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Sympathetic Vibration capture
Old 14th November 2009
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Storyville's Avatar
Sympathetic Vibration capture

I'm doing a live capture in a hall with an experimental jazz group. They want me to do some "standard" approaches, and some "weird" stuff - just to see what comes out. There's no pianist in the group, but there is a grand in the hall. For one of my "weird" things I want to mic the piano to pic up sympathetic vibrations and the reverberations within the body and off the lid. However, I'm not used to doing this in the context of a full band playing next to the piano. Any suggestions on the best approach to getting that "weird" sound.
Old 14th November 2009
Put a heavy brick on the sustain pedal of the piano. That lets the strings ring
Old 14th November 2009
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pan's Avatar

Use a PZM under the lid, right where the strings cross...
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Addict
ZEBRAAA's Avatar

cool idea, but if it doesnt sound good after....and the lid is open....would it screw up the mix?
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Maniac
matt2525's Avatar

Depends if you can hear it in the other mics - maybe try closing the lid ??
Old 15th November 2009
Gear Guru

I would like to try using toothpicks or whatever to pry up the felts of just those notes that are in the key of the song.

of course maybe they are so Avant-Garde that 'key' is not applicable.
Old 15th November 2009
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Storyville's Avatar
no, not avant garde. experimental. it's very much tonal music, and very groove oriented. they take a jazz perspective on other genres, like punk rock, but do it without sounding forced or too "jazz trying to be cool." The record will be continuous, as they improvise transitions between songs - so the key will change.

Jules, good idea. Seems so obvious now that you've said it.

Also, good point about getting too much piano sound. My feeling is that it will hide in the mix if it does leak into the other mics. I think the drum bleed is going to be a bigger challenge

Instruments are: drums, trumpet, cello, upright bass, and vocals. the configuration is going to be a little goofy I think, as it will involve the cello going through a pa, the upright going through a bass amp. So live sound meets studio work.....

anywhose, thanks for the advice.
Old 31st March 2010
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JoeyM's Avatar
Are there well-known tunes that used this technique? Or just Avant-garde?

I've heard of that technique, but never got clued in further
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