A dose of live

August 30, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

This past weekend I was in the Octave Recording Studio as an amazingly talented singer and songwriter, Jessica Carson, sang her heart out. Her performance that day sent chills up my spine, but what caught my attention, even more, was when Gus played it back. It was as close to live as I have ever experienced.

It isn’t just being in the room when a singer is performing that gives us the credibility to claim “live sound”, because, in reality, the two don’t sound alike. I was sitting perhaps 15 feet from Jessica, just behind Gus at the console. Here, have a look at the session photo:

Note how far away the two singers are from the microphone. This distance works great in the Octave Recording studio because the room’s been designed and damped around that and the Blumlein Stereo AKG (on loan to us by Dan Schwartz) just shines when used like this. When played back, the impression the two are in the room is nothing short of uncanny. But, more to the point of this post, that microphone is not me. Had I replaced the microphone with my ear I’d have a better chance of knowing just how close we got to live.

Perhaps we got “closer” than live. Because there’s a regional airport close to the studio we have to wait until plane noises subside, but often I don’t hear them until I put the headphones on. That microphone is so sensitive it picks up that which I can’t even hear without it.

I am still stunned there are no perceptible differences between the raw microphone feed and the recorded playback. None. DSD on the Sonoma System is truly as perfect as we described in yesterday’s post.

I hope to play some of Jessica’s recordings at RMAF.

The first Octave Records release will be from this wonderful rising star.

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