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Pipe Organ recording...A-B or Jecklin ? Condenser Microphones
Old 19th September 2011
  #1
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Talking Pipe Organ recording...A-B or Jecklin ?

I have a pipe organ recording coming up in a few weeks, and I'm wondering if you have recommendations about placement for a Sennheiser MKH8020 pair. Would you use an A-B bar, and if so of what length ? I've read of bars up to a metre or more being used, although for most orchestral and ensemble concerts my bar is usually 35-50 cms. Height above the floor is going to be significant, to avoid reflections, so I'm guessing it needs to be up around 6 metres or higher ? I have a Jecklin Disk, would that be a useful alternative to the A-B method ? Does 6 to 10 metres back from the organ sound about right ? I'll post a picture of the organ and theatre, which may be helpful.....!
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Pipe Organ recording...A-B or Jecklin ?-imgp4718.jpg  
Old 19th September 2011
  #2
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In my (limited experience) 50-60 cm works well, I usually have the microphones about 1/3 way of the building length from the organ and as high as possible, which is about 8 m with my tallest stand. It looks like your organ is positioned lower and has no loft railing to block the sound, so no need to reach too high. Jecklin disk might or might not improve the sound/imaging, you can only test it and compare. I have used it successfully a few times, in some churches it gave too much bass to my liking, or actually blocked some highs too much. The last time I used Senn 8020 mics I had 40mm balls* on them, sounded nice and spacey. 42 cm AB, mic angle about 90 degrees.

*) DIY design and manufacture from pinewood decoration balls, 1.50€ a piece.
Old 19th September 2011
  #3
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Thanks Petrus,

I'll give it a try with my IKEA variable spacer bar https://www.gearslutz.com/board/5370389-post16.html and experiment a bit with the width. I could even try a Jecklin Disk with Rode NT45 omnis a bit further back than the AB 8020's, and thus have 2 perspectives to choose from ?

I'm interested to attempt making some 40mm spheres from pine balls...did you use a drill press and a spade or 'paddle' drill bit ? I'd imagine getting the hole centred is the difficult part, or perhaps getting a good sealing tight fit around the mic body is just as tricky !
Old 19th September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I'm interested to attempt making some 40mm spheres from pine balls...did you use a drill press and a spade or 'paddle' drill bit ? I'd imagine getting the hole centred is the difficult part, or perhaps getting a good sealing tight fit around the mic body is just as tricky !
I made mine, both 40 and 50 mm versions, by drilling the holes with a 20 mm "panel drill" (short pipe form bits with saw edge, from a set meant for drilling holes to walls for AC sockets and such). A regular wood drill would split the ball too easily. The hole was intentionally a bit too small first, then I honed it larger with coarse sanding paper taped and wrapped around a 12 mm drill bit, turning it with a power drill, until it gave a tight fit on the mic. Centering was a slight problem, but as the balls are cheap I just bough enough of them and got 2 good ones out of 5 tries or so. After drilling and sanding I sprayed them with black matte paint.
Old 19th September 2011
  #5
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At the risk of hijacking/diverting my own thread here !.....but did you mean this type of hole saw: A perfect circle or a short but reasonably thick panel bit, such as this : 127T01285 ?

I recall someone on this forum a few years ago made 'APE' diffraction balls, and said they'd managed to insert a rubber O-ring into the top and bottom of the cylindrical wall, for a better fit around the mic body, but to countersink that into the wooden wall must've been a fiddly task...he said it wasn't really cost effective. So perhaps most people settle for a snug "interference fit" which won't fall off during a concert recording......
Old 19th September 2011
  #6
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springer's Avatar
 

Jecklin provides 2 things for me:
1) imaging (multiple intrsuments)
2) good quick setup (no rehearsal)

Since you have no need for either of these AB is your deal. Plus I think AB will emphasize the lows a little better for you.
Old 19th September 2011
  #7
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FWIW mid/side works pretty darn good for pipe organ...
Old 19th September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studiodawg View Post
FWIW mid/side works pretty darn good for pipe organ...
It does, but needs more bass from an omni...
Old 19th September 2011
  #9
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Smile

Normally I would say Jecklin - but I think that a Jecklin really needs diffuse-field omnis and the 8020 are more nearfield.

