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How to record a good pop piano!? Condenser Microphones
Old 30th August 2007
  #1
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

How to record a good pop piano!?

Straight to the point: How to record a good piano to fit pop music mixes (think Nashiville pop Country, and Latin pop a la Alejandro Sanz etc) in a simple way, safe from phase issues.

How would you position and aim the mics?


I have at my disposal: a great session player, Yamaha G7, a nice big room.
Mics: pairs of BK 4006, Nuemann Km84, M149, C12, U87...
Pres: pairs of Tube Tech, 9098, 737, Voxbox and Focus Red.

I get good results recording classical and solo stuff.. but I need to get a way more focused piano sound in my next sessions... time is premium and I will not be able to spend the whole session experimenting stuff... Can you guys give me a tip to have a good start point. Pics, eschematics wellcome! Thank you!
Old 30th August 2007
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Hi,

take a stereo mic or 2 mics (AB stereo) and point them on the Hammers aruond 8 Inches above. Take a listen and move them until it sounds good.

For Latin Music you need soul so i would take Ribbon Mics (an AEA R88). The B&Ks and neumanns are good for classical but they have "no sound". They give you an exact image of the piano and they are really realistic but thats all.

When you dont have or dont want to use ribbons i would go a little further away from the hammers.

I have 2 standart setups for piano
For "softer" Music and classical stuff i use the B&Ks 4006 (yes those without soul) and go into an Millenia preamp and no compressor.
For "louder" Music like Rock or Pop with lots of attack i use thr R88 and go into the AEA TRP and compress it with an AMEK 9098 or Urei 1178 (depends on my mood).

And when i want to have it British i take the Focusrite ISA 115 and compress it heavly.

I hope i could help

And sorry for my english too
Old 30th August 2007
  #3
Gear Guru
The B&Ks over the hammers. Cut a bit in the 400 range, add a bit in the 3-5k range, then hit a fast compressor. you might also want to put one of the LDCs over the lo strings to sneak in if you want some "meat". Although in a dense arrangement a lot of bottom will mask the piano. The sound that works in the mix might not sound very good in solo.
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Thx guys! I will try that.
What about Phase?
Since it's a tricky instrument. How to effectivily check it. So you don't necesserally have to open pan hard L-R to make it sound good in the mix (like you would do in classical)?
Which aspects can I try check with my ears?
How Phasescope (in PT HD) should react?
Old 31st August 2007
  #5
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmonauta View Post
Thx guys! I will try that.
What about Phase?
Since it's a tricky instrument. How to effectivily check it. So you don't necesserally have to open pan hard L-R to make it sound good in the mix (like you would do in classical)?
Which aspects can I try check with my ears?
How Phasescope (in PT HD) should react?
For phase, just check in mono and flip one track.
No you certainly don't have to pan full. The question is how much space is available for it. There's no law that says it even has to be stereo in the mix.
Old 31st August 2007
  #6
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travisbrown's Avatar
At Little Mountain Sound in Vancouver, in it's heyday, there was a lovely concert grand piano with laquered hammers to get a sound that really cut through the mix.

So, if you have a concert grand sitting around....
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