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Matthijs Kieboom – recording a pitch for a documentary

Film composer Matthijs Kieboom approached the studio to record a pitch for a documentary. Classically oriented music, with piano, violin and cello. The compositions were already written down but not yet known to the musicians. Pianist Rob Geboers, violinist Laura van der Stoep and cellist Karel Bredenhorst performed the pieces sublimely. Everything was recorded in just under a day. An impressive session, with top musicians guided by Matthijs.

In addition to the pieces by Matthijs Kieboom, a number of compositions by Rob Geboers were also recorded on the same day. The session was prepared by Lars and Kees, with intern Jesse. Our Yamaha U3 was delivered shortly in advance and tuned again after a few days of acclimatization.

Technical Specs

Given the fairly minimalist music, the three instruments, and the desire to have a “live feel” to the recordings, it was decided to set the players up together in the live room. In addition, the piano was baffled off to minimize crosstalk between the sources, especially important for the separation between piano and violin.

For the Yamaha U3 a stereo XY mic set up was used, with Telefunken M260 small diaphragm tube microphones. Many pieces were played using the U3’s “felt” option, a soft, rounded sound that really comes into its own with this mic choice. It was only been mic’ed from above, for a clear, full image of the piano sounds.

For the violin, after some experimentation, we settled on a combination of Laura’s own DPA gooseneck microphone and a RoyerLabs R10 ribbon about 1m away, for a more complete sound field. The cello was recorded with an RCA-77dx ribbon microphone for some pieces, a nice dark and rounded sound that suited the music. Later on, a Neumann M149 tube microphone was used to capture more lows and highs. Finally, an AEA-88 ribbon microphone was used as a “room” mic to capture the ensemble as a whole. The AEA-88 is a stereo mic, with Blumlein configuration. This gives a very open, detailed and natural sound, which we used in the mix to bring it all together.

Everything was recorded through the SSL Origin’s mic pres, straight to the Apogee Symphony MK2 converters at 96kHz for maximum fidelity.