You may need to give a little treble lift if you are using the 8020 in the diffuse field.
Old 25th September 2011
  #10
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JonesH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Studiodawg View Post
FWIW mid/side works pretty darn good for pipe organ...
It does? I've never tried it, but it seems to me I'd miss the uncorrelated bass spread of AB. What's your thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
It does, but needs more bass from an omni...
Yeah, you could use a omni for the M mic, but again, no uncorrelated bass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
Jecklin provides 2 things for me:
1) imaging (multiple intrsuments)
2) good quick setup (no rehearsal)

Since you have no need for either of these AB is your deal. Plus I think AB will emphasize the lows a little better for you.
This is my reasoning as well.
Old 25th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH View Post
Yeah, you could use a omni for the M mic, but again, no uncorrelated bass.
I think MS with omni M might still be bass light due to the wimpy bass contribution from the Fig8 S.
Old 25th September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom McC View Post
I think MS with omni M might still be bass light due to the wimpy bass contribution from the Fig8 S.
You can always EQ it.
Old 25th September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
You can always EQ it.
Agreed. Indeed, I invariably now find myself giving a bottom end boost to the Fig8 of any Blumlein- or MS array. And often also - though by a milder equalization degree - to a cardioid M component. But I've derailed this thread enough :-)
Old 25th September 2011
  #14
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hughesmr's Avatar
In my experience, LF is too correlated when using a Jecklin for organ. To get a good sense of the room ("the most important organ stop", according to Skinner) you need to pull back so far that the bass response ends up piled up in the middle when running a JD.

Also, as John said, you really benefit from using an omni with a HF bump on a Jecklin. 8020 is a fantastic mic, but not up to the task for this JD application ... not to metion wishing you 'good luck' getting that tiny mic positioned coerrectly on a 30cm disc!

Run a 60-80cm spaced 8020 pair and call it a day. I've done it many times. You'll get a fantastic recording.
Old 25th September 2011
  #15
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Plush's Avatar
Width of the organ case dictates spaced mics. You can even space them the actual width of the organ.
Old 25th September 2011
  #16
Finding the best placement is more important than the other stuff. If you don't have experience in that room, just walk about when the organ is played and at least you will find the bad spots.

I'm a CYA guy, I would place multiple mics around in anyplace you might think would sound good. That will increase your chances of landing a pair in the sweet spot.
Old 26th September 2011
  #17
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Jecklin is way too mono for organ, at least unshuffled.

MS can work extremely well for organ-it depends entirely on the mic's.

If you use a mic with extended lower end, say a 414 or U89, the bass (fig 8) can have a highly desirable quality, as it's resistant to standing waves. You can sometimes get a more spacious low end with a figure 8, particularly in smaller rooms-the sensation of LF energy moving around in the room. More so than with omni's. Omni's a meter apart are pretty much in the same LF energy field. An 8 can give a different effect. For mid, you can use any pattern, omni often works very well.

Remember shuffling? That's what using an (extended) 8 does automagically.

Having said that, I do a lot of organ recording, and now it's always 2 omni's at a meter or less. On less frequent occasions, more than a meter.

But in years past, I always did it with two LD mic's, always MS.

I own the MKH30, and though I often use it in combo with the MKH20, I've never done an organ recording with that combo. I'm not sure that the quality or range of extension would be adequate. I have a non critical organ recording coming up, so maybe I should give it a try.

Some mic's work well that you'd never consider-like the Oktava hypercardioid! Its low end won't quit.

There are many ways to nicely record an organ, and your 8020's should be terrific!
Old 26th September 2011
  #18
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sonare's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG View Post

There are many ways to nicely record an organ, and your 8020's should be terrific!
Succinctly put. In typical GS fashion virtually every mic setup except X-Y and NOS has been suggested-- without first analyzing the organ, the player, or the repertoire to be played.

When I say that I am thinking of an unfortunate pairing of the Lizst B-A-C-H I heard on the Flentrop at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago several years ago. The opposite was a program of Howells on the Skinner at Rockefeller Chapel at U of C, which was so good I still recall it as though it were last week-- and in reality it was 25 years ago!

Earlier style organ design (and rep) benefits from an approach that will yield good imaging with lots of resolution. Think precise, as complex counterpoint needs maximum resolution. Plenty of height helps-- at least up to impost level so the mixtures are not shaded. That would be the exact opposite of what you'd want for Lizst (a big Romantic period "wash" of sound a la Debussy)-- and if there is solid thinking happening the organist will not choose an inappropriate instrument to begin with.

