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small room mic'ing for jazz trio!
Old 4th June 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
small room mic'ing for jazz trio!

Hello!

I already posted same thing at newbie engineering forum but after I read few threads here, I think it can be great to ask here.

so basically I just finished built my studio(to practice piano/keys, and sometimes rehearsal) and out of curiosity recorded myself play little things.


[more about the room]
room is 20 f x 17 f x 8.8f height, and I'm using liltte more than half of the room for piano and rehearsal space, and little less than half of the room for my production sides.(computer, audio interface, synths etc...)



it turned out that if I use right microphone at right spot, I thought I can produce decent album here.

as a musician, I always wanted to produce my own records at my own place and as soon as I finished built, I started thinking about making a record this summer.


what I'm trying to do is record piano trio here. (upright bass, drums, piano)

and microphones that I have :

Shure KSM141 MP (for room mic? or piano )
AKG C414 XLS (upright bass)
Lauten Audio LA-320 (no idea yet)


and I'm thinking to add

Line Audio CM-3 MP for drum over head
Nohype LRM-2 RIbbon Pair for Piano

and one LDC(omni) for drum(around shoulder or knee invented by Remoteness).


any mic suggestion beside what I wrote? (trying not to spend over 1k, since spend lots of money when I built and bought some synthesizers this year...)
Attached Thumbnails
small room mic'ing for jazz trio!-img_6847.jpg   small room mic'ing for jazz trio!-img_6848.jpg  
Old 4th June 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Well you've clearly built yourself a nice space for you and your piano, but I think the main issue in that space as it is in terms of a full trio is going to be trying to play, let alone record anything in there with a live drum kit.

However quietly your drummer plays (and you can only put a lid on drummers for so long!) the drums are going to leak into every other mic, and possibly be so loud and reverberant in that small space that you may struggle as a musical unit.

Have you already rehearsed the full trio in there and if so, how was it in terms of hearing each other?

I wouldn't spend a dime on any gear until you've sorted that out - in particular double-bass players always struggle against piano and drums in terms of being heard, unless your brand of jazz is unusually 'ambient'!
Old 4th June 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
Good point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Well you've clearly built yourself a nice space for you and your piano, but I think the main issue in that space as it is in terms of a full trio is going to be trying to play, let alone record anything in there with a live drum kit.

However quietly your drummer plays (and you can only put a lid on drummers for so long!) the drums are going to leak into every other mic, and possibly be so loud and reverberant in that small space that you may struggle as a musical unit.

Have you already rehearsed the full trio in there and if so, how was it in terms of hearing each other?

I wouldn't spend a dime on any gear until you've sorted that out - in particular double-bass players always struggle against piano and drums in terms of being heard, unless your brand of jazz is unusually 'ambient'!
Thanks for the advice. I just was going to get some mic before I tried with full band. I guess then it should be end of this month. I’ll try to capture something with mics I have and report back.
Much appreciate for your input!
Old 4th June 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

I've recorded a lot of jazz in small (acoustically sub-optimal) rooms. What works best for me is close-miking with hypercardiod dynamic mics, such as Beyerdynamic M160 (ribbon, excellent), M201, M88, M69 (great for upright bass), Sennheiser 441.

There's two reasons why I generally avoid wider pickup patterns: 1) to minimize the room acoustic, and 2) to avoid bleed. Some bleed is fine, but if you have too much, mixing becomes frustrating.

I will sometimes use a condensor or a fig-8 ribbon, placing other sources in the null of the fig-8. But the majority of the tracks will be done with hypercardiods.

A small jazz group is not a classical chamber group. The sound of jazz has always been close-miked. Classical music usually happens in acoustically beautiful spaces and sounds better from a distance. Jazz doesn't, the instruments want to sound full, present, intimate, a bit in-your-face. Listen to the classic jazz recordings of the 50s-70s on BlueNote, Prestige, Columbia, Riverside -- the mics are generally pretty close.
Old 4th June 2019
  #5
Damp the ceiling, that is your first reflection source. Aim cardiode null spots towards the reflective surfaces to minimize their effect. That room is about the same size as my main room except I have 13 foot ceilings.
Old 5th June 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
Damp.. but how?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Damp the ceiling, that is your first reflection source. Aim cardiode null spots towards the reflective surfaces to minimize their effect. That room is about the same size as my main room except I have 13 foot ceilings.
Thanks Jim for point out few things.

