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Author Topic: Recording Singing bowls and gongs  (Read 3419 times)

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Offline SacredMetal

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Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« on: September 27, 2016, 02:58:16 PM »
* Pics of actual setups in Rig Pic forum thread*

Well I joined up yesterday and have been reading as a guest for sometime now, but I am not finding quite what I am looking for.
I am one of those oddball setups of course but could use some help.

I have been recording my own "concerts" and events for the past 2 years or so which are of me playing "Tibetan" singing bowls & Gongs as well as bells & Native American flute (on occasion)
I started with a Zoom H6 and used the X/Y capsules mostly when I started.
Then I picked up a pair of Rode NT-1 mikes. I tried some MXL mikes, but hated them. Tried a few others with not much success, they all just didn't sound right.

BTW, I tried several recorders out before settling on the H6 So I have spent quite a bit of time refining the setup.

Since I am my own roadie & sound man, I mostly only have time for a quick setup & see if I can get someone to do sound check by striking some of my gongs & bowls while I make adjustments & then off I go to play.

Its not like i can babysit my setup once I start & of course I am the only one that understands or even gets what I am doing or trying to do.


Ok now you know my background (or a little or it) I am trying to capture as much of the sounds dynamic range as possible without hard clipping. Of course the gongs can get wild, that's part of their nature (and mine).

I usually run 4 mikes spaced X/Y Zoom mikes & NT-1's a little further out or one of the sets towards the bowls & the other away so I can blend later in the mix.

The balance can be quite good or absolutely unusable but at least I have options. I like being able to run up to 6 mikes on the H6 but feel an F4 or F8 is where I need to go to next due to better quality.


SOOOO There's a lot here to digest & i will post pics of what I have been doing but I need to start somewhere. so here it is.

The questions in order:

F4 or F8? I can probably get by with F4 with power box for mikes
Battery back up options?
Considering trying Bartlett PZM's near the bowls to help cut down gong bleed through
other mike choices without breaking the bank?
Stands can get in the way which is another reason for possibly going PZM
F8 & ipad might be a great way to monitor rig while I'm in drivers seat playing but I can't get lost in the gear otherwise it screws up my set (be nice if I had a roadie...)

Well there you have it. Just trying to improve my sound that I am capturing.

Thanks

« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 07:00:54 PM by SacredMetal »
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Offline rocksuitcase

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2016, 03:19:21 PM »
Quote
The questions in order:

F4 or F8? I can probably get by with F4 with power box for mikes
Battery back up options?
Considering trying Bartlett PZM's near the bowls to help cut down gong bleed through
other mike choices without breaking the bank?
Stands can get in the way which is another reason for possibly going PZM
F8 & ipad might be a great way to monitor rig while I'm in drivers seat playing but I can't get lost in the gear otherwise it screws up my set (be nice if I had a roadie...)

I don't use either, but the F4/F8 are sweet machines. I think you can get channels 5/6 into the F4 using digi in? others can add to that. We own a Tascam DR680 which does have 6 Mic pre's (4 XLR, 2 1/4 inch) plus the ability to add 2 more digi in channels. (cheaper than an F8, but I guess the stock pre-amps are also "cheaper").
Batteries can be had for either, mostly of the DVD Li-On varieties. I prefer SLA types, but I'm not afraid of the weight.
PZM's under or over the main part of your rig should be a good variation. Maybe small-ish DPA's such as the ones which clip to instruments?

There is a user here, M0k3, who has done a lot of recording of "eastern" style music and might have some good ideas for you re mic deployments. (some of which might be "different"- like jecklin discs etc).
I would bet he has some pertinent ideas about your type of setup.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2016, 04:38:41 PM »
Interesting request. Please allow me to ask a few questions which should help us all advise you:

>Is the general arrangement of bowls and gongs shown in the first photo typical of your performance setup or does it vary significantly from performance to performance?
>Are you always performing in the same room, use a few regular locations, or do you not know much about the performance space until you arrive to setup?
>If usually in the same room or a few known locations, what is the sound quality like in those spaces? Specifically:
     How large is the room?  How live sounding or dead sounding is the room?  How quiet is the room?  Is there significant HVAC (air conditioning) hum and vent noise? Buzzing lights? Other noise?
>What is the audience like? Are they usually in quiet contemplative meditative states laying on the floor as in the photos? Seated? Are they ever noisy? Talking or walking around?  Other audible distractions?
>Does your typical performance consist of one seamless piece or a number of different pieces with "non-performance time" in between each?
>And last but not least, what is your goal in recording and the intended use of the recordings? 
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline voltronic

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2016, 10:28:18 PM »
Given the very strong harmonics of the bowls and gongs, I'd want to keep this to as few mics as possible; preferably one stereo pair only.  With 4 or 6 mics, I would worry that the nature of the harmonic content combined with the very long sustain could introduce some phase artifacts with multiple pairs if you're not very careful.  The first thing I'd try would be cardiods in ORTF or DIN up rather high depending on the ceiling height and width of the walls in the room, angled down to your ensemble and situated in the position where a conductor would be.

If you're in a larger, more reverberant space with high ceilings, then I'd try a simple spaced omni pair, starting 40-60cm and adjusting from there.  If it's a small room with low ceilings, a pair of fig8s in the classic Faulkner phased array (20 cm spacing, aimed straight ahead) could work for you to put the close boundary reflections in the nulls of the mics.

If a stand in front of you would be in the way, you might consider placing it near where you will be while performing, and using a boom arm, having the mics hanging over top of you and pointing down.

I don't think you necessarily need to upgrade your recorder for what you're doing.  You might be better served saving that money toward new mics down the road.

A question for you: I've always loved prayer bowls, and have considered purchasing one myself.  Can you point me towards a maker / supplier of something that is quality, but reasonably priced?
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2016, 01:22:32 AM »
Quote
The questions in order:

F4 or F8? I can probably get by with F4 with power box for mikes
Battery back up options?
Considering trying Bartlett PZM's near the bowls to help cut down gong bleed through
other mike choices without breaking the bank?
Stands can get in the way which is another reason for possibly going PZM
F8 & ipad might be a great way to monitor rig while I'm in drivers seat playing but I can't get lost in the gear otherwise it screws up my set (be nice if I had a roadie...)

I don't use either, but the F4/F8 are sweet machines. I think you can get channels 5/6 into the F4 using digi in? others can add to that. We own a Tascam DR680 which does have 6 Mic pre's (4 XLR, 2 1/4 inch) plus the ability to add 2 more digi in channels. (cheaper than an F8, but I guess the stock pre-amps are also "cheaper").
Batteries can be had for either, mostly of the DVD Li-On varieties. I prefer SLA types, but I'm not afraid of the weight.
PZM's under or over the main part of your rig should be a good variation. Maybe small-ish DPA's such as the ones which clip to instruments?

There is a user here, M0k3, who has done a lot of recording of "eastern" style music and might have some good ideas for you re mic deployments. (some of which might be "different"- like jecklin discs etc).
I would bet he has some pertinent ideas about your type of setup.

Thanks for reply

I'll look up M0k3 to see what they have to say.
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2016, 02:08:08 AM »
To answer your questions I will respond in different color


>Is the general arrangement of bowls and gongs shown in the first photo typical of your performance setup or does it vary significantly from performance to performance?
yes & no on setup some is dependent on room and where people can layout for the event Think yoga style on mats facing me (the attendees). The pics were to give you an idea of what I might setup. I can build a 12'wide x 8'tall wall of gongs & still have a few in other stands. I rarely do that due to its big heavy & hard to work with, plus its a lot of running around. Bowls usually on floor & gongs behind me then I place mikes & stands.  They then lay around as best as possible. I have not had any issues yet with bumping or anyone touching the gear. Very respectful community!
Also I can sometimes be in the center of the room & they lay all around rather than one end. It can make things complicated for a taper. But I try different setups as I go; some work great, some not so well...


>Are you always performing in the same room, use a few regular locations, or do you not know much about the performance space until you arrive to setup?
I play in several states in the upper Midwest so some spaces I have been to & can setup the same. Some I have never been in or I may have but they may have moved us around, so setup changes based on what they give me to use. Sometimes I am flanked by others act so I setup, Play, then do a partial tear down & finish up later. The recording gear is just for me & my act.

>If usually in the same room or a few known locations, what is the sound quality like in those spaces? Specifically:
I have had pretty good results with a couple places i love to play in. One we call The Pyramid > it's a pyramid shaped building, very high ceiling walls non parallel, so great sounding room for gongs & the bowls.

How large is the room?  How live sounding or dead sounding is the room?  How quiet is the room?  Is there significant HVAC (air conditioning) hum and vent noise? Buzzing lights? Other noise?
All varies & that is a big problem. Once did a gig & there was a guy running his truck keeping it warm because he was doing deliveries for a sandwich shop (it was -10F outside) In those cases I was using Audition CC for repair & am now considering RX5 instead.

>What is the audience like? Are they usually in quiet contemplative meditative states laying on the floor as in the photos? Seated? Are they ever noisy? Talking or walking around?  Other audible distractions?
usual coughing & occasional snoring but mostly quiet. Sometimes someone chants or sings but that is not an issue unless they are horrible. Then that's an issue. In spectrum mode in Audition I can usually get that down pretty good unless they follow the sound I am creating then it gets tougher to paint it out with the tools.

>Does your typical performance consist of one seamless piece or a number of different pieces with "non-performance time" in between each?
One long piece with me meditating or chanting in the beginning & then again at the end. Some variation from time to time. Depends on what the mood in the space is.

>And last but not least, what is your goal in recording and the intended use of the recordings?
CD quality afterwards my attendees want copies of the performance so they could "relive" it just as we would from a live Dead or other band. I was a taper at Dead shows back in the late 70's/earlier 80's on the east coast. So I know a few things but forgot some too. I sell CD's at events of my "studio" stuff, but some want live. I have over 100G's recorded of my concerts & events. But am at a point now where i could use some people to bounce ideas off of. In the grand scheme it really is not much different than what you all are doing, just a little trickier sometimes due to the instrument setup.

The 1st thing is to create an environment that they the audience cannot get elsewhere. Then create an ambiance that takes them out of their bodies without external stimulation (ie. Drugs or alcohol). What I do really messes with the mind, but in a good way. I studied sound in the 70's, worked with it on & off for the past 40 years but had a corporate computer job for the past 25 or so. Got laid off & have been doing this full time or as much as I can to make my living. Its fun & I actually have a small following & its growing so I want to give them what they want & also I like to listen to what I did so I can make it better each time. Like The Dead, no two shows are the same!

Thanks!!! Great questions, I know I'm in the right place now.

[/quote]
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 06:58:32 PM by SacredMetal »
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 02:31:29 AM »
Given the very strong harmonics of the bowls and gongs, I'd want to keep this to as few mics as possible; preferably one stereo pair only.  With 4 or 6 mics, I would worry that the nature of the harmonic content combined with the very long sustain could introduce some phase artifacts with multiple pairs if you're not very careful.  The first thing I'd try would be cardiods in ORTF or DIN up rather high depending on the ceiling height and width of the walls in the room, angled down to your ensemble and situated in the position where a conductor would be.

If you're in a larger, more reverberant space with high ceilings, then I'd try a simple spaced omni pair, starting 40-60cm and adjusting from there.  If it's a small room with low ceilings, a pair of fig8s in the classic Faulkner phased array (20 cm spacing, aimed straight ahead) could work for you to put the close boundary reflections in the nulls of the mics.

