The 756-seat Performance Hall and the smaller Sun Trust Pavilion designed by NWS co-founder and artistic director, Michael Tilson Thomas, who is also the long-standing music director of the San Francisco Symphony, are already fully equipped for live performance and recording and share two multi-track surround-capable control rooms. HD video recording and projection is also available for those hiring the spaces.
However, whilst originally set up to record 64 tracks at 24bit/48kHz, it became apparent that the majority of the major opera and concert venues had installed Pyramix and Horus/Hapi Networked Audio facilities to be able to achieve high track counts at much higher sampling rates. The importance of getting current and future audio fellows on both sides of the glass used to the industry norm was not lost on Director of Audio Services, Roberto Toledo, particularly as a large proportion of major orchestral organizations primarily use Pyramix. If audio fellows are to be considered for any of the companies or contractors hired to record, Pyramix experience will be extremely valuable.
Toledo’s first encounter with Merging’s DSD recording system was through recordings he had heard and a demonstration at NWS by Independent Audio’s Dennis Gaines and Parsons Audio. Roberto Toledo summarized his decision making process: “With regards to the hardware, sonic quality was an important part in the decision. Having heard the hardware, it was clear that choosing the Horus and Hapi for our new system would be the right direction. In addition, the ability to do higher resolution recordings, DXD and DSD to be specific, was of great importance to us. The bulk of our work is classical music, and I prefer little to no coloration when I hear a mic (other than what the mic is doing). I feel that Horus and Hapi will produce the transparency and clarity I am looking for.”
Moving to Merging hardware also means that Audio over IP is now part of the package. “RAVENNA and AES67 played a huge part in our decision to go with the Merging hardware,” confirmed Toledo. “The ability to connect a large system, like the one we purchased, with only a few network cables is truly amazing. Future expansion is very easy, and it is something we hope to do soon.”
The Merging system comprising 3 x Horus, 2 x Hapi and Pyramix MassCore 256 Master Packs with 3 x Quintessense Turnkey PC chassis Eucon connected to Avid S6 and S3 consoles, has been delivered but not finally installed although it is hoped that recording can start before the end of 2015 with a temporary cabling solution. The full RAVENNA/AES67 installation is currently planned for summer 2016 with an official start date of next September.