FLEA12, Mike Valentine, London

Mike Valentine

London, UK

Vivaldi in Venice Recording

“Chasing The Dragon is my small audiophile record label. We have specialized in recording directly to vinyl at Air Studios in London. However, we recently had the pleasure of working on location in Venice. I had the opportunity in May of recording the leading venetian chamber orchestra in San Vidal Church in the Academia region. Many musicians do not like live recordings for obviously there is far less opportunity to edit their work. However, I feel that the sheer jump factor of a live recording complete with audience can give you a breath taking performance. The orchestra play 300 concerts a year to an average annual audience of over 60.000 people so they are used to providing a stellar performance.

The San Vidal church is a very large space and has a wonderful natural acoustic. The 8 musicians perform on a raised stage and the audience usually fill the church to capacity. My favourite microphone setup is wherever possible to use a spaced pair of omni’s with a Jecklin disc in between to improve stereo separation. Choosing microphone would be vital for our recording as their sonic signature would have to carry the whole concert for I did not want to use spot mics if possible. To this end I chose to buy a pair of Flea C12 mics. I cannot praise the sound quality of these transducers too highly! The subsequent double album that we have released has been reviewed by many magazines and in particular the January edition of The Absolute Sounds, where their reviewer Wayne Garcia mentions such wonderful things as “…the sound is breathtakingly beautiful with a naturally warm and singing string tone, with pillows of air around the players!

I also recently had the opportunity of releasing an album of the wonderful Irish singer Eleanor McEvoy. I chose to use the Flea C12 as Eleanor’s vocal mic and fell in love with its sound all over again. I cannot recommend Fleas wonderful microphone too highly. It is in my opinion a beautiful instrument in its own right!”


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