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  • Hammond eggs
    replied
    Check out Tascam products. They are made by Teac who has been world renowned in studio recording. I have had excellent results recording Hammond with my old Tascam Portastudio. Eight tracks and the ability to record line in direct or with a mic. I can burn a finished CD on the same machine.

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  • UKOrganist
    replied
    I have the Edirol r-09hr. It's great for recording the organ, although the bass suffers a little at times (but nothing that can't be remedied with Audacity). I also use it for podcasts

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  • rockstardave
    replied
    Have to throw in my two cents:

    Consider a small USB mixer and a couple decent mics. The "all in one" recorders have some serious limitations (minimal editing, requires transfer to computer, minimal EQ and FX, poor preamps, etc). Your macbook should work fine with something like this, runs about $80-90:

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CEAQ8gIwAw#

    A Shure Sm57, or two if you want stereo, is a high quality, nearly indestructible mic that usually runs under $100. Every studio has at least a couple SM57's. These are close-mics, which is great for micing speakers, sound holes, etc.

    If you are recording a pipe organ and need more of a "room" sound, I suggest a condenser mic (or a stereo pair), as a SM57s make poor room mics.

    Your macbook should have Garageband already installed, and that's all you'll need.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by rockstardave; 11-20-2010, 01:15 PM.

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  • DellAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Havoc View Post
    Not only that, but what we have of Bach was what he found good enough to write down. Most of it was just off-the-cuff improvisation. But you have to put it into its timeframe as well. He didn't have to read the forums, update his facebook, twitter about his last hymn, worry about the war in Afghanistan, the pirates in Somalia, the oil price, his mortgage etc.
    Well a very strong argument could be made that we don't HAVE to do any of that stuff either, except many of us live in a democracy so it is our privilege and a bit of a civic duty to do so. Except perhaps for updating Facebook. I might add that Bach did have to go to some trouble to hear another musician and would do so when he had the opportunity, which was not as often as he would have liked. How he had time to have 7(?) kids and two (serially) wives one must always wonder.

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  • Havoc
    replied
    Not only that, but what we have of Bach was what he found good enough to write down. Most of it was just off-the-cuff improvisation. But you have to put it into its timeframe as well. He didn't have to read the forums, update his facebook, twitter about his last hymn, worry about the war in Afghanistan, the pirates in Somalia, the oil price, his mortgage etc.

    PC speakers are what you make of them. Mine are a couple of PCM DB-1s fed from a Kenwood amp that is getting its signal from a RME audio card and AD convertor. Not your typical gaming/multi-media setup.

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  • DellAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Clarion View Post
    My experience in seeking a replacement, was considerably better with a focus on Logitech. I selected their rather agreeable THX certified Z2300. At places like Future Shop and Best Buy, this system would cost $220. But getting it from one of our east Toronto no-service, no-returns Hong Kong vendors, it only cost $$139.

    I don't know about Bach, but I figure, that since he was playing his own music, crafted in his own style that was merely automatic to him; I imagine that any time he might have messed up, could be easily covered up by merely introducing a new invention.

    Paul Jacobs, on the other hand, might best be characterized as a very unique Super Human. While there are a few out there like him, they are very rare. He is amongst the very rare few who can play through a music score once, and then toss the score. They no longer need the score. After playing it once, it is forever after indelibly imprinted in their mind. Like . . . . with Paul Jacob, by default, he has memorized the complete organ works of Bach, Messiaen, et al. This guy is totally off the chart; and there's absolutely no one out there who can possibly compete with him!
    I like Logitech products in general - mice (MX310 is wonderful, but I am wishing for the new frictionless spin-wheel model.

    I agree with you about Bach - I can totally imagine him improvising away off any 'errors'. But it's like Dale Carnegie said - you can only be good at being yourself. Bach was definitely himself. Too many people try to be second-rate Bachs.

