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Small room small mics for piano
Old 7th October 2019
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Back in the old days, I have gaffer taped PZMs to the inside of the lid with good results, especially when the lid needed to be closed. I have also used lavalier mics the same way you have described also with good results.
Yes - I did this once, only to have one of the mics fall off onto the strings in the middle of the performance.

Also, gaffer can damage the piano's finish if you use the wrong type.

That's why I prefer a pair of DPA or Sennheiser - very light and the same effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I like your boundary mics on the floor underneath the piano idea. Never tried that.
It works well - once at a practical session with the IPS in the UK we tried as many ways as people could think of to mic up a grand piano - there must have been a dozen different mic arrays on the same piano. Listening to the results the consensus was that the boundary mucs underneath sounded best.

This was a concert grand in a major London recording studio (now closed, unfortunately).

I know most people cannot justify the cost of good boundary mics as they do not get used that often (I think my GFM 132s werwe over £2,000 each), which is why I like the TURTLE as it changes almost any SDC into a boundary mic and can be unclipped when finished and the mic used normally again.
Old 7th October 2019
  #62
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What's going on at 1:27?

Nice track. Great song.

Piano has a bit too much low end for my taste but to each their own.

Old 7th October 2019
  #63
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Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
When recording closed lid piano it helps to have side address microphones. When recording a bunch of acoustic instruments in one room, room mics serve no purpose. Your experience may be different.
Sorta what others have been saying, but in your situation (full band/small room) you might like condensers in omni better, gaff-taped to the lid to behave like a PZM. Do your homework on gaff tape to avoid the stuff that'll wreck the finish.

Don't know if your piano's on a dolly or not, but it can help a little to decouple it even slightly from the floor. Two or three thicknesses of sheet neoprene under each leg should get rid of some of the bass coupling without the added height of the piano annoying your players (much).

The PZM on the floor thing might be cool with a solo piano, but I'd bet on disaster with a band in there.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 7th October 2019 at 05:03 PM..
Old 7th October 2019
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I'm sorry, I was referring to your baby grand in the photo you posted in post #9 .
And it was the one posted in #38 that I was referring to.
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Old 7th October 2019
  #65
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which is why I like the TURTLE
I'm wondering if this was ever tried with other instruments playing in the room at the same time. I would imagine it wouldn't help the piano much unless it was somehow attached to the bottom of the piano?
Old 7th October 2019
  #66
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That's why I prefer a pair of DPA or Sennheiser
Could you elaborate on this comment a bit?
Old 7th October 2019
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
I'm wondering if this was ever tried with other instruments playing in the room at the same time. I would imagine it wouldn't help the piano much unless it was somehow attached to the bottom of the piano?
The bottom of the piano is the soundboard ..........

It can work quite well as they are directly under the piano and only a couple of feet from the soundboard.

Some instruments would be blocked by the physical size of the piano or minimised by distance.

Worth a try - not saying it's the be all and end all.
Old 7th October 2019
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Could you elaborate on this comment a bit?
Only that these have the reputation of being the best - and the DPA also supply little boundary adaptors for the 4060.

I did say "EG" - you can use any omni tie mic. you wish.
Old 7th October 2019
  #69
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First of all, I didn't mix this record. Todd and Russel split the mixing duties for this project.

Second of all, I don't know what you are referring to, since I don't hear any distortion at 1:27.

Thirdly, you could ask Todd Whitlock who mixed the tune, or Mark Wilder who mastered it about any of your perceived issues with the sound of this record.

For me, the AOA vinyl album I reviewed sounded fabulous to my ear. I've listen to this record on a few different systems and it translates perfectly.

Your in Harlem, right? Well, I'm in Queens. Let us get together and do a shot out of our best tracking and mixing work. We could listen to each others work and critic it back and forth.

In any event, I would love to hear your work. Do you have anything online we can listen to?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
What's going on at 1:27?

Nice track. Piano is a little low end heavy for my taste but otherwise sounds ok (with the exception of that odd distortion at 1:27)

Old 7th October 2019
  #70
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Recorded a string quartet in the room last week. Was okay. Not great. Again, would love a bigger room with higher ceilings but I don't have one so I have to make do.
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Old 7th October 2019
  #71
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I was referring to your baby grand in the photo you posted in post #9
Its not a baby grand. We were going to get a B but thought it might be too big for our room. We decided to get an M. It measures 5'7". There is a difference in the power of the bass though it is irrelevant in such a small room. "[G]rand pianos are generally pianos that are longer than 5 feet, while baby grands are 5 feet and under".

