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Yamaha Grand Piano Recording in a Studio
Old 27th July 2012
  #1
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Yamaha Grand Piano Recording in a Studio

Hello, I'm going to record with an engineer a Yamaha Acoustic Piano for a Pop Rock song and I have the possibility to use Stagg Street Studio with a Yamaha G7 or Entourage Studio with a Yamaha C9.

Any point of views or recommendations about the differences with these pianos would be great. I'm afraid a 9 feet piano could be too busy for a pop rock song that has drums, gtrs, bass, etc.? But not sure because I don't have much experience with acoustic pianos.

I would appreciate any point of view. Thanks!!
Old 27th July 2012
  #2
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The main difference in the pianos is the size. And that generally translates to a more defined or pronounced BASS RESPONSE in longer pianos.

If the song is a rock track, with lots of instruments and rhythmic activity, it may not be possible to use the full frequency response of the piano at the same volume. You may want to EQ lower the volume of the bass response of the piano so that the lower frequency drums and bass instruments can be clearly heard.

So, if the longer piano has a bass response that is perhaps less important in a tune with other low-frequency instruments.. then the length of the piano may not matter.

Either of the pianos you mentioned, if they are in tune and the pianos are in otherwise good adjustment, should work well enough. The "C" series Yamahas (c for conservatory) are very high quality Yamaha pianos... the "G" series is not quite as well-made, but still good quality instruments.

I would choose between them based on a personal preference for the sound... and probably expect the C9 to be my choice before I even heard them.
Old 27th July 2012
  #3
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Thanks a lot! You don't think the low frequency in the C9 will matter cause I can always cut it!! They told me that the G7 it's a bright piano.
Old 27th July 2012
  #4
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A bright piano in a rock mix is usually not a problem.

Some studios would use a lacquer solution to make the hammers harder/brighter so the piano sound would cut through better. Hammers get brighter as they get older due to the hammer felt becoming grooved by the strings. IMHO the best piano sound is a piano without any of these mods/problems...

I'd definitely go hear the pianos before booking the studios to see what you think.
Old 27th July 2012
  #5
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Yes the G7 is an old piano.. I'll try to go check! it! So you think Bright Piano it's a good idea for a pop rock Mix? I need to have the low end too to fill the space!!
Old 27th July 2012
  #6
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If you're not recording a solo classical piece you don't need the C9. You could record a rock song with a G3.
Old 27th July 2012
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
So you think Bright Piano it's a good idea for a pop rock Mix? I need to have the low end too to fill the space!!
If the tune has a lot of other instruments and a lot of rhythmic activity, a brighter piano will probably cut through a little better.

If you think you need the piano's low end to fill the space then a longer piano will give you more definition in the low notes.

If the G7 is a old piano, I might start with the C9. It's a better piano for several reasons.

But all this has to be your decision... Good luck with it.
Old 27th July 2012
  #8
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The C9 will eat the G7 for breakfast. I assume that wasn't a typo and you mean G7 and not C7?

In any case, even if it's a C7, the C9 will have a better action and is just a better piano overall. When I was working at Air Lyndhurst I had a chance to play Elton John's C9 and it was a whole different experience from any C7 I've ever played. Absolutely sublime.

That said, there are ways to ruin pianos. Some studios lacquer the hammers to get a brighter rock sound, which may or may not be what you want. You can always call the studios and ask them how their pianos are voiced.

-R
Old 28th July 2012
  #9
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Some people really bash the G series Yamaha's.. But what they don't know is if its an early one, they are no different then the C series. I have a c3 here, and I was in the market for a 9ft and I actually still am. The concert grands to have quite a bit more fullness and low end. However, for pop projects, the 6-7ft grands usually work just as good and sometimes better. I think it really depends on what mics you use and how you mic it up. I think either way you will be fine, just make sure you play them both because a lot of studios do not keep their pianos regulated the way they should be. There are a few big studios out here in LA "i will not name them" that have Steinway B and D's that just sound like hell because they just let them sit. I do have to say if I had to pick a piano for pop it would either be a Yamaha C3, or Steinway M "5ft 7in". If I had to pick ONE all around piano it would most definitely be an Ibach "if you can find one" or a Pleyel.

