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Recording Bagpipes

Hello,

I'm new to the forum, and relatively new to the recording side of music. I came to it via recording the band I play in in my basement, as a lot of people have. One of my first paid gigs will be an interesting one - a local bagpipe band has asked me to record a solo piper. They're going to use the recording mainly for practice purposes so I might be overthinking this, but I'd like to deliver something that sounds as good as possible (all joking about bagpipes aside).

I haven't been able to find much on the topic of recording bagpipes, so I thought I'd share my plans for recording, and see if anyone has any advice to offer.

I have a smaller basement studio that I have recently built and treated, but am not planning to record there. The band has a church sanctuary available to them, and I figure this will be a much better environment acoustically to record. I've considered doing it outside, but don't want to rely on the weather.

Microphone technique: Close micing seems pretty impractical to me as the SPLs are very high, and attempting to individually mic drones seems futile. I'm leaning towards a simple stereo pair a few feet behind the piper, and am considering the below options:
1) A spaced pair of Avenson STO-2 omnis. As my ear isn't tuned to a 'good' bagpipe tone, I figure the flatness of these mics will at least give a natural sound.
2) M/S with an AKG 214 and a modded Apex 460 as the figure 8. These mics might tone down some of the harshness of the pipes.

Of course I'd like to experiment all day, but my client and ears probably wouldn't appreciate that.

Any suggestions people have are appreciated. I'd love to hear from someone who has recorded pipes in the past.

Thanks in advance.
Luke

"I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter."
- Blaise Pascal

Comments

Boswell Mon, 05/05/2014 - 15:37
I've done plenty of pipes of various types: Scottish bagpipes, Northumbrian pipes, Welsh pipes. Scottish pipes are LOUD. The worst I had was a group of four Scottish pipers in a small hall. I had on low leakage earphones soloing a muted mixer channel, and they were still loud.

Because of the problem of bouncing echoes in a room, you do need to get the microphones close to the pipes, and you need a pad such as 20dB on the mic body if you can. I would set up the mics in front of the piper, not behind, as the chanter is the slightly more interesting bit.

It's worth trying the two configurations you suggest, assuming you've got the mics available to hand. Because one is a spaced array and the other a coincident, these two sets can be recorded concurrently if you have sufficient pre-amps and recording channels.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

J2RKT Tue, 02/17/2015 - 07:42
Reverend Lucas, post: 425140, member: 48050 wrote: Thanks for the input. A piper's input seems like exactly what we were missing on a thread about bagpipes.

Your comments have me wondering about my approach. When you say that there isn't mixing between the chanter and drones, I'm wondering if what you're picking up on is the difference in levels of direct to reflected sound between them. The drones are close miced and picked up from the M/S and room pairs. I had plenty of level on the chanter, so ended up not using its close mic in the mix. I'm wondering if having more reflected sound on it is causing the chanter to not blend naturally with the drone.

What do you mean by 'letting the reverb settle before you start recording?' I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. Are you suggesting something like warming up an instrument, but warming an acoustic space?

The piper I recorded has expressed interest in doing another project, this time with the rest of the band! Any advice on recording pipes as a band? It'd likely be in the same space, or possibly outdoors, as much as I'd like to avoid setting up gear outside.


Yes .. warming the acoustic space and wrong choice of word on reverb, but letting the echo synchronize. I just remembered a radio recording I did once and the sound actually turned out nice, it was in a small news studio with carpet and a flat ceiling about two feet above my drones and a single mic about three feet in front of me and about waist height, it wasn't focused right at me but pointed more toward the ceiling, the sound was "dry" but the mix was really good imho. I know the sound engineer had never recorded the pipes before, maybe setting up mixing more toward making a good human voice interview would help, I know I was surprised my pipes sounded that good (not necessarily my playing) lol.

dvdhawk Sun, 07/13/2014 - 07:05
I appreciate the fact that after much discussion here, prior to recording, you returned with a sample of the end result so we could hear how it turned out. Thanks for that.

