Cyrus Chesnut und Michael Brecker
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
I feel that this recording is a beautiful and innocent performance of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. At the session, I heard Michael say to Cyrus “Let's run it,” and I told the assistant “ROLL!” and what you hear is that performance rehearsal. At the end, Michael said to me, “How long was that?” “Let me roll back the tape,” I replied. Michael said, “You got that!?!? We'll never get back to that simplicity.” and they never did, and this is the track that was released. An early Christmas present to all, as this was recorded in May. Merry Christmas to all! — Jim Anderson
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Ulrike Schwarz Anderson is a New York based, broadly acclaimed engineer and producer. She garnered numerous honors for her recordings and broadcasts, including multiple Echo Klassik, Diamant D’Opera, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenindustrie, Diapason d’Or awards and grammy nominations.
In 2023, Schwarz was named President of the Verband Deutscher Tonmeister (The Association of German Sound Professionals - VDT)
“Patricia’s rendition of Santa Claus is coming to town is typical Barber: she can turn any well known standard or Christmas and “barber“ [to barber] it into depths or meanings one hadn’t previously attached to the song masterfully. This sultry version of the beloved Christmas tune has the typical audiophile attributes of every Patricia Barber production of crystal clear diction, her grand piano sound and big bass. And it’s being presented on her engineer Jim Anderson’s birthday. So, Happy Birthday to on and Merry Christmas to all.”
Artist: Isabel Pfefferkorn, Composer: Laurie Altman
When Do You Know (2020 Version)
Małgorzata Albińska-Frank has been a freelance sound engineer, recording engineer and music producer since 1989 and lives in Switzerland. She runs her recording studio arton, and specializes in recording and producing music from the Middle Ages to classical and contemporary music. She teaches recording techniques at the Hochschule für Musik, Musik-Akademie Basel.
“Isabel Pfefferkorn fascinates me as a singer. She is a highly skilled musician known for her stylistic range, authentic expression and intuitive musical abilities. Isabel works closely with contemporary composers such as Dimitri Terzakis, Charles Uzor and Laurie Altman, and working with her is always one of the highlights of my work as a recording engineer. The tender song When Do You Know (NEOS 12125) shows the characteristic features of Laurie Altman's compositional work. I hope you enjoy listening to it and have a happy and healthy Christmas!”
John Cage / Petrenko · Berliner Philharmoniker
From Wikipedia: 4′33″ is a three-movement work by composer John Cage for any combination of instruments. The score instructs the performers not to play their instruments for the entire duration of the piece: the piece consists of the sounds of the environment. John Cage on his work: “There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot… Until I die, there will be sounds. And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music.”
People Are People
Peter Maier is managing director of the concept-A studio planning office in Munich and Berlin, a consultant for acoustics at the VDT and has been a lecturer in studio acoustics at the SAE Institute for over 25 years.
For me, Depeche Mode's People are People is one of a collection of reference pieces for the subjective assessment and acceptance of control room and monitoring systems. In addition to the clear statement against any form of racism, which is already manifested in the title of the track, I have always been fascinated by the dominant and powerful vocals of Dave Gahan, which make the message of the song so irrefutable, in contrast to the filigree and questioning voice of Martin Gore, which expresses his deep lack of understanding for the hatred among people. The synthetic/metallic percussions then elevate the message to a statement. The bassline, the enormous proportion of highly transient signals and the creative play with positioning in the stereo image made the track something fundamentally new almost 40 years ago and had a lasting impact on my understanding of what music can be. Recorded in the Hansa mixing room in Berlin, engineered by Gareth Jones.
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Jaap Geraedts "Hemelsch Vader"
Johann Ichiro Bömer is a sound engineer at the Japanese public television and radio broadcaster NHK. Among other things, he is responsible for music productions in 22.2 multi-channel audio for 8K television in Japan. He has lived and worked there for 17 years.
Hemelsch Vader by Jaap Geraedts, sung by the Netherlands Chamber Choir, which was also released as an SACD in 5.1 in the early 2000s to mark the marriage of the Dutch royal couple, impresses with the simplicity and naturalness of the recording, which reproduces the voices very transparently but not too obtrusively in the room. It captures the beauty of the music and its mood very well.