When I first started recording this piano in this room with other instruments at the same time I tried open lid. I've settled on short stick with a blanket as the best compromise. It requires a bit of EQ but it lets me control the bleed enough to get a decent sound. If I turn the piano around I will get a lot more bleed from the other mics particularly the horn which stands in between the computer and the piano.

This may change though at some point. I wish more than anything that I had a bigger room. Its just not something available. I had a huge loft in DUMBO a few years back. That would have been great but it was before I had a studio so the cons outweighed the pros and I left.

So this is it. It takes a little work to get a good piano sound but it can be done. Have to hit the high pass filter pretty hard, few other things, but in the end pretty good.
Old 7th October 2019
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Recorded a string quartet in the room last week. Was okay. Not great. Again, would love a bigger room with higher ceilings but I don't have one so I have to make do.
I've recorded some awesome stuff in some of the most adverse locations and conditions. You're place doesn't look so bad to my eye.

If you would have me, I could come by and give you some suggestions, time permitting of course.
Old 7th October 2019
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Its not a baby grand. We were going to get a B but thought it might be too big for our room. We decided to get an M. It measures 5'7". There is a difference in the power of the bass though it is irrelevant in such a small room. "[G]rand pianos are generally pianos that are longer than 5 feet, while baby grands are 5 feet and under".

When I first started recording this piano in this room with other instruments at the same time I tried open lid. I've settled on short stick with a blanket as the best compromise. It requires a bit of EQ but it lets me control the bleed enough to get a decent sound. If I turn the piano around I will get a lot more bleed from the other mics particularly the horn which stands in between the computer and the piano.

This may change though at some point. I wish more than anything that I had a bigger room. Its just not something available. I had a huge loft in DUMBO a few years back. That would have been great but it was before I had a studio so the cons outweighed the pros and I left.

So this is it. It takes a little work to get a good piano sound but it can be done. Have to hit the high pass filter pretty hard, few other things, but in the end pretty good.
In that case, I would certainly give the tie mics stuck to the inside of the lid a try.

The DPA 4060 stereo kit is nice as it includes the boundary adaptors.
Old 7th October 2019
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
Only that these have the reputation of being the best - and the DPA also supply little boundary adaptors for the 4060.

I did say "EG" - you can use any omni tie mic. you wish.
To add, of the tiny mics I've used the DPA's are the cleanest. Most of those film/TV lavs break up pretty easily. But I would also wonder about the sensitivity and headroom of a DPA inside a piano when it gets loud.

John?
Old 7th October 2019
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Its not a baby grand. We were going to get a B but thought it might be too big for our room. We decided to get an M. It measures 5'7". There is a difference in the power of the bass though it is irrelevant in such a small room. "[G]rand pianos are generally pianos that are longer than 5 feet, while baby grands are 5 feet and under".

When I first started recording this piano in this room with other instruments at the same time I tried open lid. I've settled on short stick with a blanket as the best compromise. It requires a bit of EQ but it lets me control the bleed enough to get a decent sound. If I turn the piano around I will get a lot more bleed from the other mics particularly the horn which stands in between the computer and the piano.

This may change though at some point. I wish more than anything that I had a bigger room. Its just not something available. I had a huge loft in DUMBO a few years back. That would have been great but it was before I had a studio so the cons outweighed the pros and I left.

So this is it. It takes a little work to get a good piano sound but it can be done. Have to hit the high pass filter pretty hard, few other things, but in the end pretty good.
Yeah, it's difficult to see. I always thought a baby grand's dimensions are between just under five feet long to just under 6 feet long with a width of five feet.

In any event, a B would have definitely been too big for your room.

As you can see in that first Jon Batiste image I posted, the drums were closer to Jon's piano than they appear in you image. I had no physical baffles, blankets or gobos, yet we got a killer isolation and that "good leakage" you would want to have in a closeup environment like that. It's all about my, "Virtual Gobo" technique. It works most of the time.

I'd love for you to listen to the raw tracks from that gig, with no EQ, gates, or compressors, just panning and volume levels. It's an excellent starting point for a mix because I took care of all the issues during the origination.

In time I'm sure you will grow and eventually find the right space for your projects. In the meantime, don't let that small room stop you from getting a big sound!

