Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

SP C4s on Concert Grand Piano

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
September 6, 2004 2:21:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hello all --

After buying my spectacular concert grand piano last year, I finally
have some dough to spend on some decent recording gear. I just bought
a Yamaha 16-track HD recorder and am looking for a good matched pair
of condenser mics, most particularly for my piano, but also for
acoustic guitar and other instruments.

The SP C4s seem like a good fit, and the newsgroup users seem excited
about them, but I'm concerned about the low-range frequency response.
Their low range begins at 40Hz, which is definitely less than, say, a
pair of NT5s at 20Hz. The lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz, which
isn't even in the range of these mics.

I'm leaning toward these mics, because I like having the
interchangeable capsules (my room has excellent acoustics, so I'd like
the option of going omni as well as cardioid), but I'm just concerned
about the low end.

Granted, I don't spend a lot of time on the lowest few notes of the
piano, but I want to make sure that any mics I buy won't fall off
completely in the bottom octave.

Has anyone had experience with the C4s and a nice piano? Should I be
concerned about the frequency issue? Can someone with a better
understanding of microphones and frequencies comment on the issue at
hand? Are the NT5s a better bet for my application? Or is there
another set of mics you would recommend in the $300-400 range?

Thanks in advance, everyone! These newsgroups have been excellent
reading to help me narrow my microphone search.

With many thanks,

Christopher
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 11:01:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I'm concerned about the low-range frequency response.
Their low range begins at 40Hz, which is definitely less than, say, a
pair of NT5s at 20Hz. The lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz, which
isn't even in the range of these mics. >>

Pay no attention to these specs. They tell you nothing useful at all about the
sound of the mics. You will need to actually hear the mic you're interested in
on your piano to judge its ability to portray the low end.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 11:14:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

And when you find out who this dude is, you'll be glad you came
to this newsgroup.

Chris Hornbeck
Related resources
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 2:11:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> The SP C4s seem like a good fit, and the newsgroup users seem excited
> about them, but I'm concerned about the low-range frequency response.
> Their low range begins at 40Hz, which is definitely less than, say, a
> pair of NT5s at 20Hz. The lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz, which
> isn't even in the range of these mics.
>


Keep in mind that very few systems can reproduce frequencies as low as
27.5 Hz. Use your ears to tell you what sounds best. The thunderous
lows from a 9' grand are probably well represented in the 50Hz-80Hz
range.
Anonymous
September 6, 2004 7:27:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Since you dropped all that cush on your piano why not get something abit
snazzier than Studio Projects or rode mics, like some schoeps or dpa's or
some neumann's
--Lou Gimenez
The Music Lab
2" 24track w all the Goodies
www.musiclabnyc.com



> From: chrissansone@rocketmail.com (Christopher)
> Organization: http://groups.google.com
> Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
> Date: 5 Sep 2004 22:21:53 -0700
> Subject: SP C4s on Concert Grand Piano
>
> Hello all --
>
> After buying my spectacular concert grand piano last year, I finally
> have some dough to spend on some decent recording gear. I just bought
> a Yamaha 16-track HD recorder and am looking for a good matched pair
> of condenser mics, most particularly for my piano, but also for
> acoustic guitar and other instruments.
>
> The SP C4s seem like a good fit, and the newsgroup users seem excited
> about them, but I'm concerned about the low-range frequency response.
> Their low range begins at 40Hz, which is definitely less than, say, a
> pair of NT5s at 20Hz. The lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz, which
> isn't even in the range of these mics.
>
> I'm leaning toward these mics, because I like having the
> interchangeable capsules (my room has excellent acoustics, so I'd like
> the option of going omni as well as cardioid), but I'm just concerned
> about the low end.
>
> Granted, I don't spend a lot of time on the lowest few notes of the
> piano, but I want to make sure that any mics I buy won't fall off
> completely in the bottom octave.
>
> Has anyone had experience with the C4s and a nice piano? Should I be
> concerned about the frequency issue? Can someone with a better
> understanding of microphones and frequencies comment on the issue at
> hand? Are the NT5s a better bet for my application? Or is there
> another set of mics you would recommend in the $300-400 range?
>
> Thanks in advance, everyone! These newsgroups have been excellent
> reading to help me narrow my microphone search.
>
> With many thanks,
>
> Christopher
Anonymous
September 7, 2004 4:41:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > Has anyone had experience with the C4s and a nice piano? Should I be
> > concerned about the frequency issue? Can someone with a better
> > understanding of microphones and frequencies comment on the issue at
> > hand? Are the NT5s a better bet for my application? Or is there
> > another set of mics you would recommend in the $300-400 range?

If that is your budget range I would use the C4's without hesitation. You
may, depending on the room, have issues with the sub > 90hz range, but
overall I think you will be pleased. What preamps are your going to use?

