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Stero pair to record classical music Condenser Microphones
Old 18th May 2018
  #61
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As a classical guitarist, I found this useful:
https://youtu.be/SDpyMaPn3f8
Old 18th May 2018
  #62
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Plush's Avatar
For deedeeyeah:

No, certainly I will not add an “in my opinion.”

There is an acknowledged syndrome in recording officially called, “the small room sound.” This boxy Sound is imprinted on the recording forever. One can attempt to ameliorate it with a very high quality reverb. Mostly, however, it will always be there.

You’re new here.
Old 18th May 2018
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
No, certainly I will not add an “in my opinion.”

There is an acknowledged syndrome in recording officially called, “the small room sound.” This boxy Sound is imprinted on the recording forever. One can attempt to ameliorate it with a very high quality reverb. Mostly, however, it will always be there.

You’re new here.
new here? maybe on this platform (under this name). other than this, you're totally off in both your assuptions and claims - imo!
Old 18th May 2018
  #64
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Plush's Avatar
Only in the sense of coming in recently to GS. Please read some of my posts before commenting on my opinions or expertise.
Old 19th May 2018
  #65
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

This thread was doing OK for 1.5 pages but now, in true Gearslutz fashion, it is threatening to eat itself.

A. Original thread topic was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorba1977 View Post
Is there a stereo pair of microphones I can use to record classical music that I can use for years in almost all situations?
B. (Apparently) the new thread topic is:
Quote:
Originally Posted by balas View Post
Would you prefer the pearl cc22 for recording flamenco guitar over Schoeps or dpa in a small but well-treated room?
May I suggest that from now on respondents preface their replies with (A) or (B) so we, the unwashed masses, have an outside chance of knowing what the **** you are preaching in response to what.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 19th May 2018 at 12:02 PM..
Old 19th May 2018
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
This thread was doing OK for 1.5 pages but now, in true Gearslutz fashion, it is threatening to eat itself.

A. Original thread topic was:

B. (Apparently) the new thread topic is:

May I suggest that from now on respondents preface their replies with (A) or (B) so we, the unwashed masses, have an outside chance of knowing what the **** you are preaching in response to what.
In this spirit, and regarding (A) only, may I tentatively put forward the Sennheiser MKH 20? Reasons why this could fit as the 'do it all' mic to last many years:-

1. Almost as transparent and uncoloured as the most uncoloured of all contenders (there are other mics that might sound more 'pleasing' for particular instruments, e.g. piano, but the capture from a pair of MKH 20s will allow for fine adjustments via EQ from a very neutral starting point).

2. Has the near/diffuse field correction switch on the mic itself. In other words, diffuse field EQ can be selected if desired for when the mic needs this presence boost for use further back from the source.

I should stress that I suggest the above knowing that there are potentially 'better' omnis for specific applications/instruments. But I think it would be hard to go wrong with the MKH 20 as a safe all-rounder to last many years. (The 8020 is cheaper but lacks the diffuse/near field switch and is generally found a little thick in the mid bass, perhaps, even though Sennheiser themselves present it as their most uncoloured mic to date.)
Old 19th May 2018
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Pk View Post
In this spirit, and regarding (A) only, may I tentatively put forward the Sennheiser MKH 20? Reasons why this could fit as the 'do it all' mic to last many years:-
Great mic, but you're limited to omni. I'd start with cardioids (MKH40 etc) until the mic locker can be expanded.
Old 19th May 2018
  #68
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If one wants to do classical music recording, one should start with a pair of omni mics. Omni may not get you what you want every time but at least you will get what you want some of the time. Whereas cardioid will never get you want you want, any time. There is at least one octave of music missing in all the cardioid microphones, for one. It is simply a law of physics. Yes, there is a place for cardioid microphones in the classical recording but not by itself.
Old 19th May 2018
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
If one wants to do classical music recording, one should start with a pair of omni mics. Omni may not get you what you want every time but at least you will get what you want some of the time. Whereas cardioid will never get you want you want, any time. There is at least one octave of music missing in all the cardioid microphones, for one. It is simply a law of physics. Yes, there is a place for cardioid microphones in the classical recording but not by itself.
If I'd wanted to be similarly dogmatic, I could have deleted the sentence about the low octave, interchanged "cardioid" and "omni" in every other sentence, and posted the result over my signature. But instead of making absolute pronouncements, I will point out three reasons why I think a would-be classical recordist might be better-off starting with cardioids to learn their craft.

