cello sound opinions

Discussion in 'Strings' started by snyderman, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    I'm looking for an opinion on the sound of these cello clips. I'm recording in a week and wondering if the room will work for the sessions. Would love any opinions/comments on the following clips. Recorded with stereo Microtech Gefell 950's in a X/Y setting plugged into a Zoom flash recorded. Mics were about 4' off the ground. I'll be recording separate tracks of cello, violin and upright bass and running them thru a Millennia HV3 into P-tools.

    Trying to decide on the venue, thanks for any feedback!

  2. JackHenry

    JackHenry Active Member

    3 Feet sound richer to me.
  3. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    Cool, thanks for the feedback.This was done in a 21x17 living room. Ceiling has two levels. height is about 9' in front of the instrument but about 20' above the player.

    I am worried about all the parallel surfaces, but was wondering if this won't be an issue with close micing? I have the possibility of recording in a church but i would want to still do close micing as I am doing all the instruments separately and this is a jazz recording. I would not be able to experience the church before the session, so I'm not sure that it's worth booking the space.

    Any thoughts on the quality of the sound? I do have some portable wall panels that I could uses to finesse the acoustics if needed.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Why do you have the cellist under the 20' ceiling? A concert/recital hall would have the musicians under the shorter ceiling. Granted it would still likely be 20' on stage but the point remains.
  5. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    Thanks John,
    I just sat down and played under the 20' area because I didn't have much time to experiment and there was a table in the 9' area. :) I can try reversing things. Was thinking that with the bass player standing, i wouldn't want him under the lower ceiling because of reflections. Maybe that's why I'd do it though? The mic placement ends up being just at the change in ceiling height.

    Thanks 4 the thought....
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well, maybe I'd change my mind for a bass player. Maybe not. My wife happens to play that particular instrument so I hear it all the time in the house (8' ceiling). I'm still generally recording the room sound with maybe a spot on the body (of the bass). Her particular bass fills the room with a lush sound that the plywood junk her students use can't match. Of course none of the contrabassi at Hammond Ashley (Seattle) have matched it either the last two trips we've made.

    I'm guessing you may make decisions based on that particular player and instrument as to which ceiling height sounds best. The same generally for VC but it won't fill out the room to the same extent. I prefer the omni pattern for the CB.

    In the FWIW and YMMV categories.
  7. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    I most often use nice Earthwork omni's for recording ensembles in nice halls and such but I have used them in the basement studio up close on my own cello with success...was wanting to cut out any potential 'house' noises so wasn't sure that I'd go with omni..worth trying though
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Admittedly, I unplug the refrigerator, turn off the central heat, turn off the extra computers, tv's, radios, iPods, UFO homing beacons, PRC/AN7 broadcasts, cover the cockatiel, cordon off the street, and make sure my beer is already popped.
  9. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    You've got some nice mics there...

    I think the Jack is right on w/ the issue being PLACEMENT.
    Player, room, mics, etc.
    Though he is spoiled w/ having a well built/tuned/played upright at his disposal. Nothing sweeter, IMO.
    Nice thing about omni is that it doesn't have near the "proximity effect" of cardioid mics. You can put it right up on anything w/o worrying so much about boosted bottom end.

    The cello is such an intimate instrument, much like the human voice.
    Get it close and intimate under the lower ceiling - "close" micing tends to take the room out of the equation to varying degrees (depending on mic and pattern). Also add a mic in the bigger space for added... space.

    Finally, if it doesn't cost much, try the church. I call a church my recording home and the acoustics of any such place are worth exploring.
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    A couple notes (ha...get it...):

    1 - the sound of all the clips is good and usable. Considering the type of music I'm hearing (jazzy/ragtime-esque), I would opt for the closer setup.

    2 - As already suggested, play around with placing yourself and the other players in various places within the room.

    3 - the upclose and personal omni approach works on some things very well and on other things very poorly. If you do it to the violin, everyone listening to the subsequent recording will suffer a sudden and accute lack of desire to live. On bass, it's fantastic - for *almost* every genre. For cello, it will work pretty well on what you're doing here. However, the m930 (I know...a slightly different mic, but I've not used the m950) is one of my favorite mics ever on cello. Using it and playing around with the placement may be your best sound. The proximity effect on the m930 is not as pronounced as it is on several other "similar" mics. Getting up close on the cello shouldn't make it too boomy.

