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Micing Concert Grand Piano

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March 10, 2005 7:52:37 AM

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

Gang,

I need to mic a concert grand for recording.
What are the best ways to get the point of view/sound
from the pianist?

I was going to use two SM57s, and a condencer mic.

One SM57 for the bass (left) one SM57 for treble (right).
Then, place the condenser mic about 10 feet, front and
center to the lifted piano lid (45 degrees).

Any thoughts, comments, ideas?

I'd do it the way the guy used to do it for Elton John,
his name is Charlie Helpinsteel (I think) he goes by
Ezra Charles. But I don't have the kind of money
to buy and place all those pickups inside a piano.

I wanted to do it analog, but I don't have a good reel to
reel either. A buddy of mine offered to bring his
8 channel digital recorder, so that would work.

Now I guess is the time for thoughts and comments.

Thanks,

Spike
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 9:26:59 AM

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

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 04:52:37 GMT, spikeiskewl@NOSPAMyahoo.com (Spike )
wrote:

>Gang,
>
>I need to mic a concert grand for recording.
>What are the best ways to get the point of view/sound
>from the pianist?
>
>I was going to use two SM57s, and a condencer mic.
>
>One SM57 for the bass (left) one SM57 for treble (right).
>Then, place the condenser mic about 10 feet, front and
>center to the lifted piano lid (45 degrees).
>
>Any thoughts, comments, ideas?
>
>I'd do it the way the guy used to do it for Elton John,
>his name is Charlie Helpinsteel (I think) he goes by
>Ezra Charles. But I don't have the kind of money
>to buy and place all those pickups inside a piano.
>
>I wanted to do it analog, but I don't have a good reel to
>reel either. A buddy of mine offered to bring his
>8 channel digital recorder, so that would work.
>
>Now I guess is the time for thoughts and comments.
>
>Thanks,
>
>Spike

The SM-57 would not be my choice for recording a concert grand piano.
Is there any chance you could borrow or rent a pair of small-diaphragm
condenser microphones?

Mike T.
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 11:00:58 AM

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

Jazz Pop Piano

These days' female jazz/pop singers and pianists dominate the charts.
Norah Jones and Dianna Krall are 2 of the best. Here we acknowledge
that the lead vocal is the most important element but is immediately
followed by the grand piano. Everything else plays a supportive role.
One thing in common is that these types of artists are highly skilled
pianist and will use the entire piano both musically and dynamically.
These types of artists sometimes record their lead vocals while they
are playing piano, which makes capturing the best performance very
challenging and trade offs are sometimes required. When performing
place a piece of 4' x 4' foam, a foot thick right on top of where
the sheet music tray sits. I actually remove the tray for it usually
produces sympathetic noises. This gives me great isolation between the
vocal mic and the piano mics. Because there playing at times maximizing
the full range of the piano I'll use large diaphragm condensers for
their ability to capture low end. I'll place them about 12"-16"
above the strings so I can get more of the sound board resonance and
16"-24" apart for the range of playing will be wider. Because the
higher strings on a piano do not have dampers they will sustain. If the
top end mic is not positioned to capture this range it will sound
distant and reverb like (basically a little higher and wider pick-up
than pop piano). I will leave the lid fully open for I don't want to
choke the sound. If I need more low end from the piano I'll introduce
a third mic over the lower range in an effort to capture the sonic
fullness of the piano. I will add this mic in to both left and right
channels and use it more for sonic purposes than musical purposes. I
will always rely on the full stereo imaging coming from the other 2
mics. If I have to roll off the mid to high frequency range of the 3rd
mic to achieve accurate stereo imaging I'll do it.
With EQ you will need to make sure the top end of the piano does not
interfere with the presence of the lead vocal. If the piano is to
bright you will invariably have to bring down its overall level. When
you do this you also lower the music element of the piano. All of a
sudden your vocalist sounds barren for they are musically out there
exposed on their own and even though the piano can be heard clearly it
will not contain enough of the harmonic information from the low
mid-range to support the lead vocal. Even though the levels of the
piano and vocalist are close they are quite detached musically. "Be
Aware"

With Compression/limiting and EQ I tend to use it minimally. As with
all piano EQ and dynamic control what you do to one channel you do
exactly to the other.

Jazz Piano

With traditional Jazz pianists like Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett
you will get performances that are highly complex in dynamics and
musical content. These types of
pianists are always improvising on the spot where they are literally
are all over the vast range of the keyboard with incredible speed with
dramatic dynamic changes. These random changes in performing are
happening all the time and you need to prepare yourself to capture this
type of performing. Experiment with mic positions and different
condenser mics. Of all pianists, jazz players are the most articulate
when it comes to meeting their needs. They "speak our technical
language". I usually use pencil condensers like the B&K (DAP) 4000
series. They can handle a lot of level without distorting and can
translate the percussive nature of jazz playing. As I said previously
small diaphragm condensers capture very fast transients more accurately
than large diaphragm. I'll often place the 2 mics slightly higher in
the range and factor in a 3rd low end mic assigned to both left and
right. If the room has good ambient characteristics I'll pull the
mics further back and get an overall sound from the piano. With Jazz
it's nice to get the articulation and the resonance of the piano. For
dynamic control I'll get the player to play very loud and I'll
still back off the level to allow for more headroom. With traditional
jazz playing you do not want to be in a position to have to reset
levels to prevent distortion. If any EQ is required it's usually in
the high end just too add a little shimmer to the sound. With dynamic
control, it will be used rarely for the dynamics are often exaggerated
to highlight the performance. If any limiting is required it will be
for getting more level on a CD, but only if it is not that noticeable.

