Joy of sound
'Music's unspeakable depth, so easy to understand and yet so mysterious, is due to the fact that it recreates all of our being's innermost feelings…'
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)
The secret of music could hardly be put in words in a more beautiful manner. When listening to well-played music in concert, the audience gets infected by the magic of the one moment which is without equal. The art of recording tries to capture that magic, doing its utmost to make sure that the music's inherent magic hits home. This is the true art of a tonmeister's task - the aim has been reached when we, while listening to the music, forget that we are sitting between two speakers, and euphony is reaching the depths of our souls. The CD has got to be more than a mere copy of reality, an additional tonal beauty must be added courtesy of the tonmeister or recording engineer. Just as the chef de cuisine is refining a meal by his artistry, or the photographer projecting things beyond natural perception. A tonmeister is an artist, either in the field of record engineering or sound design. He has got an inner idea of the music and sound, and is guided by his inspiration while both his technical skills and his experience provide the basis.
Is a CD production's euphony right, the music will be listened to more often, for it comes across as being more lively and played with inspiration, bringing great joy - the joy of sound.
Hearing Sound Culture
Euphony has a far greater bearing on the subjective experience when listening to music through speakers, than is commonly assumed. If it sounds bad, the listener gets the impression of a little-inspired musician lacking vitality. This is why old recordings often sound so touching and emotional: besides great musicians playing inside perfectly matching rooms, great value used to be set upon the excellence of technology. It is our goal to make our recordings sound as rich and moving as an old vinyl record, but with the sophistication of present-day standards as well as all the contemporary technical possibilities.
Musical quality and excellence of instruments are the prerequisites for a successful production. The recording engineer assists in production in order that the music comes into its own through the speakers, since a recording situation produces an entirely different impact than live music, i.e. music in concert. Matching the music, the recording room is making the music resonate, shaping it by its unique euphony, since an instrument in a room behaves in a similar way to the string in a grand piano, with the resonating body producing the sound ultimately!
Next, a perfect microphone set-up is crucial. Finding the right positions is an art we have mastered consummately. Additionally, one of the most complete collections of historical and modern microphones in the German-speaking world is on hand. Different from our ears, microphones dont't 'listen' selectively - in order to capture all the qualities and tonal nuances of the music, a number of different microphones are normally utilised. Pivotal emphasis is placed on the quality of the preamplifiers and the A/D converters.
We must unfortunately mention the fact that people today cut down on this most important aspect. The resulting recording won't ever be able to move you the way it could!
After the recording, the single tracks are edited and cut in order to get refined, mixed and mastered in our high-end production centre, or to put it more simply, to create some sound masterpiece by dint of much fervour!
Fundamentally, an Idee und Klang Studio production impresses with both outstanding liveliness and spaciousness, differing audibly from other productions. People are deeply moved by our music productions, as if they'd be at a concert. This effect is, as described above, only possible by way of an additional beauty dominating the recorded sound: euphony. By comparison with photography once again, an image is pleasing to the eye if both the object and the photographer's artistic accomplishment are fine. The photographer cultivates an additional beauty which is absent in the real world. Therefore, the art of recording produces tangible experiences beyond the live concert, capturing a few moments of magic.
Find detailed information of our approach to working with sound in the appropriate music menue items.
Guarantors to achieve ambitious goals are the diverse people at Idee und Klang Studio. All of them are masters in their field of expertise, and they all are greatly interested in research, too.
Daniel Dettwiler (Owner, sound- & mastering engineer)
studio [at] ideeundklang.com
Bookings via Benjamin Gut: +41 76 439 17 95
Daniel has mastered in sound directing. From miking to mixing to mastering, he continuously performs small and large sound miracles – which has brought him an impressive amount of pleased regular customers. Daniel is not happy until he makes you forget that you are between two speakers and can simply enjoy.