1. The rooms in which beginning recordists must work are seldom good enough for omni pickup.
2. Construction and effective use of near-coincident stereo arrays is an essential skill which must be mastered, but cannot be practiced with a pair of omnis.
3. Not all musical ensembles or scores require reproduction of the bottom musical octave. Even when such low notes exist in the score, prioritizing them over sonic clarity in higher octaves may be a mistake.

It's not that I don't like the sound of omnidirectional microphones. I love the way they sound... when used in an appropriate circumstance. If my recording work consisted solely of recording organ concerts, I'd probably use them all the time. But in my more typical work, I often find that I need to employ directional microphones to produce recordings that best serve the music.

Of course, if the OP can afford a pair of Schoeps MK 5's, we can all shake hands and be off to the pub together!

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording
Old 19th May 2018
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post

Of course, if the OP can afford a pair of Schoeps MK 5's, we can all shake hands and be off to the pub together!

David L. Rick
Seventh String Recording


Or, a pair of Sennheiser MKH800s.


Da-Hong
Old 19th May 2018
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
If one wants to do classical music recording, one should start with a pair of omni mics. Omni may not get you what you want every time but at least you will get what you want some of the time. Whereas cardioid will never get you want you want, any time. There is at least one octave of music missing in all the cardioid microphones, for one. It is simply a law of physics. Yes, there is a place for cardioid microphones in the classical recording but not by itself.
(a) looking at the design and specs of mics is one thing, experience (sometimes) another thing:

the sound one hears in many (older) european concert halls is quite 'boomy' with orchestras the size we have today - due to the size of the orchestras and their sound in those halls, hardly anyone i came across in the last 30 years is using but a stereo pair anymore. further mics lead to additional lf build up. newer surround formats require more precise localisation, hence the use of more directional mics that can yield some proximity effect, different aesthetics (less of a cloud, more precise picture): there are many reasons NOT to use omnis these days.

the only situation/place i'm using omnis is for rear ambis - otherwise wide cardioids, cardioids and hypercardioids, rarely fig8's. and i'm using hf filters on quite a few of these mics!

obviously different experience here...
Old 19th May 2018
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
(a) looking at the design and specs of mics is one thing, experience (sometimes) another thing:

many (older) european concert halls are quite 'boomy' with orchestras the size we have today - due to their size and their sound in those halls, hardly anyone i came across in the last 30 years is using but a stereo pair anymore. further mics lead to additional lf build up. newer surround formats require more precise localisation, hence the use of more directional mics that can yield some proximity effect, different aesthetics (less of a cloud, more precise picture): there are many reasons NOT to use omnis these days.

the only situation/place i'm using omnis is for rear ambis - otherwise wide cardioids, cardioids and hypercardioids, rarely fig8's. and i'm using hf filters on quite a few of these mics!

obiously different experience here...
Perhaps that is one of the reasons as why most of surround sound recordings sound like crap.
Old 20th May 2018
  #73
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surflounge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
+1

KMD is incredible with the premier set up being the KMD133 omni with ball.
The use of titanium gives the microphone the ability to withstand high-humidity environments, and higher SPL handling abilities
Old 20th May 2018
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
Perhaps that is one of the reasons as why most of surround sound recordings sound like crap.
well (c) then (c for surround):

one could say the same about any other format and technique getting used, it's just not very helpfull in this discussion...

you're making a pretty bold statment: maybe you are not familiar with some of the basic principles of surround sound?