    Paul Jacobs, a genius no doubt about it, but it reminds me of school days when the top of the class folks were accused of not having to study. Nothing could be further from the truth in many cases (although usually things came easier). Yes, there are photographic memory type, and Paul may be one of them, but do we know for fact that he never uses musical score more than once? Does he not practice? Memorizing the entire organ works of Bach, Messiaen, etc etc is quite an accomplishment, but not THAT huge a repertoire (not that I would attempt it in my lifetime). Just curious - often times rumors are a bit exaggerated for effect. It seems that would be a rather dreary way to be if one were a teacher, constantly frustrated at the thickheadedness of one's pupils.

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  • Clarion
    replied
    Originally posted by DellAnderson View Post
    Clarion, Your post reminds me of a casual comment my microbiology professor made years ago: "one of the advantages to advancing age is that your ears are satisfied with a much less expensive stereo system" ...in your case, a computer.
    Well, isn't that encouraging reminder of reality!

    While I've always been blessed with extraordinary hearing, being able to hear stuff no one else could hear; my frequency range has now declined to about half that of my first few decades. Five years ago, I was still flat up to 13 khz, but I'm now reduced to about 8 khz, curving off to zero at around 12 khz. So from an optimistic interpretation of the data, I'm only down about a half octave from my youth.

    As for computer stereo systems, there are actually some pretty good/very good ones out there. Over the years, I have managed pretty well with a pair of $20 speakers; but a few years ago, when I started my search for a new organ, I obviously needed something better to take advantage of online samples.

    I made the mistake of starting out with speakers by Creative. It didn't sound all that bad, but like everyone else who had bought Creative stuff, they all blew up within about a year. No big deal. I can fix just about anything electronic. But accessing the Creative amplifier, revealed something I had never before witnessed. The entire amplifier was glued together with gigantic blobs of hot-glue-gun sputum, so as to be totally unserviceable. This amplifier must have been assembled by the primitive natives of the jungles of Unga Boyia!! I will never again touch a Creative product!

    My experience in seeking a replacement, was considerably better with a focus on Logitech. I selected their rather agreeable THX certified Z2300. At places like Future Shop and Best Buy, this system would cost $220. But getting it from one of our east Toronto no-service, no-returns Hong Kong vendors, it only cost $$139.

    I am really pleased with this system; and amongst consumer reviews, this speaker system continues to earn consistent five star reviews.

    Originally posted by DellAnderson View Post
    As for old Biggs recordings, I have no idea, but I have previously wondered similar things about the greats, including J.S. Bach. I can't imagine with a new piece composed, prepared, and presented every sunday it might not be as well polished as say Paul Jacobs or someone else who has spent a career studying the nuances presumed to be inherent in ever drop of ink to fall from the masters - provided these masters have been dead for around 200 years or so. This is not to diminish the reputation of greats such as J.S. Bach who was well known for his performance skill.
    I don't know about Bach, but I figure, that since he was playing his own music, crafted in his own style that was merely automatic to him; I imagine that any time he might have messed up, could be easily covered up by merely introducing a new invention.

    Paul Jacobs, on the other hand, might best be characterized as a very unique Super Human. While there are a few out there like him, they are very rare. He is amongst the very rare few who can play through a music score once, and then toss the score. They no longer need the score. After playing it once, it is forever after indelibly imprinted in their mind. Like . . . . with Paul Jacob, by default, he has memorized the complete organ works of Bach, Messiaen, et al. This guy is totally off the chart; and there's absolutely no one out there who can possibly compete with him!

    Leave a comment:


  • DellAnderson
    replied
    As I recall (it is pretty late over here so my memory may be foggy) E Power Biggs did a lot of his recordings on the low budget - one tape recorder and audio engineer at most, traveling together in his van through Europe.

    Leave a comment:


  • AllanP
    replied
    I have recently converted some old vinyl of E Power Biggs to CD. Listening carefully shows why he was famous. The Bach comes alive when he plays, not the 'dead' type sound so common today. This experience has motivated me to start playing Bach again and trying to get some of the effect that he could generate.

    Leave a comment:


  • DellAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Clarion View Post
    ...After 70 years, I'm not much interested in listening to recordings or attending concerts; ....

