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Organ Sample - Gefells

A lot of people have been asking for me (off-list) to post some clips of either the Gefell M296 mics or the recent organ recording which I had mentioned a couple months ago (or in some cases both).

So...here it is.

This is a short clip of the live Bach organ festival that I recorded a short time back. This particular clip is of nothing but the two Gefell M296 microphones and no effects have been added to this recording.

The mics were raised approximately 18.5' and were placed roughly 15' from the center of the arc of main pipes. They were spaced at around 3 feet apart and angled slightly (roughly 15 degrees off center axis each) outwards.

A slight dehisser was used to help eliminate the pipes' air handlers.

Comments are welcome.

(Dead Link Removed)

I should mention - this is intended to ultimately be a surround recording. In addition to the standard 16/44.1 CD release, this will also be going out as DVD-Audio 24/96 4.0 or 5.0 (yet to be decided if center channel to be utilized.) The rears (not played in this sample) were provided by Schoeps CMC6 Mk2s spaced 12 feet apart and placed roughly 2/3rds back in the hall. They pick up a great sense of the room as well as the antiphonal pipes.

Cheers!

J.

Comments

Cucco Tue, 05/22/2007 - 12:25
Thanks Plush!

I know you were being sarcastic bout the romantic Bach, but in many respects, I have to admit, I find much of Bach's music to be very romantic in nature (romantic as in era and style, not mushy kissing....you know what I mean.)

Most say that Bach was the father of classical music, I say Bach was the father of Romantic music.

Of course, this organ is obviously a little big for Bach, but it certainly ain't bad.

dementedchord Tue, 05/22/2007 - 13:29
Cucco wrote: I find much of Bach's music to be very romantic in nature (romantic as in era and style, not mushy kissing....you know what I mean.)

Most say that Bach was the father of classical music, I say Bach was the father of Romantic music. .

couldn't disagree more.... bach is baroque... although he gave impetus to guys like mozart where classical clomes to fruition... the father of romanticism is beethoven.... the thicker/darker textures he used as well as the extensions of harmony that bach and mozart would never have dreamed of using gave rise to chopin and the like.... beethoven was transitional in this....

Cucco Tue, 05/22/2007 - 15:12
dementedchord wrote: [quote=Cucco] I find much of Bach's music to be very romantic in nature (romantic as in era and style, not mushy kissing....you know what I mean.)

Most say that Bach was the father of classical music, I say Bach was the father of Romantic music. .

couldn't disagree more.... bach is baroque... although he gave impetus to guys like mozart where classical clomes to fruition... the father of romanticism is beethoven.... the thicker/darker textures he used as well as the extensions of harmony that bach and mozart would never have dreamed of using gave rise to chopin and the like.... beethoven was transitional in this....
I think you misunderstand my point.

First, while I appreciate the history lesson, I have in fact taught music history and theory in front of college class rooms. I am fully aware of the history of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

The reason that I say that Bach was very romantic is:

1 - Much of his music resembled (in form) the tone poems made famous by Strauss and Liszt. (In fact, the Classical era was so set on the use of forms, most popular being Sonata-Allegro form and Bach was quite good at avoiding the overuse of one particular form).

2 - Bach's capability to build harmonies was far beyond that rather simple harmonies evident in the classical era. (Listen to "Sheep May Safely Graze" Mozart would never write such harmonies. Mahler would though!)

3 - True the orchestra's tone, depth and complexity was enhanced by Beethoven but it was Brahms who brought us the modern orchestra. Through no fault of Bach's, he didn't have the capability of working with that kind of orchestra. Writing music that complex would not have been possible......unless of course he were to do it on the organ. Ahhhhh - that's where Bach's magic lies - the organ. The sounds which Bach created on the organ were of that dense, complex and powerful nature thought to be created by Beethoven and Brahms.