What say you?
Old 7th October 2019
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Back in the old days, I have gaffer taped PZMs to the inside of the lid with good results, especially when the lid needed to be closed. I have also used lavalier mics the same way you have described also with good results.

I like your boundary mics on the floor underneath the piano idea. Never tried that.
Thanks Steve for chiming in again.. I enjoyed Jon’s video you posted here. Have been his fan for a while, discovered him from YouTube video that he was leading a band for Tv show, was it Jimmy’s or SNl, not sure. He’a such a great player with lots of different genres, also lots of history he’ce got.. such a beast.

I checked lots of your thread and found you use c414 with gaffer tape, so I’m trying to do the same thing later on. Unfortunately atm, I’m teaching 4 days a week and at least 2 gigs a week.. very tough time for me to do any experiment till semester is over.

Btw, you mentioned piano’s lid open to room would be better, right?

I’m wondering in that case, are drums& bass going to be alot in piano’s mic, no? That’s why I put my piano near wall, lid open to wall side.

Wondering what’s your opinion about instruments placement?

Currently my room is like this
(Drawing attatched)
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Old 7th October 2019
  #77
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Public Service Announcement:

When it comes to capturing an acoustic piano on a loud stage or room, I love using those outstanding, Yamahiko piano pickups. They sound freakin' amazing!

Using three of them makes it perfect, yet most of the time we have used only two, along with whatever other mic package that's on the instrument.

They are not inexpensive, but worth every penny! Once you get the hang of how to mount them, it's smooth sailing when you're ready for the downbeat!
Old 7th October 2019
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Using three of them makes it perfect, yet most of the time we have used only two, along with whatever other mic package that's on the instrument.

What's the other mic package for? Do you mean you're taking splits from whatever the PA people brought and recording them as another choice?
Old 7th October 2019
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
Thanks Steve for chiming in again.. I enjoyed Jon’s video you posted here. Have been his fan for a while, discovered him from YouTube video that he was leading a band for Tv show, was it Jimmy’s or SNl, not sure. He’a such a great player with lots of different genres, also lots of history he’ce got.. such a beast.

I checked lots of your thread and found you use c414 with gaffer tape, so I’m trying to do the same thing later on. Unfortunately atm, I’m teaching 4 days a week and at least 2 gigs a week.. very tough time for me to do any experiment till semester is over.

Btw, you mentioned piano’s lid open to room would be better, right?

I’m wondering in that case, are drums& bass going to be alot in piano’s mic, no? That’s why I put my piano near wall, lid open to wall side.

Wondering what’s your opinion about instruments placement?

Currently my room is like this
(Drawing attatched)
It's my pleasure!

Yes, Jon's quite an amazing individual. Yes, he can play so many different styles, all the the precision you would expect of a virtuoso.

He's the music director and bandleader for 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' on CBS.

Consider getting some Ultra Clamps instead of the temporary Gaffer's Tape idea. One of my favorite mics to put on the piano are those Milab mics. DC96B or DC196. Very happening sound you can achieve from them. That's what I used for the Village Vanguard dates.

Deciding on whether or not, you could have the piano’s lid open or closed has a lot to do with what's going on in the room, That said, it's best to have the lid opening towards the room. It's just how I would want to do it. It's got to sound good in the room first.

Look at the first picture of Jon's stage setup, and see how close the drums are to the piano without and baffles, blankets or gobos. There's even a monitor speaker under the piano, and I still got killer isolation.

When you solo the piano mics from that date, the piano sounds like it's in a iso-booth. Same for the drums; plenty of isolation and we had nine or ten musicians on that tiny stage!

I got to get back to my project. I will try to find some time to review your plot and give you my observations and advice.
Old 7th October 2019
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
What's the other mic package for? Do you mean you're taking splits from whatever the PA people brought and recording them as another choice?
Typically, I want options. Sometimes, the more options the better.

These days, many live sound companies that work with top-level pianists use those Yamahiko pickups, especially for monitors, because they sound amazing, and you can get an insane amount of level before feedback. The musicians love them, because they sound like piano mics placed properly. In a live concert environment with a backline, I want at least two pairs of mics/pickups. Sometimes we have three pairs of mics going for different things. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to blend them in together, sometimes it's about which pair sounds best depending on the volume or which frequencies are most prominent on stage. My go to combo would be, let us say...