(a) and (c) are related in so far that the transition from stereo to surround is almost depending on the use of some (more) cardioids: with (too) many omnis, surround tends to get muddy and directional information is getting masked by too much low frequency information.

and then there is a sub/lfe channel...
Old 20th May 2018
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
further mics lead to additional lf build up. newer surround formats require more precise localisation, hence the use of more directional mics that can yield some proximity effect
At what sort of miking distance does this 'proximity effect' start to make itself known ?
Old 20th May 2018
  #76
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i'm hearing some proximity effect mostly from close spot mics on instruments with larger reflective surfaces, so mostly piano, bass, maybe cello - hard to tell at what distance it starts...
Old 20th May 2018
  #77
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That is another reason why one should use omni mics. Omni does not have proximity effect. You can get as close as you want.

Look, you can always reduce the bass if too many omnis are open in the mix. but at least you have got the bass to work with.


Frankly, bass or no bass is not the real concern to me, it is the sound quality that is. There are whole host of reasons as why the quality of the sound is so different between the two. To my tin ears, cardioids just don't have that quality of the sound I am after. Come to think about, our ears are more omni than cardioid and we do hear down to 20Hz and below.

Again, there are places for cardioids in one's recording career as well but if I am starting to be a recording engineer and only can afford one pair I would start with omnis.
Old 20th May 2018
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
newer surround formats require more precise localisation, hence the use of more directional mics that can yield some proximity effect, different aesthetics
But these newer surround formats would require mics used as 'field coverage' eg ORTF, DIN, AB, Hamasaki Square, OCT Surround, IRT Cross etc at a distance... to give the localization cues. Not close miking, which is where proximity effect starts to come into play (0.5 metres or less usually)
Old 20th May 2018
  #79
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
A. Original thread topic: "Is there a stereo pair of microphones I can use to record classical music that I can use for years in almost all situations?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
I think a would-be classical recordist might be better-off starting with cardioids to learn their craft
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
if I am starting to be a recording engineer and only can afford one pair I would start with omnis
And around we go...

Vive la difference!

Welcome to Gearslutz!
Old 20th May 2018
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Original Thread topic :Is there a microphone that I can use for years in almost all situations?

And around we go...

Vive la difference!

Welcome to Gearslutz!
Even if the 'all situations' just pertains to all possible classical music recording contexts, the answer is still probably no....because there are small halls, big halls, halls with background noise, halls with excellent acoustics and so on.

If there was such "a microphone" we might have agreed on it around 2005... and shut up this shop immediately thereafter
Old 20th May 2018
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
But these newer surround formats would require mics used as 'field coverage' eg ORTF, DIN, AB, Hamasaki Square, OCT Surround, IRT Cross etc at a distance... to give the localization cues. Not close miking, which is where proximity effect starts to come into play (0.5 metres or less usually)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
That is another reason why one should use omni mics. Omni does not have proximity effect. You can get as close as you want.

Look, you can always reduce the bass if too many omnis are open in the mix. but at least you have got the bass to work with.


Frankly, bass or no bass is not the real concern to me, it is the sound quality that is. There are whole host of reasons as why the quality of the sound is so different between the two. To my tin ears, cardioids just don't have that quality of the sound I am after. Come to think about, our ears are more omni than cardioid and we do hear down to 20Hz and below.

Again, there are places for cardioids in one's recording career as well but if I am starting to be a recording engineer and only can afford one pair I would start with omnis.