    Let us know how it turns out! Maybe post a sample??

  11. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    Thanks gentlemen,
    So the general consensus is that it might be better to get the player(s) and mic under the 9’ ceiling rather than 20’? It seems best to be close micing us. All the tunes are jazzy/ragtime. Cucco – you think the sound is good/will work? I have a difficult time judging when it’s me playing – nothing sounds spectacular. :shock:

    As for micing, I’ll certainly try the omni earthworks - I love them!
    Here’s a question: I’m used to recording with stereo mics even up close. Is that a good idea in this situation? I can always mix down to one track or uses some panning to create a sound stage later?

    Violin & cello: I was thinking of the X/Y m930’s cartiods up close. (I see that ORTF is the popular choice for stereo but not sure that applies to my project of individually recorded instruments. Should I think about it?

    Bass: I was going to try a bunch of stuff and maybe mix several together. I’ve read the royer is great on upright bass. I could try an omni (possibly wrapped in foam under tailpiece facing thru bridge. Got a 414. And got the m930’s. I thought I’d try most mics near the f-hole of the high string. Thoughts?
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I often use the C414 on bass-not Cucco's fav but he has more toys than I do. I put it about three feet away from the bass and usually pointing slightly down at the left f hole or shoulder. If it sounds too close I just pull it back and raise the mic a bit.

    On VC or Vln you might consider a spaced A-B pair or an MS pair. There isn't anything wrong with XY but I personally wouldn't use ORTF/NOS on a single instrument.
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Based on your posts on the forum, I see that you have two of the 950s, 2 earthworks omnis and a royer 121.

    The easy solution to me to making a killer sounding, cohesive recording is to play all at the same time -
    Use the Royer over the violin - 2-3 feet above the bridge, angled up slightly towards the base of the fingerboard.

    Use either the earthworks or the Gefells on the lower strings.

    Then, use the other pair (either the EWs or the Gefells) to capture a stereo picture of the 3 instruments playing together.

    This would be a GREAT sounding setup with some top notch gear.

    BTW -
    John - I don't mind the 414 at all on bass. Particularly the ULS. In fact, you can work the proximity effect of the 414 beautifully.

    Don't get me wrong - I don't hate the 414. It's a great mic. The problem with it is, it's completely and totally irremarkable. In a lot of situations this can be a very good thing. I really DO NOT like the sound of the 414 over an ensemble as a stereo pair. It's about as dull and lifeless as it gets. Combine that with a Millennia HV3C and Yawn...
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    J, I'm just yankin' your chain buddy! And I'm not afraid to admit I covet your mic locker. :cool:
  15. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    Thanks guys,
    Jeremy - I would be much more comfortable recording the group together but because of space/venue issues, desire to have no bleed for various mixing possibilities, and some some video reasons I was planning on recording everything separately.

    I want the ability to make rhythm and bass play-along tracks, versions featuring cello, versions featuring violin and probably mix in some guitar tracks from the other post I have going. This is all to demo some sheet music that I'm publishing.

    John - i was planning on trying the 414 in some form on the bass.

    I've used the Gefells in x/y positioning mostly because that is the set up I purchased with a special bar. They end up sitting on top of each other. See...


    As for recording the violin & cello in stereo and then using panning or mixing to one track to create a feeling of a sound stage, does that sound kosher for this kind of sound to you all?
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I covet your beer. You can covet my Scotch. Its usually old enough to vote.
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you are a handy guy, here is a link for you.

  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Ooooooo......good beer AND fine Shhhcotch. It's gonna be a bright, bright sun shiney day!
  19. lmezo

    lmezo Active Member

    hi, did you try tlm 103-s? I'm a professional concert cellist and those are my favorite mics on cello.
    Choice No.2: DPA, No.3: earthworks
    listen to some different samples at:

  20. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The OP has been gone since his last post two years ago.

Share This Page