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Jazz trio w/ DPA 4061s

Since the DPA4061 is often a topic, I thought I would put up a snip-- but you will have to take a short trip to hear it:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/175153-jazz-trio-w-dpa-4061s.html#post1822102

Rich

Comments

JoeH Fri, 02/08/2008 - 05:56
VERY nice, Rich! Love it, sounds fantastic, very smooth and well rounded tones. (I was just looking at a pair of DPA's on their website for piano....you're pushing me in that direction. ;-)

Just curious about a few things related to this....what was the piano? (I'm assuming a Steinway, but what size/model?) And, I'm also assuming it was a session vs. a live gig with PA. Big room? Little room?

My main curiousity is how well they work with a PA system in play, and with open/closed lids. Very often, the jazz gigs I do are live events, and I've got to fight with them to keep the lid open, etc., for a "Real" piano sound, vs. the boxed-up sound so many live PA guys end up with....using brand X mics, etc.

anonymous Fri, 02/08/2008 - 07:58
In no particular order here are some details:

This was a live gig (with PA) and it was a 9-ft Steinway, adn the positioning is what Mark Kramer (the notable jazz pianist) worked out-- mics on magnets with on where the harp frame intersects near the hammers around 2 octaves above middle C, and the other down near where than same metal frame member intersects near the sound holes. A picture would be nice-- and I will try to take one late today. The silly mics are so small they will be hard to spot.

BTW I have used the same setup with a closed lid and the sound certainly was not as good, but far from bad. As usual it depends on how good the instrument is to begin with.

Rich

Simmosonic Fri, 02/08/2008 - 20:14
Sonarerec wrote: mics on magnets with on where the harp frame intersects near the hammers around 2 octaves above middle C, and the other down near where than same metal frame member intersects near the sound holes.

Being a fan of the 4060 series, this tip is definitely going in my book under 'how to record jazz piano'. Thanks!

Were you happy with the sound of the acoustic bass?

anonymous Fri, 02/08/2008 - 20:28
Simmosonic wrote: Were you happy with the sound of the acoustic bass?

Very much so-- especially as the sound is the same regardless of the physical position of the bass. This is always a major PITA on live gigs. I also placed a small acoustic gobo on a short boom between the bass and cymbal that was about 2 feet away.

Bass sound is personal, but I like the balance between finger sound and fundamental. There is also a little bit of compression.

Would I prefer this to a U47FET? Don't know, but I already own this!

Rich

Simmosonic Fri, 02/08/2008 - 21:01
Sonarerec wrote: Very much so-- especially as the sound is the same regardless of the physical position of the bass. This is always a major PITA on live gigs.
Agreed, that's why I asked - I wasn't being critical, there are too many variables involved in a live recording for someone not involved to be critical. Besides, it's a great recording!

I did a handful of live jazz recordings a few years ago, mostly Conservatorium student stuff, very little of this calibre, and always found the bass the hardest bit to get right. Clip on mics were the only option, a mic on a stand was never in the right spot long enough because the bass' soundboard is always leaning back, forth, left, right and sometimes even rotating slightly as the player looks/plays to the drummer, pianist or audience.

Sonarerec wrote: I also placed a small acoustic gobo on a short boom between the bass and cymbal that was about 2 feet away.
Would that be the ride cymbal? And what was the gobo - one of those reflection filter things? If you can place it on a boom arm, it must've been small!

I've been thinking of using those reflection filter things for some of my folk recordings in the Himalaya, where the only way to get it right is to have all the musicians playing at once, sitting on the floor in close proximity to each other. Normally I'll try and capture it with a single stereo pair, but sometimes it just doesn't work that way and I have to use close mics. I'm thinking of getting three or four of those SE Electronics things for that purpose, one behind each mic. But I'm moving on to a different topic now...

Sonarerec wrote: Bass sound is personal, but I like the balance between finger sound and fundamental. There is also a little bit of compression.
It sits very nicely with the lower notes on the piano, tonally and dynamically. My personal preference, fwiw, is for a little more finger noise for articulation, but not everybody likes it that way - including many bass players!