Classical Piano

In recording classical piano factoring in a good recording ambience is
very important to the overall sound. Recordings by the greatest
classical pianist were mostly done in good concert halls and large
studios.

The conventional and traditional way to record piano is to set up 2-3
large diaphragm condensers at different angles approx 8ft-12ft away
facing the piano. The mics are angled similar to the angle of the piano
lid opening and are usually set up high (6ft-12ft). Large diaphragm
condensers are used to capture the low end of the piano and are often
used in an omni pattern to allow the acoustics of the space to be used
and mics used in an omni have a flatter frequency response than mics in
cardioid patterns.

The distance between the mics and the piano dictates the ratio between
the direct sound and the ambient sound. The goal of this type of
recording is to place the piano and the mics in a strategic place for
optimum clarity and room ambience. However I find this type of pick up
limiting.

If the tempo changes dramatically from adagio (slow) to allegro (fast)
the piano sound can vary. If you found a mic position that suited an
overall good pick up, you might discover that the piano sounds detached
and dry with the slower moving pieces and quite muddy at faster tempos.

What is perceived to be happening is that this type of pick up has dead
spots in it, where once the ambience completely decays you hear dead
air between the notes. The opposite happens when the tempo picks up and
is quick. The piano begins to sound muddy and reverberant, for the
decay is hanging over too much into the next note. This can be very
apparent in there are sudden dynamic changes where the piano goes from
a loud dynamic and quick tempo to a softer dynamic and slower tempo in
a short period of time. The piano sound appears to have too much reverb
in amplitude and decay time. Other than taking the time to find
suitable mic positions and piano placement and risking losing a good
basic mic position and piano placement most often the people involved
will settle for a basic good all round position. I find this limiting.

I was very fortunate to work with Glenn Gould the greatest classical
pianist of the 20th century who was very much into sound innovation.
With his recordings I would find a good position for the placement of
the piano, usually in the center of the room away from any close walls.
Next I would place 3 large diaphragm condensers approx 8ft-12ft from
the piano in cardioid pick up patterns. With this placement I would
strive for a sound that would be clear and balanced if the music was at
a quick tempo (Allegro). Next I would place a stereo mic or 2 matching
condensers between 12ft-18ft from the piano in omni to capture a medium
reverb time that would include early reflections. Next, I would set up
another stereo mic or 2 matched condensers approx 20ft-30ft from the
piano for a reverb effect. This would allow for smooth decay times if
the tempo was slow (adagio) and avoid any dead air.

With this type of pick up I have maximum control over the recording
situation. With 3 different mic setups at various distances I can
change the piano sound from a clear distinct sound to a very warm and
reverberant sound without changing the mic positions and having to
constantly go back into the studio to alter mic and piano positions.
With Glenn I would preview and mark the score where changes would be
required if I was recording to a 2 track final mix or record to a
multi-track and have control when I was mixing.



Microphones
B&K 4000 series, Neumann M149, 87, U-67, U-47, Akg stereo C-24
Excellent transient response, quiet, flat frequency response



Pre-amps
GML, Millenia, Neve, --any high quality pre that is quiet and good
transient response


EQ
Neve, GML, API, Manly; --4 band, quiet, no colouration effect; more
edge around 3khz-5khz bell curve wide "Q"; presence 10khz and up
shelving; low end fullness 80hz-150hz


Limiting
Very little, not perceivable when inserted, fast attack and fast
release
times


Compression
Usually for pop; level control, creating more attack to the sound
Med attack-medium release
Related resources
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 11:58:03 AM

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

"Spike " <spikeiskewl@NOSPAMyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:422fd0f8.10041055@library.airnews.net
> Gang,
>
> I need to mic a concert grand for recording.
> What are the best ways to get the point of view/sound
> from the pianist?

> I was going to use two SM57s, and a condencer mic.

> One SM57 for the bass (left) one SM57 for treble (right).
> Then, place the condenser mic about 10 feet, front and
> center to the lifted piano lid (45 degrees).

> Any thoughts, comments, ideas?

> I'd do it the way the guy used to do it for Elton John,
> his name is Charlie Helpinsteel (I think) he goes by
> Ezra Charles. But I don't have the kind of money
> to buy and place all those pickups inside a piano.

> I wanted to do it analog, but I don't have a good reel to
> reel either. A buddy of mine offered to bring his
> 8 channel digital recorder, so that would work.
>
> Now I guess is the time for thoughts and comments.

I record a grand piano using 4 mics. A Shure SM93 PZM on the underside of
the lid about the middle. A MXL 603 at the foot, pointing up at the sounding
board, polarity inverted with a special cable. Spaced omnis to pick up a
more distant sonic view. The spaced omnis are forced on me - I'd like to use
a coincident pair for that part of application.

