Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Recording Organ

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Recording Organ

    Hello,

    I sought an answer to this a while back, spent time Googling, even contacted a recording expert (who surprisingly responded!) but I could not find an answer to my question:
    What is the best way to record organ without buying a whole bunch of expensive equipment, or having heavy equipment to lug around?

    I have two organs I would like to record.
    The problem:
    I could probably afford to buy a cheap, but still descent condenser microphone, but the board to supply phantom power is both too expensive and quite often too big to carry around.

    The recording guy suggested a very high quality self-contained recording device to place in the center of the room, but these devices start at $135.

    Are there any other options? Or am I really going to have to spend a bit of money to do this?
    Thank you for your suggestions

    - Jesse Zylstra
    My instruments:
    Home: A late 50's to early 60's Conn 720 (tube powered, of course)
    One reed organ; in pieces at the moment pending a helping hand to do some gluing.
    Two pianos (upright grand and a spinet) and an accordion (Hohner)
    Church:
    Hammond A-105 with Leslie speakers
    1979 Allen 123-C (MOS1) digital computer organ

  • #2
    see:

    http://www.organforum.com/forums/sho...ight=recording
    2008: Phoenix III/44

    Comment


    • #3
      You'll find indeed a lot of info in that thread above. The only thing that bothers me is that a "recording expert" advises you to put a recording device in the middle of the room to record an organ. Unless you gave him/her a lot more information about the place you want to record it is a strange place to record an organ.

      Comment


      • #4
        I thoroughly read the post that you linked to. The most affordable device sounded like the MiniDisc recorder, which I am not 100% sure on. Most of the other devices exceeded $75 (which I plan to spend much less than that)
        Are there any other affordable suggestions?

        Are there more portable ways to power a condenser mic? (without any other features). I can get ahold of a condenser to borrow (though it is not my first choice) and just record to my laptop, but the condenser still needs power.

        In no way do I disagree with placing the recording device in the typical listening area. ("In the middle of the room")
        (I'm including this so that future searchers will know)
        If you have had the chance to listen to the same organ in various places of a room, you will find that the tonal qualities vary from place to place.
        In this case, the organ was up in a balcony. It sounds much better down in the main sanctuary area. Certainly, one should always sound check in different areas before determining where to actually put the mic for the real recording.
        My instruments:
        Home: A late 50's to early 60's Conn 720 (tube powered, of course)
        One reed organ; in pieces at the moment pending a helping hand to do some gluing.
        Two pianos (upright grand and a spinet) and an accordion (Hohner)
        Church:
        Hammond A-105 with Leslie speakers
        1979 Allen 123-C (MOS1) digital computer organ

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Havoc View Post
          The only thing that bothers me is that a "recording expert" advises you to put a recording device in the middle of the room to record an organ. Unless you gave him/her a lot more information about the place you want to record it is a strange place to record an organ.
          That would probably work for me, since I have surround sound on my home organ. :-)

          Actually, placing the mics in the centre of an auditorium, and recording from the audience's perspective, including environmental ambience would seem to be a logical location for the mics. For something like the Zoom H2, which captures four channel surround, a central point would make sense as long as you can mix down the four channels to achieve optimum balance.

          Where would you place the recorder if you were recording in St. Paul's or St. Sulpice?? The sea of reverberation in such locales, is an essential part of the experience.

          For small tracker organs etal, close up and personal is probably preferred by organists who desire to hear every nuance of the various pipes. The same holds true for digital organ manufacturers creating demos of their organs. I want to hear a very close up and very detailed sample of their voices with a minimum of superfluous ambient sounds, which are usually employed as a gimmick to mask the real sound of an otherwise terrible sounding organ!! Johannus is probably the most notable offender in this regard, with all of their sound samples swimming in a sea of reverberation in an effort to hide how truly hideous their instruments really sound. Not much they can do about unmasked Youtube offerings lacking the protective cover of the sea-of-reverberation, which tend to sound like fingernails being scratched across a blackboard. :-(
          2008: Phoenix III/44

          Comment


          • #6
            I have done a little organ recording direct to my laptop and/or to a little mini-digital recorder I bought on sale for a couple hundred dollars. Both systems work well as long as you set the recording levels correctly.

            For microphones, I bought an inexpensive pair of condenser mics from Radio Shack that are powered by little hearing-aid batteries. The Radio Shack catalog number for this little unit is 33-3041 (or at least that's the number on the user's guide packed with it). These were amazingly cheap, really just a few dollars apiece, I think. But condenser mics don't have to be expensive to have a very wide-range sound. The specs say 50-16,000 Hz, but I swear these mics pick up the lowest notes of the 32' stop (which would be 16 Hz) far better than even the fairly expensive dynamic mics I was borrowing before I bought these little mics.

            You'd have to experiment to come up with the best placement, but I found placing the mics too far from the organ resulted in recording more ambience than I wanted. But placing them too close picks out the individual sound sources (speakers or pipes) too discretely instead of the nice blend you want to hear.

