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The mighty D.A.V. BG Preamp & Burl ADC Condenser Microphones
Old 15th December 2010
  #1
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Talking The mighty D.A.V. BG Preamp & Burl ADC

Here are some clips from a concert (inside the hall pictured in my avatar) that we recorded last Sunday with D.A.V. BG preamps and a Burl B2 ADC for main mics (Senn MKH800 in M-S). The performance was great and the recording turned out nice too.

The program was Vivaldi's Gloria in D RV589.

The acoustic you hear is entirely natural; ambiance was added only to the solo spot for blending. A small bit of wall-mounted room mics were added to capture the hall's depth (Shure KSM141 cardis > Neve 5012 preamp).

Every clip is different. The last one is a lilting soprano solo accompanied by an oboe. BTW, the WAVs sound MUCH better than MP3s: MusicClips4GS

Enjoy!

P.S. The clips are provided as a professional courtesy under the fair use doctrine solely for the purpose of educational discussion about audio recording tools and techniques.
Attached Files

Laudamus te.mp3 (3.57 MB, 797 views)

Gloria.mp3 (2.56 MB, 659 views)

Qui sedes.mp3 (3.40 MB, 483 views)

Domine deus.mp3 (5.06 MB, 530 views)


Last edited by MichaelPatrick; 15th December 2010 at 06:01 PM.. Reason: added WAVs
Old 15th December 2010
  #2
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Thanks for posting these Michael. Very interesting. They sound a bit bass heavy to me, and I am wondering why. Maybe it's my headphones.
Old 15th December 2010
  #3
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 

Wonderful.

Sounds very natural and draws me in in the headphones i have here (cheapie AKG K77 for listening at day job).

I despise really thin clinical classical recordings so if you decide to reduce lows at all please be subtle about it! Sounds full of life and the room right now!

Where/when can i get a copy? Don't normally listen to classical, but its not often recorded these days with such a nice tone.

Russell
Old 15th December 2010
  #4
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

The sound is natural, no boosted bass. The room itself can be boomy which makes recording in there a challenge.

I don't think MP3s help as they falsify and inflate low-mids and everything below. These WAVs are more accurate: MusicClips4GS
Old 15th December 2010
  #5
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Nobilmente's Avatar
 

Another one of your nice recordings Michael!

You've captured a sense of the space really well, although I guess it was even more reverberant than your recording, and the stereo image has a nice width with centre. The benefits of M&S !

Before I was married, this music is what my wife's choir (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus) where singing when we first met.

Thanks for clips.
Old 15th December 2010
  #6
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobilmente View Post
...I guess it was even more reverberant than your recording.
It's a boxy long room and the reverberation is nice when the hall has about 500 people, as on this occasion. There's always a buildup from bright side walls and a high bright ceiling. With an audience the sound can be even and articulate because it skips like a rock front-to-back on the walls and the ceiling. Without an audience, though, it's only good for small sounds that won't overexcite the acoustic modes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobilmente View Post
Before I was married, this music is what my wife's choir (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus) where singing when we first met.
What a nice start! I hope you're making it last. A few years ago my wife and I flew into Birmingham on Ryan Air from Dublin, but we caught a train same day. Do you still live in the area?
Old 15th December 2010
  #7
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Sounds fantastic Michael!

Please tell us a little more about the placement of the main and aux mics in the space.

Great job.
Old 15th December 2010
  #8
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcatdigi View Post
Please tell us a little more about the placement of the main and aux mics in the space.
Choir was on risers in the sanctuary which is 3 steps up from the main floor. A small period orchestra was in front of the choir on the tile hall floor. Main mics were 5 feet behind the orchestra and 14 feet up, at a vertical angle pointed straight back at the choir. This meant the orchestra, and especially the strings, reached main mic capsules off-axis. This softens the near orchestra; the choir was about 20 feet from the main mics.

The Shure KSM141 room mics were 10 feet up on each side wall in pressure zone cardiod angled toward the hall's distant rear ceiling. They were just in front of the conductor on each side of the orchestra. Very little of these was used except to catch the long tail and audience sounds.

The soloists stood in front of the choir on the platform level and just behind the small orchestra. The spot mic is Schoeps MK4, sweetened just enough to blend. The main mics picked up the solos; I used the soloist spot just to keep them from sounding too far back.

