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Recording Pipe Organ with Ribbon mic ?
Old 25th May 2022
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Recording Pipe Organ with Ribbon mic ?

Hello,

I often record pipe organs, string orchestras and choirs. I use Schoeps with several polar patterns; But I find them a bit harsh, especially the MK4 capsules.
So, I'm looking for softer microphones. Do you know if I can use ribbon mics to record a pipe organ? Can the Royer R-121 be suitable? If possible, I would also like to use them for the strings and choir.
Thank you
Old 25th May 2022
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yes you can. Two ribbons in 88MS or with an omni in OmniMidSide can work.

See here:
Modern pipeorgan
Old 25th May 2022 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
recording done with schoeps mics sounding 'harsh'?! - well, then the actual performance sounds harsh! or what preamps/converter are you using?

of course you can use ribbons - personally, i find neither typical fig8 nor steep hf cut-off nor low sensitivity/low output very attractive, except the fig8 in some rare situations...
Old 25th May 2022
  #4
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Yes I find the MK4s a little hard, especially on the strings but also on some pipe organs with the mixtures too strident. I use them with RME and Audient preamps. If the ribbons are not suitable, which other microphones can be suitable for the pipe organ?
Old 25th May 2022 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by heva ➡️
Yes you can. Two ribbons in 88MS or with an omni in OmniMidSide can work.

See here:
Modern pipeorgan
I don't know the MRP01, there is no info on the web and no comparison with other ribbon microphones.
Old 26th May 2022
  #6
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
OP, do you use cardioids to record pipe organs? Aren't you leaving a lot of low end on the table? Most who record organs use spaced (sometimes widely spaced) omnis. Schoeps Mk2 capsules are, IMO, perfect for recoding pipe organs. Tons of low-lows and good definition. Move them back and forth until you get a good direct/room ratio and push the red button.

D.
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
OP, do you use cardioids to record pipe organs? Aren't you leaving a lot of low end on the table? Most who record organs use spaced (sometimes widely spaced) omnis. Schoeps Mk2 capsules are, IMO, perfect for recoding pipe organs. Tons of low-lows and good definition. Move them back and forth until you get a good direct/room ratio and push the red button.

D.
I use MK2S and I have always too much low end. The client always chooses the cardioids
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
i'm mostly using a pair of mk21's (plus a blm3 with a steep lpf for lfe) for organ recording...

...but of course the mic technique and the choice of pattern first and foremost depends on the church/concert hall, the instrument, the mics' position and the desired results.

in any case, patterns (and mic positions) are about the mic technique and the ratio between direct/reflect/ambient sound and NOT about fr: the latter can easily get compensated by using filters on the way in or while mixing; 'external' filters are far more flexible and precise than filters built into mics...

i do favour using schoeps mics as their capsules are very balanced in terms of fr, regardless of pattern - i cannot relate to any of their capsules sounding 'harsh', neither the mk4 and not even more tight patterns (or more wide patterns as someone else recently complained in another thread) - short': don't blame the mics!
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
i'm mostly using a pair of mk21's (plus a blm3 with a steep lpf for lfe) for organ recording...

...but of course the mic technique and the choice of pattern first and foremost depends on the church/concert hall, the instrument, the mics' position and the desired results.

in any case, patterns (and mic positions) are about the mic technique and the ratio between direct/reflect/ambient sound and NOT about fr: the latter can easily get compensated by using filters on the way in or while mixing; 'external' filters are far more flexible and precise than filters built into mics...

i do favour using schoeps mics as their capsules are very balanced in terms of fr, regardless of pattern - i cannot relate to any of their capsules sounding 'harsh', neither the mk4 and not even more tight patterns (or more wide patterns as someone else recently complained in another thread) - short': don't blame the mics!
I don't blame the schoeps, they are good mics but I'm looking for a softer sound, the MK4s being a little aggressive, especially in close quarters and especially on the string orchestra. The violins sound plastic.

Listen here :


And here (listen MK4 at the end)


I have never seen a commercial organ recording made with schoeps. I have already seen Neumann (large capsule) and one time with DPA Omni.
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
I don't blame the schoeps, they are good mics but I'm looking for a softer sound, the MK4s being a little aggressive, especially in close quarters and especially on the string orchestra. The violins sound plastic.

