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Piano Mic Techniques??? Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 28th August 2008
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Interesting, but I wonder if it's a passive or active solution?
Well, it *is* getting 48V phantom power. heh
Old 17th December 2010
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughesmr View Post
Change "complement" to "replace". That's what I did, and it was definitely a step up.

Here's some Brahms through the 8020. 80cm A/B, array about 14' out from instrument, height just above top of lid on full stick. Very nice ~250 seat recital hall with tasty acoustics. My approach is to emphasize the warmth of the instrument and capture the essence of the space. Not everyone's approach, I know, but it's what I (and my clients) like.

Very nice recording of classical piano music. The hall sounds much larger than a 250 seat room. Also, the performance is excellent and note-perfect, was it a one-take performance or was it edited as is the usual practice for classical piano recordings?
Old 16th August 2011
  #33
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Forget the mics for a minute and check this guy out.

Helpinstill Piano Pickups

He sold the company in the 80's when digital become more prominent. Just recently bought the patent rights back and resumed production because of demand and interest. Oh yeah, check out the user list from the major touring acts.
No bleed, no feedback, natural balanced sound. Thought this was hokey at first but looks like a real solution.
Old 17th August 2011
  #34
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Contacts and pick ups, Elton John lifestyle,ie deaf.
For me its the pleasure of omnis and fig 8s
MS style,. MKH 20/30.

There are no rules in this biz, we all do our own thing.
That is the beauty of it.
Old 18th August 2011
  #35
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I love recording piano!

I really had some great results with this setup: 2 Soundelux e49 in omni, 6' away. And 2 M250s, around 16' away, very wide.



Very much a "classical" recording sound, with nothing but a slight lift at 12k with a GML 8200. I can post an excerpt if anyone cares.

I've always preferred the e49s on just about every piano, including our Steinway D.

Greg
Old 18th August 2011
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
I can post an excerpt if anyone cares.
I do care!
Old 18th August 2011
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
For me its the pleasure of omnis and fig 8s ...
Yep, this is the secret for me as well. Omnis and Fig8's have perfect or near perfect directivity ie. constant freq response with angle of incidence so they are THE choice for piano. I use a Blumlein main with omni outriggers. It's the bizniz.
Old 18th August 2011
  #38
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Here's a piano recording I made months ago, where line of sight was a concern and compromise was necessary to achieve a clean, professional stage presence, while still capturing a great deal of detail for a piano festival.



I'm afraid I don't have a picture, but I'll describe my placement.

Short iron base boom mic stand, suitable for a guitar amp, kick drum, snare drum, etc. I extended it as tall as it would go, so that it reached just above the lip of the piano. 18" stereo bar, MKH 8020 pair. I placed it just to the right of the curve, almost visually centered from left to right.

Steinway D model
Attached Files

Clavierfest Master 8_batch2.mp3 (6.64 MB, 1004 views)

Old 18th August 2011
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
I love recording piano!

I really had some great results with this setup: 2 Soundelux e49 in omni, 6' away. And 2 M250s, around 16' away, very wide.



Very much a "classical" recording sound, with nothing but a slight lift at 12k with a GML 8200. I can post an excerpt if anyone cares.

I've always preferred the e49s on just about every piano, including our Steinway D.

Greg
That is a very lovely room and piano.
You are very fortunate to have access to that.
My best space is The Pittville Pump Rooms, a Georgian Spa assembly room.
Bit like the Wigmore Hall.
Doesn't come cheap though, even though Im generous with my efforts for them.
The Steinways are in good order.
Another good space is the Parabola , a very modern performing Arts theatre,it has a Fazioli piano, which is still bedding in.

Roger
Old 22nd August 2011
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
9' Concert Grand for Classical

Always omnis - MKH 20, MKH 8040 or Neumann KM-D series are what I use.

Normally spaced 17 to 20cm apart - the distance from the piano will vary as to the room and the music being played.

Mostly used MKH 20 for the last 20 years, my last set of four piano CDs was done with KM 183-D and the next will be with the MKH 8020s.
You are very consistent with your methodology and often cite the extra bass that is achievable by using sdc omnis. In your years of experience, you must have experimented with ribbons, which I also understand to have decent low end capabilities. What are your thoughts on a pair of ribbons on piano?
Old 23rd August 2011
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
You are very consistent with your methodology and often cite the extra bass that is achievable by using sdc omnis. In your years of experience, you must have experimented with ribbons, which I also understand to have decent low end capabilities. What are your thoughts on a pair of ribbons on piano?
I don't have any ribbons and have never tried them on piano, I'm afraid. Sorry.
Old 26th August 2011
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
Contacts and pick ups, Elton John lifestyle,ie deaf.
For me its the pleasure of omnis and fig 8s
MS style,. MKH 20/30.