If a stand in front of you would be in the way, you might consider placing it near where you will be while performing, and using a boom arm, having the mics hanging over top of you and pointing down.

I don't think you necessarily need to upgrade your recorder for what you're doing.  You might be better served saving that money toward new mics down the road.

A question for you: I've always loved prayer bowls, and have considered purchasing one myself.  Can you point me towards a maker / supplier of something that is quality, but reasonably priced?

I started going with 4-6 mics due to I was not covering the bowls well enough. I tried this for almost 1 year & it always seemed to lose the end bowls or the smaller ones during quiet passages. I bring it up later but I also bring up a lot of noise. So the extra mics helped & since I give them all separate channels, i can decide how to mix it later.

Choice of mics would be an interesting discussion.

I bought the Rode NT-1's so I could have them modified by Michael Joly.

Originally I was going to go with Busman but I waited & his prices jumped up quite a bit so I went this route.

The Fathead's I just picked up used from GC & almost "stole" them. They were near new & hardly used and I got a great deal on them so...

Another reason was my singing bowl & gong teacher likes to record with ribbons, since he's been doing this much longer than I, I decided to give it a whirl. We have discussed different recording concepts but he is more of a record one bowl at a time guy & hardly records live. I can do that but it loses the essence of what I am doing.


As far as your last question, we can take that offline, I import and sell bowls. I also teach singing bowl & gong classes.  I have also imported most of my gongs. Its all part of the business...

on FB I am known as The Singing Bowl Guy.

Thanks for asking & again, good questions I might try some of them out. The bigger problem is time. I usually get an hour or two beforehand for setup & it usually is just me. Then I get same amount on back end for teardown. The gear setup is the last thing, but I do the best I can in the time constraints. If I have to move chairs or tables, then I'm screwed & usually run out of time. I know I should take more time but there is only me & i am not young or big... (yes, gongs are really heavy, trust me)
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 01:01:57 PM »
The microphone technique and microphones used are going to have the biggest influence on the sound of your recordings.  I suggest optimizing those things before focusing your energies elsewhere.  The recorder is much further down the list of things which matter most, mostly playing a support roll.  Your Zoom H6 should suffice, and with 4 external inputs plus it's X/Y mic you are well covered with sufficient inputs.

You'll need to find an appropriate balance of achieving the sound you want while doing so in a practical, easily managed, and non-intrusive way.

My first inclination is to treat this like mic'ing a percussionist with a pair of spaced overhead mics.  To my way of thinking, this music is all about envelopment and space, movement and resonance, rather than sharply defined, dry pinpoint-stereo imaging, and those attributes will be best conveyed by mic techniques which use space between the microphones.  Some phase interaction here is going to be desirable in conveying a sense of "tangible there-ness".  Simplest will be two mics suspended overhead, spaced apart so as to have approximately equal pickup of the the bowls to either side.  Basically just above and a foot or two away from either side of your head, and  out as far in front of the gongs as from the bowls on the floor.  That will achieve a natural live sounding ambience as well as an even stereo pickup of all sound sources, including the flute, your chanting and whatever else you choose to do.  Omnidirectional mics will be best for this, assuming the room sounds decent.  Cardioid mics facing downwards can work if the room doesn't sound good or there are loud vents at the ceiling, but will not sound as big, full, enveloping, live and natural, and are not as easily placed.   You can of course use mic stands for this, but I'd consider two telescopic or articulating arms clamped to the top bars or uprights of your gong support structures.  That's going to be less cluttered, gets the wires out of the way, and opens space for your free movement during the performance.

I'd like to try three omnis in a Decca-tree like arrangement overhead.  That's a traditional technique used for classical recording using three overhead omnis in a triangle formation.  The 3rd mic positioned at the central vertex of the triangle is mixed to both channels equally, filling out the center.  For large scale orchestra recording it's a largish triangle placed above the conductor's head pointing towards the back of the orchestra. In this case I'd turn the triangle around from that typical orientation so the base of the triangle is toward the gongs and the apex is slightly out in front of you, and should clearly capture the flute, your chanting and any dialog, and the sources out in front.

But because suspending that third mic overhead would be a hassle, I think I'd combine the spaced overhead omni pair with the Zoom X/Y mic placed just out in front and facing back towards you.  That needn't be high above looking down, it could be relatively low to the floor, just not overly close to the bowls immediately around it.  You'd then have even pickup of all sound sources around you, achive a deep, wide and enveloping ambience from the spaced overhead mics, and a solid upfront and clear center image from the X/Y mics in front.  You'll gain good control over balance and depth afterwards via adjusting level balance and eq between the overheads and the X/Y.

Your Rodes are good quality large diaphragm cardioid mics, and you can use them to try out these ideas before buying other gear, but I'd take a look at some small diaphragm omnis or subcardioids.  Their small size will make them much easier to mount and suspend where you want them, and the small diaphragm size also makes for better ambient pickup of sound arriving from off-axis.  Plus your recording kit will be significantly lighter and smaller, and you've got alot of stuff to carry already.  There are numerous mics that would work well.  A couple which come to mind are the Line Audio OM1 (omni) and CM3 (cardioid, yet really more of a sub-cardioid, which is probably a good choice for this).  I've not used them, but they sound very nice on recordings I've heard, are inexpensive and are very small, being not much larger than an XLR connector.

Grab a couple Superclamps and articulated or telescopic extension arms (search for "clamping" threads here at taperssection for option details, or we can point you to them) and give the spaced overhead idea a try using your Rodes, with the X/Y Zoom mic out in front front facing you.  I expect that will work nicely and should be pretty easily manageable.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 01:09:12 PM »
On the PZM idea- 

I'm a strong proponent of the boundary mounting technique for microphones where it make sense, and have had good results with it.  It can be a real problem solver. PZM mics are dedicated boundary layer microphones, and are pretty rugged for use on the floor, but there are others which aren't called "PZM", and any small omnidirectional microphone can be mounted directly against a boundary and will essentially work the same way.  Boundary mounted mics can sound natural and can deal well with taming the unruly reverberance of a space while still sounding clear, but will pickup everything in the room.  The problem in this case is that the obvious boundary to be used is the floor, and placement of the mics on the floor will make them is very close to some sources and much farther from others.  Too much so.  You could possibly place four boundary mics more or less evenly spaced around the floor and mix the resulting channels together,  which sounds somewhat like what you are doing now.  That will achieve a very close, upfront, deep and resonant sound from the closest sources, but will be trickier to get even coverage, and managing the sense of depth and overall balance may be more difficult.  Also, the nature of boundary mounting combined with placement on the floor, means they will be get a clear recording of sounds emanating from the ceiling, where noisy air conditioner vents and buzzy fluorescent lights often hang out.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 06:40:44 PM »
On the PZM idea- 

I'm a strong proponent of the boundary mounting technique for microphones where it make sense, and have had good results with it.  It can be a real problem solver. PZM mics are dedicated boundary layer microphones, and are pretty rugged for use on the floor, but there are others which aren't called "PZM", and any small omnidirectional microphone can be mounted directly against a boundary and will essentially work the same way.  Boundary mounted mics can sound natural and can deal well with taming the unruly reverberance of a space while still sounding clear, but will pickup everything in the room.  The problem in this case is that the obvious boundary to be used is the floor, and placement of the mics on the floor will make them is very close to some sources and much farther from others.  Too much so.  You could possibly place four boundary mics more or less evenly spaced around the floor and mix the resulting channels together,  which sounds somewhat like what you are doing now.  That will achieve a very close, upfront, deep and resonant sound from the closest sources, but will be trickier to get even coverage, and managing the sense of depth and overall balance may be more difficult.  Also, the nature of boundary mounting combined with placement on the floor, means they will be get a clear recording of sounds emanating from the ceiling, where noisy air conditioner vents and buzzy fluorescent lights often hang out.

All good points. A/C has & always will be an issue no matter what I use. The lights are usually turned down or out so depending on dimmer employed that would determine buzz factor. I could always put a filter on the bottom end going in but then I lose some of the bottom end of the gongs. My (2) 40" gongs > one goes down to 18hz, the other around 13hz. Yes they can get stupid low. I have an analyzer program I use for measuring the frequency and harmonics of my bowls for when I sell them.

I have been in conversation with Bruce Barlett recently about their mics. He thinks (2) spaced at my knees going outward should do it. Facing them towards the bowls would also allow me to use my body as a barrier from the gongs as well. I can layer the bowls as to have the smaller ones in front (by me) and stagger size & depth going away. I can also raise the back row on cork blocks for easy reach when playing. I can supply some mic placement pics of different setups.

Again its in constant change & can be some crazy setup's sometimes depending on location & event type.

I'm a slave to audio editing and repair programs for cleaning these up. I don't get much room noise but movement & clothing noise sometimes is a factor besides the occasional stick drop or stand bang (opps). Coughs well we all have to deal with that.

But running a 80hz filter to remove HVAC rumble kinda bothers me, I suppose I could try it & see what it does on one set of mikes for comparison. Then what about something like an Audio Control EpiCenter (I used to work in car stereo many years ago also) to help restore lost bass? Just thinking outside the box here.

I actually try so lay out the bowls for best sound interaction with each other, ease of playing and how well they sound in the room.

I'll post more pics as I dig them up. Feel free to comment. There's been some great dialog so far  & you guyz really have my wheels turning. I was just about ready to buy a whole new setup but now I'm back to refining what I have & seeing what I can change to make it work better for now.
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2016, 06:42:54 PM »
I will respond in different color where appropriate

The microphone technique and microphones used are going to have the biggest influence on the sound of your recordings.  I suggest optimizing those things before focusing your energies elsewhere.  The recorder is much further down the list of things which matter most, mostly playing a support roll.  Your Zoom H6 should suffice, and with 4 external inputs plus it's X/Y mic you are well covered with sufficient inputs.Thanks I agree right now

You'll need to find an appropriate balance of achieving the sound you want while doing so in a practical, easily managed, and non-intrusive way.

Yes, I have been trying to achieve that, different rooms have allowed or not allowed me this freedom of setup If room is too small, then I have to make room for the attendees & mike so they are not inconvenienced

My first inclination is to treat this like mic'ing a percussionist with a pair of spaced overhead mics.  I have tried this and found that some of the bowls just were not picked up as much. Either they were too faint or too much. I suppose if I could setup a projection response setup to see which ones project better then I could setup according to what the bowls put out. Different bowls project the sound waves in different patterns. Some out of the top more, some off the sides more. So if I can determine which is which (some I already know) then I could lay the bowls out in a more optimum arrangement so as they will still sound good in the grouping but be laid out better to be recorded. This is why I started to bring this up here. You got me thinking

To my way of thinking, this music is all about envelopment and space, movement and resonance, rather than sharply defined, dry pinpoint-stereo imaging, and those attributes will be best conveyed by mic techniques which use space between the microphones.  Correct, and that is what I am trying to capture and preserve. We all know the best experience is live but a damn good recording of live is pretty close
Some phase interaction here is going to be desirable in conveying a sense of "tangible there-ness".  Correct again, also if there is some sweet phasing happening that adds a harmonic modulation it can be accentuated in headphone listening, in this case its not a bad thing. Sometimes I try to create that harmonic modulation because it may excite a room node & really send people over the edge. Think of droning or drone tones

Simplest will be two mics suspended overhead, spaced apart so as to have approximately equal pickup of the the bowls to either side.  Basically just above and a foot or two away from either side of your head, and  out as far in front of the gongs as from the bowls on the floor.  That will achieve a natural live sounding ambience as well as an even stereo pickup of all sound sources, including the flute, your chanting and whatever else you choose to do.  Ok, I can try that again. I have on a couple setups with mixed results, again, bowls tend to sound weak & gongs too strong.