I would agree with Boswell on the drone, but when the guy who's writing the check asks for more drone, you give him more drone. (then maybe split the difference when he's not looking. Who me? Never! How DARE you!)

paulears Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:16
The two occasions I recorded the damn things the one thing that stood out is that the players will NOT like your results because they have never heard their own pipes properly, so your balanced recording sounds wrong to them. They seem to hear the drones at a lower level than people out front and consider this 'right'. A bit like a trombone player at their first recording.

Reverend Lucas Tue, 05/06/2014 - 07:46
Thanks for the input, all. I do have the above mics and plenty of pres, so that’s not an issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have any ribbons at hand. I’m now thinking of throwing the M/S pair up in front using an omni for the mid, and throwing the other omni up behind to balance the drones as needed. Any idea if the additional mic would have adverse effects on the M/S stereo image? I guess I’m puzzled in finding the best way to stereo image a source that seems to be oriented more front to back then left to right. I suppose reverb could do this, but doesn’t seem appropriate here. Maybe stereo isn’t necessary? Narrow panning?


I suppose now I’m also in a philosophical quandary, Paul – do I deliver what I think sounds good, or what will please the client? If the audience is bagpipers, what is ‘right’? Ok, I’ll be done now.;) Thanks again for the good thoughts. It’s always nice to stumble into a wealth of knowledge.

thatjeffguy Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:04
Whether or not stereo is necessary is of course subjective. I would lean towards stereo in this case, to create a three dimensional soundstage. The font-back vs L-R is a challenge... I think I would be inclined to record both front & back in stereo if possible and blend the results (with careful attention to panning).
The occasions when I have recorded pipes they were mixed with other instruments and I only needed a mono image, but this thread has been an interesting "what would I do" exercise!
As far as your philosophical quandary, I have faced this in the past. It really has to be handled on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking, I refuse to put my name on anything I'm not proud of or can't support, to the extent of refusing to work with certain would-be clients.

Hope this helps!
Jeff

paulears Tue, 05/06/2014 - 11:20
If you have plenty of mics and channels available, I wonder if maybe the spaced omnis could be used either side, and maybe slightly above the player. I'm thinking it could be an ideal opportunity to try something a bit different - like maybe a Jeklin Disk? My reasoning is that some kind of stereo setup would be best for recording purposes, because of the wide spread location of the various parts of the instrument. It would be nice to record lots of options as a test and then listen to all the sound sources to see if you can creat the characteristic 'big' sound the damn things have.

A friend of mine who is very into folk music has a set of pipes - not quite sure what they are, but they are smaller that the Scots version, and he plays his live. After getting lousily miked up at festivals, he has a tiny L bracket glued to each drone and the chanter, and has some cheap omni labs, that he then sub mixes (with a preset balance - he removed the rotary knobs, and covered the pot shafts with gaffer tape!) He also uses this setup on studio sessions - and he loves it, although to me it sounds a bit 'wrong'. It was him that made me realise they hear it differently to somebody further away.

It's a bit different from what we're talking about here, but if you do Spotify, look up Paul Winter - Golden Apples of the Sun, and listen to the Ulean Pipes on that. It's recorded in a very live cathedral, but the sound is amazing.

Reverend Lucas Wed, 05/07/2014 - 13:28
I hadn't considered a Jecklin disk. I happen to have a spare half sheet of 703 laying around that should do nicely for that. I like your idea of experimentation, Paul. I now plan to throw up three stereo pairs:

1) M/S using AKG C214 as the M and modded Apex 460 as figure 8 in front of the piper

2) Spaced pair of cardioids (NT5s) behind the piper

3) Jecklin disk capturing at a proper distance with STO-2s


My thought is that the cardioids behind the piper can be used to balance the M/S or Jecklin disk pair (with proper time alignment). I think it will be a good exercise in the differences of the techniques, if nothing else.

As far as perception behind the mouthpiece versus out front, my plan is to explain the difference to the client. I’m sure we’ll be able to find something useable.

