Burbank, CA… In the music industry, the Grammy Award is the highest of honors. The combination of compositional, performance, and engineering skills required to bring a Grammy nominated recording to life frequently represents a lifetime of effort. Yet for Cuban-born composer and producer Yalil Guerra, this year’s Latin Grammy Award nominations—in the Best Classical Album and Best Classical Contemporary Composition categories—represents yet another accomplishment in a long list of milestone achievements. Capturing all the fine nuances of a world-class recording takes skill and the right tools for the job. When it comes to microphones, Guerra depends on Mojave Audio and Royer Labs.
This year, Guerra’s album titled Yalil Guerra: Works for String Orchestra, performed by Ensamble Solistas de la Habana and conducted by Iván Valiente was nominated in the Best Classical Album category. A second nomination in the category Best Classical Contemporary Composition is Guerra’s El Retrato de la Paloma (The Portrait of the Dove). Guerra summarized each work.
“Yalil Guerra: Works for String Orchestra,” contains all my string orchestra compositions,” says Guerra. “These compositions were performed live in Havana at the National Library José Martí on October 13th 2014. El Retrato de la Paloma (The Portrait of the Dove) is a four-movement composition that describes the life cycle of a dove. The first movement, titled The Birth, captures the tenderness of the new born dove inspired in the Cuban old style bolero melody songs. The second movement, The Flight, portrays the dove’s first flight. The third movement titled, The First Kiss, reflects when the Dove discovers love—in a complex yet simple orchestration. The fourth movement, The Fugue, is the abandonment of the birthplace, starting a new life flight, searching for her own path and destiny. This movement is very virtuosic and energetic.”
Guerra notes that he used a pair of Mojave Audio MA-300 Multi Pattern Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphones extensively on these projects. The MA-300 delivers warm, full-bodied reproductions of vocals and instruments, with none of the shrillness and high frequency distortion artifacts that are often encountered with modern condenser microphones. “Mojave Audio is a compelling choice for all my classical recordings,” Guerra reports. “They are capable of capturing all the performance nuances and subtle harmonics that string instruments produce. The overall sound of these microphones is full and rich.”
Royer Labs’ SF-12 Stereo Ribbon Microphone is a very popular choice for capturing ambient, or room, sound. It is frequently mixed with a more ‘direct’ microphone’s output to yield a very natural composite sound that captures the detail of the close miking with the ambience of the room. “The Royer SF-12 is a very warm sounding microphone,” Guerra explained. “I especially love the mic’s mid and low end range and the sound it delivers. The SF-12 is also a very truthful mic, and you can certainly trust what you capture with it. I really recommend it as a great additional tool that is the perfect companion to the Mojave MA-300.”
This year’s Latin Grammy Awards take place On November 19th in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. As he prepares for the event, Guerra offered these parting thoughts about the microphones he considers so vital to the recording of his music. “The combination of the Mojave and Royer microphones captured the magical sound of the orchestra—delivering not only a powerful and rich recording, but also the beauty of the performance of this young yet talented group of musicians,” he said. “For me, the choice was right, and once again, Mojave and Royer Labs microphones have helped me achieve two more Latin Grammy nominations this year. I recommend the use of these magnificent audio tools to all my associates. They are indispensable for capturing music and represent the state-of-the-art in recording technology.”
About Mojave Audio
Located in Burbank, California, Mojave Audio is a manufacturer of quality microphones for the recording professional. For additional information on all Mojave Audio products, visit the company online at www.mojaveaudio.com.
About Royer Labs
Located in Burbank, California, Royer Labs’ microphones are a staple of leading recording and broadcast facilities. For additional information about all Royer microphones, please visit the company at www.royerlabs.com.
Photo info: Yalil Guerra