If you haven’t hear about Morten Lynberg and his 2L record label, you should. His company is based in Oslo Norway and he produces about 10-15 new “real” high-resolution releases per year. He makes them available in stereo and surround as high-resolution digital downloads through his own site, through iTrax.com, and on Blu-ray Pure Audio discs. His recordings, as evidenced by the selections that I’ve heard over the years and at the Workshop on Sunday, are among the finest I’ve ever experienced. And while he was a member of the panel promoting DSD, his production methodology is all about ultra high-resolution PCM capture, post production, and delivery. Advocates for DSD need to recognize that DXD is PCM by another “marketing friendly” name.
Morten followed Merging Technologies’ Dominique Brulhart at the AES session held on Sunday. Morten and I were featured guest speakers at the InterBEE in Tokyo some years ago and have been friends for many years. I appreciate his candor (including be forthright about his preference for PCM over DSD, which he reiterated during the Sunday session), his skill as a recording engineer/producer, and his business acumen…it’s not easy running a small audiophile label that releases non-celebrity recordings.
But his stuff shined over all of the other participants at the DSD/DXD Workshop. He discussed his recording methodology, the aesthetics of his technique, his post production process, and the choices that he makes regarding the formats he employs releases. 2L sells their tracks through iTunes/Spotify, which accounts for about 5% of their total sales. Physical sales of Blu-ray Pure Audio accounts for 45% and just over 50% comes from direct file downloads. I’ve noticed the same trend with sales of my own discs vs. downloads. Audiophile and music enthusiasts want the best quality audio and they want it easily and quickly. Physical discs are not going away any time soon…but it is notable that downloads of very large files are increasing in popularity.
Morten also showed pictures of his sessions. He is very fortunate to have access to a variety of beautiful looking and wonderful sounding churches in and around Oslo. The interiors are breath taking…with stained glass walls, elaborate stone and woodwork. There are massive pipe organs, choir lofts, and plenty of ambiance to satisfy any classical music fan. I’m jealous. Although, I cherish the opportunity to record at Zipper Auditorium at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles, I think my videos would benefit from a change of scenery.
Morten is the not only the producer of his projects, he’s the engineer as well. He uses a Merging Technologies Pyramix rig with Horus converters running at 352.8 kHz/24-bits PCM…aka DXD. He captures between 10-16 microphones during the sessions. These mikes are arranged in a 5.1 surround array combined with another 4 mikes arranged in a square above the 5.1 setup. He has been capturing AND delivering 9.1 surround music using Auro3D…the first music projects to use this immersive technology.
He played a couple new recordings during the session on Sunday. These were new compositions for orchestra and choir…and they were stunning! His sound is clear, transparent, laden with room sound, and immersive. The frequency response was very smooth from low to high without any harshness. The clarity was astounding…nothing was missed. While somewhat too wet to my ears and preference, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the raw 352.8/24 PCM tracks. Nothing else played by the other panelists came close to matching the sound of the 2L recordings.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the other panelists, their methods, and the sound of the recordings that they presented.