Grand Omni Test

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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rojarosguitar
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Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:55 pm

Inspired by the video published by Gabasa, a forum member here, I was interested to check out how well an omni microphone would perform under less than optimum acoustical conditions of my living room.

Here are the results, with different microphones/accessories, most of which are omnis.

I'd be curious which one you like best (ranking), before I will describe the set up.

Please excuse the music; I was very tired after work but wanted to do this testing, so It's a bit of doodling, but anyway, the differences come out clearly:

https://soundcloud.com/rojarosguitar/se ... l-sdc-test

best
Robert
Last edited by rojarosguitar on Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby Jack Douglas » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:35 am

Hi, very interesting experiment. My personal two choices are #7 and #12. There seemed to be clarity of trebles in each without an overwhelming bass. Number 12 on second listen was my overall favorite. It just seemed to have an overall 'clean' balanced tone.
The Smell of Rosewood!!

robert e
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby robert e » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:00 am

I like #7 as well. Notes sounded focused and clear, yet not too close up.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:15 am

Here a little description of what I did:

Microphones are always in the same arrangement: 26 cm apart and not angled (means parallel), 125 cm above the ground (so quite a bit higher than the guitar body in normal sitting position and something around 90 cm from the guitar top and very slightly angled down. The last figure is the one where one has to find the compromise or balance between direct and indirect sound. If the room was larger and had a better accoustics, one could go further away.

The exception is the arrangement 12, which is a coincident (Blumlein) stereo microphone (I will comment on that one later on).

I should mention, that the whole thing was done rather spontaneously, if I had a helper, one could have optimized the microphone position by one person just walking around very slowly with the microphons until the best position is found.

All went through Millenia HV-32P preamp to Zoom TAC-2 interface (very respectable small box that doesn't even need a wall wart to be powered) to a Mac-Book Pro with Presonus Studio One V2 software recorded at 96kHz/24 bit.

All tracks then were mono normalized and mixed down to 44.1kHz/16bit for listening. No processing involved whatsoever.

The guitar used is my 2011 Stenzel 'Enhanced Wood' prototype (Cedar/Hondurian rosewood) that has been developed and built by Sebastian Stenzel for me and had a big success among those who could get hold of one, because they are rare.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

Jack Douglas
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby Jack Douglas » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:31 pm

Thanks for the detailed explanation as I personally know nothing about specific recording equipment and I'm a hobbyist player. I do listen well and have a pretty good ear.
I certainly hope you will keep us informed of listeners preferences. And of course your personal choice!
Thanks, again!
The Smell of Rosewood!!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:45 pm

OK, so as I said, I was trying to work in an uncomplicated way with omnidirectional capsulas in my living room environment: untreated, a bit noisy from outside and from the open kitchen adjacent to the room ... (one can actually hear the noise of the big fridge as wall as some deep rumbling of heavier cars in the background).

I took a pair of Danish Pro Audio mics that I still have from my mobile recording studio times, these are the DPA 4003 Hi Voltage mics. I patched them to the Millenia HV-32P through adaptors I have built myself to reduce the necessary phantom power ftom 130V that the DPAs require to the generally used 48V.

These adaptors just reduce the headroom a bit, which is not at all an issue with classical guitar (it could be an issue with an orchestra playing Sacre du Printemps).

- Rec 1 just plain DPA 4003 pair
- Rec 2 DPA 4003 with the smallest accoustic pressure equalizer ball
- Rec 3 DPA 4003 with medium size accoustic pressure equalizer ball
- Rec 4 DPA 4003 with large size accoustic pressure equalizer ball
- Rec 5 - 7 DPA 4003 with the 'saussage-like' accoustic pressure equalizer ball in different orientations
- Rec 8 - DPA 4011 pair of cardioid condensers but in same positions as DPA 4003 (which is cetainly not what one would usually do with cardioids)
- Rec 9 - MBHO 603 pair with KA100 cardioid capsula (Mikrofonbau Haun Obrigheim, a less known maker of German high quality mics)
- Rec 10 - MBHO 603 pair with KA 200 diffuse field equalized omnidirectional capsulas.
- Rec 11 - Earthworks QTC1 matched pair of omnidirectional microphones
- Rec 12 - Royer SF-12 passive stereo ribbon microphone in Blumlein array.

