Recording Louisiana Philharmonic’s 2020 Virtual Season with Rupert Neve Designs

Given the performance restrictions of 2020, the current season of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will be presented virtually this year, and available to stream on demand. Mischa Kachkachishvili of Esplanade Studios was tasked with recording the entire season at the historic Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, utilizing a high fidelity remote recording setup built around 32 channels of Rupert Neve Designs’ class-A RMP-D8 Dante-connected microphone preamplifiers.

For the first week of sessions, Kachkachishvili initially assembled a massive rig consisting of 24 channels of Rupert Neve Designs Shelford 5052 Mic Preamp & Inductor EQs, which normally occupy slots in his studio’s 48-channel RND 5088 console, coupled with an Apogee Symphony mk1. “The gain, sound and EQ of the 5052 is fantastic, but it’s a hustle to take modules from the console, rack and install them in remote cases. Plus all the downtime of doing that and extra cabling – I was losing an entire work day just doing that. The week after, I switched to the RMP-D8s.”

“At first I was a little skeptical,” reports Kachkachishvili. “But the system is super stable…and I’m so happy with the flexibility of the RMP-D8s, and the sound difference is almost negligible between my two setups. Even better, I’m enjoying the extra clarity that the RMP-D8 converters are adding to my recordings. There’s extra air – not brightness – that the RMP-D8’s converters have delivered.”

Microphones used for the sessions include four Neumann M150s for room back and front, Neumann KM84s, KM86s, U87s, and Schoeps CMC-6-Us with various capsules. The RMP-D8s are controlled by a Focusrite RedNet HD32R and clocked by an Apogee Big Ben at 96kHz. “The system is very stable, and allows me to record 8 or more hours straight to a 12-core Mac Pro via HDX card. It sounds big and open, with plenty of low end and smooth, ‘analog’ highs…and very quiet. Ideal for classical music and film scoring. I love the sound.”

Kachkachishvili is the owner of Esplanade Studios, Louisiana’s largest recording studio. He has previously recorded scores for films such as Oscar-winning ‘Green Book’ and Oscar-nominated ‘Blackkklansmen’. He has also worked with Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, Terence Blanchard and many more, and the studio has hosted a wide range of artists including Eric Clapton, Janelle Monae, Willie Nelson, John Legend, Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, and Solange.

More on the RMP-D8.

More on Esplanade Studios.