*Two or three Yamahiko piano pickups, then...
*A pair of Milab DC96Bs or DC196 or AKG C414TLII or even KSM132s, then..
*A pair of DPA 4099s or Sennheiser MKH8040s.

Now I have options. They each have their own vibe which plays well when you're in the mix room figuring out what to do when you may have more "bad leakage" than "good leakage."

In any event, we always split the mics with the sound company, and I take everything they have to offer us. I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Sometimes we do add extra mics that the FOH or MON would not consider using, yet it sounds great in the "truck" or CRM.
Old 7th October 2019
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Typically, I want options. Sometimes, the more options the better.

These days, many live sound companies that work with top-level pianists use those Yamahiko pickups, especially for monitors, because they sound amazing, and you can get an insane amount of level before feedback. The musicians love them, because they sound like piano mics placed properly. In a live concert environment with a backline, I want at least two pairs of mics/pickups. Sometimes we have three pairs of mics going for different things. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to blend them in together, sometimes it's about which pair sounds best depending on the volume or which frequencies are most prominent on stage. My go to combo would be, let us say...

*Two or three Yamahiko piano pickups, then...
*A pair of Milab DC96Bs or DC196 or AKG C414TLII or even KSM132s, then..
*A pair of DPA 4099s or Sennheiser MKH8040s.

Now I have options. They each have their own vibe which plays well when you're in the mix room figuring out what to do when you may have more "bad leakage" than "good leakage."

In any event, we always split the mics with the sound company, and I take everything they have to offer us. I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Sometimes we do add extra mics that the FOH or MON would not consider using, yet it sounds great in the "truck" or CRM.
i'm with you that i (mostly) want options - but yamahikos?! i keep using them but they mostly get fed just into the monitor mixes (or very rarely get requested by visiting engineers here at a venue which hosts a lot of jazz artists); for foh or broadcast mixes however, i don't find them much useful.

may i ask you whether you're using them full range or just to emphasize specific frequency bands and also about the typical balance between them and the mics?
Old 7th October 2019
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm with you that i (mostly) want options - but yamahikos?! i keep using them but they mostly get fed just into the monitor mixes (or very rarely get requested by visiting engineers here at a venue which hosts a lot of jazz artists); for foh or broadcast mixes however, i don't find them much useful.
I'm curious about these because I mix sometimes at a venue that needs, well, something better. Lid down, and they record and live-stream.
Old 7th October 2019
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'm curious about these because I mix sometimes at a venue that needs, well, something better. Lid down, and they record and live-stream.
they are certainly worth a try but i personally prefer whatever combination of mics, in any application and for any genre - couple of others you may want to check from helpinstiil, schertler, k+k etc.
Old 7th October 2019
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
they are certainly worth a try but i personally prefer whatever combination of mics, in any application and for any genre - couple of others you may want to check from helpinstiil, schertler, k+k etc.
Those pickups are $750 each shipped, and they'd need two.

The piano in question sounds really good with two 414's in omni gaffed to the lid, but I only know that because they were my 414's and that ain't happening on a permanent basis. Newer, still decent 414's can be had for less and they've got to be way more flippable. just thinking out loud (with my fingers).
Old 7th October 2019
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Recorded a string quartet in the room last week. Was okay. Not great. Again, would love a bigger room with higher ceilings but I don't have one so I have to make do.
Just happened to glance at the photo. That's a lot of mics. :-)

Was the "not great" the recording or the playing?

Did you consider putting the cellist on the outside? Quartets can sit in either configuration. But with younger players, the first violinist and the cellist are likely going to be more solid and confident than the other two, so having them on the outside helps.

Viola player gets points for the coat and tie. :-)
Old 8th October 2019
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'm with you that i (mostly) want options - but yamahikos?! i keep using them but they mostly get fed just into the monitor mixes (or very rarely get requested by visiting engineers here at a venue which hosts a lot of jazz artists); for foh or broadcast mixes however, i don't find them much useful.

may i ask you whether you're using them full range or just to emphasize specific frequency bands and also about the typical balance between them and the mics?
In the Remote CRM, they sound fabulous. And, they have saved my arse when the other mics were blown out by the loud stage volume that carving out the piano with some EQ didn't help the sound of the instrument too much.

