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Choir and piano recording but piano is not centered - what to do?
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Corran
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1st February 2010
Old 1st February 2010
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Talking Choir and piano recording but piano is not centered - what to do?

I've got an important choral/piano session this week and just realized the piano will be to the far left. It is impossible to move (this is at a church and it's basically built into some alcove).

My plan of attack is to use a stereo ribbon for the choir, possibly with some outriggers, and spot mic the piano in stereo. However, if the piano is to the left in the mains how would you pan the spots? Should I go with a mono piano to be able to pan it more directly?

I've never recorded a choir with the piano in such a place so I'm a bit leery. I want to make sure everything is perfectly planned beforehand because I don't have much setup time.
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1st February 2010
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If it's on the left for the concert, leave it left for the recording. Nothing wrong with that.

I might fill it in a little with the spots (panned L and C perhaps), since having a piano way off to the side can make it sound small and distant.

I would not try to make it sound centered though.
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1st February 2010
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I mixed a rather big jazz band where the piano was on the extreme left - I panned it hard C - L and it worked with the "ambient" stereo pair I also used for the whole band. It maintained the illusion of piano being on the left, but it was more "here" - not lost on the far left... It was a more "dry" situation though, not like choir + piano...
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Corran
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1st February 2010
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Ah I neglected to mention this is a recording session, not a concert. I really wish we could move the piano center, since that seems more traditional to me.

I guess if it's to the left, that's just the way it's gonna be. There is no way to isolate and have the choir still hear it. I mean, barring ridiculous headphone setups, etc.

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2nd February 2010
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If wanted, the piano could be beside/behind/in front of (lid closed that option) the conductor or some other place.

Don't try to move the piano by panning.
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3rd February 2010
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My personal take is let go of the ideas of that this or that instrument should be at a specific point in the recorded soundstage. So I'm with NorseHorse, if the piano is on the left at the stage let it be there in the recording as well.

I've had nice results with a main pair and a left and right flank/spot mic on either side of the stage to add a little support to piano and other sources (choir, soloists) which was far out on the sides.

Most people don't listen to a proper stereo set up anyway and the idea of a soundstage and imaging in the recording have never crossed their minds.. :-)


/Peter
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3rd February 2010
Old 3rd February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
most people don't listen to a proper stereo set up anyway and the idea of a soundstage and imaging in the recording have never crossed their minds.. :-)


/Peter
This why I love mono
Wherever you leave it or put it, make sure that level works in mono also. If it's off to the left it will also be more isolated from the choir, I would personally use a mono spot (CCM21 about a foot out at the same angle as the lid pointed at the cross), OMD
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3rd February 2010
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Actually the flank/spots I mentioned above was Line Audio CM3 which has similar polar pattern as MK21.


/Peter
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