If you search the Internet, you can also find this recording as a DSD or FLAC version for download.
- Bach BWV 972 after Vivaldi Violin Concerto*
Daniela Rieger works as a sound engineer at Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen. She specializes in immersive and object-based audio and works on topics such as MPEG-H audio and AI-based dialog enhancement technologies. She has been Vice President of the VDT since 2023.
“For me, this version of the Bach concerto is a masterpiece of brass ensemble music. Especially the second movement from 2:14 min is absolute perfection in sound, interplay, and dynamics. I have been listening to this work at least once a year for about 15 years and am always enraptured by its musical beauty! For me as a trumpeter, Matthias Höfs' playing and sound are particularly impressive, and for me German Brass is the best brass ensemble I have ever heard."
Katharina Kiefer is a sound engineer on the radio OB van at WDR and has three children, two of whom have already moved out, and a husband with whom she is excited to celebrate a hopefully relaxed Christmas.
ABBA was the band of her youth, and she has always loved their inimitable sound. What she particularly likes about this track is the unobtrusive mix, the voices of Agnetha and Frida, and above all the string sound.
El Bent Al Shalabieh
Ralph Kessler is an audio engineer from Hamburg, known for his brand Pinguin in the field of research and development for virtual acoustics and audio measurement technology. He has been using his 3D "holodeck" in Hamburg as a side job for 20 years for the post-pro of special surround music productions, mostly for concert Blu-rays.
The main thing he likes about the song is that it immediately puts most listeners in a good mood, regardless of their cultural background or origin. The melody of the song, which is very popular in the Middle East, was written at a time when there were not as many borders as there are today.
Hans-Martin Buff is an internationally successful sound engineer and music producer. He has worked with artists such as Prince, Mousse T., Zucchero, Sheryl Crow, the Scorpions and others.
What he likes about the song are the great mids, the pressure, the mystery, the right scratch in the right place and, of course, the beautiful music.
Carsten Kümmel is Professor of Public Address and Live Recording at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. He is a sound engineer for internationally successful artists and productions such as The Worlds of Hans Zimmer, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and others.
What he likes about the piece is the excellent sound engineering, the bass is even, the piano has no gaps. Musically, the piece is also of a high standard.
It Gonna Come
Markus Thiel runs a studio for MI and pro audio communication and is responsible for word, image and graphic content as part of the VDT's public relations work. He is also part of the current VDT magazine editorial team.
In It Gonna Come from Melody Gardot's invariably great album Currency of Man, he is fascinated — among many other things — by the depth of the sound, which plays a special part in giving each individual element in the mix both an individual and shared space to breathe. An arrangement that literally carries the already breathtaking vocals on its hands.
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, TH 14
Felix Krückels is Professor of Broadcast Production and System Design at Damstadt University of Applied Sciences and, among other things, mixes top-class sporting events in immersive formats.
What he likes about the piece is the wonderful immersive space. To best enjoy the recording, it can be listened to via a Dolby Atmos system or Apple AirPod Max via the following link: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, TH 14
I Don't Wanna Grow Up
Moritz Bergfeld is a professor of music production and musical acoustics at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. He is co-owner of the music production companies MBM oHG in Darmstadt and Coviello Productions Ltd. in London. Together with his partners, he runs the Coviello Classics label.
What he particularly likes about the song I don't Wanna Grow Up by Tom Waits in the version by Holly Cole from her album Temptation is the almost perfect correspondence between lyrics, interpretation, instrumentation, and mix. This turns what is actually a simple song into a small work of art.
Crosby & Nash
Lay Me Down
Ada Binaj is a freelance live and studio sound engineer in Munich and London, working for Jazzclub Unterfahrt, Muffathalle, Tollwood Festival and Iguana Studios in London, among others. She has been an active member of VDT since April 2022.
What she likes about Lay Me Down is the warmth, clarity in the highs of the guitar, and it is well suited to checking the mids in the system, as the voice sounds overemphasized in the spectrum. In addition, the vocals are mixed very dry, and you get a good impression of the reverberation of the room.
