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mikin grand piano with these 3 mics
Old 19th October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
mikin grand piano with these 3 mics

Hello,
I'm in a low budget and I've in my conservatory the opportunity to record with my trio (trp + cbass + piano)
They have a steinway grand piano grancoda, it's a beautiful instrument. I have 2 rode nt5 + one ribbon x1r se electronics.
I think to place them in this manner: the 2 condenser x/y configuration where the strings cross, and the ribbon underneath the piano at the middle of the coda. Remember that we'll record all together, so i have to minimize also bleed, and no gobos at disposal

What do you think about?
Thanks for your opinions
Luca
Old 19th October 2013
  #2
Gear Addict
 
JustMastering's Avatar
Hi,

Very nice! Depending on the size of your conservatory, having 3 mics may be too much for that instrument. It's definitely worth recording all three and then you can pick and choose which ones you want. I haven't used that SE Ribbon mic before, but since you have it and the two Rodes NT5s, you can record them all, and switch back and fourth to figure out what works best for you.

Placement will really depend on the size of your room, especially if the room is not treated. You may need to get in closer to the strings than you normally would, and in that case, X/Y may not be ideal. It really depends.

Putting the a mic under the soundboard will capture a great deal of bass, possibly too much but it really depends on the piano, the player, the room, and the treatment.

I own a grand, and it sits in a small room (11 x 14 feet) and I personally have had the most luck with using spaced omni-directional mics, moved in very close to the soundboard. Because they don't have the proximity effect issues that Cardioids have, you can move them in closer to minimize the room reflections. Cardiods, with a large, loud instrument, in a small untreated room can capture a lot of bottom end, and you'll hear a lot of comb filtering too, no matter where you place them (in my experience at least). Even with the lid down. If your room is large and has sufficiently high ceilings, that may not be a concern, though.

Getting back to X-Y, if the piece/s you are recording are played all largely within a narrow range of the instrument (say, within 3 or 4 octaves), then X-Y could work, but you may find if you have to get really close to the strings because of the issues above, that the sound won't be balanced across the range. X-Y seems to work best if you can get the mics up away from the strings enough to capture the instrument as a whole.

I hope this helps - best of luck with this! I am interested to hear the results ! (Always love a nice Piano recording!).

Cheers
Rob
Old 19th October 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 

You can also try the 2 Rode's as a stereo pair in a good spot in the room. You'll just have to make some test run recordings and play them back using a set of good headphones to find the sweet-spot in the room.
Old 20th October 2013
  #4
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMastering View Post
Hi,

Very nice! Depending on the size of your conservatory, having 3 mics may be too much for that instrument. It's definitely worth recording all three and then you can pick and choose which ones you want. I haven't used that SE Ribbon mic before, but since you have it and the two Rodes NT5s, you can record them all, and switch back and fourth to figure out what works best for you.

Placement will really depend on the size of your room, especially if the room is not treated. You may need to get in closer to the strings than you normally would, and in that case, X/Y may not be ideal. It really depends.

Putting the a mic under the soundboard will capture a great deal of bass, possibly too much but it really depends on the piano, the player, the room, and the treatment.

I own a grand, and it sits in a small room (11 x 14 feet) and I personally have had the most luck with using spaced omni-directional mics, moved in very close to the soundboard. Because they don't have the proximity effect issues that Cardioids have, you can move them in closer to minimize the room reflections. Cardiods, with a large, loud instrument, in a small untreated room can capture a lot of bottom end, and you'll hear a lot of comb filtering too, no matter where you place them (in my experience at least). Even with the lid down. If your room is large and has sufficiently high ceilings, that may not be a concern, though.

Getting back to X-Y, if the piece/s you are recording are played all largely within a narrow range of the instrument (say, within 3 or 4 octaves), then X-Y could work, but you may find if you have to get really close to the strings because of the issues above, that the sound won't be balanced across the range. X-Y seems to work best if you can get the mics up away from the strings enough to capture the instrument as a whole.

I hope this helps - best of luck with this! I am interested to hear the results ! (Always love a nice Piano recording!).

Cheers
Rob
Thanks for your reply.. we'll record in the auditorium of the conservatory, i don't like too much how the room sounds, but for sure we have a lot of space and high ceilings!
instead using xy configuration, you would try something like A/B, aren't you? I'll hear how will it sound for sure before i will record with the whole band.

thanks
Old 20th October 2013
  #5
Gear Addict
 
JustMastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abletonfacile.it View Post
Thanks for your reply.. we'll record in the auditorium of the conservatory, i don't like too much how the room sounds, but for sure we have a lot of space and high ceilings!
instead using xy configuration, you would try something like A/B, aren't you? I'll hear how will it sound for sure before i will record with the whole band.

thanks
My pleasure. With high ceilings and enough distance from the soundboard xy could definitely still work. Definitely play with the angles. Instead of 90 degrees, you could move the capsules closer to 130 degrees to help adjust the range of pickup. But yes an A/B pair (omnis is my preference) would work well if you need to move in closer and pull the mics apart a bit.

Having said that, since you have a lot of space, it may still be worth experimenting with ORTF or NOS. It depends on the genre but years ago I used to take the lid of the piano off, and put a NOS array about 3 to 5 feet up facing down toward the strings, and depending on the room and the instrument, it often sounded really nice. You just have to move the array further toward the end of the instrument if you need to mellow the tone a bit. M-S is an option too, since the SE ribbon is bi-directional.

