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Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Sampling pipe organs and turning them into something you can play in Hauptwerk.

Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby markusF » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:30 am

Hello,

I want to create my own sample sets. I have already recorded some organs in stereo. My question relates to the microphone position for a 6-channel recording.

Some examples:

1) 3 stereo pairs. 1. relatively close to the organ, 2. roughly in the middle of the church, 3. at the end / chancel of the church? All mics show direction organ?

2) same number and position of the microphones, but medium microphones directed to the side, rear microphones directed backwards to take up more Hall.

I'm not inexperienced in sound recordings, even with organs, but so far only stereo. Therefore, the question of the position and direction of the microphones of channel 3 + 4 and 5 + 6. I know, ultimately it depends on what sounds the best, but a few tips in advance are always helpful. I will only use the sample sets privately.

Many Thanks!
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby josq » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:26 pm

Not an expert opinion, but nevertheless useful I hope...

Some of us use stereo only, maybe because of limited RAM, or because they are using headphones or a stereo pair of speakers only. For that reason I would recommend to start by selecting the optimal position for a normal stereo recording, regardless of what the other positions are going to be. This position should provide an optimal blend of detail and acoustics.

Second, for surround sound, to me it appears that the best option might be to place the "rear" microphones at the same location, but pointing away from the organ into the space, to mainly record the reflected sound.

Third, given 6-channels, I would recommend to place the third set of microphones as close to the organ pipes as reasonably possible. This has two advantages: 1) the option to blend in more detail and direct sound 2) the option to use these "direct" channels as a semi-dry sample set, either for use in reverberant listening spaces or for adding artificial reverberation

This approach should satisfy anyone: those who prefer simple stereo sound, those who use surround, those who experiment with the dry+external reverb approach, and those who want to be able to blend direct and reflected sound in any combination.
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby markusF » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:05 pm

Hi,

Thank you for the tips! That brings me to a very different view.

The previous organ recordings were not for sample sets, but CDs. Here, the results were quite good, if I was with the first stereo pair about 3m away from the organ, and then the remaining microphones (position 2 + 3) mixed in as needed.

The organ I would like to sample is very unfavorable for the organist because he sits right in front of the pipes and really does not notice the surround sound.

As I often play on it, I find it interesting to hear how it sounds in the room. That's why my idea with the 6 channels.

Your tip I find more interesting and opens, as you wrote, quite different options.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby tf11972 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:10 am

1. if not already considered, I recommend to use omnidirectional microphones when recording an organ. These pick up sound equally loudly from everywhere and do not lower the bass like cardioid microphones. These are positioned either on a high tripod or two, depending on how far apart you want to point them. I made good experiences with a V-shaped arrangement on a single tripod using an OSS disk, otherwise you don't get a stereo localization.
2. as josq has already described, in a 6-channel recording you should aim pair 1+2 as close to the pipe mouths as possible, pair 3+4 as far away as the organ case is wide and pair 5+6 very far away and not too close to the walls to avoid unsightly reflections. If in doubt, always try it out!
3 Even if it devours more computer resources, a surround recording on a stereo set or headphones sounds fuller and more spacious.
Best regards
Thomas

www.forestpipes.de
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby markusF » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:38 am

Hello Thomas,

Thank you for the other useful tips! I will gladly include these in my experiments! If anyone is interested, here are the organs that I intend to sample:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yojxn6jqrun1o8a/AADqYeSCg1RO0D6xdX2IiftTa?dl=0

1) Leuggern / Switzerland, Hauser Positive
2) Böttstein / Switzerland, Hauser
3) Klingnau / Switzerland, organ building Geneva
4) Leuggern / Switzerland, Hauser

This will probably be a project over several years. First, I will sample the small positive and see how I get along with the programming. Finally, the big organ of Leuggern will be on the program.

Are there any people who do the programming for Hauptwerk against payment?

