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Internal mic comparison

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jozz

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**renamed original title for future reference **

I need your help to judge some accordion sounds.

You find them here: https://instaud.io/21gw

You should hear 5 short lines, more or less the same. The sound is coming from two accordions with Sennheiser pickup systems, straight into the audio interfaces preamps, with some normalizing to keep gain differences in check. There is no editing, just different physical configurations.

Now the million dollar question is...which one do you like best? Im talking about gut feeling here,

1, 2, 3, 4 or 5?
 

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Jiri

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It is not so easy :). I like bass sound from 1, but In total my favorite is 4.
Jiri
 

Glenn

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3 or 4 for me.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Mr Mark

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2. It seems to best encapsulate the lower bass frequencies - although it would be nice if the bass was louder. This one seems the truest representation of the instrument; most of the others seem to have some sort of compression going on that takes away from the acoustic qualities of the instrument - although they might be better 'balanced' .

I don't like 1 or 3 or 4 because of their muffledness. 5 is too buttony.

IMGutsHO.
 

debra

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To be honest I don't like any of the samples much, because of the sharp treble single reed sound. I could be mistaken but my guess would be that 1, 3 and 4 are the Bugari and 2 and 5 are the Hohner. The bass sounds best in sample 1 but overpowers the treble too much. In terms of balance I agree with Jiri that 4 is best. But if you can adjust the balance I'd prefer 1 in the end.
 

jozz

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Thanks everyone so far. There is some debate possible on what type of reference speakers you play this on, but in this case even my laptop speakers seem to give away some of the configuration.

I had some time to do a bit of A/B testing with the MT-systems and was severely dissappointed in what Bugari has put into this 115 casing.

If you listened the audio, you have heard the following:

1.
Bugari 115 with MT-04 set, factory installed. The treble mic strip (3 mics) is mounted against the grill and the mics are pointing down diagonally. The bass mic (1 mic) is mounted halfway the casing near the outside plate with mic pointing upwards diagonally towards the back/body side of the accordion.

This just doesn't sound good, and the reason I went experimenting.

2.
Hohner Concerto IIIn with MT-06 (aftermarket fit), treble mics pointed upwards diagonally, bass mic at the bottom of the casing point up and slightly inwards towards the actual valve/holes.

This just sounds right to me. A lot of presence. This is what I want with the Bugari, so I went exchanging stuff. Trying different mics, position and angle/direction.

3.
Bugari with bass mic moved to Hohner position, so from halfway the casing pointing backwards, to bottom casing pointing inwards to holes.

4.
Bugari, bass mic same as 3, but with MT-06 treble mics exchanged from Hohner to Bugari grill. So here we have MT-06 treble mics pointing upwards in the Bugari.

5.
Hohner with the MT-04 treble mics.

Because the MT-04 bass mic is hard-soldered to the wire harness I wasn't able to confidently exchange those, but that will be my next step.

I agree in all cases this sounds somewhat muffled as opposed to having external mics on stands. However, 2 for me, brings enough presence of the instrument for my purposes.

I used the single 8-foot register because it "reveals" flaws in the whole sound best, in my opinion.

So there you have it. Thoughts?

PS. I'm glad most likes go to 4 otherwise I'm doing this all for nothing... :mrgreen:
 

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Dingo40

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Reading this thread made me smile a little as it reminds me of the old adage “ beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or, in this case, “ in the ear of the listener”!
 

jozz

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yes :D it is so

but still I find it hard to believe Paul thinks the first is best.. with his Bose system should he not know what good sound is? :mrgreen:
 

debra

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jozz post_id=56994 time=1523353557 user_id=2600 said:
yes :D it is so

but still I find it hard to believe Paul thinks the first is best.. with his Bose system should he not know what good sound is? :mrgreen:

I know what good sound is, which is why I said I was disappointed about all 5 samples.
In terms of what I hear from the bass I preferred the bass sound of sample 1, probably because I do not like much sharpness coming from the bass side. On my Bugaris without convertor I always used the first (lowest on the row) register which I believe had the three lowest reeds. I never used the tutti bass register.

Well, Im glad I identified the 3 Bugari samples versus the 2 Hohner samples. To me that says Bugari did something right, or at least clearly distinguishable from the Hohner. But the single middle reed on the treble I find disappointing. I was expecting a bit less sharpness from an Artist, even though it lacks cassotto.
 

jozz

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debra post_id=56999 time=1523361797 user_id=605 said:
But the single middle reed on the treble I find disappointing. I was expecting a bit less sharpness from an Artist, even though it lacks cassotto.

Agreed, to me playing live the Concerto even has a slightly more mellow single 8f than the Bugari.

In the Bugaris defense...this is the only register the Concerto is on par with it. The L reed is more or less un-playable on the Concerto and there the Bugari really out-performs it from top to bottom on the keyboard. Even the master, which I never use, is bearable and sort of musical on the Bugari. However using the on-board mics its hard to capture this.
 
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I find 1 and 5 most reasonable, with the caveat that the bass/treble balance on 1 is completely off. However, I don't know how this would correspond with the actual acoustic balance of the instrument, and you can likely fix this. It's hard to guess whether the "remoteness" of the treble sound is only due to the balance problem.

Most other renditions suffer from serious bounciness: I'd recommend using a back strap and practising pliable arm pressure so that the freshness of the bass accompaniment (which eats a lot of air when its buttons are pressed) does not get to change the bellows pressure as much (of course, the bellows will move in a stop-and-go fashion).

Apart from being the most "bouncy" version of all, version 3 also has some charm due to its sound quality "just at edge". Unfortunately, that makes it particularly susceptible to the pressure changes of the accompaniment.

I'm somewhat late into the discussion, but I wanted to play at reasonable volume on reasonable speakers. This may not be representative for laptop speakers or other compromise material requiring unsubtle input.
 

donn

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The treble side comes through best in 5. Something missing, in one way or another, in the others. Bass sounds good in 3 and 4.
 

jozz

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Geronimo post_id=57004 time=1523363540 user_id=2623 said:
I find 1 and 5 most reasonable, with the caveat that the bass/treble balance on 1 is completely off. However, I dont know how this would correspond with the actual acoustic balance of the instrument, and you can likely fix this. Its hard to guess whether the remoteness of the treble sound is only due to the balance problem.

Most other renditions suffer from serious bounciness: Id recommend using a back strap and practising pliable arm pressure so that the freshness of the bass accompaniment (which eats a lot of air when its buttons are pressed) does not get to change the bellows pressure as much (of course, the bellows will move in a stop-and-go fashion).

Apart from being the most bouncy version of all, version 3 also has some charm due to its sound quality just at edge. Unfortunately, that makes it particularly susceptible to the pressure changes of the accompaniment.

Fair points but try to just judge the audio only (not the playing) :mrgreen: Regardless, good hearing, maybe you could distill a best configuration now you know the details.

Me myself am trying to get rid of remoteness, in so far, what i need is mix-cutting presence. Now lets expand on this a bit with two new clips:

1.
https://instaud.io/21uf

2.
https://instaud.io/21ug

This time we have three tracks, a mono vocal, a left stereo uke and a right stereo accordion. Im curious what people find of these raw mixes. All settings are neutral, there is no change in audio controls on the accordion between the first and second clip, only the pickup method has changed.

Which one do you like best? (and why)

PS. best to listen on speakers with more low, as in this mix, the accordion is more subtle.
 

Mr Mark

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I'm guessing there is more than a slight difference int he bass reeds of the Hohner vs the Bugari and this is what I heard in #2? My second preference was for #5 so maybe that speaks more to the instrument than the mics. I guess it all really depends on what you are going for, in terms of how that sound actually sits in the mix - but then again I tend to defer to the one that best brings out the instruments natural sound, being accordions are so dynamic maybe this is also why I chose number 2. But if I was in the market for mics for my Concerto I would probably be sold on the Mt-06 at this point :mrgreen: .