I noticed also that you used a Royer SF12 on the drums. I've had great luck doing that, treating the drum kit like an orchestra and the drummer like the conductor - miking from about 18" above and behind the drummer's head, forming a diagonal line over the drummer's head to the centre of the kit. In fact, one drummer I recorded in that manner came into the makeshift control room, took a listen and said, "That's the first time anyone has recorded my drums how I want them to sound". That made sense to me, being a Blumlein pair positioned behind his head, each drum was where he heard it.

But you have the drums mostly to the right side. Did you use only one side of the SF12? Or did you rotate (or otherwise position) it to put the drums to the right of its stereo image? Or did you simply pan both sides of the SF12 appropriately?

anonymous Sat, 02/09/2008 - 07:40
Simmosonic wrote: I noticed also that you used a Royer SF12 on the drums. I've had great luck doing that, treating the drum kit like an orchestra and the drummer like the conductor - miking from about 18" above and behind the drummer's head, forming a diagonal line over the drummer's head to the centre of the kit. In fact, one drummer I recorded in that manner came into the makeshift control room, took a listen and said, "That's the first time anyone has recorded my drums how I want them to sound". That made sense to me, being a Blumlein pair positioned behind his head, each drum was where he heard it.

But you have the drums mostly to the right side. Did you use only one side of the SF12? Or did you rotate (or otherwise position) it to put the drums to the right of its stereo image? Or did you simply pan both sides of the SF12 appropriately?

I was using the SF12 at that point (almost 2 years ago) because as a stereo mic I could "fold it in" without phase problems and then steer it-- in this case to where the kit was physically. I have now changed my drum setup to a pair of Schoeps CMC64 in a genuine X-Y (crossed capsules) with a 4061 on snare. The SF12 simply did not have enough transient response or "air" on top for good cymbal sound, and the snare was always a little lacking. This way I don't need to top HF lift as on the clip. As I think about it-- I could try a spaced pair of 4061s but don't know what would happen on the top end with the need to fold them in a bit. Guess there's only one way to find out!

The positioning of the drum mains are similar to yours-- about a foot over the drummer's head and slightly forward so it hears the kit the same way he does. I also put this on a boom from the rear so he is not even aware they are there. I once had a jazz drummer object to the single micstand in front-- "the audience will have trouble hearing me, man." WHATEVER.

My 3-week music festival gig (that includes jazz) begins in about a month, so I can put up a snip with the "evolved" drum rig and you be the judge!

I mention the U47FET as it is usually the preferred bass mic amongst the really well-heeled engineers. Even if I had the $$ I am not sure I would give up the 4061.

And the gobo is 15 inches square of plywood with carpet on one side and Sonex foam on the other--- just small and light enough to position so the omni bass mic isn't a drum mic. Of course it still does somewhat, but I pan things so that leakage is not the enemy.

Thanks for the feedback!

Rich

Simmosonic Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:58
Sonarerec wrote: I have now changed my drum setup to a pair of Schoeps CMC64 in a genuine X-Y (crossed capsules) with a 4061 on snare.
Those little 4061s sure are versatile...

Sonarerec wrote: The SF12 simply did not have enough transient response or "air" on top for good cymbal sound, and the snare was always a little lacking.
When I read that you used an SF12 on the kit, I was expecting the drums to sound tonally out of perspective with the piano and bass - the latter two being very close miked with tiny diaphragm condensers, the former being relatively distant miked with a ribbon. But, surprisingly, the drums sat nicely in the excerpt you posted. Was that due to the EQ you're about to mention, perhaps? (see below)

Sonarerec wrote: This way I don't need to top HF lift as on the clip. As I think about it-- I could try a spaced pair of 4061s but don't know what would happen on the top end with the need to fold them in a bit. Guess there's only one way to find out!
I'd even be inclined to try a single 4061 in mono over the whole kit, for what it's worth. Would anyone notice the difference? Especially if you were able to get a couple of room mics happening at the same time.

Sonarerec wrote: I also put this on a boom from the rear so he is not even aware they are there. I once had a jazz drummer object to the single micstand in front-- "the audience will have trouble hearing me, man." WHATEVER.
Yes, bring the boom up from behind the drummer. Makes for a very clean stage, and also makes sure that pesky stand is not going to block the drum sound from the audience... :shock:

Sonarerec wrote: My 3-week music festival gig (that includes jazz) begins in about a month, so I can put up a snip with the "evolved" drum rig and you be the judge!

