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U67 for jazz piano? Condenser Microphones
Old 17th May 2014
  #1
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U67 for jazz piano?

I'm a prepared to produce my next album for a singer. I studio where I work there are a huge mic choices, most of the previous sessions we use small diagram mic for piano, DPA 4011. The next album is not really contemporary jazz, but more traditional mainstream jazz. So, my vision is something more vintage sound, I don't want to be ortodox, just this time tend more to the warmt and roundness, and keep the crispiness...
The piano in the Studio is unfortunately not Steinway, is a Bosendorfer, is olso a wonderful piano, but is more on the bright side, and lacks a little of the growl ( I dont know a better definition ) in the midrange, what we need for the music....

The studio has amazing list of potentional piano mic:

C12 ( original and Wounder )
M149
Schoeps CMC6
4011
Royer R-121

I'm interested to blending multi type of mic tips to!
I thinking to use cmc 6 pair blending with ribbon, for example...

Thanks,
Old 17th May 2014
  #2
Trp
Gear Addict
 

A pair of Neumann M149 inside the piano set to wide cardioid or even omni can be fantastic. You could pair that with the C12 in a Blumlein configuration outside the piano. And eventually a AB of Schoeps or DPA in the room.

But it´s hard to suggest anything without knowing the instrument and room.
Old 17th May 2014
  #3
I just got a pair of KM 183s for my Steinway. I only record Jazz. So far I love them and I do think SDCs are the way to go. Bear in mind I am a professional musician not a professional engineer though out of necessity I have become an engineer in the past few years and I have a very good ear.

There are those on this board that are pro engineers with allot of experience but there are alos allot of opinionated people without the goods to back it up so. Take advice but only trust you own ears.

U67s will sound great but they are not particularly necessary for piano and maybe, MAYBE, are not always the best choice either.

You must listen and listen well. Or you can never really know.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4
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PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

I am right now duel mic'ing on a yamaha 6' 1" Conservatory Collection Grand Piano, on some jazz using both the u67 and m149 (for some film scenes). i am using both mic's in omni mode, but the u67(wunder clone) i'm sending through a complete tube chain while the m149 is being processed in the box. The location is wood floor, 15 to 25 foot ceiling, 30x40 feet, with some old wood cases around it (which mellows it a bit), i'll try to see if i can free up some samples in the next couple of weeks. I also have to match the sound with voice in a scene, so the musical quality is not my primary emphasis(i.e. i'm not sure if this would work for a album). I was debating dual micing with elam 251 but couldn't swing the cost on the film budget(since this is location recording, i do really like the c12 capsule feel though ... it's hard for me to say in the end if it makes a difference).
Old 17th May 2014
  #5
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Your touch is going to make a lot bigger difference than any first class condenser!

I'd first try the Schoeps CMC6 and the 149. The Bosendorfers I've used tended to be kind of muddy compared to the classic Steinway jazz sound. Maybe they've voiced it bright to try and get around that problem.
Old 17th May 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Your touch is going to make a lot bigger difference than any first class condenser!

I'd first try the Schoeps CMC6 and the 149. The Bosendorfers I've used tended to be kind of muddy compared to the classic Steinway jazz sound. Maybe they've voiced it bright to try and get around that problem.
Yes the touch is the most important, but I believe to selecting the right mic, is the first touch.

CMC6 is one of my favorite mic for everithing, I never used on piano, the stereo pair is a new weapon in the studio, I seriusly consider on that record. The 149 is olso interesting.
Old 17th May 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickFaith View Post
I am right now duel mic'ing on a yamaha 6' 1" Conservatory Collection Grand Piano, on some jazz using both the u67 and m149 (for some film scenes). i am using both mic's in omni mode, but the u67(wunder clone) i'm sending through a complete tube chain while the m149 is being processed in the box. The location is wood floor, 15 to 25 foot ceiling, 30x40 feet, with some old wood cases around it (which mellows it a bit), i'll try to see if i can free up some samples in the next couple of weeks. I also have to match the sound with voice in a scene, so the musical quality is not my primary emphasis(i.e. i'm not sure if this would work for a album). I was debating dual micing with elam 251 but couldn't swing the cost on the film budget(since this is location recording, i do really like the c12 capsule feel though ... it's hard for me to say in the end if it makes a difference).
I AB-ed the orig U67 and the Wounder with upright bass, they sounds fairly different. I'm still very interested how works the orig U67 for piano.
Old 17th May 2014
  #8
As others have noted, consider ribbons:



I have enjoyed using MKH 800s on jazz piano as well:

Bill Charlap And Renee Rosnes On JazzSet : NPR

If you are recording a combo, your choice of microphones for those instruments can affect what is appropriate for the piano (and vice versa).
Old 17th May 2014
  #9
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I forgot to share an importand information, the piano must share the room with the upright bass. We use on upright bass in 90% two U67. The drums and the vocal will be in isolated places. We worked this way many times, the bleed beetween the piano and bass, is very slight when used close AB piano micing and close upright bass micing. Other important factor, that the room is not bad acustically, but not big and nice enough to worth to capture ambient sound here. In this room my target is to find the sweet point of distance beetween the piano and the mics, to pickup the big surface, but don't pickup to much from the room.
Old 17th May 2014
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

You could do it in the classic manner with the drums by the tail of the piano and figure-8s on the bass with the nulls aimed at the drums. The singer can be close to everybody and the bleed into the back of the vocal mike will enhance the drum sound. Obviously you can't fix things with overdubs, just editing between takes of everybody but this will often make for better performances.
Old 18th May 2014
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
You could do it in the classic manner with the drums by the tail of the piano and figure-8s on the bass with the nulls aimed at the drums. The singer can be close to everybody and the bleed into the back of the vocal mike will enhance the drum sound. Obviously you can't fix things with overdubs, just editing between takes of everybody but this will often make for better performances.
Wow Bob Olhson! Thank you for join my thread!

I'm allways coquet with the idea of record in one space without hedphones, but I'm nerveless to try that first in a commercial record, I'm not just frightened because the musicians can not fix individually, but I'm olso can not shape the soundpicture later. But I will try on some demonstration tape first, as you mentioned.
I like to ask you, did you use u67 on piano, what do you think how it works? And what is your favorite micing techniques on piano? XY, AB, Blumlein or other? thank you,
Old 18th May 2014
  #12
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I close mike the piano with two mikes and add a third near the sounding board down by the tail which can help fill in the low-end that's lost from not having a more distant mike. Phase between mikes is very piano-specific because sounding boards vary a lot from model to model.

I've mostly used my own 67s but prefer Schoeps or KM84s if they are available. Finding a 67 that hasn't been beat to death, modified or both is very difficult at this point. Studios that had 67s used them on every single session they did between 1959 and 1979. They were the first mike one reached for when in a hurry back then.

You should rehearse for this without a sound system in addition to doing a demo. And always make sure you could actually release the demo if something magical happens. It wouldn't be the first time.
Old 18th May 2014
  #13
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Steve G's Avatar
Pair of M149's on the bass, and a pair of C-12's in the piano.

Steve G
Old 18th May 2014
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve G View Post
Pair of M149's on the bass, and a pair of C-12's in the piano.

Steve G
I usually like 87's in the piano. Or the schoeps.

I just did a record with c12's in the piano and on this particular piano in this room with this player (Yamaha c3, good but small-ish room, terrific player but slightly harder touch) I am regretting that decision. Just a bit more bright than I would have liked. Don't get me wrong, it sounds very good, but in hindsight I wish I had used something else.

I'm a 44 or 4038 on the bass kind of guy in most cases.
Old 19th May 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve G View Post
Pair of M149's on the bass, and a pair of C-12's in the piano.

Steve G
Wow welcome on this thread! That conversation getting very intereseting.

My current plan to use schoeps for drums OH, but maybe if I use C12 on piano the schoeps OH doesn't match the taste of the piano sound. What would you use for OH?
Old 19th May 2014
  #16
Trp
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcza View Post
My current plan to use schoeps for drums OH, but maybe if I use C12 on piano the schoeps OH doesn't match the taste of the piano sound. What would you use for OH?
Why not? Schoeps can give you a very good natural sound of the kit and responsive cymbal sound. In my experience they are great OHs for Jazz. Don´t overthink it...
Old 19th May 2014
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trp View Post
Why not? Schoeps can give you a very good natural sound of the kit and responsive cymbal sound. In my experience they are great OHs for Jazz. Don´t overthink it...
Schoeps one of my favorite as OH mic, I'm just affraid, the C12 on piano is very characteristic, and turn the sound picture of the record to a different way, and in that enviroment the Schoeps OH maybe "boring" and do not blend well in the mix. But that just a theory, maybe I wrong.... In the studio olso possible to use c12 for OH too.
Old 19th May 2014
  #18
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Steve G's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcza View Post
Wow welcome on this thread! That conversation getting very intereseting.