Recording this way gives a lot of options at mixdown time, but none are
really like the perspective of the pianist. I think it might be interesting
to try a coincident pair pointing down at just above the music rack hinge,
from above and behind the pianist.
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 3:14:08 PM

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

T Maki wrote:
> ... unless the
> pianist's ears are going to be remotely located one on the
> bass end and the other on the treble end, with a third ear
> 10 feet out in front, how do you figure you're going to get
> the pianist's perspective?
>
> That's one piano player I want to see. Be sure to take
> pictures and post a link.

Hey, I was waiting for you to suggest slapping a pair of PZM's on
the sides of the piano player's big fat head!


Will Miho
NY Music and TV Audio Guy
Staff Audio / Fox News / M-AES
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 3:59:53 PM

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

Spike <spikeiskewl@NOSPAMyahoo.com> wrote:
>
>I need to mic a concert grand for recording.
>What are the best ways to get the point of view/sound
>from the pianist?
>
>I was going to use two SM57s, and a condencer mic.
>
>One SM57 for the bass (left) one SM57 for treble (right).
>Then, place the condenser mic about 10 feet, front and
>center to the lifted piano lid (45 degrees).

What do you want it to sound like? The presence peak on the SM57
can be a real nightmare on piano, especially if you don't want the
piano to step on vocals.

If you want a close-miked piano sound, just using the one condenser
mike might do. If you want a more distant sound, you can pull it
back. But a smooth top end is a big deal when you get up close.

>I'd do it the way the guy used to do it for Elton John,
>his name is Charlie Helpinsteel (I think) he goes by
>Ezra Charles. But I don't have the kind of money
>to buy and place all those pickups inside a piano.

The Helpenstil pickup really sounds godawful. It sounds better than
any other pickup I have used, but it still sounds like a pickup and
not like a piano. Studio recording is not the place for such things.
There are times when you need a pickup to keep feedback problems down,
but this is not one of those times.

>I wanted to do it analog, but I don't have a good reel to
>reel either. A buddy of mine offered to bring his
>8 channel digital recorder, so that would work.
>
>Now I guess is the time for thoughts and comments.

Well, what else is being recorded along with the piano?
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 4:05:08 PM

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

Spike wrote:

> I need to mic a concert grand for recording.
> What are the best ways to get the point of view/sound
> from the pianist?

For this project, where would you anticipate the pianist's
ears to be located? Why not try a Jecklin disk or X-Y pair
roughly at about that spot? Maybe slightly above and
slightly behind the pianist's head? Or maybe ORTF? How about
a simple, single point stereo mic? Since you're going after
the "point of view/sound from the pianist", unless the
pianist's ears are going to be remotely located one on the
bass end and the other on the treble end, with a third ear
10 feet out in front, how do you figure you're going to get
the pianist's perspective?

That's one piano player I want to see. Be sure to take
pictures and post a link.



TM
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 5:27:17 PM

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

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 05:52:37 +0100, Spike wrote:
> I need to mic a concert grand for recording. What are the best ways to
> get the point of view/sound from the pianist?
>
> I was going to use two SM57s, and a condencer mic.

I would try to avoid the SM57's for piano.

For a piano recording a good piano and a good room are important.

For the recording I would sugest to open the lid, place 2 small-diaphragm
condenser microphones (or the best microphones you can find) at the side
opposite of the pianist. Use a distance of 15' in AB if you find a good
room, go closer in XY if the room is not so good or if you want a modern
(close) piano sound.

With a good piano there is no need to colour the sound with an anolog
tapedeck.

--
Chel van Gennip
Visit Serg van Gennip's site http://www.serg.vangennip.com
Anonymous
March 10, 2005 10:19:13 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:

<snip>
> I'll use large diaphragm condensers for
> their ability to capture low end.

where did you get this idea?


Hans
--




This is a non-profit organization;
we didn't plan it that way, but it is

=====================================


(remove uppercase trap, and double the number to reply)
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 12:49:43 AM

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

"Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:
>
> [...] I'll use large diaphragm condensers for their ability to
> capture low end.


Kevin, please don't teach your students that particular piece of
folklore. The size of the capsule has nothing to do with low freq.
sensitivity. Noise maybe, but not frequency response.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 1:07:45 AM

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

Hans van Dongen wrote:

> Matrixmusic wrote:

> <snip>
> > I'll use large diaphragm condensers for
> > their ability to capture low end.

> where did you get this idea?

I asked him that when he said the same for recording drums. Kevin
doesn't address questions arising around things he states as fact that
are actually debatable or outrightly untrue..

"I use microphones for their ability to capture sound." "Hey, bro', good
for _you_."

Note he didn't, in this instance, say _more_ low end. "I use baskets for
their ability to hold oranges."

