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professionally recording pipes (solo and duet)
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Author:  valium [ Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  professionally recording pipes (solo and duet)

Hi all,
this year I'm going to record a few tracks for a mini cd in my home studio.
About half of the tracks will be pipes solo (3/4 concert set), the rest will include duet with banjo, fiddle and guitar.
As audio interface I will use a fast track ultra 8r (quite good preamps I think), but I have a lot of doubts about microphones models and setting, as I have to buy them! (I have only some sm57)
I want to obtain the best and more real sound I can, with no more than 700 euros for the microphones.
As a guide, the ideal sound I'm looking for would be the one you hear in Mick O'brien and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh cds... :)

In the pipes solo tracks, I was thinking about using 2 decent large condenser mics, like the one here ... rodID=1389
one for the chanter, the other for drones and regs.
Or, will it be a good idea to record with stereophonic techniques?

For the duets I will use the same mics. Again, I don't know if stereo will be a good choise.

I will try to record all in the same time; maybe I will add drones later. My aim is to record the performance, not to "build" it with separate tracks. I'll try to keep me away from effects and editing: just good mics, good room, good mics setting. And good music!

Every comment and suggestion is really welcome!
and sorry for the bad english...

Author:  KevinNot10 [ Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: professionally recording pipes (solo and duet)

The Mick O'Brien and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh CDs are not very complicated from a sound recording perspective. They were probably done with a total of three mics: one for the fiddle, one for the chanter and one for the drones/regs. The three mics were isolated from one another as much as possible and each was fed into a different track. The mixing is then a simple pan of the chanter to one ear (left if I recall correctly) and the fiddle to the other with the drones remaining more or less in the centre. Unfortunately, I cannot be of much help with regards to what types of mics you would need, but three strikes me as the right number for what you are trying to do.

I don't know about your part of the world, but here in Canada it is really easy to rent sound equipment from music stores for very reasonable rates (1 month rental for <10% of retail value). Perhaps you should look into rentals as an alternative to purchasing.

Author:  highland-piper [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: professionally recording pipes (solo and duet)

I'm not a big fan of AT mics. Nothing wrong with them I'm sure, and I actually have one for my camcorder. My best mics are Marshal Electronics (MXL). They're great, especially for the price.

I've done a bit of experimenting with recording my highland pipes in my home studio. Here's what's given me the best results so far:

1 condenser (MXL 990) pointed at the chanter, level with the D hole, from a few feet away, run through an ART tube pre-amp.

2 condenser mics (MXL 603s) in a 120 degree configuarion, at ear level, about 4 feet behind me.

1 budget condenser mic across the room, near the ceiling, pointed away from the pipes at the wall.

That last one will only be productive if your room sounds good.

Your pipes have a slightly different configuration; you can choose between mic'ing the stuff separate or using a stereo pair. If you use a stereo pair you can experiment between an XY configuration and an OTRF configuration. In XY you allign the diaphragms. In OTRF you align the bases and spread the capsules. I suspect XY would work better on your pipes.

With only two microphones, if you have a good sounding room, an OTRF configuration from across the room might be the best. It just depends on the sound you're going for -- with close mic'ing you'll get a harsher, more "in your face" kind of sound, and hear more of the mechanical (keys, fingers, strings) sound. With stereo mic'ing you get a blended sound, and you'll hear the room.

Hope that helps. I really need to get a multi-track interface. All of my stuff gets mixed down to stereo and recorded on my H4. The MXL 603s is an outstanding value. They come in matched pairs for stereo recording, and can record just about anything. I originally bought them for recording string quartet.

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