"When engineers record on 24-track Studers, they can't align anything. The only way to engage any time alignment is by digitizing the analog recording. What they don't tell you is that even when a recording is set down on 24-track tape, it's often dumped into ProTools to time-align it, after which it's converted back to analog."
Before the recording session, McGrath measured all the microphones in relation to each other and "the ball." The Grados turned out to be approximately 5 ft closer to the trio than the ball, and the ORTF pair for the slight accent over the piano was even closer. When he edits the masters, he will apply a mathematical formula based on the fact that, at sea level, sound travels at approximately 1 foot per millisecond. Using a computer to view graphs of when each of the eight mikes captures the strike of a single note on the piano, he will retard the main mikes the equivalent of 5 ft in relationship to the sphere, and the others a bit more, so that all waveforms are in synch.