Three Way – Robert Paterson

This was a recording of a three-act opera “Three Way” by an American composer Robert Paterson ( It is about the present and future of sex and love.

Blanton was the producer, and John was the recording engineer. We recorded in Studio A at Ocean Way Nashville Studios from 6/21-6/25.


This is the setup sheet for the session. The main microphones were omni-directional pressure microphones M50s in a Decca Tree array. Only microphones changed from the setup sheet was the ambience pairs, from Sanken 100Ks to Samar VL373A active stereo ribbon microphone.


This is the Samar ribbon mic. It is made by a Russian electrical engineer Dr. Mark Fauxman from Salt Lake City ( This microphone has the warmth of ribbons, as well as the clarity and low end response of condensers.


The diaphragms are positioned in 90 degrees from each other, making it a Blumlein array. You can also adjust the angle of the bottom and top diaphragms from 60 to 120 degrees depending on the setups from drum overheads to full symphony orchestras. This is an active ribbon microphone, requiring phantom power.


These are all the most of the mics used in the session (M50s and Samar stereo ribbon not shown). Mostly Schoeps.

There are two different types of microphones, velocity microphones and pressure microphones. This article does a quite good job of explaining the difference:


Schoeps MK4V used on strings. Vertical cardioid capsule design allows the microphone to reject the off-axis response of the high frequency energy.


TLM 103, used on double bass, has a neutral sound for modern Neumann microphones.


Samar VL37A for french horn.


MK21 capsule with M222 tube body. These are the only tube microphone preamps manufactured by Schoeps. Singers were standing on risers approximately 3 feet high.


M222 power supply unit (PSU).


DPA 4011s on woodwinds.


DPA 4015 on the piano.


Pictures of the main microphone array. The center M50 was above the conductor’s music stand, and about 10 feet high. L/R mics were angled facing the singers on each end. VL373A was placed behind the center M50.


Overall pictures.


Pyramix. window. 192kHz/32-bit float. Ocean Way had the largest analog Neve console in the world with 96 channels but we bypassed it entirely and recorded it digitally using Horus as the preamp.

It will be released in the summer of 2018.

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