Omnidirectional mics will be best for this, assuming the room sounds decent. any suggestions of Omni's you would use?

Cardioid mics facing downwards can work if the room doesn't sound good or there are loud vents at the ceiling, but will not sound as big, full, enveloping, live and natural, and are not as easily placed.   I have used the NT-1's like this but again, some bowls seemed a bit weak. I have not tried teh fatheads like this yet since I have only had them for two weeks & used them twice. Still feeling them out.

You can of course use mic stands for this, but I'd consider two telescopic or articulating arms clamped to the top bars or uprights of your gong support structures.
I have considered this since I am using Gibraltar stands. The stands can get going also when the gongs are going, so shock mounts are a must.

That's going to be less cluttered, gets the wires out of the way, and opens space for your free movement during the performance. One of the reasons I choose a back up battery system over just going with a small mixer and recorder. Like I said earlier I have tried out other setups before settling on the H6. I did a back to back comparison on some other records at GC (Guitar Center) and The H6 won by a little bit in the end due to $$$, ease or use & most important sound quality. The battery system allows me to keep most of it in one area, but I can go spaced & tape down the wires if need be.

I'd like to try three omnis in a Decca-tree like arrangement overhead.  That's a traditional technique used for classical recording using three overhead omnis in a triangle formation.  The 3rd mic positioned at the central vertex of the triangle is mixed to both channels equally, filling out the center.  For large scale orchestra recording it's a largish triangle placed above the conductor's head pointing towards the back of the orchestra. In this case I'd turn the triangle around from that typical orientation so the base of the triangle is toward the gongs and the apex is slightly out in front of you, and should clearly capture the flute, your chanting and any dialog, and the sources out in front. Now that sounds interesting

But because suspending that third mic overhead would be a hassle, I think I'd combine the spaced overhead omni pair with the Zoom X/Y mic placed just out in front and facing back towards you.  Well with the Gibraltar stand that might be possible depending on how I setup the bars & clamps. I have a ton of clamps & can probably come up with some sort of flying setup, I may have to balance or weigh the back end but that's doable.I will have to look this one up to see what you mean. but definitely worth a try That needn't be high above looking down, it could be relatively low to the floor, just not overly close to the bowls immediately around it.  You'd then have even pickup of all sound sources around you, achieve a deep, wide and enveloping ambience from the spaced overhead mics, and a solid upfront and clear center image from the X/Y mics in front.  You'll gain good control over balance and depth afterwards via adjusting level balance and eq between the overheads and the X/Y. NICE!!!

Your Rodes are good quality large diaphragm cardioid mics, and you can use them to try out these ideas before buying other gear, but I'd take a look at some small diaphragm omnis or subcardioids.  Their small size will make them much easier to mount and suspend where you want them, and the small diaphragm size also makes for better ambient pickup of sound arriving from off-axis.  Plus your recording kit will be significantly lighter and smaller, and you've got alot of stuff to carry already.  There are numerous mics that would work well.  A couple which come to mind are the Line Audio OM1 (omni) and CM3 (cardioid, yet really more of a sub-cardioid, which is probably a good choice for this).  I've not used them, but they sound very nice on recordings I've heard, are inexpensive and are very small, being not much larger than an XLR connector.

Grab a couple Superclamps and articulated or telescopic extension arms (search for "clamping" threads here at taperssection for option details, or we can point you to them) and give the spaced overhead idea a try using your Rodes, with the X/Y Zoom mic out in front front facing you.  I expect that will work nicely and should be pretty easily manageable.
Excellent!

I'll see what I have for pics to show different setups. Its been work in progress than keeps getting better.

I had a "studio" well yoga studio I was working out of over the past year but just recently lost the lease. So now I am looking for a new place to call home. The intent is to be able to setup the gongs so I have a permanent installation & then build in a sound & recording system so all i have to do is turn it on & I am ready to go. But I still travel and so events so there is always that piece. I think using up to 6 mics is not unreasonable if each is covering an area that is lacking. Using common sense goes along ways, but discussing it with others helps further all of us along.

Some say its no different than miking a drum set, problem is I disagree. A drum has attack & quick decay so less bleed to other mics. A singing bowl can ring (high quality) for several minutes, so sometimes that is desirable sometimes it is not. I have learned that mixing individual bowls recorded as samples does not sound the same as recording several bowls together. There is an interaction in the harmonics and phasing that occurs naturally that mixing does not achieve. Then there is the live in front of an audience factor, things happen when others are in the space with you. You all know it, you all have been there & from the performers view, we know it too, that's partly why we do it.

Thanks again, lots to chew on & lots of research to do. Now I am chomping at the bit wanting to setup and play... Need a new place 1st.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 11:40:58 PM by SacredMetal »
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2016, 07:42:01 PM »
Just looked up Decca Tree arrangement That looks like it might cover just about every setup I do except when I build a wall of gongs. The Gibraltar stand could be setup to support that array and the weight of the big gongs should keep it from tipping over.

I could do a modified pyramid cap on the stand to have the placement adjustable of course I need ceiling height to achieve this.

Awesome!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 07:42:14 AM by SacredMetal »
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 07:59:30 PM »
This was an interesting site i found not sure if it has been seen here before:


http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-NOS-E.htm

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 08:15:48 PM »
I would be wary of a "true" Decca Tree that uses three omnis for this application, unless you're in a large hall or church with excellent acoustics.  It's going to grab gobs of room sound.  What I would take from the Decca Tree idea is the mounting scheme, but instead use cardioid (or subcardiod) mics angled downwards.  The main L/R pair will set your main stereo image, and the center mic will provide the "reach" toward the rear of your setup if needed and can be mixed in to taste.

As you can see in my signature, I'm a big fan of Line Audio products (click the link for lots of samples).  The CM3 could work well for you here in that it has a broad pickup pattern but still provides very good rear rejection.  That will make it flexible for rooms of different size and quality.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 09:24:41 PM »
I would be wary of a "true" Decca Tree that uses three omnis for this application, unless you're in a large hall or church with excellent acoustics.  It's going to grab gobs of room sound.  What I would take from the Decca Tree idea is the mounting scheme, but instead use cardioid (or subcardiod) mics angled downwards.  The main L/R pair will set your main stereo image, and the center mic will provide the "reach" toward the rear of your setup if needed and can be mixed in to taste.

As you can see in my signature, I'm a big fan of Line Audio products (click the link for lots of samples).  The CM3 could work well for you here in that it has a broad pickup pattern but still provides very good rear rejection.  That will make it flexible for rooms of different size and quality.

Thanks, I am just looking & learning right now. I know some rooms that this would be perfect for.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2016, 08:12:45 AM »
What a wonderful addition to the TS club! :cheers:

I've recorded Tatsuya Nakatani several times with a couple basic set ups... split ADK TL omnis spaced about 6' or a single DINa pair of DPA 4021. His style is more percussion and gong centric with a few bowl flavors mixed in, but the challenge is similar.

The rooms have varied. The audiences have been uniformly transfixed during his performances so what ever variations might occur to change the sound is all due to room effects.

We'd love to hear some of your work, now and if you adopt any of the great recommendations discussed.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2016, 10:56:04 AM »
^ Reading this thread I also thought of Tatsuya Nakatani.  The one time I saw and recorded him he was concentrating primarily on bowed gongs, using heavy bows of his own design drawn along the edge of the gongs to excite them into resonance.  Some of the gongs were massive.  Fantastic sounds in a good acoustic.  Really interesting stuff.

This was an interesting site i found not sure if it has been seen here before:

http://www.sengpielaudio.com/Visualization-NOS-E.htm

Yes that's a quite useful application, linked to frequently.  There are other similar on-line and off line apps, but that one is pretty straightforward and easy to understand.  It leverages the relationship between the pickup pattern, the spacing and the angle between a pair of microphones and the resulting stereo image which that combination produces on playback.  That relationship is explained best in the Stereo Zoom paper by Michael Williams.  It describes a way to choose amongst various points along the continuum of microphone spacing and angle relationships with regards to the desired playback image.  Keep in mind however that it deals primarily with the singular aspect of stereo imaging between playback speakers, and not so much other equally if not more important aspects of stereo reproduction such as the balance between the direct and reverberant sound, the nature of the pickup of ambient room sound outside of the "imaging window" between speakers, the sense of envelopment and space.  But it is nearly always a good starting point, and choosing between the various semi-equivalent relationships it suggests allows one to keep that part of the puzzle "solved for", while optimizing for that other stuff.  It provides excellent insights into the basic stereo microphone pair relationship, and I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about how stereo reproduction works.

However, it applies most directly to coincident and near-spaced mic pair setups and doesn't really apply as directly to widely spaced multi-microphone techniques and "oddball" mic setups we're discussing.

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"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2016, 11:29:35 AM »
I would be wary of a "true" Decca Tree that uses three omnis for this application, unless you're in a large hall or church with excellent acoustics.  It's going to grab gobs of room sound.  What I would take from the Decca Tree idea is the mounting scheme..

Inverse square law saves the day with this concern I think, which says that "The intensity of sound is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the signal source" which means that sound intensity diminishes by 6dB for every doubling of distance, in free field conditions (which is close enough to the source that the direct sound dominates). 

[Edit]
As pointed out to me in a PM, a more appropriate measure for us in this regard is sound pressure rather than sound intensity, which is defined by a simple inverse relationship (1/r) rather than an inverse square relationship (1/r2) in the free field.  The always helpful Herr Sengpiel explains the differences here, and sums it up as such-

"Sound engineers and sound designers (ear people) are mainly interested in sound field quantities and consider more the sound pressure drop at distance doubling (Schalldruckabfall - Entfernungsverdopplung). Acousticians and sound protectors (noise fighters) are mainly interested in sound energy quantities and consider here the sound intensity drop at distance doubling."
[/edit]

Regardless of the measure used, the implication is the same- in plain speak, as long as the mics are close enough to the source, the direct sound tends to dominate over the reverberant sound.  I'm talking about positioning the mics considerably lower and closer to the sources than a traditional classical Decca Tree, and the inverse square law is what allows it to work in a less that perfect room.  I've made numerous recordings with four omnis in a row across the front of the stage in mediocre sounding rooms which worked well, I expect precisely because of this.  Those recordings would not have worked as well if the omnis were placed further away in those rooms.   But yes, if there is too much reverberant pickup, substituting more directional mics will cut down on that when necessary.  But part of the reason for suggesting a something along the lines of a Decca Tree arrangement, besides achieving a relatively even coverage with similar distances to all sources, is the nature of the playback ambience it achieves.  Like the four omnis in a row, I find Decca Tree sort of "embellishes the sound with it's own signature presence and ambience", even in less than ideal rooms.  Some would say that's an artificial artifact imposed by the setup, and I might agree, but who cares if it sounds good and works for the subject matter. We're creating sonic worlds here where the music and our emotional response to it is what is important, and not trying to make an accurate documentation of the acoustics of the particular performance space.

