At the end of this past month of November, we finished one of the most interesting works we have done in music recording: the new album by the musician Mateo Arnáiz, “THE SOUND OF EMOTIONS”
This work has the peculiarity that it is a record project recorded outside the studio, in one of the most complicated locations in which it can be recorded: a monastery.
From the first moment we wanted a sound completely separate from any technological device that the studio could give us, both for acoustics and for plugins and processing. We wanted to capture and reflect the sound of the guitar in the most natural way possible and for that we went to this kind of special location.
From the month of March we were doing tests and tests of locations in different monasteries of Galicia and in the end we decided on the monastery of Monfero.
Each and every one of the monasteries offered us a different sound and it was very difficult to discard one or the other. There was born the first challenge in this project. But we were clear, from the first moment, what kind of sound we wanted to obtain.
This type of locations have several disadvantages for us, the sound technicians. Among them we should mention the transient waves that are formed and the great reverberations with which we have to fight.
Another very important and vital factor to keep in mind, is the humidity. Humidity is like that shadow that chases you and never leaves you, and more in Galicia.
The team suffered a lot, Mateo’s guitar also and our bodies too.
Due to the large dimensions of the monastery of Monfero, these factors that we discussed greatly influenced the type of sound. In fact, once all the work was finished, when we sat down to listen to the record, we felt cold just remembering what we lived there.
We decided to record in the month of September for reasons of temperature and humidity.
We did the recording in 3 days and the equipment we used was the following:
A Zoom F8 multitrack recorder, a Sound Devices MixPre-D mixer and DPA, Schoeps and AKG microphones.
For us, microphony is fundamental. The microphones we used were a Schoeps CMC641, AKG 414 and DPA4006Tl. With the latter we got the amount of natural reverb we wanted to include in the disc mix.
The recorder and the mixer surprised us a lot. We use the Sound Devices as a two-channel preamp because it has an analog limiter that is really good and the limiter of the F8 does not convince us much. In this way we would have all the dynamics of Mateo’s interpretation assured.
Once the recording was finished, we went into the studio to mix.
The mix was very simple, in the sense that we did not use anything more than what we brought in the recorder: 4 tracks. The Schoeps and a 414 for the guitar and two channels of the DPA4006TL to add the amount of reverb that we wanted the disc to have.
At no time did we cover everything that the location gave us: ambient sound of the place in silence, birds, bats passing in front of the buses, improvisations, the sound of an ancient bell …
The disc was about that. To put ourselves in a location with the weight of the centuries. The energy load that accumulated there throughout history. Turn off the lights. Feel the moment. The nature that surrounded the monastery. Listen … and get the emotions and energy that all that produced the musician.
Our job was to capture these moments.
Apart from the recording of the album, we have made a parallel project to this one: a making of documentary.
The documentary is called “The Stone’s Secrets” and it will not only be able to see how we recorded the album, but also why we recorded it.
We are very proud of the work we have done. From the sound we have achieved and above all from the path we have taken to get here.
Everything that this project gave us, we intuited it almost a year ago … but we did not know that the route was so beautiful.
Congratulations Mateo. You made a record to listen and feel.