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Several pairs to choose from..Which is best for Piano/Organ?
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saxplaya
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6th February 2013
Old 6th February 2013
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Several pairs to choose from..Which is best for Piano/Organ?

Hello folks, I posted this in the Low End Theory board and a couple people advised me to post my question here to get the opinions of people who have/still actively record these instruments.

I have been researching and reading for quite a while now and I have narrowed it down to just 5 options, I think. I think my budget will be just about $500, but it is fairly flexibly. I am not technically making money from recording yet, nor are we(my pianist/organist friend and I) are in a great hurry so if it would be worth it I will just wait and save some extra money. The models I have narrowed it down to are Beyerdynamic MC930's, AT4041's, Rode NT5's, KSM 141's, and possibly Oktava MK-012's. I have read good things about all of these mics, but most every thread is about either guitar or drums OH's except for a few piano threads about MC930's. I plan to use these mics for mainly grand piano and pipe organ recording, but if I am able and the mics will fill the role then I would love to be able to use them for a small chamber group, solo string instruments, horns, guitar, or just about anything I need or want. I don't think I could afford Neumann's or Schoeps anytime soon but all of the options I listed seem very possible(except the MC930's unless I find a good deal for under $800 or so). I would love to hear some educated opinions and advice on any/all of these mics and in regards to the uses I mentioned. If someone has another suggestion for mics or if I really need to get a pre-amp(I'm not too sure if I need one, or what to get. I frankly know nothing about them) I will gladly hear any and all reasonable suggestions.


PS. Current prices on these mics that I can find; MK-012's for $650 used with Joly Mod, cardoid and hyper cardoid caps and mounts. AT4041's for $300 used, and the Rode NT5's for $300 used as well. Beyers are around $1,100 new everywhere I find them, and the KSM 141's are about $700-800 a pair.
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6th February 2013
Old 6th February 2013
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Get the best pair of matched SDC omnis you can afford.

At your budget this will probably be the Røde NT55.
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saxplaya
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6th February 2013
Old 6th February 2013
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That basically what I'm trying to do, but figuring out what the 'best' is is what makes the choice difficult. I'm trying to find out from people what the 'best' would be for the main applications of grand piano and pipe organ recording. How do you think the NT55's would fair in those settings?

Oh and I'm sure this will make a difference.. the style playing will be classical and/or hymn arrangements. Definitely nothing pop or rock style.
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6th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxplaya View Post
That basically what I'm trying to do, but figuring out what the 'best' is is what makes the choice difficult. I'm trying to find out from people what the 'best' would be for the main applications of grand piano and pipe organ recording. How do you think the NT55's would fair in those settings?

Oh and I'm sure this will make a difference.. the style playing will be classical and/or hymn arrangements. Definitely nothing pop or rock style.
I have just ordered a pair of ksm 141 for recording organ.
saxplaya
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6th February 2013
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Well when you get them, and do a recording I would be very happy to hear a sample or two!
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6th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxplaya View Post
Well when you get them, and do a recording I would be very happy to hear a sample or two!
Will do.
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7th February 2013
Old 7th February 2013
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You hav'em (Ksm 141's) on your shortlist, but they're about 850 bucks, or not ?
saxplaya
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7th February 2013
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They are. As I said, if they are worth it ill wait a little longer and get them. Currently I've been talking with someone with experience with all of these mics on the forums here who is leaning me towards the NT5's with omni or the NT55's which he says are better for organ and also will give a great sound on piano. For now I'm keeping an eye out for a used pair. I have to wait on my tax return before I can do anything.
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7th February 2013
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7th February 2013
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On my team here, I have the Ksm 141 and AKG c460b, and my partner has the NT5 omnis. His recordings come out a bit more ping-y (in a good way, think 70s-90s Decca piano records) and ambient, as he places them further from the tail to compensate for the HF rise. They sound immaculate though, and I'm seriously considering a pair as their tone is so lovely. Surprising, really.

My classical mic scheme is the KSM141s on the tail. They are not the best sounds I've captured but they work very well. They have a kind of, "stiffness" in the midrange, but the top is sweet and the bottom full. They work well or I wouldn't keep using them, though a pair of MkH20 is on the horizon with any luck.

The Akgs are my "bright piano/jazz piano" mics. I put them through some thick sounding preamps and they make some of the crappier Steinway B's on campus sound passable despite their soundboard cracks/out of tune notes/etc. they also sound really good on the Hamburg Steinway D and help to tame some of its inherent brightness, which I find overwhelming (not a popular opinion, i know...) im Excited for them to get another Hamburg for replacement this summer, and to have this olde Hamburg piano into a room where I can track some jazz with it!
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#11
7th February 2013
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Sontronics STC1-S with the additional omni capsules, sound awesome on both piano and organ and well within budget.
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7th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
The more recent AT4021 could be a better choice than the AT4041.
How does the AT4051 fit in here?
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7th February 2013
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8th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxplaya View Post
That basically what I'm trying to do, but figuring out what the 'best' is is what makes the choice difficult. I'm trying to find out from people what the 'best' would be for the main applications of grand piano and pipe organ recording. How do you think the NT55's would fair in those settings?

Oh and I'm sure this will make a difference.. the style playing will be classical and/or hymn arrangements. Definitely nothing pop or rock style.
The NT55 is supplied with two heads, cardioid and omni.

When I spoke to Tony Faulkner a little while ago he was saying how impressed he was with these omni heads and rated them close to Schoeps.
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8th February 2013
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I'm pretty sure the MC012 with a couple caps will fit the bill. If you buy new, I recommend recordingservices.net. They sound a little smoother to me than the KSM141, although not as rugged. Another not so popular, but great sounding mic is the AKG c391 (Blue line). There was a pair on fleabay for $500.
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11th February 2013
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My pair of KSM 141 arrived just now.

Was going to record some organ music tonight but the organist is sick. :(
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13th February 2013
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I've used two of these mics so I can give my personal experience.

NT5 are bright, very bright imo I would only use them for acoustic guitar personally. I've heard good things about the Omni caps though.
MC012 are great for wood instruments and overheads but I find but they do have this "coloured" sound to them which gives them their own character. I'm not sure it would be the most suitable mic for piano/organ. (But I've been wrong before!)

I'd personally choose one of the other 3 mics if I were spending my cash (funnily enough I just ordered a pair of 930s).

If you're not in a rush I might be able to upload some comparison clips of the NT5s, 012's and 930's on a grand piano at the end of the month. (my 930's are being delivered towards the end of the month).

Hope this helps
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