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Gerax
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#1
27th June 2010
Old 27th June 2010
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Tube mics as mains

Do you do it? What mics? What pattern, ORTF, spaced omnis, decca....? How do you like it?
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Lorenzo Gerace
Modena (Mo) Italy
#2
27th June 2010
Old 27th June 2010
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David Spearritt is offline
Yes, M150, Omni, spaced omnis. Fully sick!
0VU
#3
27th June 2010
Old 27th June 2010
  #3
0VU
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Yes.

M50, M150, M149, M269, VM1, 4041T, occasionally VX2.

Usually either omni or subcardioid.

A-B pairs or Decca on the bigger mics, and M222s with a variety of capsules for A-B/MS/XY/ORTF-alikes or Decca.

If I didn't like the results I wouldn't go to the trouble but some things are worth the effort.

Last edited by 0VU; 28th June 2010 at 02:38 AM.. Reason: fixing typos
#4
27th June 2010
Old 27th June 2010
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Marc Aubort(a classical recording Jedi) uses Schoeps M221b

`Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition'
An SACD review by Mark Jordan

It depends. That's my answer to the inevitable question this review
will raise: Who will want to rush out and buy this disc? Fans of
Mussorgsky may not find any new ground covered in this reissue of
Leonard Slatkin's conservative performance of `Pictures at an
Exhibition', and devotees to modern digital sound might find that
this analogue recording is smoother than an orchestra really sounds
live in concert, but aficionados of fine analog sound will be in
heaven to hear the creamy richness of this 1975 recording engineered
by the legendary Marc Aubort.

Aubort has engineered many recordings over the years, particularly of
the Saint Louis Symphony, mostly in partnership with one producer,
the late Joanna Nickrenz. They oversaw a long string of recordings
that changed the reputation Vox Records had in the 1950's and 60's
for indifferent sound. Many early Vox recordings of Horenstein and
Klemperer were great performances marred by rough recording
conditions. Neither of those maestros ever had it as good as what we
hear on this disc. The Nickrenz/Aubort recordings did, however, do a
great deal to establish the reputation of American conductor Leonard
Slatkin, who, as Aubort points out in his technical addendum to the
notes, was familiar with the recording production process due to his
musical family (his father Felix Slatkin was also a conductor who
frequently recorded in the 1950's for Capitol). Thus Leonard Slatkin
was able to work efficiently and effectively under pressured studio
conditions.

As Aubort describes it, he used a pair of Schoeps CM 66 microphones
for the main front channels in an omnidirectional pickup pattern,
along with a few cardioid spot mics to highlight detail. For the rear
channels, he set a pair of Schoeps M221b microphones about thirty
feet apart in the twelfth row of Powell Symphony Hall in a cardioid
pattern to pickup hall sound for the original quadraphonic recording.
Many recordings were made during the period with a similar setup, but
few end up sounding like Aubort's. The immediate attraction of this
recording for me is the comparatively close pickup of the front
channels. Throughout the 1980's and 90's, the pursuit of more and
more epic sound led to a prevailing trend of ever more distant
microphone placement, and frequent slatherings of electronic
reverberation. The more intimate sound captured here may not have the
exaggerated drama of those latter day recordings, but it retains a
freshness that they do not, making it likely to age like a fine wine,
whereas the splashiest `epic' recordings of the succeeding decades
are already starting to sound quite quaint. Both the close pickup and
the analog technology mean that it has a smaller dynamic range that a
typical digital recording, but that feature in itself will attract
some listeners. Indeed, those who enjoy listening in the car, where
extreme dynamic range isn't ideal, would be well served to buy this
hybrid disc just for its CD layer, which handsomely conveys the
recording better than any previous reissue. The stereo Super Audio
layer increases the depth and texture of the recording noticeably,
and the 2/2.0 multichannel layer brings a widened scope to the
soundstage, with only light bounceback from the rear channels.