Thanks again for all the help.

paulears Wed, 05/07/2014 - 16:15
I'd love to hear a little of the results at some point - sounds like it could be a worthwhile experiment.

My best techniques are often mistakes. My assistant set up a couple of large diaphragm condensers under the lid of a Yamaha C3 grand piano. We spent all day recording and only when packing away did I spot that she'd pointed them 180 around the wrong way - pointing up. As this was on location, monitoring had been in the space, using DT100s for isolation, and I'd not noticed. However, the sound, reflected by the lid sounded really good - in this location, the room sound was quite poor, so closer miking than usual was needed. This wasn't really quite right for the genre of music - but the reflected sound seemed to be very similar to the more distant mic position I'd have used. So a happy accident - it worked rather nice. BUT it didn't work on a different Yamaha, one of the smaller baby grand type instruments. The same mic setup sounded very artificial. Compared to the C3, no comparison.

paulears Thu, 05/08/2014 - 12:03
Perhaps this is just a US perspective, because there is a definite shift in mic selection in the US to the UK (which of course is for the moment containing Scotland). Here, we prefer condensers - with very able mics like the Shure SM7 not really getting a look in. Dynamics do find a home for the very common things where SPL, and toughness are required, but dynamics, including ribbons are not by any means universal receding tools. To infer that all condensers are going to make the pipes thin and nasty is simply wrong. I'm not saying they are all universally good for pipes - my pair of AKG 451s I've had for a very long time sounded pretty nasty, but I have used 414s, and the Chinese large diaphragm mics sold under posh names and most are rounded enough. I still have a single ribbon, having got rid of the others because I really didn't like their sound.

I respect your view of how to do it - but to rubbish everyone else's in such a weird way is not really helpful, is it?

We're talking about trying new techniques, fully aware they're possibly going to fail - but equally, some could work rather well, and we're interested enough and open minded enough to consider trying it.

I suspect that you want to create a new bagpipe sound - a warm, in your face, balanced and musical result. Proximity effect? Have you even considered how on earth you will keep the player static to make this happen. Bag squeezing means movement - not much, but enough to have your tonal balance up and down like a yoyo. Realism is the intention here, and close miking is simply crazy, impractical and unsympathetic to the instruments timbre.

Do you have ESP? Where did crappy computer interface come from?

If you wish to be helpful or offer considered comment - please supply some, but it just looks like you got out of bed the wrong side and just fancied a pop. Unhelpful and unwelcome. I'm sure you didn't mean to sound like you did - but we all know what pipes sound like, and this isn't our problem - we're thinking out of the box a little. I can't really see the point in mellow pipes - it's just wrong, somehow? Their design was to be quite the opposite.

Transformers do not mean quality. Quality transformers are a different beast altogether - but we're not talking about preamp transparency and snake oil fine detail. We're talking about capturing the characteristic sound of pipes.

Reverend Lucas Thu, 05/08/2014 - 15:28
Remy,


I’m not sure if you missed the first bit about the client using this recording for practice. I’m not a professional audio engineer. I came to this forum looking for advice on how to achieve the best results I can, given my limited experience and equipment. I’ve found the members to be friendly and more than helpful, but frankly find your comments presumptuous and extremely condescending. I don’t expect to obtain the results of someone with more talent than I and who has dedicated their life to it. That being said, your ad hominem arguments don’t seem to me to behoove a professional. I have degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics (neither of which from schools that have much to do with The Beverly Hillbillies), and have played in bands for fifteen years. Recording is where I get to put these together, for fun. I like the idea of creating a permanent record of music. I don’t mean to take a cavalier attitude towards the art and science of audio recording, as it’s something I have the utmost respect for. I simply enjoy a lot of aspects of the creation of music. Lugging gear, of course, excepted. I'm not performing brain surgery. Nobody is going to die if my hand trembles.

As far as the 460 goes, let me explain: I’ll be using dual diaphragms that are facing away from and out of phase with each other to create a figure of eight pattern. The stock capsule is actually set up this way, but I’ve replaced it with one based on the AKG C12 (along with most of the rest of the mic). The mic has multiple polarity options, much like the 414.

I understand waking up on the wrong side of the bed, and so will assume you really meant to be helpful. I hope the rest of your day is better.

Thanks for the input regarding mic selection. I will look into it further.

My pres aren’t Neves, but have been lower on my investment list than the signal chain in front of them (instruments, room, and mics). Without starting a debate on pres, the ones I use are clean enough that they are not my limiting factor.

Paul,

I appreciate your input. I’ll be sure to get samples to you.

audiokid Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:08
hehe.

I have to share this,

Back in my performing days, after a show I was riding my road bike around the downtown streets of Calgary. I loved doing that to unwind after performances. Good memories.

One night I heard the sound of a guy playing something that was absolutely amazing. It sounded like bagpipes but not how I heard it before! He had the sound that would engage an army into battle, or bring people together to recharge. The shivers it gave me was nothing less than enchanting but painfulfull at the same time.
I gained a new respect for bagpipes that night, changed me forever. Wow is all I can say. This guy was playing it like he was driving an army proud and noble to save their land. Go at god speed and fight for our freedom!

I followed the sound around those big towers which brought me to an underground car parkade. If only I had a mobile rig to capture that one.

When I hear bagpipes today, I feel and see the music of this beautiful instrument and where it belongs.
If i was to ever have that opportunity to record Bagpipes, I would search for a an underground parkade like that near big buildings and put the mics out in the street, or better yet, find a valley that had the huge sound and bring it all there.
Or, avoid all the fuss and buy a Bricasti which has a valley emulated just for this sort of experience.
To give them the honor they deserve, they sound best in the hills where they glue with the wind.

Cheers

Member Fri, 05/09/2014 - 03:25
Reverend...

The post has been deleted. And you don't need to give your resume in order to post here. Your questions were valid and should have been treated with respect, and I apologize that this person felt the need to insult you. It was uncalled for.

Please don't let this influence you regarding this forum. Most of the time, you will find the members to be very helpful and friendly.

-donny

edit: I'm the one who deleted the post. If Remy feels the need to question why her post was deleted, she can contact me anytime, and I will be glad to explain to her why her post was out of line.

paulears Fri, 05/09/2014 - 05:03
Not quite what we're talking about, but I buy quite a bit of equipment (mics and pro lighting) from China, and they often offer me all sorts of strange things. The Chinese love copying designs and pre-production samples are often hand-built. They offered me a stereo multi-pattern mic - using a design very similar to the old european mics. Two capsules, each one cardioid/omni/fig-8 with the top one rotatable by 90 degrees, and it has a lovely sound, and completely hand made, including the chassis. Remote power supply, via 5 pin XLR - and I use it for choral or orchestral stuff. It's not as bright sounding as the usual large diaphragm Chinese mic capsules. In a nice sounding space, set to fig-8 at 90 degrees it sounds very nice.

Member Tue, 07/15/2014 - 04:31
Being of Scottish descent (2nd generation American) and having heard more than my fair share of Bagpipe music growing up (my sister was a Highland Sword Dancer), I can say that - believe it or not -there is a difference between good bagpipes and bad bagpipes.

Also, keep in mind that many bagpipe pieces were meant to be played with a section of pipers... this is where you get the "chill factor" - ( if you are of Gaelic descent, that is).

You've done a nice job here. You would have had my father's approval.... on everything but the choice of music. LOL

He rightly would have cringed at Yankee Doodle Dandy and America The Beautiful, and would have much preferred to hear Loch Lomond or Scotland The Brave - if he was here.
(He isn't.. he's currently playing golf, flyfishing and drinking Dalmore Trinitas in the Great Highlands up in the sky.) ;)

But...being the father of an audio engineer and more than just a little familiar with what the job entails, he would have also realized that the music choices were not yours, and that your job was to capture the performance, and of that he would have approved.

My approval-by-proxy will have to suffice. :)

FWIW

d/

PiperD Tue, 12/29/2015 - 08:55
Hello everyone, first post here. I joined the forum because of this thread. Thanks Rev Lucas. I thought you did a decent job on your first go at recording a solo piper. I see that some have thought that there may be too much drone, but I'm not sure if it's too much or just enough. The thing about the Great Highland Bagpipes is that the whole instrument works together with all kinds of resonances and interactions. Like others have said, forget about pure tone! I think the challenge is to capture the whole of the instrument, and the space in which it's played.

Great explanation of the pipes, J2RKT. Probably the best explanation of the individual notes that I've read.

For you non-pipers, the Great Highland Bagpipes are generally not tuned to concert pitch. We will call an 'A' something between about 472 and 480 hz. In pipe band settings, we will often tune to 476, 477 or 478 as determined by the Pipe Major. It's the Pipe Major's job to tune everyone to his chanter. When piping solo, we just go for a good, balanced sound on the chanter and tune the drones to that. 440 is the standard concert pitch for 'A', and Bb is 466, so what we call an 'A' is sharp of a concert-pitch Bb. Our chanters are on a D major scale, with a C# and F#, but we usually just refer to them as C and F. Our music is written on a staff with #'s at C and F. On the occasions where pipers play with other instruments, we can use a special, Bb chanter (where our low 'A' is actually Bb at 466hz), and may put a short extension tube on the drones to lower the pitch because one only has so much room to tune the drones. The chanter has 9 notes, from what we call low G to high A. The tenor drones are tuned to the chanter low-A, an octave down. The bass drone is tuned to the tenor drones another octave down.

If you want to hear a rock band that plays the pipes, look for records by The Red-Hot Chili Pipers. For solo piping, look for records by the late, great, Gordon Duncan who was the Jimi Hendrix of the bagpipes.

Some experienced Scottish pipers say that the bag has a lot to do with your sound, and that a sheepskin bag has the best sound. It makes sense because the bag could function as a resonating chamber. Pipers play various types of bags. Most use a synthetic Gore-tex lined bag, some use hide bags, some sheepskin, and some use a hybrid hide/synthetic/Gore-tex bag.

I'm enjoying the bagpipe hate as well. Pipers don't mind people hating on the pipes, we're used to it, we do a fair share of hating on the pipes ourselves, and we know all the bagpipe jokes. All in good fun. It is a wicked difficult instrument to play and tune, full of variables where one thing affects the others and it can be quite frustrating achieving a good overall sound on all notes.

I've always thought it best to record the pipes from a distance, and to mic the room instead of trying to mic the pipes. I used a sound level meter in the middle of the circle once, and it showed 105db.

I also do instructional recordings for our band, recording our instructor on the practice chanter. These are nothing special. I record using a Tascam DR 44WL hand-held or on a tabletop stand with a shock-mount about a foot from the end of his chanter, and I like to monitor with headphones and set the levels carefully.

Reverend Lucas, recording the band will be a challenge. Indoors would probably be best. Too many variables outdoors. You have to find a great space to do it. Not too lively, not too dead. A pipe band can sound awesome live in a cathedral or church, but capturing that might present a challenge.

Sean G Tue, 12/29/2015 - 13:48
I thought it a great idea being a second generation Scot from the Highlands to discover my roots and take up the bagpipes a couple of years ago, as we have great local pipe band near where I live.....and there is nothing more impressive than a full pipe band in full swing

But all my playing seemed to do was attract the neighbourhood cats...:( so I put them away after a month or so for another time when I have more patience and the neighbourhood less cats.

They would have to be one of the hardest instruments to learn to play IMO

PiperD Tue, 12/29/2015 - 17:21
Sean G, post: 434742, member: 49362 wrote: I thought it a great idea being a second generation Scot from the Highlands to discover my roots and take up the bagpipes a couple of years ago, as we have great local pipe band near where I live.....and there is nothing more impressive than a full pipe band in full swing

But all my playing seemed to do was attract the neighbourhood cats...:( so I put them away after a month or so for another time when I have more patience and the neighbourhood less cats.

They would have to be one of the hardest instruments to learn to play IMO
I've been at it for almost 3 years. One year on practice chanter and another 1.5 years up on the pipes to be good enough to pass the audition to join our performing band. You just have to stick with it. Be persistent and focused. I'm able to do some things now that I never thought I'd be able to get the hang of. My neighbors tell me I've gotten a lot better. I'm glad our houses are not too close together!

Once I made the commitment to learn the pipes, I immersed myself in all the aspects of piping. I read everything I could find, took lessons, and attended a couple of week-long schools held here in the US by the College of Piping from Glasgow. It's an instrument that requires a full, nearly fanatical commitment if you wish to become competent.

paulears Tue, 07/15/2014 - 23:51
Technically we've solved the problems of recording and can argue about balance happily, because we are now talking about preference or with pipes, the least annoying. I guess the final arbiter has to be a pipe player for the playing authenticity, or a pipe listener for the distance authenticity. Perhaps this then becomes producer choice and moves away from our remit. I've done a few projects over the years that I really didn't like, but the client loved.

DonnyThompson Wed, 12/30/2015 - 08:14
PiperD, post: 434746, member: 49626 wrote: You just have to stick with it. Be persistent and focused. I'm able to do some things now that I never thought I'd be able to get the hang of

No different than with any other instrument. ;)

Except that if not played right, bagpipes can be fatal. No to the player, but for those who are forced to listen.:p

I say that as a 2nd Generation Scot, by the way; having grown up travelling to every Scottish Games and Gaelic Festival Event within 8 states between 1972 and 1980.

My parents went to support my sister, who was a sword dancer.

I went because I have an incurable addiction to Scottish Pasties, as well as to good looking Lass's in short skirts.
There's just something about an attractive girl who wears a sgian-dubh on her ankle, ( pronounced "skien-due", it's a type of dagger) that is incredibly provocative and arousing; knowing that she could both rock my world and kill me at the same time. :confused: LOL

d.

J2RKT Mon, 02/16/2015 - 05:18
Howdy all y'alls,
I've been reading this thread with quite some interest because I am a bagpiper and I'm a sound nut, and I want to record my pipes on my own. I was just looking for a simple set up or microphone that won't pop or be overwhelmed by the pure sound level of my pipes and while reading this thread, I noticed.... no bagpipers giving feedback.
Somethings to think about.... the bagpipes are not a melody pipe and a set of drones, they are a single instrument, the chanter (melody pipe) and drones are tuned to each other. I can appreciate that audiophiles are looking for pure sound or tone, pipes don't have that. For instance the recording on this page, the chanter is not too quiet, it sounds far away like 20 feet or so from the drones, the tone is good for the chanter and the tuning is good, and the drones sound good also (a bit too refined and mellow imho), but there is no mixing between the two. The hard part for recording artists is to understand is that "pure" in tune notes are irrelevant with the bagpipes.

Here's the way it works, the notes all have names but no common reference to the western scale. The chanter is tuned as such, High A (the highest note) and the 2nd to the lowest note are called A, these two notes are tuned absolutely to the drones, the second note down is called G it sounds slightly off and has a grieving tone to it but steps down naturally, the third note down F is supposed to have a slightly sharp harmonic, the fourth note down is E and is supposed to be piercing and no harmonic beating, the fifth note down is D and is supposed to have a slightly sharp "chord" to it, similar to the rock and roll E chord (same feel), the next note down is C and is supposed to be piercing slightly sharp with no beating, the next note down is B and is supposed to sound slightly discordant, the next note down is A which is "in tune", and then the lowest note is G which I've never been quite sure what to do with. Some pipers prefer that high A is slightly flat. Anyway if the pipes are tuned properly they will evoke an emotional response from just about anyone and it's not because of pure notes and I'm sure there's been not a few recording artists who have heard the pipe chanter by itself and said to themselves "holy crap! that sounds terrible !". What needs to happen is a balance in volume, distance, and space between the chanter and the drones, in tune and out of tune at the same time LOL.

