You are here

K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:20 am

You're going to have to get used to all your old mates waving and saying hi as you pass through from time to time, Mike!

:wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8649
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
We are normal and we want our freedom!.

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:37 am

Thanks Mike (glad to see you popping in again!) ... but the videoI was thinking off was this one (I've set the link to start at the relevant point, but the whole thing is quite enjoyable and informative):

https://youtu.be/8uCcFIyJJ-w?t=1938
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27096
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:16 pm

Ah! I stand corrected.... must admit it's a while since I saw any of them...

On the subject of tall stands, some further thoughts:

I often used moderately tall photographic lighting stands as already mentioned. I have one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07PF3FTYQ/?coliid=I11QS3M6XSB28G&colid=13LIWLVLN05HN&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it which gives me 3.6m and is stable for SDCs. NB. It's designed for lights which are a lot heavier than an SDC or a small LDC. You can also put a sandbg on the bracing bars if you're worried about tipping. Less than £30!

I also have four of these: https://www.thomann.de/gb/km_2000530055.htm - two black and two silver. Also good if you just need height not reach and have a firm base stand.

The 'daddy' as far as I was concerned was https://www.thomann.de/gb/superlux_ms_200.htm Very big and very heavy, but rock solid! You'll find my review of it here: https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=42480#p390276 Still astounding value at £45 - provided your car/studio is big enough!
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7240
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:50 pm

ust a note about the NT55 omni capsules - they really are very good (for the price) and have a similar frequency response to KM183s.

I tend to use A/B omni on organ, but the Faulkner array (of the type mentioned) has a built-in Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card - so highly recommended.

Thanks, Bob, great for the confirmation about the NT55 omnis: I have always thought that where you positioned the mics made up for that small percentage difference, when if using Neumanns, etc..

And apologies to all for my late response, but it's all been a bit busy recently.
Trevor Johnson
Regular
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:11 am

Trevor Johnson wrote:
And apologies to all for my late response, but it's all been a bit busy recently.

Unavoidable system latency.
shufflebeat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4666
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:00 am
Location: Manchester, UK
"Dancing Queen - feel the heat from the tangerine, ooh yeah!"

Do yourself a favour, wear earplugs at gigs.

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:51 pm

Unavoidable system latency

Very true! As a 'classical organist', I'm used to latencies >100ms, because the pipework is often a long way from the console.

Which is OK, because the brain adjusts, so you think you're hearing what you're playing.

The difficulty for performers is 'listening' to what they're playing, as apposed to hearing it.
Trevor Johnson
Regular
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:03 pm

Trevor Johnson wrote:As a 'classical organist', I'm used to latencies >100ms, because the pipework is often a long way from the console. Which is OK, because the brain adjusts, so you think you're hearing what you're playing.

I've played several smallish church organs that were extended long ago to add pedals using a pneumatic action as an add-on. The pneumatics introduces a very obvious delay, but it's not too much of a bother with the pedal notes.

But I once played an organ in a church in Exeter which was built using a pneumatic action on the keyboards, too, and I found that almost impossible to play. Not only was there the normal acoustic latency of sitting away from the pipework, but there was an additional substantial delay in the puffs of air travelling from keyboards to the pipe action.

I'm sure if playing regularly there you'd get used to it and learn to compensate, but it completely freaked me out in my brief visit! :wtf:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27096
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:51 pm

Hugh, it takes two weeks, then it's fine. And once your brain has the 'message', it works wherever you play.

Except, of course that not all the remote pipework is equidistant...

So, say you are playing Bach's Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, from the Eighteen Chorale Preludes, (first two variations), and the choir, pedal and swell are at differing distances from the console. ( The third variation is organo pleno, on the Great manual). Well, you 'accommodate' to that too. Eventually.
Trevor Johnson
Regular
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:00 am

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby James Lehmann » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:28 pm

I have the 20811 and associated 21231 heavy-duty boom.

Pros - insanely stable and solid, surprisingly quick & easy to put up once you know how

Cons - heavy to cart around and won't collapse down to less than 2m, not wind-up (unlike more expensive lighting stands with cranks) so adjusting mic position once its up is a PITA but that's true of all the stands mentioned here

I have several 1/2" to 3/8" adapters (all of €2.50) so I can use it without the boom for a normal stereo bar if necessary. I can see why they put the bigger thread at the top as its a much better fit for the very chunky boom arm.

The boom arm is more likely to be of use with concert choirs etc, where you need some 'reach'. Organ recital I can't see you'd need it, as has already been pointed out.