    It's amazing how times have changed. I recently saw an old movie featuring Barbara Anne Scott, the much acclaimed figure skating champion of the 40's. I could hardly believe primitive nature of her skills. Compared to current standards, she would be challenged by an average 12 - 14 year old skater of the current era. I wonder if once again listening to the old Biggs recordings will also be a disappointment??
    Clarion, Your post reminds me of a casual comment my microbiology professor made years ago: "one of the advantages to advancing age is that your ears are satisfied with a much less expensive stereo system" ...in your case, a computer.

    As for old Biggs recordings, I have no idea, but I have previously wondered similar things about the greats, including J.S. Bach. I can't imagine with a new piece composed, prepared, and presented every sunday it might not be as well polished as say Paul Jacobs or someone else who has spent a career studying the nuances presumed to be inherent in ever drop of ink to fall from the masters - provided these masters have been dead for around 200 years or so. This is not to diminish the reputation of greats such as J.S. Bach who was well known for his performance skill. However, I seriously question whether the audience was anywhere near as discriminating in the pre-audio-recording days as they are today with instant YouTube or iTunes downloads and CD's preserving every note for posterity. Devil's argument is that they had a lot less distractions in those days, but I am not so sure...just keeping one's belly fed and staying alive during epidemics was a significant distraction in those days. I'm not convinced we are any smarter today by the way, quite the contrary. But I fail to buy the idea that they were so terrific in the good-ol-days. Nothing else was that much better back then, why should musicians?

    Leave a comment:


  • Clarion
    replied
    Originally posted by don60 View Post
    Dell, this system was introduced in the 70s and generated a fair amount of interest before it faded out of view. I believe it was called "binaural" recording, and indeed the intent was that the listener would use headphones with the transducers placed precisely where the recording microphones were on the dummy's head. The theory was that using a head for a microphone stand would introduce the same subtle variations in phase and magnitude response that the listener's head would in a live situation. In principle, at least, it seems like a reasonable idea.
    When you mention binaural, that tends to tweak some memories from waaaay back. It was during the early years after the introduction of stero. Then along came binaural, And from what I recall of the headphone thing, it was for fanatical purists, and the only way for purists to listen to binaural recordings, was of course with headphones. I still have my wondrous 10 lb Koss flat 20 to 20k in the basement. Actually, I weighed them and they are only 2 lbs. They just felt like 10 lb after wearing them for a while. While binaural recordings were fine for earphones, they less than wonderful when played through a stero.

    With something like a Saint Saens organ + orchestral, I can only begin to imagine the kind of recording engineering gymnastics required to achieve a good balance. 'Course, with 24 channels to work with, one or two of them must be okay. Observing the placement of mics in churches and auditoriums, suggests that placing them somewhere equidistant between floor to ceiling, along with the same half space in front of the pipes or choir, seems to work well in many situations. I don't think I would enjoy being an audio recording engineer. And that's only beginner level compared to the stressful pressure that must accompany audio engineers in the movie industry where second takes are associated with unemployment.

    These days, I don't even have a sound system in the house, other than the my computer speaker system, which is pretty good. The last system I had was totally destroyed 15 by the kids playing crash bang boom video games. The speakers were left in shredded torn tatters, and never replenished.

    After 70 years, I'm not much interested in listening to recordings or attending concerts; although I am making plans for resurrecting some of my vast vinyl collection and converting it to MP3 format. Top of the list would be my vinyl of Anton Heiller doing the Little Organ Book. I love the Little Organ Book and I always learn something from listening to Heiller, over and over and over again. 'Suppose it would also be nice to go over some of the old EPBiggs recordings.

    It's amazing how times have changed. I recently saw an old movie featuring Barbara Anne Scott, the much acclaimed figure skating champion of the 40's. I could hardly believe primitive nature of her skills. Compared to current standards, she would be challenged by an average 12 - 14 year old skater of the current era. I wonder if once again listening to the old Biggs recordings will also be a disappointment??