(c) close mics are not for localisation per se but for bringing up specific instruments while keeping lots of separation, hence the use of directional mics: they get mixed (mostly) to the relevant surround busses.

yes, this close (sub 0.5m or blm)! i use proximity effect to my advantage (if wanted).

my main mics are mostly ortf (for stereo) and either a soundfield or more often an l/c/r setup. directional mics here too, no big love for irt, oct, hamasaki etc. for the same reason: i prefer getting rather distinct separation early on (would like to try double ortf though) as well as a pretty much 'finished' sound on the way in.

i'm therefore using low cuts and dynamics (if needed) onto the tracks (unless i'm not sure about further processing so i split mic signals with a split box): gets me a different sound from filtering/using dynamics when mixing off the tracks - with single band dynamics, lf is to be concerned (and yes, i know how to use multiband dynamics, but don't want to throw them in if not needed).

also, how would you derive a center channel from a main pair of omnis? possible but about as problematic as converting to m/s for processing...

p.s. above all or after some discussion actually (and back to (a): i get to mix and record both acoustic instruments and amplified/electronic instruments at the same time quite often - in my experience, it's far more easy to do this with a multitude of directional mics than with fewer omni mics, especiially if there are stage monitors involved. if someone can manoeuvre these situations with omnis, chapeau!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 20th May 2018 at 04:44 PM.. Reason: edited and p.s. added
Old 20th May 2018
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
Two Schoeps with MK5 caps are very versatile. Great Schoeps sound and the choice of cardiod or omni patterns.

-Tom
What he said!
Old 20th May 2018
  #83
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Plush's Avatar
It is absolutely essential that the beginning recordist start with a pair of cardioid mics. Otherwise how will s/he master main pair stereo recording. Setting up and comparing xy, ORTF, NOS, Lauridsen, Blumlein etc. is the very basis of all recording.

I, too, luv omni the best but it is for the experienced recordist. First things first.
Old 21st May 2018
  #84
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I fail to understand what the mystery, or big deal it is that one has to learn in order to stick a pair of microphones in front of a group of musicians, regardless the microphones in question be cardioid or omni. All that knowledge one needs is available in a not very thick textbook if he wants to read about it. You put the microphones somewhere in the room, point the microphones at the musicians and listen to the playback. If it sounds good you go with it, if not you move them one way or the other till the playback sounds relatively good to you. I can teach all the microphone techniques to someone in one session. There is nothing inherently more difficult in using omni mics than cardioids. Nor, one has to know how to use cardioids first before he can learn about omni. Recording is not a very hard thing to do. Mostly, it is a try and true thing after you get through some textbook pages. I made my first recording of my own violin playing when I was 7 or 8 years old without reading any book or receiving any personal instruction as none was available to me. I just experimented and listened and then experimented more and listened more. I became pretty good at it quickly, with the microphones I had. I tried all sorts of microphones I could put my hands on, carbon, dynamic, condenser, ribbon, cardioids, omni, figure8, tubes, transistors, IC chipped, manufacture made, home-made, some were bought, borrowed, rented, I tried them all.

Let’s go back to OP’s question, he wants to know what kind of first pair of microphones he should get. The honest truth is that it does not really matter because I am sure soon he will be getting his second pair and then third, fourth… Let’s admit it, we all have more microphones than we would ever need to have. It is an international recordists common disease.
Old 21st May 2018
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
It is absolutely essential that the beginning recordist start with a pair of cardioid mics. Otherwise how will s/he master main pair stereo recording. Setting up and comparing xy, ORTF, NOS, Lauridsen, Blumlein etc. is the very basis of all recording.

I, too, luv omni the best but it is for the experienced recordist. First things first.
Plush, did Lauridsen essentially convert Blumlein's theory into practical M-S technique in 1954 only, or did he pioneer any other form of stereo recording also ?

I'm aware of his method of generating pseudo stereo from a mono source using complementary comb filters. The filter system included a matrix where the left channel was produced by adding the original mono input signal to the original mono input signal delayed by 50 to 150ms. The right channel was produced by subtracting the original mono input signal from the delayed signal.