Looking forward to it...

Sonarerec wrote: And the gobo is 15 inches square of plywood with carpet on one side and Sonex foam on the other--- just small and light enough to position so the omni bass mic isn't a drum mic. Of course it still does somewhat, but I pan things so that leakage is not the enemy.

Thanks very much for that info. It has been very informative and interesting so far. I have considerable interest in the potential of the little 4061s in particular, I don't own any yet but they're relatively cheap, and they've been on my list of useful things for quite a while now. Your recordings have reinforced that notion.

I don't know if this is of any interest to anyone out there, but... My current interest is for recording a particularly tricky form of music from Southern India, called Carnatic music, which rfreez recently introduced me to. From my Western perspective, it is conceptually very much like Miles Davis' era Modern Jazz, where you have a small number of virtuoso musicians playing together, for five to 15 or so minutes per piece, and each has their solo parts and so on. Very dynamic stuff, too. It is interesting and exciting music to hear live, but difficult to record with a single stereo pair because it kind of evolved with PA systems. So you have, for example, a vocal, a violin and a two-headed hand drum (mridangam? rfreez correct me if I'm wrong here) playing together - not really a good combination for a stereo mic!

My current thoughts are to clip a 4061 on the violin and one on the vocalist (using one of DPA's head mounting things, allowing head movement and so on, which appears to be quite necessary in this music), and then a pair of [whatevers], one on either side of the mridangam, and finally a stereo pair to capture the air to glue it all back together again. Time align and pan each close mic to the stereo pair (as closely as possible, anyway) and blend in as much of each as is necesary.

I suspect this will be the best way to properly represent, and therefore do justice to, this unique form of music.

rfreez Mon, 02/11/2008 - 04:42
congratulations to sonarerec on a great recording, and very enjoyable music. do you think the 4060s will be a better choice for recording softer sources such as solo violin? do you ever find the lower sensitivity of the 4061s to be a problem?

My current thoughts are to clip a 4061 on the violin and one on the vocalist (using one of DPA's head mounting things, allowing head movement and so on, which appears to be quite necessary in this music), and then a pair of [whatevers], one on either side of the mridangam, and finally a stereo pair to capture the air to glue it all back together again. Time align and pan each close mic to the stereo pair (as closely as possible, anyway) and blend in as much of each as is necesary.

this is definitely off topic, but unlike in other boards, i feel like nobody is going to pounce on me if i stray a little bit :wink:

my intuition is that a mic such as the 4061 (which, as i understand, already has a rising HF response with the soft boost grid) is bound to sound very bright and thin when close micing potentially strident sources such as violin and vocal. comments from more experienced users? i'm actually quite surprised that the piano sounds as pleasant as it does in the linked example, was any HF rolloff applied?

thanks,

Simmosonic Mon, 02/11/2008 - 05:07
rfreez wrote: ...a mic such as the 4061 (which, as i understand, already has a rising HF response with the soft boost grid) is bound to sound very bright and thin when close micing potentially strident sources such as violin and vocal.

When I return to your part of the world in December (hopefully), I'll try to bring some along, and we'll try it. They might be just the ticket when sparingly blended in as spot mics into a traditional stereo distant mike recording. That piano in Rich's recording sounds lovely, for sure.

TheFraz Mon, 02/11/2008 - 07:06
Very nice.
Every thing sonicaly sounds great.
However, I am not a huge fan of how upfront the piano sound is. The piano sounds impressive to say the least, but I am just a personal fan of having the piano sound further away. Keep in mind most of my jazz records are ones done with 2 mics. So i am just used to hearing the piano sound like its coming from the corner of the room.

Its just personal preference, and not a knock against you at all.
keep up the awesome work.

anonymous Mon, 02/11/2008 - 11:46
rfreez wrote: congratulations to sonarerec on a great recording, and very enjoyable music. do you think the 4060s will be a better choice for recording softer sources such as solo violin? do you ever find the lower sensitivity of the 4061s to be a problem?

