Author Topic: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls  (Read 2590 times)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« on: June 06, 2013, 04:24:03 AM »


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

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 06:30:20 AM »
Hi Julio,

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

http://www.thomann.de/gb/oktava_mk_01201_mkiimatched_pair.htm

http://www.thomann.de/gb/rode_nt_5.htm

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...

Greetings,
Tomas

El culto

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 11:42:48 AM »
Small Addition...

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

http://www.thomann.de/gb/neumann_km184mt_stereoset.htm

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.

Greetings,
Tomas
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 11:48:22 AM by El culto »

LNerell

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 01:56:58 PM »
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.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2013, 04:09:39 PM »
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 pair.....to record a performance using all bowls?  For recording a single bowl?

Your microphone newbie!

Seren

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 04:45:31 AM »
It is iportant to remember that the better the microphone the ore it picks up - both sounds you want to hear and any others.

I have a pair of sennheiser condensers and AKG diaphrams - The AKG make better quality recordings but I am limited to times when there is no traffic passing by.....

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 05:38:45 AM »
Good point Seren......I am sure it will be an issue I will face.  My studio is acoustically treated but this is for mixing purposes, theres no iso booth.

I once asked Taylor Deupree about his acoustical recording method in his studio and ambient noise issues and he had no concern about addition sound being recorded along with the source.....in fact he seemed to almost welcome it as a creative opportunity.

I imagine that getting a "good" recording will be more of a challenge than microphone selection.   

Seren

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 01:00:47 PM »
I don't mind ambient noise in general - however I live on a main and busy road and somehow woosh, wooosh, woooosh of traffic does not fit in with gently meditative bowl sounds....

El culto

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 01:13:14 PM »
I don't mind ambient noise in general - however I live on a main and busy road and somehow woosh, wooosh, woooosh of traffic does not fit in with gently meditative bowl sounds....

Streets of Himalaya?

 ;D

hdibrell

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2013, 01:13:50 PM »
 ;D
I don't mind ambient noise in general - however I live on a main and busy road and somehow woosh, wooosh, woooosh of traffic does not fit in with gently meditative bowl sounds....
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

ffcal

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2013, 04:08:58 PM »
It's a Yin/Yang thing;)...

Forrest

;D
I don't mind ambient noise in general - however I live on a main and busy road and somehow woosh, wooosh, woooosh of traffic does not fit in with gently meditative bowl sounds....

chris23

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2013, 07:14:02 PM »
I'd buy that CD just for the giggles.

Seren

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2013, 01:14:47 PM »
seems a popular idea - perhaps I'll record it .......

LNerell

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 12:57:30 PM »
What is the mod on the Oktava that you mention Loren?  Easily done?
Is it necessary to have a stereo pair.....to record a performance using all bowls?  For recording a single bowl?


You can read the mod on Recording Magazine website here:

http://www.recordingmag.com/resources/resourceDetail/315.html

Is it easy? The board is very small and delicate, but it is a doable mod if you are handy with a soldiering iron, or you could find someone who can do the mod for you. If I recall I think all the parts for the mod cost me $25.

As for stereo, it's really up to you. I would probably record several tracks in mono then pan them.

You want to spend some serious money on some great mics? Check out the Schoeps CMC 6 which is body only. Add a MK 4 cardioid capsule and we are getting near 2 grand for a single mic. If you want an omni the MK 5 capsule will cost you another grand. Hyper-cardioid? The MK 41 will run you $1300 just for the capsule. Expensive but worth it, I use a pair of these at work all the time, my go to mic for most things when recording stereo.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 01:12:03 PM by LNerell »
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 04:58:45 AM »
Thanks for the reply and recommendations Loren.....I did some research on the Oktava mod and found this http://www.oktavamodshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_48&products_id=35  I would go this route as a regular steam iron is dangerous in my hands.

The Schoeps would be great to have.....I have seen these mics talked about around the net and they are spoken off with reverence. 

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2013, 05:34:50 AM »
Just want to let forum members know that Harry Dibrell sent me one of his microphones to try and get my feet wet so to speak before I commit to purchasing one or two.  It is a beautiful thing when we support each other here and really makes this a community in the true sense.....Thanks Harry!

hdibrell

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Re: Advice on Microphones to record Himalayan Singing Bowls
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2013, 02:30:09 PM »
You're welcome!  :D
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.