Burbank, CA … In the music industry, the Grammy Award is the highest of honors. The combination of compositional, performance, and engineering skills required to bring a Grammy nominated recording to life frequently represents a lifetime of effort. Yet for Cuban-born composer and producer Yalil Guerra, this year’s Latin Grammy Award nomination—in the Best Classical Contemporary Composition category—represents yet another accomplishment in a long list of milestone achievements. Capturing all the fine nuances of a world-class recording takes skill and the right tools for the job. When it comes to microphones, Guerra depends on Mojave Audio.
This year, Guerra’s composition titled String Quartet No. 3 ‘In memoriam to Ludwig van Beethoven,’ was nominated in the Best Classical Contemporary Composition category. The composition is from the album Alma con Brio, performed by the La Catrina String Quartet.
“String Quartet No. 3,” is my personal tribute to the Bonn, Germany genius,” says Guerra. “The composition has one movement, unifying different musical structures connected and developed through the main musical motives. The harmonic language I used is polytonal, though it also combines tonal melodic lines that are accompanied by rich textures and polyrhythms. The last part of the work was written in a fugue style, developing the main theme until it reaches the coda section, where some of my own Cuban roots and rhythms are heard.”
Guerra notes that he used a pair of Mojave Audio MA-100, two MA-200, and two MA- 300 Multi Pattern Vacuum Tube Condenser Microphones extensively on this project. The Mojave microphones deliver warm, full-bodied reproductions of both vocals and instruments, with none of the shrillness and high frequency distortion artifacts that are often encountered with modern condenser microphones. “Mojave Audio has supported my efforts for many years, adding much needed warmth and clarity to my recordings,” Guerra reports. “They captured all the musical nuances; the string overtones, the subtle passages, and the rich melodies in all their available musical dynamics.”
“The Mojave MA-100 Stereo Pair Microphone captured the room sound, which was recorded in a wonderful church located in New Mexico,” Guerra reports “I used the MA-200s and the MA-300 to record the direct sound of the violins, viola, and the violoncello. I was very impressed by the quality sound I obtained with these microphones during the recording of this composition and the entire album. These Mojave microphones never leave a single detail out. They do a terrific job capturing all the sound waves that emanate from the instruments and I am very pleased with the quality they bring my records. They give me luck!”
This year’s Latin Grammy Awards take place on November 15th in Las Vegas, NV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. As he prepares for the event, Guerra offered these parting thoughts about the microphones he considers so vital to the recording of his music. “The combination of the Mojave small and large capsule microphones captured the powerful sound of the string quartet—delivering not only a rainbow of colors and dynamics to this recording, but they also captured a historical performance of this young yet talented group of musicians,” he said. “For me, the choice was right, and once again, Mojave microphones have helped me achieve another Latin Grammy nomination this year—my seventh. I recommend the use of these magnificent audio tools to all my associates. They are indispensable for capturing music and represent the state-of-the-art in recording technology.”