Only the main channels used the Burl ADC. Others used SD788T converters clocked by the Burl at 48.

Here are some stock pictures of the venue...
Attached Thumbnails
The mighty D.A.V. BG Preamp & Burl ADC-sc-mission-sanctuary.jpg   The mighty D.A.V. BG Preamp & Burl ADC-facing-front.jpg   The mighty D.A.V. BG Preamp & Burl ADC-facing-rear.jpg  
Old 15th December 2010
  #9
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

The D.A.V. BG preamp

The D.A.V. BG preamps just shine in these applications because, like a good ribbon mic, they hear things the way people do. I particularly like the way they handle dynamics. The information is all there but it doesn't exaggerate transients like some other high end preamps. With fine detailed microphones the combination can be wonderful.

The Burl ADC also has a sweet character because the analog circuit designed by Rich Williams (who also created UAD's transformerless 2192 AD/DA) has custom voiced input transformers and low-feedback amp stages which make the sound rounder, harmonically glued and more relaxing than other high end ADCs. I think quality microphones paired with a D.A.V. BG preamp and Burl's B2 ADC can capture magic if everything else in the performance is on par.
Old 15th December 2010
  #10
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Mickael, why is the sound so far ?
It seems that everything could be closer and then you should have less boxy sound.
I think we hear what peaple there heard, but it seems that at home we need more presence.
Old 15th December 2010
  #11
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm View Post
Mickael, why is the sound so far ?
It seems that everything could be closer and then you should have less boxy sound.
I think we hear what peaple there heard, but it seems that at home we need more presence.
It's ultimately a matter of taste. I find that players tend to like it closer and most others tend to like it a bit more distant. Play the WAVs on a reference system and close your eyes.

In this venue with this staging the most important challenge was to balance the choir and orchestra with live walls competing for attention. I could easily make the instruments drier but then the choir would sound from another space. If a room is acoustically OK I personally don't mind hearing a bit more of it; I just settle in like I'm audience and enjoy. I also think that many recordings done with artificial reverb have no room in them at all. Rooms are like people, they should add a character to the mix. I usually like characters even though some smell a little.
Old 15th December 2010
  #12
michael, this sounds amazing. thanks for sharing.
what a dream job, i think it's time for me to get of the festival circuit!
cheers, jeremy
Old 15th December 2010
  #13
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyglover View Post
michael, this sounds amazing. thanks for sharing.
what a dream job, i think it's time for me to get of the festival circuit!
cheers, jeremy
Jeremy, you're welcome. The star here is the gear because we could get a good recording with lots of different equipment, but the options we chose that day worked surprisingly well together. We'll definitely use them again.

P.S. This gig pays, but my day job is also needed else I couldn't pay the high cost of living here in central California.
Old 16th December 2010
  #14
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Nobilmente's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
It's a boxy long room and the reverberation is nice when the hall has about 500 people, as on this occasion. There's always a buildup from bright side walls and a high bright ceiling. With an audience the sound can be even and articulate because the sound skips like a rock front-to-back on the walls and the ceiling. Without an audience, though, it's only good for small sounds that won't overexcite its acoustic modes.



What a nice start! I hope you're making it last. A few years ago my wife and I flew into Birmingham on Ryan Air from Dublin, but we caught a train same day. Do you still live in the area?

I do still live in that area, about 20 minutes drive away from the airport I guess, it's an area with more countryside outside of the city.
I moved from a northerly part of England, which was very picturesque) to Birmingham when I got married, as my wife to be was living in Birmingham.........sadly the marriage lasted only 13 years (a significant number?!) ~ I'm situated centrally in the country and for a musician/engineer it's very handy for travelling to gigs.
Old 18th December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathieujm View Post
Mickael, why is the sound so far ?
It seems that everything could be closer and then you should have less boxy sound.
I think we hear what peaple there heard, but it seems that at home we need more presence.
To me the orchestra sounds a bit glassy/disembodied and as if everything were coming off tiled walls. The lower end is a problem, and if that is really the way the hall sounds, the conductor has abdicated his/her job by not addressing this problem in one or more of many possible ways.

However, what Michael says is true-much of this is subjective. It wouldn't be so interesting if everyone made recordings that sounded pretty much the same. At Michael's suggestion I listened to the wave file and it is an improvement.