More on this in a following post, exploring possible variations based on Singing Bowl Guy's comments about some of the bowls on the floor sounding thin recorded with overhead mics.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:30:06 PM by Gutbucket »
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"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2016, 12:51:53 PM »
Quote
My first inclination is to treat this like mic'ing a percussionist with a pair of spaced overhead mics.  I have tried this and found that some of the bowls just were not picked up as much. Either they were too faint or too much. I suppose if I could setup a projection response setup to see which ones project better then I could setup according to what the bowls put out. Different bowls project the sound waves in different patterns. Some out of the top more, some off the sides more. So if I can determine which is which (some I already know) then I could lay the bowls out in a more optimum arrangement so as they will still sound good in the grouping but be laid out better to be recorded.

[snip]

Simplest will be two mics suspended overhead, spaced apart so as to have approximately equal pickup of the the bowls to either side.  Basically just above and a foot or two away from either side of your head, and  out as far in front of the gongs as from the bowls on the floor.  That will achieve a natural live sounding ambience as well as an even stereo pickup of all sound sources, including the flute, your chanting and whatever else you choose to do.  Ok, I can try that again. I have on a couple setups with mixed results, again, bowls tend to sound weak & gongs too strong.

Funny, I immediately thought about the sort of di-polar radiation of gongs, and didn't think about the vibrational modes of a bowl, which like a bell I'd expect to radiate primarily in the horizontal plane as the walls of the bowl vibrate.  With that in mind I understand how many of the bowls might sound quieter and generally less solid when mic'd from above.  Your empirical knowledge based on actual experience is always the most valuable information and trying things is only way to really test conceptual ideas which might seem great "on paper".

What about your cardioids spaced apart and placed low, set up to either side and slightly behind you, parallel to each other and facing forward out into the room, with their primary axis pointing across the top of the bowls.  They then will be more on-axis with the sides of the bowls instead of looking down into them from above.  Yes they will be more or less directly under, between, or just in front of the gongs.  Inverse square law works against us this time, making the gongs louder by their proximity, but there are a few things which might work to counter that and balance that.  Namely the directional pickup pattern of the cardioids and the dipolar radiation tendencies of gongs.  If the cardioids are pointed 90 degrees off-axis from the gongs, the direct sound from the gongs will be picked up with 6dB less sensitivity than the bowls which are on-axis with the mics (cardioids have similar sensitivity for everything within something like a +/- 60 degrees off axis from the center-line of the mic.  And they'll pick up even less if the mics are shifted forward of the gongs somewhat, so that the direct line to the gongs to those mics is more towards the backside of the cardioid pattern.  The other thing is the dipolar radiation pattern of the gongs.  Their direct sound will be much louder in front and behind than along the plane directly to the sides, above and below.  So placing the mics in the same plane as the gongs is sort of like taking the "bowls sound quiet and thinner when mic'd from above" observation and using that to advantage as a way to intentionally pick up less direct radiation from the gongs.  You'll still get plenty of gong sound, maybe too much.  They won't radiate entirely and cleanly as a textbook dipole, plus there will be plenty of diffuse gong sound bouncing around the room which will be picked up regardless of where the mics are or which direction they point.  This will take some experimentation to get a feel for the appropriate position relationship between the gongs and the mics.

I'd still combine that with the X/Y mic out in front, facing toward you across the top of the bowls in the center.  I think the combination of a wide mic pair and the coincident center X/Y pair provides lots of mixing flexibility along with combining the best of both methods- the sharp imaging of the X/Y from a front center audience perspective, and the big open ambience and depth of the spaced pair.  In a way, you are placing yourself and the array of bowls within a very close, inward-pointing decca-tree triangle, using all cardioid mics and an X/Y pair at the apex.  Yeah, that's a bit of a reach, but I can see the continuum from classic Decca Tree to this.

Thinking about it, I like this idea for some other reasons too, somewhat related to the recording I do with my oddball surround recording setups.  The X/Y mic is in front facing away from the audience and at you. The wide-spaced cardioids are in back pointing out into the room and facing the audience.  The bowls on either side are closest to the wide-spaced cardioids (arranged as necessary for best balance and playability) so the bowls will be the most up-front and present sounding things in those hard-panned Left/Right channels, and pickup of the audience and room sound will be reproduced widely and diffusely from the Left and Right speakers.  The X/Y mic is facing away from the audience so the center of the image isn't cluttered with audience and room ambience but focused primarily on the bowls across the center of your arc in front of you, your speaking, singing and flute playing.  The entire bowl and gong array is picked up with X/Y stereo cues as well as spaced time of arrival cues, and the gongs are far enough away to not overpower the X/Y channels.  The three mic positions should get decent coverage of all sources with good proximity to everything, and the phase/time-of-arrival between the three positions should be sufficient for capturing good sounding modal phase stuff, while being different enough and limited in number so as not cause a comb filtered mess.

Remember when mixing it that the mics are pointed in opposite directions.  So think in terms of stage-left/stage-right rather than mic-left/mic-right when mixing the left cardioid with the left X/Y channel and vice versa.

This isn't actually that far from Bruce's suggestion, and if you were interested in trying to do this using only two microphones I think his suggestion is the best so far.  This mostly just shifts those two spaced cardioids somewhat so they work better in combination with the center X/Y mic facing the other way.   
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 01:07:26 PM by Gutbucket »
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2016, 06:34:27 PM »
Here is a picture of a type of bowl I use that produces more sound out of the top than the sides. Its designed that way & used in Japanese Buddhist Temples. The sound is very reverberant by itself but when you add two or three its just gets insane. My 1st CD :The Singing Bowl guy was made using those bowls on the last track. I recorded/sampled the bowls and then remixed them in Ableton piecing it together. I then made a demo & passed out about 100 copies (not at once, a few at a time) while I tweaked it every few weeks to see what needed work. After 6 months I produced it myself because two people I hired just could not get it how I wanted it done. They just could not see my vision. In reality they almost ruined the project or how I related to it & it ended up sitting for several months till I was coaxed by my wife to start it up again.

It is a far from perfect project but I now have something I can sell & use as a calling card when looking for places to play. Everyone loves it, some fall asleep others have out of body experiences some literally cried when they heard it. I sell it to lots of yoga & massage therapists as well as a few alternative doctors. This is the area I really serve but now they want live material because there just is more emotional in the content.

Anyway getting back to the setup... From these discussions I realize I need to standardize my setup a little more. But I am always wary of doing the same thing & end up being boring repeating what I do. Once I have a studio lined up again & can plant the gear so I don't have to move it, testing out the different setups will be much easier to achieve.


Some of the setups suggested I have tried to some success or failure for one reason or another.

Which leads me to another question. Many times I record mostly by setting the meters rather than listening, I know that sounds terrible as far as application but many times I just can't hear what is actually going on> this is because of many factors mainly setting up the instruments then setting up the recording gear, by that time I am ready to do a "Sound check" I already have people coming in & laying out or wanting to talk to me so distractions are easy to get.

SO I use a pair of AKG 240's for my headphones They are 20+ years old & still in great shape. Bought them when I studied multitrack recording back in early 90's in college (just as digital was coming to age) So we were still using 2" tape for mastering back then. anyway suggestions for headphones or a headphone amp that runs on batteries? I like my battery pack ideas since I don't need to drag out any more cords & one less thing to introduce hum or noise (most of the time).
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2016, 06:39:02 PM »
Finding pictures that are not too large & get the point across...

Anyway the picture above is me playing one of the Japanese temple bowls. Their shape is designed to "shoot" the sound uup rather than out & have a distinct harmonic sound when stuck. The sound has been described as "trippy."

Anyway here are some other pics from a gong duet I did at the old studio with a gal from Trinidad who was visiting.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 08:37:40 PM »
That's a very impressive array of instruments. I'd love to come experience one of your performances! 

Most around here recording live music "record by the meters" rather than listening while setting up and recording.  Monitoring on headphones at the event is for most here at TS primarily useful to make sure nothing is obviously wrong.  It's simply too difficult to hear clearly enough to make quality value judgements.  It's also somewhat of a practical issue in that in many cases the recordist can't really assess things accurately until a performance begins, and once it begins significant changes cannot be made without compromising the recording.  So we tend to listen and assess things afterwards, back at home, and implement changes the next time out, or the next time in a similar circumstance. That makes setup tweaks and modifications much more difficult to asses, and slows the iterative cycle of improvement significantly.  For that reason many will tend to stick to tried and true stereo mic'ing methods which work well most of the time, for most situations, and leave it at that.  Good enough, rather than always searching for better, at least in terms of microphone configurations.  It's easier for concert tapers to stick with a mic setup (or a few) which has proven to work well for them, and focus on switching the microphones and other gear around in the search for further improvement.

You have somewhat more capability of listening and assessing things while setting up at least, if not while performing, yet the situation is complicated by you acting as both recordist and performer.  Beyond that basic issue, even though you aren't dealing with trying to hear what's in your headphones over leakage from a loud PA, you'll still need highly isolating headphones or in-ear monitors to exclude the sound in the room from influencing what you are hearing in the headphones as much as possible.  Other threads here discuss isolating headphones and in ear monitors.  Your recorder's headphone amp is probably sufficient to drive them, but if you are looking for a decent inexpensive small battery-powered headphone amp, I saw a Headroom Airhead in the yard-sale section here today (I've no affiliation with that sale).  I used to have an earlier version of that amp and found it a nice little battery powered amp.  These days when I do plug in phones to the recorders I just use the recorder's built-in headphone amp.

It looks like that Japanese temple bowl has more of a 'return' to it at the lip, more closed in at the top so the walls of the bowl are not parallel just below the rim, and wonder if that has something to do with the more vertical radiation pattern.

I was in a percussion shop a few months ago and was fascinated by some truly massive tuned bowls turned from some sort of white stone.  The deep resonance from them was really impressive!
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 08:45:01 PM »
Since you are not at all averse to editing of the recordings after they've been recorded, have you experimented much with manipulating the loudness dynamics of the recordings?  Careful dynamics manipulation can "tame" the overbearing gongs at the loud end of things while bring up the delicate, hard to hear details of the quieter material.  That could be a key element in combination with whatever microphone techniques end up working best for you.   Manipulating dynamics can be tricky though, it easy to do more harm than good, but done well it can be the special sauce that makes a recording shine.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 10:55:58 PM »

snip < there just is more emotional in the content >

If this is what you want use omnis. They are as real as it gets.

For taking recordings back to the house and fooling with them you can keep experimenting until the end of time.

For realism use omnidirectional mics. You are making natural music so use natural sounding mics.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2016, 08:56:43 AM »
Use both the omnis and the fooling for emotional realism2.

The journey is the destination.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2016, 11:45:36 AM »
Since you are not at all averse to editing of the recordings after they've been recorded, have you experimented much with manipulating the loudness dynamics of the recordings?  Careful dynamics manipulation can "tame" the overbearing gongs at the loud end of things while bring up the delicate, hard to hear details of the quieter material.  That could be a key element in combination with whatever microphone techniques end up working best for you.   Manipulating dynamics can be tricky though, it easy to do more harm than good, but done well it can be the special sauce that makes a recording shine.

Yes, I have done some loudness manipulation when I have to. But I prefer to eliminate the buzzes, clothing or people moving rustle and A/C noise rather than play with the dynamic range that's all ready there.

I agree on the recipe for the "special sauce", Too bad we all don't live in the same city so we can get together & go over recordings.

My biggest problem is no one to bounce this off of. Been out of the taper loop for many years, seems like I'm back home now.  :yahoo:

I'm still learning RX5 so I have a ways to go with that but fortunately plenty of material to work with.

