Pasadena, CA — The Oscar winning score of Life of Pi was captured for audiences using AEA’s R88 stereo ribbon microphone. LA-based engineer Brad Haehnel recorded and mixed the soundtrack for the movie, which recently garnered four Academy Awards, including Best Original Score for Mychael Danna. The AEA R88 faithfully reproduced the sound of the horn section while vintage RCA 44 ribbon microphones were used as spot mics during the sessions at the Fox scoring stage. Haehnel adds: “I use the AEA R88 on basically every session and no matter the application it never fails to deliver.”
Having worked for artists such as Nelly Furtado and Jennifer Love Hewitt, and on motion pictures like Little Miss Sunshine or 500 Days of Summer, Brad Haehnel has extensive experience recording and mixing in both the music and the film world.
Apart from orchestral scoring sessions, the AEA R88 microphone gets frequent use at Haehnel’s own Noise Alchemy studio in Hollywood, CA. Recently, Haehnel selected the R88 for overhead microphone on a drum session with multi-platinum recording artist Russ Miller.
The R88 stereo microphone features a matched Blumlein pair of AEA Big Ribbon elements packaged in a sleek black shell designed for quick setup and easy recording. Its acoustic design is optimized to capture a faithful acoustic image of an ensemble or section as well as accurate representation of the recording room.
Wes Dooley’s longtime passion for audio has infused his company, Audio Engineering Associates (AEA), with a well-balanced blend of creativity and technical expertise for forty years. At the core of AEA is a genuine interest in the art and science of audio.
From areas as diverse as forensic audio and microphone design, Wes’ passion for audio has led him all over the world, from recording experiences in Europe, Africa, and New Zealand, to the courtrooms of Los Angeles as a forensic audio and video expert witness. Such experiences have led Wes to design products which help resolve problems commonly encountered by recording engineers. His portable recording tools including, multi-channel microphone arrays, MS stereo processors, stereo phase displays and very tall microphone stands, have all made on-site recording far more feasible.
Despite his contributions to on-location recording, Wes is best known for his pursuit of excellence in ribbon microphone technology. After two decades of representing and servicing the BBC 4038 in the United States, he began to experiment with his own ribbon microphones. During the last decade Wes became aware of the increasing scarcity of R44′s and other ribbon microphones.
In 1998, responding to this need, Wes re-introduced the 44 much to the thrill of many in the recording industry. Les Paul told Wes that AEA’s R44 is his favorite microphone and engineer/producers such as Bruce Swedien, Kevin Bacon, and Shawn Murphy routinely use AEA’s R44. Even without such critical acclaim the numbers speak for themselves. Over half of the movies scored in Los Angeles have a 44 somewhere on the scoring stage.
Building off of his successful reintroduction of the R44, in 2002 Wes designed and began producing an original ribbon mic, the AEA R84. His groundbreaking work with ribbon microphones helped him to secure the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Silver Medal Award in the fall of 2003. This award, established by the AES in 1971, in honor of audio pioneers Alexander Graham Bell, Emile Berliner, and Thomas A. Edison, is given in recognition of outstanding development or achievement in the field of audio engineering.
Wes has also co-authored two AES Journal articles about stereo microphone techniques, chaired workshops on mic techniques and mixing strategies for compatible multiple releases for cinema, broadcast and home video, and has presented section meetings on stereo techniques and forensic audio. He is involved with AES standards work and currently serves on the SC-03-12 Working Group on Forensic Audio and SC-04-04 Working Group on Microphone Measurement and Characterization.