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Four Mic Bar For Pipe Organ
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Four Mic Bar For Pipe Organ

For those mic'ing organs with four mics on a long bar, any thoughts about using EQ to get the most out of the set up? I was thinking, maybe, low-passing the omnis and hi-passing the cardioids?

May have been covered before and may be a terrible idea to boot, but I thought I'd ask.

D.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
For those mic'ing organs with four mics on a long bar, any thoughts about using EQ to get the most out of the set up? I was thinking, maybe, low-passing the omnis and hi-passing the cardioids?

May have been covered before and may be a terrible idea to boot, but I thought I'd ask.

D.
If there's any instument on which this proposed eq tweak should work, it would have to be be pipe organ. Just ensure that your complementary pass filters have sufficient overlap that you're not introducing and peaks or dips at those 'crossover' zones.

You should be able to configure the filtering such that it slides effortlessly up and down the spectrum for both pairs (omni and cardioid...and left/right together) simultaneously...on a single ganged virtual fader/pot

And always do A/B comparisons with the full range set of 4 mics (combined.. and each mic type alone) as well...to confirm that the overall principle is inflicting no damage.

You'll be looking for enhanced clarity...with no sacrifice to extension, and retention of ambience cues
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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Personally, I wouldn't touch eq with a barge pole.
I can't see an advantage to it used in that way....................but then, this might just be an indication of the limitations of my expertise!
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
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the organ is one of the rare instruments on which i'm occasionally using four (or five) mics; not the typical two pairs though and not just those mics on a bar:

- mk21's in a/b on the sides of the bar
- mk2s/mk8 in m/s in the center (or mk4v/mk8 plus a blm3 on the floor).
- widely spaced pair for ambis; pattern varies depending on room and position.

if using the mk2s, its signal gets split via x-over (usually 48dB/octave @ ca. 60hz; same if using the mk4v and blm3) - the mk2s and mk4v have a bit of a hf bump so i'm mostly getting enough difference between the middle mic and l/r - occasionally, i ditch the mk8 for a more 'normal' l/c/r+lf(e)...

[or make double use of the center mic (for l/c/r and m/s]

...which has become my favourite approach in many situations in recent years (if not using double m/s or soundfield plus ambis).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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Here there is no reason to use any EQ. Neither to use a bar with 4 mics.

Some mics close and some mics far present the scale and timbre of the organ so successfully. The main point is to not capture the organ sound from just one position.

For example the distant mics would probably have 50 dB of gain applied.

Can choose to record organ with omni or with cardioid mics. Some of the most successful and super famous recordings have been done with Schoeps MK4 cardioid mics.
Old 2 weeks ago
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Thanks for the thoughts guys. I am just totally spit-ballin' here. I would say that 99.98% of the time, I too avoid EQ like I avoid COVID.

Just seemed like an interesting topic.

Deedee. I do like your idea about using an M/S center pair. Can I assume a matching omni in the "C" position; not a cardioid, right?

I have recorded pipe organs (and theatrical organs) a few times and have used wide spaced omnis to good effect. I am now considering, with somewhat more experience, moving the omnis in to a more traditional A-A spread and adding something in the middle for "clarity".

These jobs will be archival, somewhat rushed, an no place or time for multiple stands, mics, post production and whatnot.

But as my friend says, "if you're not learning, you're dead."

D.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
...using an M/S center pair. Can I assume a matching omni in the "C" position; not a cardioid, right?
i described two different m/s setups, both (alternatively) being part of my l/c/r+lfe approach:

the schoeps mk4v is a side adressed cardioid, the mk2s an omni, both with a hf bump - i tend to prefer recording what's in front of the mics with my mains so the cardioid (plus its accompaning blm) gets used more frequently (unless i'm in a hurry and/or want to keep channel/track count down)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Sorry. Not enough coffee and I failed to read carefully. Thanks.

D.
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  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️

But as my friend says, "if you're not learning, you're dead."

D.
And even that's a learning curve, thank goodness.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
For those mic'ing organs with four mics on a long bar, any thoughts about using EQ to get the most out of the set up? I was thinking, maybe, low-passing the omnis and hi-passing the cardioids?

May have been covered before and may be a terrible idea to boot, but I thought I'd ask.

D.
I've often had a close near-coincident cardiod pair that I'll roll off the low-end and then let the distant spaced omni carry all the weight. Primary pickup is the omni pair.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizziness ➡️
I've often had a close near-coincident cardiod pair that I'll roll off the low-end and then let the distant spaced omni carry all the weight. Primary pickup is the omni pair.
Then you have an additional decision as to whether or not to delay the closer pair, so it matches the distant pair, in terms of transient capture…or accept some degree of smear or blur or doubling of pickup. Or maybe the latter isn’t evident at all, if the 2 pairs are sufficiently decorrelated ?

If all 4 mics are on the same bar, that’s one less issue to contend with…although organ revels in the interaction with the space it plays within….a glorious mashup ! It’s not exactly a snare drum strike, is it ?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Then you have an additional decision as to whether or not to delay the closer pair, so it matches the distant pair, in terms of transient capture…or accept some degree of smear or blur or doubling of pickup. Or maybe the latter isn’t evident at all, if the 2 pairs are sufficiently decorrelated ?

If all 4 mics are on the same bar, that’s one less issue to contend with…although organ revels in the interaction with the space it plays within….a glorious mashup ! It’s not exactly a snare drum strike, is it ?
imo there are no 'transients' with an organ (or they would be mitigated by the usually rather large distance of the mics to the instrument)...

...but of course the question whether one should adjust delay (and/or phase) of individual mics remains open in almost every situation and should be decided by the ear.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
imo there are no 'transients' with an organ (or they would be mitigated by the usually rather large distance of the mics to the instrument)...

