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Quartz Crystal Bowls


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I can't say that I've done much bowl recording.

 

However, thinking about a good mic for capturing high frequency content with lots of overtones (and depending on your budget), I could make quite a few recommendations. I'd lean toward a FET (rather than tube) condenser... perhaps a Blue Blueberry, or even a AKG 414.

 

Are you wanting to record the bowls in stereo?

 

- Jeff

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Originally posted by eh steve:

Myshell, my bell

Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble

Très bien ensemble.

 

:wave:

What would you think if I sang out of tune,

Would you stand up and walk out on me.

Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,

and I'll try not to sing out of key.

I get by with a little help from my friends,

I get high with a little help from my friends,

I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends.

 

Myshell :thu:

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Originally posted by Jeff Da Weasel:

I can't say that I've done much bowl recording.

 

However, thinking about a good mic for capturing high frequency content with lots of overtones (and depending on your budget), I could make quite a few recommendations. I'd lean toward a FET (rather than tube) condenser... perhaps a Blue Blueberry, or even a AKG 414.

 

Are you wanting to record the bowls in stereo?

 

- Jeff

The Producer of Tibetan Bells II (which had a lot of brass Bowls in it) said they used Dynamic Omnis right in the bowls.

 

I would like to record in stereo. I don't have the greatest room to record bowls, though. So I was thinking of another location. Your recommendations are welcome.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Myshell

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I've recorded Japanese bowls (for a set of samples, not a performance) in stereo and I found that the overtones were very difficult to capture in phase. I was using a pair of C1000's and I tried every damn configuration I could think of. I finally went with one mic almost inside and one about 6 feet away...not really a stereo recording, but I got two usable samples.

 

I imagine that crystal bowls would be even more difficult to capture in stereo because of the purer overtones. Are you using frosted bowls? I imagine they'd have less high energy content, but the variance may be negligible.

 

As far as rooms go, I prefer big dead rooms to record percussion (except for full drum kits, but I never have been called upon to record them). I'm happy to add reflections later, but it's such a pain to try to eq them out if they're part of the original sound.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Originally posted by zeronyne:

I've recorded Japanese bowls (for a set of samples, not a performance) in stereo and I found that the overtones were very difficult to capture in phase. I was using a pair of C1000's and I tried every damn configuration I could think of. I finally went with one mic almost inside and one about 6 feet away...not really a stereo recording, but I got two usable samples.

 

I imagine that crystal bowls would be even more difficult to capture in stereo because of the purer overtones. Are you using frosted bowls? I imagine they'd have less high energy content, but the variance may be negligible.

 

As far as rooms go, I prefer big dead rooms to record percussion (except for full drum kits, but I never have been called upon to record them). I'm happy to add reflections later, but it's such a pain to try to eq them out if they're part of the original sound.

Hmmm....

 

I'm thinking for this one you would definitely want real room acoustics- and the acoustic signature of the room would be a big thing for the vibe. Since this is supposed to be some kind of meditative/healing vibe, I would be thinking wood, wool, fur, stone, when I thought about the room to do it in.

 

Judging from the above, I would guess that a stereo pair at some distance capturing the room sound would be the best bet for capturing a stereo image of the overtones in phase. Like 10' or more from the bowls, this one could well be condensors. Then perhaps the dynamic spot mics right in the bowls as Bob suggested. Just a little of the stereo ambience will make everything seem stereo.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Hi,

 

I'm quite familiar with these bowls, as my friend has a large set which I have played. While I haven't recorded the crystal ones myself, I have recorded Tibetan percussion that is similar in volume and tone.

 

My suggestion is to close mic 'em, at least within 3 feet or so. They are fairly quiet, and unless you have a really resonant room you might have trouble getting sufficient signal. Which sizes bowls do you have? They vary greatly, from pretty small to quite large. So, it's kinda like violin, viola, 'cello, and bass... what sound best on the violin might not be the ticket on the bass...

 

Why not try a few different kinds of mics, and see what sounds best? That's always a good approach.

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Originally posted by Jeff Da Weasel:

I can't say that I've done much bowl recording.- Jeff

For a very brief moment, I thought this read "bowel recording". And I thought to myself, "I'd certainly hope not!"

Audio would probably come out all muddy anyway.

You'd have no choice but to make a shitty recording, then.

 

*****

 

The only thing I can offer is that I've recorded my Tibetan bowls with 414's; I treated them as I would cymbals.

I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
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Rereading your post, Myshell...

 

Since you're not keen on your room for recording these, why not try to find a small chapel with a lot of hard surfaces? If you could get past the macabre aspects, maybe even a small mausoleum? Something with lots of marble and granite. A stairwell in a building that's pretty much closed down for the night might work. Or a restroom in the same building, one with all tile surfaces. Three Dog Night used to track a LOT of their vocals in the men's room at ABC Dunhill.

I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
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Originally posted by Myshell:

I would like to record in stereo. I don't have the greatest room to record bowls, though. So I was thinking of another location. Your recommendations are welcome.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Myshell

Heh, knowing Jeff, he'll recommend his place. :D

 

Think it might work with an isolation enclosure? Something like a guitar cab enclosure just might do the trick? Or a bathtub/shower...

 

By the way...Welcome to the best set of forums on the net. Yeh I know Neil, Fora, but Websters does use forums as the plural so I will too. :D

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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Hey yeah, Myshell...try the shower. Don't know what kind you have, but if it's all tile--and especially if it has a glass sliding door--you are bound to pick up something useful from the setting. Lots of resonance in there, although I don't know what the bowls you're tring to record sound like, so the shower could either really amplify the bowls beautifully or accentuate the negatives.
I've upped my standards; now, up yours.
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Originally posted by daklander:

Heh, knowing Jeff, he'll recommend his place. :D

No, I don't have a suitable room for bowls. Or drums. Or guitars. Or even the human voice.

 

I only record my thoughts here, scary as they are. :eek:

 

- Jeff

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Thank you all so much for the help! I didn't think I would get such a response.

 

I have tried to record in my room with so-so results. I can only experiment so much since I only own three mics (none matching) and I live in a smaller city with limted rentals. I could drive to Vancouver to rent-but I'd like to be sure of my choice.

 

I can't use an enclosure since I play up to 4 bowls at a time (Steve-I own 9-all frosted-6" up to 20").

 

I tend to agree with Ted (Hi Ted- I see you're over at the Massenburg forum as well). I think I would like to capture the room vibe. I was originally thinking concert hall but you guys have given me some great ideas I'll try out with what I have to try and determine what will work best.

 

Thanks again everyone for the help. :D

 

Myshell

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