The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
mics for grand piano? ~$4K budget
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #61
Gear Head
https://open.spotify.com/album/1mti8...QVWcS9j8QAycnA


WOW, best i heard this week for sure.....lovely ....the low end on the cello if phenomenal....I liked both trios and sonatinas....well done...really...

thx

Ray

Kevin, any pics of the sessions, mic placement etc?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #62
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
A lovely recording of the Czerny, thanks for posting! But we’re still as far away as ever from the OP’s 8 foot drop ceilings…

My suggestion:

It’s a legitimate project to record a piano in a living room - Horowitz did it after all, with Carnegie Hall literally around the corner and, I would imagine, a more or less unlimited production budget. And once you add in the video element, it has an intimacy that’s missing in a more formal performance space.

So follow up on this approach, maybe see if you can find some other living room recordings that you both like and see how they were engineered.

But at the same time, don’t forget that with a grand piano it takes a good 2-3m for the sound to fully develop, and that a large part of what you hear as the “piano sound” is actually sound reflected from the room.

So, alongside the living room recordings, consider scouting for a local hall or a church with a decent piano that won’t break the bank and do a test recording there. If the pianist has an affiliation with a music school, then you may already have a suitable venue. Like this - in my view - you’ll have a better chance of valorising the 100s of hours of work that she has put in to learn the repertoire.

As ever, YMMV - and for the record I note that the original Youtube comments are uniformly positive about the engineering, including:

“One of the best sounding video on YouTube” and “I love the music, your playing, and I love the sound! […] Make this sound your future reference, and don't fall for the mics-in-the-ceiling BS that has infected and RUINED almost all classical recordings for the last 40 years.” ;-)

Last edited by akkadia; 1 week ago at 09:55 AM.. Reason: typo; removal of deranged smiley
Old 2 weeks ago
  #63
Lives for gear
 
fred2bern's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
A pair of Sennheiser Mkh80/MKH800 p48 on the used market.
Hard to find but excellent in almost all situation. With all the usual figures available, it's not so much money if you compare with a pair of Schoeps with mk2 + another pair.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #64
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
FWIW I find this thread odd, although I've replied making several suggestions... Mark you asked for professional quality!!!, you have not the room nor the instrument for anything that was suggested here or the comparisons provided , so knowing all that.......can you hear the sound you want from that piano in that room? can you put your head near the spot where all is what you/she wants ?? i
Ray
Quote:
James Lehman: Ah - now the OP has added this clip (missed the earlier link) it's much easier to see/hear what's going on here!

If that is indeed the piano, pianist and room you will be recording in, then it seems to me the first thing to do before spending a dime on expensive new microphones would be to get the best sound you possibly can out of the gear you have, because I honestly don't think spending $4,000 on new mics is the 'first-response' solution to improving the sound you're getting in that clip.

The Joly-modded Oktavas may not be the last word in ultimate fidelity but they are surely good enough help you resolve the issue of what sort of pick-up pattern and placement you and your pianist are going like the sound of in that particular room? The problems you refer to in the clip "the sound of my recordings are now a disappointment. Flat, dry, thin." are in my view 90% due to where you've placed those mics - I suspect you'd be saying something similar even with a pair of 8040s in there.

Otherwise, right now everyone is just recommending scattershot every piano mic under the sun - omnis, cardioids, wide-cardioids, whatever.

If I was in your shoes I would dedicate an entire day to making some recordings with your existing gear - moving the mics around and trying different spaced arrays and pick-up patterns.

Then post the WAVs back here and see what sort of responses you get.

these 2 posts pretty much sum it up


I
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #65
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
I used some mentioned mics as piano spots for this recording:

https://open.spotify.com/album/1mti8...QVWcS9j8QAycnA

The Trios were BK 4006 (not A or TL) and the Sonatinas were the c617set.

Not at all the same room as you're dealing with, or instrument, but maybe useful?
Beautiful recordings .....any jpgs?

thank you for posting

I
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #66
Lives for gear
 
David Rick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by markk02474 ➡️
The piano is pretty close to the bay front of the house with windows. They are covered with heavy velvet curtains and hidden with the black seamless photo paper. Yes, the piano is "backwards" in the room, with the lid pointed towards the windows rather than into the room. There is a window behind the tail of the piano where she can see if a student is waiting outside her front door. The room is pretty good.
In that situation, I'd be inclined to remove the lid on recording days. As things stand, you've got mics mere inches away from the soundboard, stuffed under a lid on the half stick.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #67
Lives for gear
 
maestro's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As recommended here I tried Plush's tip for putting mic at the edge of the piano rim. Fantastic tip imo. Though I'm no expert the sound was great.

