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Omni vs cardioid in church recording Condenser Microphones
Old 19th May 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

Omni vs cardioid in church recording

Hi,

I realized a comparison of main microphone on recording Strings in an empty and full Church with Omni and Cardioïd microphones.

Listen here :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKqbZqT1H6o
Old 22nd May 2016
  #2
Gear Head
Thank you very much for sharing this!
Old 22nd May 2016
  #3
Gear Nut
Omnis every time - much fuller sound.
Old 22nd May 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
It would have been interesting to do similar comparisons by also raising the height of the cardioid microphones to say 3.5 or 4 metres, compared with the omnis remaining at 2.5 metres.....then you would have given both types the best chance of performing at their maximum.
Old 22nd May 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 

When the question goes beyond an organ performance a high quality card mic will be my choice almost every time. The ability to control the amount of "room'" and isolation in my recordings has a very high priority.
Hugh
Old 22nd May 2016
  #6
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boojum's Avatar
With the enthusiasm of a recent convert I would suggest that a wide cardioid would be the compromise. It will reject almost all of what is behind it, has the reach of a cardioid and the bottom end of an omni. They can really fill in as an all-around mic. The CM3's work well in NOS. Others would, too.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
I'll give another thumbs up for the CM3, the only wide cardioid I own, although I'm not sure its performance is quite as cut and dried as boojum is painting it ?

According to the maker's graph, it does have a typical cardioid fall in LF with distance, Line Audio Design - Made in Sweden although less dramatic, which gives the impression of extended bass...but not quite as extended as that of a pressure omni. It seems more prone to stand and floor vibrations than an equivalent omni, again, typical cardioid behaviour.

However it has much less off axis colouration than a typical cardioid, and like boojum says it's a great all-rounder, responding well to the wider arrays such as NOS and EBS. I like and use it a lot.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Yes. I have 4 CM3s that work quite well well for quick set-up for childrens choirs and some other situations however my large side addressed Pelusos are my favorites for critical choir recording. It is important to remember the Peluso P2247SEs are the back bone of recording at Temple Square in Salt lake city. Don't get much better than that!
Hugh
Old 24th May 2016
  #9
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hughesmr's Avatar
While omnis are typically the first thing one reaches for, the acoustical situation must be assessed on a case by case basis.

For instance -- an organ in a room with a big slap echo or some freaky mix of hard surfaces and carpet and volume -- I have heard such spaces, and omnis catch all the weirdness. On the other hand -- consider a loud instrument in a very reverberant space, where you might wish to tame the reverb a bit. An example that comes to mind is the old Telarc CD from the 90s of Michael Murray playing Vierne 1 and 3 at St Ouen, Rouen, France. That space has a good 7 seconds of reverb, and if I recall correctly, Jack Renner recorded the program using only MK21s. And it sounds great.
Old 15th June 2016
  #10
Gear Head
 

Yes I totally agree that we must choose the microphone capsules case by case and depending on the acoustics.
My example was recorded in a chapel. Climb higher the microphones with the omni capsules would have generated more echo.
In the case of the organ , the problem of using the cardioid is to sacrifice the bass of the organ. The 32" pipes are badly recorded.
Old 20th July 2016
  #11
Gear Head
 

I made another comparison with symphony orchestra and mixed choir, this time in a very reverberant cathedral

Old 20th July 2016
  #12
Gear Addict
 
voltronic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster View Post
I made another comparison with symphony orchestra and mixed choir, this time in a very reverberant cathedral

I definitely preferred the omnis for all of these excerpts. The reverb of the cathedral is quite prominent, but the balance within the ensemble is better.

With the DIN pair, the men become difficult to hear in the first part of the Dixit Dominus when the full orchestra is playing. The violins also become very forward with this pair, I suppose because they are more on-axis with them.

Thanks for posting this comparison! I've been enjoying your other videos as well.
Old 20th July 2016
  #13
Gear Head
 

Thank you voltronic for watching.

I also prefer the Omni version despite the reverb.
Old 20th July 2016
  #14
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post
I definitely preferred the omnis for all of these excerpts.
Clearly the omnis. And people wonder why I go on and on about omnis. I always think it's obvious, especially when I hear something like this. Must just be me (and Voltronic of course ).
Old 20th July 2016
  #15
Gear Addict
 
voltronic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
Clearly the omnis. And people wonder why I go on and on about omnis. I always think it's obvious, especially when I hear something like this. Must just be me (and Voltronic of course ).


Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the eminent Onno Scholze only consider omnis to be "proper" microphones? I believe we also can thank him for the suggestion of using the little 406x mics as main pairs, which I've really been enjoying recently.

Personally, I like the results I hear from a variety of types of mics, especially from some of the more skilled members on this board. But there are times where omnis are just laughably so much better than anything else. The most obvious to me is solo grand piano. When the mics are properly spaced / positioned, it sounds like a real instrument in a real room, and other mic patterns sound less than that (at least to my ears).
Old 21st July 2016
  #16
Gear Head
 
Violasound's Avatar
 

Thank you to share the videos..!

I use the opportunity to ask you all if you use omni mics to record live performances as well, or in this case you favor more widecardioid and cardio ?
Old 22nd July 2016
  #17
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by voltronic View Post


<snip>

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the eminent Onno Scholze only consider omnis to be "proper" microphones? I believe we also can thank him for the suggestion of using the little 406x mics as main pairs, which I've really been enjoying recently.

<snip>
If Onno believed that he is not the only one. Some on this board read that hymnal, too.
Old 24th July 2016
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violasound View Post
Thank you to share the videos..!

I use the opportunity to ask you all if you use omni mics to record live performances as well, or in this case you favor more widecardioid and cardio ?

Thanks for watching. Previously, I used cardioid microphones to record concerts. Since I tried the Omni microphones, I use always the omni.
For me, even if a bit more reverb in church, the omni microphone sound more natural and the instruments are more homogeneous.
Maybe spot microphones bring more precision for some instruments and choir.

A microphone that I would try in church is the Schoeps MK21 (widecardioid).
Old 4th March 2017
  #19
Gear Head
 

I made another comparison with CARDIOID (KM184) - WIDE CARDIOID (CM3) - OMNI (MK2s) microphones on the organ.

Old 4th March 2017
  #20
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganMaster View Post
I made another comparison with CARDIOID (KM184) - WIDE CARDIOID (CM3) - OMNI microphones (MK2s) on the organ.
What a wonderful comparison - thanks for posting.

Quite frankly the Schoeps excerpts (particularly the second) make the others sound like Fisher-Price toys.
Old 4th March 2017
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
make the others sound like Fisher-Price toys.
Old 5th March 2017
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Thank you for posting these very helpful comparisons.

I could never quite warm up to cardioids as a main pair in classical recordings and these comparisons confirm it for me once again.

For me omnis win hand down (assuming a good acoustic), even for live concerts; I'd rather have a little extra noise from the audience with the wonderful spaciousness of the omnis.

Last edited by shosty; 5th March 2017 at 08:03 AM..
Old 5th March 2017
  #23
Gear Head
 

These are great. Thanks for the time and effort you put into making them! I agree with most that the omnis are handsdown the winners here.
Old 8th January 2018
  #24
Gear Head
 

Hi, I made another comparison with CARDIOID NEUMANN KM184 and SCHOEPS MK4 microphones on the organ :

Old 10th January 2018
  #25
Now that's interesting. This last recording is the first where the cardioid sounds better.

I hope you can help me understand this. Great thread, btw. Is it true that the omnis should generally be closer than the cardioids, because the cardioids are unable to capture the hall behind them when close up? So a fair comparison would have the cardioids farther back? And it seems to me in all cases that the omnis are much better at low frequency response? If you had a second set of mic stands and the cardioids were farther back (say 10 feet) would the cardioids have a similar representation of the hall, although maybe with not as good low frequency?

Very educational, and in truth, every recording is really good!

Also, wondering if you could elaborate on your post-processing. Sounds really good.

Last edited by Early21; 10th January 2018 at 03:24 AM.. Reason: another thought
Old 10th January 2018
  #26
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Early21 View Post
Now that's interesting. This last recording is the first where the cardioid sounds better.

I hope you can help me understand this. Great thread, btw. Is it true that the omnis should generally be closer than the cardioids, because the cardioids are unable to capture the hall behind them when close up? So a fair comparison would have the cardioids farther back? And it seems to me in all cases that the omnis are much better at low frequency response? If you had a second set of mic stands and the cardioids were farther back (say 10 feet) would the cardioids have a similar representation of the hall, although maybe with not as good low frequency?

Very educational, and in truth, every recording is really good!

Also, wondering if you could elaborate on your post-processing. Sounds really good.
A rule of thumb is that cardioids reach 1.7 times the distance an omni reaches. So you can place them almost twice as far back from the source.
Old 10th January 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 
mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Early21 View Post
Now that's interesting. This last recording is the first where the cardioid sounds better.

I hope you can help me understand this. Great thread, btw. Is it true that the omnis should generally be closer than the cardioids, because the cardioids are unable to capture the hall behind them when close up? So a fair comparison would have the cardioids farther back? And it seems to me in all cases that the omnis are much better at low frequency response? If you had a second set of mic stands and the cardioids were farther back (say 10 feet) would the cardioids have a similar representation of the hall, although maybe with not as good low frequency?

Very educational, and in truth, every recording is really good!

Also, wondering if you could elaborate on your post-processing. Sounds really good.
I believe there simply were no omnis in that last recording

But maybe you liked the Neumann KM184 better (the obvious cardioid) than Schoeps MK4, with that extra presence on top. Here on my headphones (HD650) it sounded a little better too, more open - but these headphones makes everything so polite (and somewhat darkish) that it's hard to tell.

::
Mads
Old 10th January 2018
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
I believe there simply were no omnis in that last recording

But maybe you liked the Neumann KM184 better (the obvious cardioid) than Schoeps MK4, with that extra presence on top. Here on my headphones (HD650) it sounded a little better too, more open - but these headphones makes everything so polite (and somewhat darkish) that it's hard to tell.

::
Mads
Yes, my mistake! But it was the KM184 that I liked a little better on that last video.
Old 11th January 2018
  #29
But I still want to ask the question, for every video in this thread: is it a fair test to compare omnis against cardioids when they are on the same stand, and therefore at the same distance from the ensemble? Wouldn't it be fairer to position omnis and cardioids at their own optimal distance (cardioids farther back) for comparison purposes?
Old 12th January 2018
  #30
Gear Head
 

Yes indeed. For the next comparison, I will put the cardioid 1.7 times the distance of the omni. For the organ, I should have two mic stands, but I only have one. The organist will plays twice the same music.
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