I have zero experience when it comes to acoustic, so i had a carpenter made bass trap but didn’t make any acoustic panels since I was afraid that if i make a room to dead (want it to be bit more live). And you’re saying that I have to damp the ceiling. That means acoustic clouds or do i have to do some treatment?
Old 5th June 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
Thanks for advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann View Post
I've recorded a lot of jazz in small (acoustically sub-optimal) rooms. What works best for me is close-miking with hypercardiod dynamic mics, such as Beyerdynamic M160 (ribbon, excellent), M201, M88, M69 (great for upright bass), Sennheiser 441.

There's two reasons why I generally avoid wider pickup patterns: 1) to minimize the room acoustic, and 2) to avoid bleed. Some bleed is fine, but if you have too much, mixing becomes frustrating.

I will sometimes use a condensor or a fig-8 ribbon, placing other sources in the null of the fig-8. But the majority of the tracks will be done with hypercardiods.

A small jazz group is not a classical chamber group. The sound of jazz has always been close-miked. Classical music usually happens in acoustically beautiful spaces and sounds better from a distance. Jazz doesn't, the instruments want to sound full, present, intimate, a bit in-your-face. Listen to the classic jazz recordings of the 50s-70s on BlueNote, Prestige, Columbia, Riverside -- the mics are generally pretty close.
Yes, I started understanding what kind of mic pattern will work and what won’t. Thanks for your wisdom.

Unfortunately I’m not able to spend lot of money.

M160 pair would be my best bet, but i think m160 is mostly for drum over heads, no?

I was going to get cm3 pair and om1, lrm-2 ribbons but I guess going to change plan.

And if you’re buying mic for piano, what would it be? Cheaper and sound decent mics would be great!
Old 5th June 2019
  #8
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Some great responses here.

I believe getting the room acoustically tune up a bit more is more important than which mics (at the moment) you are using.

Like Honkermann stated, close-mic'd instruments with hypercardioid polar patterned mics is an excellent way to handle such a small room environment. Using the right pick up characteristics of a mic is key. That said, omni, cardioid and supercardioid mics can be introduced in the same environment as long as you place, focus and position all transducers accordingly. Placement of the instruments in relationship to where the transducers are is paramount to keep the "good" leakage from becoming "bad" leakage.
Old 5th June 2019
  #9
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I love using M160s for overheads when they are placed the way I place them.

They are also an excellent mic for many other instruments and such. When applicable, I like to pair the M160 with a M130 for mid-side stereo applications. In this case, the M130 captures the “side” channel, and the M160 captures the “mid.”

The M160 sounds fabulous on a electric guitar cabinet. I also like it on strings, brass and percussion. They sound amazing on (organ top) Leslie cabinets too. Some folks like them on acoustic piano. I haven't used them in that position as of yet because I have other solutions for that task.

I have 12 of them in my mic locker. I also have a few M260s just because I can.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
Yes, I started understanding what kind of mic pattern will work and what won’t. Thanks for your wisdom.

Unfortunately I’m not able to spend lot of money.

M160 pair would be my best bet, but i think m160 is mostly for drum over heads, no?

I was going to get cm3 pair and om1, lrm-2 ribbons but I guess going to change plan.

And if you’re buying mic for piano and upright for this room, what would it be? Cheaper and sound decent mics would be great!
Old 5th June 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
Ok, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I love using M160s for overheads when they are placed the way I place them.

They are also an excellent mic for many other instruments and such. When applicable, I like to pair the M160 with a M130 for mid-side stereo applications. In this case, the M130 captures the “side” channel, and the M160 captures the “mid.”

The M160 sounds fabulous on a electric guitar cabinet. I also like it on strings, brass and percussion. They sound amazing on (organ top) Leslie cabinets too. Some folks like them on acoustic piano. I haven't used them in that position as of yet because I have other solutions for that task.

I have 12 of them in my mic locker. I also have a few M260s just because I can.
I wish I have enough budget, but unfortunately not and I’m not an engineer so it’s not wise to invest lots of money for mics I think.. but definitely i can get m160 for sure but then it got me thinking, what I should use for piano. For close miking, as you guys wrote down, hyper cardioid or figuer-8 would work, so I’m thinking cheap/decent mic for piano like nohype lrm-2.
And experiment with what I have.