    Leave a comment:


  • don60
    replied
    Originally posted by DellAnderson View Post
    Clarion, I just had to interject a somewhat humorous anecdote. The question of where to place the mics can be taken to extreme by fanatics and the results at least in once case were dismal. I am referring to a company (which will remain nameless, partly because I do not recall the name) which marketed a CD recording (I believe it was Saint Saens Organ concerto, but I may be mistaken) with the gimmick that the mics were placed in the ears of a mannequin shaped dummy head! I guess I must have felt like a dummy, because I actually bought the darn thing, and it sounded...ghastly! At least through speakers. Perhaps the intention was to optimize the sound for use with headphones, thus simulating reality, but I have found my own skull and ear canals simulate pretty much everything necessary without any fancy mannequin mount for the microphones!
    Dell, this system was introduced in the 70s and generated a fair amount of interest before it faded out of view. I believe it was called "binaural" recording, and indeed the intent was that the listener would use headphones with the transducers placed precisely where the recording microphones were on the dummy's head. The theory was that using a head for a microphone stand would introduce the same subtle variations in phase and magnitude response that the listener's head would in a live situation. In principle, at least, it seems like a reasonable idea. You say your recording sounded bad--but did you try listening through headphones? It could also just be a really bad implementation of a system that apparently did work well in some cases.

    Don

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  • DellAnderson
    replied
    Originally posted by Clarion View Post
    Question: How far did you place the mics from the pipes?? . .
    Clarion, I just had to interject a somewhat humorous anecdote. The question of where to place the mics can be taken to extreme by fanatics and the results at least in once case were dismal. I am referring to a company (which will remain nameless, partly because I do not recall the name) which marketed a CD recording (I believe it was Saint Saens Organ concerto, but I may be mistaken) with the gimmick that the mics were placed in the ears of a mannequin shaped dummy head! I guess I must have felt like a dummy, because I actually bought the darn thing, and it sounded...ghastly! At least through speakers. Perhaps the intention was to optimize the sound for use with headphones, thus simulating reality, but I have found my own skull and ear canals simulate pretty much everything necessary without any fancy mannequin mount for the microphones!

    Leave a comment:


  • jamec9869
    replied
    They come with their own mini tripod stand. It looks like you would have to rig some kind of an adaptor to connect it to a regular mic or boom stand as it accepts a threaded tube about 1" in diameter at the bottom. It is by no means intended for any type of professional recording but it is pretty good quality for amateur/home use and has 3 recordin settings. The same company does sell pro mics though.

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  • Clarion
    replied
    Originally posted by Johan64' View Post
    To replace it, I purchased a Zoom H2, which so far has been very good. Here is a recording that I made with the Zoom H2:
    Johan64

    Thank you for your most impressive efforts to inform us of the capabilities of the Zoom H2. This recording system seems to be an absolute winner in terms of quality ~ price!! It sounds absolutely wonderful!! There isn't much more you could ask for.

    Question: How far did you place the mics from the pipes?? . . . a continuing debate being flogged elsewhere on the Forum. While everything else seems to be in place; the recording sounds just a tad dry. Do you figure the recording could be improved significantly buy placing the mics further back from the pipes in an effort to promote capture the ambiance of the church??

    A couple months ago, Zoom introduced the $100 Zoom H1, the cheapest of cheapest of excellent audio recorders! Using the same mics used by the H2, reviews concede that the sound quality is equal to the H2. The only downside with the H1 seems to be focused upon the cheap shoddy cheap plastic construction of the H1.

    While plastics tend to be demonized, merely because an item might be plastic, is a daft observation. While there are truly cheap low end plastics, the range of plastic quality and propensities includes almost indestructible high end stuff such as Lexan which is used for bullet-proof-glass!! Plastics are not all created equal!!

    The plastic construction used in new H1 seems to be really cheap, with the threads in the tripod mount irretrievably stripping upon first use, to the cheap plastic memory card covers separating within the first few days of use. Some units also have a problem with the battery draining within a few hours, even when the recorder has been shut off.

    From third party reports, it seem that the more expensive H2 is still the best value out there.
    Last edited by Clarion; 11-15-2010, 05:32 AM.

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