Sitara Schmitz runs Studio X.1 in Cologne together with her husband Henning Schmitz. A singer/songwriter herself, she calls herself the “sound engineer of emotions” and specializes in audiophile recordings, which she has recently been presenting increasingly in 3D audio.
I was very impressed by the album Soldier of Love by Sade in 2010 because the longing in the lyrics and the instrumentation together with the voice create a wonderful sound. All frequencies are covered, nothing is overloaded, and the voice has the space it deserves. It is uncluttered, but still has depth. As a fan of multi-layered vocal arrangements, I naturally get my money's worth.
Little Jimmy Scott
All The Way
Nick Sansano is an award-winning producer, recordist and professor, well known for working with artists like Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Rob Base, Run DMC or Sonic Youth.
If we could hear our emotions, they would sound like All The Way. Little Jimmy Scott holds nothing back, he is open, sharing, and vulnerable. Kenny Barron on piano rewrites the definition of tasteful and subtle musicality, relying on the power of melody. The opening track puts me at ease immediately upon hearing arranger Dale Oehler's first few beautifully orchestrated, and recorded, opening chords. Scott's version of Embraceble You, track 2 on the album All The Way is one of the most effective I've heard. Producer Tommy LiPuma, Engineer Al Schmitt.
Sebastian Müller Band
In einem kühlen Grunde
Carlos Albrecht is professor emeritus at the Detmold University of Music and was president of the VDT for ten years, from 2009 until 2019 and has been an honorary member of the VDT since tmt32.
This setting of the old poem by Joseph von Eichendorff is one of my favorite titles by the Sebastian-Müller Band from Detmold, originally made up of music and sound engineering students and well-known to you from the final evenings of two Tonmeister conferences. Sebastian's arrangement reflects the drama of the text with impressive dynamics, the solo and vocal parts are at their best, and the brass section is also excellently used. Finally, the mix emphasizes Sebastian's dual talent as a musician/bandleader and sound engineer. It's worth visiting his website.
Giorgio by Moroder
Dominik Zingler is Lead Audio Designer at Crytek, VDT consultant for game audio and lecturer for game sound design at various universities.
In addition to the excellent mix, Giorgio by Moroder is characterized by the fact that the song contains various instruments, which are first introduced individually. Later, they can be heard together. He particularly likes the change from bass, synth and voice to strings at 05:20.
Nightshift (Commodores Cover)
Michael Hösel is Dean of Studies for the "Audio and Acoustical Engineering" course at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences. Together with Christian Birkner, he heads the VDT regional group in Leipzig.
The title Nightshift comes from the 2022 album Only The Strong Survive by Bruce Springsteen and is a cover of the song by The Commodores from 1985. What particularly impresses me is the clarity and transparency of the arrangement and the presence of Springsteen's voice. A new reference for me.
Ansiktet te månen
Jens Schwemin is a teacher of event technology at the Louis-Lepoix School in Baden-Baden. At VDT, he is organizing the development of a subwoofer for the loudspeaker construction group.
What I particularly like about the song is the interesting instrumentation with its multi-layered timbres, as well as the interplay between the melody, countermelodies by different instruments and the pauses in between, which makes the spatiality wonderfully audible. Both the transient reproduction and the coloration of a transmission chain can be excellently assessed with this song.
Johannes Heppenheimer develops and builds permanently installed sound systems with a focus on churches. He also works as a sound engineer in the live sector. He is a member of the VDT regional management of the Frankfurt group.
The album Shifting Sands with the title track of the same name by Barabara Thompson's Paraphernalia is an outstanding composition by this exceptional musician. In addition to the captivating music, the extremely high quality of the recording and production is a special feature. We find a modern kind of mastering, yet there is always the feeling that “the band is playing together in the room”. After the first listen, the thought comes to mind that this is not possible live. In her concerts, Thompson († 9/7/22) had convinced everyone of the opposite: she and her musicians also showed incredible virtuosity and joy of playing live.