Recording a Glockenspiel?

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Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby Drumstruck » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:38 pm

In the theme of recording different instruments another thread #:-s

So today I started on recording a small Glock overdub piece and wondered what you good t'rockers like to use for this little instrument?

Any particular pres or mics that really capture it's notes without suffering too much from the impact dynamic?


fyi I tried a few combos of mics / pres / placements as follows:

Mics:
MD441n
PR40 (Heil)
RE320
Little Blondie

Pres:
Focusrite Penta
ART Studio V3
DM4800 console

Placement:
standalone on a piano stool
same as above but with gobos all around
same as above with gobos and mirror behind

and the winners are..... actually, there wasn't a winner as most combinations sounded good (but there was a loser)..... I was after a tinkly music box sound and am leaning towards PR40 + Penta + gobos with mirror.
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Re: Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby gigpiglet » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:49 pm

ive recorded glock a few times
always with a ribbon - SDC just makes them to "pingy"
i remember not to close was always the best result, but no particular "tricks"

we do have an awesome glock at the studio though... which was found on the street!
maybe that helps
Gareth Stuckey
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Re: Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby The Tasmanian » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:04 pm

I'd choose a ribbon first too.
bright ringy overtones > warm mic.
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Re: Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby jasound » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:17 pm

Distance is good, and pointing the mic just away from the instrument if its an overdub and not live ensemble.
Ribbons or dynamic would work better up close.
A LDC might slow it down in a good way too.
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Re: Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby Drumstruck » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:08 am

It's an interesting instrument to record - lots of impact transient and not a lot of ring volume. And why aren't I lucky enough to find one on the street - what a score Gareth!! :ymparty:

I thought the same as you gents about a ribbon initially and tried my Oktava - got plenty of (wooden) mallet impact, but just couldn't get enough ring sustain level from my little glock. Also tried an SDC (Little Blondie) but it was too bright.

As always the MD441n sounded beautiful - clear and warm... the RE320 was excellent too - very flat response, but the Heil is a real winner of a mic. It has great top end and captures the notes around top A the best of all that I tried. Close mic'd - about 6" above and angled about 45 degrees across the bars with some snarish compression got me pretty close to that tinkly raindrops sound.
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Re: Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby mylesgm » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:13 pm

When recording metallophones you can change the colour of the instrument quite drastically by altering the position of the mic in relationship to the vibrating nodes of the bars. One of the nodes is at the end of the bar, one in the middle and depending on the metal used and the way it is hammered or moulded there will be others at differing places. This is especially noticeable with Vibraphones because of the larger bars. If you move a close mic around over and under the bars you will find different overtone blends and this can be very useful especially if you want something tinkly rather than thick. It's why the instrument sounds 'fuller' or more realistic at a distance because the overtones blend together better from a distance.

Also, to minimise the 'thump' of the mallet make certain that the glock is sitting on a surface that doesn't transmit the impact transient to the supporting surface. If the glock is placed directly on a table then the table will definitely contribute to the mallet clunk. I usually placed foam or felt under the wooden arms of the glock or try to get a keyboard frame with rubber mounts to fit.

Then of course there is mallet selection and, having worked with classical percussionists a lot you realise that a good selection of mallets weights and mallet materials makes a huge difference to the tone as well. You can even use things such as knitting needles (either end and quite tinkly but still plenty of tone), super balls stuck on chopsticks (soft resonance with a little attack), or rubber bands wrapped around drumsticks if you don't have many mallets to hand.

And, depending on the track one of my favourite sounds is a resonant room with a glock played with tiny metal mallets, stereo miked from above with slow attack quick release slamming compression with an SSL or similar comp. Sounds like stadium rock glock.
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Re: Recording a Glockenspiel?

Postby Drumstruck » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:13 am

mylesgm wrote:.... I usually placed foam or felt under the wooden arms of the glock .....

.....one of my favourite sounds is a resonant room with a glock played with tiny metal mallets, stereo miked from above with slow attack quick release slamming compression.......


Thanks for those suggestions Myles - that's a really interesting approach! I'm going to try tiny metal mallets and micing. Agreed about the comp settings got good results with them on the Penta pre. Also used a piano stool to isolate my little glock as it is built with a wooden resonator box.
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