Probably I will start rehearse from end of this month or early july, I will update with photos and music clips.

Mean while I have to write few more songs and hopefully I can build some acoustic clouds
Old 5th June 2019
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Like I stated in my first reply, "I believe getting the room acoustically tune up a bit more is more important than which mics (at the moment) you are using.

Like Honkermann stated, close-mic'd instruments with hypercardioid polar patterned mics is an excellent way to handle such a small room environment. Using the right pick up characteristics of a mic is key. That said, omni, cardioid and supercardioid mics can be introduced in the same environment as long as you place, focus and position all transducers accordingly. Placement of the instruments in relationship to where the transducers are is paramount to keep the "good" leakage from becoming "bad" leakage."


I would personally not be using a figure eight polar pattern mic on the acoustic piano in this space. I would also consider building a few gobos, more bass traps and such along with those ceiling acoustic clouds you plan to build.

Get that room sounding right, so the mics you already own sound good with proper placement and positioning of the instruments and transducers is paramount.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
I wish I have enough budget, but unfortunately not and I’m not an engineer so it’s not wise to invest lots of money for mics I think.. but definitely i can get m160 for sure but then it got me thinking, what I should use for piano. For close miking, as you guys wrote down, hyper cardioid or figuer-8 would work, so I’m thinking cheap/decent mic for piano like nohype lrm-2.
And experiment with what I have.

Probably I will start rehearse from end of this month or early july, I will update with photos and music clips.

Mean while I have to write few more songs and hopefully I can build some acoustic clouds
Old 5th June 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
Okay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Like I stated in my first reply, "I believe getting the room acoustically tune up a bit more is more important than which mics (at the moment) you are using.

Like Honkermann stated, close-mic'd instruments with hypercardioid polar patterned mics is an excellent way to handle such a small room environment. Using the right pick up characteristics of a mic is key. That said, omni, cardioid and supercardioid mics can be introduced in the same environment as long as you place, focus and position all transducers accordingly. Placement of the instruments in relationship to where the transducers are is paramount to keep the "good" leakage from becoming "bad" leakage."


I would personally not be using a figure eight polar pattern mic on the acoustic piano in this space. I would also consider building a few gobos, more bass traps and such along with those ceiling acoustic clouds you plan to build.

Get that room sounding right, so the mics you already own sound good with proper placement and positioning of the instruments and transducers is paramount.
I guess going to build clouds/few gobos first then!

Next time I will post photos with some gobos and hopefully rehearsal clips as well.

Best!

K.Shim
Old 15th July 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
here are some samples!

it's been a while, I built few gobos and did short session last night.

here is short sample !

mic were using, (Remoteness you're right! but I wanted to experiment with Ribbon Mic, somehow I always wanted to give it a shot to them.)

PIANO : 2 X LRM-2 Ribbon
Drums : 2 X Shure Ksm141 Overhead in Cardioid pattern
Bass : C414 XLS hypercardioid pattern

I did little bit of eq and threw some reverb and panned drum bus little bit to right, piano to left, bass on center.


forgot to take the photo during the session but I took a picture after,

piano was in the right corner, bass on left, and drums were as shown in the picture.

any advice ?
Attached Thumbnails
small room mic'ing for jazz trio!-img_7723.jpg  
Attached Files

Mixdown(3).mp3 (1,013.7 KB, 745 views)

raw sample.mp3 (1,013.7 KB, 712 views)

Old 15th July 2019
  #14
Gear Maniac
About room treatment :

I was really busy past few weeks, and gigs are slowing down now so I think I’m going to make some ceiling clouds as soon as I can.