A
Old 28th July 2012
  #10
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Thanks a lot for he responses!! I'm the producer but I'm not in LA, a friend of mine will record and that's why I'm asking.. Yes this is a mid tempo pop rock song. I will use it for comping chords basically.. I see both are good options!! If anyone knows these studios would be great: Stagg Street and Entourage in Cali..
Old 28th July 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
The C9 will eat the G7 for breakfast. I assume that wasn't a typo and you mean G7 and not C7?

In any case, even if it's a C7, the C9 will have a better action and is just a better piano overall. When I was working at Air Lyndhurst I had a chance to play Elton John's C9 and it was a whole different experience from any C7 I've ever played. Absolutely sublime.

That said, there are ways to ruin pianos. Some studios lacquer the hammers to get a brighter rock sound, which may or may not be what you want. You can always call the studios and ask them how their pianos are voiced.

-R
A good C9 is an unbelievable sound. And playing experience.
Old 28th July 2012
  #12
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Entourage's C9 is a good one. Cool room, also.
Old 28th July 2012
  #13
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I'm assuming you guys mean the CFIII when you talk about C9? ... It is for sure a step up from C7 ...Incredible sound...
Old 28th July 2012
  #14
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Not a great piano at Stagg but they get a very good recorded sound. In a track, playing a "part" in a rock song and not exposed like it would be for jazz trio, it's plenty good enough.
Old 28th July 2012
  #15
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I've always equated longer strings in a piano with a better sounding instrument. For your purposes however where you are looking more for a specific voicing why not just request the two studios send you some files of their piano's from other projects they were used on. A little bit of listening on your end should give you an idea of which one would suit you better.
Old 30th July 2012
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
I've always equated longer strings in a piano with a better sounding instrument. For your purposes however where you are looking more for a specific voicing why not just request the two studios send you some files of their piano's from other projects they were used on. A little bit of listening on your end should give you an idea of which one would suit you better.
agreed. every single piano will sound different. we just had our hammers softened on our C5 and it made it a completely different piano.
Old 31st July 2012
  #17
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Either of the pianos should be fine for your purposes (assuming they are in excellent condition). A lot will depend on their condition, tuning and more importantly how the pianist relates to the piano. Get the pianist to test each of them. Use the one which sounds best. Yamaha pianos are generally bright, which is good for rock. You can always cut the low end on an equalizer if the bass is too prominent. If the piano used is too bright, EQing can help tame the brightness.
Old 31st July 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Richardson View Post
The Yamaha has a tone reminiscent of Japan's traditional music however, and I would use the Steinway patch on Apple's garage band jampack 4 software any day over any well maintained Yamaha.


Old 31st July 2012
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hasbeen View Post
Or the gratification from micing a grand piano and recording it well.
Not always easy, but almost always worth the effort.

-R
Old 31st July 2012
  #20
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Got my plugin right here. Weighs 1,000lbs



mic'd with 2 M250s (far) and 2 Soundelux e49s.

Yummy.

.
Old 31st July 2012
  #21
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Damn Greg ... How you like the E49s on it? I've never heard those but my M49s are typically too smooth in the mids where I find myself wanting more usually on a piano...
Old 31st July 2012
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
Damn Greg ... How you like the E49s on it? I've never heard those but my M49s are typically too smooth in the mids where I find myself wanting more usually on a piano...
I love them. So sweet in the midrange. Magic. The M50s ain't bad, either.

I'm wondering what a set of M49s would be like... Maybe we could do a shoot-out!

.
Old 1st August 2012
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
Got my plugin right here. Weighs 1,000lbs



mic'd with 2 M250s (far) and 2 Soundelux e49s.

Yummy.

.
Beautiful room Greg. Damn I gotta stop by one time and see the place.

I heard Keith Albright retired. Is his son taking care of the D now ?

I need to call my guy, mine is out.

Yeah when you own something like a D or any high quality piano...C7, Yamaha S6, Steinway B, Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Mason-Hamlin, it's hard not to be a piano snob...

About a year ago I shopped a piano with my friend who does a lot jingle recording and writing out of his very nice home studio in Los Feliz. He had always used Ivory and was very happy with it in the track and all.