Not something you use everyday but when you need it it's great to have, plus call me crazy but I like owning quality gear that is massively over-engineered, as is the case with most K&M equipment! ;)

You definitely need omnis for organ, but you already know that!
James Lehmann
Regular
Posts: 357
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Europe
I used to be a rocker, but now I've gone off it and just sit in one. (JL)

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby forumuser840717 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:20 am

James Lehmann wrote:...The boom arm is more likely to be of use with concert choirs etc, where you need some 'reach'. Organ recital I can't see you'd need it, as has already been pointed out.

Not something you use everyday but when you need it it's great to have, plus call me crazy but I like owning quality gear that is massively over-engineered, as is the case with most K&M equipment! ;)

The boom can give a useful bit of front-back / side-side adjustment in places where the stand position might be limited in some way by, for example, fixed bits of architecture like steps or stuff that's bolted down such as pews or communion rails, etc.. Of course, it can also be set vertically to get up to a couple of metres more height.

And yes, K+M make great stands. The only thing I've noticed recently, however, is that they're not building some of them like they used to. The 20811 and 21231, for example, used to be made almost entirely of castings and steel tubes of various sizes but the latest models replace some of the castings with pressed/folded steel, making the whole thing lighter and slightly less reassuringly over-engineered. They're still good but not quite as good as the previous versions.

For recording organs (or anything requiring height or reach to put mics in less easily accessible places) another great option is the Ambient QP Jumbo Boom pole range. These use a Manfrotto or similar (I have Manfrotto and Arri stands set up for these) tripod stand base with a boom mount to hold a large carbon fibre boom pole. The shorter pole is up to 8.6m long (plus up to a couple of m from the stand itself) whilst the longer is 10.6m long (and there's an extension piece to convert the shorter version into the longer one. The only problem is that, compared to the K+M stands, the Ambient kit - boom, mount, stand, counterweight/sandbag, and the optional but very useful "Miclink" hanging widgit come to a lot more money than a 20811 and boom.

You definitely need omnis for organ, but you already know that!

I respectfully disagree. There are lots of factors to consider but I've made quite a lot of organ recordings using things other than omnis. There's rarely one way to do any recording.
forumuser840717
Regular
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:20 pm

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby John Willett » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:43 am

forumuser840717 wrote:
You definitely need omnis for organ, but you already know that!

I respectfully disagree. There are lots of factors to consider but I've made quite a lot of organ recordings using things other than omnis. There's rarely one way to do any recording.

I agree wih both ;)

Yes - an omni is definitely the best for a pipe organ as only a good omni will go low enough to capture the lowest notes of the organ. The lowest fundamental is 16Hz on a good pipe organ and a directonal mic. is often rolling off at about 50Hz or higher.

However, you also need to take the room into consideration, as well as the work being played. So, if the work being played does not use the lower register of the organ, then a directional mic. may well be a good choice.

But - an omni will always be my first choice. :thumbup:
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7095
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 1:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
Sound-Link are UK Distributors for: Microtech Gefell, ME-Geithain, AETA, HUM, Håkan, Meyer Turtle

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:30 pm

Yes to the omni to capture the lowest octaves in the most accurate way. But that's rarely the only consideration. Depending on the layout of the pipework and the intended stereo imaging, and lots of other factors specific to each recording situation, other polar patterns can often bring important benefits... and there's no reason why you can't combine several mics with different qualities if necessary, of course.

Whenever anyone says you have to use a particular polar pattern /mic /compressor /*insert your favourite widget here* the one thing you can be really sure about is that they're wrong! :lol:

....unless they're talking about not calling it an ORTF array when its rigged with something other than cardioids with a mutual angle of 110 degrees and a 170mm spacing. :beamup:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 27096
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: K&M 20811 Tall Mic Stand & Boom

Postby forumuser840717 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:33 pm

John Willett wrote:Yes - an omni is definitely the best for a pipe organ as only a good omni will go low enough to capture the lowest notes of the organ. The lowest fundamental is 16Hz on a good pipe organ and a directonal mic. is often rolling off at about 50Hz or higher.

However, you also need to take the room into consideration, as well as the work being played. So, if the work being played does not use the lower register of the organ, then a directional mic. may well be a good choice.

Oh dear. I disagree again :tongue: (apart from the bit about taking the room and repertoire into account).

It's also worth considering the organ, and it's position in the room. To produce 16Hz the organ needs to have 32' stops. These are fairly common on large organs but not on smaller ones.