So you have a preferred mix program you like to use besides Audacity? I've some work in Ableton, lot's with Audition but now I'm switching to RX5 instead.

I actually have one recording up on Sound Cloud I did at a conference where I was asked to give a lecture & then play afterwards. That was recorded with the X/Y capsules of the Zoom H6 module

It was a very noisy room and a hallway next to where I was at that led to the kitchen. I think I will try running that through RX5 to see what I can do with it. When I 1st worked on it I used Audacity.

It would be a good test piece to see what a "before & after" sounds like. Meaning what I did to "fix" this recording & what I could do now with better software.

https://soundcloud.com/the-singing-bowl-guy

« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 11:58:31 AM by SacredMetal »
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2016, 11:57:29 AM »
That's a very impressive array of instruments. I'd love to come experience one of your performances! 

Most around here recording live music "record by the meters" rather than listening while setting up and recording.  Monitoring on headphones at the event is for most here at TS primarily useful to make sure nothing is obviously wrong.  It's simply too difficult to hear clearly enough to make quality value judgements.  It's also somewhat of a practical issue in that in many cases the recordist can't really assess things accurately until a performance begins, and once it begins significant changes cannot be made without compromising the recording.  So we tend to listen and assess things afterwards, back at home, and implement changes the next time out, or the next time in a similar circumstance. That makes setup tweaks and modifications much more difficult to asses, and slows the iterative cycle of improvement significantly.  For that reason many will tend to stick to tried and true stereo mic'ing methods which work well most of the time, for most situations, and leave it at that.  Good enough, rather than always searching for better, at least in terms of microphone configurations.  It's easier for concert tapers to stick with a mic setup (or a few) which has proven to work well for them, and focus on switching the microphones and other gear around in the search for further improvement.Good to know

You have somewhat more capability of listening and assessing things while setting up at least, if not while performing, yet the situation is complicated by you acting as both recordist and performer.  Beyond that basic issue, even though you aren't dealing with trying to hear what's in your headphones over leakage from a loud PA, you'll still need highly isolating headphones or in-ear monitors to exclude the sound in the room from influencing what you are hearing in the headphones as much as possible.  Other threads here discuss isolating headphones and in ear monitors.  Your recorder's headphone amp is probably sufficient to drive them, but if you are looking for a decent inexpensive small battery-powered headphone amp, I saw a Headroom Airhead in the yard-sale section here today (I've no affiliation with that sale).  I used to have an earlier version of that amp and found it a nice little battery powered amp.  These days when I do plug in phones to the recorders I just use the recorder's built-in headphone amp. I will check it out

It looks like that Japanese temple bowl has more of a 'return' to it at the lip, more closed in at the top so the walls of the bowl are not parallel just below the rim, and wonder if that has something to do with the more vertical radiation pattern.yes, not sure why design wise but it does stiffen up the edge, The rounded bottom helps to project the sound up & out. I have actually studied singing bowls & traveled to Nepal to study them. I take what i do very seriously as you can tell.

I was in a percussion shop a few months ago and was fascinated by some truly massive tuned bowls turned from some sort of white stone.  The deep resonance from them was really impressive!Crystal bowl most likely. I have one I use occasionally. I have found teh high quality metal bowls to be more harmonic & more soothing to my ears as well as others. Every once in a while I get a bug to purchase a set of crystal bowls because they can be louder & and easier to record... but then I go back to my Japanese Rin Gong bowls & that thought is completely erased. BTW, it has taken me 7 years to put that set of bowls together. These are not something you just come across even when looking. There are a LOT of fakes out there. I know mine are real but I have know paperwork to prove it. It does make a difference in sound quality.
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2016, 12:00:16 PM »

snip < there just is more emotional in the content >

If this is what you want use omnis. They are as real as it gets.

For taking recordings back to the house and fooling with them you can keep experimenting until the end of time.

For realism use omnidirectional mics. You are making natural music so use natural sounding mics.

Ok I will look into that with some of the mic suggestions I have read.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2016, 12:04:43 PM »
SacredMetal,
first let me tell you that Gutbucket's oddball mic techniques ideas have been really helpful to me over the past two years getting me to think about what we do in the live recording world in different ways.
I too was a GD taper mainly from 1982 through 1987, but have been doing the live recording off and on since 1982 having recorded close to 1,000 shows/festivals.
I've also been an FOH person and owner of a small PA installation company along with experience designing room acoustics.

The mention of the omni mics is what intrigues me about your set up. a Decca tree type arrangement would be cool and the configuration Gutbucket mentions seems like a decent way for you t go. Other than the vibration of the Gongs I had also thought about clamping your mics to the Gong stands and extending them out over your head or as it woul dbe to your Right and left spaced about 10 feet which would make them over the bowls. Of course, that would have you buying new Omni mics- my opinion for your work would be the small DPA's. Others can point you to the model numbers, but at about $500 each new/$300ish used they would be what I would "covet" were I doing what you are.

Bruce's suggestion of cards at your knees pointed away from you might be a good place to start with the EQ you already own. Gutbuckets suggestion of using the cards aimed down off the gong mounts plus the zoom X-Y also seems like a good place to start. We have been using wide spaced (3 ft|90cm) Omnis with cards or supercards in the middle (fwd and rear facing) all summer for rock n roll and are really pleased with the realism of it. listeners often comment that the ambiance is quite real.
IMO, In your case, using spaced omnis over your head or the bowls and far enough away from the gongs (6-10 feet forward of the gongs?) but not terribly high (6 feet max?) combined with your cards at knee level pointed toward the AUD might be the next step to aspire to. I tend to feel that a multi mic mix vs a 2 mic mix will be more what you are looking for to get the proper balance of the gongs|bowls|chants. and since you seem to be OK with mixing down at home, multi mic recordings would give you much more flexibility in your mixdown which should appeal to the CD listeners.

I agree with others that it would be a great experience to see/hear you do the singing bowl guy performance live! Power of the meditation technique for sure.  :coolguy:   (edited to correct spelling of meditation!)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 03:00:12 PM by rocksuitcase »
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2016, 12:47:46 PM »
SacredMetal,
first let me tell you that Gutbucket's oddball mic techniques ideas have been really helpful to me over the past two years getting me to think about what we do in the live recording world in different ways.
I too was a GD taper mainly from 1982 through 1987, but have been doing the live recording off and on since 1982 having recorded close to 1,000 shows/festivals.
I've also been an FOH person and owner of a small PA installation company along with experience designing room acoustics.

The mention of the omni mics is what intrigues me about your set up. a Decca tree type arrangement would be cool and the configuration Gutbucket mentions seems like a decent way for you t go. Other than the vibration of the Gongs I had also thought about clamping your mics to the Gong stands and extending them out over your head or as it woul dbe to your Right and left spaced about 10 feet which would make them over the bowls. Of course, that would have you buying new Omni mics- my opinion for your work would be the small DPA's. Others can point you to the model numbers, but at about $500 each new/$300ish used they would be what I would "covet" were I doing what you are.

Bruce's suggestion of cards at your knees pointed away from you might be a good place to start with the EQ you already own. Gutbuckets suggestion of using the cards aimed down off the gong mounts plus the zoom X-Y also seems like a good place to start. We have been using wide spaced (3 ft|90cm) Omnis with cards or supercards in the middle (fwd and rear facing) all summer for rock n roll and are really pleased with the realism of it. listeners often comment that the ambiance is quite real.
IMO, In your case, using spaced omnis over your head or the bowls and far enough away from the gongs (6-10 feet forward of the gongs?) but not terribly high (6 feet max?) combined with your cards at knee level pointed toward the AUD might be the next step to aspire to. I tend to feel that a multi mic mix vs a 2 mic mix will be more what you are looking for to get the proper balance of the gongs|bowls|chants. and since you seem to be OK with mixing down at home, multi mic recordings would give you much more flexibility in your mixdown which should appeal to the CD listeners.

I agree with others that it would be a great experience to see/hear you do the singing bowl guy performance live! Power of the mediation technique for sure.  :coolguy:

Yep, I tend to agree with a lot of that. I feel after as many times I recorded the various setups, multi mikes are the way to go hence the possible move to a F4 or F8> I feel 5-6 mics will be what is needed to cover all the areas. Getting mics closer to the bowls will be needed 2 for start possibly 3-4 in the end. Its just very hard to capture all of it without all the gong bleed through. Then I can turn them up more & used possibly spaced omni's for the gongs/room. Even one omni would work since the gongs fill up the room anyway.

Since I don't use a PA, I have to mic up the bowls in groups or sections. many times hard or near hard panning helps in balancing the sound out from too much of one bowl or another being picked up by both mics. Then sometimes bringing them "closer" gives interesting harmonic phasing that can really sound good. This is much different from recording a band form the balcony or by the mixer. But its fun to play with & afterwards if its right & the room didn't get you you can have some real gold!

I did a fund raiser last year for the Nepal Earthquake relief. Played 5 shows in 6 nights. It was brutal hauling all that gear around. But the last show was the one. maybe because It was finally being dialed in myself, maybe it was finally wrapping it all up. But anyway, we had a horrendous rainstorm with thunder & lightning in the middle of the performance. I caught all of it  & with the gongs & all it was amazing. That one is going to be produced and put on CD. That setup was Zoom H6 X/Y and NT-1's spaced a little further out to pick up gongs  on the side. The recording came out fantastic. Very little to rework except some levels when I got crazy with the gongs.
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Offline Brian Skalinder

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2016, 12:57:22 PM »
I don't have much to add in the way of specific mic configurations beyond what Gut and others have suggested.  Gut is one of the most creative people I know in terms of trying out all manner of configurations in challenging situations.  He gives good advice!

I read through the thread, but didn't see much on what, for me, is an important first question / set of questions (apologies if I scanned too quickly and missed it):  What about your recordings so far do you...
  • Hear and like?
  • Hear and not like?
  • Don't hear and don't like?
  • Don't hear and like?
Answering at least the first couple questions may help inform the approach you take when considering and trying out new configurations.  This is partly my lack of experience speaking, but not knowing answers to some of those questions results in an almost academic discussion.  Nothing wrong with that, and it certainly provides a good starting point.  And no matter what, it'll take no small amount of trial and error...which, really, will never end since the recording spaces and setup may differ from location to location.  That said, I think you'll be able to ramp up the learning / trial & error curve a bit more swiftly if you refine your configurations and techniques with the end in mind.

actually have one recording up on Sound Cloud I did at a conference where I was asked to give a lecture & then play afterwards. That was recorded with the X/Y capsules of the Zoom H6 module

It was a very noisy room and a hallway next to where I was at that led to the kitchen. I think I will try running that through RX5 to see what I can do with it. When I 1st worked on it I used Audacity.

It would be a good test piece to see what a "before & after" sounds like. Meaning what I did to "fix" this recording & what I could do now with better software.

https://soundcloud.com/the-singing-bowl-guy

I think the Sound Cloud sample sounds really nice!  I've done a fair share of recording of unamplified music in quiet spaces, primarily small choruses in churches.  In my experience, the extraneous sounds you're getting -- primarily from attendees breathing, sniffing, coughing, rustling their clothes and such -- are essentially unavoidable, no matter what you do.  And I think the noisiness in this recording is minimal!

That said, I've not played around much with RX, but I've heard some people here do amazing work.

Looks like you've posted since I started composing my reply, and have answered, at least in part, some of my questions.  Looking forward to seeing where this thread leads and hopefully hearing samples of some of the results!

