Piano CHI Neumann

| Apr 17, 2009 | 2,277 Views | Share


Microphones used: pair of Neumann KM 183's and pair of CHI omnis from 3 Zigma Audio. The microphones were spaced 16" from each other and standing about 3.5' from the piano. A pair of CHI cardioids in XY configuration was set up at 2' from the piano. No editing except noise suppression. The clips in the original 88.2KHz/24bit format are available at http://eternalclassics.com/Technology.html.

Audio Clips

  • Neumann KM183 (Pair) - Metric Halo ULN2

  • CHI Omni (Pair) - Metric Halo ULN2

  • CHI Cardioid (Pair) XY - Metric Halo ULN2


  • I listened to each clip multiple times, switching back and forth. Here are my thoughts: The KM183s have a nice sound. Bass is big, maybe a bit too big and boomy in parts. The CHI Omnis seem to have the most life and energy, probably cause they hear more of the room sound. They also have a little less bass. The CHI Cardioids have the best stereo separation, probably because of the XY configuration. You can really hear where each key is on the piano as the chords jump out left and right. It's hard to say which cardioids are "better" here since the mics were placed in different positions. I like different aspects of all three clips.
    By rackrecording on Apr 18, 2009 at 8:50 pm
  • Did you compare the originals? If not I would recommend to download the 88.2/24 clips and compare them.
    By michkhol on Apr 18, 2009 at 9:53 pm
  • Yes, I listened to the original 24/88.1 files. To my ears, the KM183s have the most bass, the CHI Omnis are the brightest with the most room sound, and the CHI Cardioids have the most upper mids and the most stereo separation between chords (but again I think the XY placement of the CHI cardioids makes a big difference). So I'd be interested to hear the CHI cardioids and KM183s in the exact same position.
    By rackrecording on Apr 20, 2009 at 8:49 pm
  • Interesting. When I listen to KM183 and CHI omnis , I don't hear much difference in bass, but KM183 has more resolution, more room and is more airy than CHI. The omnis however sound more balanced overall. I used a SET amplifier with 96dB single-driver speakers in custom cabinets and Metric Halo ULN2 as a D/A for audition. The position of the cardioids was intentional because they were a part of the three-lateral setup with omnis as room mikes. I didn't use room mikes at all for demos because there was too much ambience.
    By michkhol on Apr 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm
  • You're exactly right, you are hearing the big bell-curve in the Neumann that starts at 5kHz, peaks at 10kHz, back to zero at 15kHz, tapering off (attenuated) from there on up to 20kHz The 3 Zigma Omni have much shallower bell-curves with a starting point in the Diffuse Field of 2kHz, a peak about 7.5kHz, and a return to zero at 11kHz, with the Free-Field's bell curve starting at 3kHz, peaking around 7.5kHz and back to zero at 10kHz. In layman's terms, both the 3Z omni's are less hyped, and more neutral. While we prefer not to have a ruler flat response, it's really a nuance thing. Which is why we insist on such variety of choices in tone! We did a concert with ten grand pianos at the Benoroya Hall in Seattle. The C-Lol-47 seemed to be a favorite on the big Steinway Grands. Again - it's very personal. Our old-school approach is to make the SD less colored and the LD Highly Colorful, but we're open to suggestions!
    By Larry V on Feb 3, 2011 at 6:54 pm
  • I prefer flat response mikes on string instruments lately, especially dual-capsule LD condensers like Neumann TLM193. However I still use Neumann omnis on piano, they have that vibe no other mike I've tried had.
    By michkhol on Feb 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm

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