As I said, I use the last one, Royer, as a kind of reference, because I know this microphone very well and it plays very naturally, open, with ease and unhyped in any way, so I can use it as a kind of a guage of what I get mor or what I get less with other microphones.

I still didn't made my mind up about which of the recordings I like best (soundwise of course).

I still invite everybody to produce a ranking...

best wishes
Robert
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:40 pm

I have compared the Soundcloud files with the original 44.1/16 wav files, and there is quite a quality difference. For those interested here's the access to the wav files:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ceispmnd5lwuu61/AACeLRbCixIgsnAMIx7nTuIfa?dl=0

it is much more conclusive...
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el_guitarrero
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby el_guitarrero » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:00 am

Hi,

For me 4,5 and 11 are best. They produce a more ambient and warmer sound (more depth).

Other Mics deliver maybe a more detailed sound, but showing the guitar / players weaknesses - shift noise, fingerpads gliding on string, attack noise, high end freq of guitar (unpleasant).

Later i read what microphones were used, so i guess omnis fit best. As a coincidende it is the opinion of many rec. engineers, too.

Based on my own trials, it is always the guitar and the room that makes the sound good or bad. It is a blend of both.

If adding Convolution Reverb to create ambience , delay etc. In post, it does not sound as good...my opinion.

Btw.: it would have been nice to have one piece played for a comparison instead of "doodling".

But anyway, a nice comparison and lots of work to do this, so thanks for it!!!

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:26 am

I might follow up under more controlled conditions. Thanks for your comment!
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gabasa
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby gabasa » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:32 pm

Hi Robert, I think they all sound great; thanks for your awesome contributions to Delcamp!

I like #1, while #2 is close behind. The DPA cardioid is also quite nice, because there are less room reflections. Good work.

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:39 pm

Thanks for your comment, Gord. I also thought #4 has something appealing to it. There is always room for improvement!

best wishes
Robert
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

gasman
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby gasman » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:15 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:Here a little description of what I did:

All went through Millenia HV-32P preamp to Zoom TAC-2 interface (very respectable small box that doesn't even need a wall wart to be powered) to a .


hello
could you give me your opinion about zoom interface?

thanks

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:56 pm

I quite like this little Zoom TAC-2 thing. It's certainly not equal to any of the well known preamp makers in sound, but it's incredibly handy. Because you don't even need to use (you even can't use) a power supply - it is fed from the thunderbolt plug. I haven't seen any of other devices that stand so little between your actual playing and recording. So you need only a minimum of tech brain and can quickly switch into your 'artist' mode.

And the sound is good enough for almost anything that is not going to be published as your major act on Sony Records.

One special thing I also like very much in the little Zoom driver software is the automatic recording level trimming. You just choose your preferred headroom, hit that auto button, bang your guitar as loud as you can, and here you go ... your levels are safe, and not too low, too.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

gasman
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby gasman » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:48 pm

I understand you .thanks

I have had several interfaces( motu 828,ultralite, apogee duet , Fireface 400, mbox 2,digi 002,eleven rack, some m-audios , presonus vsl 44 right now)
And i am thinking about to change presonus to other better without spent 1000 euros.
What do you suggest me?

rojarosguitar wrote:
And the sound is good enough for almost anything that is not going to be published as your major act on Sony Records.

.


:lol: :D yes but i would like get a good récord(not for sale)

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Grand Omni Test

Postby rojarosguitar » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:23 pm

I understand the only one you have right now is Presonus. I don't know this particular one, but I have a Presonus Digimax 8 and the premaps are not outright bad but far from anything spectacular. I think the preamps of TAC-2 can hold up easily to Presonus as I know it. Maybe you get a chance to buy on trial?

I think, as far as ease of use goes, the Zoom is hard to beat, especially considering the price. If you had 1500 $$ to spend I would advise you to get either UAD or Antelope Zen Tour. But they both need an extra power supply, so Zoom TAC-2 is really very cool in being self sufficient. Also more things depends on the microphones you use. Here you get bigger improvement for the money. May I ask what mics you plan to use?

Best
Robert
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...


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