Have also used AEA R88 ribbon to great effect on a brightish piano. Possibly it agrees with the room.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #68
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Nope. full stick. About 5" above the strings. Music stand removed. I wanted to take the lid off, but she said no. It is heavy and just the two of us.

Last edited by markk02474; 2 weeks ago at 03:02 AM.. Reason: add info
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #69
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Hélène Grimaud? Love her! Would be nice to have a living room (ballroom, music room) big enough for a D.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #70
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Sound wise, how does the Sonosax compare to a Sound Devices MixPre2? I don't often need portability, but want a top sounding interface.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #71
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by king2070lplaya ➡️
I used some mentioned mics as piano spots for this recording:

https://open.spotify.com/album/1mti8...QVWcS9j8QAycnA

The Trios were BK 4006 (not A or TL) and the Sonatinas were the c617set.

Not at all the same room as you're dealing with, or instrument, but maybe useful?
Thank you. I definitely preferred the Sonatinas in many ways!
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #72
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks ➡️
I suspect piano techs are very reluctant to make major changes to pianos unless it's pretty obvious that repairs are needed that will improve the situation. Pianists also seem reluctant to have things changed.

No matter what mics you use, there are inherent limitations on how a piano sounds in a normal living room compared to a concert hall.

One of my all time favorite threads----"Ribbon Madness" by drBill. Ribbon Madness....Some Comparisons
I ran the comment by her on string flattening and hammers. "New hammers?" "what do you mean? For my piano???????". Yes, pianists are reluctant to have things changed! Well, I planted the seed. I may remind her the hammers are 45 years old and do get some use.

I will check out the Ribbon madness thread, thanks.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #73
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I have a 6'6" old English piano in a small room. It's nearly as bright as your recording! My favourite mics for it are a pair of SE Rupert Neve ribbons, set to look over the rim in the waist of the piano, perpendicular to the lid at full stick.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #74
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Le Vien ➡️
I have a 6'6" old English piano in a small room. It's nearly as bright as your recording! My favourite mics for it are a pair of SE Rupert Neve ribbons, set to look over the rim in the waist of the piano, perpendicular to the lid at full stick.
Anything we could listen to?

Ray
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #75
Lives for gear
 
RobAnderson's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I'm sure someone somewhere in this thread must've suggested the Schoeps CMC6 amplifiers with MK21 "wide cardioid" capsules. I would like to second that suggestion, wholeheartedly.

These are, by far, my "go to" mic's for situations like the one you describe; and not only are they well within your stated budget, but you will never outgrow them and will likely be able to sell them in some future time for more than you bought them for.

Get a matched pair with shockmounts. Put them on a T-Bar that can extend at least somewhere between 30 - 50 cm. Experiment with different placements - from the tail, or in the crook, just outside the rim, &c. If the lid is on, height is an extremely important variable.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #76
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, have been suggested. In my listening, the Gefel and Josephson omnis with Gefel capsule did sound a bit more musical to me, at a steep premium. They are my favorites so far, but I'm not done considering more mics. The Schoeps is looking like a bargain in comparison. Interchangeable capsules and amplifiers on them and DPA are very attractive for additional recording needs. I like the sound and price of Schoeps over DPA so far.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #77
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Oh, great, another contender! Thanks, that does look interesting too. I do love the sound of ribbons. The thing about the rim location is more of an audience perspective than pianist perspective having bass to the left and treble to the right that I get with mics inside.
Old 1 week ago
  #78
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markk02474 ➡️
How do I get professional quality close mic'd sound on grand piano for Beethoven/Chopin, trying to keep the mic budget under $4,000? I
You don't. You pull back, and you mike the room. If the room isn't any good, you get a better room. Nobody really wants to have their head inside a piano or to have a piano that is fifty feet wide and wraps around the room (except maybe Glenn Gould).
--scott
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #79
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
 