My current thoughts are to clip a 4061 on the violin and one on the vocalist (using one of DPA's head mounting things, allowing head movement and so on, which appears to be quite necessary in this music), and then a pair of [whatevers], one on either side of the mridangam, and finally a stereo pair to capture the air to glue it all back together again. Time align and pan each close mic to the stereo pair (as closely as possible, anyway) and blend in as much of each as is necesary.

this is definitely off topic, but unlike in other boards, i feel like nobody is going to pounce on me if i stray a little bit :wink:

my intuition is that a mic such as the 4061 (which, as i understand, already has a rising HF response with the soft boost grid) is bound to sound very bright and thin when close micing potentially strident sources such as violin and vocal. comments from more experienced users? i'm actually quite surprised that the piano sounds as pleasant as it does in the linked example, was any HF rolloff applied?

thanks,

The lower output of the 4061 is exactly why these were chosen over the 4060. A rhythm section is a loud animal.

The intuition expressed above is why graphs are sometimes not helpful. The mic was designed as a body mic, hence the 3dB HF boost to make up for the off-axis placement. All one must do to have ruler-flat response is remove the grid (as the 4090/91 does). Even with the HF rise this mic never sounds like a typical electret clipon. It sounds like a really good DPA omni.

As I recall some mid EQ was dialed in but don't remember if the HF was rolled off. And the recording was produced to sound like the listener was on stage rather than in the house. Personal taste! PLus, the pianist is the star, although I think that the drums could have been a TOUCH more-- especially in the mp3 version.

As for one mic over the drums-- because the set is 5 feet wide I do not think that would work for me. THe SF12 had significant HF shelving EQ added.

Rich

Cucco Mon, 02/11/2008 - 13:36
I'm curious to know where the mid EQ came into play.

My biggest beef with the 4061 is that, for some reason, around 800 Hz, there seems to be a bottle neck. While I think the linked recordings sound fantastic, I can hear the faint hint of that bottleneck.

I'm assuming you used linear phase EQ (likely Algo Orange or Blue...)? I don't hear the traditional artifacts from a mid EQ on this recording.

Simmosonic Mon, 02/11/2008 - 18:57
Sonarerec wrote: The lower output of the 4061 is exactly why these were chosen over the 4060. A rhythm section is a loud animal.
That makes sense - match the mic to the music.

Sonarerec wrote: The intuition expressed above is why graphs are sometimes not helpful. The mic was designed as a body mic, hence the 3dB HF boost to make up for the off-axis placement. All one must do to have ruler-flat response is remove the grid (as the 4090/91 does).
This is all very good information. Graphs can indeed be deceiving. For example, some time ago on this board we discussed DPA's 4041, which has an on-axis HF boost, and yet the consensus was that it doesn't sound as bright as the graphs imply - probably because the boost is only on-axis, rather than throughout the polar response. But if the only information you had was the on-axis frequency response, you'd expect it to be very bright...

anonymous Mon, 02/11/2008 - 19:35
I am looking at the VIP (or EDL to the non-Sequoia users) and am surprised how BAD my memory is!

The piano EQ (which is standard Sequoia and not the Algo Orange which I own) has a HF shelving set to -6.2dB @ 9.7 kHz with a Q of 1.00.

IOW it is counteracting what the grid is doing.

The drumset SF12 is also HF shelving (same Sequoia EQ) set to +11dB @ 7.7 kHz with a Q of 1.00.

I am also wondering what a synonym for "bottleneck" might be?

Rich

Simmosonic Mon, 02/11/2008 - 19:56
Sonarerec wrote: The piano EQ (which is standard Sequoia and not the Algo Orange which I own) has a HF shelving set to -6.2dB @ 9.7 kHz with a Q of 1.00.
Well, that ought to put rfreez's mind at rest! It also justifies his concerns over using the 4061s on violin for Carnatic music, as I was suggesting...

Sonarerec wrote: The drumset SF12 is also HF shelving (same Sequoia EQ) set to +11dB @ 7.7 kHz with a Q of 1.00.
I love the fact that you can do that to the Royer without the sound going bad...

Sonarerec wrote: I am also wondering what a synonym for "bottleneck" might be?
According to MS Word, your choices are: block, blockage, restricted access, hold up, traffic jam, tailback, jam, log jam...

