DAD AX32 on the road


in early june I recorded choir Aspis’s last session with DAD AX32.

Thanks to Audinate Dante Virtual Soundcard I used it like a soundcard with my MacBook.

Session was in S. Pietro auditorium in Milan which it’s charaterized by a very dry sound.

I used two AKG C414 TL-II to ORTF stereo array and four Schoeps CMC6 MK4 as spots on sections.

Choir Aspis's session

Choir Aspis’s session

As I checked in my tests (part 1part 2) DAD AX32 has an amazing sound!

I used DAD AX32’s premicrophones which have a very pristine sound with a wide dynamic range. They sound very close to my Millenia Media HV-3R.

Record will be released in September.




Schoeps V4 U

Recently I had the pleasure to try Schoeps V4 U a new studio vocal microphone.

It’s a very interesting gear, lightly and small with several original technical solutions.

Shoeps V4 U

Shoeps V4 U in his wooden case

Available in grey and blue color Schoeps V4 U is a FET microphone trasformerless and free of coupling capacitors with a newly designed electronics which offer a very high maximum sound pressure level (144 dBspl).

Characteristic of this microphone is the beveled collar on the 33mm capsule which cause directivity to increase steadly and smootly at high frequencies, as in a large-diaphragm microphone.

Schoeps V4 U capsule head

Schoeps V4 U capsule head (source Schoeps website)

The classic look of the V4 U is based on the CM 51/3. This microphone was manufactured from Schoeps from 1951-1953.

The V4 U is available in two sets: The “V4 SGV set” contains the microphone, a wooden case and the SGV stand clamp, the “V4 USM set” differs from the other one for the elastic suspension USM-V4 (Rycote made).

The test

I tested it with a female singer tracking, my speech and a test signal coupled with SpectraFoo Complete spectral analyzer and I used my Neumann U87ai as reference to check V4 U nuances.

I made a cluster of three microphones to compare the different sounds on the same source, all microphones were plu into a Millenia HV-3C and a DAD AX32 AD/DA converter chained with my DAW Logic Pro by Dante ethernet protocol.

Three microphones cluster

Three microphones cluster

The test was carried out in three steps comparative:

1)  Spectral responses and output level (I fixed a reference gain) of all microphones with SpectraFoo complete.

2) Comparison between Neumann U87ai (worldwide vocal reference) and Schoeps V4 U to check on a female singer and male speaker differences.

3) Comparison between Schoeps Colette MK4 and Schoeps V4 U to check differences for at first glance similar capsules.


Spectral response

The spectral responses of microphones are showed bottom, the first graph is about the output level where U87ai is the reference.

After I overlapped spectral response of Schoeps CMC6@MK4 on Schoeps V4 U and I checked a better performance on low end by V4 U and a identical response on mid and high frequencies.

Neumann U87ai and Schoeps V4 U comparison was very interesting, because on mid and high frequencies V4 U has a flat and extended response while on low end it’s intermediate between the other two microphones.


Ok, after technical stuff I explain vocal tracking of  a female singer and a male speaker (myself).

All three microphones are amazing and professional gears, simply my opinion is about what I found ready to use”.

Neumann U87ai highlighted a slightly muddy sound on low end and a nastily mid-high frequency (about 3kHz); Schoeps CMC6@MK4 was smoothed on mid-high frequencies without harsh but with a lacking low end.

Schoeps V4 U captured a focused, depth and natural sound with a warm low end and it kept the same smoothed and extended high end of CMC6@MK4. Transient response was very fast.



Schoeps V4 U is a goal, it’s a very interesting alternative to vocal studio standard microphones (like Neumann, AKG, Brauner and others). It natural sound with a warm low end and a flat extended response is a powerful tool to capture vocal and acoustic instruments.

The lack of alternatives polar responses, filters and pads are a limitation for the multipurpose applications but it’s a tipical Schoeps phylosophy to maximize microphones perfomance.





Disclaimer: I tested this gear with care, nevertheless this test is inevitably affected by my opinion and possible analyzer gear and software imprecisions.