Best regards
Markus
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby dkoschinski » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:19 pm

Third, given 6-channels, I would recommend to place the third set of microphones as close to the organ pipes as reasonably possible


I would recommend to use real high-end small-diagram cardoid microphones on channel 1-2 very near to the front in a spread position. With those you will not loose any low frequencies. When you use omni's @ the front, they partly will pick up the room also and the sample will not be as dry as wished. As for channel 3-4 you should use omnidirectional microhones on a large stand in combination with a Jecklin-disc or pointed in AB on a microphone bridge from 90cm. (or taller). The position of the channel 5-6 omni-directional micropones very far away (in a room with large acoustics = 6-8 seconds) depends on the acoustic roll-off and in particular how the low frequencies reflect through the space. You should try the best position in the back. For large rooms these microphones are absolutely necessary. To record a small positive in a medium-dry room small-diagram cardoid microphones are recommended also, because they offer more definition.

Kind regards, Danny
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby murph » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:43 pm

I always find it highly frustrating when omnis are used to record rear channels. When siting at the bench/wherever, you do not hear the pipe direct sound coming from the rear walls, so why do sample-set producers think it sounds good? To me it's wrong.

My 2c.
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby dkoschinski » Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:21 am

I always find it highly frustrating when omnis are used to record rear channels. When siting at the bench/wherever, you do not hear the pipe direct sound coming from the rear walls, so why do sample-set producers think it sounds good? To me it's wrong.


We use omni's because they pick up the acoustics much better as cardoid microphones. But the main reason is that omni's pick up a better low frequency response. In most cases the bass is rolling through the rearsection.
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby Jan Loosman » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:31 am

Why can't we record the front channels 1-2 direct and the 3-4 diffuse channels on the same position/distance from the organ.
The sonic difference in these channels would then be achieved by the sort mic. you use.
For the direct channels use ultra directional mics (callibrated for the lower frequencies falloff??)
and for the diffuse channels use omni.
I don't know if ultra directional mics.from a distance can achieve the same result as mics situated near the organ pipes.
If this gives comparable results then the advantages are many.
Mixing front perspectives would give far better sonic results because the recordings are perfectly timed and in phase and have the same stereo image of the organ front.
I have no experience with recording samples but i do have experience with perspective mixing and i am not always content with the results.
Could this be a option??

Regards Jan
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby Legro » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:38 am

Dear Markus,

6-channel recordings are not the only way to reproduce organs in their acoustic environment, and as you can read in various forum posts, they are not always satisfactory.
 
With stereo recordings, the spatial information is determined in both width and depth.
Mixing different stereo recordings from different positions entails the risk that conflicting information about the spatial positioning of the direct sound of the organ pipes is combined.
A direct stereo recording from close by gives a much wider view of the organ than a recording from a distance. Especially when applying time-of-arrival stereo-phony, you should expect conflict with undesirable results due to phase impurity.
You have the best chance of mixing well if you limit yourself to pure Intensity stereo-phony: XY, Blumlein, Mid-side.

As far as the main line is concerned, I agree with JosQ's advice.

For the direct sound, because of the phase purity when mixed with the other positions I would use single point stereo and certainly no A-B or ORTF and the like. I have good experience with cardioid microphones in XY setup. I would place the microphones at a distance from the organ front, about half the width of the organ case. This gives you a semi-dry recording with the first reflections within the organ case included and with few reflections from the church room.
The resulting stereo signal is mono and mid-side compatible. Software-wise, the sound image can be moved forward and backward by variation of the mid and side components without phase shifts(1).

For the microphones at a greater distance from the organ, I would also choose an XY setup both forwards and backwards. Although the distance to the organ makes it less critical, it is best to keep the microphones close together. I would certainly not use A-B if you want to be able to mix with the direct sound.

Be aware that applying wet samples in Hauptwerk makes things a lot more complex. There are many more samples that need to be edited, it requires the use of multi-release samples, among other things, and you can also ask yourself whether this is the best way to simulate acoustics.
I see Hauptwerk more as a simulator of the organ as such. For simulating the organ in the room, you could also suffice with the direct (Semi-dry) recording in combination with an acoustic simulation program and impulse responses that you can record yourself from the positions of the chosen microphone setup.

