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Pipe organ recording equipment and technique
Old 2nd August 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Pipe organ recording equipment and technique

Good morning.
I am an organist (and also a little audiophile...) and I want to buy equipment to properly record pipe organ in church.
I have searched and found many useful posts here, and would like to ask further questions.

I would like to buy semi-professional equipment.

I would have thought of two Audio Technica AT4022 omnidirectional microphones, which many users here recommended as microphones with an excellent quality/price ratio. But if you have any further suggestions, I thank you.

Instead I am unsure about the audio interface.
I would like to spend about 500 euros, and Clarett 4Pre or Audient iD44 is often recommended here.
Do you have experience with these two interfaces for recording pipe organ? Can you also suggest other interfaces for the same price, suitable for organ registration?
I would like to have an interface with four mic inputs because there may be organs with two or three windchest sections in different points of the church, and I may need two more microphones to correctly record the "antiphonal" section as well (I would subsequently buy two more microphones; now I would like experience native stereo recording).

P.S. I would purchase this equipment to record pipe organs only, I do not record any other instrument.



For record techniques, I tried to listen to some examples on youtube, which taught me some things.

(I hope I can post the link and not violate the forum rules): https://youtu.be/WroPrruS6bs

In this video I was able to listen to different microphones in different configuration. What I noticed is this:

The Omni microphones in the AB configuration at 5 meters seem an excellent compromise between the direct sound and the reverberated sound: they manage to detect the natural reverberation of the church and maintain a good articulation of the main sound. The stereo image seems "diffuse", but it is a pleasant sensation.

The cardioid microphones in the DIN 20 cm 90 ° configuration at 5 meters give a more spatial stereophonic image to the sides, but a part of low frequencies is lost and the reverberation seems truncated, therefore the presentation of the church seems a little unrealistic.

Recordings made further away from the organ (8 and 11 meters) add a more diffused and less articulated sound with omni microphones, and precise with cardiodes. Cardioids at 8 and 11 meters appear to have a larger portion of reverberation than 5 meters.

From this video I made some small observations:

Personally I prefer Omni microphones in AB configuration, but it seems to me that there is no standard configuration that is always good, and therefore

1) I would use the omni AB configuration 5 meters away for a medium baroque organ that plays mixture stops (or full organ), but I could also use the 8-meter Cardio DIN configuration for the same baroque organ that plays solo stops.

2) I would use the Omni AB configuration at 8 or 11 meters for a large romantic organ.

3) I like Schoeps microphones much more than Neumann. in this video https://youtu.be/lauLAldwoKY the Schoeps are compared to Neumann (all cardiodes), and the Schopes seem more precise, especially in the high frequencies, and they seem to pick up more reverberation than Neumann, so the reverberation of the Schoeps cardiodes seems more realistic than the reverberation of the cardioids Neumann.

4) the work of the sound engineer is difficult and complex.

I would like to ask some questions if it is possible...

Is there a rule that allows me to calculate the distance between the two microphones? Or is the distance adjusted by "listening" by ear to a more pleasant and realistic result? How do professional sound engineers calculate this distance?

My mic stand is only 3.5 meters long, so it does not reach the pipe mouths. If I tilt the mic capsule upward a few degrees, can I fix this?

I searched for some of this information on the forum, but I didn't always find specific answers for the organ problem.
I thank you for your help.
Old 3rd August 2020
  #2
I would start experimenting with a cheap omni pair. I don't know these Audio-Technica's, but I have the cheap Line Audio OM1(free field omnis), which sound quite good when placed close to the organ.
I prefer recordings made well in the diffuse field. That can be done with not-so-cheapo omnis that have a treble boost to compensate for the loss of HF at greater distance and that have a premium signal-noise ratio. Top and subtop brands are: schoeps, neumann, dpa, gefell, josephson, sonodore, mbho, akg, sennheiser and probably some others.
Good luck
Old 3rd August 2020
  #3
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tourtelot's Avatar
I would say search "organ recording" on this forum. There should be quite a bit of information.

The Line Audio mics are a good suggestion in you proposed budget. I would seriously recommend getting you mics higher. When I record organs, 25 feet high is not unusual. Reflections from the hard floors in venues where organs typically reside are a problem.

What you heard about distance seems to match my experience but, of course, every venue is different. It is a starting place but your ears will tell you, after some time, if your positions are correct. With experience, you well know more by instinct where to start which will make fine tuning less time consuming. If you typically record in the same place, you will find the "spots" but it may take some time.

I think with the budget that you have, nice sounding recordings can be made. If you have "audiophile" sensibilities, recording gear, like home hi-fi, has a rate of "better sound for dollars spent". Your budget has you in the "Yamaha" area. Good, but not Audio Research/Wilson Audio range by a long shot.

Send us samples as you move along you path.

D.
Old 4th August 2020
  #4
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In addition to the good information that’s been offered so far...

I’ve recorded maybe two dozen pipe organ live performances, mostly three different organs in three different venues. That doesn’t make me an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but reading through your post I just kept feeling the urge to say a few things and make a few suggestions...

SEMI-PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT
I’m a real believer in ‘buy once, buy right’, but for recording pipe organs that approach usually means mics from DPA, Schoeps and others that have excellent off-axis response - which is necessary because the room is such a big part of the organ sound and it should be considered part of the organ itself. Those mics are expensive, and if they’re not affordable for you then the next step is to buy something affordable that won’t seem like a huge waste of money if it turns out you don’t enjoy recording pipe organs, or you’ll still be happy to own if/when the bug bites and you decide to spend more.

With that in mind, I’d suggest the following...

1 x pair Rode NT6s with the optional NT45-O interchangeable omni capsules. The Rode NT6 with the omni capsule punches well above its weight, and the NT6’s smaller body gives it a better off-axis response than the NT55 it’s derived from. The last time I looked the graphs look the same on Rode’s website but I suspect the web designer used the NT55 data for the NT6 as well because it is the same mic in a different housing.

Anyway, the combination of NT6 pair with cardioid and omni capsules means you can use omnis or cardioids, so you can do AB and you can also do all the near-coincident techniques that rely on spaced cardioids (NOS, DIN, ORTF, et al). The other benefit is that you can place most of the weight of the microphones (their body and XLR connectors) further down the microphone stand, which is important for stability when using a tall stand (as is often required for miking pipe organs).

http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt6

http://www.rode.com/accessories/nt45-o

To go with the Rodes, I’d suggest forgetting about interfaces and computers and so on and got a Zoom F6. It’s a super portable stand-alone field recorder that can also serve as an interface. It has a 32-bit float recording mode so you don’t have to worry about getting the recording levels right, and if you’re in a hurry or in a venue with an audience you can place it at the bottom of the microphone stand and not have to worry about running cables all around the place without risking injuring people...

https://www.zoom-na.com/products/fie...field-recorder

Get a Manfrotto 1004BAC stand. It’s lightweight, it goes up to 3.65m, it’s black, and it’s air-cushioned which means when you loosen off the clamping screws it slowly slides down rather than dropping down suddenly. Apart from protecting your gear, it looks super pro in action. I used these a lot and made a point of letting the stand slide slowly down while the audience was still milling around the room. People see the mics slowly and gently gliding down while I’m winding a cable or something and it looks very impressive. They immediately assume you’re some kind of professional and before you know it they’re asking your rates and offering you work.

https://www.manfrotto.com/global/pho...ioned-1004bac/

To go with the 1004BAC, get the extension arm Manfrotto make for it. I cannot find it on their website, but it’s essentially like adding another 1004BAC on top of it, but without the legs or air cushioning. I used that quite a bit for organ recordings when I needed to get higher. There are some caveats with it, but it’s not a bad idea. You’ll definitely want a few 5kg shot bags to keep all of that stable, however.

For a stereo bar, I can recommend the simple and elegant Basic AB from mic-bar.com. It weighs almost nothing, looks great, and will let you space your mics out to at least 50cm apart for those times when you want to use the AB50 technique.

https://shop.mikrofonschiene.de/Basis_AB

I won’t recommend cables because that’s a fairly simple thing but depends on your needs. If you intend to set up in a separate room for isolation, you’re going to need very long cables if you’re recording live performances with an audience. If you intend to record yourself and operate the gear from the organ console, you’ll need cables to reach that far (or choose a recording device you can leave at the bottom of the mic stand and control with Bluetooth or similar from a smart phone or tablet). The only thing I will say about cables is use a single stereo cable, like Manfrotto’s 2930 or similar. Why run a cable twice when you can run it once? It is exhausting and time consuming running cables under carpets and along the edges of walls in churches and similar public spaces. So it is better to only have to do it once...

I’m not going to recommend any headphones; that’s like recommending monitor speakers and running shoes at the same time. Not only do they have to sound good to you and bring your hearing into focus, they also have to fit you well. And then there’s also the matter of whether you need isolation because you’re recording from in the same room (closed back or canal phones) or if you intend to record from another room (in which case you could use open back).

There will be a bunch of little things you’ll need to take care of as well, like velcro, black electrical tape, a tape measure (for taking notes of distances and heights to do it the same or better next time) and so on...

OTHER THOUGHTS
Please don’t get fixated on those distances you’ve mentioned, 5m and 8m. The right distance will change depending on the organ/room, the piece of music, the performer’s interpretation of that music when played on that particular organ in that particular room, the mics you’re using, the technique you’re using them in, the amount of external noise, and the aesthetic you’re aiming for.

If I had the rig I suggested above or something similar, here’s how I would go about it from a methodical/strategic point of view. You may or may not get a good result this way, but if you don’t get a good result you should be able to figure out why and do it better next time...

1) Start with the stand at a reasonable height, say full extension of 3.65m. Place the two mics on the stereo bar side-by-side, facing forward, with no space between them.

2) Experiment with the distance until you get the desired balance between the sound of the pipes and the sound of the room.

3) Fine-tune height to get more or less articulation from the pipes.

4) Now that you know the desired distance and height, you can put the mics into the desired stereo technique. I like AB for pipe organs, and I like to have them widely spaced for a spacious image - although that’s not always possible. So if I was using omnis and going for AB, I’d start moving the mics apart. Somewhere between about 35cm and 50cm apart you should find what you’re looking for (although some people would recommend 60cm). Check in mono to make sure it’s not falling apart and you haven’t got too much room sound (if it sounds buried in reverb when heard in mono, you’re too far away).

5) With all of that done, you may find you want to tweak the distance, height or angles further. Do it.

6) When doing this, it’s also important to know either what you or your client like in a pipe organ recording, or what will serve the music the best. For some people and for some pieces, a big reverberant spacious sound is the main criteria. For others, it’s all about ‘the dance of the pipes’ - they want to hear the sound moving around in the stereo image as the different banks of pipes play different parts. If you can get both... winner winner chicken dinner!

I hope that’s helpful...

Last edited by Simmosonic; 4th August 2020 at 10:02 AM..
Old 4th August 2020
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thank you, thank you very much for your precise and valuable advice.
You are very kind.
I would like to ask if the Audio Technica AT4022 microphones are lower quality than the Rode NT6 with optional omni capsules.
The AT4022 microphones were offered to me, new, at half the original price (a shop in liquidation). If the quality is similar to Rode, I would prefer to buy Audio Technica because I would save money.

I ask for another information: generally omni microphones are used in AB configuration, while cardiodes are often used in DIN.
Is there a specific reason that prevents omni microphones in DIN configuration?

As soon as I receive the material, I will be happy to share some recordings with you (and I will probably ask for further advice...).

P.S. I apologize for my possibly wrong language, don't know English very well..
Old 4th August 2020
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
Thank you, thank you very much for your precise and valuable advice.
You are very kind.
I would like to ask if the Audio Technica AT4022 microphones are lower quality than the Rode NT6 with optional omni capsules.
The AT4022 microphones were offered to me, new, at half the original price (a shop in liquidation). If the quality is similar to Rode, I would prefer to buy Audio Technica because I would save money.

I ask for another information: generally omni microphones are used in AB configuration, while cardiodes are often used in DIN.
Is there a specific reason that prevents omni microphones in DIN configuration?

As soon as I receive the material, I will be happy to share some recordings with you (and I will probably ask for further advice...).

P.S. I apologize for my possibly wrong language, don't know English very well..
The Audio-Technica AT4022’s are VERY good microphones. You won’t regret the purchase. Very realistic and excellent low frequencies.
Old 5th August 2020
  #7
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Simmosonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
I would like to ask if the Audio Technica AT4022 microphones are lower quality than the Rode NT6 with optional omni capsules.
I have never used the AT4022 so I’m not qualified to comment on it in that respect.

However, I did own a pair of AudioTechnica’s legendary and now discontinued 3032s, which I think the 4022s are based on but with improved circuitry from the 4xxx series. The 3032s were one of the first non-DPA mics to use the DPA-style diffraction grid on the front, which seemed to contribute to its performance, and the 4022 has it as well.

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-ca/at3032

It’s also worth noting that the 4022 is an electret condenser, and electrets are often derided for sounding cheap, harsh and brittle. Despite that, most (if not all) of DPA’s famous microphones are electret condensers – although DPA do a lot of work on them during manufacture to overcome the typical issues of electrets, resulting in some of the finest microphones in the world in terms of accuracy, detail and off-axis responses.

To avoid the stigma associated with the term ‘electret’, DPA use the term ‘pre-polarised’; it’s interesting to note that AudioTechnica use the term ‘permanently polarised’ for the 4022. I suspect they are doing similar treatments as DPA do, and you could therefore consider the 4022 to be a “poor man’s DPA” in many respects. I cannot find any polar response plots to see how its off-axis behaviour compares, but the use of the diffraction grid and the history going back to the 3032 make me think it will be very good.

Regarding differences between the 4022 and the NT6; I’m guessing that if you were to put both mics in the same spot, record the same thing and compare them, most people would call the 4022 more accurate and precise, and the NT6 warmer and rounder. Which one you’d prefer is a matter of personal opinion, because ‘accurate and precise’ can also mean ‘cold and sterile’, while ‘warmer and rounder’ can also mean ‘duller and muddier’. You’d have to hear both to decide your preference.

On that topic, check out the user reviews in this listing for the AT4022 on Sweetwater. At the time of writing this there are four comments, the top comment is from an organist saying how good the AT4022 is, while the last comment is from an organist saying how bad it is. Not very helpful, but that’s the audio world for you!

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ser-microphone

I should also point out that assuming we can compare the quoted specs, the 4022’s 13dB of self noise is 6dB quieter than Rode’s 19dB. That may not make much difference with a pipe organ recording because they’re usually loud and full, and there is often a lot of background noise (organ motor noise, etc.) but it’s worth thinking about. I would consider it a significant difference if I was recording something like a string quartet or solo piano in a concert hall or similar appropriate space without a live audience in place, but less so for a pipe organ recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
The AT4022 microphones were offered to me, new, at half the original price (a shop in liquidation). If the quality is similar to Rode, I would prefer to buy Audio Technica because I would save money.
That sounds like a great deal! Do not forget, however, the reasons I recommended the NT6s. One of those was versatility. With the 4022s you can only do AB (spaced omnis). With the NT6s and interchangeable capsules (as recommended) you can do AB (spaced omnis) as well as all the techniques possible with a pair of cardioids: XY, ORTF, DIN, NOS and other near-coincident methods.

Spaced omnis are great and I think would normally be my preference for recording organ. However, if you’ve got a lot of traffic rumble nearby, or the piece of music is not using those lower pipes and therefore doesn’t need the extended low frequency response of omnis at a distance, or it is winter and the venue is running noisy heating, or the spaced omnis are giving you too much room sound, you’ll be glad you can swap over to the more directional techniques offered by the NT6 option that allow you to put more emphasis on the sound source itself.

In terms of keeping it simple, you might be more than happy with the 4022s and a kind of ‘preset’ setting that you use every time. That approach is very applicable if, for example, you are always recording the same organ in the same venue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
I ask for another information: generally omni microphones are used in AB configuration, while cardiodes are often used in DIN.
Is there a specific reason that prevents omni microphones in DIN configuration?
DIN, NOS, ORTF and others are all subsets of a family of stereo microphone techniques known as ‘near-coincident’. They use directional microphones (cardioids, bidirectionals, etc. but not omnis) and rely on a combination of the physical distance between the mics and the angle between the mics. Omnis are not directional so (in theory at least) the angle between them makes no difference. As such, they only rely on the distance between the mics to create a stereo image. You could put a pair of omnis in a DIN configuration (20cm apart, 90° subtended angle) but because the angle (theoretically) makes no difference, you have simply created an AB pair spaced 20cm apart, which you might call AB20. It will probably not be a very convincing stereo image, and you’d be wasting your time with setting them up at 90° to each other.

One disadvantage of all the directional microphones (cardioid, etc.) is that they lose low frequency response when used at a distance. For most of them, this loss begins at about 30cm to 40cm from the sound source. So in situations where we need the directionality of those microphones for whatever reason, but the low frequency response is important, then we have to resort to EQ to bring the low frequencies back. We don’t have to do that with omnis, but omnis don’t give us any options in terms of pointing the mics towards the sounds we want and away from the sounds we don’t want. If you need the directionality you have to accept less low frequency response, and vice versa. It’s just physics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
P.S. I apologize for my possibly wrong language, don't know English very well..
Your English is fine... :-)

Last edited by Simmosonic; 5th August 2020 at 03:55 AM..
Old 5th August 2020
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmosonic View Post
1 x pair Rode NT6s with the optional NT45-O interchangeable omni capsules. The Rode NT6 with the omni capsule punches well above its weight, and the NT6’s smaller body gives it a better off-axis response than the NT55 it’s derived from. The last time I looked the graphs look the same on Rode’s website but I suspect the web designer used the NT55 data for the NT6 as well because it is the same mic in a different housing.
Interested in this comment Greg. Have you found from experience that the NT6 sounds noticeably better than the NT55, especially when using both with the NT45-O omni capsules (as would be the wise capsule choice for organ recording)? I'd have thought the self-noise differences of 15dBA for the NT55 vs 19dBA for the NT6 would be much more significant.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 5th August 2020
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Thank you so much for this very precious information!

I ask for more information: to get around the lack of low frequencies in cardioid DIN microphones, can you use large diaphragm cardioid microphones?

I read that large diaphragm microphones can have a "boosted" low frequency response than a small diaphragm.
However, I also noticed that large diaphragms are never recommended for the organ.

Why?
Old 5th August 2020
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Have you found from experience that the NT6 sounds noticeably better than the NT55, especially when using both with the NT45-O omni capsules (as would be the wise capsule choice for organ recording)?
I only have anecdotal information here, but it’s pretty good anecdotal information.

I took a number of Rode NT55s and NT6s on one of my educational group recording expeditions through Nepal and India. The idea was that I’d give my ‘Rode Microphone Workshop’ to local audio engineers in studios in major cities, and at the end of each workshop one or more microphones would be given away as prizes. I’d allocated the mics to give away at each workshop so that by the time I left India there’d be none left. I also took pics of each winner collecting his/her microphone to account for them all, and to show that I was not pocketing the mics.

[Note that I was not on the payroll at Rode. The workshops were a goodwill gesture where everyone wins. They started back around 2006 after Peter Freedman challenged me to take some Australian-made mics rather than all the European stuff, and I accepted the challenge. Also important to understand that at that time Rode was considered an expensive brand in many of the places I was visiting, so to win a Rode microphone was a big deal.]

Anyway, on this particular expedition I hadn’t even unpacked the NT6s, on the assumption they were the same as the NT55s but looked a lot more fiddly to set up (they’re the same capsule and electronics, the only difference is the cable separating the capsule from the body – which makes me question the differing self noise figures on the Rode website). Towards the end we were in Kolkata and I’d given away all but one of the NT55s during my workshops. So I opened up the NT6s to use on tabla and sitar. Perhaps it was sarod. Anyway, there was probably about 10 people who had been travelling with me on this expedition for about four weeks by this stage, mostly all recent graduates from an audio school, along with some industry pros. We had done lots of recordings and everyone was familiar with the sound of the NT55s. As soon as we put up the NT6 we noticed that it sounded more ‘open’ than the NT55. We compared them and sure enough, the NT6 had more ‘air’. It was the same ‘openess’ you get when comparing a mic with good off-axis response against a mic with poor off-axis response. I immediately attributed it to the smaller body because a) it made sense from a physics/diffraction point of view, and b) that was supposedly the only difference between the two mics anyway. We even changed capsules to check it wasn’t just a capsule difference. I was using omni capsules a lot then on tabla for the consistent bottom end.

The more interesting and confirming aspect was when I got back to Australia and met with the folks at Rode to file my report. One of the first things the Head of International Marketing asked me was “What did you think of the NT6?” I told him I thought it sounded better than the NT55, it was more ‘open’. He slapped the desk gently and exclaimed, “There are audio guys in the USA telling us the same thing – but it’s the same microphone inside! Do you have any idea what it might be?” I told him I assumed the smaller body behind the capsule was giving it a better off-axis response. His reply was something like “That’s the most plausible explanation I’ve heard...”

Come to think of it, it’s the only explanation that makes any sense.

That was all some years ago, around the time the NT6 had just hit the market or was about to hit the market. There may have been changes made since then, but it still uses the same interchangeable capsules as the NT55.

One more cool thing I found with using the NT6 is that the body of the microphone will fit directly into the XLR sockets on some recorders and interfaces, which means if I was setting up close to the musicians I didn’t need any extra mic leads.
Old 5th August 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
However, I also noticed that large diaphragms are never recommended for the organ.Why?
Have a go: it's not like super-fast transient response is critical for organs.

An organ recording friend of mine normally uses MKH 8020 mics, but has used LDC, even being impressed by the relatively humble NT2a. In fact, one of his recordings - of Jean-Paul Imbert at St Etienne, Caen - is a combined SA-CD with the stereo version being just the Rode NT2a mics (in cardioid pattern) with a touch of a single MKH 8020 omni for the really low bits, while the surround is, I think, MKH 8020 omnis only, certainly no LDCs. With the SA-CD you can swap from one to the other and hear the difference. https://www.base2music.store/#!/Cesa...413/category=0

Cheers,

Roland
Old 5th August 2020
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Thanks Greg for all that on the NT6 vs NT55. Interesting, not least since from your description it sounds as if the difference applied to the omni capsules, not just the cardioid.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 5th August 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
Thank you so much for this very precious information!

I ask for more information: to get around the lack of low frequencies in cardioid DIN microphones, can you use large diaphragm cardioid microphones?

I read that large diaphragm microphones can have a "boosted" low frequency response than a small diaphragm.
However, I also noticed that large diaphragms are never recommended for the organ.

Why?
- no one can tell from listening to a recording of an organ whether results stem from ldc's or sdc's
- the notion that ldc's have more lf output is a myth (and plain wrong)!
- what cardioids ldc's do have is less directivity towards the lf and hence sometimes get perceived as having more lf output: any measurement/analysis via fft will show you this not true
- by design (mostly of the basket though), ldc's show stronger off-axis colouration than sdc's
- most ldc's yield higher output though and often lower noise though
- cardioids typically have less lf than omnis
- use an additional blm for lf pickup
- use a steep lpf on the blm
Old 5th August 2020
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
Thank you so much for this very precious information!

I ask for more information: to get around the lack of low frequencies in cardioid DIN microphones, can you use large diaphragm cardioid microphones?

I read that large diaphragm microphones can have a "boosted" low frequency response than a small diaphragm.
However, I also noticed that large diaphragms are never recommended for the organ.

Why?
There are two kinds of omni LDCs:
Multipattern back-to-back cardios

and

1 capsule omnis (real pressure transducer)

Unlike speakers, the size of a microphone membrane has no effect on the lowest freq it can capture.

However the larger the membrane the more directional the mic becomes in the higher frequencies. Omni SDC's are often preferred but i have used real omni LDCs with good results.

A multipattern LDC is mostly voiced for close miking applications and has no 'reach'. You could use them but you will probably have to eq it to make it sound better.

If you are planning to record organ only: forget about din/ortf/ebs/rai/nos/xy/soundfield/ms and blumlein.

Spaced omnis is the way to go.

Experiment with spacings between 50 and 400 cm.

Study the sengpiel website to get a basic understanding about time (and level) difference based stereophony.

And if you have some cash, buy high quality omnis from a brand that at least offers diffuse and freefield omni capsules or that has different grids ro adjust the HF response.
Old 5th August 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
Spaced omni’s is most common for pipeorgan.
OmniMidSide (with a ribbon) can work /quite/ good too.

As always:
1) it depends
2) you never have too much gear

😎
Old 6th August 2020
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Thanks Greg for all that on the NT6 vs NT55. Interesting, not least since from your description it sounds as if the difference applied to the omni capsules, not just the cardioid.
I think it’s definitely a case of Your Mileage May Vary, but maybe 8 months after that experience I did a solo exploratory expedition through Myanmar and to keep things simple I packed a pair of NT6s with cardioid and omni capsules, along with my Schoeps MS pair (CCM4/CCM8) in the small Rycote, and a Nagra LB. I made a lot of use of the NT6s with omni, finding them to be very forgiving and easy going, with an unusually warm and round low midrange. [As great as the Schoeps MS pair is, a coincident pair is rarely indicated for capturing the traditional ensembles of SE Asia, so the NT6/omni combo got a lot of use.]
Old 6th August 2020
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
- the notion that ldc's have more lf output is a myth (and plain wrong)!
- what cardioids ldc's do have is less directivity towards the lf and hence sometimes get perceived as having more lf output...
Whenever I hear someone saying that “LDCs have better low frequencies” I refer them to DPA’s 4060: 5.4mm diaphragm, flat to 30Hz, -1dB at 20Hz. And if they say “Yes, but that’s an omni...” then I refer them to DPA’s 4099 supercardioid: also 5.4mm diaphragm, flat to 40Hz, -1dB or so at 20Hz. [No details of the measurement distance on that one but I’m assuming it’s done at 30cm or so, where most directional mics will show a flat response at the low end.]
Old 6th August 2020
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Simmosonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Organist View Post
However, I also noticed that large diaphragms are never recommended for the organ.

Why?
When it comes to recommendations and theoretical ideals, most people would recommend a small diaphragm over a large diaphragm due to what we call the ‘off axis response’. Ideally, the tonality of a microphone remains the same no matter what direction the sound is coming from. The amplitude (level) of the signal would vary in accordance with the polar response, of course, but the tonality would ideally remain the same. This is important for something like an organ recording where the room is essentially part of the instrument.

If the microphone captures sounds from all around with consistent tonality then the room sound stays sonically ‘part of’ the organ sound and a convincing impression is captured.

If the microphone adds a different tonality to sounds arriving from the sides or behind compared to sounds arriving from in front, (usually it makes them duller), then the impression is less convincing.

The larger the diaphragm gets, the more it and the assembly around it gets in the way of sounds arriving from other directions, and so the off-axis response suffers. Generally speaking, the off-axis response gets better as the diaphragm gets smaller – but as it gets smaller the diaphragm also gets noisier (self noise). A great example of this is DPA’s 4060: its 5.4mm diaphragm is small enough to give it an almost textbook omnidirectional response, but at the expense of a relatively high self noise of 23dBA. For perspective, the AT4022 you’re considering has a 16.3mm diaphragm and a self noise of 13dBA. It’s significantly quieter than the 4060 and its off-axis response is probably still good.

None of this means you can’t make a good organ recording with LDCs - as others have pointed out here. To me, at least, it means that if I had to choose between LDC and SDC without being able to try them first, or if I had to make a recommendation to someone else, I’d default to the SDC due to its better off-axis response. It’s a safer bet from my point of view...
Old 6th August 2020
  #19
Gear Head
 
Eric D's Avatar
 

If you plan to record various organs in various acoustics, you certainly should also consider a pair of wide cardioids, like the Schoeps MK21's or the Line Audio CM4's .

They are more versatile than omnis, have a better low frequency response than other directional microphones (easy to compensate with eq) and have an extremely good off-axis response . Furthermore, they can be used in various configurations like AB, wide ORTF or wide NOS .

Yes, a pair of omnis will probably give you the best sounding results if the organ is not too big (width and depth) and/or if the acoustics is not too reverberant .
Then a pair of omnis will give you the most natural and airy sounding recording .

But if you have to record a big organ and want to have a good balance between the various groups of pipes (from left to right, but also between the front and the rear pipes), you will need to place the microphones at some distance, and this distance could mean you will have too much reverberation, with no possibility to control it .
This is precisely where a pair of wide cardioids will help you a lot : you can place them at greater distance from the organ, in order to have the best integration between the various pipes, but at the same time their rear directivity allows a very good control of the reverberation, so the greater distance won't be a problem .

If you want to have some choice, depending of the organ or the acoustics, a great choice at reasonable price would be a pair of Line Audio OM1's (omnis) and a pair of Line Audio CM4's (wide cardioids) .
I have several OM1s and used them for organ recordings with great results (nearly as good for organ than my Schoeps omnis) .
I didn't use the CM4's but the Schoeps MK21's, but you can expect the Line Audio to give very good results on organ, at an incredible price ...
Old 6th August 2020
  #20
Gear Head
Lots of great things are already being said about microphones and microphone positions, so I won't comment on that. However, I use spaced omni's for organs.

You could perhaps consider a larger stand than the mentioned Manfrotto 1004BAC, which in itself is a really great stand. I have a couple of them.

But most of the organs, at least here in the Netherlands, are (a bit) higher than the Manfrotto stand can reach. The extension is available of course, but I much prefer the big 7.3 meter Manfrotto stand: 269HDBU Super Giant. Not too expensive, but very usable. https://www.thomann.de/nl/manfrotto_...stand_blck.htm
Old 6th August 2020
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Gaston69's Avatar
organs

Organs are even much higher than 7m....I'm planning to do a recording however I'm still looking for an extreme tall stand (15m for example)
Old 6th August 2020
  #22
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston69 View Post
Organs are even much higher than 7m....I'm planning to do a recording however I'm still looking for an extreme tall stand (15m for example)
That's why I think the big Manfrotto is a nice starting point!
Old 6th August 2020
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaston69 View Post
Organs are even much higher than 7m....I'm planning to do a recording however I'm still looking for an extreme tall stand (15m for example)
i'm with you that many organs are indeed much higher and/or positioned on the balcony...

...but i hardly ever feel the need to raise mics this high nevertheless:

on one occasion, i even got to compare identical pairs of spaced mics positioned on three different levels: on 'normal' mic stands, flown on a steel rope and on large boom stands on the balcony - i only vaguely remember that their height was 1,8m, ca. 4-6m and probably 10-12m above the floor.
there were additional mic systems (different spacings, different mic patterns, ldc's, more close + ambis etc.) but i don't remember which signals made it onto the album; i do remember very clearly though that all positions of course yielded different results but pretty much all of them delivered very convincing results!

on some results, would i not have lavelled the tracks, i could not have told from which system they were stemming, despite the additional mic systems being of radically different setup/design (ldc's, tube mics, coincident systems lus very widely spaced ambis, blm's etc.)

i'm tempted to say that recording a large organ in a large room is more about capturing the room than the instrument itself * - or maybe better: one cannot separate their interaction/the way the room shapes the sound of the instrument and our perception; the type of mics and the mic system imo matter not (that) much...


* this one can do with a kunstkopf at ear height of the audience very well too, so no need for a huge manfrotto stand... :-)
Old 6th August 2020
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm tempted to say that recording a large organ in a large room is more about capturing the room than the instrument itself * - or maybe better: one cannot separate their interaction/the way the room shapes the sound of the instrument and our perception; the type of mics and the mic system imo matter not (that) much...


* this one can do with a kunstkopf at ear height of the audience very well too, so no need for a huge manfrotto stand... :-)
I agree...you are recording the sound of the instrument in situ, in interaction with the room....if you really think your 7+ metre high stand gives you a realistic audio snapshot of the organ per se, you would have to be sitting in the basket of one of the pictured appliances, to get the same perspective...not often done by most audiences ? Such spot miking is not necessary
Attached Thumbnails
Pipe organ recording equipment and technique-scissor-lift-.jpg  
Old 6th August 2020
  #25
Gear Nut
The Manfrotto 269HDBU is an oversized, serious piece of work. It is not just a "taller" light stand - it's built to tank scale. Get the steel extension pole 142CS (not the aluminum one) if you need to go higher.

When I first got mine, my daughter would use the box it came in as a play tunnel.
Old 6th August 2020
  #26
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Do not think about recording the organ. Think about recording the room. You don't care just about the sound coming off the organ, you care about the sound everywhere. This is why you need microphones that have the same tonality for sounds coming from all directions.

The AT4022 is not wonderful, but it is not bad. It is much easier to make a good omnidirectional microphone for this application than it is to make a good cardioid or figure-8. There are plenty of rooms where you would rather have a cardioid or figure-8 microphone, but directional microphones that can do this well and won't make the room sound hollow and poor are very expensive. So stick with the AT4022, or some other similar omni.

As people have said, get the microphones up high, and if you have an arched ceiling don't put them directly on the center line. You will have to experiment with height and distance to get the correct balances. 25 feet is probably not high enough but it might be. Tall stands are very handy for a practice or recording sessions but can be problematic in concerts.

I suggest you try two spaced omni and you ALSO try a "Jecklin Disc" which is those same two microphones with a baffle between them. The baffle can be made from old carpet material and some sheet aluminum. This gives you some degree of directionality while still using omnidirectional microphones and it is cheap and easy to make and can be a marvel in a good room.

When I started recording organs, I used Crown PZMs because back then they were very fashionable and everybody was telling me to use them. Don't do that, that is a stupid idea. When I first tried a pair of B&K omnis it was a total eye-opener.

I don't know anything about the interfaces you mentioned but I will say that you should budget for cable and mike stands and mike clips and adaptors and that all of these little fiddly things will add up to a good portion of your total cost.

Oh yes and... don't believe imaging over headphones. Record it, but don't make any decisions about anything until you have played it back on full-range loudspeakers.
--scott
Old 6th August 2020
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Thank you all for the valuable advice.

The two AT4022s arrived today, but the interface will arrive next week.
As soon as I have everything I need, I will immediately start recording.
Old 6th August 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric D View Post
If you plan to record various organs in various acoustics, you certainly should also consider a pair of wide cardioids, like the Schoeps MK21's or the Line Audio CM4's .

They are more versatile than omnis, have a better low frequency response than other directional microphones (easy to compensate with eq) and have an extremely good off-axis response . Furthermore, they can be used in various configurations like AB, wide ORTF or wide NOS .

Yes, a pair of omnis will probably give you the best sounding results if the organ is not too big (width and depth) and/or if the acoustics is not too reverberant .
Then a pair of omnis will give you the most natural and airy sounding recording .

But if you have to record a big organ and want to have a good balance between the various groups of pipes (from left to right, but also between the front and the rear pipes), you will need to place the microphones at some distance, and this distance could mean you will have too much reverberation, with no possibility to control it .
This is precisely where a pair of wide cardioids will help you a lot : you can place them at greater distance from the organ, in order to have the best integration between the various pipes, but at the same time their rear directivity allows a very good control of the reverberation, so the greater distance won't be a problem .

If you want to have some choice, depending of the organ or the acoustics, a great choice at reasonable price would be a pair of Line Audio OM1's (omnis) and a pair of Line Audio CM4's (wide cardioids) .
I have several OM1s and used them for organ recordings with great results (nearly as good for organ than my Schoeps omnis) .
I didn't use the CM4's but the Schoeps MK21's, but you can expect the Line Audio to give very good results on organ, at an incredible price ...
I bought those line audio cardio and omnis too, use them when i run out of other spot mikes and my wife records rehearsals with them. They are dirt cheap entry level mics. But they are nowhere near the sound quality of my gefell omnis (mk55 m58 69 93) that bought later on. I most cases the diffuse field capsule m58 gets used for organ at a great distance.

My main advice to the OP is to try before buying a mike and buy a pair that you don't need to EQ when using in the diffuse field like the OM1. That probably means buying a pair of Schoeps MK2H and have Rens Heyes rebuild the electronics once you have additional cash.
You can start recording at ear level, so if cash is a problem you can start with normal stands and buy higher stands later.

I disagree subcardios have enough bass for organ. Only omnis or ribbons perform well imo.
Old 6th August 2020
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I agree...you are recording the sound of the instrument in situ, in interaction with the room....if you really think your 7+ metre high stand gives you a realistic audio snapshot of the organ per se, you would have to be sitting in the basket of one of the pictured appliances, to get the same perspective...not often done by most audiences ? Such spot miking is not necessary
I am waiting for an opportunity to record an organ 16 m high. A friend af mine has an ultrahigh stand.
Old 6th August 2020
  #30
Gear Head
 
Eric D's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monitor View Post
I bought those line audio cardio and omnis too, use them when i run out of other spot mikes and my wife records rehearsals with them. They are dirt cheap entry level mics. But they are nowhere near the sound quality of my gefell omnis (mk55 m58 69 93) that bought later on. I most cases the diffuse field capsule m58 gets used for organ at a great distance.

My main advice to the OP is to try before buying a mike and buy a pair that you don't need to EQ when using in the diffuse field like the OM1. That probably means buying a pair of Schoeps MK2H and have Rens Heyes rebuild the electronics once you have additional cash.
You can start recording at ear level, so if cash is a problem you can start with normal stands and buy higher stands later.

I disagree subcardios have enough bass for organ. Only omnis or ribbons perform well imo.
The Line Audio are not "dirt cheap entry level microphones " !
You just need to know on what kind of instruments or ensembles they perform well or not and use them in optimal positions .
And for organs the OM1's perform extremelly well if the organ and/or the acoustics allows to place them not too far from the instrument .
Under such conditions, they perform nearly as well as my Schoeps MK2h ...

I didn't say wide cardioids have enough bass for organ, I said their moderate LF attenuation is easy to compensate with adequate eq .

Of course, if money is not a problem, it's easy to recommend very expensive microphones like modified Schoeps, but then you also need very hiqh quality preamps and converters, and then the bill flies ...
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