Daniel Dettwiler was born in 1974 and lives in Basel with his family. He studied Audio-Design at Musikhochschule Basel (Basel University of Music) from 1996 until 2001. 2002 he started his company Idee und Klang Dettwiler which now developed into Idee und Klang Studio. Assembly of the most significant collection of historic microphones in Switzerland. As a tonmeister he specialised in the realisation of acoustic music, especially jazz and film music. He has worked on productions with ECM (Pierre Favre), Herbert Grönemeyer, London Symphony Orchestra, Niki Reiser, Ute Lemper, David Klein, WDR Bigband, Kolsimcha, Nils Wogram, Christian Zehnder, Jasmin Tabatabai. He is one the most popular tonmeister for film music and has executed numerous music productions for cinema, for example "Die Weisse Massai", "Das Blaue vom Himmel", "Die Abenteuer des Huck Finn" – he also often works on film scores as a pianist. Since 2003, lecturer at Musikhochschule Basel (Basel University of Music), jazz department (applied production technique and realisation). In 2005, together with Ramon de Marco he founded Idee und Klang GmbH that specialises on tone installations and acousmatic spatial orchestra. Many projects followed such as audio design and spatial orchestration for the new BMW World in Munich or “Magicbox“, the State Grid Pavilion at the Expo 2010 and the composition of the acoustic layout for DRS3 and DRS2. Furthermore, Daniel Dettwiler worked as an audio designer of concerts for composers including Beat Gysin, Andrea Molino, Thomas Kessler and Heiner Goebbels.
Joël Cormier (Manager Classical Music,
sound engineer and producer)
+41 78 629 63 33 / joel.cormier [at] ideeundklang.com
After successfully completing his studies as a recording engineer, Joël has already realised more than 40 orchestra recordings. His field of expertise encompasses recording production especially. Musicians and conductors appreciate his great musicality and fine sense of interpersonal relationships.
Joël Cormier was born into a French-Swiss family in 1987 and lives in Bern with his wife. He studied tonmeister (for classical music) with piano as his major at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) from 2008 until 2014. He was also employed at the ZHdK as a tutor and a student representative. In 2011, he received a scholarship from the Hirschmann foundation.
As a recording producer, he participated with great commitment in numerous CD productions and live recordings. He has worked with artists like David Zinman, Maurice Steger, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Zakhar Bron, Tonhalle Orchester, Cape Town Philharmonics, Musikkollegium Winterthur, Markus Utz, and many more. Some of these productions were published on renowned labels (Harmonia Mundi, Universal, Oehms Classics, Brilliant Classics a.o.) On top of that, he made over 10 recordings for radio on behalf of Silencium GmbH. In 2012, his production with Alexander Gilman received the renowned Diapason d'Or award.
Since 2012, Joël Cormier has been filming classical music movies with Diego Saldiva (photographer und graphic designer). For example, he documented Maurice Steger's music and the music of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra on film.
Benjamin Gut (Manager Pop, sound engineer and Producer)
+41 76 439 17 95 / benjamin.gut [at] ideeundklang.com
Benjamin Gut was also a student at ZHdK and is now a full member of the Idee und Klang team. Beni is an extremely resourceful pop and jazz engineer who is interested in sound as well as in producing.
Benjamin Gut, born in Basel in 1988, studied tonmeister with electric bass as a major at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He plays electric bass, guitar, piano and the saxophone and sang and played in different bands like Leonti, Sarah E. Reid and Kapoolas. He has been part of Idee und Klang as a producer/engineer since 2011 and has executed various pop, jazz and film music projects. He has played the bass on movie soundtracks (Das kleine Gespenst) as well as radio jingles (SRF 3). With his own band - Kapoolas - he has written and produced two albums and has played countless concerts as a singer and bass player. Bands and artists that work with Beni (a.o. Carlo Mombelli, David Howald, Ana Scent, Christian Zehnder, Monoglot) appreciate his expertise in the tonal, technical and musical field.