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2016, 03:05:35 PM »
I don't have much to add in the way of specific mic configurations beyond what Gut and others have suggested.  Gut is one of the most creative people I know in terms of trying out all manner of configurations in challenging situations.  He gives good advice!

I read through the thread, but didn't see much on what, for me, is an important first question / set of questions (apologies if I scanned too quickly and missed it):  What about your recordings so far do you...
  • Hear and like? Space and feel of presentation within limits of room/ mechanical or other noises
  • Hear and not like? room & mechanical noises. Trying to eliminate them is challenging like in a place I played a few times the A/c was not running then after I started they turned it on. Even with mics facing away it was over powering, almost useless recording in some parts. When that happens, "to the cutting room floor"
  • Don't hear and don't like? Quieter bowls and or bells, I would like them louder but only in context with rest of setup. Seemed a bit too low afterwards but sounded fine when I was playing. In other words capturing what I hear has been the biggest challenge. What I hear "onstage" is completely different from what they hear sometimes. This is due to proximity effect of certain bowls and gongs being nearby or within a wave partial of a harmonic. Its hard to explain because you need to be in the drivers seat & have the instruments in front & around you. Some bowls and or gongs will vibrate even if not struck directly due to resonance so a lot is going on up there with me. I have the best seat in the house all the time, sometimes I can get lost in what I am doing because it can be very intense.
  • Don't hear and like?
When I can capture the decay of a bowl or bell all the way out and the ambience of the space or other noises don't overwhelm it, then its pure magic!  :headphones:

Answering at least the first couple questions may help inform the approach you take when considering and trying out new configurations.  This is partly my lack of experience speaking, but not knowing answers to some of those questions results in an almost academic discussion.  Nothing wrong with that, and it certainly provides a good starting point.  And no matter what, it'll take no small amount of trial and error...which, really, will never end since the recording spaces and setup may differ from location to location.  That said, I think you'll be able to ramp up the learning / trial & error curve a bit more swiftly if you refine your configurations and techniques with the end in mind.

actually have one recording up on Sound Cloud I did at a conference where I was asked to give a lecture & then play afterwards. That was recorded with the X/Y capsules of the Zoom H6 module

It was a very noisy room and a hallway next to where I was at that led to the kitchen. I think I will try running that through RX5 to see what I can do with it. When I 1st worked on it I used Audacity.

It would be a good test piece to see what a "before & after" sounds like. Meaning what I did to "fix" this recording & what I could do now with better software.

https://soundcloud.com/the-singing-bowl-guy

I think the Sound Cloud sample sounds really nice!  I've done a fair share of recording of unamplified music in quiet spaces, primarily small choruses in churches.  In my experience, the extraneous sounds you're getting -- primarily from attendees breathing, sniffing, coughing, rustling their clothes and such -- are essentially unavoidable, no matter what you do.  And I think the noisiness in this recording is minimal! Thanks, you should have heard it originally, they were pushing carts with empty water glasses and banging service doors next to me (in hall). There was a loud feedback section I took out in the beginning when we tried to mic it to the PA. Things were going fine at 1st  but we developed a runaway oscillation that we could not stop that took several seconds after the mic was cutoff to finally stop. NOW that what I called a learning experience. Most sound techs look at my setup & just cringe, so I have to get in there to help them. We have only tried to amplify it a couple times. Usually I play unamped But for larger venues, that can be a problem & is starting become one as i keep growing my audience. That will be the next challenge, but then I have to deal with a mixer and hopefully can find someone to run it. Then it changes again... maybe?!

That said, I've not played around much with RX, but I've heard some people here do amazing work. A little different from Audition but I have been told its the way to go by many. I only got the stater version for now, I plan on full suite down the road but I needed to be able to spectral paint the warts out.

Looks like you've posted since I started composing my reply, and have answered, at least in part, some of my questions.  Looking forward to seeing where this thread leads and hopefully hearing samples of some of the results!
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2016, 03:07:36 PM »
What a wonderful addition to the TS club! :cheers:

I've recorded Tatsuya Nakatani several times with a couple basic set ups... split ADK TL omnis spaced about 6' or a single DINa pair of DPA 4021. His style is more percussion and gong centric with a few bowl flavors mixed in, but the challenge is similar.

The rooms have varied. The audiences have been uniformly transfixed during his performances so what ever variations might occur to change the sound is all due to room effects.

We'd love to hear some of your work, now and if you adopt any of the great recommendations discussed.

You need to check out Micheal Bettine > http://www.gongtopia.com/
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Offline Ben Turnbull

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2016, 12:11:52 AM »
^ Now that is some interesting material.  Very layered.  The use of vocalizations adds a texture that predominates me thinks.  Still can hear the gong work in the back ground though... at least on the few cuts I've sampled. 

Thanks for  the link!  :coolguy:
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2016, 12:28:16 AM »
There are a lot more of us gong players out there but few record themselves. Micheal just picked up a H6 not too long ago so he's having some fun, too  ;D
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2016, 04:08:35 PM »
This is one of the most interesting threads I've come across on here. I love singing bowls :)
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2016, 07:02:09 PM »
This is one of the most interesting threads I've come across on here. I love singing bowls :)

Well glad to be here to entertain...

Actually finding a group of peeps that didn't give me that funny look when I showed up or when I "opened my mouth" asking asking questions.

You guyz have helped me to rethink my setup not in just how I approach recording it but also in how I set my bowls and gongs up.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2016, 02:10:02 PM »
In other words capturing what I hear has been the biggest challenge. What I hear "onstage" is completely different from what they hear sometimes. This is due to proximity effect of certain bowls and gongs being nearby or within a wave partial of a harmonic. Its hard to explain because you need to be in the drivers seat & have the instruments in front & around you. Some bowls and or gongs will vibrate even if not struck directly due to resonance so a lot is going on up there with me. I have the best seat in the house all the time, sometimes I can get lost in what I am doing because it can be very intense. [/color]

This and some other suggestions make me think the idea I thought I saw mentioned of setting up cards low essentially adjacent or near your position facing the bowls might have promise.  If the gongs are behind or directly above cards they will certainly be picked up but not emphasized as they are when mics are facing them.  I suspect that would also make the gongs seem more resonant and less direct/struck. 

Mics do reflect the placement and orientation.  IMO if it should sound like what you hear at a certain position put them where you hear that sound. 

As far as bands go stage sound is often radically different than audience sound.  The directional component matters (with omnis too).  Instrumental balance is always a tough one and as you've found varies based on a number of factors.  You are essentially working with a band of many many voices...  It is a lot to sift through.  Trial and error, though your results seem good.   

The soundcloud sample sounds very nice.   
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2016, 05:58:13 PM »
What about your recordings so far do you...
  • Hear and like? Space and feel of presentation within limits of room/ mechanical or other noises
  • Hear and not like? room & mechanical noises. Trying to eliminate them is challenging like in a place I played a few times the A/c was not running then after I started they turned it on. Even with mics facing away it was over powering, almost useless recording in some parts. When that happens, "to the cutting room floor"
  • Don't hear and don't like? Quieter bowls and or bells, I would like them louder but only in context with rest of setup. Seemed a bit too low afterwards but sounded fine when I was playing. In other words capturing what I hear has been the biggest challenge. What I hear "onstage" is completely different from what they hear sometimes. This is due to proximity effect of certain bowls and gongs being nearby or within a wave partial of a harmonic. Its hard to explain because you need to be in the drivers seat & have the instruments in front & around you. Some bowls and or gongs will vibrate even if not struck directly due to resonance so a lot is going on up there with me. I have the best seat in the house all the time, sometimes I can get lost in what I am doing because it can be very intense.
  • Don't hear and like?
When I can capture the decay of a bowl or bell all the way out and the ambience of the space or other noises don't overwhelm it, then its pure magic!  :headphones:

I've not played around much with RX, but I've heard some people here do amazing work. A little different from Audition but I have been told its the way to go by many. I only got the stater version for now, I plan on full suite down the road but I needed to be able to spectral paint the warts out.

Reading your responses above, two basic issues come to mind in terms of post processing the recordings- cleaning stuff you don't want (unwanted sounds) from the recordings, and making sure the stuff you do want in the recordings is heard clearly and in proper balance.

I don't want to get into the cleaning things up part now, but the tools for that grow increasingly powerful as time rolls on.  Izotope RX is a leader, but there are other softwares which are comparable.  I use Samplitude which includes similar tools and functionality in it's Cleaning and Restoration Suite, and am aware that the current version of Sound Forge does too.  There are others as well which I don't recall or know of off hand.

In regards to manipulation of the stuff you do want-  Control over signal level dynamics is fundamental, yet it's manipulation can be complex to get a handle on and can be difficult to manipulate transparently in ways which are not obvious to the listener, at least one paying attention and listening closely.  Ideally, the end listener should not be aware of any dynamics manipulation, only it's absence, at which point the difference would suddenly become obvious. 

I find it useful to think of post processing of dynamics in terms of different categories of opposing extremes which all fit under the umbrella term and to treat each separately, rather than trying to use just one or two dynamics manipulations to take care of everything.  In terms of opposing extremes, a few are: the loud events at the top of the level range versus the quiet details at the bottom of the level range, and the fast peak transients versus the longer term swells in loudness.  using separate approaches tuned appropriately to target each of those aspects separately produce better results for me.

Check out the threads here on limiting, dynamics compression, and parallel compression.  All are forms of dynamics compression, but use very different settings to target different ranges and events.  Limiting works on the "fast stuff at the loud end of things".  Redrawing peaks by hand, or adjusting volume envelopes to reduce the level of large peaks is a form of manually applied limiting.  Compression, as generally applied, or manually applied volume envelopes covering larger regions, "reduces the level of longer average time scale loud events".  Parallel compression works at the other end of the scale, bringing up the level of the softer sounds and the clarity of subtle details which would otherwise only be audible at high listening levels.  It's a "bottom-up"  approach.  A compressor set with a very low threshold, a mild ratio, and appropriate attack and release settings can act similarly to parallel compression, but the settings are key to retaining transparency.  This kind of thing can vastly improve issues dealing with some things sounding overbearing while other stuff is barely audible.  It can also bring out background noise and all kinds of low level distractions which live down there at the bottom with the desirable detail, so it goes hand in hand with cleaning up the recordings and benefits from a subtle-handed approach.

Fixing all the dynamics aspects of a recording "one problem at a time" using various approaches in combination will often be more productive than trying to apply a bunch of compression in one go.  And mastering that successfully can make cleanly capturing a more extreme dynamic range in the raw recording than you want for the finished recording an advantage rather than a problem.

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"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2016, 07:36:29 PM »
Thank you GUTBUCKET!!!

I will be rereading your point carefully again. Yes, I am in total agreement with most of it. What I have done currently is use Audition mostly to draw out what I don't want & blend the little artifact ticks that may crop up after cleaning it up. Rather than try to analyze the entire project or large section and expect the computer to do all the work. 

I have had some horrible producing done with some of my material left in the hands of others that did not follow my vision, to the point of I just won't listen to it myself.

I prefer minimal disruption to the source, but I am not opposed to the cutting room floor if its necessary. Sometimes its needs to save something worth saving. Then I can heads or tails fade it back in and usually get it pretty good.