--
ha
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:31:38 AM

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

Does that mean that Earthworks M550's are no good on the bottom end?
Freq resp 9 Hz - 40kHz +1
or
Earthworks QTC1MP Freq resp 4 Hz - 40kHz +1
? <g>
Max Arwood


David Schultz" <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote in message
news:Xh3Yd.23082$gJ3.13073@clgrps13...
> "Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:
> >
> > [...] I'll use large diaphragm condensers for their ability to
> > capture low end.
>
>
> Kevin, please don't teach your students that particular piece of
> folklore. The size of the capsule has nothing to do with low freq.
> sensitivity. Noise maybe, but not frequency response.
>
> --
> "It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
> - Lorin David Schultz
> in the control room
> making even bad news sound good
>
> (Remove spamblock to reply)
>
>
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 11:53:18 AM

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

"Hans van Dongen" <hanf@xs2all.SPAMDEX.nl> wrote in message
news:42308fa2$0$28982$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl
> Matrixmusic wrote:
>
> <snip>
>> I'll use large diaphragm condensers for
>> their ability to capture low end.
>
> where did you get this idea?

Good question. It turns out that one of the mics with most exceptional bass
extension is a 1/2" DPA mic. Their 1/4" ain't bad for bass, either.

AFAIK, bass roll-off is usually set by an intential leak between the
diaphragm and the atmosphere. If the leak is really tiny, the bass is more
extended. However the mic may then become susceptible to having the leak
unintentionally blocked, making it susceptible performance changes or damage
due to air pressure variations related to changes in elevation or weather.
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:48:51 PM

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

Hi Loren
You night be correct, but to my ears I hear a big difference.
I find that using a Ahk D 112or EV 20 has a lot more bottom end
on a kick drum than a 421.
Also I used a B&K 4000 and a M49 on Yo Yo's Cello and he picked the
LDC hands down for it's better botoom end.
Again I atate you might be technically correct, but my ears just don't
but it.
kevin
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 7:53:46 PM

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

You know The reality of LDC and SDM mics is that in over 90% of
orchestral recordings you will find LDC's on Cello's and Arco's. Could
all these classical guys be fooling themselves.
kevin
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 8:19:53 AM

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

"I find that using a Ahk D 112or EV 20 has a lot more bottom end
on a kick drum than a 421.
Also I used a B&K 4000 and a M49 on Yo Yo's Cello and he picked the
LDC hands down for it's better botoom end.
Again I atate you might be technically correct, but my ears just don't
but it. "

spell check man (no wonder you don't ask questions or respond to
inquiries)
if you compose your replies with a word processing program and cut and
paste,
these spelling errors would not be
You night ?? you might
Ahk D 112 ?? akg
better botoom end. ?? bottom end
I atate you ?? I state
don't but it. don't buy it

maybe they liked how you positioned the mic so it had a different aural
reading of the instrument???

"Could all these classical guys be fooling themselves. "

no, they made the choice on mic and mic position based on how the
project sounds
(and not on what the text book says)

alone
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:01:12 AM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:

> You know The reality of LDC and SDM mics is that in over 90% of
> orchestral recordings you will find LDC's on Cello's and Arco's. Could
> all these classical guys be fooling themselves.

But, Kevin, the point being raised is one of sensible use of language
when describing the effects of audio devices. It's one thing to state
that one prefers LDC's for this or that; it's another to say they
capture more or less low end. The first is an opinion. The second is a
misstatement of fact.

Hereabouts folks tend to try to avoid misstatements of facts. It's
considered bad instruction.

--
ha
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:21:56 AM

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

"Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1110588826.806712.103650@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com

> You know The reality of LDC and SDM mics is that in over 90% of
> orchestral recordings you will find LDC's on Cello's and Arco's.

I never said otherwise.

Keven, I notice that you are so ashamed of your weird claim about LDCs
having unique powers to reproduce bass that you declined to reproduce it.

Ironically, Cellos aren't necessarily the biggest producers of really low
bass in the orchestra.

> Could all these classical guys be fooling themselves.

I think they are exercising their preferences, which is often different from
general claims like yours that LDCs are chosen because of some alleged
unique powers to reproduce low bass.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 11:11:12 AM

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

All viable concerns Guys.
But as explained to me, sound intensity pressure, not level, contains
more low freaquencies than higher frequencies over distance. High
frequencies are lost easily over distance. The fact that a LDC has a
greater pickup area than a SDC will pick up more low frequencies as
compared to higher frequencies. It's a simple law of physics and
acoustics. Yes both mics do pick up low frequencies but you will most
likely have to add more low frequencies to a SDC to simulate a LDC low
frequency pick up. In the case of cello's, double basses and tymps I
believe you will notice that when using both types of mics, ths LDC
will sound fuller in the low end. I belive this can be easily confirmed
by the scores of professional engineers who favour LD's over SD's to
pick up the musical low end of instruments. I've studied under too many
pros to dispute them and my own listening skills.
Also in almost all classical recordings the preference is for omni over
cardiod is there with the exception of spot miking.
kevin
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 11:14:40 AM

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

Does that mean that Earthworks M550's are no good on the bottom end?
Freq resp 9 Hz - 40kHz +1

This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz. It might look
good on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I believe you will
discover a different story.
Kevin
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 11:18:09 AM

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

I think they are exercising their preferences, which is often different
from
general claims like yours that LDCs are chosen because of some alleged
unique powers to reproduce low bas

The LDC's are better at picking up low frequencies. The difference
between 40hz and ikhz with a LDC is a lot smaller than a SDC. Just try
it, I believe your ears will tell you the truth
kevin
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 11:23:29 AM

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

I'd put a tissue over the 4000 on a bass drum, the air pressure alone
will turn that mic into a little hammer!
kevin
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 12:16:43 PM

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

Matrixmusic <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:
>
>You night be correct, but to my ears I hear a big difference.
>I find that using a Ahk D 112or EV 20 has a lot more bottom end
>on a kick drum than a 421.

