Pipe organ recording for local radio station

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by John3, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. John3

    John3 Guest

    Hi all, I am a new member of this forum. I read quite some interesting infomation on this forum about recording the pipe organ. And I would really appreciate it if you could provide me with some tips as well.

    In my spare time I am working for a local radio station in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. We are planning to do a (musical) documentary, for which we need to record a pipe organ also.
    The organ we want to record is a 20-stop romantic organ placed in the alcove/choir in a relatively small church (don't know the exact dimensions).
    Our very small budget won't allow us to buy/rent gear for just this occasion. And the gear we do have is not really high quality stuff. This, I think, is the best I could find:

    - mic: Rode NT5 (stereo matched pair)
    - preamp: Focusrite TwinTrak Pro
    - recorder: Tascam HD-P2 (with Super MOD by the Oade Brothers)

    I have never recorded an organ before. What would be the a good option to start off with, considering the gear I mentioned? Any advice on mic placement (height, distance, angles, etc.) would be very welcome.

    Thanks for your reply in advance.

    P.S. We have to possibility to use a scaffolding in the church (almost to the roof); height and distance are no problem.
  2. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    I'm no pro so take what I say with a grain of salt. Still, you could take a look at the how _basso_ set up his mics in the neighbour thread. (Dead Link Removed) Thats a reasonably large church with a nice reverb. A smaller church wont have a large reverb and going too far away trying to find one will lead to problems with a dark, blurred sound. Going too close will lead to problems in the opposite direction highlighting parts of the instrument and losing others. Height matters too. Up towards the openings of the pipes could be a starting point. In the picture he uses omnis in AB-stereo. Omnis are often preferred because they have better bass response than directional mics, but there's more to organ music than the bottom C and either and cardioids can also be used to good effect. All the usual stereo techniques apply. Think of it as an ensemble of several instruments. It really is several distinct instruments. The pedals is playing one and each manual corresponds to one organ. Well, at least in principle...

  3. John3

    John3 Guest

    Thanks for your reply larsfarm. I understand that it is a question of trying which distance is okay for a balance between 'dry' and 'wet'.

    I saw the other topic with basso's approach and I noticed the large space between the two omnis. I am a little bit worried that I will not get a good stereo image if I would record that way using the two NT5's. Or do you think it would do? For other projects (recording piano for example) I have been using a NOS or ORTF configuration. But perhaps these only work with closer distances?

    As for the bass: luckily enough the organ does not have a 32' stop and the two 16' stops on the pedals are labials not reeds.
  4. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    All the usual stereo techniques apply. Google for "williams stereophonic zoom", a downloadable pdf-paper that adresses your question directly.

  5. John3

    John3 Guest

    Thanks, I will read it through. Is this system widely used for pipe organ recordings?
  6. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    Some instruments have divisions spread out in the room. They might need special attention. Many organs a localised to one place, the organ case. Then one can see the instrument as an ensemble of several instruments, a few meters wide, a few meters deep and also a few meters high. All the usual stereo techniques (AB, XY, NOS, ORTF, etcetera) apply.


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