--
Nathan

"Imagine if there were no Hypothetical Situations"
Anonymous
September 8, 2004 4:18:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I find that piano low end is often lost somewhat by a typical ORTF pair
of SD condensors. I recommend close miking the lowest strings with an
omni like the Audix TR40 or the Behringer 8000, and bringing just a
little of it into the stereo mix. The higher self noise of this mic
will not be a problem if you're only adding a bit of it to beef up the
low end...

-----------------

Christopher wrote:
> Hello all --
>
> After buying my spectacular concert grand piano last year, I finally
> have some dough to spend on some decent recording gear. I just bought
> a Yamaha 16-track HD recorder and am looking for a good matched pair
> of condenser mics, most particularly for my piano, but also for
> acoustic guitar and other instruments.
>
> The SP C4s seem like a good fit, and the newsgroup users seem excited
> about them, but I'm concerned about the low-range frequency response.
> Their low range begins at 40Hz, which is definitely less than, say, a
> pair of NT5s at 20Hz. The lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz, which
> isn't even in the range of these mics.
>
> I'm leaning toward these mics, because I like having the
> interchangeable capsules (my room has excellent acoustics, so I'd like
> the option of going omni as well as cardioid), but I'm just concerned
> about the low end.
>
> Granted, I don't spend a lot of time on the lowest few notes of the
> piano, but I want to make sure that any mics I buy won't fall off
> completely in the bottom octave.
>
> Has anyone had experience with the C4s and a nice piano? Should I be
> concerned about the frequency issue? Can someone with a better
> understanding of microphones and frequencies comment on the issue at
> hand? Are the NT5s a better bet for my application? Or is there
> another set of mics you would recommend in the $300-400 range?
>
> Thanks in advance, everyone! These newsgroups have been excellent
> reading to help me narrow my microphone search.
>
> With many thanks,
>
> Christopher
Anonymous
September 8, 2004 9:59:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I find that piano low end is often lost somewhat by a typical ORTF pair
of SD condensors. >>

I find the low end of the piano can often be overwhelming with an ORTF pair of
small diaphragm condensers. I guess we're talking about different pianos &
different mics here.


Scott Fraser
September 8, 2004 10:31:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for your replies, everyone! They're an enormous help.

To answer some of your questions, this is my first set of recording
equipment, so I want to get good mid-priced gear that I'll be happy
with for a couple years. Maybe I'll upgrade to Neumanns for album #2,
but I need to start somewhere.

As for the preamp, I'm planning to just go directly to the Yamaha HD
recorder for now. I've seen a few posts that said they it gets the
job done very well without the need for a separate preamp. Again,
gotta start somewhere.

I also e-mailed Studio Projects with this question, and here is their
response:

>>>

The omni capsule of the C4's will capture sound below 40Hz just fine.
We need to expand our specification. As for Rode and their 20Hz. spec,
I really doubt that the cardioid NT5 goes anywhere near 20Hz. A lot of
mic companies tend to spec their mics to the audible range of hearing.
This is generally not the case. In fact, I would bet that the C4
cardioid has better low end response than the NT5. If you can arrange
it, I would suggest that you try out the C4's next to the NT5 (or any
mics that may interest you). I think you will find the C4's to be more
than adequate for recording piano.

If a condenser mic does not have the bandwidth extending down to
27.5Hz, you will still hear the note, due to the rich harmonic content
of a piano string-on a soundboard-in a given room, although you may
not have the "ooomph" - so to speak, of the low frequency. That said,
the low frequencies of a piano have less to do with the perceived
loudness of the note than you might think. Additionally, if you have a
27.5Hz note being reproduced on your playback system:
1. Wow
2. The speaker cone is probably jumping a foot out of the enclosure
3. It may sound more like an earthquake than music.

<<<


Good reviews and good tech support, so I'm pretty set on the C4s.
I'll definitely be getting a decent vocal mic too (perhaps a C1 or C3
if I like the C4s), which I'll also use when recording the piano to
fill out the sound as needed.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

Christopher
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 2:27:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sorry to intrude, but I find this line alarming:

> I'll definitely be getting a decent vocal mic too (perhaps a C1 or C3
> if I like the C4s),

Why? Let's assume that you indeed like the C4; why would you buy a C1 (or
whatever), just because it's a product from the same company? How can you be
sure that you'll like the C1 if you like the C4? They're TOTALLY
different!!!

You have to try all those mics before you buy.
No matter how cheap they are, money's still money... I would personally
advise you to buy a nicer pair of SD condensers than buying a a pair of SPs
(nothing personal, I swear!) SDs and then a LD... if you want to invest in a
pair of mics to get a nice piano tone, RENT some mics THEN make up your
mind.

Then come back here to post your results!!!