I think I will pick a piece to "play" with and maybe post before and after in another post & see if some of us can dissect it. I'll keep it reasonably short because most of my pieces are one continuous hour or a series of "movements" strung together. Thanks again & keep the comments coming!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 09:15:22 PM by SacredMetal »
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2016, 12:53:24 AM »
Trying to figure out if my link to some of my setups will work... Testing

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14500630_10208895515479066_563655313108939731_o.jpg


BTW, The pic looks off center but it isn't its actually the way the shot came out

Another setup, same space. This was my studio until about 1 month ago. I could lay out between 22-24 or so depending on gong setup.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14589903_10208895498278636_6955258121077127839_o.jpg

I may have some more pics of the setups. Like I said I'm testing this out so if works, I'll move the pics to stand setup(?) section

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2016, 09:58:10 AM »
Trying to figure out if my link to some of my setups will work... Testing

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14500630_10208895515479066_563655313108939731_o.jpg


BTW, The pic looks off center but it isn't its actually the way the shot came out

Another setup, same space. This was my studio until about 1 month ago. I could lay out between 22-24 or so depending on gong setup.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14589903_10208895498278636_6955258121077127839_o.jpg

I may have some more pics of the setups. Like I said I'm testing this out so if works, I'll move the pics to stand setup(?) section
I was able to view the two photos. I like the view of the gongs in the second photo.
It is the rig pics section. I'd say you should keep the links in this thread for the purposes of this discussion. But just for fun and to maybe get different eyes on your set-up post a few rig pics photos.
One thing I notice is that there are multiple methods for reading TS.com. I use the "show unread posts" link to the upper RT typically, but others may filter or view differently. So, posting outside of this thread may get you more eyes on the photos of your rig(s).
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2016, 10:03:47 AM »
Thanks. This was a test cause the pics are actually posted up on FaceBook> Many of them get taken by others. Lastly I am not a photogenic kind of guy, so pics are always the last thing I think of meaning I'm all packed away & driving home in the van and I go "Sh*t, I forgot to take pictures again..."  :-[
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2016, 10:18:06 AM »
Trying to figure out if my link to some of my setups will work... Testing

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14500630_10208895515479066_563655313108939731_o.jpg

Just a comment on the microphone configuration in the above photo.  Not sure if it is showing them "as setup to record" or not, but when using a near-spaced configuration such as that, it's best to angle the mics so that they face outwards (pointing away from each other) rather than inwards (crossing each other in front).  That way the stereophonic level differences and stereophonic time of arrival differences complement each other rather than contradicting each other.  It is common to see coincident or near-spaced stereo setups using "end address" small diaphragm microphones with the mic bodies arranged horizontally and crossing each other because the mic body housing extends from the rear of the microphone capsule, yet the microphone capsules themselves should remain either on their "own" side or coincident with each other (in the same vertical plane) rather than on the "opposite side" peering across the axis of the other mic.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2016, 10:20:48 AM »
May I suggest a stereo pair above and behind you? Capture what you here by placing the mics in the same relative position to the instrument as your ears.

Use the Microphonic Zoom concept to adjust your stereo image and you should be golden.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2016, 10:51:23 AM »
Trying to figure out if my link to some of my setups will work... Testing

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14500630_10208895515479066_563655313108939731_o.jpg

Just a comment on the microphone configuration in the above photo.  Not sure if it is showing them "as setup to record" or not, but when using a near-spaced configuration such as that, it's best to angle the mics so that they face outwards (pointing away from each other) rather than inwards (crossing each other in front).  That way the stereophonic level differences and stereophonic time of arrival differences complement each other rather than contradicting each other.  It is common to see coincident or near-spaced stereo setups using "end address" small diaphragm microphones with the mic bodies arranged horizontally and crossing each other because the mic body housing extends from the rear of the microphone capsule, yet the microphone capsules themselves should remain either on their "own" side or coincident with each other (in the same vertical plane) rather than on the "opposite side" peering across the axis of the other mic.

Thanks for comments. will do so next round.

I was trying to do something as if it was a SDC hortz mount. did not work out but since the longest pathway to the mics was no more than 6-8 ft essentially its like listening in mono but with some wild harmonics bouncing around.

So what if I reversed the channels/tracks? I was trying to capture what I hear inside.

Gets really tight in there. I'm thinking two spaced omni's would have been the way to go on this one with a limiter for the hard hits or great swells.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 11:08:16 AM by SacredMetal »
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2016, 10:56:00 AM »
May I suggest a stereo pair above and behind you? Capture what you here by placing the mics in the same relative position to the instrument as your ears.

Use the Microphonic Zoom concept to adjust your stereo image and you should be golden.

It was pretty tight in there with all that gear. think of a sonic version of a MMA cage match. But let me tell you, it was trippy as all hell in there with all that metal vibrating. I am learning a pair of SDC would not be a bad idea. reasonably priced suggestions are always welcomed but must be with really good shock mounts these things get really going!
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2016, 11:37:22 AM »
May I suggest a stereo pair above and behind you? Capture what you here by placing the mics in the same relative position to the instrument as your ears.

Use the Microphonic Zoom concept to adjust your stereo image and you should be golden.

It was pretty tight in there with all that gear. think of a sonic version of a MMA cage match. But let me tell you, it was trippy as all hell in there with all that metal vibrating. I am learning a pair of SDC would not be a bad idea. reasonably priced suggestions are always welcomed but must be with really good shock mounts these things get really going!
Check out the Beyer Hypercards currently in the YS. Let others add to my comment in this thread, but for hypers, those are great quality SDC mics. The mic clips with them are Good, but you'd need a basket or Rycote type shock mount. I don't own them, but IMO, the Rycote Lyre is what you want for your setups.
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2016, 01:39:11 PM »
Now your getting me in trouble (with my wife)   :facepalm:

I checked out those mic's... your right pretty sweet deal

PM'd him

Update: we're talking

Anyone else wanna chime in on this potential purchase?    Bueller...
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 03:55:09 PM by SacredMetal »
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2016, 10:46:06 PM »
Now your getting me in trouble (with my wife)   :facepalm:

I checked out those mic's... your right pretty sweet deal

PM'd him

Update: we're talking

Anyone else wanna chime in on this potential purchase?    Bueller...
  Best to let at least 1-2 more of us chime in, especially gutbucket. Here are my caveats since I made the initial suggestion about the Beyer Hypers:
Pros- Beyer quality; great value at this price; freq response has that signature Beyer -2dB de-emphasis around 5-7k, with 2dB emphasis around 10k(might be cool for the bowls?). Side-plus: seller is well regarded

http://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/shop/media//datenblaetter/DAT_MC950_EN_A2.pdf                        For the mfr freq response chart

Cons: Frequency response noted above (depends on what you're looking for!), hypercardiod may not be what you're looking for, I noted it mainly because you said SD mics (which I took to mean-as opposed to your LD fatheads). maybe someone else can add to this with their opinion. (hypercard vs something else), larger than DPA or active style mics

Overall- I think two suggestions already made in this thread might be what I'd combine for a realistic sounding and editable multi mic config.:
1] Bruce mentioned the cardiods at your knees facing out. top notch idea IMO (bombdigitty also mentions this as promising). Spend your money on a nice pair of SD cards, maybe price and quality wise won't be as good a deal as the Beyers, but I like his suggestion for starters. You can test the concept with your LD mics in this config just to give you an idea of the pattern's tonality

2] gutbuckets idea of the 3 Omnis, or more easily attained in your situations two omnis possibly clamped to your gong stands. You can go from low to high dollar there. From naiant to Sound Pros to DPA to Schoeps (and higher? lol)
    My bet here for amazing recordings would be a pair of DPA's, which you can often find in good condition used.

I mean, there's concept and then there's products- so concept is:
have 4 mics with 2 cards being placed at your knees facing out over the bowls and two omnis hanging over your head extended from the gong stand to being "centered" horizontally over your head or most forward standing position.
for products, it is good to think things through and ask the questions you have been before spending the money.  8
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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2016, 11:35:28 PM »
Interesting points. PZM is a specialized card. Reasoning it as a good choice is extremely low profile, no stand needed which gets in the way of playing. Using my body as an acoustic shield will go a long ways in isolating the bowls while still giving some of the response of what I hear from the drivers seat.

I'm not jumping at anything just yet, took me a long time just to finally get started. Then I went several months just using the H6 alone. Then tested several types of mics from GC ( I was a revolving door for awhile).

But then good deals... do come around know you guyz are not Fathead fans but it was a really sweet deal on a set used maybe twice.

Had I been aware of this forum, well I should have... I would have probably gone the Tascam route like many of you. But at the time I was looking for multi-track as small & easy to operate and compared everything at the store (GC) had new & used for several weeks. I almost bought a Zoom R16 because its a better interface but after comparing the pres in a side by side comparison on a professional DAW, I just couldn't listen to it anymore. The best I felt for the money 7 still being portable was the H6 at the time.

Then I started trying out different mics. The NT-1's were the quietest I listened to & sounded the best in my price range. Again if I knew about this place I probably would have gone a different route.

I'm actually trying to lighten my load rather than increase it. If I could get by with 3-4 mics, I'd be in heaven. But after 2 years of recording this thing I do and over 200G's of material, I am learning on my own what works & does not work. But I reached a point where I need to bounce it off others who at least get the concept. I talk to others Gong & bowl players out there & they look at me like Seriously?!?! They use iPhones & Go Pro's  ??? Sure they shoot video's but thats not serious sound in my book. I still believe the real magic is when you close your eyes & you can feel like you are there again (live band recording) or what I do & completely come out of your body in a trance.

Keep the comments coming!
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 12:24:34 AM by SacredMetal »
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2016, 09:33:22 AM »
Trying to figure out if my link to some of my setups will work... Testing

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14500630_10208895515479066_563655313108939731_o.jpg

Just a comment on the microphone configuration in the above photo.  Not sure if it is showing them "as setup to record" or not, but when using a near-spaced configuration such as that, it's best to angle the mics so that they face outwards (pointing away from each other) rather than inwards (crossing each other in front).  That way the stereophonic level differences and stereophonic time of arrival differences complement each other rather than contradicting each other.  It is common to see coincident or near-spaced stereo setups using "end address" small diaphragm microphones with the mic bodies arranged horizontally and crossing each other because the mic body housing extends from the rear of the microphone capsule, yet the microphone capsules themselves should remain either on their "own" side or coincident with each other (in the same vertical plane) rather than on the "opposite side" peering across the axis of the other mic.

Thanks for comments. will do so next round.

I was trying to do something as if it was a SDC hortz mount. did not work out but since the longest pathway to the mics was no more than 6-8 ft essentially its like listening in mono but with some wild harmonics bouncing around.

So what if I reversed the channels/tracks? I was trying to capture what I hear inside.

Gets really tight in there. I'm thinking two spaced omni's would have been the way to go on this one with a limiter for the hard hits or great swells.

Swapping/reversing the channels won't fix that issue, the timing/level disparities remain the same and will simply be reversed left/right.  It will sound different however, so just choose whichever channel orientation sounds better to you.  If using that microphone configuration in the future, simply rotate the microphone bodies in the shock mounts until the mics face outwards rather than inwards to correct the problem.  It doesn't require any additional room.  The setup with the mics placed at your knees facing out would be similar, with increased spacing between the two microphones.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2016, 10:13:43 AM »
The Beyers are well-respected good quality microphones, but I personally consider them not my first choice for what you are doing.  They excel more in isolating what they are pointed towards, rather than being more open and ambient as called for here, and I find their frequency response not quite what I prefer, with less sensitivity in the upper harmonics region than I'd like.  But that simply reflects my personal preferences. I'm sure great recordings of your bowls and gongs could be made with them using an appropriate technique.