How they get used depends on the particular situation. Many times I like to use them full range, yet at times they are craved up to emphasize certain frequency ranges. The balance really depends on the stage volume again. If the main pairs are placed properly and sound great, I like to go with them, with the addition of the pickups and maybe even the second pair if they are available. Again, it really depends on each individual situation, or song.
Old 8th October 2019
  #87
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Here's what I would start off with. Moving the piano to the center or close to the center of the room as possible is a great starting point. Getting the drums in the corner of the room and strategically placing the gobos as seen in the drawing I did would yield a much better starting point. Consider leaving plenty of space in between the instruments and the gobos. No need to box them in, you got that small room for that. ;-)

Getting the bass in between the drums and piano in that configuration is your traditional jazz performance setup.

Remember, nothing is set in stone. There are always options and adjustments that can be made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
Thanks Steve for chiming in again.. I enjoyed Jon’s video you posted here. Have been his fan for a while, discovered him from YouTube video that he was leading a band for Tv show, was it Jimmy’s or SNl, not sure. He’a such a great player with lots of different genres, also lots of history he’ce got.. such a beast.

I checked lots of your thread and found you use c414 with gaffer tape, so I’m trying to do the same thing later on. Unfortunately atm, I’m teaching 4 days a week and at least 2 gigs a week.. very tough time for me to do any experiment till semester is over.

Btw, you mentioned piano’s lid open to room would be better, right?

I’m wondering in that case, are drums& bass going to be alot in piano’s mic, no? That’s why I put my piano near wall, lid open to wall side.

Wondering what’s your opinion about instruments placement?

Currently my room is like this
(Drawing attatched)
Attached Thumbnails
Small room small mics for piano-1007192255-01-01.jpg  
Old 8th October 2019
  #88
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This recording project was a totally live environment with no headphones or isolation booths is a great way to capture (jazz) music. The musicians have a comfort zone that's familiar and feels right when they're performing.

The musicians were,*Franklin Kiermyer with Davis Whitfield on piano, Lawrence Clark on sax, and Otto Gardner on upright bass.
Our Budget24 Mini recording rig was used for this five week recording session. As you will see in the images below, the positions of the instruments stayed the same, but I kept modifying the placement of my gobos and added/changed some mics out. Since we had band monitors and no headphones, it was mission critical to get the best isolation while minimizing the "bad leakage."
Believe it or not, I have a Neumann TLM102 on the snare and of course, a pair of Beyer M160s on the overheads plus a Neumann TLM103 over the drummer's shoulder since the Drummer's Right Knee technique wasn't applicable for this setup.

You did not hear, "take one," "take two..." on this recording date. The band played what they wanted, when they wanted and the recorders were continuously rolling, capturing the situation of the moment!

As we progressed, I'm really started to dig the new setup!*We got some great isolation without any sound booth action and live monitor wedges for the musicians, baby! It's just how it should be done!*The additional 15" Plexiglas gobos did the trick. Raising the band monitors was also an improvement.

Any questions? What say you?
Attached Thumbnails
Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-01.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-02.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-03.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-04.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-05.jpg  

Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-06.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-07.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-08.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-09.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-10.jpg  

Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-11.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-12.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-13.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-14.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-15.jpg  

Small room small mics for piano-05-heres-jazz-recording-session-setup-i-did-brooklyn-while-back-16.jpg  
Old 8th October 2019
  #89
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Here's what I would start off with. Moving the piano to the center or close to the center of the room as possible is a great starting point. Getting the drums in the corner of the room and strategically placing the gobos as seen in the drawing I did would yield a much better starting point. Consider leaving plenty of space in between the instruments and the gobos. No need to box them in, you got that small room for that. ;-)

Getting the bass in between the drums and piano in that configuration is your traditional jazz performance setup.

Remember, nothing is set in stone. There are always options and adjustments that can be made.
I would take issue with "centre of the room" as that point can get quite honky in many rooms.

I would normally suggest "room thirds".

But I *do* agree with your drawing as the piano is off-centre.
Old 8th October 2019
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
...As we progressed, I'm really started to dig the new setup!*We got some great isolation without any sound booth action and live monitor wedges for the musicians, baby! It's just how it should be done!*The additional 15" Plexiglas gobos did the trick. Raising the band monitors was also an improvement.

Any questions? What say you?
Nice setup. Got to love those stack-able gobos. I am guessing the graphic EQ was for the monitors...and the monitors were necessary because of the great isolation achieved by all the gobos? Kind of a vicious cycle, but whatever gets the job done!
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