The analog provenance of this recording contributes to the buttery
warmth of the sound - as is typically the case, the aggressive,
ringing high end of percussion, trumpets, piccolos, and violins
doesn't register well on analog tape, thus creating the oft-cited
`warmth' and `comfort' of such recordings. What usually was also lost
in analog was bass depth, although Aubort evidently caught a good
amount on the original tapes and the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
technicians were able to draw it out in this remastering, because it
captures the sort of bass that makes the air pulse around you when
you play it at a robust volume, a feature more common with audiophile
digital recordings than old analog tapes! One slight caveat is that
there is a low hum which is discernible in places, probably machine
noise or room interference picked up during the original sessions. I
also looked askance at the highlighting of the timpani in places, a
common technique that aids in clarity, though it removes the natural
throaty boom of well-played kettledrums and distorts orchestral
perspective. In sum, though not for everyone, this is a gorgeous
example of how rich and sweet an analog recording can sound after a
high definition remastering. Those desiring the velvet plush of
analog warmth would be well advised to investigate this release;
those more accustomed to live orchestral sound should be aware of its
limits. No one who picks this title up for sonic reasons is likely to
be disappointed.
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#5
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
  #5
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No tube mics here (for now?)

Main pair is usually AB omnis (MKH800 or Josephson C617S) thru Millennia M-2b - it sounds from great to amazing depending on the acoustics, and 90% of the time it's hanged.

But I would love to do tube mics+tube pre!

The only problem I see is with setup - cabling, powersupply/ac - as our stages are already crowded, tight setup time, and orchestra players and singers that don't care to 'step' were they shouldn't... I believe the same applies to 130V DPAs that I would love to have. And as I said, most of the time we hang main pair.

Inside a studio (or a more controlled enviroment) it could be easier/safer to do. At least that's how I see it in my work reality.


all the best,
ave.
#6
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
  #6
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Posts: 7,119

robertshaw is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Ray View Post
Marc Aubort(a classical recording Jedi) uses Schoeps M221b

`Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition'
An SACD review by Mark Jordan

It depends. That's my answer to the inevitable question this review
will raise: Who will want to rush out and buy this disc? Fans of
Mussorgsky may not find any new ground covered in this reissue of
Leonard Slatkin's conservative performance of `Pictures at an
Exhibition', and devotees to modern digital sound might find that
this analogue recording is smoother than an orchestra really sounds
live in concert, but aficionados of fine analog sound will be in
heaven to hear the creamy richness of this 1975 recording engineered
by the legendary Marc Aubort.

Aubort has engineered many recordings over the years, particularly of
the Saint Louis Symphony, mostly in partnership with one producer,
the late Joanna Nickrenz. They oversaw a long string of recordings
that changed the reputation Vox Records had in the 1950's and 60's
for indifferent sound. Many early Vox recordings of Horenstein and
Klemperer were great performances marred by rough recording
conditions. Neither of those maestros ever had it as good as what we
hear on this disc. The Nickrenz/Aubort recordings did, however, do a
great deal to establish the reputation of American conductor Leonard
Slatkin, who, as Aubort points out in his technical addendum to the
notes, was familiar with the recording production process due to his
musical family (his father Felix Slatkin was also a conductor who
frequently recorded in the 1950's for Capitol). Thus Leonard Slatkin
was able to work efficiently and effectively under pressured studio
conditions.

