Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1879, the SSO (Shanghai Symphony Orchestra) is Asia’s oldest orchestra – and now they have one of the newest and most beautiful homes on the planet, complete with four Rupert Neve Designs 5088 consoles.

This new home, spread over more than 65,000 square feet and reaching four stories underground, is located in the historic French Concession neighborhood of Shanghai. A full two thirds of the building is underground, and the entire concert hall rests on giant steel springs – making it China’s first "floating building". The hall’s design was approved by world famous acoustic designer Yasuhisa Toyota, best known for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

“We were not constructing a common building, but making a great musical instrument…every seat is a golden seat.”

– Yasuhisa Toyota, designer

The architect was Arata Isozaki, and the recording studios and post-production rooms were designed by SIWEI Music Engineering Design Group.

Just as no expense was spared in the building’s construction, the same attention to detail and excellence went into the actual recording equipment to be utilized for the performances occurring within it. The console of choice for these purist recordings was the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 analog mixer – four of them.

The first, a 16-channel board loaded with Portico 5032 mic preamplifier/EQs and 5015 mic preamplifier/compressors, is located just off the 1200-seat main concert hall. The studio adjacent to the 400-seat chamber hall houses a second 16-channel 5088, and two additional mix rooms contain 16-channel and 48-channel 5088s optimized for post-production and proprietary IOSONO 3D holographic surround mixing. Each of the studios also utilize Portico II Master Buss Processors for compression and tonal shaping duties.

The studios and performance halls also feature microphones from sE Electronics, Neumann, DPA, and Schoeps; monitors from ATC; and additional outboard equipment from IOSONO 3D, Drawmer, TC, and others.

And the end result? From the SSO’s director Long Yu: "We are so happy – the sound is gorgeous."


Photos appear courtesy of Full Dimension, and originally appeared in the January/February 2015 issue of mondo*dr magazine. You can view the original article here: http://issuu.com/mondiale/docs/md25-2_digital_issuu

The sloping outer roof:

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The main concert hall:

The main concert hall.

From left: Siwei Zou (founder of SIWEI Music Engineering and sE Electronics), Chen Guangxian (former head of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, now a Director of the Shanghai Symphony Foundation and President of the China Symphony Development Association), and Joshua Thomas (General Manager of Rupert Neve Designs):

A 48-channel 5088:

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The chamber hall:

The Chamber Hall

Professor Lu Xiaoxing of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music:

Professor Lu Xiaoxing of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

One of the smaller 5088s:

One of the smaller 5088s installed.

The 48-channel 5088 in the post-production IOSONO room:

The 48-channel 5088 in the post-production surround room.

A close-up:

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For more information, visit the SSO’s website: http://www.shsymphony.com