4 - Don't forget, Bach was an amazing melodist. Much classical music is so rooted in form and structure (chordal) that the melodies were almost afterthoughts. (No one can really claim that Mozart and Haydn were great melodists - Mass aside! In fact, most of their melodies are very similar - as if they plagiarized from themselves (not saying Mozart's melodies are similar to Haydn's that's perposterous. I'm saying Mozart's melodies were similar to other Mozart melodies.)) The romantic era is famous for its melodists - Brahms, Wagner, Puccini, Mahler, Liszt, etc.

Each era of music seems to waffle back and forth between essentially classical or romantic -

Baroque was a "romantic" era - full of beautiful melodies, loosely organized form, improvization

Classical...well it's classical. It's heavily rooted in form and harmony.

Romantic - well, duh, it's romantic. Again, heavy emphasis on melody and relatively free form (not chaotic, just not as regimented as classical)

Neo-classical/20th Century - very heavily rooted in form. Especially when you take into consideration tone rows, etc.

Jazz/Rock - Until recently, very romantic in nature - again free form, heavy emphasis on melody

Pop - Classical - heavy emphasis on form, less melodic content and more harmony (or in our current case - beats).

Does that help to clarify?

RichS Tue, 05/22/2007 - 16:18
Cucco wrote: 2 - Bach's capability to build harmonies was far beyond that rather simple harmonies evident in the classical era. (Listen to "Sheep May Safely Graze" Mozart would never write such harmonies. Mahler would though!)

Absolutely agree!
Ever sing Bach's b minor mass?
Chromatic's up the wazoo!!

Cucco Thu, 05/17/2007 - 15:01
Hmm....why the Gefells instead of the Schoeps....
A couple of reasons.

1 - the bass response of the Gefells is more linear (flat to pretty much 1 Hz give or take) and there were a couple 32' pipes (albeit 16' pipes that are "folded" to 32').

2 - Overall, the Schoeps are "warmer" mics and the Gefells are very, shall I say, clinical... The organ mixed with the hardwood and the marble was very euponic. I wanted less warmth and more accuracy in this case.

Oh...and btw...woops. I accidentally did have a HPF on for the sample, but it was a gentle slope starting at 30 Hz.

J.

Cucco Thu, 05/17/2007 - 16:42
dementedchord wrote: good work jer... would'nt happen to have done a take of G min little fugue???? that's my fav...

Yup.

6 hours of Bach organ work....I think I did a couple takes of it.

It hasn't yet been identified as a track to be released though so I can't put up a sample yet.

Thanks!

dementedchord Tue, 05/22/2007 - 19:02
:-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-? :-?
Cucco wrote:
"I find much of Bach's music to be very romantic in nature (romantic as in era and style, not mushy kissing....you know what I mean.) "

again i dont agree... and granted only a simpleton would limit any deffinition to the "mushy stuff" in fact any inclusion points out rather plebian monodementional thought... romanticism is about holding to an ideal... and adventure... perhaps in the end we get the girl but not because we sought to woo... but because we percivier... and as an era and style that's not bach....



"I think you misunderstand my point."

perhaps... and you mine...

"First, while I appreciate the history lesson, I have in fact taught music history and theory in front of college class rooms. I am fully aware of the history of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart."

come on jer an apeal to authority is a weak argument and not worthy of you... especially when you set yourself up as same...

The reason that I say that Bach was very romantic is:

"1 - Much of his music resembled (in form) the tone poems made famous by Strauss and Liszt. (In fact, the Classical era was so set on the use of forms, most popular being Sonata-Allegro form and Bach was quite good at avoiding the overuse of one particular form). "



but not the bulk of it... and that he toyed at some level with ideas later brought to fruition by others doesnt make his inventing it credible presage as it might be...most of his music takes the form of fugue and invention... the emphasis is on developing counterpoint... and given the state of the orchestra and even the organs he had access to this makes sense...

"2 - Bach's capability to build harmonies was far beyond that rather simple harmonies evident in the classical era. (Listen to "Sheep May Safely Graze" Mozart would never write such harmonies. Mahler would though!) "

again as the exception perhaps but not the rule... even given the Bmin mass as someone else pointed out... which if memory serves was rather late in his carreer and points to where he and music in general was heading... much in the same way beethovens 9th gives a glimps of things to come...