I do very much like the cleanness of the recording and the chance to hear top shelf gear employed so well in the recording chain. Very nice, and a pleasure to hear.
Old 18th December 2010
  #16
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boojum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
Here are some clips from a concert (inside the hall pictured in my avatar) that we recorded last Sunday with D.A.V. BG preamps and a Burl B2 ADC for main mics (Senn MKH800 in M-S). The performance was great and the recording turned out nice too.

The program was Vivaldi's Gloria in D RV589.

The acoustic you hear is entirely natural; ambiance was added only to the solo spot for blending. A small bit of wall-mounted room mics were added to capture the hall's depth (Shure KSM141s > Neve 5012 preamp).

Every clip is different. The last one is a lilting soprano solo accompanied by an oboe. Here are the WAVs: MusicClips4GS

Enjoy!

P.S. The clips are provided as a professional courtesy under the fair use doctrine solely for the purpose of educational discussion about audio recording tools and techniques.

Laudo te. thumbsup

Good room, good performance, good gear, good engineer = good recording. I think you have been recording in this hall before and have, no doubt, mastered it. These are lovely recordings and bring the feel of "being there." At first I thought the distance too far but after a bit it all seemed "right" to me. Great work. The music is just lovely. This sure beats model railroading. heh
Old 18th December 2010
  #17
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OT: trying not to hijack...
Michael-have you pointed those 141's at a choir using the cardioid pattern? If so, what do you think?
Old 19th December 2010
  #18
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
To me the orchestra sounds a bit glassy/disembodied and as if everything were coming off tiled walls. The lower end is a problem, and if that is really the way the hall sounds, the conductor has abdicated his/her job by not addressing this problem in one or more of many possible ways.

However, what Michael says is true-much of this is subjective. It wouldn't be so interesting if everyone made recordings that sounded pretty much the same. At Michael's suggestion I listened to the wave file and it is an improvement.

I do very much like the cleanness of the recording and the chance to hear top shelf gear employed so well in the recording chain. Very nice, and a pleasure to hear.
JEGG, you've nailed the acoustic qualities: The room is rectangular, the stucco ceiling and walls are flat, painted and sonically bright, and the floor is tiled which is also bright. You can clearly hear near echo at all frequencies. Bass energy radiates, it can't dissipate into wall or floor.

The conductor was the choral Director working with a small orchestra of period instruments. He can't do anything about the room, it's a California historical landmark. Instruments were:

1st Violins - 3
2nd Violins - 3
Violas - 2
Cello - 1
Violone - 1
Oboe - 2
Trumpet - 1 (plus 2 valveless)
Timpani - 1
Organ - 1 (a small wood-pipe organ, German)
Old 19th December 2010
  #19
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
OT: trying not to hijack...
Michael-have you pointed those 141's at a choir using the cardioid pattern? If so, what do you think?
I've used the KSM141s exclusively for room pickup because I've got other proven options. I hope to use them for spots or mains sometime this season, and I'll let you know and may post a few clips.
Old 19th December 2010
  #20
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
Laudo te. thumbsup

Good room, good performance, good gear, good engineer = good recording. I think you have been recording in this hall before and have, no doubt, mastered it. These are lovely recordings and bring the feel of "being there." At first I thought the distance too far but after a bit it all seemed "right" to me. Great work. The music is just lovely. This sure beats model railroading. heh
Thanks for the kind words. The room is the main reason that it sounds distant, and you're right - if you just accept the room for what it is the music becomes enjoyable because the players and singers were good.
Old 19th December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post

The conductor was the choral Director working with a small orchestra of period instruments. He can't do anything about the room, it's a California historical landmark. Instruments were:

1st Violins - 3
2nd Violins - 3
Violas - 2
Cello - 1
Violone - 1
Oboe - 2
Trumpet - 1 (plus 2 valveless)
Timpani - 1
Organ - 1 (a small wood-pipe organ, German)
Normally, problems like that can be vastly improved by moving the players with in the room, simply telling them to play differently, or setting up slightly differently. On finding that these nodes are being excited by a single violone and a cello, I would concede this would not be an easy problem to overcome!

Out of curiosity, has anyone (the musicians) tried very different setups: for example, setting up much further into the room, or on the long side, etc.? That may result in reduced seating capacity, though sometimes the audience likes the change in sight lines.

