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Small room small mics for piano
Old 3rd June 2020
  #151
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Plush's Avatar
Once again I am mightily surprised that this thread has legs.

Don't record a piano in a small room. Nothing you do will prevent your recording from being stamped forever with the "small room sound."

Use research and gumption to find a different place to record your piano work.

Never record a piano in a small room because when you do that you look like an amateur to anyone who hears that work.
Old 3rd June 2020 | Show parent
  #152
Gear Addict
Know what you mean!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Once again I am mightily surprised that this thread has legs.

Don't record a piano in a small room. Nothing you do will prevent your recording from being stamped forever with the "small room sound."

Use research and gumption to find a different place to record your piano work.

Never record a piano in a small room because when you do that you look like an amateur to anyone who hears that work.
Everytime I tried something, I hear room as well.. First time I didn’t know what room sound means, now it’s more clear to me.

It’s going to sounds small but going to keep trying till get reasonable sound in my room since it’s fun to trying different mic techniques.. only downside is I have to do it by myself since it’s just small space for myself.

Hope I can move in to bigger space soon..
Old 4th June 2020 | Show parent
  #153
Lives for gear
 

if you'd use a pair of cardioid mics rather than a pair of fig8's, you could keep a lot of the room sound out.
then compensate the close position by adding some early reflection and medium room efx. feed the amient mics but into a large room (but not into the main bus - as suggested preciously).
use some filters to cut out room resonance and dampen the highs on the efx return - et voilà: no one would notice that at you recorded in a small room...

this doesn't make your instrument any larger than it is though...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 4th June 2020 at 12:48 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 4th June 2020 | Show parent
  #154
Gear Addict
Yeap..

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
if you'd use a pair of cardioid mics rather than a pair of fig8's, you could keep a lot of the room sound out.
then compensate the close position by adding some early reflection and medium room efx feed the amient mics but into a large room (but not into the main bus - as suggested preciously).
use some filters to cut out room resonance and dampend the highs on the efx return - et voilà: no one would notice that at you recorded in a small room...

this doesn't make your instrument any larger than it is though...
I realized that ribbon inside doesn’t really do much,
I liked it when I mic’ them up pianist’s head, or out of piano curve side using blumlein..

I tried ksm141 in omni mode, really close to string to experiment and it sounded much clearer to my ears.

Will experiment more with omni/card, will post some more near future.

Thing is I don’t hear room resonance, probably need more practice and experienced ear.

How do you find room resonance? You just hear it?
Old 4th June 2020
  #155
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jnorman's Avatar
Put up some acoustic treatment. Also you can try Acon Deverberate to help lessen room ambience - not perfect but it can help. AB cardioids at the curve.
Old 4th June 2020 | Show parent
  #156
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
Bass ; so hard to mic properly.. I have to experiment much more to make decent.
shimoyjk, I also record small jazz(-ish) groups in tiny NYC spaces. It's a very particular set of challenges. I think Steve R has given you truly excellent advice. (But I think maybe some of the other comments come from folks who don't realize how tight space is in NYC, and/or don't have a lot of experience with jazz, and/or don't take into account the crazy challenge of engineering and playing on the same session.)

Some comments about bass recording. From the photo you posted, it looks like the mic is low and off to the right. I prefer to place the mic around the height of the bridge, looking upwards a bit to the fretboard, centered, and maybe further back a bit. I'll explain why: it has to do with the factors of bleed, pickup pattern, proximity, and frequency balance...and the way all these things interact.

Upright basses put off a lot of low frequencies, but it's crucial to get a midrange that speaks well, otherwise it's difficult to track the pitches. The overtones give the ear the pitches, not the fundamental frequencies.

The Line Audio CM-4 is a wide cardiod mic, meaning you got more bleed than if you used a tighter pattern. By placing the mic close, you got (maybe) too much low-end proximity effect. By placing mic low and near the f-hole, you (maybe) missed the definition of the pluck and other finger/fretboard sounds.

My preference for bass miking is a dynamic mic with a hypercardiod pattern, to minimize bleed. The Sennheiser 441 (a great mic) works, but actually I prefer the humbler Beyerdynamic M69.

So, the hypercardiod minimizes bleed. Placing mic back maybe 1 foot from the bridge minimizes proximity effect. Pointing at fingers and fretboard gives you more articulation.

