The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome! Condenser Microphones
Old 20th March 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!

Pair of Gefell M296 omnis, spaced 35cm, head-height, and set about 2m back.

I purchased these mics only a week ago from the Forum classifieds (thank you 'matt-o-'), so it was great to give them a first 'run-out' on a real job so soon!

I have very kind permission from the artist to share some short mp3 'excerpts' of this performance (Beethoven Piano Sonata #32 - Opus 111) for educational purposes.

I will almost certainly be recording this same piano in the same space again, so please pitch in with your comments & suggestions for improvement (apart from suggesting the venue get some non-squeaky chairs!) - I'm here to learn from the experts!

I've made 3 non-contiguous (sorry - can't do more!) samples to show off different aspects of the dynamic range of the performance and how the 'unusual' space behaves.

0'00" Brahms intro to warm up
1'06" Lots of strident bass end, ringing staccato chords, and fortissimo playing
2'35" Beautiful quiet ending section showing the lovely bell-like quality of the Steinway high end



(The file has not been treated or edited, other than for length - recording is straight out-of-the-box which was a Metric Halo ULN-2.)

PS By the way, you can hear this same Beethoven program by pianist Stephen Osborne given 'the proper treatment' by the BBC, live from the Wigmore Hall in London on Wednesday evening at 19.30 CET on BBC Radio 3.

PPS Big thank you also to Forum member John Willett who was incredibly generous with his patient advice to me - hopefully he'll pop in here to give his student a report card!
Attached Thumbnails
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-img_3471.jpg   One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-img_3474.jpg   One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-img_2338_4392.jpg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 23rd March 2017 at 09:11 AM..
Old 21st March 2017
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I really liked your recording, and a very good performance too. Every time I hear a recording with these mics, I find that they have a very appealing natural character with a feeling of presence and aliveness. Would like to try a pair someday.
Old 21st March 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
Very nice. Sounds like your in the room.
Old 21st March 2017
  #4
Very very nice
Old 21st March 2017
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Hi James,
the recording sounds really nice! Very balanced and authentic.
I am glad you put the microphones to proper use. I did not have too much opportunities to do recordings with them. So I am very glad, they come to full use now in your hands. It hope one day we will meet in person for a cup of coffee or tea!

The landscape around the concert location looks beautiful as well.
Good recordings and have a nice week.
Matthias
Old 21st March 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
The lack of a real hall is a problem but the sound is very good and appealing.
I like the piano and the timbre. Nice work!

I have always wanted to try these mics ever since Jerry Graham (Gotham USA) told me about them when they first came out. He mentioned that the design goal, started by him, was to create a modern M50 with the M296 mics.

They are a noble lesser known microphone.
Old 23rd March 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thank you all very much for all the lovely and encouraging comments - I am much heartened to know that I made a reasonable fist of recording this concert, helped of course by having such a terrific musician and a top-drawer instrument in front of me.

Co-incidentally, by broadcasting the the identical program last night from London's Wigmore Hall those nice folks at the BBC have provided a very interesting A/B comparison.

Not often one gets to do a shootout with the BBC!

BBC Radio 3 - Radio 3 in Concert, Steven Osborne - Beethoven and Brahms

On a purely musical level, I encourage you to enjoy the complete performance (I could only post snippets), but if you're interested in comparing the sound with my non-contiguous excerpts in the Soundcloud clip above, the equivalent BBC times are below:

1:13:36 (Brahms intro to warm up)
1:19:19 (Lots of strident bass end, ringing staccato chords, and fortissimo playing)
1:35:32 (Beautiful quiet ending section showing the lovely bell-like quality of the Steinway high end)

Obviously it's miles from a proper A/B - the performance, piano, miking, space are totally different - but still, it's fun to hear.

Enjoy!

James


PS I'm not sure if BBC iPlayer Radio works outwith the UK - I think it does (unlike iPlayer TV), but I daresay many of you have VPNs set-up for when you're working abroad in areas of the planet where the internet is restricted.

PPS I think the BBC put stuff up for 30 days after which the link may be taken down.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 23rd March 2017 at 09:58 AM..
Old 12th May 2017
  #8
Gear Addict
 
Continental's Avatar
 

very nice sound & a beautiful landscape
Old 5th July 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
I'm back with a new recording in the same space, same piano (Steinway), same pianist (Steven Osborne).

