From the banks of the Pearl River to the Shores of the Haihe

A Sonata of Xinghai and Juilliard

Xinghai, June 2023 - The Xinghai Concert Hall recently concluded its 25th Music Season, while the Shanghai Quartet celebrated its 40th Anniversary Residency performance. The chamber music festival made a strong impression on Guangzhou, Xinghai, and the attendees. They decided to capture the event using Merging Technologies' DXD/DSD format.

Recording preparations took place in the control room of Xinghai Concert Hall's recording studio. Recording engineer Cai Yamin, Professor Li Yi from Sun Yat-sen University, and other professionals gathered there. They utilized a 7.1.4 panoramic sound system and a 96kHz24bit format, experiencing the concert hall's exceptional acoustic reflection. The immersive sound quality, combined with the outstanding performances, inspired them to record in Merging Technologies' DXD/DSD format.

Xinghai concert hall Xinghai concert hall

In preparation for the Shanghai Quartet's 40th anniversary, they planned to record an album at the concert hall of the Tianjin Juilliard School, where the quartet members taught. Professor Yang Zhen felt a deep connection to the project upon hearing the news.

On April 28th, equipped with Merging Technologies' DXD/DSD recording system, the team traveled from Beijing to the Tianjin Juilliard School. The modern and artistically designed building of the school made a strong impression. The concert hall's VIP room served as the control room for the album recording, meticulously prepared by Professors Zou Xiang, Liu Yuezhe, and Cui Kaiqi. The team was warmly welcomed by Liu Xinrui, a senior recording engineer from Tianjin People's Broadcasting Station, who was informed about their arrival through his connections at Juilliard.

Group photo of the Shanghai Quartet and recording teachers at the Juilliard School Concert Hall in Tianjin April 28, 2023 - May 1, 2023
Group photo of the Shanghai Quartet and recording teachers at the Juilliard School Concert Hall in Tianjin

Under Professor Yang Zhen's guidance, the team carefully set up microphones and equipment within the concert hall. The Merging Horus interface box facilitated the transmission of the 24-channel AD-converted DXD signal to the Pyramix audio workstation in the VIP room. United by their common goal, the team worked diligently to achieve the best possible recording. The setup was completed in the early hours of the morning.

On the morning of April 29th, as the artists of the Shanghai Quartet arrived at the concert hall, they were surprised to see microphones and cables, jokingly suggesting that each microphone was assigned to a specific person. The lighthearted atmosphere of Tianjin influenced even the serious and focused artists. With the recording button pressed, the quartet began their performance. The Horus preamp captured a clear and transparent signal, complemented by the high-sampling DXD format, offering an immersive experience of the Juilliard Music Hall's ambiance and gentle reverberation through stereo monitoring and headphones.

The team followed a rigorous recording process to achieve the highest sound quality. Every piece, movement, phrase, and measure were meticulously recorded. The artists performed tirelessly, often engaging in intense arguments and discussions to perfect every detail. Professor Yang Zhen, the album producer and recording engineer, provided inspiration and guidance based on his deep understanding of the music and the works being recorded. Although they had limited recording time over three days, the memories and recordings made will endure.

Schematic for the recording Schematic for the recording

About Merging Technologies

Merging Technologies is a Swiss manufacturer with over 30 years of experience in developing groundbreaking, professional Audio and Video products for a wide range of entertainment and media industries. In July 2022, Merging became part of the Sennheiser group and is integrated with Neumann.Berlin. With a dedicated user base in the elite end of the music, film, television, mastering and performances industries, Merging is committed to developing product ranges with unrivalled quality and flexibility, no matter what the application. Merging builds tools for people who want more from their systems, have an inherent need to push boundaries, and believe that quality always comes first.


RAVENNA is a solution for real-time distribution of audio and other media content in IP-based network environments. Utilizing standardized network protocols and technologies, RAVENNA can operate on existing network infrastructures. RAVENNA is designed to meet the strict requirements of the pro audio market featuring low latency, full signal transparency and high reliability and is fully AES67 compatible. With a capacity of nearly 8 x MADI streams over a single Gigabit Ethernet link, it is also the first and only Layer-3 based IP audio protocol with full support for high-channel count DXD and DSD signals.
While primarily targeting the professional broadcast market, RAVENNA is also suitable for deployment in other pro audio market segments like live sound, install market and recording. Possible fields of application include (but are not limited to) in-house signal distribution in broadcasting houses, theatres, concert halls and other fixed installations, flexible setups at venues and live events, OB van support, inter-facility links across WAN connections and in production & recording applications