Best of luck, please let us know how it goes !

Rob
Old 20th October 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Janesaid2me's Avatar
I have similar mics...
I use the nt5 in xy placed at wherever sounds best above the soundboard with the lid fully open
Ten the ribbon in the room again finding a sweet spot in the room...or maybe the next room over even
Old 21st October 2013
  #7
Gear Nut
 

I have got a great piano recording in the past by using an MS approach. Using a ribbon as the figure-8 on the side mic (with pickup lobes pointing across the strings), and an omni condenser as the middle. Putting the capsules right on top of each other in under the open grand piano lid in the area that gives the deepest, least trebley, sound. You could try one of the cardioid nt5s as mid, or borrow one capable of an omni. Then judicious use of EQ on the mid mic to bring in the desired amount of treble and to boost some of the upper harmonics slightly.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
A pair of Apex 205 ribbons positioned just so on a grand. You have a different ribbon and only one ribbon, but food for thought so far as mic placement on the grand.

Ribbon Madness....Some Comparisons
Old 24th November 2013
  #9
Gear Maniac
The Result

Hey guys.. I've done the recording.... MS approach using an nt5 + SE x1r ribbon, then in mixing I've adjusted the stereo image



thanks to you all!
Old 24th November 2013
  #10
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

A good start. I'm hearing a bit much of the hammers on the Steinway, though. A bit "honky-tonk". But not too far out of balance with the ensemble.
Old 25th November 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 
JustMastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abletonfacile.it View Post
Hey guys.. I've done the recording.... MS approach using an nt5 + SE x1r ribbon, then in mixing I've adjusted the stereo image



thanks to you all!
Luca, this is great ! I like it a lot. What you have captured sounds like old Jazz, to me. It is beautiful. The Steinway is relatively bright (I think I'm hearing the same thing that Wyllys mentioned). I personally don't mind the brightness. There are times where it is competing a little with the trumpet, but it is a minor concern from my perspective. That brightness might have a lot to do with how that instrument is voiced (and the room it is in).

Your mix has a very pleasing sound. It has great character. Nice job on the bass and trumpet, too.

Cheers !
Rob
Old 25th November 2013
  #12
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMastering View Post
Luca, this is great ! I like it a lot. What you have captured sounds like old Jazz, to me. It is beautiful. The Steinway is relatively bright (I think I'm hearing the same thing that Wyllys mentioned). I personally don't mind the brightness. There are times where it is competing a little with the trumpet, but it is a minor concern from my perspective. That brightness might have a lot to do with how that instrument is voiced (and the room it is in).

Your mix has a very pleasing sound. It has great character. Nice job on the bass and trumpet, too.

Cheers !
Rob
Yeah. I'm hearing a lot of hammer and strings and not much sound board. The mics are catching the sound before it develops fully. But that doesn't mean that it's not a good effort. No criticism, just observation and impressions.
Old 25th November 2013
  #13
Gear Maniac
Yep, the piano is bright by itself, but no problem... yep, a little bit out of tune :/ I've miced the piano only inside the lid, which was fully opened, using midside where the strings cross.. it's a pity that I don't have took any photos

I've listened yesterday the mix in my car, I have to compress a little more using a MBComp the bass in the low frequencies.

Yop, I'm not an expert on mixing, I've mixed it on my laptop using the laptop speakers :D
Old 26th November 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
Yeah. I'm hearing a lot of hammer and strings and not much sound board. The mics are catching the sound before it develops fully. But that doesn't mean that it's not a good effort. No criticism, just observation and impressions.
Just for learnin: what mic would you add and where to have a more full piano sound and with not-so-much bleed from other instruments? thanks!
Old 26th November 2013
  #15
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abletonfacile.it View Post
Just for learnin: what mic would you add and where to have a more full piano sound and with not-so-much bleed from other instruments? thanks!
There are several traditional techniques for minimizing bleed in live recording.

1. SDC pair hi/lo with a third SDC at the far end pointed "down" the instrument. Open lid.

2. Pair of ribbons slightly ahead of the closed lid, lo/hi. SDC at the far end as above.

And many more depending on the deployment of the ensemble and the size of the space.

A tour through YouTube of live concerts with the masters from the 50's and 60's is worth the time. Usually one mic for the piano, one mic for the drums, one mic for the bass and one for a sax/trumpet/clarinet. Look for Dave Brubeck, Thelonius Monk and the rest of the heavies.

It's often about the ensemble sound rather than the absolute purity of each individual instrument. What might work well solo may not be the best for ensemble.
Old 13th December 2013
  #16
Sounds nice. If I had to comment I would say that the piano could have had a bit more body and the trumpet a bit of air or space. I enjoyed listening to this and in the end, that is the point.
Old 14th December 2013
  #17
Gear Addict
 
JustMastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
I enjoyed listening to this and in the end, that is the point.
+1, me too. Sounds great !
Old 15th December 2013
  #18
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firby's Avatar
 

That's a nice recording. Cheers.

Yes it could have been better. But, it could have been a whole lot worse!

I liked how well the bass came out in the mix.
It's pleasant music to hear. If it needs anything it needs Jack DeJohnette and a pair of brushes.

Good Job.
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