Same mics i.e. 2 x Gefell M296 omnis, only this time around is I'm using the DAV BG2 MkII preamps instead of the built-in preamps of the Metric Halo.

Positionally, this time I moved the mics a little closer in to the piano and a little lower compared to last time (see attached photo), as per some earlier suggestions so there is less of the room. A few annoying chair squeaks, coughs and page-turns are audible, but it is what it is i.e. not a release recording!

This piece is from Rachmaninov's 'Etudes Tableaux' Book 1, Opus 33.

I've chosen Moderato In G Minor to share as it shows off a nice dynamic range. (Historically there is some confusion over the numbering of the pieces due to some of them being lost or moved to Opus 39, but this is generally now known as No:8.)

There is no processing on this unmastered file of any kind other than the unavoidable mp3 Soundcloud squash - sorry about that, but like many of us here I'm not allowed to share the full-res versions of these.

3'33" of sheer delight (at least the music and the playing) - feedback and comments on the recording welcome!

Attached Thumbnails
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-img_4262.jpg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 6th July 2018 at 08:56 AM..
Old 5th July 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
The warm romantic sound of the DAV preamps comes through well, and a good balance between room and instrument (maybe just a fraction too close to the hammers for my taste, but I'm sure many will disagree there...) Is the piano lid on full stick, it's a bit hard to tell from the picture ?
Old 5th July 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

A fellow M296 owner here (since 2003, through a Broadhurst Gardens 8 since '09)... it sounds fabulous. Now... I gotta get busy and RECORD SOMETHING.

Well done!

HB
Old 6th July 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
The warm romantic sound of the DAV preamps comes through well, and a good balance between room and instrument (maybe just a fraction too close to the hammers for my taste, but I'm sure many will disagree there...) Is the piano lid on full stick, it's a bit hard to tell from the picture ?
Thanks!

Piano was on full stick, as per photo in first post.

Re positioning - I bobbed my head around the lid area (looking like an idiot) to find where I liked the sound during the warm-up and popped the mic there but there were lots of choices with no absolutely obvious sweet spot. But point taken, and I could retreat the mics 15-20cm perhaps. Having put perhaps 'too much room' into the first set of recordings I was determined to remove it as much as possible from the second and maybe went it fractionally too close in; third time lucky, hopefully if I get invited back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbphotoav View Post
A fellow M296 owner here (since 2003, through a Broadhurst Gardens 8 since '09)... it sounds fabulous. Now... I gotta get busy and RECORD SOMETHING. Well done!
Thanks!

These wonderful Gefell mics make me smile every time I get them out of the case which, like you, is not nearly often enough!

I was extremely lucky to find a nice fellow Gearslut (see above) to purchase some M296s from at a reasonable price.
Old 6th July 2018
  #13
Gear Addict
 

The M296S is without the high frequency rise, is this correct?
Old 6th July 2018
  #14
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sd270 View Post
The M296S is without the high frequency rise, is this correct?
Gefell say: "A special version -the M 296 S- is available for measurement applications. Its frequency response complies with DIN IEC 651 for Class 2 sound level meters."

They do not show a different frequency response curve for the 296 S

The M 296 data sheet is HERE
Old 6th July 2018
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
They do not show a different frequency response curve for the 296 S
To be clear, they don't show a curve *at all* for the 296S.
It would be very strange indeed if a mic intended for measurement applications had a HF lift. I presume it is flat(ter).
Old 7th July 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sd270 View Post
The M296S is without the high frequency rise, is this correct?
Yes, flat within ±1dB deviance. However, it is possible you get the same flat reacting capsules in a non-S version as well, but you need to be lucky in that case. I was, as mine have no high lift either. The S-designation is simply a warranty of your luck.
Old 7th July 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 
jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
...I was extremely lucky to find a nice fellow Gearslut (see above) to purchase some M296s from at a reasonable price.
I took the lower case "s" to indicate a plurality of M296 microphones, NOT the M296 S measurement mic.
Old 10th July 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
I took the lower case "s" to indicate a plurality of M296 microphones, NOT the M296 S measurement mic.
Yes - thank you Jim.

As per my first post, I am making these recordings with 2 x M296 'vanilla' microphones.

I didn't even know there was a measurement version.