This is a totally different issue. On open kick drum, most of the real sense
of the drum is actually caused by diaphragm breakup on the microphone. This
is why those three mikes sound so dramatically different on kick, much more
dramatic than they are alone.

If you put a B&K lab mike into a kick drum, you'll get a huge amount of
bottom end. In fact, all you'll get is bottom end and when you play the
thing back on typical speakers you just get a weak "whoomph" sort of sound
because the speakers can't even reproduce what you've got. It's the
microphone distortion that is adding the body and the sense of depth to
the drum.

On closed kick, it's a totally different matter, though.

>Also I used a B&K 4000 and a M49 on Yo Yo's Cello and he picked the
>LDC hands down for it's better botoom end.
>Again I atate you might be technically correct, but my ears just don't
>but it.

Which 4000? If it was one of the omnis, I could see the proximity boost
from the M49 being a good thing.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 1:11:42 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:
> Does that mean that Earthworks M550's are no good on the bottom end?
> Freq resp 9 Hz - 40kHz +1
>
> This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
> pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz.

Sure--measurement mics (including Earthworks) do this all the time.
Even a 1/4" capsule can do the job (albeit a little noisily.)
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 1:15:17 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:
>
> as explained to me, sound intensity pressure, not level, contains
> more low freaquencies than higher frequencies over distance. High
> frequencies are lost easily over distance.

OK.



> The fact that a LDC has a
> greater pickup area than a SDC will pick up more low frequencies as
> compared to higher frequencies. It's a simple law of physics and
> acoustics.

Neither physics nor acoustics says anything of the sort.



If you are interested in knowing how this really works, I can forward
you some incisive commentary by a microphone designer on this very subject.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 2:01:36 PM

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

I am interested

dale
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 2:12:07 PM

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

Kurt Albershardt wrote:
>
> If you are interested in knowing how this really works, I can forward
> you some incisive commentary by a microphone designer on this very subject.

Just realized that the pro-audio list now has a web archive.

Start here and read the following 15 messages or so
<http://www.pgm.com/pipermail/proaudio/2005-March/000366...;
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 2:36:43 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:
> All viable concerns Guys.
> But as explained to me, sound intensity pressure, not level, contains
> more low freaquencies than higher frequencies over distance. High
> frequencies are lost easily over distance.

Not over the distances involved in recording instruments.

What could be responsible for more bass with an LDC in some
situations is an increase in proximity effect. The greater
the front to back distance in a first order mic, the greater
the proximity effect (in theory this is the only factor) and
the larger the diaphragm, the greater the front to back
distance.


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 5:16:45 PM

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

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in
news:mpKdncZFXsDDQq_fRVn-sQ@comcast.com:

> "Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
> news:1110588826.806712.103650@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com
>
>> You know The reality of LDC and SDM mics is that in over 90% of
>> orchestral recordings you will find LDC's on Cello's and Arco's.
>
> I never said otherwise.
>
> Keven, I notice that you are so ashamed of your weird claim about LDCs
> having unique powers to reproduce bass that you declined to reproduce
> it.
>
> Ironically, Cellos aren't necessarily the biggest producers of really
> low bass in the orchestra.

Rather than saying what they are not, let's make some positive
generalizations. Remember, they're just generalizations.

Because of their larger area, LDC mics can receive more signal and have
less inherent noise.

Because of their smaller area, SDC mics can have better off-axis
response.

A pair of SDC's on the whole orchestra may be appropriate because of
their wider angle of acceptance.

A particular mic on cellos may be appropriate for any of several reasons:
a) The response curve favors the instrument.
b) The directional pattern fits the size of the section.
c) The sound through the mic blends better in the mix.
None of these criteria favor large or small diaphragm microphones.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 7:13:31 PM

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

Matrixmusic <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:
>Does that mean that Earthworks M550's are no good on the bottom end?
>Freq resp 9 Hz - 40kHz +1
>
>This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
>pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz. It might look
>good on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I believe you will
>discover a different story.

No, it really sounds like it does. Much as I don't like the Earthworks
mikes, they do have a good solid low end that just keeps going down, and
they will accurately reproduce pipe organ notes that become buzzy and
distorted on a U87.

Note that the DPA goes down about as far, and the old B&K lab mikes go
down farther. If you want an example, get a copy of the last RAP CD
collection. I have a drum/flute solo there done with a pair of B&K 4145
omnis with a Jecklin disc. It has all the low end you'll ever need, and
unfortunately more than most speakers can handle.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 7:41:28 PM

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

On 12 Mar 2005 08:11:12 -0800, "Matrixmusic"
<kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:

> The fact that a LDC has a
>greater pickup area than a SDC will pick up more low frequencies as
>compared to higher frequencies. It's a simple law of physics and
>acoustics.

No it won't and no it's not.
In fact, in free field, it's slightly the opposite.

Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:18:33 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:

> The fact that a LDC has a greater pickup area than a SDC will pick up more
> low frequencies as compared to higher frequencies. It's a simple law of
> physics and acoustics.

You are wrong. You owe it to yourself to read some of David Josephson's
information about this stuff. In fact, there is some very interesting
discussion of LDC/SDC happening on the ProAudio list. You are a very
successful engineer with some terrific credits. Why try to play
physicist on Usenet? "Educator, educate thyself". Some physicists are
talking about this:


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--
ha
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:18:34 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:

> The LDC's are better at picking up low frequencies. The difference
> between 40hz and ikhz with a LDC is a lot smaller than a SDC. Just try
> it, I believe your ears will tell you the truth

Wrong, and measurement will prove it. What we hear is based on our own
preferences, and as I have said, no problem with having preferences.
However, it is foolish to attempt to explain stuff you don't understand
in an attempt to ascribe to physics matters of personal preference.

Were you to give such an answer in a physics exam, you would flunk the
question.

--
ha
"Educator, educate thyself"
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 10:18:35 PM

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

Matrixmusic wrote:

> This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
> pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz.

Belief is for religion, not physics, nor measurement of microphones.
Regardless of what you believe, you are moving into a realm of which you
apparently have little understanding. When that happens to me I try to
figure out what is the basis for my ignorance, and even if I cannot work
the math, I try to abandon my preconceptions once people who _can_ work
the math explain their results to me.

> It might look good on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I believe
> you will discover a different story.

Our ears are not so accurate regarding frequency response, as they also
interpret coloration as part of what they/we hear.

--
ha
"Educator, educate thyself"
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 12:22:14 AM

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

On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 17:14:40 +0100, Matrixmusic wrote:

> This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
> pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz. It might look good
> on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I believe you will discover
> a different story.

My ears don't hear so well at 9Hz.
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/sound/eqloud...

--
Chel van Gennip
Visit Serg van Gennip's site http://www.serg.vangennip.com
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 1:05:27 AM

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

"Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1110644080.962580.113930@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com

> Does that mean that Earthworks M550's are no good on the bottom end?
> Freq resp 9 Hz - 40kHz +1

> This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic
> can pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz.

That's because your model of microphone frequency response is defective.

My personal experience with small diameter omnidirectional mics relates to
the DPA 4007 which is a 1/2" mic that is typically found to be roll-off free
within 2 dB, down to 20 Hz. In actual operation it is no more than 3 dB
down at 3 Hz.

http://www.ambertech.com.au/files/articles/Standard%20M...

page 17.

Given that this is a widely-recognized and highly-regarded standard
measurement mic, it is highly unlikely that its specifications are
inaccurate.

>It might look good on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I believe
you
> will discover a different story.

According to the Fletcher-Munson curves, the average ear is as much as 20 dB
down at 20 Hz, as compared to its response on 100 Hz. In contrast electrical
measuring equipment can cover this range within a 0.05 dB or smaller
tolerance. Seems like measurements would be the more reliable indicator.
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 2:31:06 AM

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

kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:

> Note that the DPA goes down about as far, and the old B&K lab mikes
> go down farther. If you want an example, get a copy of the last RAP
> CD collection. I have a drum/flute solo there done with a pair of
> B&K 4145 omnis with a Jecklin disc. It has all the low end you'll
> ever need, and unfortunately more than most speakers can handle.

And that brings the question;

Where can I get a copy or the r.a.p. CDs?

--
Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
+61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
West Australia 6076
comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 2:31:07 AM

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

On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 23:31:06 +0800, prep@prep.synonet.com wrote:

>kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:
>
>> Note that the DPA goes down about as far, and the old B&K lab mikes
>> go down farther. If you want an example, get a copy of the last RAP
>> CD collection. I have a drum/flute solo there done with a pair of
>> B&K 4145 omnis with a Jecklin disc. It has all the low end you'll
>> ever need, and unfortunately more than most speakers can handle.
>
>And that brings the question;
>
>Where can I get a copy or the r.a.p. CDs?

http://www.recaudiopro.net and push the Buy Now button.

Don't have the volume up too high when playing Scott's track.

>--
>Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
>+61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
> West Australia 6076
>comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
>Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
>EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.

-----
http://mindspring.com/~benbradley
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 2:31:08 AM

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

Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> wrote:
>
>http://www.recaudiopro.net and push the Buy Now button.
>
>Don't have the volume up too high when playing Scott's track.

Man, you SPOILED the SURPRISE.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 4:04:05 AM

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

On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 04:05:27 +0100, Arny Krueger wrote:

> According to the Fletcher-Munson curves, the average ear is as much as
> 20 dB down at 20 Hz, as compared to its response on 100 Hz. In contrast
> electrical measuring equipment can cover this range within a 0.05 dB or
> smaller tolerance. Seems like measurements would be the more reliable
> indicator.

Depends on the sound level, this 20dB is for 20Hz sound at 120dB.
You need a sound level of about 75 dB at 20Hz to hear anything, compared
to 35dB at 100Hz to hear the same loudness, this gives a difference of
40dB in sensitivity.

Measurements are indeed far more reliable than listening in this region.