This is what I think is missing, you need three elevation levels of microphones, one set at chanter level, one set at about neck level, and one set above the drones in order to catch all of the harmonics. What a piper perceives is what is called "being on the inside" they hear the mixed tones of the drones and the harmonics because they are in the middle of the sound (maybe a microphone on top of the headphones?) the piper also feels the tone through the bag and the chanter "communicates" with the drones through the bag, in essence, the piper feels the pipes as well as hearing them, if the piper has done his tuning right the audience won't know it but they'll feel it.

With regard to reverb, something I learned from playing in the fire stair well of a 20 story building.... my pipes sounded terrible at first because the sound waves took a little time to "link up" but maaannn !, once everything synched it was amazing, let the reverb settled before you start recording.

I played the bass fiddle all the way from elementary school to high school and am very familiar with orchestral balanced tuning, and I'm the crazy kid who would have his friends drive his car up and down the road just to hear if his exhaust sounded right on his hot rod and then would change the whole exhaust system if it didn't make the sound I wanted. LOL

Hope that gives some insight on recording the bagpipes.

Reverend Lucas Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:32
I ended up using the M/S and spaced omni pair described above, with close 421s on the chanter and drones. I could've gotten by with the M/S pair alone, but added some room from the omnis. The chanter cut through plenty, so I didn't end up using that mic, but boosted the drone at the request of the client. Yes, a pair of ribbons would have been nice. I'm considering a pair of Fatheads in the future.

I've uploaded a sample below, and am including the URL as I haven't embedded anything from SoundCloud.

I'd love to hear what anybody thinks (constructive criticism please).
I can post any of the individual pairs if anyone's interested in a comparison.

Thanks again all for the input.

[MEDIA=soundcloud]reverendlucas/the-american-set-the-grand-old-flag-america-the-beautiful-im-a-yankee-doodle-dandy

MadMax Fri, 07/11/2014 - 19:58
Sounds like a bagpipe to me.

I'm not being flippant... You captured quite adequately, and have a faithful representation of a solo bagpipe performance.

A bagpipe is not really a musical instrument... it's a weapon of psychological warfare that was tamed and refined. What you presented, even with the degradation of audio from SoundCloud's artifact filled algo, it sounds very much like... a bagpipe.

Pipe's seem to compress the dynamics in their wave fronts, or some such... cause the damn things EAT the airspace in rooms... Hell, pipe's have been said to swallow entire towns!

It's a tad hot on the capture if anything... otherwise...

Good job!

It sounds like....

a bagpipe!

Reverend Lucas Mon, 02/16/2015 - 12:06
J2RKT, post: 425126, member: 48881 wrote: Howdy all y'alls,
I've been reading this thread with quite some interest because I am a bagpiper and I'm a sound nut, and I want to record my pipes on my own...

Thanks for the input. A piper's input seems like exactly what we were missing on a thread about bagpipes.

Your comments have me wondering about my approach. When you say that there isn't mixing between the chanter and drones, I'm wondering if what you're picking up on is the difference in levels of direct to reflected sound between them. The drones are close miced and picked up from the M/S and room pairs. I had plenty of level on the chanter, so ended up not using its close mic in the mix. I'm wondering if having more reflected sound on it is causing the chanter to not blend naturally with the drone.

What do you mean by 'letting the reverb settle before you start recording?' I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this. Are you suggesting something like warming up an instrument, but warming an acoustic space?

The piper I recorded has expressed interest in doing another project, this time with the rest of the band! Any advice on recording pipes as a band? It'd likely be in the same space, or possibly outdoors, as much as I'd like to avoid setting up gear outside.
x