Gefell are well known for providing customers with bespoke frequency response charts for each individual microphone they manufacture, and they then match a pair from the same batch as closely as possible at the factory. For sure, I have these for all my Gefell mics - 2 x M296, 2 x M300 and an M930.

The exact specs for my M296 are below - can be seen, the responses of my pair (manufactured in 2004) are approximately reflected in the very smooth, even rise seen in the generic response charts provided by John, i.e. roughly +/-2dB of HF.

If anyone has a flatter pair of +/-1dB that would qualify as an 'S' designation measurement mic - post 'em up. (Although this is something of a side-track from the main point of the thread which is more about judging how they fare on a solo piano recording.)
Attached Thumbnails
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-gefell296.jpeg  

Last edited by James Lehmann; 10th July 2018 at 05:23 PM..
Old 10th July 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Yes - thank you Jim.

As per my first post, I am making these recordings with 2 x M296 microphones.

Gefell are well known for providing customers with bespoke frequency response charts for each individual microphone they manufacture, and they then match a pair from the same batch as closely as possible at the factory. For sure, I have these for all my Gefell mics - 2 x M296, 2 x M300 and an M930.

The exact specs for my M296 are below - as you can see, the responses of my pair are approximately reflected in the very smooth, even rise seen in the generic response charts provided by John, which are roughly +/-2dB of HF.

If anyone has a flatter pair of +/-1dB that would qualify as an 'S' designation measurement mic - post 'em up!
I happen to have factory internal measurement graphs for my pair, which have a finer scale. See the attachments. (I removed part of the serial numbers.) I saw a very recent graph for a pair, but it was by far not as flat as mine. The matching went only as far as the same output level at 1kHz, but above that they would be quite deviant. So always listen to the one you intend to buy in order to decide if it sounds like you wish.
Attached Thumbnails
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-m296_1.jpg   One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-m296_2.jpg  
Old 10th July 2018
  #20
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

If buying new, Gefell will always supply a matched pair on request (or a matched triple for the M221 if purchased for a Decca Tree) if requested at the time of order.

There is no extra charge for this.
Old 10th July 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
... The exact specs for my M296 are below - can be seen, the responses of my pair (manufactured in 2004) are approximately reflected in the very smooth, even rise seen in the generic response charts provided by John, i.e. roughly +/-2dB of HF. ...
Those look pretty much like mine (of the same '03/'04 era). Kinda runs flat as a flitter from "cain't hear to cain't hear." Not much "MoJo"... just "What's in the room is what you get" with a smidgen of "focus." My kinda mic.

HB
Old 15th July 2018
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for posting these recordings. I prefer the most recent, with the mics positioned closer (just personal preference as I have no background in recording piano or recording in the field).
Old 15th July 2018
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Gefell say: "A special version -the M 296 S- is available for measurement applications. Its frequency response complies with DIN IEC 651 for Class 2 sound level meters."

They do not show a different frequency response curve for the 296 S

The M 296 data sheet is HERE

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin View Post
To be clear, they don't show a curve *at all* for the 296S.
It would be very strange indeed if a mic intended for measurement applications had a HF lift. I presume it is flat(ter).
Gefell sent me the nominal/smoothed response curve for the M296S. It does not have the high frequency lift as in the nominal/smoothed M296 curve.
Attached Thumbnails
One Steinway, One pianist, One pair of Gefell M296s - feedback welcome!-m296s-typ.-frequenzgang.gif  

Last edited by Chuck_S; 15th July 2018 at 11:35 PM..
Old 16th July 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
Thanks for posting these recordings. I prefer the most recent, with the mics positioned closer
Thanks Chuck - I agree with you.

I think I did a better job on the second set of recordings by placing the mics closer in and lower down than I did first time around, where I was perhaps overly-worried about sightlines.

Either way, it was a fantastic learning opportunity to record the same musician in the same space on the same instrument; I hope I get the chance again.
Old 19th July 2018
  #25
I also prefer the 2nd. If I wanted a more distant sound, I could achieve that in post. It's hard to go the other way.
Old 23rd July 2018
  #26
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
Gefell sent me the nominal/smoothed response curve for the M296S. It does not have the high frequency lift as in the nominal/smoothed M296 curve.
THIS version does not grey out when clicked.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • 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 ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings 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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump