Recording engineer and Producer Steve Swinden, who heads up UK recording specialists and CD label Chorum Records, chose SoundField’s DSF-1 digital microphone system to record a recent choral concert at Hereford Cathedral in the west of England for release on CD.
The concert featured pupils from the prestigious Hereford Cathedral School in the orchestra and the chorus, including up-and-coming 15-year-old violin soloist Hannah Bethan-Roper (pictured) on Ralph Vaughan-Williams’ The Lark Ascending.
“I never leave home without a SoundField,” explains Swinden, who has used the brand for more than a decade. “After I heard the DSF-1 digital system, I had to have one – the digital version is just so quiet.”
The DSF-1 is now Chorum’s main overhead mic, and despite deploying a number of spot mics on certain instruments, Swinden insists he only uses the output of the SoundField when he mixes recordings for release.
“Very often, the signal from the SoundField turns out to be all I need, and the fact that you only need to rig one mic to capture the entire environment has saved me on more than one occasion,” he explains. “The DSF-1 also has a brilliant limiter; I’m a purist, but I leave the limiter in all the time – it’s that good.”
Swinden says that the bigger the space, the more the DSF-1 comes into its own, and insists it gives a very good sense of the acoustic environment the user is working in.
“If the hall you’re working in sounds bad, or is just too reverberant, you can just close the SoundField right down so that it has, say, the pickup pattern of a couple of crossed hypercardioids, and screen out a lot of the room acoustic. There’s always a solution with the SoundField.”
The Hereford Cathedral concert also features performances of the overture from Wagner’s Der Meistersanger and Haydn’s Nelson Mass, and is due for release on Chorum later this summer.