Not to speak of frequencies below 10Hz.

The lowest note on a piano is 27.5Hz.

--
Chel van Gennip
Visit Serg van Gennip's site http://www.serg.vangennip.com
Anonymous
March 14, 2005 8:14:55 AM

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

On 13 Mar 2005 13:24:47 -0500, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

>Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> wrote:
>>
>>http://www.recaudiopro.net and push the Buy Now button.
>>
>>Don't have the volume up too high when playing Scott's track.
>
>Man, you SPOILED the SURPRISE.

Sorry, I was thinking of that speaker reconing thread...

>--scott

-----
http://mindspring.com/~benbradley
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 12:00:48 AM

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

Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> writes:

> On 13 Mar 2005 13:24:47 -0500, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
>
>>Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>http://www.recaudiopro.net and push the Buy Now button.

Right. You need extra for sending to .AU?

--
Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
+61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
West Australia 6076
comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 12:00:49 AM

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

In article <87r7iigz5r.fsf@prep.synonet.com>, <prep@prep.synonet.com> wrote:
>Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> writes:
>
>> On 13 Mar 2005 13:24:47 -0500, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
>>
>>>Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>http://www.recaudiopro.net and push the Buy Now button.
>
>Right. You need extra for sending to .AU?

Permit me also to recommend buying the RAP LP, if only because I still
need to get them out of the warehouse (where they recently moved after
I got tired of having them in the living room).
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 12:00:49 AM

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

prep@prep.synonet.com wrote:

>Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> writes:
>
>> On 13 Mar 2005 13:24:47 -0500, kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
>>
>>>Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>http://www.recaudiopro.net and push the Buy Now button.
>
>Right. You need extra for sending to .AU?

Nope, that one price includes airmail shipping to anywhere in the world.

Harvey Gerst
Indian Trail Recording Studio
http://www.ITRstudio.com/
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 12:39:44 AM

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

Well, we have to start somewhere, so starting at the beginning is a pretty
good place. Bottom end requires huge amounts of power to radiate to the
same distance high frequencies utilizing less power do, so unless there's
some major absorption somewhere along the line, highs are going to be more
prevalent, regardless of the mic chosen. Now the assumption here is that
you're not putting the mic up against a bottom end cabinet. A large
diaphragm condensor has LESS pressure on the entire surface at 20 feet out
than at 10, and thus the bottom end is going to be less prevalent in the
recording. At 80 feet out, it's virtually non-existent, dependant upon the
source being recorded (assuming a non-amplified environment and that somehow
the inverse square law still prevails). With a small diaphragm condensor
you're talking about less surface area, but that doesn't equate to a smaller
amount of bottom end because it takes less pressure to excite the diaphragm
to pick up all the frequencies.

I know, one can look at Blumlein or Decca Tree configurations and say "See,
LDC mics are the way to go" but then one has to look at the positioning of
such mics, and also look at the history of said mics. Mics with figure of 8
patterns are usually LDC or ribbons. Decca Tree, in it's true configuration
is LDC basically because it's normally right behind the conductor and who
can gripe about a group of M50 Neumanns?

But if you want good bottom end at 50+ feet then a pair of Schoeps or
Josephson or other small condensors are the way to go. I'm not saying the
sound gets "bigger", I'm saying that the recordings are more accurate. If
"bigger" is what you want, then you have the choice of LDC at some closer
range. But quality recording in a large environment doesn't fall on LDCs in
most of our work, or at the least, my work nor anyone I've worked with.
--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
http://blogs.salon.com/0004478/

"Matrixmusic" <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1110643872.212811.98700@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> All viable concerns Guys.
> But as explained to me, sound intensity pressure, not level, contains
> more low freaquencies than higher frequencies over distance. High
> frequencies are lost easily over distance. The fact that a LDC has a
> greater pickup area than a SDC will pick up more low frequencies as
> compared to higher frequencies. It's a simple law of physics and
> acoustics. Yes both mics do pick up low frequencies but you will most
> likely have to add more low frequencies to a SDC to simulate a LDC low
> frequency pick up. In the case of cello's, double basses and tymps I
> believe you will notice that when using both types of mics, ths LDC
> will sound fuller in the low end. I belive this can be easily confirmed
> by the scores of professional engineers who favour LD's over SD's to
> pick up the musical low end of instruments. I've studied under too many
> pros to dispute them and my own listening skills.
> Also in almost all classical recordings the preference is for omni over
> cardiod is there with the exception of spot miking.
> kevin
>
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 12:39:45 AM

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

Roger W. Norman wrote:
>
> I know, one can look at Blumlein or Decca Tree configurations and say "See,
> LDC mics are the way to go" but then one has to look at the positioning of
> such mics, and also look at the history of said mics. Mics with figure of 8
> patterns are usually LDC or ribbons. Decca Tree, in it's true configuration
> is LDC

IIRC, the M50 capsule is 12mm (1/2") in diameter. It's a special case,
of course, and doesn't really fit in the standard categories due to the
spherical baffle in which the capsule is mounted.
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 1:00:50 AM

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

It's not polite to correct someone on usenet, although I've often picked on
JohnnyV for his typing (that's because I personally know him and know he can
learn typing). Some people are dyslexic, some are simply fumble-fingered.
Some don't proof read.