There's also another approach, completely different. I've tried attaching a Line Audio OM-1, an omni condensor, in between the legs of the bridge with rubber bands. With the omni, there's no proximity effect, so it's OK to get really close. In terms of bleed, the closeness partly makes up for the increased bleed from the wider pickup pattern. Steve's "virtual gobo" technique can come in handy here, to counteract the fact the mic is receptive to bleed from all directions. But it can be quite a cool sound, very detailed and articulate. If any of the other musicians are too loud and/or positioned too close to the bass, this technique might cause problems. To be safe, I've been trying both the mounted omni and the hypercardiod on the mic stand, and later choosing which one best suits the session.
Old 4th June 2020 | Show parent
  #157
Gear Addict
Already made some!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Put up some acoustic treatment. Also you can try Acon Deverberate to help lessen room ambience - not perfect but it can help. AB cardioids at the curve.
I think I need more time, practice and experiment in this room. Thanks for your advice!

(Will make some more if I feel needed!)
Old 4th June 2020 | Show parent
  #158
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
(...)
How do you find room resonance? You just hear it?
play pink noise over a speaker and measure response - use a calculator to find out where the worst room nodes occur: you don't want to put any mics right there...
Old 4th June 2020
  #159
Gear Maniac
 

TDR Nova GE is also a nice tool if you have to find resonances once everything is recorded.
Old 4th June 2020 | Show parent
  #160
Gear Addict
Ok

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann View Post
shimoyjk, I also record small jazz(-ish) groups in tiny NYC spaces. It's a very particular set of challenges. I think Steve R has given you truly excellent advice. (But I think maybe some of the other comments come from folks who don't realize how tight space is in NYC, and/or don't have a lot of experience with jazz, and/or don't take into account the crazy challenge of engineering and playing on the same session.)

Some comments about bass recording. From the photo you posted, it looks like the mic is low and off to the right. I prefer to place the mic around the height of the bridge, looking upwards a bit to the fretboard, centered, and maybe further back a bit. I'll explain why: it has to do with the factors of bleed, pickup pattern, proximity, and frequency balance...and the way all these things interact.

Upright basses put off a lot of low frequencies, but it's crucial to get a midrange that speaks well, otherwise it's difficult to track the pitches. The overtones give the ear the pitches, not the fundamental frequencies.

The Line Audio CM-4 is a wide cardiod mic, meaning you got more bleed than if you used a tighter pattern. By placing the mic close, you got (maybe) too much low-end proximity effect. By placing mic low and near the f-hole, you (maybe) missed the definition of the pluck and other finger/fretboard sounds.

My preference for bass miking is a dynamic mic with a hypercardiod pattern, to minimize bleed. The Sennheiser 441 (a great mic) works, but actually I prefer the humbler Beyerdynamic M69.

So, the hypercardiod minimizes bleed. Placing mic back maybe 1 foot from the bridge minimizes proximity effect. Pointing at fingers and fretboard gives you more articulation.

There's also another approach, completely different. I've tried attaching a Line Audio OM-1, an omni condensor, in between the legs of the bridge with rubber bands. With the omni, there's no proximity effect, so it's OK to get really close. In terms of bleed, the closeness partly makes up for the increased bleed from the wider pickup pattern. Steve's "virtual gobo" technique can come in handy here, to counteract the fact the mic is receptive to bleed from all directions. But it can be quite a cool sound, very detailed and articulate. If any of the other musicians are too loud and/or positioned too close to the bass, this technique might cause problems. To be safe, I've been trying both the mounted omni and the hypercardiod on the mic stand, and later choosing which one best suits the session.
Thanks for your thoughts on bass recording.

Actually I tried cm4 exactly you described, it sounded nice but I wasn’t able to hold it tight with rubber band I had at that time. Even though it wasnt om1(omni), it sounded nicer than I did.
Next month student bands come in to record few songs for their final exam, so I’m going to experiment with omni mics that I have this time.

It’s not easy for me to invest a mic since studio is not running commercially. It’s my practice and rehearsal space as well as record some pop stuff using vsts, external synths.. but I feel I growed bit since I started recording a band from last winter.

Also, I realized that Pianist have to play softer when mic inside lid(or close lid) to not make upper register note works(my baby geand is ok, not great. Specially low-mid register sound is not really my cup of tea but I have to live with it till i buy another piano.)

Will post some more playing pretty soon!