"3 - True the orchestra's tone, depth and complexity was enhanced by Beethoven but it was Brahms who brought us the modern orchestra. Through no fault of Bach's, he didn't have the capability of working with that kind of orchestra. Writing music that complex would not have been possible......unless of course he were to do it on the organ. Ahhhhh - that's where Bach's magic lies - the organ. The sounds which Bach created on the organ were of that dense, complex and powerful nature thought to be created by Beethoven and Brahms."


agreed for the most part... the quibble here for me would be in not so much the nature of his writing but the nature of the organ at this time... good ol' john never heard his work on instruments such as you've regaled us with here... and argument could be made that he never created it for instruments he didn't have... in the same way he never dreamn't of i suspect what walter/wendy carlos did with/to them...

"4 - Don't forget, Bach was an amazing melodist. Much classical music is so rooted in form and structure (chordal) that the melodies were almost afterthoughts. (No one can really claim that Mozart and Haydn were great melodists - Mass aside! In fact, most of their melodies are very similar - as if they plagiarized from themselves (not saying Mozart's melodies are similar to Haydn's that's perposterous. I'm saying Mozart's melodies were similar to other Mozart melodies.)) The romantic era is famous for its melodists - Brahms, Wagner, Puccini, Mahler, Liszt, etc."

granted he was a melodist... but that doesn't make him a romantic... anymore than being so inclined doesn't make Brahms et.al. baroque...

Each era of music seems to waffle back and forth between essentially classical or romantic -

"Baroque was a "romantic" era - full of beautiful melodies, loosely organized form, improvization "

but that's not the romantic period (era) anymore than the melodies/organization/improvisation of say new york in the 50's-60's... and i assure you that i hold for instance monk/bud powell/ bill evans in the highest reguard.. to the point of romanticising it...



"Classical...well it's classical. It's heavily rooted in form and harmony.

Romantic - well, duh, it's romantic. Again, heavy emphasis on melody and relatively free form (not chaotic, just not as regimented as classical) "

i think you'll need a bit more than that to base all this on...



"Neo-classical/20th Century - very heavily rooted in form. Especially when you take into consideration tone rows, etc.

Jazz/Rock - Until recently, very romantic in nature - again free form, heavy emphasis on melody

Pop - Classical - heavy emphasis on form, less melodic content and more harmony (or in our current case - beats). "


irrelevent to the discussion....



"Does that help to clarify?"

perhaps a bit.... thnx for the discussion dude... i appreciate ya...

8-) 8-) 8-)

Cucco Wed, 05/23/2007 - 05:28
Thanks David! It sure is deep and powerful isn't it? Do you think it's too much?

DC - I understand where you're coming from - you're speaking almost entirely from an era standpoint, whereas I'm speaking from a philosophical stand point. We can agree to disagree, but I don't want to bicker back and forth in this topic. I'd be willing to further discuss in the Pro Sound Chat forum if you'd like.

Cucco Fri, 05/18/2007 - 06:00
DavidSpearritt wrote: ...I think any of the top omnis from the big 4 or 5 manufacturers would have sounded great in that room with that acoustic and that instrument.

Oh, I absolutely agree! I just had access to the Schoeps and the Gefells, so I chose the Gefells. I think DPAs would have been great too although I generally don't like DPAs (a little too clinical for me in most situations). Nuemanns would have been great too. Senns....I don't know. I just still don't dig them - though I'm sure someone else without my (probably unwarranted) prejudice would probably have made them work beautifully under such occassions.

J.

bap Wed, 05/23/2007 - 11:34
I too find some Bach to be somewhat 'Romantic', in a Bach kind of way. But some is less so. It seems that 'new' styles of music, Rococo or what have you, often seem to be a reaction to that which has gone before. Sometimes a further development and sometimes a completely different turn.