And after last night I learned something, Like advices you guys gave me hypercardioid worked great(i think) on bass. Since I already purchased two ribbon mics I gotta keep experiment with them.
Especially drum overheads, they picked too much of piano and little bit of bass. Drummer wanted to play just with brushes which was great I think, but still there were bleeding on drum overheads and piano mics.
Next time I will experiment with another mic setup
Old 15th July 2019
  #15
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Nice Job. Step by step you shall reach your goals.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Head
I think you did a pretty good job! I've tried to record similar stuff a couple of times. Ajfarber on this forum gave the advice to record the drums like RGV did for bluenote. The technique is to use 2 mics but instead of using them as overheads you put one out in front of the kit above or around the tom pointing at the snare and this is your "main mic" the other one in front of the kit more to the high hat side and this one you adjust to get a the amount of high hat you want. This give you more kick than with traditional overheads. The other flip side in your case is that the mics null will be pointing towards the other instruments rather than the ceiling and that might help with the leak.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
Ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaker View Post
I think you did a pretty good job! I've tried to record similar stuff a couple of times. Ajfarber on this forum gave the advice to record the drums like RGV did for bluenote. The technique is to use 2 mics but instead of using them as overheads you put one out in front of the kit above or around the tom pointing at the snare and this is your "main mic" the other one in front of the kit more to the high hat side and this one you adjust to get a the amount of high hat you want. This give you more kick than with traditional overheads. The other flip side in your case is that the mics null will be pointing towards the other instruments rather than the ceiling and that might help with the leak.
Thanks! I’ve been away for gigs.. tomorrow I’m making some panels and ceiling clouds and another session coming this weekend. If I have a time, will experiment that bluenote style micing for sure!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Head
http://www.davebrubeckjazz.com/downl...Time%20Out.jpg

Something like this, (This is Columbia records but anyway.) But I usually add a SDC out in front of the snare/high hat if I need more hat or brushes.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Like I stated in my first reply, "I believe getting the room acoustically tune up a bit more is more important than which mics (at the moment) you are using.

Like Honkermann stated, close-mic'd instruments with hypercardioid polar patterned mics is an excellent way to handle such a small room environment. Using the right pick up characteristics of a mic is key. That said, omni, cardioid and supercardioid mics can be introduced in the same environment as long as you place, focus and position all transducers accordingly. Placement of the instruments in relationship to where the transducers are is paramount to keep the "good" leakage from becoming "bad" leakage."


I would personally not be using a figure eight polar pattern mic on the acoustic piano in this space. I would also consider building a few gobos, more bass traps and such along with those ceiling acoustic clouds you plan to build.

Get that room sounding right, so the mics you already own sound good with proper placement and positioning of the instruments and transducers is paramount.
I built few gobos as I stated and clouds and acoustic panels!!

Haven’t done sessions before I install acoustic panels but I did record some when I finished clouds.

One thing I noticed was I could monitor better through my speaker when I listen back, some heavy bass frequencies were gone(especially when I noodle some synth bass)

And I totally can see why you guys recommended hyper cardioid. Now I need to buy more hyper cardioids for my setup now.

I’m still learning, how to mic piano and drum and bass, and I hear improvement than last time. Hope I have a time to keep doing this and build solid mic lockers in few year.

I’ll post some samples later on!
Attached Thumbnails
small room mic'ing for jazz trio!-2b81a74d-88b1-4fa2-a20d-5207b938861a.jpg   small room mic'ing for jazz trio!-683410d1-ead7-4fdd-9906-aa528ae283c1.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Lives for gear
Not all small rooms sound crappy...case in point (with 11 players all giving their best, and very good clarity for all) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRipadkd6wk

Keeping a lid on playing volume, good arrangements and intelligent choice of mics all play a part here...the Tiny Desks are model exemplars of making a small space work...and let's not forget that they squeeze an audience in there too !
Old 6 days ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Not all small rooms sound crappy...case in point (with 11 players all giving their best, and very good clarity for all) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRipadkd6wk

Keeping a lid on playing volume, good arrangements and intelligent choice of mics all play a part here...the Tiny Desks are model exemplars of making a small space work...and let's not forget that they squeeze an audience in there too !
Actually it’s a small section of a very large “open
plan” floor in NPR’s Washington building.

To the left rear in the above video it is wide open to a very large open space with many desks with low cubicle dividers. To the right rear is a wide corridor to the central open atrium with stairs and elevators. To the left front is a low divider and on the other side is the engineer who records the concerts on a Sound Devices 788.
Besides the many mic MKH418 there is a pair of ? Schoeps MK4’s hung from the ceiling roughly above where the camera is located.
The video is shot roughly on the diagonal of this
“office”.
Old 6 days ago
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
Actually it’s a small section of a very large “open
plan” floor in NPR’s Washington building.

