INTERVIEW: Morten Lindberg on Auro-3D®:  “Recorded music is no longer a flat canvas, but a sculpture you can literally move around”

Morten head

Owner of the renowned record label 2L, Associate Professor at the Westerdals Oslo ACT (former Nordic Institute of Stage And Studio) and producer of 17 GRAMMY-nominated albums, Morten Lindberg shares his experiences on recording in Auro-3D®. “The expansion to 3D has been our playground.” says the Norwegian recording producer and engineer.

How did you get to know Auro-3D®?
I have recorded music in 5.1 Surround sound since 2004. Then I met with Wilfried Van Baelen at the Nordic Sound Symposium three years ago. He challenged me to explore the height dimension. Two weeks later we set out for a remote medieval church with TrondheimSolistene (a group of classical musicians from Norway) and recorded our first album in the Auro 9.1 configuration. I believe this was the first ever commercial album produced in Auro 9.1 which was released on Pure Audio Blu-Ray.

How did it go?
360 orchestraIt was probably the best recording we have ever made. The energy from each and every player in the orchestra came together in a magic concentration at the same time as all the small details fell perfectly into place. The beauty of Tchaikovsky is so masterfully brought to life by TrondheimSolistene guided by Øyvind Gimse and Geir Inge Lotsberg.

Can you describe the process of recording in Auro-3D?
I could rave on forever about microphone technique and how we create the “mix” there and then by placing the musicians in the hall. The 5.1 Surround sound is still our main commercial product. The expansion to Auro 9.1 has been our playground. The development of the Pure Audio Blu-ray screen-less navigation makes it possible to reach out to a large home entertainment audience with our music recordings. Now, with the release of our new album MAGNIFICAT it’s all about immersive audio, which means the addition of Height all around the audience.

church organHow do you approach recording music?
There is no method available today to reproduce the exact perception of attending a live performance. That leaves us with the art of illusion when it comes to recording music. As recording engineers and producers we need to do exactly the same as any good musician: interpret the music and the composer’s intentions and adapt to the media where we perform.
Surround sound is a completely new conception of the musical experience. Recorded music is no longer a matter of a fixed one-dimensional setting, but rather a multi-dimensional enveloping situation, particularly when you add the third dimension of height. Stereo can be described as a flat canvas, while using Auro-3D is like a sculpture that you can literally move around and relate to spatially; surrounded by music you can move about in the aural space and choose angles, vantage points and positions. Recording in Auro-3D gives me the chance to give the listener the most natural, emotional experience possible. The beauty of the recording arts is that there is no fixed formula and no blueprint. It all comes out of the music. Every project starts out by digging into the score and talking with the composer, if contemporary, and the musicians. It is not our task as producers and engineers to try to re-create a concert situation with all its commercial limitations. On the contrary; we should make the ideal out of the recording medium and create the strongest illusion, the sonic experience that emotionally moves the listener to a better place. Our approach is that a good 3D sound is not created in the mix. It is made in the recording with dedicated microphone techniques. The composers and musicians should perform to the extended multi-dimensional sonic sculpture, allowing more details and broader strokes. Then it is just a matter of opening up the faders. When the music is created, performed and recorded in Auro-3D format then stereo is our most time-consuming challenge; figuring out how to preserve the total impact and level of details from this sculpture into a flat canvas.

Morten Lindberg will pre-release the Auro-3D recorded album MAGNIFICAT at the AES Convention in Los Angeles (9 till 12 October 2014).

About Morten Lindberg
Morten Lindberg (1970) is a balance engineer and recording producer with vocals, choirs and strings as his core area of expertise. He is the founder of the production company Lyndberg Lyd AS and the record label 2L. Morten Lindberg has produced 17 American GRAMMY-nominations since 2006. Eleven of these in categories “Best Engineered Album” and “Best Surround Sound Album”.

About 2L
The music captured by 2L features Norwegian composers and performers and an international repertoire reflected in the Nordic atmosphere. The Surround sound recordings of Lindberg Lyd not only transform the entire listening experience, but also – more radically – these innovative recordings overturn some very basic concepts regarding how music is played and even composed. 2L emphasize Surround sound with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes file distribution. For more information, please visit