX” @ 2010 Olivier Gascoin

In the meantime I have explored other options as well, a golf caddy for medium sized gigs (housing the microphone stands and cables) and even a large aluminum suitcase that I just had retrofitted with high duty wheels to be able to take the strain. Bottom line: It is possible to realise amazing, award winning audio and video productions* while protecting the environment.

Images © Olivier Gascoin & Thibaut Baissac. Montage © Arnfried Weiss

(* Goldener Bobby 2014 for a recording with Quatuor BRAC)