There are no rules in this biz, we all do our own thing.
That is the beauty of it.
Totally agree. Omnis, fig 8's and so forth are ideal in a controlled environment. Nothing more beautiful. But I've been looking more for a solution with full band in a live stage setting. The Helpinstill looks like a great solution, particularly with tours as Steely Dan, Chick Corea, Nora Jones, etc. using it in such a setting. Anyone heard one used before. This one is new to me.
Old 27th August 2011
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearious View Post
Anyone heard one used before. This one is new to me.
I found it odd that they didn't have any recordings on their website, but I could have missed them.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 27th August 2011
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
I do care!
Ok. Next week.
Old 29th August 2011
  #45
I really love spaced B&K 4009 with nose cones. Those work great with a stereo Millennia preamp with the high voltage option. I have recorded many D and B Steinway pianos with this setup for classical recordings. Sometimes I add a U47 or similar to the bow, but the phase problems usually outweigh the benefit...depends.

I also like the sound of spaced M222 (with MK4N cardioid capsules) over the hammers with a C24 outside for jazz recordings. I have used this on D and B model pianos with great success.

Also used a Schoeps ORTF setup, can't remember the model. That was nice for a live jazz recording.

Oh yeah, ribbons..Royer SF 24 is just ok for me. Nothing too special, not my go to for classical by any stretch, maybe pop stuff? I have to jack the EQ too much to make the high end sound "natural".

John
Old 2nd September 2011
  #46
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OK. Here's a sample. 2 e49s near, 2 M250s far and wide into Millennia HV-3Ds. Faders at 0. nothing else. raw.

Piano Excerpt 1

(I think 1:12 sounds pretty neat...)

gc
Old 2nd September 2011
  #47
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Beautiful !
Would you have the E49 track only ?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Beautiful !
Really? I am afraid I would have to say, noisy, distorted, woolly, muffled, lack of any stereo image.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recordinghopkins View Post
Here's a piano recording I made months ago, where line of sight was a concern and compromise was necessary to achieve a clean, professional stage presence, while still capturing a great deal of detail for a piano festival.
I like the balance between wet and dry. The stereo image between left and right is slightly off balance and disconnected, probably due to the line of sight
concerns. The frequency response/ sound is warm and sweet.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #50
Just check Pensado's Place where was Bruce Swedien as a guest. He showing microphone placement used to record piano. This is by far the best sounding mic technique I ever tried.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
lack of any stereo image.
Just fine for me. I do not hear a wide stereo piano at a live concert. Most classical piano recordings have a similar stereo width, for instance the attached one, the same piece recorded recently by a great label. With respect to this one, I don't understand why you say the one from Greg being

Quote:
distorted, woolly, muffled
.
Attached Files

Schubert D. 899 No. 3 .mp3 (4.09 MB, 815 views)

Old 2nd September 2011
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
John,

MKH8020 and KM183 are on the top of the list and I'm also looking at Röde and AKG.


/Peter
For what it's worth, I was really unimpressed with my Neumann KM183 microphones. They have been demoted to room mics. I have the Schoeps so I am not lacking for good mics but I'd love to hear the Neumann KM130s.

Also love to hear the MKH8020 or even the MKH20.

D.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aracu View Post
I like the balance between wet and dry. The stereo image between left and right is slightly off balance and disconnected, probably due to the line of sight
concerns. The frequency response/ sound is warm and sweet.
Thanks! Those 8020's sound good almost anywhere you stick them. Yep, the stereo imaging is less than ideal, but it was a happy compromise at the time. One of those "client is always right" kind of things, where they were concerned about aesthetics over fidelity.

Actually, a lot was less than ideal about this gig. Believe it or not, there's 500+ feet of cable between the 8020's and the preamps - an allen and heath GL series mixer . :/ I was able to make the best of the situation though. A&H Direct outs to an HD24xr.

EDIT:
I forgot to mention that there were two pianos "spooning" with the front piano's lid taken off. Full stick on the rear piano, which is the one you hear in my clip. The 8020's were positioned in between the pianos facing directly upward to put both pianos 90 degrees off axis. You couldn't even see the mics, they were only about an inch above the body, and sandwiched in between two Steinway D's. The mic stand disappeared among the legs and dollys. I used a two channel snake straight down the middle to the back of the stage, and gaffed it appropriately.
The stage manager and video guys were happy as clams, and I only needed two mics. On the duet pieces, the stereo bar and microphones were turned 90 degrees by a stagehand to place one mic over the rear piano's harp, and the other over the front, so that time differences would put them firmly left/right in the stereo image.
Old 6th September 2011
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
For what it's worth, I was really unimpressed with my Neumann KM183 microphones. They have been demoted to room mics. I have the Schoeps so I am not lacking for good mics but I'd love to hear the Neumann KM130s.

Also love to hear the MKH8020 or even the MKH20.