Hannes Kumke (sound- & mastering engineer)
He is an institution at “Idee und Klang”, he was there from the start. Hannes has recorded countless jazz and film music productions and has also been working as a mastering engineer for some time.
Jonas Prina – Sound Engineer
Robert Herman – Audio Engineer at the Basel Theater
David Klein - Producer (www.davidklein.tv)
Doing research on sound, and the subjective effect of music on people is more important than ever. Neuropsychology has produced some interesting insights, such as the evaluation of music inside the brain. In contrast to speech, music is primarily feeding the limbic system which is, among other things, responsible for the assessment of feelings and emotions. Depending on the technology used, the conveyed music transports more or less emotions, i.e. the capacity of music to touch our heartstrings, can go missing if bad or incorrectly selected technology is utilised. Idee und Klang Studio has been doing research, among other things, how the quality of sound technology is impacting the subjective experience of music.
The influence of the production technique on the subjective perception of transmitted music.
This research project analyzes which influence audio engineering has on the subjective perception of transmitted music. It is a fact that the majority of audio engineers think mediocre sound engineering is sufficient, where as a small group pleads for the use of better technology. There is no reliable research in this area, especially because audio engineers don't agree on the type of test structure or the analysis. Both groups of audio engineers have to be able to agree on the type of test structure and the analysis. The research mainly takes place at the orchestra.
The influence of word clock on the sound of music
Digital converters need an exact beat (word clock). There is disagreement over how exact this beat must be and where small irregularities are tolerable (Jitter). Some studios use atomic clocks to provide a more stable beat for their word clock generators. However, the adjustment of the word clock to the beat of the atomic clock creates irregularities. We have been performing long-term hearing tests with different clocking methods (double-blind test).
Necessity of higher sampling rates
Execution of a production with split microphones. A recording is made at 44.1.kHz (CD quality) on one track and at 96kHZ on a second track. The whole production is then mixed twice with identical settings (the sampling rates stay the same). The 96 kHz production is scaled down to 44.1kHz at the end and compared to the 44.1 kHz recording from the start.
Daniel Dettwiler is a lecturer at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) and Musikhochschule Basel. He can be booked for workshops and lectures.
Beauty of sound
A historical summary of the development of audio engineering, classics from the good old days and an exciting outlook into the future. Key question: What is beauty of sound?
Art in audio engineering
What is the art of audio engineering? Is an audio engineer a “craftsman“ or an artist? What is art? A philosophical lecture about the impact of sound.
Recording aesthetics for acoustic music
For example: What makes an acoustic recording perfect? Why do so many music listeners prefer old jazz recordings to new ones. What can we learn from the old days?
Mixing aesthetics: Mixing with in-depth effect
Using the virtual space behind the speakers to create holistic sound patterns.
Music recording and mixing of movie soundtracks
To have its full effect, music for the big screen has to be recorded differently than music for a CD.
Articles in professional journals:
Professional Audio Feb. 2014 Kolsimcha orchestra production in Abbey Road Studio 1
Orchestra Recording (Filmmusic Special in Sound&Recording)
Music production Deluxe (Interview with Daniel in Recording Magazine)
Die Kunst der Tonaufzeichnung - the art of audio recording (7 page interview with Daniel Dettwiler)
Tonaufzeichnung ohne Kompromisse - audio recording without compromises (Lecture from Daniel Dettwiler - Analog Audio Association)
Klangräume erschaffen – creating sound space (article written by Daniel Dettwiler for TEC21)
Idee und Klang on TV
Daniel in Kassensturz:
SRF Einstein Neue Töne fürs Radio - the new «Rendez-vous» signet
Newspaper articles on us:
Der Stoff, der Filmen Leben einhaucht – The stuff that makes movies come alive (BAZ article about recording and mixing 180°)
Der Koch der Klänge – The sound cook (article about Daniel Dettwiler in the Basel newspaper)
Edel-Sound für BMW und Grönemeyer – High end sound for BMW and Grönemeyer (Piece on “20min“)
News articles and projects we were part of:
Für Hollywood bin ich zu langsam – I am too slow for Hollywood (Interview with Niki Reiser, Schaffhauser newspaper)
Intime Töne für ein grosses Orchester – Intimate sounds for a big orchestra (Interview with Diego and Lionel Baldenweg, Werbewoche)
Die Suche nach der Realität – The search for reality (Critic of the “Marienglas“ concert)
Wo sind denn diese Menschen? – Where are these people? (Introduction of the “Marienglas“ project in the Basel newspaper)
-ECHO JAZZ 2012: Jasmin Tabatabai receives the highly coveted Echo for the album "Eine Frau" which was produced by David Klein and recorded, mixed and mastered by us.