Anyway, a difficult hall, good job.
Old 19th December 2010
  #22
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post
...has anyone (the musicians) tried very different setups: for example, setting up much further into the room, or on the long side, etc.? That may result in reduced seating capacity, though sometimes the audience likes the change in sight lines.
Yes, ironically, the rear of the hall below the raised organ pipes is a better place for performers. Some of the same issues exist there but at least there's no cavernous sanctuary area to excite and the rear wall is covered with velour curtains. The ratio of direct to reflected sound coming out of that "stage" is better.
Old 19th December 2010
  #23
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Sounds great! It doesn't sound bass heavy to me. Sounds balanced, warm, and most importantly it is enjoyable and easy to listen to.
Old 19th December 2010
  #24
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Sheikyearbouti's Avatar
Thumbs up

thumbsup To me it is not too roomy and I really like the stereo image and the whole sensation of spaciousness and depth.
It's nice too that the sound is very polite for the ears. I have only Grace preamps and in some situations this is what I miss (although I love em & I think that they are a great piece of gear).

Next purchase: D.A.V.
Old 19th December 2010
  #25
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

The mighty D.A.V. BG Preamp & Burl ADC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheikyearbouti
thumbsup I really like the stereo image and the whole sensation of spaciousness and depth.
It's nice too that the sound is very polite.
In addition to the preamp's politeness, transformers in the Burl ADC contribute a gentle distinctive punch to each section in the choir and orchestra which gives the overall sound a playful and interesting three-dimensional dynamism.
Old 19th December 2010
  #26
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
The sound is natural, no boosted bass. The room itself can be boomy which makes recording in there a challenge.

I don't think MP3s help as they falsify and inflate low-mids and everything below. These WAVs are more accurate: MusicClips4GS
I'm listening to the wave of Laudamus te right now. I wouldn't change anything, sounds nice and natural. No need for any eq adjustments, the imaging or short reflections sound kind of strange, especially on the right side. Not anything bad, I like the recording. It's probably just the room or maybe the spot mic/main mic blend?

Anyways, as usual Michael great recording. It's cool that you record in that same room a lot so that you become very familiar with it's acoustics.
Old 20th December 2010
  #27
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Actually I just listened on my good ole HD 280s and now I don't really hear what I was hearing on my tiny ear buds. Go figure!
Old 20th December 2010
  #28
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piotr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
Here are some clips from a concert (inside the hall pictured in my avatar) that we recorded last Sunday with D.A.V. BG preamps and a Burl B2 ADC for main mics (Senn MKH800 in M-S). The performance was great and the recording turned out nice too.

The program was Vivaldi's Gloria in D RV589.

The acoustic you hear is entirely natural; ambiance was added only to the solo spot for blending. A small bit of wall-mounted room mics were added to capture the hall's depth (Shure KSM141s > Neve 5012 preamp).

Every clip is different. The last one is a lilting soprano solo accompanied by an oboe. Here are the WAVs: MusicClips4GS

Enjoy!

P.S. The clips are provided as a professional courtesy under the fair use doctrine solely for the purpose of educational discussion about audio recording tools and techniques.

Just wanted to thank you for posting these.
I think the recordings sound beautiful!

But I was especially excited because I have just recently bought a dual D.A.V. BG pre and myself was really happy with the neutral quality of this plain looking, and very reasonably priced unit.
So, it's really exciting to hear these amazing recordings done with it.
Of course, a preamp is only a one small component of the equation, and your skill, knowledge are far more important that a piece of gear... BUT, it IS gearslutz, and it made me happy to hear this great quality work done with the D.A.V. BG!

Thanks again for sharing this lovely music with us!
Sincerely,
p.
Old 20th December 2010
  #29
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Michael,

That's a new ADC on the marketplace ? Could you please hurl us an URL for the Burl ? Thanks very much for those samples !
Old 20th December 2010
  #30
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Michael,

That's a new ADC on the marketplace ? Could you please hurl us an URL for the Burl ? Thanks very much for those samples !
Yes, I think it's only been out about year or so. Here you go...
Burl Audio home page: http://www.burlaudio.com/
Tape Op Review: http://farmelo.com/blog/?p=369
Price: Burl B2 Bomber ADC - Sonic Circus 888-SC4-GEAR
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