Then, depending upon the type of stop and how the organ is disposed within the room some 32' stops will deliver a lot of energy whilst others simply don't. How loud the extreme LF of the organ is isn't just related to it being able to produce a 16Hz fundamental. The tone quality of the pipe matters a lot - probably more than the actual length and frequency it delivers. Some big open woods produce a lovely round rumble which comes across as a sort of modulated level offset rather than any directly audible sound, whilst some other big pipes (often metal ones) can add to the modulation a rasping bark like a Harley Davidson whose exhaust is blowing badly! On pipe location, I can think of a few organs where the siting of the largest pipes renders them all but inaudible in some/most parts of the building - on one, the main 32' pipes are pretty much irrelevant in the nave but blot out almost everything else and make your vision wobble in the south transept!

Of course, many organs will produce much lower frequencies than their longest pipes would suggest through combinations of pipes/stops generating difference (beat) tones far lower than the fundamentals of their longest pipes. I've often experimented when I've had spare time on organ recording sessions, to see what is the lowest frequency that can be got out of the organ by combining stops. Organists familiar with specific instruments often admit to having done this just for fun and usually can dial up their favourite difference combinations very quickly. Once they go below 10Hz they can get hard to measure accurately but with the right kit I've recorded organs generating below 5Hz. Which looks fun on metering but is completely inaudible in all practical listening (though its effects elsewhere might not be) and it can be a pain sometimes when it comes to recorded balance and levels.

Another consideration is that whilst directional mics do roll off in the LF, they roll off. They don't suddenly stop giving any output below the turnover point. Sometimes that reduced LF response can be desirable.

Something else to think about is how the recording will be replayed. Most people don't posess a speaker system or room capable of properly resolving 32Hz, let alone 16Hz or below. In a normal replay system and room the extended LF will be largely irrelevant or even an impediment to producing a good balanced sound. Ok, good headphones can reproduce deep LF - even infrasonics - but there are other limitations there too and one is still limited by the capabilities of the ear - which generally rolls off somewhat above the lowest end of a large pipe organ.

And another perhaps relevant point - once organ pipes get into the very low LF region, the energy they produce at their fundamental is infrasonic so humans don't hear the fundamental even when standing in the room with the organ (even 16Hz is borederline here). What they hear, depending upon the type of organ stop, instrument, room and their layout with respect to the listener, typically is made up of a combination of higher harmonics produced by, for example, air 'chuffing' or 'cracking' at various points (normally where it exits the pipe) the modulation effects of a relatively high energy infrasonic signal acting on several things which are audible, including the sound produced by the higher pipes in the organ and, on a less well maintained organ or building, sometimes assorted sympathetic rattles on lose fittings. (Occasionally, if the organ is, or parts of it are, starved of air you can also get the air pressures in the whole system being modulated by the lowest stops causing them to wobble (but that really shouldn't happen in a half competently designed, well maintained instrument.) Also, if the LF pipes are reasonably energetic, there's often some acoustic level offset - usually an increase in overall level - from introducing the bigger pipes, which generally shift more air than their smaller neighbours. Not to mention some psychoacoustic effects and the physiological effects of high energy LF (assuming that the LF is high energy).

So whatever the lowest fundamental on the organ, or the sneakily extended LF that it can create by cunning choice of stops, if once can't reproduce, nor even hear these fundamentals and sub fundamental difference tones, why worry about recording them when one more than adequately can record the relevant effects of these things in the normally audible range and when they can actually be counterproducitve?

I used to be slightly obsessed with recording the lowest parts of a pipe organ, and bought/or had modified equipment to do this but, after a long time recording some quite big instruments (including the only two 64' organs in the world (one of which can produce a 128' equivalent 4Hz difference tone by using a 64' and a 42 2/3' combination), I'm less convinced that it's actually really necessary to convey a good impression of LF weight. So whilst I might agree that there's often something nice about a well done omni recording of an organ (and I do usually use omnis because when they work, they really do deliver, and there are other things I like about them apart from the frequency response) and I know it's probably not a popular belief flying, as it does, in the face of the received wisdom on this, but I'd say that omnis aren't always the best option and, even when they are, it's rare that a perfectly acceptable recording can't be made using something else.

Also that omnis (even those modified to go extra low) are far from essential to make a good organ recording, even when the organ in question has an 8Hz (or 4Hz!) fundamental. Quite often, something with a bit of directionality (or better still, a choice of polar pattern) can be really useful in working around the compromises of a difficult acoustic, or hard to reach organ, or where there are positional limitations on the mics, and the rolled off LF of a directional mic might be less of a sonic compromise than being forced into putting an omni in a compromised location.

(Ooops. I thought I'd posted this earlier but I just came back to the computer to find it still sitting her and in the meantime that Hugh has said a lot of this in fewer words as usual. Still, having typed it all out I might as well post it.)
forumuser840717
Regular
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:20 pm

Previous