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Mic-ing acoustic piano


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I'm sure this subject has been brought up 1000 times, but I was just presented with a project recording an acoustic piano (Yamaha C7). HELP!!

I use a P200 in my studio, but he wants to record remotely, using his piano. My mic cabinet is not very large, a few 57's, 2 C1000's, 1 C414, 2 Rode NT2, and a few new Behringer condensers (small barrels, can't remember the numbers).

 

What I am looking for is best placement, how to avoid phase problems, etc.

 

This project is scheduled for 2 weeks from now.

 

Any takers?

 

Jay

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I am using this response to avoid Sunday domestic chores:

 

Pop = close micing (stick mics in piano, aimed at the dampers for that "Elton John" sound -- bright with lots of percussive stuff inside the instrument picked up by close mics)

 

Classical = mics at least several feet away from the piano, spaced omni or X/Y cardiod, giving the sound a chance to mingle a bit with the room.

 

The piano you're micing, by the way, is typically bright, so you can get a poppy sound putting the mics in the next state.

 

None of your mics is anything I would use on a piano, so if I were you, I'd just choose the ones you think sounds the best, stick 'em on a stand about 5 feet from the instrument in x/y (cardioid), point them to the middle of the concave curve, push play and record, have a coke and a smile, and call it a day.

Dooby Dooby Doo
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the 414 is a classic piano mic, rent another one, and experiment with placement. typically 2-4 feet over the piano, one about midway on the first two octaves, the second midway between the remaining piano.

 

Start with them set to omni with the 75hz hp filters in.

 

Another option would be to use the 414 with a SDC like an AT4041.

 

You can rent either for about $30/day.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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I like to use mics in x-y (as the other posters suggested) and move it around until I get it right for the song (closer to the hammers obviously increases attack, while moving them laterally can place the emphasis on particular note ranges). But what I also like to do is to use at least one additional room mic and blend it in slightly with the other two. Gives me more options.
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Classical piano, go for the 4041's several feet from the strings. X-Y is great for rock and pop, but really not a classical sound, where you want much less obvious imaging, and more room tone than direct tone.

 

Also experiment with one 414 in omni, paying attention to room/piano balance, and if necessary use a single 4041 as a close mic (still 2-3 feet from the strings) if you need more definition in a specific range (most likely the low end.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Originally posted by where02190:

Classical piano, go for the 4041's several feet from the strings. X-Y is great for rock and pop, but really not a classical sound, where you want much less obvious imaging, and more room tone than direct tone.

Yes, I forgot to mention that in my previous post, but I am referring mostly to a piano in rock/pop when I am doing it this way.

 

BTW, George Winston's "Winter" recording was done with 16 microphones! That's a little more complex than what I do!!!!

 

I do like to have a fair amount of room tone - or at least the option or it - when recording, so I try and sneak in at least one room mic when recording piano. Seems to work so far.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bordering on a non-sequitur:

When I first started out, I had very few mics. Well, okay, I had four - 3 Radio Shack PZMs and an SM 57. I managed to make a serviceable recording of my grand piano by sticking two of the RS PZMs on the lid of the grand piano with white paper tape. Surprisingly good recording considering what I was using, but a lot of that was because I had a very nice-sounding piano.

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  • 1 month later...

OK, update time. I used the 4041s (3) for the main recording , 2 feet above the strings, and a C414 in the room, 5 feet away and near the bend in the body for room. It came out great. Used a MOTU 828mkII into Sonar3. Sounds amazing (the recording and the guy playing).

 

Thanks so much to all that helped.

 

Jay

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Originally posted by jay da cop:

OK, update time. I used the 4041s (3) for the main recording , 2 feet above the strings, and a C414 in the room, 5 feet away and near the bend in the body for room. It came out great. Used a MOTU 828mkII into Sonar3. Sounds amazing (the recording and the guy playing).

 

Thanks so much to all that helped.

 

Jay

C'mon! You can't tease us like that! Can't you post just a small sample that we can hear the results?? Pretty please? :)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

Soundclick

fntstcsnd

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"What I am looking for is best placement, how to avoid phase problems, etc."

 

if you dislike something, just move the mic a quarter of a inch.

 

http://blacktreeweb.com/charlestonrecording/pianoroom.htm

 

this is a another approach for more ambience:

http://www.warfieldpianos.com/Htdocs/recording.html

 

or this:

http://www.aarongoldberg.com/img/gallery/013.jpg

-Peace, Love, and Potahhhhto
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