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New Order booked in to record a 16 piece string ensemble for their critically acclaimed album ‘Music Complete’.

New Order recorded live strings with composer/arranger Joe Duddell and Manchester Camerata for their new album ‘Music Complete’. The recording took place at 80 Hertz Studios in The Sharp Project in Manchester back in April.

Duddell says: “It was Bernard’s vision to include live strings. They deliver a more dynamic and alive recording than sythesized strings and compliment the musical ethos of this album – electronics and guitars in balance.”

Duddell and Sumner chose Manchester Camerata to record string arrangements for 5 songs. The session was recorded with 13 players in a 4:4:2:2:1 formation in 80 Hertz Studio’s state-of-the-art live room based at The Sharp Project, engineered by George Atkins & assisted by Sam Biggs.

Duddell says: “We wanted Northern players, a chamber-sized sound and an orchestra with an appetite for collaborating with bands. Manchester Camerata is one of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras and has a restless ambition to redefine what an orchestra can do. They were a natural fit”0

Our setup featured a tri-mono Telefunken ELA-M260 in a decca tree array above the conductor, accompanied by two AEA R84 ribbon microphones as a stereo conductors point of view. Our pair of DPA 4009 omni servers as outriggers to capture the ambience/reverb. These mics gave us the veralp picture and enough to work with but, to ensure all angles were covered and subtle parts could be raised we spot mic’ed the various string groups too.

Each close mic was selected to suit each sound source for tone & dynamics. We had our Manley Reference on the violin 1 lead, Brauner Phantom on violin lead 2, Neumann FET47’s on cello, Sony C48’s & Senneheiser MHK40 to capture the violas and a Royer 122 to get the warms tones from the double bass.

New Orders front man Bernard Sumner & Stephen Morris listened and fed back to Joe from the control room.