...but of course the question whether one should adjust delay (and/or phase) of individual mics remains open in almost every situation and should be decided by the ear.
Some organs, especially those with a complete mechanical action, do make clicking noises which are in fact transients. Now when you put a pair of mics close by, and a pair more distant, in the case of disturbing mechanical-traction sounds, those sounds will be amplified through the delay, the sound then comes twice in succession and adds up to one louder more smeared sound, something you always want to avoid.
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  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orgeltonmeister ➡️
Some organs, especially those with a complete mechanical action, do make clicking noises which are in fact transients. Now when you put a pair of mics close by, and a pair more distant, in the case of disturbing mechanical-traction sounds, those sounds will be amplified through the delay, the sound then comes twice in succession and adds up to one louder more smeared sound, something you always want to avoid.
correct...

(and i'm certainly not in a position to qualify your expertise on organs!)

...but imo these clicking noises are nowhere near as (literally) percussive/nasty in terms of their transients as the 'noise' you get from recording a percussion ensemble - although of course even a relatively quiet clicking noise in the mighty soundfield of an organ can be perceived as unpleasant (or then as an integral part of the sound), which again leads to the question whether it wouldn't be better to send a de-clicked aux feed into an efx device instead of using ambis!

even in this case, i'd record ambis as well (and most likely delay the mains to the ambis) and be it just as a reference when trying to re-create the diffuse soundfield with artificial efx - enough speculation: i have faked the ambis of pretty much every ensemble or solo instrument but certainly never of an organ...!

___


p.s. i'm often using a pair of blm's (or low-noise ldc's mis-used) as ambis when recording in churches (or empty concert halls which are home to an organ).
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  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
p.s. i'm often using a pair of blm's (or low-noise ldc's mis-used) as ambis when recording in churches (or empty concert halls which are home to an organ).
Where do you typically mount your BLMs? Floor, side walls?

D.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
Where do you typically mount your BLMs? Floor, side walls?
the old version of the schoeps blm3 uses a rather large plate (see pic) so i don't wanna tape them to the side walls!
in an empty hall, i often put them in the aisles (which gets me additional hf damping from the seats so i mostly don't have to use any filters when mixing towards the rear of the hall.
with an audience in and if can't put 'normal' ambis on stands or fly these from the balcony or roof, i put the blm's on the sides of the orchestra or sometimes behind the orchestra, then shielding direct sound off somehow (gobo, curtain, drape etc.)
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Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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I've only done pipe organ three times -- not my main thing by any means. But the first time I did it, it became obvious right away that I wasn't miking an instrument so much as I was miking a room with an instrument in it. Pretty much the opposite of an ensemble or orchestra recording, this situation had no "point sources" whatsoever. So -- reiterating that I have very limited experience -- four mics on a bar makes no sense to me.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #18
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[QUOTE=deedeeyeah;16049159]imo there are no 'transients' with an organ (or they would be mitigated by the usually rather large distance of the mics to the instrument)...

There are certainly transients in the organ sound.
A lot happens with the tone structure in the an organ pipe. In the first dozens of Miliseconds there are harmonics who disappear again when the tone becomes stable. It is subtle but indispensable for the quality of the sound.
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  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
imo there are no 'transients' with an organ (or they would be mitigated by the usually rather large distance of the mics to the instrument)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dingenus ➡️
There are certainly transients in the organ sound.
A lot happens with the tone structure in the an organ pipe. In the first dozens of Miliseconds there are harmonics who disappear again when the tone becomes stable. It is subtle but indispensable for the quality of the sound.
could be - but as previously mentioned, since one usually does not put mics very close to a pipe organ, imo transients do not show up in a recording.

maybe we should discuss how we define transients though...
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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An organ transient is someone who moves into the wind box, but only stays a short while.
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  #21
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
could be - but as previously mentioned, since one usually does not put mics very close to a pipe organ, imo transients do not show up in a recording.

maybe we should discuss how we define transients though...
We then disagree. It is essential for the sound of an organ pipe. A lot of research has been done into this in the Fraunhofer-Institut Stuttgart. I followed a 5 -day course there (Orgel und Akustik) about this matter and then became a very critical listener within my field. (Organ - building advisor)
https://www.ibp.fraunhofer.de/en/exp...acoustics.html
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingenus ➡️
We then disagree. It is essential for the sound of an organ pipe. A lot of research has been done into this in the Fraunhofer-Institut Stuttgart. I followed a 5 -day course there (Orgel und Akustik) about this matter and then became a very critical listener within my field. (Organ - building advisor)
https://www.ibp.fraunhofer.de/en/exp...acoustics.html
not sure we disagree but rather that we are talking about a different definition of transients (in general): i'm not talking about the 'structure' of a sound but what gets to the mic and on to tape or daw/hd-recorder.

one of my mentors defined transients as anything that is much faster than any meter (which was easy to experience in the analog times with vu meters) AND leads to isp (in the digital times) and ultimately to distortion (if not controlled) - once you go away far enough with a mic, any transient gets smoothed, even when stemming from a snare drum or crotales, very certainly from an organ.

feel free to stick to another 'definition'/view on things.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
For those mic'ing organs with four mics on a long bar, any thoughts about using EQ to get the most out of the set up? I was thinking, maybe, low-passing the omnis and hi-passing the cardioids?

May have been covered before and may be a terrible idea to boot, but I thought I'd ask.

D.
When using an OCCO array, I often EQ the two pairs separately. This usually just means two different linear HPF settings (eg. cutting more in the cardioids), but there's no rule against dramatic strokes. The mics themselves may already be dramatically different from each other even without EQ. As always, the choices are a response to the group, the rep, the hall, and the capture.
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