The ear of the beholder to be sure, so many variables...being a noob with accordions I hear the bounciesness now in track three I previously thought was compression. However, the short clips pasted together are the best format for comparison I have heard yet, kudos.


For your second audio poll; the second clips jumps out at me right away, the clarity in vocals and at least the treble side of the accordion is most apparent...although it seems the uke gets a little more lost. Overall I would definitely go with the second clip, it seems to have much more 'clarity'.
 

donn

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2nd one sounds more identifiable as an accordion, which is good.

Sustained chords don't give you the most transparent evidence for fidelity, in my opinion. I'm missing what articulation there is at the beginning and ends of notes, both because of the sustain and the chords, and of course the chords pile up a lot of tones together. If it's just about what the track sounds like, is it a wrap - no, the accordion's too high in the mix etc. - but I assume you're trying to gauge general recording quality.
 

jozz

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Thanks for all the feedback everyone, this is much appriciated :!:

Mr Mark post_id=57016 time=1523402528 user_id=1991 said:
Im guessing there is more than a slight difference int he bass reeds of the Hohner vs the Bugari and this is what I heard in #2? My second preference was for #5 so maybe that speaks more to the instrument than the mics. I guess it all really depends on what you are going for, in terms of how that sound actually sits in the mix - but then again I tend to defer to the one that best brings out the instruments natural sound, being accordions are so dynamic maybe this is also why I chose number 2. But if I was in the market for mics for my Concerto I would probably be sold on the Mt-06 at this point :mrgreen: .

The ear of the beholder to be sure, so many variables...being a noob with accordions I hear the bounciesness now in track three I previously thought was compression. However, the short clips pasted together are the best format for comparison I have heard yet, kudos.

For your second audio poll; the second clips jumps out at me right away, the clarity in vocals and at least the treble side of the accordion is most apparent...although it seems the uke gets a little more lost. Overall I would definitely go with the second clip, it seems to have much more clarity.

There is a huge difference in bass output from the Hohner (powerful) and the Bugari which is more subtle. This is heard best playing live, but youre right and what Im going for is the pickup that carries the best natural sound to the recording. So I have a clean source which I can EQ later.

Now for the Hohner this is as good as it gets regarding these internal pickups, and what Ive been using for years. So when I record myself and listen back on my reference monitors the sound is as if Im playing live. For me this is important because Im going to feed that into PA systems and such.

This got me figuring if there really was something to the difference of the so called custom MT-06 Musictech mic kit (in the Hohner) compared to the stock MT-04. Then when I opened them up I saw not only are they physically different, both treble and bass are positioned and pointed differently between the Hohner and the Bugari.

donn post_id=57018 time=1523406175 user_id=60 said:
2nd one sounds more identifiable as an accordion, which is good.

Sustained chords dont give you the most transparent evidence for fidelity, in my opinion. Im missing what articulation there is at the beginning and ends of notes, both because of the sustain and the chords, and of course the chords pile up a lot of tones together. If its just about what the track sounds like, is it a wrap - no, the accordions too high in the mix etc. - but I assume youre trying to gauge general recording quality.

Well general recording quality is one thing, but the ultimate goal is the best source for stage amplification. Which is basically the same. If the source is crap so will the output be.

But no these mixes are just meant for this quick assessment. They are raw, no EQ, processing or whatever and only for us to improve our arrangement and listen back and practice. But the first accordion recording (not the mix perse) was so awful, the stock config is just way to muddy in the low end and no presence at all. Then I went with the external mic, and thats what you are hearing in the second clip.

In short:
1. Bugari 115 with MT-04 stock.
2. Bugari 115 through my external dynamic on a stand.

So now Im on the hunt for the best MT-06 config/angle/direction into the Bugari.

But you guys give me doubt because some people are leaning more towards the muddy-ness of the Bugari MT-04... :idea:
 

debra

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jozz post_id=57008 time=1523371555 user_id=2600 said:
...
Fair points but try to just judge the audio only (not the playing) :mrgreen: Regardless, good hearing, maybe you could distill a best configuration now you know the details.

