Usually at this time of the year I post a slightly crazy photo, but this year I thought you might like an audio Christmas card! This video is a piece of Christmassy joy captured by the Extinct Audio BM9x2 ‘Valkyr’ Stereo Ribbon Microphone. Apart from the fabulous audio quality and detailed stereo image this microphone is also extremely unobtrusive (see pics), making it perfect for this type of live performance.
No EQ or processing has been used.
Many thanks to Pam Smith at http://www.petalpics.co.uk/ for the great photos.
Posted in Extinct Audio, Extinct Audio 'Valkyr', Extinct Audio BM9, Microphone techniques Ancient & Modern, New Microphones, Recording in stereo, Ribbon Microphones, Stereo Microphone, Stereo Microphone Techniques, Stereo Pair, Uncategorized
Tagged EXTINCT AUDIO’S BM9 RIBBON MICROPHONE, Ribbon microphone
Following the success and critical acclaim of the ‘Viking’ BM9, Extinct Audio have continued the Nordic theme with their latest creation the ‘Valkyr’ BMx2 Blumlien Stereo Ribbon Microphone. If you are looking for a stereo ribbon mic which sounds fantastic and looks stunning this is it! The immediate reaction of performers and audio colleagues is ‘Wow, what is that’? Even the ‘Fenrir’ anti-vibration mount is a beautiful and effective piece of engineering, gripping the mic firmly and making it easy to position.
These microphones are hand built by Extinct Audio at their workshop just outside York here in the UK. The ribbons are painstakingly tuned and perfectly matched.
So what does it sound like?
- Acoustic Guitar Recorded in M-S Stereo.
- Swing From Paris. Recorded in X-Y configuration.
- Church Organ. Recorded in M-S Stereo
- Baroque Chamber Orchestra. M-S Configuration
- Eight A Cappella Singers followed by 70 Strong Choir . X-Y Configuration
- Cello and Orchestra. Y-Y Configuration
I have always been a fan of minimal mic’ing. The more open microphones on any recording the more distortion and low-level noise. On multi-mic’d orchestral and choral recordings almost inevitably there are also an abundance of out-of-phase signals to deal with, (caused by sound arriving at different mics at different times). In reverberant acoustics this problem is compounded by large amounts of reflected sound.
The last 3 recordings above demonstrate all the advantages of using a single, high-quality pair of coincidentally mounted microphones. In these examples the two microphones are encased in one body, the Extinct Audio ‘Valkyr’ BM9x2 . For all three concerts the mic was set on a tall stand positioned dead centre, (angled slightly down towards the back of the performers), a couple of metres behind the conductor.
- The acceptance angle of the microphones either in M-S or X-Y configuration easily takes in the whole orchestra/choir.
- The audio arriving at the front of the mics is phase coherent.
- The stereo image produced has excellent depth and positional accuracy, such that the listener can easily identify where individual players/singers were sitting/standing!
- The balance obtained completely reflects the conductor’s direction.
- The rich acoustics are also accurately reproduced, capturing a clear impression of the building.
What’s not to like?
For more information: https://www.extinctaudio.co.uk/
The danger in buying an Extinct Audio BM9 ribbon microphone is that very soon you will want a stereo pair! When Stewart Tavener at Extinct offered to lend me a second one to ‘try’ he knew exactly what would happen! ( Yorkshire cunning!) It didn’t take long before I hit the PayPal button. So I now have a beautiful matched pair!
The mics are coincidentally mounted, vertically one above the other and set at 90 degrees. (Classic Blumlein) I have used Rycote InVision 044901 Universal Shock Mounts as these make it really fast and easy to position the mics. They also provide the best possible isolation, and there is no chance of the mics falling out! The magnets in these microphones are seriously heavy and would make a considerable impression landing on the performer’s head!
The recording clip below of saxophone virtuoso Lydia Kenny would present a considerable challenge for any pair of microphones. The dynamic range is huge. It is packed with fine detail of tone and texture, from the delicate phrasing of the piano accompaniment to the rapid articulation of the blistering runs on the saxophone at full volume. The way that the acoustics of the hall support the music is also very subtle.
Having worked a great deal with jazz and rock ‘n’ roll over the years I had never previously been a fan of classical saxophone, but this excerpt from Lydia’s performance of ‘Fantasie’ by Jules Demersseman is quite simply an irresistible tour de force of 19th century technique and musicality. Demersseman was a friend of the inventor Adolphe Sax and the piece was published by Sax.
Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham (UK) had its heyday in the mid-19th century and its spacious acoustic and glorious Regency architecture is the perfect setting for this recording. The Extinct Audio BM9 crossed stereo pair flown below the chandelier also look very cool!!
CLICK ON PICS to listen
Lydia Kenny Alto Saxophone accompanied by Damian Kenny Piano.
Lydia Kenny is the winner of Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2018
UPDATE. Nov 18th 2018.
Clip from winner’s concert.
Posted in Extinct Audio, Extinct Audio BM9, Microphone techniques Ancient & Modern, New Microphones, Recording in stereo, Ribbon Microphones, Stereo Microphone Techniques, Stereo Pair, Uncategorized
Tagged Extinct Audio, EXTINCT AUDIO’S BM9 RIBBON MICROPHONE, Ribbon microphone, Stereo classical recording