Choose the mics and the setup that will help deliver the sound appropriate to 1) what is being played 2) where it's being played 3) what it's being played on and 4) who is playing. IOW for someone who likes fast tempi with complex material you DON"T want A-B spaced 1M far away. If this is simply a general program then choose a pair of omnis 66CM apart far enough back to sound good and call it a day!

Rich
Old 27th September 2011
  #19
With over 300 organ recordings I made on the shelf I'ld say an AB about a mtr wide with AKG 480's with omni capsules is my favorite set up.
Old 27th September 2011
  #20
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sonare's Avatar
"Far away" is the operative phrase in my statement. Mud is mud, and AB more than half-way back is a certain recipe for it. Over here in the US there is a much wider array of sounds and rooms. One approach will not fit all. Dutch organ design and voicing effectively change the rules. My comments were made with US practices in mind. Your acoustics are generally more clear and generous than ours-- that's a real game-changer.

Rich
Old 27th September 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAT5 View Post
With over 300 organ recordings I made on the shelf I'ld say an AB about a mtr wide with AKG 480's with omni capsules is my favorite set up.
Close to my setup. I use modified 460B bodies without transformers with CK-22 free field omni capsules pointed straight up. If I need hf directionality I'll use CK-62's or CK-62 DF's.
Old 27th September 2011
  #22
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sonare's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Width of the organ case dictates spaced mics. You can even space them the actual width of the organ.
Are you speaking of cards or omnis? I ask because I know you like to mix it up with organ.

Rich
Old 27th September 2011
  #23
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Plush's Avatar
Hello Rich,

On this one I'm with you---omni mics all the way.

I have had excellent results with 4006 and also with M50 pair. Sometimes I do put another directional pair a lot farther back and then cranking the gain for a rolling reverb type of sound in the cathedral.

Rich, I like your good comprehensive post earlier in this thread.
Old 27th September 2011
  #24
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sonare's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Hello Rich,

On this one I'm with you---omni mics all the way.

I have had excellent results with 4006 and also with M50 pair. Sometimes I do put another directional pair a lot farther back and then cranking the gain for a rolling reverb type of sound in the cathedral.

Rich, I like your good comprehensive post earlier in this thread.
Thanks!

Rich
Old 27th September 2011
  #25
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JonesH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
Succinctly put. In typical GS fashion virtually every mic setup except X-Y and NOS has been suggested-- without first analyzing the organ, the player, or the repertoire to be played.
Rich
^ This.
What Rich wrote concerning repertoire and room is very important, so as not to fall into the trap of creating an image that is not supported by the music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I have had excellent results with 4006 and also with M50 pair.
I just wanted to ask whether you feel the additional HF from the M50's diffraction spheres is to combat a lack of high end from the instrument/room or what your thoughts are regarding this.
I usually try the 4006's with the plain grille and if needed add APEs to recover lost treble.

Thanks for everybodys input.

On a side note I've tried to use outriggers more of lately, also for organ. The lack of additional tall stands has left my outriggers at a lower height, and I'm about to spring for additional manfrottos to use for the outriggers. What are people's thoughts regarding outriggers and organ?
Old 27th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonare View Post
Dutch organ design and voicing effectively change the rules.
Well, first we must define what we will call a Dutch organ. Is it simply an organ made in the Netherlands, or is it an unaltered historic Dutch instrument, or an altered historic instrument-say,with Marcussen mixtures for the "neo Baroque" esthetic, or an altered instrument senstively "unaltered," or a modern instrument built according to the classic Dutch aesthetic, a Dutch instrument built during the time of "Neo Baroque" fashion but with classic scaling, or just some other plain ol' organ built by a Dutch person that ranges from mediocre to terrible? There are, after all, undistinguished American sounding organs built in Holland or elsewhere by Dutch builders. The thing that is most affected by a building tradition-and here Dutch building is mentioned-is the registration an organist employs. And here it is Dutch classic scaling, and the design provenance of reeds, along with the intent of specific stops to be used with specific others (by design and tradition), along with knowing which stops work with which plenums, which mutations work as chorus stops, and which mutations go with which cornets, which specific reed on the positive brings out the tenor voice in a plenum, and on and on and on. I weep when I hear organists butcher Dutch organs. I usually don't stay to weep, I leave.....

