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recording policy

The sound on all Tacet recordings is achieved by completely natural means. The instruments or voices must have a good sound of their own. And before (!) the recording is started, the acoustic event must be as good as it can possibly get.

Virtually no devices or adjustments (filters, limiters, digital echo etc.) are used which could alter the sound synthetically. The art of the Tacet tonmeister (sound engineer) is not to manipulate the sound event. The art of the Tacet tonmeister is a tricky one: to listen to the music - and do everything possible to develop it to its best extent.

As, however, a recording is impossible without the use of electronic equipment, Tacet uses the very best equipment on the market. The new developments are tested personally. For example: the latest A/D converter, further developments in dummy head stereophony, high definition sound carrier formats, etc.....

But Tacet also makes use of tried and tested older technology - wherever this is clearly superior to the newer equipment. For example, valve microphones are better for some recordings than microphones developed more recently. But what is quite new is the Tacet method of positioning the microphones: that is an art in itself.

And cutting is only done where the music permits it. Of course one cannot normally hear arbitrary cuts, but many recordings nowadays convey a somewhat disjointed impression: as if the artist had concentrated more on the details than on the whole. With all Tacet recordings one notices that they sound as if they have come from one mould. The liveliness of the recordings has been retained - one of the aims of Tacet's recording policy.

The aim of the composition is supported by the type of individual recording technique. The performers' ideas are clarified. For example: with an orchestral work by W. A. Mozart, as a rule it does not make sense to emphasise the wind instruments specifically with the aid of a large number of microphones: the mixture of sounds - a decisive component in Mozart's instrumentation - would get lost. Different microphones are not used just for the fun of it, but as the result of careful thought about each piece of music and the best way of putting it across.

The Tacet sound has been described as sensuous and subtle at the same time. Anyone wishing to follow the thoughts behind Tacet recording technique piece by piece can refer to the Tacet Production no. 17: "The Microphone". The "star" examples of sound, a variety of old-fashioned valve microphones, are described in it in detail.

But the real audiophile (pleasing to the ear) recordings do not rely on recording technology alone, but are dependent on excellent musicians playing excellent recordings and giving their very best. Tacet offers all this in plenty.

Ulrich Oesterle