My current plan to use schoeps for drums OH, but maybe if I use C12 on piano the schoeps OH doesn't match the taste of the piano sound. What would you use for OH?
I like SDC's for OH if it's a small jazz kit. I use them as "cymbal" mics rather than trying to capture a whole kit sound with the OH mics. If I want to capture more of the entire kit with the OH mics, I use a pair of C12's.

You've got a lot of good options.

Steve G
Old 20th May 2014
  #19
Gear Head
 

Yes. I love a good pair of 67s on piano, placed just outside the case, at the inside of the radius/curve just above the high-keys. In an X/Y pattern one is pointed roughly at the higher-octave hammers, the other at the low-strings over the harp, usually angles about fifteen degrees down and a little above the rim. Both cardioid, good detailed tube preamp like DW Fern.
Old 20th May 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve G View Post
I like SDC's for OH if it's a small jazz kit. I use them as "cymbal" mics rather than trying to capture a whole kit sound with the OH mics. If I want to capture more of the entire kit with the OH mics, I use a pair of C12's.

You've got a lot of good options.

Steve G
We got a C24 what do you think for OH?
Old 21st May 2014
  #21
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Sebastian N's Avatar
 

one of the studios in vienna that own a great sounding steinway usually use a pair of vintage 414s. however, on multiple occasions they happened to borrow our matched coles for a completely different piano sound. i think given your conditions, you'd be well of with a nice pair of ribbons and as others suggested, it will help with reducing some of the bleeding from other instruments in the same room so that you can work on the sound at the mix stage easier. if the piano was recorded separately than you could mix and match mics and see what fits better but this is not the case.
Old 21st May 2014
  #22
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Steve G's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barcza View Post
We got a C24 what do you think for OH?
C24 is great for OH. Also great on the piano (I used one on the piano today as a matter of fact), and I love them on acc gtr.

Steve G
Old 9th June 2018
  #23
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Studio in Vienna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian N View Post
one of the studios in vienna that own a great sounding steinway usually use a pair of vintage 414s.
Hi. Could you tell me the name of the studio? ..living in Vienna and always looking for good pianos and studios. Thanks!
Old 10th June 2018
  #24
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Sebastian N's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kla234 View Post
Hi. Could you tell me the name of the studio? ..living in Vienna and always looking for good pianos and studios. Thanks!
4tune audio & media production Vienna

that's the studio. only had first hand contact with martin, one of the owners and he's a very nice guy, very easy to work with and very professional.
Old 10th June 2018
  #25
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jjblair's Avatar
U67s on piano = Keith Jarrett Köln Concert.

Whatever you have a pair of, use. If you have a pair of 149s, do that.

If you don't have a pair, and you want Stereo, Blumlein might be your friend. Sometimes it helps to make the center omni. Use your ears.
Old 10th June 2018
  #26
Couldn't the rolloff be a bit annoying using u67s? At least adding something for sparkle?
Old 10th June 2018
  #27
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crille_mannen View Post
Couldn't the rolloff be a bit annoying using u67s? At least adding something for sparkle?
Extremely unlikely, and that's what EQ is for, anyway.
Old 10th June 2018
  #28
Gear Nut
 

...have done many jazz piano situations with Senn MKH 40's or 8020's ( omni can be quite nice) SF-12, TLM 170s, DPA 4011s
For me much depends on the player in the environment and band size.
Everybody in the room ?? Small group? big band? hard hitting latin?
soft touch standards? is there a singer? or just a solo piano so you can go full stick. All very influential on mic selection - music first.
Old 10th June 2018
  #29
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
...have done many jazz piano situations with Senn MKH 40's or 8020's
I have head the Senn's on piano often an I really ike the way they sound. I use a pair of Neumann KM 183s on a Steinway. I have a small room. Drums and bass in the same room. I use a Flea 47 vintage on the Bass and a piar of 414 XLS on the drum overheads. Overall the sound is pretty good marred only by the smallness of the room. Because of that I am forced to use half stick and blankets on the piano. Still, I manage to get a great sound though as noted above, the touch of the player makes the biggest difference. So does the placement of the mics. Poor placement resulting in phase problems really kills the sound. But again, I do love the Sennheiser mics on piano.
Old 11th June 2018
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
If you don't have a pair, and you want Stereo, Blumlein might be your friend. Sometimes it helps to make the center omni. Use your ears.
Blumlein is a good idea, I get absolute great result with the Royer SF24 (on bright piano)
It can be an nice option (or not) for the harshless sound OP looking for,
another big advantage is the setup with a SF24 (or any single body stereo mic), so easy to move around and catch the good spot... without messing with coupling bar that always ---- when you move the thing...

Best
Zam
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