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Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls

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Julio Di Benedetto:

I would like to use my sing bowls in music I plan to record over the summer but have no clue about microphones.  Have not held a mic in more than 20 yrs.  Not certain if I will record a performance or just record individual bowls in a sampling manner.  From what I have read on the net, and there is not much out there on recording singing bowls is that because of the the low volume and complex tones a good pre amp and AD converters are recommended.  As far as mics go it seems wide open.  Perhaps a matched stereo pair?  Like any gearslut I know the names and the insane price some mics can go for but they are just names to me.

Im Looking for a good microphone(s) to get the job done well without getting a second mortgage.

Your thoughts are most welcome.

El culto:
Hi Julio,

i own both and can recommend these 2 mics (both are matched pairs)

Rode has a more "open/detailed" sound while the Octava is extremely warm and round (but less detailed in the high end range, so might be a bit restricted if you plan to record other sources with a lot of high end frequencies in the future too). But for low and mid key instruments like Cello, Viola, Bowls and Voice it is hard to bet especially for this price! Though, not sure if you can get it in Canada or USA...


El culto:
Small Addition...

I worked with the Neumann´s in the past in several recording conditions too:

IMO they are overpriced for all "non-pop music", especially as we use in "our" genre anyway a lot of effects, reverb etc. From my experiences the Neumann´s are a touch more detailed and presence than the Rode but for me it wasn´t worth to spend so much money for it.


A small diaphragm condenser is what you want so any of those three mics should work, maybe add a Shure SM81 in there as well. I would pick the KM184 first, then the Oktava's if you had them modded, they sound really good after that. Just about all Neumann's are over priced but for a reason, they do a great job and are usually one of the best in their range. I just used a KM184 on a sarengi and it did a great job of picking up all the details.

Julio Di Benedetto:
Thanks so much for the recommendations and descriptions Tomas & Loren .....I will look into them.  The KM184 at $1500 + a pair is not as bad as I would expect for the Neumann name. Still expensive yet you get what you pay for.

What is the mod on the Oktava that you mention Loren?  Easily done?

Is it necessary to have a stereo record a performance using all bowls?  For recording a single bowl?

Your microphone newbie!


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