Kind regards,

Bas

(1)For example using the VST link from Hauptwerk, the program "Cantabile" as a vst host and the vst plugin "Proximity" from Tokyo Dawn Labs. (For those who want to experience: I have recorded the Onderhorst cabinet organ this way. This is available for free via my website. Cantabile LE and Proximity can also both be downloaded for free).
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby dkoschinski » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:29 pm

AB, XY, Blumlein, Mid-side are all techniques which can be used and from which a choice can be made.
But: the technique to be used depends on a) the size of the room b) the size and location of the organ in the room c) acoustics (how large are the acoustics and how does it relate to the room and to the perfect listening-position of the organ) d) what is the best listening position of the organ, etc.
I think it is too short-sighted to reject AB in advance for a recording of each organ in any church. It is a fact that a recording of real acoustics is much more realistic than IR or other simulation methods. However, it requires more skills and insight. During recording, but certainly also when processing/ denoising, mixing and cutting the samples. Yes, multiple releases are necessary (incidentally always when recording spaces with >3 seconds of acoustics) and phase differences can occur, but this is surmountable. However, very good microphones, preamps and A/D converters will help to get the job done well. But in large spaces you absolutely will need omni microphones to record the rear, because with only cardoid microphones the proximity effect can occur. And the proximity effect can't be removed from the recording with any software !
I myself always record in large spaces in 4-6 tracks (very close with cardoid microphones, further away with omni and perhaps even further away also with omni). The distances between the different microphone positions can be calculated and/or you must rely on hearing. What is the best place to put them (the so-called sweet spot)? Afterwards I dub the four rear channels back to one stereotrack. The recording in the front is in my opinion the most important and the rear recording only adds something to the front. Also the final sound-level difference between the final front and rear samples in Hauptwerk are important. Which stops should sound more diffuse as others ? These are important questions to answer (and think about!) to achieve the best possible result.
But again, these are all opinions and experiences. No room or organ is the same and it depends entirely on these factors. An organ in a relatively small church (such as Onderhorst) therefore requires a very different approach than recording in a large basilica with 6 seconds reverberation. And in that case: yes, XY and mid-side might be the best techniques @ Onderhorst, but not for everywhere.
In this video (https://youtu.be/4WF8TvXAqvw) you can hear the spatial difference between chosen cardoid and omni microphones . And here (http://www.homerecording.be/forum/attachments/f47/5394d1272655290-fragment-2_c42mp-r88.mp3) is a recording made in Ieper (Belgium) on a large stand with also a large brigde (and omni-mics in AB setting). A mid-side technique would not have been desirable in this large church.

Kind regards, Danny
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby murph » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:07 pm

Q: If using omnis for rears, do you use a baffle to stop the direct sound from the pipes?
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby sjkartchner » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:38 pm

murph wrote:Q: If using omnis for rears, do you use a baffle to stop the direct sound from the pipes?


Not sure you need a baffle. Omnis are only truly omnidirectional in the lower frequencies. So not enough higher frequency information would enter the back sides of an omni pair located in the rear of the space and pointing away from the pipes to record much if any of the direct sound. It seems to me the larger challenge would be to properly align the time domains of the multiple mic pairs in post.
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Re: Positions for 6 Channel Recording

Postby dkoschinski » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:10 am

Not sure you need a baffle. Omnis are only truly omnidirectional in the lower frequencies. So not enough higher frequency information would enter the back sides of an omni pair located in the rear of the space and pointing away from the pipes to record much if any of the direct sound. It seems to me the larger challenge would be to properly align the time domains of the multiple mic pairs in post.

Yes, that's true. You don't need a baffle because omni's don't pickup much from the direct sound if pointed away from the organfront and/or placed in the rear of the church. In most cases you use them to pick up the low and low-mid frequencies which move around in the rear of a large room. Because sound is moving with 331m/sec. the time difference for microphones placed 30 metres from the organfront will be 30/331= 0,1 sec. But the real starting point of the (front)sample is of course the main attack of the front samples. This point, plus the mentioned time delay, will be the final starting point for the rear sample.
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