Several pairs to choose from..Which is best for Piano/Organ?
Old 6th February 2013
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
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.
Old 6th February 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Get the best pair of matched SDC omnis you can afford.

At your budget this will probably be the Røde NT55.
Old 6th February 2013
  #3
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
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.
Old 6th February 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 

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.
Old 6th February 2013
  #5
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Well when you get them, and do a recording I would be very happy to hear a sample or two!
Old 6th February 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 

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.
Old 7th February 2013
  #7
Gear addict
 
Bibster's Avatar
 

You hav'em (Ksm 141's) on your shortlist, but they're about 850 bucks, or not ?
Old 7th February 2013
  #8
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
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.
Old 7th February 2013
  #9
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
 

Old 7th February 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
king2070lplaya's Avatar
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!
Old 7th February 2013
  #11
Gear Head
 

Sontronics STC1-S with the additional omni capsules, sound awesome on both piano and organ and well within budget.
Old 7th February 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 

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?
Old 7th February 2013
  #13
Old 8th February 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

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.
Old 8th February 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Don S's Avatar
 

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.
Old 11th February 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
 

My pair of KSM 141 arrived just now.

Was going to record some organ music tonight but the organist is sick. :(
Old 13th February 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
JamesClark1991's Avatar
 

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
Old 21st January 2015
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesClark1991 View Post

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
I know it's on old post but I was wondering if you ever got around to doing that.
I heard some amazing shootouts by Didier, where sub-100-dollar sdc's stand up impressively well against $2000 Schoeps. I'd love to hear your comparisons (especially involving a piano).
Old 22nd January 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 
JamesClark1991's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
I know it's on old post but I was wondering if you ever got around to doing that.
I heard some amazing shootouts by Didier, where sub-100-dollar sdc's stand up impressively well against $2000 Schoeps. I'd love to hear your comparisons (especially involving a piano).
Sorry, I never got round to posting this comparison as my PC at the time was scrapped as I moved over to MAC OS, unfortunately I lost some data in the switchover including this session.

The summary was pretty much that the NT5s were thin sounding and made the piano's sound lack weight (for a great piano recording you start by finding the low end first imho). The 012s sounded good with a little darkness to the sound, the 930s also sounded good but with some blur in the low mids.

Hopefully this can help somewhat
Old 22nd January 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Exclamation

For an organ or grand piano you really need omnis or you lose the bottom end.

If you want to do this on a tight budget, then the Line Audio OM1 would be my first choice.

Stupidly inexpensive for the quality they give.
Old 22nd January 2015
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesClark1991 View Post
Sorry, I never got round to posting this comparison as my PC at the time was scrapped as I moved over to MAC OS, unfortunately I lost some data in the switchover including this session.

The summary was pretty much that the NT5s were thin sounding and made the piano's sound lack weight (for a great piano recording you start by finding the low end first imho). The 012s sounded good with a little darkness to the sound, the 930s also sounded good but with some blur in the low mids.

Hopefully this can help somewhat
It certainly is helpful. Surprised to hear the blurriness you experienced in the recording with the 930s. They are often described as God's gift to audio, and I myself don't remember a recording made with them that wasn't massively impressive.
Old 22nd January 2015
  #22
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
For an organ or grand piano you really need omnis or you lose the bottom end.

If you want to do this on a tight budget, then the Line Audio OM1 would be my first choice.

Stupidly inexpensive for the quality they give.
Thanks a lot for the omni-mic recommendation!

What if one usually records piano in a duet format (with a violin, clarinet, etc.) Wouldn't a pair of small diaphragm condensers like the AT4041 be a better choice to avoid excessive sound leakage?
Old 23rd January 2015
  #23
Lives for gear
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
Thanks a lot for the omni-mic recommendation!

What if one usually records piano in a duet format (with a violin, clarinet, etc.) Wouldn't a pair of small diaphragm condensers like the AT4041 be a better choice to avoid excessive sound leakage?
I would record the ensemble with a single rig.

Maybe an ORTF or MS pair with omni outriggers - or maybe omnis on a Jecklin or Schneider disk.

If the piano is mainly to accompany the violin, then I would consider a directional pair (I recorded piano and violin in the Wigmore Hall in London with an MS rig of super-cardioid and fig-8) as the piano is less important in this situation.