D.
The 183 is OK on piano - but I rotated mine 90° as they were in the nearfield.

Mine are the new version with detachable heads and I now also have the flat-omni heads as well

I use the KM-D, but the analogue KM-A is just as good.

I have both KK 183 and KK 130 heads with the KM-D/KM-A series.
Old 7th September 2011
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Really? I am afraid I would have to say, noisy, distorted, woolly, muffled, lack of any stereo image.
These are harsh comments. Please explain the noise and the distortion issues you are hearing.

Lots of good ears on it over here, with no such issues. Internet streaming-audio noise?

The other stuff is subjective and just seems incendiary, so I'm ignoring it.

Gc
Old 7th September 2011
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis View Post
These are harsh comments. Please explain the noise and the distortion issues you are hearing.

Lots of good ears on it over here, with no such issues. Internet streaming-audio noise?

The other stuff is subjective and just seems incendiary, so I'm ignoring it.

Gc
Yeah I exaggerated to counter balance the "Beautiful" comment which I thought was over the top the other way. But there are clear distortion artefacts in this recording, you can hear them on each note beginning. It's a sort of midrange ringing. Perhaps try a set of decent headphones.
Old 7th January 2012
  #57
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Rather than start a new thread, I thought it would be most appropriate to post this here.
This sample was recorded in December 2011 at a VERY live and somewhat bright sounding church, although a good acoustic overall. Performer is a high school student at a school where I teach playing a piece by Edwarg Grieg. Piano is a 9' Bosendorfer. Mics were placed at the tail of the piano, about 6.5' high, about 4' or so out, spaced about 8.5" (22cm) apart, angled slightly downward pointing in relation to the angle of the lid.
Mics are obviously omni's, but I would love some feedback before I reveal the equipment used.

Thanks,

Brian
Attached Files

Bosendorfer Sample.mp3 (4.17 MB, 744 views)

Old 7th January 2012
  #58
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This is one of the hats I wear - recording piano. I've been though everything - just about. Lots of stuff works. But the guys at DPA --- read their stuff on piano. They know what they are doing.

Almost always, close mic-ed or far, omnis are best. Usually for classical record in the distance. If your room sucks..... and most do compared to a good concert hall - then record as close as you can to get the room out of the recording. Then use Altiverb. Use sound baffles --- I use 6'x4' custom rock wool filled baffles behind my mics to keep the room out as much as possible if the room is small - treating the room will be more effective than even the most expensive mics.

For classical, you record with DPA 130V mics with Mellenia pre's. Sorry, about the cost, but this is THE classical sound we come to expect. By the way, this is NOT a clean sound. Although many would describe it as that. Using this combi give you a larger than life sound (yes! as in better than reality!) --- but it still sounds "clean".
Old 7th January 2012
  #59
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Hi Peter,

For omnies I'd suggest to look at something like Gefell 1/2" MK221, which I find a better choice than larger diaphragm capsules (including DPA), but still maintain good S/N.

There are a few mic bodies which take those capsules, including Josephson C617 and one from Gefell. For Nimbus I just recorded V. Feltsman Tchaikowski album with those and Jecklin disk and the sounds is quite nice.

I would not dismiss Blumlein ribbon pair, which has been already suggested by a few posters. It can give very natural piano sound if you have a good room.

Let me know if you want a couple samples of each.

Best, M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
John,

I'm looking for omnis to complement my QTC1's but with lower noise.

MKH8020 and KM183 are on the top of the list and I'm also looking at Röde and AKG.

I have not heard anything with the 8020 yet. Know of any clips?

Heard some classic stuff (or was it organ..hmm big hall sound anyway) with KM183 and MKH80/800 and the 183 blew the MKH away. True omni and that diffuse field response I guess.

Do you think I could get a similar response from MKH8020 as KM183 by fiddling with position, angles and EQ?

Really want that low noise from the 8020.


/Peter
Old 7th January 2012
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGBrian.M View Post
Rather than start a new thread, I thought it would be most appropriate to post this here.
This sample was recorded in December 2011 at a VERY live and somewhat bright sounding church, although a good acoustic overall. Performer is a high school student at a school where I teach playing a piece by Edwarg Grieg. Piano is a 9' Bosendorfer. Mics were placed at the tail of the piano, about 6.5' high, about 4' or so out, spaced about 8.5" (22cm) apart, angled slightly downward pointing in relation to the angle of the lid.
Mics are obviously omni's, but I would love some feedback before I reveal the equipment used.

Thanks,

Brian
For a student recording you really will never get better! I hope that student has some idea of what a privilege is it to get a recording on that instrument.

However, compared to a pro recording (with time spent on stuff) it has much to be desired considering it is a 9' Bose. A LOT of the richness is lost that can come from that spectacular piano.

GREAT TEACHING work there!
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