-SUISA Award: The soundtracks to "180°" (Diego Baldenweg) and "Das Blaue vom Himmel" (Niki Reiser) received the Suisa award. Both projects were recorded, mixed and mastered by us.
-Daniel Dettwiler received the "Silver Award" from the Japanese "Jazz Critique Magazin" for the especially good sound of the CD "Never Let Me Go" by Robert Lakatos.
-"Klangzauber aus der Schweiz". The Jazz-Culture editors voted "Stop & Go" (Rusconi Trio) album of the month because of its excellent music and sound quality.
-The magazine "Audio" voted the CD "Selma - In Sehnsucht Eingehüllt" "audiophile CD of the month"
Because we are always on the lookout for the perfect sound, we regularly come across new niche products and sound equipment that sound especially integer. Word has got out about this, so we are often asked for advice by other audio engineers, studios and universities. We are happy to give our advice, help to plan studios and know exactly which equipment is necessary. We offer a small selection of special products (and also some common products) for purchase.
We offer a new special service for Hifi lovers: We plan and put together the perfect stereo system with excellent sound at your home. No one knows better how music should sound at home and which equipment to use than someone who records music.
Strauss loud speakers
Easily the most transparent speakers on the market. The name that other producers have to compete with. We have all models on show at any time. It is worth a visit, an unbelievable listening experience – and of course you will get a good espresso with that!
Most important here is the absolutely precise clock generator CC1. Many things are written about clocks. Fact is that our high end system with EMM converters seems to have a 20% better sound since we started using the Grimm beat - this has completely convinced us and many others.
An unbelievable passive EQ designed by Stephan Bahr that has only just been developed and is still an insider's tip – we are sure it will become a cult object. We are the first studio in Switzerland to have one and we are happy to let you try it. We have been looking for the perfect EQ for two years and compared the best of the best. Some were too cold, others had a basic sound that we didn't like. The Q-factor finally ended our search.
THE high end converter. The special secret of the EMM converters: They do not only sound precise – others do to – they sound a little livelier, more organic, just more musical.
Especially the ULN 8, a fire wire interface with 8 preamps and an AD converter, 8 AES/EBU in and outputs, is a highlight for us. The quality is astounding, it matched our high end combination of preamps and converters (nevertheless GML Pre's and EMM Ad's) in several blind tests. We use it as an extension of our Pro Tools system or as a compact sound miracle for mobile recordings. Euphony in one Rack Unit! Best to just come for a visit, borrow a test device and convince yourself. We will also gladly provide test recordings.
GML products are designed by celebrated audio engineer George Massenburg and need no further explanation. They are standard in recording and mastering studios. Its parametric EQ sets the standard in this field. The compressors are also unique. The 4 channel preamp is affordable and creates the typical precise, powerful but also musical GML sound.
Vincent produces some excellent amplifiers that go nicely with the small and medium Strauss loud speakers. Their CD players are also impressive.
Simply the best and most transparent headphones.
Audio-Technica and AKG microphones and headphones, various other microphones(DPA, Schoeps, Neumann). We can pretty much deliver anything after a consultation.