But for a solo piano recital I far prefer a pair of omnis.
Old 23rd January 2015
  #24
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
 

Old 23rd January 2015
  #25
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
I have an organ concert to capture in late March. I had an array I was going to use in front of the center of the stage, back a bit. But it seems the local board wants a faux son et lumiére - read slide show - and that array's mic stand would clobber the sight lines. However a split pair of omni's would, too. As I am currently romancing ribbons, how would a pair of ribbons work in Blumlein MS? The Recording Tools MRP-01 claims to reach down to 20Hz and runs up high enough for the wee pipes in the organ. No matter what I put up I will impinge. I can do a pair of 4061's on a very slim carbon fiber stand but wonder how the ribbons would work.

I can always fly a pair of 4006 TL's but am tempted by the ribbons. Any ideas, suggestions?
Attached Thumbnails
Several pairs to choose from..Which is best for Piano/Organ?-mrp-01.jpg  
Old 23rd January 2015
  #26
Lives for gear
 
JamesClark1991's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesta View Post
It certainly is helpful. Surprised to hear the blurriness you experienced in the recording with the 930s. They are often described as God's gift to audio, and I myself don't remember a recording made with them that wasn't massively impressive.
They suffer from low-mid swell on certain sources I find, particularly noticeable on strummed acoustic guitar. They are however very good in other areas, I'm not trying to bash them (I own a pair ), they fit their price point very well I'd say.
Old 23rd January 2015
  #27
Gear addict
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I have an organ concert to capture in late March. I had an array I was going to use in front of the center of the stage, back a bit. But it seems the local board wants a faux son et lumiére - read slide show - and that array's mic stand would clobber the sight lines. However a split pair of omni's would, too. As I am currently romancing ribbons, how would a pair of ribbons work in Blumlein MS? The Recording Tools MRP-01 claims to reach down to 20Hz and runs up high enough for the wee pipes in the organ. No matter what I put up I will impinge. I can do a pair of 4061's on a very slim carbon fiber stand but wonder how the ribbons would work.

I can always fly a pair of 4006 TL's but am tempted by the ribbons. Any ideas, suggestions?
Sounds like a job for your Pearl DS-60. Hopefully you'll have it back by then. Else, there's always the Royer SF-12, or maybe the newly announced Mesanovic Model 2 (mono) or 2s (stereo). Seriously, look at the frequency response graphs for the Mesanovic mics. That's a ribbon, but the curves look at lot like a Schoeps mk2s capsule. Just sayin'.
Old 24th January 2015
  #28
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
The Pearl DS60 would be great. It has the sheer transparency of a ribbon and is as kind to voice, strings and brass. It reaches down to 18 Hz and up to 25 kHz. I would like to try the test array, too. The last time I think I did it with a pair of 4061'a on the very slim carbon fiber stand, slim as a fly rod. BUt with the Pearl will it work as a Blumlein MS and give me the room sound and spaciousness?
Old 24th January 2015
  #29
Gear Head
 

Thank you, Didier!

Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Omni is not always the best choice, especially at home. Even in a good room: look here at 33' (wide cardioid Neumann KM 143):

Even in a good room: look here at 33' (wide cardioid Neumann KM 143).[/URL]
Didier, I don't know if you've been thanked enough for the great shootouts you have posted here. Most of what I have learned about microphones have come thanks to those posts. And the things I've learned are invaluable.

For example, I took one of the shootouts you posted (6 SDCs with a Chopin piece), selected three mics (Schoeps, AT4041 and Samson Co2) and removed the self noise from all these files in Adobe Audition. I then showed them to many audiophiles who consistently preferred the sound of the $60 Samson mics over the rest. And these people used headphones like LCD 3, HD 800 or expensive monitors to determine their preference!

That is serious business! And thank you so much for the incredible contribution!
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to Gearslutz Pro Audio Forum!

Registration benefits include:
  • Ability to make and reply to posts
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get instant lifetime access to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20
  • List your eBay auctions for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
MattJazz / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
2
filmgirl / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
10
Damn it, Debbie / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
29
Kubilay / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
19
hollywood_steve / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
14

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Search