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My philosophy is that all music should have something to say, an emotion to express, or a memory to evoke, and my recording style focuses on authenticity within hyper-realism. Since recordings lack a visual element, my aim is to use my knowledge of microphone techniques and recording theory to amplify the listening experience. Through subtle changes in timbre and perspective, the listener is invited to focus on specific characteristics within the performance; thus creating an atmosphere that anchors the music to a specific time and place – whether real or imaginary. In this way I seek to produce a realistic, but enhanced sound-painting of the music rather than simply present a faithful snapshot.

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RECORDINGS

The following is a diverse representation of my work and style. Please listen to the recordings over good-quality headphones or speakers (preferably not computer speakers). Some of the songs are long, so feel free to skip around.

Schubert / Ave Maria

Schubert / Ave Maria

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Cecilia String Quartet & Monica Whicher // Ave Maria

Recording Engineer // Editor // Mix Engineer

This recording was made for the television documentary series God's Greatest Hits! episode 3 "Ave Maria." The episode features the Cecilia String Quartet with soprano Monica Whicher performing Schubert's "Ave Maria."

I was hired as the recording engineer for this episode by RiddleFilms because I had recently recorded the Cecilia String Quartet's debut album as part of their prize for winning the Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC). I was also working at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (where the episode was filmed) so I was familiar with the acoustics of the conservatory's Koerner Hall.

In the interest of achieving good separation between the strings and voice, I recorded the ensemble with Monica Whicher facing the string quartet. A large-diaphragm dynamic microphone was chosen for the voice to enhance its warmth and contrast it with the natural brightness of the strings in this particular concert hall. In addition to the recording, I edited and mixed this piece for the show.

Recording Engineer // Editor // Mix Engineer

I was hired as the recording engineer for Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire" by producer Martha Di Francisco. This piece was recorded at McGill University's MMR scoring stage, so I took the opportunity of not being in a traditional concert hall to create a distinct, almost cinematic atmosphere.

 

My aim for the recording was to evoke a feeling of loneliness and menace, which I achieved using a TC6000 to design a custom reverb for the space. I used a stereo pair of ribbon microphones to record the sprechstimme vocal part in order to give it a disembodied and larger-than-life feel compared to the accompanying instruments.

In addition to the recording, I also completed the first edit and initial mix of the piece, but because I moved cities, I was not able to do the final album mix. The recording I have presented here is my original mix (not the album version). The album was awarded AllMusic.com's "2016 Favorite Classical Vocal Album."

Ingrid Schmithüsen // No. 8 Nacht

Recording Engineer // Editor // Mix Engineer

This album was made at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito's recording studios. The band Runa Jazz consists of some of the most distinguished Kichwa musicians in Ecuador and includes USFQ faculty and students. This recording is a continuation of a research project I am heading concerning the Kichwa folkloric instruments of Ecuador.

 

Runa Jazz fuses Kichwa folkloric music with Afro-Ecuadorian rhythms, funk and jazz. Taking into consideration the number of musicians and diversity of instruments involved with each song, the instruments were recorded separately and the takes were later edited together. Due to the nature of many of the folkloric instruments, various classical recording techniques were employed.

 

The idea behind the mix was to create a cohesive sense of space for the music and to achieve clarity within the band's dense rhythmic textures. This was realized first and foremost through an emphasis on capturing each instrument's specific timbre and characteristics, and secondly through the use of equalizers and spacializers to isolate frequencies, thus giving each instrument its own tonal pocket to sit in.

Runa Jazz // Shunku tushuy

Recording Engineer // Editor // Mix Engineer

Producer Theresa Leonard hired me to record the song cycle "In the Mists" by Janacek as part of Deanna Oye's solo piano album (which is yet to be released). The album was recorded at the Banff Centre's Rolston Concert Hall.

My aim with this piece was to capture the fragility and vulnerability of the piano, which I achieved through anchoring the piano to the space of the hall and presenting a slightly more distant perspective, thus making it feel as if it is "in the mists". 

 

Aesthetically, my goal was to capture the shimmering, almost bell-like quality of the cascading high-register of the piano and balance it with a rich low-register. To achieve this, I used a pair of DPA4006 omnidirectional microphones in addition to a pair of ambience microphones. Reverb was added to sweeten the natural reverb of the concert hall.

Deanna Oye // In the Mists 1. Andante

Producer // Editor

I co-produced this National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC) album, and was specifically in charge of the pieces "La Valse" by Ravel and "Don Juan" by Richard Strauss (the latter piece is presented here). The recording took place on the MMR scoring stage at McGill University, Montreal.
 

Don Juan is a story told through music, and alternates between the triumphant themes of Don Juan's conquests and the tender love themes, whose passion climaxes when he meets his tragic and untimely fate. In order to allow this story to be clearly told, the goal was to achieve a balanced, yet detailed pickup of the orchestra and to give it enough space for its natural dynamics to grow without the sonic image becoming too crowded or close.

 

This was achieved through the careful placement of a Decca tree consisting of three Neumann M149 tube microphones for the principal sound; spot microphones for each orchestra section were also employed. The reverberation in the recording is entirely natural and was captured using ambience microphones, which were located above the orchestra and positioned upwards. In addition to producing, I also edited the entire album.

NYOC // Don Juan

Tamya Moran // Tushuy tushuy

Recording Producer // Editor // Mix Engineer

I produced Kichwa singer/songwriter Tamya Moran's sophomore album "Muskupay Muyu," which is a fusion of Ecuadorian folkloric, jazz, and pop music. The principal material for this album was recorded in just two days, with all the musicians playing together live in the studio and only Tamya's vocals isolated. My overall concept for the album was to keep it as organic as possible. In this particular song, we played with harmonies and echos to evoke a feeling of spirituality.