Best,
Q
Old 6th June 2020 | Show parent
  #161
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Move out of any small room. Your sound is bad there.
Move out today. Don't record there. You will always have the "small room sound" imprinted on your recording.

It's not worth working with. It will never be good.

Move out today.
Old 6th June 2020 | Show parent
  #162
Gear Addict
Wish I could

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Move out of any small room. Your sound is bad there.
Move out today. Don't record there. You will always have the "small room sound" imprinted on your recording.

It's not worth working with. It will never be good.

Move out today.
Like I said, this place is for practice, rehearse, recording vsts and hardware synths for pop stuff. For myself, of course. I didn’t mean to record and make money out from recording things here.

Wish I could move out and get bigger, but rent is crazy in here,(probably little cheaper than manhattan).
If I run a commercial studio probably I wouldn’t contract this place
Old 7th July 2020 | Show parent
  #163
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Move out of any small room. Your sound is bad there.
Move out today. Don't record there. You will always have the "small room sound" imprinted on your recording.

It's not worth working with. It will never be good.

Move out today.
Depends a little on what music. Although I agree 100% on classical I think there is a little room (pun intended) for Jazz in a small room.
Old 24th August 2020
  #164
Gear Addict
album is out!

it's been a while that I post here,

finally my music called "in my room" is out!

I'm not sure if I'll call this as jazz or categorize as jazz... anyway wanted to try something different than I've been doing,

so here is the result!

http://kyuminshim.bandcamp.com

i'm not sure if it's okay to post mp3 here, so I'm just leave a link to bandcamp site.

or you can find music on apple music or spotify I believe,

just type in "kyumin shim"

or "in my room"

everything is recorded in my room and processed, mixed and mastered by Eivind Opvsik from Brooklyn.


I learend a lot from this, especially thanks to Remoteness and others that have been generous and share their ideas, advices..

hope I can record better next time.


oh, and will post some music that my recording practice session.. called few students to come here and play for me.
Old 24th August 2020 | Show parent
  #165
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Yes, it has been a while since you posted in this thread.

Congrats on your "In My Room" project!

I sounds like jazz to me.

It's always okay to post an mp3, it's more about the size of the file that matters.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm always available to help our Remotester community and the Remote Possibilities... members at large.

This recording sounds like a great start! All the best to your future endeavors.



Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
it's been a while that I post here,

finally my music called "in my room" is out!

I'm not sure if I'll call this as jazz or categorize as jazz... anyway wanted to try something different than I've been doing,

so here is the result!

http://kyuminshim.bandcamp.com

i'm not sure if it's okay to post mp3 here, so I'm just leave a link to bandcamp site.

or you can find music on apple music or spotify I believe,

just type in "kyumin shim"

or "in my room"

everything is recorded in my room and processed, mixed and mastered by Eivind Opvsik from Brooklyn.


I learend a lot from this, especially thanks to Remoteness and others that have been generous and share their ideas, advices..

hope I can record better next time.


oh, and will post some music that my recording practice session.. called few students to come here and play for me.
Old 24th September 2020 | Show parent
  #166
Gear Addict
ldc vs sdc for piano,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Yes, it has been a while since you posted in this thread.

Congrats on your "In My Room" project!

I sounds like jazz to me.

It's always okay to post an mp3, it's more about the size of the file that matters.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm always available to help our Remotester community and the Remote Possibilities... members at large.

This recording sounds like a great start! All the best to your future endeavors.

Hello Steve!

hope all is well.

I was checking out thread called "Close miking piano" or "Inside the grand piano".

Very helpful threads they are, and I realized that most of the pictures posted were using LDC most.

I thought sdc is better to capture piano especially inside or closed lid since it's very small compare to LDC's, but I guess real world usage is different?

what I see is lots of C414 were used(probably vintage or EB version I guess).

Are there any specific reason that you're using LDC with gaff tape instead of using small sdc or even miniature mic such as DPA SMK4061 or 4099 series?
Old 24th September 2020 | Show parent
  #167
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
All is well in Remoteville.

I also use large diaphragm Condensers too. Yet, in addition I like to add DPA 4099s t whatever the main mics are.

I used C414TLIIs on many projects, I also use and favored Milab VIP50, DC96B and DC196 microphones. I've even used Shure KSM32 and Neumann TLM103 with great results. It just depends on the sound of the instrument and the space the piano is in.

When using my C414TLIIs I usually cradle them with Gaffer's tape. I do this since many times the piano lid is closed.

