October 13, 2009

Love is All Around (Part 1)

Gina Panizales - Audiophile Diva In The Making

Guitar Maestro, Mr. Roger Wang

Audiophile Guru, Mr. Joseph Ki, as the Honorary Advisor to this project

Gina Panizales with her sensuous voice caressing the AKG gold mic

Cellist Jonathan supplying beautiful sound to the guitar-vocal duo

The air was pregnant with anticipation as we waited for the recording to commence at Tutti Studio at 2pm on last Sunday. They were more than 10 of us, including the production crew and video crew gathered together to witness this momentous event. According to the Boss and Executive Producer, Maggielurva, this has the making of the best ever audiophile recording from Malaysia.

Maggie enlisted the help of highly respected audiophile guru, Mr Joseph Ki, to be the Honorary Advisor to this project. The name alone carries so much weights as we all know that Jo Ki is a critical listener with very little compromise. So when two audiophile big names get together for a project, can we expect anything less?

I was introduced to Roger Wang and Gina Panizales, what nice people they are. Roger brought along his new toy, the harp guitar, which looks really classy for a locally made guitar. It happened that the day before was Gina's birthday and she was delighted that the boss bought her a cake. So she could really have her cake and eat it too :-)

The Tutti studio is very basic and utilitarian in its design but it oozes simplicity and class. The all grey and white interior enhances the space in the studio and office area. I listened attentively to the sound coming from the Genelec active monitors and it was an unusual sound. Most studio monitors have a artificial sound full of digital artifacts but this one, this one is full and rich and have ample details and nuances. Now I know what Maggie meant when he said he expected the highest level of sound from this recording. Careful study showed that the Recording Engineer, Mr. Vong, has plugged all the expensive Stage III ASP Gryphon interconnects at the "last mile" of every equipment. This concept is not unlike the "last mile" theory audiophiles adopt in power cords. Very smart indeed. With 5 pairs of Stage III interconnects in store, essentially 10 pieces of equipment can be connected (note: Most microphones are mono, and not stereo).

The first song that kicked start the session is Commodores' "Still". It is a trio setup, with Roger on Guitar, Gina on vocals and Jonathan on cello. The cello sound is a gem as it provided a musical dialogue with Roger's guitar. The sound is warm and woody. Needless to say, Gina's vocals is perfect for this song. I would not elaborate much here as everything was captured on the video. Maggie promised me that he would pass me the video after he finishes editing it.

It only took the trio 4 takes to nail the song. That was impressive. Even Jo Ki was impressed at the speed.

The second song is Art Garfunkel's "Bright Eyes" and this was where Maggie and Jo gave the most feedback to Roger and Gina, as both of these men had a certain opinion of how this song should be sung. Gina sang in a dreamy way befitting the song and the rendition was spot-on. Again, it only took 5 takes to nail the song.

The session ended almost one hour ahead of time. Everyone was happy. Some audiophiles also came visiting. I was introduced to Yodee and Michael Ng of Audio Creations.

From what I heard, this album has the potential to challenge the likes of Emi Fujita and Susan Wong. Recording wise, this is the most analogue sound I have heard from a local studio. Let's hope that Maggie and Jo do a good job with mixing and mastering at a later stage.

From the list of songs, there are many more great songs in the album, I hope I could catch them all. According to Roger Wang, also the Co-Producer , he would add a drummer and a percussionist for some of the songs.

It has been a great experience for a newbie like me to witness the making of an audiophile album and rub shoulders with some of these maestros.

I was hoping that I could meet 2V1G's Regine Tai but she is nowhere to be found :-(

Note: Photos courtesy of Horng Yih, the appointed photographer for Love's Tapestry and JZ8 project, also a big fan of Roger Wang.


Big E said...


So many talents involved in this project!

BTW HiFi Maverick, can you bring me along for a glimpse on the next recording session?

I promise to be very quiet and will not disturb. He!He!

Can ah?

hifi maverick said...

Big E,

Since Maggie was your ex-boss at Desirable Audio, why don't you give him a buzz? :-)

You want to meet Regine Tai or Lydia Chew?