"Tushuy tushuy" means "dance, dance," and is an original composition by Tamya based on a Kichwa poem. The song is sung in Kichwa and meant to be hopeful - when you are cold and tired, just dance, dance!

 

This album was particularly challenging because the original pianist had to be replaced after the recording, which meant I had to use noise removal tools to erase the piano part (since the instrumentalists played together with no isolation). Two years after the original recording, jazz pianist Gianni Bianchini stepped in and improvised several takes on top of the song, which I then arranged into a completed performance.

Recording Producer // Mix Engineer

I recorded this tango album with the Zebra string trio at the Banff Centre's Rolston Concert Hall while I was working as the senior sound engineer at the Banff Centre. This album was done alongside a Brahms album for the string trio for which I was also the recording producer. The tango arrangements were composed by the trio's cellist Anssi Karttunen.

 

Since the arrangements for this album were not typical tango arrangements, but rather more contemporary adaptations, the recording perspective for this album is a hybrid between classical music and folkloric tango styles, referencing the sound of many Piazzolla recordings. The ambience is that of a concert hall, but the perspective is slightly closer than a typical classical recording because it was important to me to retain the excitement and energy of the edgy aesthetics of tango's heavily articulated bowing style. In addition to the recording, I also mixed the album.

Zebra Trio // Trois tangos en marge: III

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DISCOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY

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Title // Artist // Label // Role

CoM Faculty Highlights Volume ​1 // Promotional Release // recording engineer, mix engineer (various artists)
Afro Kichwa // Runa Jazz // Independent Release // recording producer, editor, mix engineer
Muskupay Muyu // Tamya Moran // Independent Release // recording producer, editor, mix engineer
Arnold Schoenberg, Max Kowalski: Pierrot Lunaire // Ingrid Schmithüsen // ATMA Classique // recording engineer, editor
ISCM 2016 Compilation CD // Canadian League of Composers // Promotional Release // mastering engineer
ISCM 2015 Compilation CD // Canadian League of Composers // Promotional Release // mastering engineer
Creo en mi Gente // La Matilda // Independent Release // recording engineer
Haydn Opus 20 // Tinalley String Quartet // Move Records // assistant producer, editor
ISCM 2014 Compilation CD // Canadian League of Composers // Promotional Release // mastering engineer
Exoticism: The Music of Karol Szymanowski // Jerzy Kaplanek & Stephan Sylvestre // Marquis Classics // assistant producer, editor
El Motivo // Zebra String Trio // Albany Records // recording producer
Alien Mysteries Season 1 // Documentary Series // Bell Media // music editor, post sound mixer                          
Mighty Planes Seasons 1-2 // Documentary Series // Discovery Channel Canada // post sound mixer
Mighty Ships Seasons 4-6 // Documentary Series // Discovery Channel Canada // post sound mixer
Daily Planet HD Relaunch // Science TV Series // Discovery Channel Canada // sound design
Schubert // Georgy Tchaidze // Honens // editor
Debussy, Holliger, Honegger, Ravel // Gilles Vonsattel // Honens // editor
God’s Greatest Hits! Episode 3 “Ave Maria” // RiddleFilms // Vision TV // music recording engineer, editor
Dvorak: Quartet, Op.106; 6 Cypresses, 2 Waltzes // Cecilia String Quartet // Analekta // assistant producer
Goldberg Variations // Minsoo Sohn // Honens // editor
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Broadcast Music // CTV // recording assistant
Carte d'anniversaire // National Youth Orchestra of Canada // NYOC Private Label // producer, editor (various artists)
Variations on America // Jens Korndoerfer // IFO Records // recording engineer, editor, mix engineer
Brahms // Christopher Atzinger & Kathryn Ananda-Owens // MSR Classics // recording engineer, mix engineer
Motel Pluton // Frédéric Leblanc & Caroline Mailloux // Films Camera Oscura Inc. // scoring engineer, music mix engineer 
L'homme et le train // FX Dupas // Independent Film // scoring engineer, music mix engineer
Centre Pieces in Jazz and Creative Music 2009 // The Banff Centre // recording engineer, mixer (various artists)
H2O Secrets: The J.B. King // Nathalie Lasselin // PIXNAT Productions // scoring engineer, music mix engineer 
Photo Manipulation // Todd Langseth // South Bronx EFX Works // re-recording mixer

CONFERENCE & CLINIC PRESENTATIONS

Técnicas de grabación clásica de música para medios

April 2019 // AES Clinic // Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

Student Competition Judge - Traditional Recording Category

October 2018 // 145th AES New York Convention // NYC, USA

A Comprehensive Guide to Recording the Kichwa Instruments of Ecuador

June 2018 // Conference “Timbre is a Many Splendored Thing” // McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Modern Studio vs. Classical Techniques for Recording the Mini Big Band

April 2018 // AES Clinic // Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

The Art of the Classical Producer: Techniques and Tools of Classical Producing

March 2015 // AES Clinic // Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

Surround Mixing for Television

April 2014 // AES Clinic // Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

PRESS

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An online feature the Audio Engineering Society produced regarding my being a judge for the 145th AES NYC student competition "Traditional Recording" category.

Canadian Screen Award Nomination for "Best Sound in an Information/Documentary or Lifestyle Program or Series" for the TV show Alien Mysteries.

Newspaper article about my winning the MusiCounts Fred Sherratt award for outstanding post-secondary graduates of Canadian music programs.

Interview with the music production college, Recording Arts Canada (RAC), that I attended and later taught at.

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