Except for the DPA 4099s, I have never personally setup small diaphragm mics for piano.

I love using Yamahiko pickups. They sound the best compared to all the other piano pickups available these days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
Hello Steve!

hope all is well.

I was checking out thread called "Close miking piano" or "Inside the grand piano".

Very helpful threads they are, and I realized that most of the pictures posted were using LDC most.

I thought sdc is better to capture piano especially inside or closed lid since it's very small compare to LDC's, but I guess real world usage is different?

what I see is lots of C414 were used(probably vintage or EB version I guess).

Are there any specific reason that you're using LDC with gaff tape instead of using small sdc or even miniature mic such as DPA SMK4061 or 4099 series?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #168
Gear Addict
another piano mic position

Hello guys!

It's been a while..

I had little extra time today so I did little experiment.

this time I used CM4 (cardioid) x 2, X-Y close to string, little towards to hammer side, half stick with cover on piano.



Here are 3 files, 1st one is both mic(stereo). I played some drums right before record piano so that I can hear what leakage sounds like.


first I thought stereo sounds good, but when I listen each track (left, right) feel like something is missing, but don't know and can't hear what it is.

if anybody can chime in and advice me , that would be awesome

Cheers all!

Q
Attached Thumbnails
Small room small mics for piano-img_2889.jpg   Small room small mics for piano-img_2890.jpg  
Attached Files

piano sample.mp3 (4.87 MB, 224 views)

piano left mic.mp3 (4.61 MB, 195 views)

piano right mic.mp3 (4.61 MB, 193 views)


Last edited by shimoyjk; 4 weeks ago at 04:43 AM.. Reason: adding photos
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #169
Gear Addict
 

Sounds pretty nice to me.

There's a fun fact about this song, "Sunny Side of the Street": supposedly Fats Waller would fly into a rage and insist that it be turned off if it came on the radio. It's believed that Fats wrote the song, and sold it outright when he needed money. The fact it became such a huge hit enraged him. It certainly does sound like one of Fats' compositions.
Old 4 weeks ago | Show parent
  #170
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
You have captured the piano well. You have great isolation and the drums don't sound offensive in any way.

Well done my distant friend.

Start trusting your recording ears!

Your little experiment is a great success.

Regarding the left and right mics, to me it seems like the right mic is a bit warmer (darker) sounds to me.

Consider strapping those two mics together and place them together in a similar area of the piano and record the same tune to see if the mics are matched or not.

Let us know how you did.




Quote:
Originally Posted by shimoyjk View Post
Hello guys!

It's been a while..

I had little extra time today so I did little experiment.

this time I used CM4 (cardioid) x 2, X-Y close to string, little towards to hammer side, half stick with cover on piano.



Here are 3 files, 1st one is both mic(stereo). I played some drums right before record piano so that I can hear what leakage sounds like.


first I thought stereo sounds good, but when I listen each track (left, right) feel like something is missing, but don't know and can't hear what it is.

if anybody can chime in and advice me , that would be awesome

Cheers all!

Q
Old 4 weeks ago
  #171
Gear Addict
new samples

just made another sample.

this time I used one Lewitt LCT 640 TS which can be recording 2 tracks at the same time. (not stereo, but interesting mic.)

I placed this mic where I placed pair of cm4(cardioid) almost exact same spot.

After recording I could alter polar pattern using lewitt’s software but I didnt use it this time(not sure how it works yet).

I also placed cm4 pair xy position curve of the piano.(seen this type of micing from npr tiny desk chick corea live)


I like warmth of cm4, but also like lewitt’s claity and less proximity effect(i think it’s more true to my piano tone than cm4 but I like them both).


Good thing is now I understand how polar pattern changes sound. Of course it will take many more years to really know, but feel like I have better listening ear than before.. also this whole recording process is making me re-think about how I play instrument.
Still it’s far from best sound, but will make it better and better.
Now going to make 2nd album real soon! Pretty excited that I started getting decent piano sound. Next would be bass.. hope I can do little experiment during rehearsals.

Cheers!

(and 2 photos added for previous post as well !)
Attached Thumbnails
Small room small mics for piano-img_2893.jpg  
Attached Files

cm4 curve.mp3 (6.74 MB, 92 views)

lewitt 640 .mp3 (6.74 MB, 90 views)


Last edited by shimoyjk; 4 weeks ago at 05:50 AM.. Reason: Adding informations
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