To the left rear in the above video it is wide open to a very large open space with many desks with low cubicle dividers. To the right rear is a wide corridor to the central open atrium with stairs and elevators. To the left front is a low divider and on the other side is the engineer who records the concerts on a Sound Devices 788.
Besides the many mic MKH418 there is a pair of ? Schoeps MK4’s hung from the ceiling roughly above where the camera is located.
The video is shot roughly on the diagonal of this
“office”.
That's great to have so much additional detail about the space these are recorded in...thank you on behalf of everyone who has interest in the way the Tiny Desk series is captured

When it comes to what the mics actually see/hear however, it's effectively a pair of absorber/diffusors behind the players (ie the bookshelves) at right angles...so the team there have created a relatively reflection-free alcove for the band (notwithstanding the low ceiling height...but even that is possibly perforated acoustic tiles, like they use in school classrooms ?)

I don't know where the instrument amps are located, perhaps under that desk in front of the players...and perhaps we're getting a blend of miked cabinet plus DI/line-out sound ?

So I'm puzzled as to whether the large acoustic space surrounding them actually has much bearing on the sound we hear, compared with keeping levels low, self discipline and internal balancing via arrangements.... plus careful mic selection ?

I don't see any monitor wedges for players...that would add to the general dB level being pumped into the space, and is likely thus "not cost effective"?
Old 6 days ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
That's great to have so much additional detail about the space these are recorded in...thank you on behalf of everyone who has interest in the way the Tiny Desk series is captured

When it comes to what the mics actually see/hear however, it's effectively a pair of absorber/diffusors behind the players (ie the bookshelves) at right angles...so the team there have created a relatively reflection-free alcove for the band (notwithstanding the low ceiling height...but even that is possibly perforated acoustic tiles, like they use in school classrooms ?)

I don't know where the instrument amps are located, perhaps under that desk in front of the players...and perhaps we're getting a blend of miked cabinet plus DI/line-out sound ?

So I'm puzzled as to whether the large acoustic space surrounding them actually has much bearing on the sound we hear, compared with keeping levels low, self discipline and internal balancing via arrangements.... plus careful mic selection ?

I don't see any monitor wedges for players...that would add to the general dB level being pumped into the space, and is likely thus "not cost effective"?
Can’t say what they did specifically for this concert but in a couple of how-to videos in the past they mention using a direct lineout or micing amps. Also for drum kits they mention Steve Remote’s “single mic at right knee” or Glyn Johns
2 OH and mic inside the kick.

As I recall the visible ceiling was approximately 10’ up (acoustical tile?) in typical drop ceiling.

As I recall, the floor was carpeted and combined
with the nearby absorption and diffusion plus relatively close micing ( I believe the engineer
said the ceiling mics weren’t used much) made for
fairly controlled acoustic. Being in a large overall space completely avoided issues with a boxy
lowend that you deal with in genuine small rooms.
Old 6 days ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
Thanks guys, yes I’ve been watching tiny desk for a while but never paid attention how they mic’d. One of my buddy was in one of the show and He told me that Npr guys didn’t let them play loud(i guess of course but my friend is very sensitive piano/key player as well as drummer, so I assume they had to play at very low volume.)

Now another question chiming in!

I think I’m getting pretty decent sound from

Two ribbons Ortf,(read about this technique at aea blog) about 12” from right side of piano.

I was experimenting with blumlein and spaced, faulkner array(?), but this ortf thing was best.

So if I play with band in a same room, I know there will be bleed, little bit of bass and little more of drums.

Since I like the sound with Ortf, how can I minimize bleed? Maybe I can put a carpet around a piano or make a curved shape reflection filter so that I can out them behind the mics.

Any thoughts?
Old 5 days ago
  #25
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
How Josh Rogosin records drums at Tiny Desk...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7L5cLqdRwE


Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Not all small rooms sound crappy...case in point (with 11 players all giving their best, and very good clarity for all) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRipadkd6wk

Keeping a lid on playing volume, good arrangements and intelligent choice of mics all play a part here...the Tiny Desks are model exemplars of making a small space work...and let's not forget that they squeeze an audience in there too !
Old 4 days ago
  #26
Gear Maniac
Wow..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
How Josh Rogosin records drums at Tiny Desk...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7L5cLqdRwE
Was always wondering right knee technique, now I got the idea!

Thanks Steve. You’re amazing!
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