I still recommend playing around with a few different configurations using omnidirectional mics.  You might rent or borrow a couple pairs or buy some inexpensive lavalier omnis  to see if they will do what you want.  Some brands in that category commonly used around here are Naiant, Church, AT853, etc.  Given our earlier discussion on mic setups, and your feedback on the sound you got (or didn't rather) when mic'in from above, I'd like to try four omnis on short stands, arrayed around you in an evenly spaced semi-circle, sort of forming an arc running through the center of the array of bowls, so no one bowl is too far from a mic.  I'd put them on short stands between a foot or two high, not much higher than the bowls.  Basically the same as PZM placement (and as mentioned, miniature lavalier omnis will function as boundary mics like PZMs when placed directly against, or very near, a hard, flat surface like the floor), but just high enough above the bows so that each sees all adjacent bowls and doesn't just highlight the few bowls immediately surrounding it as it would if placed at floor level.  I've done that by taping tiny omnis to welding rod which can be bent into shape, but regular short stands will work well.  With four omnis evenly spaced and relatively close to the bowls, you'll get plenty of signal level from the bowls, which will help keep the noise floor from both the mics (tiny lavs will not be as quiet as your LD Rodes) and from the room manageable, and should better balance the level of the bowls with respect to the gongs.

I'd go ahead and also record using the built-in X/Y mics in front facing towards you as well.  That gives you six channels to work with, in a small kit which is no larger than what you have now using the big Rodes.

Afterwards mix them as you like, and use parallel compression to bring up the lower level detail of the quiet parts until those portions are loud enough to be in proper balance with the loudest parts, yet not so much that the background noises and acoustic noise floor of the room become problematic.  The detail polishing effect of parallel compression can be addictive, so temper your desire for wanting more with a realist take at the same time.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2016, 11:03:01 AM »
Thanks Gutbucket. I found a picture of someone who was recording bowls using (4) mics with 3 bowls per mic (oh course I can't find it again...ARGGGHHH). Similar to what you are suggesting.

Yes that would fill up the 6 channels just fine. I would need two more short stands (besides the mics).

Technically I could use a rolloff filter most of the time if I don't bring out the BIG bowls. most of my bowls are above 100Hz, but some do go down the 60's  ;D and I'm always looking for bowls that play lower... (well you know, gotta have that bass... LOL)

My only concern is Ugly rooms, where the room is extra noisy (i.e. air conditioning, near a service entrance, or a high traffic area).

Many times some of the locations picked to hold an event (i get hired to play) are after thoughts to what the rest of the event is. So they put the stage wherever & think its gonna sound great. So then I'm stuck with dealing with the issues. Sometimes I don't even hear what is going on elsewhere because I can't hear anything else when I am doing my thing.

That was part of the reason I shied away from omni's but I'mm willing to give it a go again.

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2016, 11:23:38 AM »
The Beyers are well-respected good quality microphones, but I personally consider them not my first choice for what you are doing.  They excel more in isolating what they are pointed towards, rather than being more open and ambient as called for here, and I find their frequency response not quite what I prefer, with less sensitivity in the upper harmonics region than I'd like.  But that simply reflects my personal preferences. I'm sure great recordings of your bowls and gongs could be made with them using an appropriate technique.

Good points to consider. Bowls don't go that high usually up to about 6k on smaller but I hate to lose the very upper harmonics or mess with them. Thats the magic zone when they blend in certain ways. I'll post a sample of some cheap bowls I recorded that actually ended up on my CD. Funny thing is I sold those bowls so I can never play that sequence like that again.

I still recommend playing around with a few different configurations using omnidirectional mics.  You might rent or borrow a couple pairs or buy some inexpensive lavalier omnis  to see if they will do what you want.  Some brands in that category commonly used around here are Naiant, Church, AT853, etc.  Given our earlier discussion on mic setups, and your feedback on the sound you got (or didn't rather) when mic'in from above, I'd like to try four omnis on short stands, arrayed around you in an evenly spaced semi-circle, sort of forming an arc running through the center of the array of bowls, so no one bowl is too far from a mic.  I'd put them on short stands between a foot or two high, not much higher than the bowls. 

I have see one other picture of someone doing that with 3 bolws per mic. I could come up with something similar because I mostly tap my bowls using marimba mallets. we call it "tap & touch technique'

Basically the same as PZM placement (and as mentioned, miniature lavalier omnis will function as boundary mics like PZMs when placed directly against, or very near, a hard, flat surface like the floor), but just high enough above the bows so that each sees all adjacent bowls and doesn't just highlight the few bowls immediately surrounding it as it would if placed at floor level.  I've done that by taping tiny omnis to welding rod which can be bent into shape, but regular short stands will work well.  With four omnis evenly spaced and relatively close to the bowls, you'll get plenty of signal level from the bowls, which will help keep the noise floor from both the mics (tiny lavs will not be as quiet as your LD Rodes) and from the room manageable, and should better balance the level of the bowls with respect to the gongs.

Now thats a great idea! Small, easy to transport & low key. The bases of teh "stands would be small too so they could be placed just about anywhere.

I'd go ahead and also record using the built-in X/Y mics in front facing towards you as well.  That gives you six channels to work with, in a small kit which is no larger than what you have now using the big Rodes.

They are not the same as what you guyz use around here but the Rode's are not bad mikes. These are the newer ones (Black case) and are actually quieter than the old style & anniversary edition. They also are my 1st set of real mics I have owned in over 20 plus years. I did a lot of reading & testing before I settled on these. Budget & credit (GC card) was another factor no interets paymenst does help you but some gear when you really need it.

Afterwards mix them as you like, and use parallel compression to bring up the lower level detail of the quiet parts until those portions are loud enough to be in proper balance with the loudest parts, yet not so much that the background noises and acoustic noise floor of the room become problematic.  The detail polishing effect of parallel compression can be addictive, so temper your desire for wanting more with a realist take at the same time.

This is where my last batch of problems arised. handing off final production to someone who didn't get it but said they did. It was horrible!!!



Last but not least opinions on the fatheads? I still have time to send them back. There not bad, great deal but i don't studio record that much. Kinda curious on what they would sound like with my flutes. I may be able to get an extension on the return, I'm one of their best customers & they already know how picky I am.
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2016, 12:25:03 PM »
I'm not familiar with Fatheads, other than knowing they exist, so not much help on that account.

I'd not use any roll off while recording. That's usually best done afterwards.  I also hesitate to do so afterwards unless absolutely necessary.  It's usually just too kludgy to just chop off everything below a certain frequency.  Even if the material being recorded doesn't produce low frequencies, chopping them off abruptly usually reduces the sense of ambient space and envelopment which is an important element here.  I prefer to use shelf and peak filters to EQ bottom end fixes as necessary, minimizing HVAC noise or whatever as much as I can get away with without totally emasculating the recording.  It's a balancing act and using finer-grained tools helps get the most out of it.

A big help with the proposed "four spaced omnis amongst the bowls down low" arrangement will be the proximity of the omnis to the bowls and the increase in pickup level of them from them due to that.  Distributing the omnis along the centerline of the arrangement of bowls keeps them in the middle of the "soundcloud" of higher proximate level immediately surrounding the bowls.  To the extent that achieves higher signal levels due to proximity of the bowls, it will also reduce the influence of background HVAC noise and rumble, room sound, and other background noises.   Because low frequency HVAC rumble is diffuse in the room, you'll get it on the recording regardless of microphone pattern and no matter how you point the mics and set them up.  The things which will reduce it are either reducing the low frequency response of everything (via a high-pass filter or EQ afterwards, or via a mic's inherent frequency response, which is partly linked to its pickup pattern), and/or increasing the level of the sounds you do want.  Easiest way to achieve increased levels of what you want is via proximity to the source(s).
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

"Narrow or widely spaced microphone configurations are preferred. It is well-known experience that pure coincidence microphone concepts are not able to produce a satisfying natural spatial impression, due to the lack of adequate interchannel temporal relations (time-of-arrival, phase, correlation)" -Günther Theile
"The mix of the Double M/S signals with a large A/B configuration of omnis results in the spacious sound that is often desired. This option also provides decorrelated low-frequency signals." -Helmut Wittek

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2016, 01:59:26 PM »
Just to chime in: I like the 4 omnis around the bowls idea. Should pick up the gongs and the chanting nicely as well. I hope I didn't place you or the seller of the Beyers in an odd position as I was technically only responding to your "I'd like to try SD" mention. I'd go with gutbuckets opinion combined with mine on those Beyers. You can still try these techniques with what you have and tailor them later if/when you buy some omnis.
I don't think I've mentioned this, but I am drawn to your project from having studied Ayurvedic meditation in the 1990's as well as formerly being an FOH guy. I used to use Michael Hedges 'Taproot' or 'Live on the Double Planet' as my yoga/meditation music. So I am psyched you found TS and have then found gutbucket as he is a font of incredibly practical approaches to recording live music.   
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Offline SacredMetal

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Re: Recording Singing bowls and gongs
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2016, 03:24:15 PM »
Just to chime in: I like the 4 omnis around the bowls idea. Should pick up the gongs and the chanting nicely as well. I hope I didn't place you or the seller of the Beyers in an odd position as I was technically only responding to your "I'd like to try SD" mention. I'd go with gutbuckets opinion combined with mine on those Beyers. You can still try these techniques with what you have and tailor them later if/when you buy some omnis.
I don't think I've mentioned this, but I am drawn to your project from having studied Ayurvedic meditation in the 1990's as well as formerly being an FOH guy. I used to use Michael Hedges 'Taproot' or 'Live on the Double Planet' as my yoga/meditation music. So I am psyched you found TS and have then found gutbucket as he is a font of incredibly practical approaches to recording live music.

Its all good on my side. I have to lighten my load 1st anyway to cover "upgrade" costs so I don't dip into business expenses too much. Sure technically all my gear is a business expense but I still have to manage available cash.

I'm definitely selling Rode NTK, I have only used it a few times.

Fatheads I want to try out 1 last time before I give them back or up. Their nice but still limited for what I do. Looking at really small profile mics now for some of the oddball ideas I have seen in the oddball thread.

PZM is still in running but oddball is nosing ahead a bit if I do a welding rod mount & stand setup. I think that would get the most coverage and still be out of the way. I could come up with a min snake for the recorder so I can get the recorder closer to me & not have wires all over the place.

One thing about my setup, it has to look visually appealing when I start also. If you noticed sometimes I have crystal grids & antique artifacts in front. My attendees are very spiritual, this is my church when I start up. BTW, I am also an ordained minister but don't really do sermons. Most of the events take place on auspicious "holidays", full moon's, harvest moon's, equinox's, etc. Getting the gear to a lower profile would be a visual improvement.

I have an event coming up this weekend, I am not scheduled as a player but I know if I show up I'll be expected to be part of it. I may bring a "bag-of-bowls" with me & my knapsack of recording gear & 1 short stand. Then I come just Zoom H6 & x/y or m/s capsule the event. Or add the fatheads & give them one more chance... Things to ponder.
Zoom X/Y, Zoom M/S, Rode NT-1's, Rode NTK, Cascade Fathead
Zoom H6
Mogami Silver cables
5V USB 10,400mAh Backup battery
(it may not be the greatest but its a good start...)

 

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