Pipe Organs recording, mixing, loving

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Avidmusic, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. Avidmusic

    Avidmusic Guest

    I am going to be recording a Pipe Organ in a Cathedral, and I was wonderin if anyone had a good techniques in capturing a great sonic sound. I will put a list below of a couple of microphones I was thinking about using.

    (2) Sennheiser MKH20
    (1) Neumann TLM103
    (2) Sennheiser MKH800
    (2) AKG 414
    (2) Neumann U87
    And possible some Heil microphones

    **On a side note what about recording a 7 person Choir? Miking Technique? Distance? Type of MIC?

    Thanks for your time and reading this and input?

  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    This thread is worth reading. Scroll down to the contribution from 0VU. It is one of the fullest replies I have ever read to a question on this forum.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Just curious -

    Where will this church be?

    I'll also be doing a rather massive (6 hour) Bach festival with a pipe organ with over 7500 pipes in the near future.

    Personally, I like a simple approach to the mic'ing. My best advice for organ, if specifically a solo organ, is to use the MKH-800s as your mains and try AB spaced pair with a rather decent spread to the mics (as much or maybe even more than 3 feet. It should be easy to determine the phase anomoly using simple math on this.)

    A lot of others like Blumlein for organ, but personally I feel that, for solo applications, the low end just isn't there. Especially if your organ has a few 32' pipes. If not and your longest pipe is 16' (or heaven forbid 8') then a blumlein pair is more than enough. The nice thing about the MKH800 is that you can try either. Also, the 800s are a bit better in the LF in fig 8 than most other mics.

    Cheers -

  4. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    50% of my gigs seem to be pipe organ, so this is right up my alley. (Plus being a pipe organ buff for 30 years, collecting over 1500 recordings of them and marrying a woman with a DMA in organ performance :D ).

    I second Jeremy that the MKH800s or MKH20s in a reasonably close A/B (between 2-3 feet) will get you great results. But, position is critical in this application... you definitely want to capture the room, but not at the expense of some clarity of ensemble. No one can give precise advice on this matter since each room is so different, but you may have to fly your mics in a huge space to get the best results.

    Good luck! I find organ recording to be a lot of fun and very rewarding when you 'get it right'.

  5. GuySonic

    GuySonic Guest

    Another possible method is HRTF baffled omni stereo-surround mic array placed in a good position. This type array is most consistent for recording an EXACT virtual reality result.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Michael -

    I'm very curious to hear your take on the organ that I'll be recording next month. I'll start a new/different thread to avoid hijacking this one.

    GuySonic -

    I definitely don't agree that HRTF/Binaural is the best choice for organ. If your plan is to listen via headphones, then sure. Otherwise, there seems to be some very odd information within the center of the image.

    I certainly appreciate baffled omni and/or binaural for a surround application.

    I should mention though, it seems as though you're kinda advertising your product here, as the 8 posts that you've provided thus far are all regarding the product which you offer. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a unique and valuable product. But...it's possible to answer posts without constantly referring to your product.

    Cheers -

  7. Avidmusic

    Avidmusic Guest

    Thanks for the input, This church is actually in Washington D.C i am going to do a site check this up-coming Saturday to see how much outside noise I will be battling. The recording isn't just an organ it is a 7 piece choir and a cantor. Which I plan to record all of them in the Cathedral. Thanks for the input again!

  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    With pipe organ and small (very small) chorus and cantor, I would say...

    Organ -

    Fly the 800s high. (Which cathedral? National?)
    Get them up as high as the ranks are. This might mean some VERY tall stands or flying (if possible).

    Chorus -

    M/S (414s) to help with rejection. It's a very easily controlled pattern during recording or during post.

    Cantor -

    U87. Don't get too close - maybe 2 to 4 feet.

    Good luck!

  9. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    Ugh ... National is a nightmare due to the placement of the organ coupled with the swirling acoustic. My wife played there last year and I have a recording of her recital they made on site, with a pair of MK4s!

    In fact, National Cathedral has just signed contracts to install two new organs. The existing instrument will be totally reworked....the original Skinner organ was installed before the cathedral was finished, and was wholly inadequate for the finished space. Thus, over the years, the organ has been expanded and enlarged without a whole lot of success (in organbuilding circles, it's kinda known as the town whore .... everyone's had their hands on her). In addition, a completely new organ will be installed in the rear gallery under the west rose on the central axis of the nave. This will help tremendously! Both organs will have their own consoles, but will both be playable from a central console.

    If you are recording at National Cathedral, I doubt they will let you fly any mics. Even so, I don't think you'll get a great recording with only one pair due to the layout of the organ in the choir and transepts. If you only can set up one pair, I'd actually place it high in the choir behind the screen.
  10. hughesmr

    hughesmr Guest

    I did an organ recording last November using a pair of MK2S on a Jecklin disc. Decent room, clean decay but not too long.

    Maybe it's just that I'm used to and like spaced omnis better, but the Jecklin would not be my first choice for organ in most cases. My problem was the lack of uncorrelated bass info due to the close spacing of the capsules, so at a good distance for balance of direct/reflected sound, the bass was very mono, but with a good spread in the mids and highs. Spaced AB gets you that wrap-around feel that is so crucial to good organ recordings (imo). Also, precise imaging ain't that high up on my list of requirements for organ...
  11. GuySonic

    GuySonic Guest

    NOT A BINAURAL recording method!!! It is a full encoded stereo-surround mic method proven to work for all types of speaker playback from mono to full surround decoding. Also works for headphones, but really on open types verses 'cans.'

    Hence the need for recording samples as posted.

    Please keep an open mind and take a listen on any type of speakers you might have.

    I am now realizing there is a lot of ignorance in the group about HRTF DSM method, and now I am taking flak for talking too much about "Binaural" which is really good for not much.
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hmmm....best I can tell, DSM is a type of Binaural.

    In addition, the only information on the web I can find regarding "DSM" comes from you and your company and in rare occassion, rare mentions on other Binaural-based websites...

    Furthermore, it may be a great tool for spatial seperation, but by NO means is it reasonable to assume that this pattern works beautifully for ALL the instances in which you've proposed. Again, I think you're shilling.
  13. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Guy Sonic- stop with the spam please. It is getting old.

  14. Avidmusic

    Avidmusic Guest

    Any Ideas on 40 or 50 foot boom stands that will not break my pocket but wont tip over? Google isnt beng to friendly on this with me.
  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hmmm...40-50 foot *boom*....not necessarily a good idea. A straight stand though...

    Try the JTL 19.5 foot stand with Wes Dooley's 9.5 foot extension.

    I wouldn't feel very comfortable extending mics much higher than 30 feet, certainly not a heavy stereo array.

    Cheers -


    PS- Seriously...which church is this?

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