Me myself am trying to get rid of remoteness, in so far, what i need is mix-cutting presence. Now lets expand on this a bit with two new clips:

1.
https://instaud.io/21uf

2.
https://instaud.io/21ug

This time we have three tracks, a mono vocal, a left stereo uke and a right stereo accordion. Im curious what people find of these raw mixes. All settings are neutral, there is no change in audio controls on the accordion between the first and second clip, only the pickup method has changed.

Which one do you like best? (and why)
...

Well, for me both clips now do not have nearly have enough bass. (I used speakers with good low, and a quality headphone as well.) The bass not only lacks volume in these clips but also depth, which is one of the reasons I prefer the convertor instruments that go down to E instead of the standard bass Bugari that only goes down to A.
 

jozz

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debra post_id=57036 time=1523453305 user_id=605 said:
Well, for me both clips now do not have nearly have enough bass. (I used speakers with good low, and a quality headphone as well.) The bass not only lacks volume in these clips but also depth, which is one of the reasons I prefer the convertor instruments that go down to E instead of the standard bass Bugari that only goes down to A.

Yes I might not have balanced the individual tracks out well enough for this comparison, but with good phones you hear whats the problem right? This was the Bugari with the bass mic still attached halfway and pointing to my body rather than the valves.

The second clip was with one central cardoid dynamic about 30 cm front and centre of the instrument. Both clips do not provide enough to amplify/EQ on properly this way (this is partly due to the mic used which is for speech). Regardless, what I need on the Bugari is a crystal clear bass pickup, that I can later EQ (after all its a small instrument with little overhead) and have a means to balance the two sides. So either with the internals or two mics.

Now one more:

1.
https://instaud.io/21Jg

2.
https://instaud.io/21Jh

This is a truer representation with two mics either side. So you are hearing M and L registers, and the bass should be more representative for both instruments compared to those two earlier mixes.

Thoughts?
 

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Geronimo

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debra post_id=57036 time=1523453305 user_id=605 said:
Well, for me both clips now do not have nearly have enough bass. (I used speakers with good low, and a quality headphone as well.) The bass not only lacks volume in these clips but also depth, which is one of the reasons I prefer the convertor instruments that go down to E instead of the standard bass Bugari that only goes down to A.
There is a reason that the left accordion hand is the first to go in a band setting. I find that unless you have really good reproduction, a good deep bass just doesnt imprint that well on the sound. The standard bass octave on E is 41Hz (inclusive) to 82Hz (exclusive), and many computer desk soundbars and their ilk without subwoofer start at 100Hz or similar (by the way: a low A is 55Hz which is not all that much higher). So the air spent on the fundamental is mostly wasted for transparency but the sound signature of bass and treble reeds is similar and wide enough that moving the bass upwards would lead to clashes with the accordion treble.

Compare this with a bowed or plucked double or electric bass which has quite a number of overtones as well but a completely different sound signature. It stays well distinguishable from the treble side of an accordion, or even the bass side.

Soundwise, I also consider it imprudent to squeeze other instruments between an accordion bass and an accordion treble. It might be nice for an idiomatic oom-pah passage/solo, but otherwise I dont think one is doing the accordion a favor by giving it too many roles in a band setting.

So Im just not sure how relevant these comparisons are. I consider it likely that going for the best treble sound, never mind the bass, is likely the best bet for a band situation.
 

debra

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jozz post_id=57038 time=1523457148 user_id=2600 said:
...
Now one more:

1.
https://instaud.io/21Jg

2.
https://instaud.io/21Jh

This is a truer representation with two mics either side. So you are hearing M and L registers, and the bass should be more representative for both instruments compared to those two earlier mixes.

Thoughts?

The first of the new clips sounds better.
I dont like the sound of the bass register in the second clip.
What Im also hearing (very clearly around halfway through the second clip) is that some F reed is out of tune.
 
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