Copyright © 2013-2014 by iuatwest. All rights Reserved.
This material has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and, provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name @ and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Choir Aspis live recording


yesterday I recorded the Aspis choir in concert at S.Ambrogio Church, Rozzano vecchia (MI).

I used Shoeps and AKG microphones, Millenia HV-3R preamplifier and Joeco BlackBox BBR1U recorder.

I recorded at 96kHz@24bit.

This was the last session to bring up the audio material to make their new album.


Aspis Choir – 2013 december 15


Joeco BlackBox BBR1U with Millenia HV-3R

The concert was recorded on video, coming soon I’ll link videoclip.



Technical backstage: microphones preamplifiers

It’s not a didactic section (when needed I’ll link related pages on manufacturer site) but so as to explain my approach to recording.

Today I’ll speak about the second ring of the audio chain that is a microphone preamplifier.

I tried several of them while I was thinking about the adage “the worse ring define entire chain quality”.

At the end I chose Focusrite and Millenia.

Focusrite ISA series

This serie is originate from an original Rupert Neve’s project, realized to George Martin’s Air studio which sidecar of Studio One’s Neve consolle and later developed into well-knowed Forte consolle (late eighties).

Here you find Air studio historical page about Neve consolle and Focusrite sidechain.

Sir George Martin with original sidechain and ISA110

Sir George Martin with original sidechain and ISA110

Neve consolle A4792 with FSA110 modules sidecar (far left)

Neve consolle A4792 with FSA110 modules sidecar (far left)

Earlies modules made from FSA110 were ISA110 (premic/eq section) and ISA130 (dynamic section) where ISA standing for Input Signal Amplifier.

Further developments were ISA430 (producer pack) and ISA220 (session pack) strip channels with premic, eq section, dynamic section (ISA220 only compressor), de-essing and output stage.

Today it’s possible to find some racked channel strip.

Latest models are microphones preamplifiers rack modules ISA428, ISA828, ISA One (desk version) and Isa Two.

I bought two ISA428 with AD converter card and two ISA220.

They work very fine on vocals, percussions and instrumental direct inject like electric bass, guitar and piezo transducer with a nice and solid presence. I like ISA220 coupled with NeumannU87ai to record voice.

ISA eq is very sharp gear and all the small changes are immediatly audible and it’s perfect to add warmth, presence and intelligibility to every tracks. Dynamic section is beautiful with capaticy to forceful gain reduction (10dB) without artefacts.

I use both ISA220 like a sidecar of my analog consolle D&R Dayner.

Focusrite ISA 8-channel ADC cards on board on my ISA428 sound like my Apogee Rosetta800 (that is very good) and they convert eight channel each, summing ISA428 four channels with four external channels. Then two ISA428, eight microphone amplifier and sixteens AD channels conversion.

In this record I used FF ISA428 on drums and direct input of ISA220 for bass (mix is only level and panpot, no eq, comp or fx)

Millenia Media

Millenia Media is a very fine manufacturing gear founded by John and Cynthia LaGrou, his microphone preamplifier (here a chart on the design of microphone preamps by John LaGrou) are used everywhere it’s needed dynamic, wide and flat response, sensibility and depth of sound image.

Their gear is precious on acoustic instruments, classic and jazz ensemble and everywhere it’s fundamental absolute sonic and musical purity.

I bought a Millenia HV-3R, remote controlled version, eight channels microphones preamplifier to work at the best with my Shoeps microphones (see here my post on my microphones)

His sound is very clearly with excellent focus on mid and low frequency and very open high end.

This year I recorded a jazz ensemble (electric guitar, double bass, violin, sax and accordion) in a my studio but in a live like situation. Without worries about ambient noise, I used Shoeps and Millenia to best separation and quality of the sounds. The musicians have been very impressed, me too 😉

Listen them here (studio session)

or watch them here

Here on baroque music (live session)



Copyright © 2013-2014 by iuatwest. All rights Reserved.
This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and, provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name @ and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.