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ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978032 03/16/01 08:38 AM
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I'm new to this forum and I've seen a few mentions of "I cant make you love me", I would love to hear about how the piano was done.
Not only how it was recorded but how Bruce Hornsby came up with the part(s) how long it took . Any information would be welcomed by a lifelong fan .

Was Bruce responsible for the last chord?

Sorry if this has been through already. Newbie at large!
Thaks in advance. (Amazing, Inspiring work Ed)

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978033 03/16/01 03:05 PM
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This will probably not answer your question, but anyway.

I read an interview with David Foster (in Keyboard mag, I belive)
And they were talking about recording piano and David said that he called Bruce and asked him how he miced his piano to get his wonderful sound.

- don't you rememder? said Bruce.
- No.
- Well, It's miced as you told me long ago.

The major part of sounds is from his way of playing.




------------------
--Smedis,--

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978034 03/16/01 07:55 PM
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Good question. I've always loved Bruce's piano sound. And David Foster's for that matter. I believe I recall that Keyboard issue. But I'd also like to know the recording techniques and EQ, etc.

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978035 03/16/01 09:33 PM
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Roger actually answered this question when asked about 'Steely Dan' piano sounds. The first I read of it was in 'Record/Engineer/Producer Magazine' around 1980 or '81. Humberto Gatica interview: two AKG 414's placed directly over the hammers in the center of the piano; about 9 inches above the strings and spaced about a foot or less apart. The mic to your left, as you sit at the piano, angled @45 degrees toward the low end. That's it. That's ALWAYS been it. Works on pianos down to about 5'6". All the David Foster, David Paich, Robbie Buchanan, Jai Winding...on and on, recordings. Humberto also pointed out that he reversed the panning i.e. low to the right, high to the left when mixing.
This micing helps a grand piano cut thru in a pop/rock setting.

Yours truly, Benjy


Benjy
Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978036 03/16/01 10:32 PM
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Oh Yeah, the Hornsby Piano...........there was a great sounding 7 foot Yamaha in the studio (Oceanway L.A. studio B), that I had tuned and set up. I had recorded that piano many times before with pretty good results, and thought it would work great. At the last minute, a cartage company arrived with Bruce's road piano, a Baldwin that was set up to his liking. I used a couple of 414's or C-12 A's, I think, in an X/Y about 2 feet off of the hammers, favoring the high side, with a FET 47 down at the bottom to blend in some of the low, lows off of the soundboard. I had some real problems with that piano, with me apparently being the only person that could hear them. I thought his Baldwin sounded more like a Black and Decker. I even called in a friend, one of the top piano techs in the world (after the fact) to confirm what I was hearing. Bruce liked his piano set up bright and hard, and this was so bright and hard it was ZOOOOMING....kind of like a power drill, especially on the top end. It drove me crazy, because once I heard the zoom, my ear would only go to that. Needless to say, it was a brilliant performance, with the song, including a keeper vocal, live off of the floor. Later, when I was mixing that song, it was driving me crazier, and in trying to fix the bad overtones, I was ruining the rest of the piano sound, and having trouble placing it right. As I was about to pull my hair out, my friend George Massenburg stopped in from the other studio (Conway A, I was mixing in Conway C), and since I had a GML Parametric across the piano insert, asked him if he could hear what I was talking about, and he could. I had totally lost my perspective and asked him to twist some
EQ on it....trying to lose some of the zooom, but keep the clarity and depth. He kind of straightened it out, went back to his studio, and I got my perspective back.....If you listen closely, you can hear some of those overtones, especially when he goes higher and harder into the chorus's.
ed c

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978037 03/17/01 12:10 AM
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Ed,
Remember when they would laquer (nail polish) the hammers on C-7's to get that z-z-zoooomin' sound. Ouch! Then all of the felts had to be replaced within a year because they would become flat. The first edition of Korg SG-1 pianos had that little (I can't figure out a way to write this sound) 'grrrrr/zoomin', sort of buzz in the sample. They used a different sample for the SG-1D.

Sincerely, Benjy
P.S. SPL?


Benjy
Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978038 03/17/01 07:30 PM
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I recorded Bruce Hornsby last Fall and he played a Roland 500 through a Roland 760 with a Cokely disc loaded in. I blended 3 different piano's to get the desired sound. He loved it.

I'm convinced ... Samples are better than the real deal.


Russ

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978039 03/17/01 08:27 PM
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Quote:
I'm convinced ... Samples are better than the real deal.


