• Wall of Sound Lecture-Recital

    Phil Spector (1939) had a enormous influence on pop music in the second half of the twentieth century. While working in the Gold Star studios in the 1960s, he developed a special recording technique called the wall of sound. It was basically a formula that made use of harmony and music technology in a way to mask definition in the whole. By doing so, it became difficult to distinguish instruments from one another as they form a certain density. In Walking in the Rain (1963) and Be my Baby (1964) by The Ronettes one can clearly hear this effect.

    Over the last year and a half, New Hansen tried to reconstruct the wall. What will happen when we look beyond the wall of sound? It will be explained how Spector built his wall, but more interestingly, it will  show how to create a wall of sound yourself. Recording instruments exactly the way Spector did more than fifty years ago, we now have all the bricks to rebuild the wall, and to control each part separately to define the instruments and see it become a whole. With this valuable information, we can answer the question whether it is still possible to recreate Spector’s wall of sound with today’s technology.

    Tuesday March 15 10:30-11:15 in the Blue Note room at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Entrance is free.

  • Microphone placement in Born Healty Commercial

    In this commercial, that has been released this afternoon, we were looking for a fragile sound to express the happiness of the future parents. In an early stage we decided to choose the neutral sound of the piano accompanied by music-box and string-quartet. This version suited the best and to go for the best quality I recorded a grand piano with four microphones.

    Obviously microphone placement is an important aspect of scoring for visual media. In the studio I decided to go for prominent room microphones as I wanted to catch the ‘dreamy atmosphere’ of euphoric young parents that just gave birth to a child. In the mix it appeared that this sound gave a different feel… the close microphone placement that was caught in earlier versions gave a feeling of being present in that babyroom. That was the sound that we wanted. So both tracks had the same music, but had a different feel. In the end we choose for the close miked piano.