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Piano and Violin in a nice room. Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Addict
 
whippoorwill's Avatar
Piano and Violin in a nice room.

Just thought I'd post a moderately recent recording, piano and violin.
Four mics: two mains and two spots on piano.
They were kind enough to let me move the mics around while they practiced before the concert, it really made a huge difference.
Really beautiful playing.
Attached Files

Violin and Piano.mp3 (7.51 MB, 723 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Sounds nice. Any chance you can explain more as to what mics were used and how positioned?

Tom
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
Sounds nice. Any chance you can explain more as to what mics were used and how positioned?

Tom
Sure.
Main pair - MK21 spaced somewhere between 6-7" -> Sonodore pre -> Prism Lyra -> Sound Devices recorder.

Piano - MKH30 Blumlein with bass cut switch on -> Sound Devices

MK21 was positioned for the violin to sound nicely present and detailed with the piano slightly distant with my headphone monitor being fed directly by the pre as I moved the mics about. Then the MKH30 was positioned on the tail of the piano and phase was checked.

The sound was a tad smoother in my headphone amp direct.
If I could do it again I would maybe add some room mics for more reverb.

I have asked to record three upcoming concerts of musicians of a similar calibre in the same hall and I hope to use a similar setup. The venue is 3 minutes walk from my front door so its a nice opportunity to experiment.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Nut
Nice recording and playing. (Kreutzer sonata by Beethoven)
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Head
 
Hook of's Avatar
 

Thanks for the example, very nice record! Do not be offended if I put in my 5 cents , maybe you shouldn’t have included the low-frequency cutoff on mkh30, the bottom of the piano is lost, I understand that you cut for better mixing to reduce the proximity effect, but mk21 cannot fill it. As you yourself noticed, more distant omnis will add air (quite a bit). But this is for my taste, in general, the recording and execution are good. Another piano already swam a little, the top notes are ringing. MK 21 sounds on a violin, very well, it is very difficult to record a violin.
Old 5 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Agree with the above, this is lovely, but lacks bass on the piano.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
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may i ask why you did not opt for a separate spot mic on the violin? - if not relying on just a pair of mains, my take would have been a mono spot on the violin, stereo spots on the piano (and depending on technique/mic position an additional spot for lf capture), stereo mains and stereo ambis - if limited to four mics, i'd put up a stereo pair/mains and mono spots on both instruments.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
may i ask why you did not opt for a separate spot mic on the violin?
It's not my recording, but I thought this was an odd comment as I thought the violin was clearly picked up in the mains. Doing this type of duet, if the instrument out front sounds good, the piano will be too distant. Hence the piano spot.

Why add more mics to the equation?
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
It's not my recording, but I thought this was an odd comment as I thought the violin was clearly picked up in the mains. Doing this type of duet, if the instrument out front sounds good, the piano will be too distant. Hence the piano spot.

Why add more mics to the equation?
it's not to critique the result (i tend not to comment clips if not given lots of details about the setup by pics, drawings, all technical gear involved, the setting, schedule etc.), it's 'cause i'm wondering why not keep a few more options for mixing.

there's nothing wrong with the chosen approach, it just that to me it seems that it may not have been a viable option under different circumstances ("They were kind enough to let me move the mics around while they practiced before the concert, it really made a huge difference..."): i often get but one chance and very limited time to set things up, cannot move any gear but need to go on air straight ahead...
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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deedeeyeah, you're not a minimalist, are you? I know Whipoorwill and I think I can say he is. Different strokes for different folks... I really like this recording and the room it was made in.
Old 5 days ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
deedeeyeah, you're not a minimalist, are you? I know Whipoorwill and I think I can say he is. Different strokes for different folks... I really like this recording and the room it was made in.
Yes it did sound good on the recording.
How are the acoustics for the audience?
I have always found halls with curved ceilings like this to be a problem.
Old 5 days ago
  #12
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
Yes it did sound good on the recording.
How are the acoustics for the audience?
I have always found halls with curved ceilings like this to be a problem.
Its called the Lillian Piercy Recital Hall. Its in an old school that was built around the turn of the 20th century. The hall was 'rediscovered' when the The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts took over the building in the 1990s (it had been partitioned into smaller classrooms with suspended ceilings). It was completely restored including fabricating tin roof panels to replace damaged ones and installing a sprung hardwood floor. I have attended chamber concerts and recorded wind concerts in there. I have always found the acoustic good from an audience perspective...my recordings didn't turn out as well as Whipoorwill's but that may be a reflection of my skills rather than the room's qualities.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
deedeeyeah, you're not a minimalist, are you? I know Whipoorwill and I think I can say he is. Different strokes for different folks... I really like this recording and the room it was made in.
thx for the pics - looks like a nice place!

maybe i couldn't get my message accross: i am not encouraging anyone to use tons of gear and i don't think more gear necessarily leads to better results; can be quite the opposite. what it does though is give you more options - there's nothing wrong using a minimalistic setup if it yields the results one is looking for: it's smart!

in this case, i was just wondering based on what principles the setup was chosen as it differs a bit from my 'default' setup for such a duo; not so much the size of the setup but the deployment of mics.

i would still like to hear the op's take on things...
Old 5 days ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
bicarbone's Avatar
I agree with posters above about the bass cut switch to be preferably left untouched, except for a quick monitoring try out while placing mics.

Thanks for sharing, really nice recording that is sounding much better than what the pics of the place would have let me assume !
Old 4 days ago
  #15
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whippoorwill's Avatar
interesting comments and notes, and thanks everyone for the compliments. i welcome criticism as it is a great way to grow instead of cycling ideas around in my head..

I had a four channel recorder and, exactly as some posters noted, I found a good balanced sound where the violin sounded right (it was easily overpowered by the piano in other places in the room) and brought a little piano spot in. The room sound was not great at first when the musicians arrived. Then, as I was sound-checking, the staff set up all the chairs and this significantly damped the strange reverb. Then the audience arrived and my chosen spot was almost too dry!

Perhaps the piano could have more bass, but then again I wonder how it would sit with the main image. The effect desired is violin with piano behind it, in a room. I might try some EQ (faking the mkh30 bass cut inversely) and report back. I sometimes just change the 2bus eq on stuff like this, so that the inter mic phase relationships don't change...

Mostly what I want from a recording is perspective, depth and good tone. I like to close my eyes and listen at a moderately louder volume and hear the instruments at proportionate sizes and a 3-dimensional volume (as in how a clay jug or a balloon has physical, space-inhabiting, volume). I'm always happiest with my 2-4 mic recordings, no shade on those who work otherwise, but with a small amount of mics there is often a more cohesive reverb, fewer phase issues and less perspective flattening (which is really what I find the most objectionable probably; T-Bone Burnett says we hear from reflected sound).

I find myself paralysed by choice often in mixing, so I have to reduce my options for my sanity. I got a rock mixing project about a year ago with 16 drum channels from a neve. Loads of options, but nothing was in the right place- like a multichannel Hobson's choice. Almost Annie Hall, my alteration in all-caps: "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." The other one says, "Yeah, I know; but such LARGE portions."

@jimjazzdad (who is a fantastic engineer with a great sense of balance), i'm a definite minimalist, except when I post, it seems...
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