26 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
You don't. You pull back, and you mike the room. If the room isn't any good, you get a better room. Nobody really wants to have their head inside a piano or to have a piano that is fifty feet wide and wraps around the room (except maybe Glenn Gould).
--scott
Traditionally this is certainly true, and IMHO true for all classical instruments.
However, tastes are always changing, and the use of close-mic'ing in popular music, and the use of samples in music, and the lack of attendance at classical concerts, etc., may be influencing a growing acceptance of the close-mic'd sound, even on grand piano. (Not saying that's my preference.)
Just my 2c. Good luck.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #80
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
You don't. You pull back, and you mike the room. If the room isn't any good, you get a better room. Nobody really wants to have their head inside a piano or to have a piano that is fifty feet wide and wraps around the room (except maybe Glenn Gould).
--scott
i disagree: one does not have to pull back mics to get terrific sound - but of course close mics need processing...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #81
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Oh yeah... if you're stuck in that room.. you might consider tail mikes. You'll still need to add some fake reverb or some other room sound, but if you use cardioids they won't be super-boxy sounding and they won't give you all the clanging and thumping that you get up close.
--scott
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #82
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
it takes a bit more than adding a bit of echo...

... but benefits are indeed that one record a grand piano even in a rather smallish room; in large rooms, it helps to keep out bleed, noise and room sound.

besides, it allows for a very nuanced sound, especially on romantic repertoire...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #83
Lives for gear
 
didier.brest's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
it takes a bit more than adding a bit of echo...
What else do you do ? EQ, dynamics and/or transients processing, ... ?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #84
Gear Guru
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest ➡️
What else do you do ? EQ, dynamics and/or transients processing, ... ?
someone else recently asked me the same thing and suggested to start a new thread...

anyway: if not sticking to a more modern soundfield, i'll do anything which leads to a sound as if there would be some distance between the piano and the mics - eq to cut resonances, counterbalance proximity effects plus a shelving filter to mimic hf attenuation over distance, comp/lim to keep the dynamics and transients reasonable, expander to keep down less important sound/resonance, efx (early reflections, medium room and large hall, all of which get filtered and maybe get a comp as well), occasionally a dynamic eq but i do not recall using a transient designer.

since i mostly track/mix with my digital desk (and some digital outboard), i get a pretty clear idea about the result already on location.

favourite mics are mk21's for 'mains' and mk2 (plus a steep lpf) for .1 or then a trio of tlm170r's but there are too many mics i've been using for piano to mention here - when recording solo piano, i add mics for a 'side view' of the instrument and of course there's (at least) one pair of ambis which may make using efx unnecessary (or at least to some degree - in any case i keep ambient tracks, and be it just for comparison).

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 1 week ago at 09:44 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #85
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by markk02474 ➡️
Sound wise, how does the Sonosax compare to a Sound Devices MixPre2? I don't often need portability, but want a top sounding interface.
Top sounding 'interface' => Sonosax. Sonosax is really smooth!

But that may not be the end of the story. The MixPre2's advantage - for me - is more it's 32-bit float implementation - making high dynamic range material much less risky for the novice/intermediate recordist. It will allow you to not have to worry much about gain so you can focus on mic selection and placement. Next to the cost of the Sonosax a MixPre2 is almost free.


So my advice is to get both.

Ray H.

DISCLAIMER: I am a musician.
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #86
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
A bit over budget perhaps: https://www.audiotechnology.com/news...-108-key-piano
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #87
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
I have not used the Sony extended-response microphones. However, I have used the extended-response microphones from Schoeps and Sennheiser but in both cases they sounded much worse to my ears than the conventional sub-20kc versions. So I am very skeptical about the benefit of reproducing ultrasonics.
--scott
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #88
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️

Piano described as an "immense cacophony of harmonics and high frequency overtones..."

Is this a good thing?
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #89
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Elsewhere on the site I heard two recordings, one using the sony 100 onmis and the Josephson omnis. The Sony was very competent, but the Josephson had the magic.
Old 1 day ago | Show parent
  #90
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Le Vien ➡️
Piano described as an "immense cacophony of harmonics and high frequency overtones..."

Is this a good thing?
If it's written in the score, and intended to be played that way....it must be ?
📝 Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 95 views: 29947
Avatar for niversen
niversen 24th March 2020
replies: 83 views: 12197
Avatar for d_fu
d_fu 31st March 2009
replies: 63 views: 15729
Avatar for CGBrian.M
CGBrian.M 17th February 2011
replies: 134 views: 45089
Avatar for aracu
aracu 12th December 2012
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump