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Mic'ing a Mannborg Harmonium/Pump Organ Dynamic Microphones
Old 25th January 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Loudmouth's Avatar
 

Mic'ing a Mannborg Harmonium/Pump Organ

Dear Slutz,

I have this antique newly renovated Mannborg Harmonium/Pump organ and no clue on how to mic it.

Mic'ing a Mannborg Harmonium/Pump Organ-p1020608.jpg
Mic'ing a Mannborg Harmonium/Pump Organ-p1020610.jpg
Mic'ing a Mannborg Harmonium/Pump Organ-p1020611.jpg
Now I know there are several other threads on this but my room is pretty small and full of equipment. Also I work alone in my little project studio so I couldn't have anyone play and walk around to check out the sound. Plus, I don't have SDCs or Neumanns.. What I have is:

414
pair of sm57
SM7B
MD 421-II
M 160
and some crazy shotgun mic I found in the basement
heh

I didn't even know that bloody instrument existed until I dug it out of my Dad's basement. But the sound is AWESOME!! Any suggestions?
Old 25th January 2011
  #2
I would have a clue but I love to hear them once there recorded, I'm curious myself. I guess it would be desirable to keep away from the foot pump and its mechanism. How sets of reeds on it?
Old 25th January 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

I have recorded chord organs several times, and '57s paired with a good condenser work great.

The biggest problem you are going to have are mechanical and air noises.

They run pretty much the same frequencies as distorted guitar...so choose your mic's accordingly.

Chord organ here:
http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=8356075
Old 25th January 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
jmikeperkins's Avatar
Your pump organ looks cool! You have enough mics to get a good recording. I would think the 414 and m160 would both do a good job. There are several places to mic the organ and you are just going to have to experiment, but one important thing to mention, WHEN YOU GET READY TO RECORD THE PUMP ORGAN MOVE IT AWAY FROM WALL BY AT LEAST 3-4 FEET AND TRY AND PUT IT MORE IN THE CENTER OF THE ROOM. Sound comes out from all over and it needs a little space to develop to sound its best.
Old 8th February 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Loudmouth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sim View Post
I would have a clue but I love to hear them once there recorded, I'm curious myself. I guess it would be desirable to keep away from the foot pump and its mechanism. How sets of reeds on it?
I have no clue mate, you have to physically unscrew the wooden back of the organ to look inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Vogel View Post
I have recorded chord organs several times, and '57s paired with a good condenser work great.

The biggest problem you are going to have are mechanical and air noises.

They run pretty much the same frequencies as distorted guitar...so choose your mic's accordingly.

Chord organ here:
SoundClick artist: Ron Vogel - One man band, self-proclaimed late '70s rock god
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
Your pump organ looks cool! You have enough mics to get a good recording. I would think the 414 and m160 would both do a good job. There are several places to mic the organ and you are just going to have to experiment, but one important thing to mention, WHEN YOU GET READY TO RECORD THE PUMP ORGAN MOVE IT AWAY FROM WALL BY AT LEAST 3-4 FEET AND TRY AND PUT IT MORE IN THE CENTER OF THE ROOM. Sound comes out from all over and it needs a little space to develop to sound its best.
Heres a sound sample, its the score from a song I was recording. I used the harmonium as pads. I put it in the center of the room and used two 57 as overheads behind me (the player) and the m160 behind the organ towards the upper left hand side. Sounds cool, only the mechanics noises are a pain...

But then again with a lot of reverb you don't hear it in the mix.
Old 8th February 2011
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Loudmouth's Avatar
 

Haha... Silly me
Attached Files

Harmonium 1073EQ#03.wav (8.74 MB, 2497 views)

Old 8th February 2011
  #7
Gear Nut
 

sounds wonderful!

i'd recommend getting a reed organ tech to check it out,
it'll take a minute or two and they can tell you if there's something that should/could be done to the instrument to better the sound and get rid of the excess noise...

the bellows wear out over time, they're usually leather and squeak like hell, and the mechanism the pedals are connected to the base with include metal against metal-action, easily sounding like a choir of dying mice...

actually, just try to locate where the most annoying sounds are coming from and use some lube, that might do the trick!

micing-wise, you can try piezo pickups as well,
maybe you have a spare one from an acoustic guitar somewhere,
i've heard they work nice, as well as double-bass pu's...

you can also unscrew the top lid and take it off, you'll get a bit more top end and can position the mics nearly within the instrument, yet further away from mechanical, squeaky bits and bobs of the pedals and bellows...

then again,
if you have a spare mic,
i'd put one near your feet,
dedicated solely to the pumping mechanism since that is the signature sound of a reed organ and will give you a bit more of that 'bone machine' by tom waits-vibe...
plus you can use more reverb on the actual notes being played and keep the percussive elements dry...
you don't want the instrument to sound like a plug-in right? ha!

good luck and congrats on a great instrument!
Old 9th February 2011
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Loudmouth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uijui View Post
sounds wonderful!

i'd recommend getting a reed organ tech to check it out,
it'll take a minute or two and they can tell you if there's something that should/could be done to the instrument to better the sound and get rid of the excess noise...

the bellows wear out over time, they're usually leather and squeak like hell, and the mechanism the pedals are connected to the base with include metal against metal-action, easily sounding like a choir of dying mice...

actually, just try to locate where the most annoying sounds are coming from and use some lube, that might do the trick!

micing-wise, you can try piezo pickups as well,
maybe you have a spare one from an acoustic guitar somewhere,
i've heard they work nice, as well as double-bass pu's...

you can also unscrew the top lid and take it off, you'll get a bit more top end and can position the mics nearly within the instrument, yet further away from mechanical, squeaky bits and bobs of the pedals and bellows...

then again,
if you have a spare mic,
i'd put one near your feet,
dedicated solely to the pumping mechanism since that is the signature sound of a reed organ and will give you a bit more of that 'bone machine' by tom waits-vibe...
plus you can use more reverb on the actual notes being played and keep the percussive elements dry...
you don't want the instrument to sound like a plug-in right? ha!

good luck and congrats on a great instrument!
Thanks uijui!

Yeah I got this piano tech to renew the thing for a grand since you couldn't play the damn thing when I came across it. The bellows are old and have cuts or rips I think cause you don't get enough power and have to pump the life out of your feet. But great resonance!

If you play the organ for about 10 min then one reed seems to resonate non-stop, so you have this c note playing along no matter what you do... That gets enoying.

I think I have a spare humbucker, should that work???

I don't think I can open the top. Logically that was my first intention but it looks like thats not an option

yeah and with the reverb I'll take it to heart!

Cheers
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