Listen here :


And here (listen MK4 at the end)


I have never seen a commercial organ recording made with schoeps. I have already seen Neumann (large capsule) and one time with DPA Omni.
i doubt i can change your negative view/poor experience/use of what i consider to be unsuitable mic techniques and patterns with schoeps...

[all i can say it that my experience is pretty much on the opposite end that i don't give much about any attributions of sound to gear and specifically to schoeps mics:
firstly, sound imo is what happens in front of the mics and then comes out of the speakers again but not what the gear is contributing/colouring(unless its of poor design)...
...and secondly, schoeps without any doubt is amongst the most neutral gear you can find, certainly miles above any ribbon mic in terms of transparency!]


...but if you can't get pleasing results with your current mics, i suggest checking out the usual suspects: dpa, neuheiser, sanken, akg etc.
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #11
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
I use MK2S and I have always too much low end. The client always chooses the cardioids
Hmm, interesting.

D.
Old 26th May 2022
  #12
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I can understand, from experience, having expectations of a brand that, for whatever reason, don't materialize and being put off the brand forever. No matter what your peers tell you.

So yeah, rent some DPAs or Neumanns and give 'em a try.

Good luck with finding the right mics.

D.
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #13
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
I don't blame the schoeps, they are good mics but I'm looking for a softer sound, the MK4s being a little aggressive, especially in close quarters and especially on the string orchestra. The violins sound plastic.

Listen here :


And here (listen MK4 at the end)


I have never seen a commercial organ recording made with schoeps. I have already seen Neumann (large capsule) and one time with DPA Omni.
Simon Eadon has recorded a lot of organ and since at least the 1990s has used Schoeps for that purpose. Check some of his work out, I believe he’s also usually using 2S’
Old 26th May 2022 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
I use MK2S and I have always too much low end. The client always chooses the cardioids
Too much low end is usually about the mic being in the wrong place...where a mic is located at a LF pressure node or standing wave. Moving the mic a foot or two can often fix it, or rolling off bass in the recorded audio file (but better placement is by far the preferred approach...and it's not necessarily an easy endeavour). I like the MKH8020 for large scale organ capture
Old 26th May 2022
  #15
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Ribbons by their very nature aren't going to have the low end extension of a condenser omni, which means you're going to be spending a lot of time looking for placement that compensates for the microphone instead of just finding a place where the low end sounds good like you do with the Schoeps.

I will say that if you absolutely HAVE to be using a ribbon for an organ (and there are times when you have a long skinny room with slapback on the sides where a figure-8 pattern can be of benefit), you should consider the Audio-Technica AT4081. But it's going to be a whole lot harder to work with than the Schoeps.

If you're finding the omni Schoeps "harsh," consider tilting them up or down, or even completely backwards.
--scott
Old 27th May 2022 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Too much low end is usually about the mic being in the wrong place...where a mic is located at a LF pressure node or standing wave. Moving the mic a foot or two can often fix it, or rolling off bass in the recorded audio file (but better placement is by far the preferred approach...and it's not necessarily an easy endeavour). I like the MKH8020 for large scale organ capture
When I say "too much bass" it's because in large cathedrals, the LF are naturally boosted. The omnis will capture this natural sound caused by the church acoustics. It's not because of a bad placement of microphone, it's the sound perceived in the cathedral but which is bad for a CD. The cardioids will attenuate these low frequencies but the MK4s are aggressive in the HF. Opening the angle (example ORFT) will certainly make it possible to attenuate these strident frequencies but unfortunately will capture more of the reverberation of the cathedral.

Icône de validation par la communauté
Old 27th May 2022 | Show parent
  #17
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
When I say "too much bass" it's because in large cathedrals, the LF are naturally boosted. The omnis will capture this natural sound caused by the church acoustics. It's not because of a bad placement of microphone, it's the sound perceived in the cathedral but which is bad for a CD. The cardioids will attenuate these low frequencies but the MK4s are aggressive in the HF. Opening the angle (example ORFT) will certainly make it possible to attenuate these strident frequencies but unfortunately will capture more of the reverberation of the cathedral.