            Good luck!
            John
            ----------
            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

            Comment


            • #7
              Well mostly you want to get rather much closer than normal audience distance and at least at the height of the mouth or even above that. Going so high is difficult for an amateur (I can't do it either if the building itself doesn't help) so mostly you'll have to record from a bit further away. There is a difference between capturing the ambience and being swamped in reverbation. The last is what you are more likely to get when you record where the audience sits. As said before, you have to experiment a bit in each room. It also depends on the directional characteristics of the mics used.

              I have no idea how your going to find something that records with a bit of quality and reliable for less than the amount you mention. When I want it to be very portable I go with a Sony PCM-M1 recorder and a Sony ECM-909A mic. Such a mic and a small USB device might get you going if you already have a laptop. But then you're lugging at least 3 pieces of gear along. You could make a battery box for the microphones yourself if you are a bit on the practical side (google a bit, they are common in tapers circles) and use a recorder that has a simple mic input without phantom power. Other option would be to use a small mixer with a mic input and a recorder with a line input. But this would be larger and more pieces to lug around. Another option might be MP3 players, some can also record. Take a look at the Rockbox site. Together with a batterybox it might be a solution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Havoc, I do seriously think my $10 RadioShack microphones mentioned above are incredibly good. After posting, I got out the docs that came in the box, and note that the response graph is absolutely flat on the bass end. They simply didn't test below 50 Hz, but I'm sure from the results I get that these mics respond nicely all the way down to 16 Hz, and probably would go lower. Now the upper end of the graph isn't so pretty, but few microphones are truly flat in the upper ranges.

                These little units are tiny, about the size of a large lipstick tube, and sit on their own little round base. Not intended to be placed in a mic holder or on a boom, but one could improvise a way to do that I suppose. I normally just set them on a flat surface a few feet apart and get a perfectly decent stereo image, or at least some three-dimentional quality.

                I'm only saying this because zylstra indicated a need to keep the costs way down, and these mics are certainly the cheapest I've heard of that truly capture a hi-fi frequency range.
                John
                ----------
                *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                  For microphones, I bought an inexpensive pair of condenser mics from Radio Shack that are powered by little hearing-aid batteries. The Radio Shack catalog number for this little unit is 33-3041 (or at least that's the number on the user's guide packed with it). These were amazingly cheap, really just a few dollars apiece, I think.
                  The Radio Shack website lists that part number at 29.95 each.

                  http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2296039

                  In-expensive, but not 'cheap' or 'a few dollars'. Intriguing though, I may check them out....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I see it is now being marketed for "conference" usage, to pick up multiple participants sitting around a table, etc. The photo looks a little different from my unit, so maybe the design has changed a bit. The links to the technical specs were broken on the RadioShack site, so I can't verify that this is actually the same mic I bought, though the catalog number is the same.

                    Surprised to see it priced that high. I must have gotten mine on sale because I'm quite sure I didn't pay much more than $10 apiece for them.

                    I'd recommend a potential buyer get just one and see if it records music acceptably before spending $60 on a pair.
                    John
                    ----------
                    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Experimenting with microphone placement in recording my organ shows that the best place is in the sound mixing chamber a bout 5 to 7 ft in front of the shutters. It does not sound good to the ear there, but the recording comes out better tan in the listening room. It seems a counter intuitive result.

                      Allan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Jbird, I was only giving some other options. The Sony ECM (there are/have been lots of mics in this series) is about the same price, powered by a single AA battery. But still I think that it will be very hard to find a complete setup for less than $75.

                        I admit those Radio Shack mics look intriguing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by haskey View Post
                          Intriguing though, I may check them out....
                          Here's the frequency response graph for the Radio Shack mic metioned above:



                          The response above 2k is a little wild in my opinion. The DPAs that I use are much flatter (and, to be fair, much more expensive).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree that looks rather wild at the high end. And peculiar that it has different graphs for 0 and 180 degrees since it's supposed to be omnidirectional, and the element faces straight up when sitting on a tabletop. No telling what kind of test method they employed, though. You can see that the bass end is indeed flat, and I suspect they just didn't test it below 50 hz. I can pick up the lowest fundamentals of the organ with no apparent roll-off, which is very impressive.

                            That wild fluctuation shown for the treble response could be an artifact of the flat surface the microphone was sitting on when tested, since they are marketing this as a "conference" mic. When I recorded with them I'd have guessed the frequency response was quite flat and extended, as the sound was very natural and open. Theoretically, one condenser mic is about the same as another, and there isn't any reason why the frequency response would be ragged like that, since there is such a minute moving mass in a condenser pickup.

                            Maybe I'll dig mine out and try recording something this week, just to get a fresh idea of how they work. If so I'll post a report.
                            John
                            ----------
                            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Don't worry about the high end, once you pass 5kHz your own hearing is going down fast anyway.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X