Lauridsen's use of MS was also handy in the vinyl cutting era, where bass could be centralized to prevent too much excursion of the playing stylus in the L/R direction, thus avoiding needle skipping
Old 21st May 2018
  #86
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jnorman's Avatar
Inre: “Recording is not a very hard thing to do.”

heretic! Seriously though, I am faced more and more with people saying oh, I’ll just record myself with my phone. I agree recording is not as hard as performing but it does require that you care about quality of reproduction and that you spend enough time and money to learn how to make that happen.
Old 21st May 2018
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Inre: “Recording is not a very hard thing to do.”

heretic! Seriously though, I am faced more and more with people saying oh, I’ll just record myself with my phone. I agree recording is not as hard as performing but it does require that you care about quality of reproduction and that you spend enough time and money to learn how to make that happen.
Ever since the advent of the 'home 1/4" tape recorder'...which preceded cassettes by several years...folks have been able to 'record themselves'

No doubt it's helped countless numbers of speech makers, musicians, actors etc of all levels to enhance their craft and expertise. The mobile phone is just the latest of these audio note-takers.

There have also been, since those early tape recorder days, several layers of recording excellence and evolution of the art/craft available...depending upon your ability to pay the price of admission (ie to pay for a studio session, or to buy the hardware oneself & educate same self in its use, etc)

In this forum we tend to be focussed upon the "recording very well" end of the spectrum...but it pays to be aware that our perception of these evolutionary layers of expertise is undergoing constant re-evaluation, with the emergence of cheaper yet sufficiently high quality hardware and also the 5 min DIY 'you're an instant expert' YouTube tutorial.

An 8 year old of average intelligence can record themselves and others competently, given access to these aids and hardware..and perhaps for many in the world such 'mere competence' is enough (the same % who were satisfied with the home 1/4" recording in 1962 ?)

The same divisions exist in levels of delivery of excellence...but the edges are getting blurred a lot more in 2018 than we might like them to be ?

Power to the People - Right On: and whether we approve or not, history will roll over us.....
Old 21st May 2018
  #88
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
Let’s go back to OP’s question, he wants to know what kind of first pair of microphones he should get. The honest truth is that it does not really matter because I am sure soon he will be getting his second pair and then third, fourth…
This made me lol - stick around Gearslutz enough and that's exactly what happens!

But it also recalls my previous post in which I also basically said - 'get both':
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
For a very modest €500 you could equip yourself with a pair of Line Audio CM3 cardioids and a pair of OM1 omnis, and get out there and start experimenting with either or both.
Because respectable quality gear nowadays is far cheaper than it used to be.

So this would be my first recommendation if a young person were to come to me and ask for some advice about starting out in classical recording.

Again, we still have no idea of the OP's budget, but with perhaps €2,000 of unavoidable expenditure on a laptop, 4-ch interface, mic stands, cables, cans etc I don't think 4 good mics for €500 is going to be money wasted in terms of a year or two of learning about mic placement and response curves etc.

When the OP gets a contract with Deutsche Grammophon, s/he will undoubtedly have the budget to stock up on Schoeps, DPA & Sennheisers accordingly, at that point surely having a much better idea of the range of mics required for the job.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 21st May 2018 at 09:19 AM..
Old 21st May 2018
  #89
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
If one wants to do classical music recording, one should start with a pair of omni mics. Omni may not get you what you want every time but at least you will get what you want some of the time. Whereas cardioid will never get you want you want, any time. There is at least one octave of music missing in all the cardioid microphones, for one. It is simply a law of physics. Yes, there is a place for cardioid microphones in the classical recording but not by itself.
I agree
Old 21st May 2018
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
There is nothing inherently more difficult in using omni mics than cardioids. Nor, one has to know how to use cardioids first before he can learn about omni. Recording is not a very hard thing to do.
Can we agree there are rooms and situations that omnis will not sound good in? As stated, with omnis you may not get what you want every time. To me, it doesn't seem fair to the client to roll the dice.

For a first (or only) pair of mics, cards will produce a usable result more reliably. With omnis only, you run the risk of not getting usable results in exchange for a subjective increase in quality the client may or may not notice.

I like the line audio solution. Just have both and be done with it.
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