If you know what they are saying well enough to correct them, then you know
what they are saying.

The appropriate usenet protocol is to say "What?" when someone types like
they have crabs in their pants.

Ooops, I just corrected someone on usenet! <g> It's a dale of a way to go.

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
http://blogs.salon.com/0004478/

"dale" <dallen@frognet.net> wrote in message
news:1110633593.150253.282920@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> "I find that using a Ahk D 112or EV 20 has a lot more bottom end
> on a kick drum than a 421.
> Also I used a B&K 4000 and a M49 on Yo Yo's Cello and he picked the
> LDC hands down for it's better botoom end.
> Again I atate you might be technically correct, but my ears just don't
> but it. "
>
> spell check man (no wonder you don't ask questions or respond to
> inquiries)
> if you compose your replies with a word processing program and cut and
> paste,
> these spelling errors would not be
> You night ?? you might
> Ahk D 112 ?? akg
> better botoom end. ?? bottom end
> I atate you ?? I state
> don't but it. don't buy it
>
> maybe they liked how you positioned the mic so it had a different aural
> reading of the instrument???
>
> "Could all these classical guys be fooling themselves. "
>
> no, they made the choice on mic and mic position based on how the
> project sounds
> (and not on what the text book says)
>
> alone
>
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 1:02:56 AM

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

Absolutely. If one used both the B&K 4000 and M49 in close circumstances.
If one moves both mics out about 4 feet, the B&K would win hands down. Just
my experience.

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
http://blogs.salon.com/0004478/

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0utkb$3dv$1@panix2.panix.com...
> Matrixmusic <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:
> >
> >You night be correct, but to my ears I hear a big difference.
> >I find that using a Ahk D 112or EV 20 has a lot more bottom end
> >on a kick drum than a 421.
>
> This is a totally different issue. On open kick drum, most of the real
sense
> of the drum is actually caused by diaphragm breakup on the microphone.
This
> is why those three mikes sound so dramatically different on kick, much
more
> dramatic than they are alone.
>
> If you put a B&K lab mike into a kick drum, you'll get a huge amount of
> bottom end. In fact, all you'll get is bottom end and when you play the
> thing back on typical speakers you just get a weak "whoomph" sort of sound
> because the speakers can't even reproduce what you've got. It's the
> microphone distortion that is adding the body and the sense of depth to
> the drum.
>
> On closed kick, it's a totally different matter, though.
>
> >Also I used a B&K 4000 and a M49 on Yo Yo's Cello and he picked the
> >LDC hands down for it's better botoom end.
> >Again I atate you might be technically correct, but my ears just don't
> >but it.
>
> Which 4000? If it was one of the omnis, I could see the proximity boost
> from the M49 being a good thing.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 1:05:28 AM

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

The other option is simply to experiment, even if it costs the dollars for a
rental. Which brings up the quality of the mic being used for judgements.
A good LDC might well overshadow a shitty SDC in terms of bottom end at a
distance, but the SDC would have to be virtually broken.

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
http://blogs.salon.com/0004478/

"hank alrich" <walkinay@thegrid.net> wrote in message
news:1gtb5ui.yfip4v2xhnx3N%walkinay@thegrid.net...
> Matrixmusic wrote:
>
> > This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
> > pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz.
>
> Belief is for religion, not physics, nor measurement of microphones.
> Regardless of what you believe, you are moving into a realm of which you
> apparently have little understanding. When that happens to me I try to
> figure out what is the basis for my ignorance, and even if I cannot work
> the math, I try to abandon my preconceptions once people who _can_ work
> the math explain their results to me.
>
> > It might look good on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I
believe
> > you will discover a different story.
>
> Our ears are not so accurate regarding frequency response, as they also
> interpret coloration as part of what they/we hear.
>
> --
> ha
> "Educator, educate thyself"
Anonymous
March 15, 2005 1:07:28 AM

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

Yeah, and you didn't mention that to me when you sent it up for the
compilation, you turkey! <g>

I had to fire up the big speakers to get the gist of it. But it was nice.
Not many recordings can show true dynamics better.

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio
http://blogs.salon.com/0004478/

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D 0vm1r$6ua$1@panix2.panix.com...
> Matrixmusic <kevindoylemusic@rogers.com> wrote:
> >Does that mean that Earthworks M550's are no good on the bottom end?
> >Freq resp 9 Hz - 40kHz +1
> >
> >This could be true, but I find it very hard to believe that the mic can
> >pick up 9hz or even 20hz, only 1 db down from 100hz. It might look
> >good on the spec sheet, but when using your ears, I believe you will
> >discover a different story.
>
> No, it really sounds like it does. Much as I don't like the Earthworks
> mikes, they do have a good solid low end that just keeps going down, and
> they will accurately reproduce pipe organ notes that become buzzy and
> distorted on a U87.
>
> Note that the DPA goes down about as far, and the old B&K lab mikes go
> down farther. If you want an example, get a copy of the last RAP CD
> collection. I have a drum/flute solo there done with a pair of B&K 4145
> omnis with a Jecklin disc. It has all the low end you'll ever need, and
> unfortunately more than most speakers can handle.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
!