JP Gerard
Anonymous
September 9, 2004 2:27:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"JP Gerard" <jpgerard@skynet> wrote in message news:<4140147f$0$3543$ba620e4c@news.skynet.be>...
> Sorry to intrude, but I find this line alarming:
>
> > I'll definitely be getting a decent vocal mic too (perhaps a C1 or C3
> > if I like the C4s),
>
> Why? Let's assume that you indeed like the C4; why would you buy a C1 (or
> whatever), just because it's a product from the same company? How can you be
> sure that you'll like the C1 if you like the C4? They're TOTALLY
> different!!!
>
> You have to try all those mics before you buy.
> No matter how cheap they are, money's still money... I would personally
> advise you to buy a nicer pair of SD condensers than buying a a pair of SPs
> (nothing personal, I swear!) SDs and then a LD... if you want to invest in a
> pair of mics to get a nice piano tone, RENT some mics THEN make up your
> mind.
>
> Then come back here to post your results!!!
>
> JP Gerard


JP,

This is entirely up to you, but I think it is always best that people
state their company affiliations when dispensing such advice to a
potential customer of one's competitor.
Nothing personal.

Sincerely,

Brent Casey
PMI Audio Group
877-563-6335
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 3:18:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Hi JP,
>
> Without doing any research, I see that you're the first to caution
> against SD mics from the company that I happen to be affiliated with.
> I'm not taking issue with the content of your posts, nor is it any of
> my business or concern that you fear posting on newsgroups. My
> suggestion is simply that you might want to mention somewhere in your
> reply that you represent a competing mic company.
> Again, it's entirely up to you.

OK, fair enough.
I just don't like the idea of being seen as trying to plug a company,
whether I work with the company or not.
And if I'd posted with a "JP Gerard, XXX designer" signature, some people
would probably think "oh yeah, he's being objective, sure" and ignore the
advice, so might as well stop posting...
Anyway...

If you read my first post in the thread, you'll see that I'm not really
saying anything bad against the C4.
I don't know the product. But I DO know that if, as a musician, I had one
good instrument and wanted to capture it with accuracy, I wouldn't settle
for anything that's below a certain... quality. I love SD condensers; I'm
not really a big fan of LDs in general. I do think that 797 make OK SD mics
for the price, but let's be honest here, they're no match for a good 84, a
Gefell 671/94, or a Schoeps of any vintage (etc, etc...). So even though I
haven't palyed with a C4, given the price, and 797's abilities, I'm pretty
confident with my comment. I've tried many asian products. I've most likely
played with some of factory samples you guys received at SP. Those SD
capsules are made to a price and that's that.

The guy might be better off with something more expensive, but simply
better. How many mics is he going to buy? Not many. He just needs a really
good pair of SDs.

Finally, all I was saying was "if you like the C4, don't go and by a C1 just
because it's from the same company".
My point was, SDs are very different from LDs, and I could take any SD model
from any company as an example, and any LD from the same company.

But I'll stop here, before this thread starts to wear readers out.

JP
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 5:23:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > Without doing any research, I see that you're the first to caution
> > against SD mics from the company that I happen to be affiliated with.

I'd like to beat a dead horse here....what company do you work for or are
affiliated with Mr.JP?



--
Nathan

"Imagine if there were no Hypothetical Situations"
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 5:42:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I haven't used the my C4s on piano -- but I use them all the time on acoustic
guitar, and I love them. Great clean response. I also like the way you get
both 2 omni and 2 cardiod matched capsules in the deal.

I also use SP B1s, and an SP C1. I think they are amazing microphones... for
the price. They are not the end-all, be-all of microphones at any price - but
they are darn darn good.

All that being said - I gotta fall back to what other folks have said. If at
all possible, you need to check the microphones out on your own material in
your own recording space on your own instrument. Piano seems to me to be one
of the most difficult instruments to capture well, especially smoothly across
the entire range. The sound you get from the piano will be heavily influenced
by the way you place your microphones, as well as the sound of the room. I
don't think it likely, but you may find the $50. Behringer ECM8000 microphone
works better for you. On the other hand, you may find that your room space
stinks, and that you need to spend some $ on fixing that. Or perhaps some
other kind of microphone, such as using a pair of pzm microphones with the lid
closed would help to minimize the room. In other words, there are lots of
variables here - if you try some microphones and like the sound - thats what
really matters.

-lee-
Anonymous
September 11, 2004 11:26:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi Nathan,

I've worked on some mic designs (and I'm currently working on a few other
models) for ADK.
We're going over the whole range, one mic at a time.
Good fun!

I also hand-build the Custom Shoppe line of mics.

My main gig remains my recording studio + repair/maintenance service though
(www.ibelgique.com/nohype).

JP

"Nathan West" <natewest@nc.rr.com> a écrit dans le message de
news:4142FC45.8B04FD9E@nc.rr.com...
> > > Without doing any research, I see that you're the first to caution
> > > against SD mics from the company that I happen to be affiliated with.
>
> I'd like to beat a dead horse here....what company do you work for or are
> affiliated with Mr.JP?
>
>
>
> --
> Nathan
>
> "Imagine if there were no Hypothetical Situations"
>
>
!