As Aubort describes it, he used a pair of Schoeps CM 66 microphones
for the main front channels in an omnidirectional pickup pattern,
along with a few cardioid spot mics to highlight detail. For the rear
channels, he set a pair of Schoeps M221b microphones about thirty
feet apart in the twelfth row of Powell Symphony Hall in a cardioid
pattern to pickup hall sound for the original quadraphonic recording.
Many recordings were made during the period with a similar setup, but
few end up sounding like Aubort's. The immediate attraction of this
recording for me is the comparatively close pickup of the front
channels. Throughout the 1980's and 90's, the pursuit of more and
more epic sound led to a prevailing trend of ever more distant
microphone placement, and frequent slatherings of electronic
reverberation. The more intimate sound captured here may not have the
exaggerated drama of those latter day recordings, but it retains a
freshness that they do not, making it likely to age like a fine wine,
whereas the splashiest `epic' recordings of the succeeding decades
are already starting to sound quite quaint. Both the close pickup and
the analog technology mean that it has a smaller dynamic range that a
typical digital recording, but that feature in itself will attract
some listeners. Indeed, those who enjoy listening in the car, where
extreme dynamic range isn't ideal, would be well served to buy this
hybrid disc just for its CD layer, which handsomely conveys the
recording better than any previous reissue. The stereo Super Audio
layer increases the depth and texture of the recording noticeably,
and the 2/2.0 multichannel layer brings a widened scope to the
soundstage, with only light bounceback from the rear channels.

The analog provenance of this recording contributes to the buttery
warmth of the sound - as is typically the case, the aggressive,
ringing high end of percussion, trumpets, piccolos, and violins
doesn't register well on analog tape, thus creating the oft-cited
`warmth' and `comfort' of such recordings. What usually was also lost
in analog was bass depth, although Aubort evidently caught a good
amount on the original tapes and the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
technicians were able to draw it out in this remastering, because it
captures the sort of bass that makes the air pulse around you when
you play it at a robust volume, a feature more common with audiophile
digital recordings than old analog tapes! One slight caveat is that
there is a low hum which is discernible in places, probably machine
noise or room interference picked up during the original sessions. I
also looked askance at the highlighting of the timpani in places, a
common technique that aids in clarity, though it removes the natural
throaty boom of well-played kettledrums and distorts orchestral
perspective. In sum, though not for everyone, this is a gorgeous
example of how rich and sweet an analog recording can sound after a
high definition remastering. Those desiring the velvet plush of
analog warmth would be well advised to investigate this release;
those more accustomed to live orchestral sound should be aware of its
limits. No one who picks this title up for sonic reasons is likely to
be disappointed.
I'm a big fan of his work, but he could most definitely get the same sonic character with his recordings using a pair MXL 990 Condensers with his chops. I read he uses a Mackie console for remote recordings too.
#7
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
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fifthcircle is offline
Once upon a time I had access to a huge tube mic collection and I used them regularly. I did lots of orchestral recordings that used an all-tube chain (the Brahms on my webiste is once such recording- Neumann 582s, Schoeps 221s, Vac Rac preamps...)

I used regularly 582's with the gold omni capsules, Schoeps 221A and B, AKG C61, Neumann UM57, Neumann SM69, SM2 and SM23. I'm sure there are some more that I am forgetting right now... They all had unique sounds, some were nothing short of spectacular for some things and others I could do without.

Today, i will on rare occasion rent U47's, U67's and other mics...

--Ben
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#8
28th June 2010
Old 28th June 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
I'm a big fan of his work, but he could most definitely get the same sonic character with his recordings using a pair MXL 990 Condensers with his chops. I read he uses a Mackie console for remote recordings too.

Yes he does. He is a hero of mine.


my favorite quote(and I am paraphrasing) (from the TapeOp interview)

"everything these days is up front" the timpani "should" sound like it is in the back. "

He uses tried and true mic placement strategy and always (or seems to) blends the close pair with "ambient" microphones.

Genius.
#9
30th June 2010
Old 30th June 2010
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I'm a tube mic fan and a tube mic preamp fan too.

Main pair might be Schoeps M221B (ORTF) through a Thermionic Culture Earlybird or Neumann M50 spaced and at distance. I also like the FLEA mics like the FLEA 47 and FLEA 49. I put these through a Neve 1073 or thru a Fearn red box.

Right now though I reach first for the Schoeps 221s. I use it with the
Schoeps 934C capsule which is switchable omni/cardioid. Ever since I got a new
power supply and new Mogami cables from Bill Bradley, the mics sound sensational.
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