He ended up getting a 1919 Bluthner 6' 3" at a great price. It needed a little work and tlc. I think he put about 2 K into it. He still uses Ivory just because of the convenience sake but admitted-well I'm finally a piano snob now.
Old 1st August 2012
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
I love them. So sweet in the midrange. Magic. The M50s ain't bad, either.

I'm wondering what a set of M49s would be like... Maybe we could do a shoot-out!
Yeah I'd love to check out your space sometime... we'll make it happen...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Richardson View Post
Exactly! The midrange on the Yamaha is certainly it's biggest downfall. I know it may be a bitter pill to swallow but do a blind test against the apple Steinway patch...
Dude... I love your avatar. Please stop trolling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ferris View Post
I heard Keith Albright retired. Is his son taking care of the D now ?
What?! He was here last month... are you sure?
Old 1st August 2012
  #25
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fhames's Avatar
 

The C,(Conservatory), 9 is a much better instrument than any G model.
Given this choice, I would choose the C every time. Best.
Old 1st August 2012
  #26
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Dave Ferris's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
What?! He was here last month... are you sure?
That's what I heard, but like anything in this town, it might not be gospel.

I've been using Alan Cate here in La Crescenta for many years. Imo not a better pure tuner in town. He's very low key and doesn't toot his horn like several others who will go un-named. But for my dough, his tunings hold better then anyone. And I think I've tried them all since 1985 when I got my first grand...a C7E. But he did almost 90% of the work on my S6 which I had from '97 till was I was fortunate enough to get the D in '06. Alan is pretty much my go to guy for the D on tunings.

Ed Whiting from Orange Co. did some incredible regulation a few years ago that really made a huge difference. He's another one of the top guys in town.

Last edited by Dave Ferris; 1st August 2012 at 03:20 AM.. Reason: added thought
Old 1st August 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
I'm assuming you guys mean the CFIII when you talk about C9? ... It is for sure a step up from C7 ...Incredible sound...
I'm sure Entourage is a CFIII. C only goes up to 7'6". Agreed, CF is head and shoulders, in sound (lovely) and purported playability (I've not played one), above the C.
Old 15th March 2017
  #28
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Hi Guys this is a related question, now that you know a lot about pianos!!

I'm looking to get a used Piano for a recording studio. It will be mostly for pop and rock music. Because of the size of the studio, majority of music to be produced and price I'm thinking to get something between a Yamaha G2 to a G5 or a Yamaha C2 to a C5.

Here are some questions if you don't mind:
- What you recommend in this situation to get a good Piano for pop and rock?
- In what price range these used Pianos should be?
- Should I consider any other brand/ model Piano?
- What should I be careful with a used Piano? How old these could be the most?
- Where should I look for the Piano. Craigslist? A Store?

Tanks!
Old 15th March 2017
  #29
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jffmusic View Post
Hi Guys this is a related question, now that you know a lot about pianos!!

I'm looking to get a used Piano for a recording studio. It will be mostly for pop and rock music. Because of the size of the studio, majority of music to be produced and price I'm thinking to get something between a Yamaha G2 to a G5 or a Yamaha C2 to a C5.

Here are some questions if you don't mind:
- What you recommend in this situation to get a good Piano for pop and rock?
- In what price range these used Pianos should be?
- Should I consider any other brand/ model Piano?
- What should I be careful with a used Piano? How old these could be the most?
- Where should I look for the Piano. Craigslist? A Store?

Tanks!
I regularly record my C5 in my acoustically treated home studio, and at our university's full sized studio, a C4.

Both Yamaha's have a prominent bump in the upper mids, designed to pop through a mix, especially for jazz and pop recordings.

Great pianos and easy to record. Depending on the room, you could try a lot of combinations of mic's and miking techniques - I often go spaced pair with an occasional third mic (or a Blumlein pair)

Whichever piano you choose, have a damp-chaser installed, it'll keep your soundboard stable and your piano will be easier to tune and keep in tune.

Good luck!
Old 14th May 2017
  #30
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For pop rock would you go for a Yamaha C2 to C5 or a Yamaha G2 to G5?

I know the Gs are older. But last time I tried a couple of C3 and C2 those didn't sound good and I tried a G2 and sounded pretty good. Not sure if it's something about each piano individualy/.

Thx!
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