The .wav sample had me riveted. I was wondering if that crescendo was ever going to stop. What a thrill!

Cucco Fri, 05/18/2007 - 13:03
Okay...so here's a better clip.

It's longer, and it's in full 16 bit, 44.1kHz glory. In other words - it's big. I was going to try to post the 24/96 file, but it was around 250 MB. I don't know that anyone would download that!

The low end on this piece is particularly powerful. My first instinct was to reign it in a bit. However, on second approach, I decided to leave it as it was. This particular organ is so deep and powerful, this is an accurate deptiction of the work. Plus, I got the chance to hear the organ from the audience position and the low pipes simply filled the room.

(Dead Link Removed)

Disclaimer

Please do NOT consider this "trivia time" or "name that tune." I have not gotten permission to release this track yet though I'm certain that I will, hence my willingness to post it.

While I'm sure many of you are familiar with the name of the piece, let's leave that out of this for the time being. Otherwise, if it is named, I will feel obliged to remove the clip.

Furthermore, if anyone on the list feels that I should NOT post this clip for the above or any other reason, please let me know immediately and I will remove it.

Thanks!

J.

(PS - it's uploading right now - 1600 EST. Give it a few minutes. Try at 1630 EST.... -5 hours GMT)

Member Fri, 05/18/2007 - 16:21
Hey Jeremy,

I'm out in Seattle at the moment (sister-in-law's wedding) and was checking up on the group when I saw this thread. Needless to say, I am anxious to hear your result but the PC I'm on has no playback system worth listening to...

I'm particularly interested because I have a recording gig in NE Ohio next week on a restored Skinner organ. Your choice of mics and array is very similar to what I was envisioning as my first shot as a setup: I was thinking Earthworks QTC1 as a 3' A/B main pair, and either my Schoeps MK2S or MK21 as a widely spaced (maybe 7-10') ambience pair. My questions to you are:

1. Does the 296 have an HF rise, and if so, is it as pronounced as the MK2S? The QTC1s plot flat (a la MK2), but as you state with the Gefells, the LF just doesn't stop. I am wondering if it might be more frugal to first try MK2S as mains instead, as Skinner organs are not nearly so bright with upperwork as are most "American Classic" style organs. If so, do you think a "flat" omni way back in the room will make things "wooly"?

2. Did you put delay on your ambience pair? I am always leery of putting my rear pair more than 20-25' or so further back than the mains, but you've obviously gone further than that.

Cheers and can't wait to hear your work,
Mike

Cucco Fri, 05/18/2007 - 17:05
Hey Michael -

I'll answer in order -

1 - Yes, the 296s that I use are the ones equalized for midfield and thus have a slight rise. I find the whole mic to be more open on the top than the Schoeps so I find it hard to say whether it's a bigger or smaller peak. I found their clear and open top end to be a very strong benefit to this otherwise relatively bright organ.

2 - Nope, I did not delay them. However, I flew them specifically for the purpose of being able to mix in surround. I may wind up doing some delay or messing with the timing a little (as my first mixing in surround came earlier today and I found the imaging to be a tad off - too much delay. I have to be careful though as there is much use of the antiphonal pipes.)

3 - The MK2s's were aimed up at the cieling. Considering the height of the ceiling (around 40' feet) I am not really running the risk of early reflections tainting the sound. Plus the off-axis sound is what I was after as the rear pipes are rather bright on this particular organ.)

I'm very curious to hear your results with the Earthworks. I'm considering a pair eventually!

Cheers!

Jeremy

Member Fri, 05/18/2007 - 19:16
Thanks mucho for the info. I've used a QTC1 mains with MK21 ambient pair setup in the past with great results, but it was in a very reverberant space (~5.5 sec). My gig next week is in not so lively a space (it's a music hall, not a church) but I do have to deal with an antiphonal division. I'm thinking I'll keep with my Earthworks as my mains, and I'll be sure to offer a sample for RO.

Oh, and never use HPF on a recording of a large organ. The purists will never forgive you! 8)
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