Icône de validation par la communauté
So its a bad thing that the mics are faithfully reproducing the full frequency of the organ and its acoustic space? I think that's what you want to capture and, if its too much bass for the delivery medium - CD, LP, MP3, whatever, then a bit of low cut EQ is applied (the same way vinyl records have been mastered for decades). I always use omnis on organ, sometimes in combination with cardiods.

PS: Most would consider the sound of the cathedral a major component in the sound of the organ...certainly the organ builder did!
Old 28th May 2022 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
So its a bad thing that the mics are faithfully reproducing the full frequency of the organ and its acoustic space? I think that's what you want to capture and, if its too much bass for the delivery medium - CD, LP, MP3, whatever, then a bit of low cut EQ is applied (the same way vinyl records have been mastered for decades). I always use omnis on organ, sometimes in combination with cardiods.

PS: Most would consider the sound of the cathedral a major component in the sound of the organ...certainly the organ builder did!
Yes, the perceived (and recorded) level of bass is position dependent....move a metre or two towards or away from a boundary and you'll hear a different rendering across the frequency spectrum. Of course, the same goes for mic placement as your ears, it's never a constant amplitude throughout the contained space. Stand up, walk around, listen critically...you'll experience it instantly (use a handheld SPL meter if you want to verify this). Sitting passively (or recording) in one spot won't reveal this....move yourself !!
Old 28th May 2022 | Show parent
  #19
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Yes, the perceived (and recorded) level of bass is position dependent....move a metre or two towards or away from a boundary and you'll hear a different rendering across the frequency spectrum. Of course, the same goes for mic placement as your ears, it's never a constant amplitude throughout the contained space. Stand up, walk around, listen critically...you'll experience it instantly (use a handheld SPL meter if you want to verify this). Sitting passively (or recording) in one spot won't reveal this....move yourself !!
The only problem with recording organ in a cathedral is that my ears aren't 4 - 5 m. up in the air However, I have found it useful to do trial recordings with the mics in 3 or 4 different spots and then listen back on headphones (without the organ playing - can't hear a damn thing if its playing) And, as Mark D always says, YMMV.
Old 28th May 2022 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
I always use omnis on organ, sometimes in combination with cardiods.
Which mics do you use?
Old 29th May 2022 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
The only problem with recording organ in a cathedral is that my ears aren't 4 - 5 m. up in the air However?...
You raise (!) another good point ....there's no more variability in mic height recommendations than you'll find in this forum regarding organ location recordings. Quite literally from 7 metre behemoth stands to PZM/boundary mics on the floor...and everything in between ! Adherents will defend their preferences with anecdotes, audio samples and great passion...this is definitely not a case of one size fits all.
Old 29th May 2022 | Show parent
  #22
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
Which mics do you use?
I have used Shure KSM 141, Rode NT55, Schoeps mk2s and Oktava Mk 012 in various spacings from very wide to 60 cm, sometimes blended with ORTF or NOS. I'm no expert but I have been happy with the results (other than the bane of blower and traffic noise).
Old 30th May 2022 | Show parent
  #23
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster ➡️
When I say "too much bass" it's because in large cathedrals, the LF are naturally boosted.
That boost is not uniform. And you will find some places where some bass notes are boosted and others are not. If necessary, use EQ, but try altering placement first.
--scott
Old 30th May 2022 | Show parent
  #24
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
You raise (!) another good point ....there's no more variability in mic height recommendations than you'll find in this forum regarding organ location recordings. Quite literally from 7 metre behemoth stands to PZM/boundary mics on the floor...and everything in between ! Adherents will defend their preferences with anecdotes, audio samples and great passion...this is definitely not a case of one size fits all.
There is no correct height. It depends on the organ and the room. As you raise and lower the mike the balances between different registers will change and so will the tonality (mostly in the lower octaves). If you have a soloist accompanied by organ it gets even more interesting. If you have a choir accompanied by organ, sometimes the best place for the choir is not the best place for the organ and then judgement calls need to be made. This is what makes it art.
--scott
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