In a global atmosphere of spiritual bankruptcy, humanity drifts into darkness, born of ignorance, that belies man's achievements of technological superiority and material success. Thus it is of great importance that the arts, which exist to enlighten mankind, be cherished and protected more so than ever before. Music, being the most intangible of all the arts, faces the greatest threat and thus demands the utmost priority.
We approach our task of preservation and dissemination in earnest through choosing the proper means and methods to achieve our goals. It is our belief that all recordings of acoustic music should be done in an acoustically suitable environment such as a concert hall, auditorium, or church designed to have good reverberation times, which enhances the timbre of musical instruments, thereby giving them "body." The common practice of recording in an acoustically "dead" studio will invariably destroy all ambient cues, due to the lack of natural reverberation, so important for the enhancement of overtones and the perception of space. Our goal is to preserve the original signal in its purest form so that the tonal purity of instruments is not altered in any artificial manner, and the listener is able to perceive the space in which the recording was made and localize all instruments within the stereo image. We also eschew recording acoustic music, whether it be performed by a soloist, chamber ensemble, or symphony orchestra, with the use of multiple microphones. This theoretically flawed technique is unable to maintain proper phase and amplitude coherence necessary for the precise localization of sounds, and thus a stable stereo image, due to the numerous discrete sampling sources (microphones) spread in time and space. When this is coupled to multi-track recording, as is the practice today, and the balance of the orchestra left to the fancy and whim of the producer and engineer, rather than the conductor, the end result is a travesty of the original event.
To properly capture the sound of music performed in a acoustically suitable environment, it is imperative that the proper microphone technique be employed. Of the many options available, those which conform to the theoretical ideal are the coincident and near-coincident techniques such as Blumlein, Main and Sides, ORTF, and the Dutch Radio method. Recordings made with these microphone techniques will always yield the best stereo image, with proper instrumental localization and the lowest coloration. Other minimalist microphone techniques, such as using two and three spaced omni-directional microphones, are simply not acceptable as they do not conform to the theoretical model, and thus create a confusing stereo image, due to phase anomalies, and coloration, due to comb-filter effects.
It needs to be pointed out that Water Lily Acoustics is among the few record companies utilizing the analog medium exclusively and the theoretically correct, musically accurate Blumlein (coincident) microphone technique. Since all our recordings are done with one stereo pair of microphones, the balance is achieved by placing the microphones in the optimum position in relation to the musicians being recorded and the acoustical environment. This, though a time consuming method, yields the most natural musical balance and the proper ratio of direct-to-reflected sound.
Water Lily Acoustics has chosen all the hardware utilized in recording and mastering with the utmost care and attention to detail. All elements, from microphones to the tape recorder and the mastering chain, have been optimized to yield the very best performance. All our projects are recorded and mastered via the shortest possible signal path, and use no noise-reduction, equalization, compression, or limiting of any sort. Since all our recordings are done direct to two-track, the proper balance is achieved at the time of recording and thus, no signal manipulation is possible nor takes place after wards.