(And as an aside, the many awful sounds one hears coming from great Dutch instruments are due to a complete lack of understanding of the elements just listed. This paragraph really requires a book! Many people have never heard a Dutch instrument well played, and have no idea how it can wonderfully accomodate an Anglican service (with 8 Fts than won't quit), that it will play Messiaen or Alain with all of the mutations required, it's got the right reed in the Oberverk for Franck, along with some Bombardes on the solo manual, and so on. And I've heard a lot of Reger work fantastically on Dutch instruments, even when played by French organists! In like manner, some people think that Brombaugh organs could never play an Anglican service-and really sound Anglican. They, too, have not seen the right instruments with the right players. Good instruments are good instruments. And time and time again, the instruments truest to a single tradition are often the best interpreters of other traditions.)

BUT- None of this matters anyway! as the recording will depend on the instrument and the room, and many other practical matters, as well as fulfilling the function of the recording. This is pretty much the same with any recording of any instrument from any tradition-whether from Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, the US, and everywhere else.

The rooms in the US are indeed variable and are, more often than not, lacking. With Rich, I would agree that it's much more difficult in the US to have some sort of standard recording setup-not to mention even arriving at a good setup- for organs than it is in many (older) European venues. And that is an understatement!
Old 27th September 2011
  #27
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH View Post
^


I just wanted to ask whether you feel the additional HF from the M50's diffraction spheres is to combat a lack of high end from the instrument/room or what your thoughts are regarding
(edited by Flush)

M50 sphere is for directionality in the treble, not for treble boost. So I just use M50 to reach for the instrument. So it is an omni with a directionality for treble which helps delineate textures. You have the added benefit of the super wooly and super extended bass on M50 pick-up.
Old 27th September 2011
  #28
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sonare's Avatar
Even though this thread is really running amok-- I am loving it! And I must say that I would have to HEAR a Brombaugh do justice to an Anglican service to believe it-- the alternate temperaments alone make me skeptical.

What I really had in mind was that in general there are no instruments made in Holland that could be confused with a Schoenstein, just as there is little chance of confusing a Rieger (NOT a Rieger-Kloss) with anything here. There may be exceptions-- but I do not know of them. And then there is the entire "flat vs concave" pedalboard thing===

RE the flanker question-- the only reasons I know of to require flankers are 1) to get adequate coverage (as with string sections) and 2) make sure the edges of the ensemble are still phase-coherent (REALLY wide choirs with Blumlein). Recording an organ will not fall into either category. If I had 4 mics I would use one pair as A-B mains and the other I would pull much farther back into the room (as Plush mentioned) and gather the "rolling reverb" -- and try them pointing to the front/rear/sides to get whatever sounds the best. This way you do not need to be really worried about floor reflection so 9 or 10ft is OK. Separation is subject to trial and error, but W I D E is usually best.

Rich
Old 27th September 2011
  #29
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JonesH's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
(edited by Flush)

M50 sphere is for directionality in the treble, not for treble boost. So I just use M50 to reach for the instrument. So it is an omni with a directionality for treble which helps delineate textures. You have the added benefit of the super wooly and super extended bass on M50 pick-up.
Dear Flush,
Thanks. My understanding, that might be flawed, is that it also increases the treble slightly:
http://www.dpamicrophones.com/~/medi...0B-outline.gif
http://www.dpamicrophones.com/~/medi...0B-outline.gif

The Gefell 221 manual also states that the larger ball gives a rise of 3 dB starting from 1 kHz.

But that's all for mics that aren't usually fitted with a sphere, of course. At least the M150 graph on Neumanns web page seems to indicate the same kind of treble rise for the M150.

I really don't want to come across as a short-for-Richard, so please believe no offense or rudeness is meant. I simply want your professional take on the subject.

best,
Old 27th September 2011
  #30
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jnorman's Avatar
i have only recorded organ 4 times, but generally i am in agreement with cat5 and jim willliams - an AB setup of omnis seems to work the best. i like a quite wide setup for organ (which i dont advocate for any other application). the last one i did, i spaced the omnis (DPA 4090s) about 4 feet apart and got a huge spacious sound.

i dont really understand why jecklin would improve anything for this application - i would use a jecklin disk in situations where i needed to improve the accuracy of the LR soundstage image, and since organs really dont have any particular LR imaging (it's already all washy and diffuse), i dont see how the disk would provide a benefit.
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