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Gear for classical music

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Gear for classical music

Postby guttenor » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:30 am

Could someone please recommend a couple of good mics for recording classical music, mostly chamber music, songs, organ music and piano music. I have a Zoom F6 in my possession. I compose quite a lot of music and this is mainly the music I'm interested in recording. And, yes, I want to reach a wide classical audience, so the sound quality needs to be excellent. I plan to upload my music to Spotify among other places. Bare in mind, I will not be able to spend a huge amount of money. Is a pair of Omni mics the recommended mics in this case?

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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby forumuser840717 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:46 am

Budget?

Bearing in mind that you'll probably want a resonably tall and stable stand, maybe a stereo bar, a couple of decent (Rycote Invision) shockmounts and, assuming that you might want to record live sometimes, some nice long cables (or one long stereo cable for ease/speed of rigging) so you don't have to leave your recorder clamped to the mic stand where some light fingered audience member or other passing herbert might pinch it.

So long as you don't buy really awful mics, sound quality is likely to be more a question of where you perform the music and where you put the mics rather than the actual mics themselves. Pick the right venue for the performance and style of music and put the right kind of mics in the right place and surprisingly good results are possible with even a pretty modest pair of mics. Better mics just open up a few more options and make life a little easier.

Omnis are great if you have the kind of performers and venues that let you make full use of them but they can be limiting if the performance or room are less than excellent.

If the budget will run to it, maybe consider a modular mic system (with interchangeable capsules) or mics with switchable polar patterns, as the latter will give you more options in terms of recording techniques and mic posiitioning and the former can give you the option of expanding the setup later with additional capsules to achive the same increase in your options.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby guttenor » Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:03 am

Ive already got a couple of stands. My budget will probably be around 1200€ per mic. By the way Ive also got a couple of low budget cardioid mics (akg 535 Eb) if these would be beneficial in addition to the mics I plan to purchase.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby guttenor » Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:11 am

Im mean a Zoom F6 have six i inputs for mics, so if Ive got four mics I though it could possibly be advantageous To use all four of them.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby Arpangel » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:37 am

guttenor wrote:Ive already got a couple of stands. My budget will probably be around 1200€ per mic. By the way Ive also got a couple of low budget cardioid mics (akg 535 Eb) if these would be beneficial in addition to the mics I plan to purchase.

You could use the AKG's as spot mic's, if you need them.
If you could stretch your budget a bit, I always recommend the Sennheiser MKH series, great mic's and very versatile. You could look out for secondhand ones, companies like Pink Noise sometimes have used ones.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:11 am

Yes; I'd almost always use a pair of spaced omnis for this type of recording.

Check-out the Line-Audio OM1 (omni) and CM4 (wide cardioid) mics. (Regard the CM4 as an omni, but with an attenuated pickup to the rear - great where you want to reduce audience noise a bit while retaining most of the benefits of an omni.)

Incredible value for money and superb for classical music. Not hyped or tweaked at all. Small, black and discrete too!

Available here:

https://www.nohypeaudio.com/lineaudioproducts.htm

and here:

https://www.pinknoise-systems.co.uk/brand-line-audio.html

Recommended without reservation.

And as far as stands go, because they're so light the Line-Audios are more more than secure atop these extenders:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/km_2000530055.htm

Not, of course, as boom extenders! :o only on 'vertical' stands. They give added height while being slim and inconspicuous. Again, thoroughly recommended!
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby John Willett » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:46 pm

I specialise in classical recording.

At that price bracket you could (just about) get a stereo set of both omni and cardioid mics.

EG: Gefell M300 / M320 or Neumann KM184 / KM183 - a pair of each would cover most things you can do with classical. Schoeps, Sennheiser and DPA are also excellent but, I think, come above budget.

EG: ORTF or XY cardioid pair / spaced omnis (excelelnt for solo piano or organ) or a "phased array" of an ORTF pair with omni outriggers spaced at about 60cm.

The Line Audio mics mentioned are excellent and punch well above their weight at a pretty low price.

The Sennheiser MKH series are excellent (and I have many of these myself) but are higher than budget.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby rggillespie » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:23 am

I can give a recommendation for the Rode TF5 cardioid pair, and it seems to be in your price range. I've found them to be excellent with everything I've put in front them. Though my experience is not wide as others on this forum, particularly with classical recording demands. The various reviews outline the Tony Faulkner connection in their development. Rode themselves have retailers on their website, and I found the cheapest price there, a pair in a sale. Worth putting on your shortlist perhaps?
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:44 am

The OP mentioned organ music, maybe omni's would be a better choice also for choirs, if I’m right, generally, the bass seems to be more extended with omni's, important for organ music.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby soundslikewillem » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:01 am

John Willett wrote:I specialise in classical recording.

At that price bracket you could (just about) get a stereo set of both omni and cardioid mics.

EG: Gefell M300 / M320 or Neumann KM184 / KM183 - a pair of each would cover most things you can do with classical. Schoeps, Sennheiser and DPA are also excellent but, I think, come above budget.

EG: ORTF or XY cardioid pair / spaced omnis (excelelnt for solo piano or organ) or a "phased array" of an ORTF pair with omni outriggers spaced at about 60cm.

The Line Audio mics mentioned are excellent and punch well above their weight at a pretty low price.

The Sennheiser MKH series are excellent (and I have many of these myself) but are higher than budget.

I totally agree and would like to add a pair of Sony C100's as a good microphone choice since their switchable polar pattern gives you already the omni and cardioid perspective in one microphone. They are large diaphragm microphones and their stereo imaging is more diffuse and less exact than a small diaphragm microphone but I often find that more musical sounding.
Their recessed lower mid range helps a lot when close mic'ing acoustic instruments and their smooth sensitive and natural high end is very well suited for distant microphone placement. I usually don't use any eq with them at mixdown and leave the recording as is.
Oh , and don't focus on it's high noise floor in the specifications when you check them out. In practice you won't have any problems with that.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby John Willett » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:37 am

Arpangel wrote:The OP mentioned organ music, maybe omni's would be a better choice also for choirs, if I’m right, generally, the bass seems to be more extended with omni's, important for organ music.

Yes - cardioid and other directional mics tend to start rolling off the bass at about 50 or 60Hz. An omni is flat down to at least 20Hz and good ones can go much lower.

The lowest fundamental on a pipe organ is 16Hz.
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:52 am

The lowest fundamental on a pipe organ is 16Hz.

True, for a 32 foot pedal stop. If the 32 foot stop is the only 32 foot in the pedal division, it is likely to be a 'resultant bass' stop, which is the mixing product of two physically shorter pipes, a fifth apart.

When it becomes interesting is when you have 'true' 32 foot stops and the composer mixes them in fifths! For example, years ago I was practising for a concert and had the pedal artillery out, 32 foot diapasons and a 32 foot reed bombarde. The work by Jean Langlais, finished on full organ, playing two pedal notes, a fifth apart, simultaneously, for the final few bars. The resultant harmonics caused a coach driver, parked outside, to come in, shout from down below the organ loft, and complain that I was shaking the windows out of his coach!
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Re: Gear for classical music

Postby John Willett » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:49 pm

Trevor Johnson wrote:.... years ago I was practising for a concert and had the pedal artillery out, 32 foot diapasons and a 32 foot reed bombarde. The work by Jean Langlais, finished on full organ, playing two pedal notes, a fifth apart, simultaneously, for the final few bars. The resultant harmonics caused a coach driver, parked outside, to come in, shout from down below the organ loft, and complain that I was shaking the windows out of his coach!

He shouldn't have parked there then ;) :bouncy:
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