Try a Boston!
cheers
john

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978040 03/18/01 04:59 AM
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Hi Ed, Could you just clear up a little matter? You say Bruce played "I cant" live off the floor. Are you saying that he nailed it first time!
My God I hope not ! I couldn't nail that much expression first time with a weeks rehearsal and the music in front of me.

I read somewhere Bruces Live Baldwin was midi , true or false?

I'm curious about how these "Guest " sessions are put together, for example Bruce on Bonnie,Bonnie on Paul Brady, Pat Metheny on Bruce, the list goes on. Do they get any kind of advance warning, for example a mix without their suggested parts or any kind of roughs at all or do they just show up on the day and let rip.

Just wondered if some artists preferred to work blind or pre- warned

Thanks to all who posted a reply , I love this place!

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978041 03/18/01 06:21 PM
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I had done a TV recording of Bruce a little over a year ago. His Baldwin was not MIDIed. I agree with Ed about the over-the-top high end of the Baldwin. It was incredibly bright with a lack of balance between the midrange and the higher notes. I did as much as I could with the mics (414s) to help. We have a beautiful Steinway that I would have loved to hear him play on that show. However, in a live gig the top does help the piano get over the band. I would of thought he would have the Baldwin voiced darker for the studio though.

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978042 03/19/01 01:06 AM
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I met Wayne Pooley a few years ago, who has done a lot of engineering for Bruce, and he wouldn't tell me how me mic'ed Bruce's Pie-Anno. If I pressed it he might have. I think he was just trying to be funny, and I didn't ask a 2nd time.

-RC

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978043 03/20/01 07:00 AM
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Wayne uses a pickup, I forget what kind (BB I think). I don't remember what mics he favors, but he was kind enough to allow the 414s on the show I mixed.

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978044 03/20/01 11:13 PM
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I hope that no one got the wrong idea about Wayne from what I said. He's a great guy!

I'm sure he would have told me anything I asked, but I didn't go out of my way about anything in particular.

-RC

This message has been edited by Roger Chernenburg on 03-20-2001 at 03:14 PM

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978045 03/20/01 11:52 PM
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Russrags: >>I recorded Bruce Hornsby last Fall and he played a Roland 500 through a Roland 760 with a Cokely disc loaded in. I blended 3 different piano's to get the desired sound. He loved it.<<<

Russ, do you remember which volume disc?

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978046 03/21/01 09:54 PM
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Alan, most of the time, the musicians come in cold. "I Can't Make You Love Me" was most likely the 3'rd or 4'th take. There was a midi out on his piano, and at the time, I just got a new box, a Midi Man, that would convert the midi info so I could print it on a tape track, and then feed it off of the tape to a synth rack. Dynamics, velocity, etc. left something to be desired, but I remember blending some synth in behind the piano. Getting the artists to come in was usually accomplished with a phone call...we may have sent demo's, but most of the time we figured things out on the spot. In the case of Paul Brady with Bonnie, he was the writer, or co-writer, so we still tweaked and learned and arranged on the spot. Most everybody was a pretty quick study, and Bonnie always knew what she wanted and never had a problem telling tthe players what to do, and especially what not to do.
ed c

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978047 03/23/01 04:07 AM
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Russrags;
It pains me to hear your preference for piano samples. In my imagination I picture Mr. Hornsby either putting a quick part down for a friend, or going after a hybrid keyboard sound he has conjured up for a distinctive song.
I have spent a lot of time on the business end of some great grand pianos. And though I think I have tried them all, I have never found a satisfying piano sample. Many have worked in a pinch, but so what? Just consider the way four different strings from a chord intersect and release into the air like smoke going up a chimney. A unique moment in time capture by your best microphone technique. You never get that in a sample. And expression; until they have a piano sample with at least 4 levels of hammer striking, you'll never even near the expressive quality that a moderately good real piano can provide.
Samples, eech. I use them when I have to, but I don't have to like it.

tuchel

Re: ED..Hornsby Piano?
#978048 03/25/01 06:36 PM
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Hey Buick,

The Main "Sampled" Piano I use off the Cockley disc is called D40Q Steinway, hopefully that will give you enough information. I don't recall what Volume it is as I've never seen the original packaging. I'll often mix together several pianos to get just the right blend. We're not talking about a sampled piano out of an SPX-90, we're talking about the best samples known to man at about $1000 just for one CD. I can see your point though Tuchel, maybe if it were a piece of music that's very slow and naked you'd see a different reaction, but believe me Bruce Hornsby was the one providing the smoke, he invented that stuff. The track I cut him on is an old Standard from the 30's, it was new to me at the time though. Since then I've heard several other Artists versions on the same song and I've got the Best one, so go figure !!!! I think I'll go check out that Boston disc.


Russ


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