Cucco Mon, 02/11/2008 - 20:20
I just mean that, in the midrange, around 800Hz (as best as I can tell) when I've used them, the image seems to get ever so slightly more narrow. It's very wide all through the rest of the range, just right there, it seems like there's something a little closed in. Perhaps I'm sensitive to this where others may not be (like some people are excessively sensitive to noise and I'm not...)

If it were a 2-way speaker, I'd attribute it to a cross-over, but it's not so I don't. I owned 3 of them and they all seemed to have the same issue. It was always VERY slight, but to me, quite obvious when strapped to a violin. I also found it obvious on Mezzo-Soprano.

rfreez Tue, 02/12/2008 - 06:32
on a related note, i see pics of such miniature mics fixed on acoustic guitars all the time. as i cannot stand the sound of peizo electric pickups, i was wondering about using a similar mic as primary/only acoustic guitar microphone for an amplified live performance also featuring a drumkit, bass and vocals. given that stage monitors will be there (no IEMs) what is the chance of getting a clean sound without feedback?

thanks,

anonymous Tue, 02/12/2008 - 07:39
rfreez wrote: on a related note, i see pics of such miniature mics fixed on acoustic guitars all the time. as i cannot stand the sound of peizo electric pickups, i was wondering about using a similar mic as primary/only acoustic guitar microphone for an amplified live performance also featuring a drumkit, bass and vocals. given that stage monitors will be there (no IEMs) what is the chance of getting a clean sound without feedback?

thanks,

In my view (which is limited in matters related to FOH) it is all a function of the laws of physics-- WHICH miniature mics (with what response curve), what EQ is in play, how loud the monitors are, how loud the house system is, how large is the room, what rooms nodes are a problem and how they are dealt with, etc.

In general, I suspect the only approach that could yield more gain is the pickup, with the downsides you allude to.

Rich

Simmosonic Tue, 02/12/2008 - 20:59
rfreez wrote: what is the chance of getting a clean sound without feedback?
First of all, if we take those piezo pickups out of the equation, we're left with two options: a cardioid on a stand, or an omni clipped onto the guitar. In either case, if the guitar is putting out enough acoustic volume, the mics won't need as much gain and so there is less chance of feedback.

The thing we're concerned with here is known in the PA world as Gain Before Feedback (GBF). The more GBF you have, the louder you can make the instrument (in the mix and/or foldback) before you get feedback.

Looking at our two miking options, and assuming both mics were the same distance from the sound source, the cardioid - with its rear rejection and forward focus - will offer a greater GBF than the omni. BUT, the two miking options are *not* at the same distance; relative to the cardioid, the omni is very close to the guitar and therefore requires less gain, which can often balance up the GBF equation against the cardioid. In other words, a clipped-on omni at 5cm from the sound source might provide the same GBF as a cardioid on a stand at, say, 20cm (figures vary depending on many factors, IIRC).

In that case, the omni has no disadvantage against the cardioid, and, in fact, offers some advantages: unlike the cardioid on a stand, the omni will move with the guitar so its sound remains consistent. The engineer does not have to push up the gain/fader if the guitarist happens to pull back a bit too far from the microphone - which, apart from sounding messy due to increased spill, is a real invitation for feedback. Another problem with the cardioid on a stand is that the guitarist might move too close to it, resulting in a boomy sound and offering yet another invitation for feedback due to gain increase at low frequencies from proximity effect. (Remember, omnis don't suffer from proximity effect, so we can get very close without the sound becoming boomy...)

As with all live sound situations, if the performer is one for moving around on stage, he or she will have to learn how close to get to the foldback and/or the front of the stage before feedback. That's normal when using any microphone, but may be a bit more critical when using omnis.

I've had good fortune using omnis on stage with amplification, but sometimes you just can't beat a cardioid or a piezo!

anonymous Tue, 02/12/2008 - 23:31
This might be an opportune time to point out that Frank Sinatra's handheld live mic of choice was a KM83 omni. Naturally the stage monitor scenario has changed a bit in the last several decades, but they had figured out that lack of handling noise (it's an omni) and the ability to work it closer (lack of proximity effect and therefore less "plosive" problem) enabled more gain before feedback.

Often the ability to work an omni REALLY close is what is needed.

Rich
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