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#1848605 - 02/20/12 05:45 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: hv]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5184
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: hv
Del, I think the Earthworks setup would be hard to beat in the permanently installed application you require. I haven't used it myself but I do use their qtc40 omnis as well as their compact cardioids and they are top notch. I consider them the closest in performance from a US manufacture to DPA. Their setup installs for operation with the lid up or down. Keep in mind that its compact spaced omni mics would yield a very accurate and natural imaging that would probably work well for anything from classical to pop and both at fast and slow tempos. I've used spaced omnis myself and my only criticism is that imaging is a little flatter and lacking in depth for my tastes.

Yes, well, the Earthworks PM-40 is roughly twice my client’s already recently stretched budget of $1,500. And a pair of QTC-40’s seems to go for around $2,200. Also quite a bit out of his budget—he would prefer to keep the total expenditure below $1,000.

But, I’ll pass this along as well.

[/quote]
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#1848634 - 02/20/12 06:38 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Wound up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 65
Hi Del, I did not see that Budget point, In that case I think that you are barking up the right tree-- Allthough the Rodes mics from Australia will be under budget too__ I think AT has a few option also.

Jeff Clef,

OK here goes, There were lots of version of 414 some ok, some awful.. and some awesome The awesome ones are an early version of 414EB that had the "Brass Ring" capsule (with the little screws around the edge/face and back or the capsule) NOT the "Teflon era" 414EB(which happens to be the second best sounding one...) The 'teflon' one is really a nylon ring not teflon but it is widley refered to as Teflon...

OK You should not wait to wear yours out if you can switch before --Sell yours after you find a suitable set they can be as much as $2000 each though--

And do not be afraid of the age -- people can trash a mic in a year or 50 year old capsule can be good.. kind of like Pianos .. Also like pianos that having a tech check them out can be worthwhile. A tech OR someone with several examples to A-B with .. The Brass Ring capsule is the same capsule that is in the C12, C12a, and Elam 251 those mics can be 20k! The tiny 414EB with Brass ring sound VERY good-- They perform like 85-90% of their expensive big brothers and are easy to move around/mount.. They should keep their value well based on the capsule alone...

Next option -- Get some Telfon EB's and buy replacements capsule from Tim Campbell in denmark-- His capsules are around $400-- He has the ORIG diaprham materials and many think his caosules are really close to the originals..

I do not know if his capsules could be used in the newer mics but he is easy enough to find and you could ask him

Lastly as I wrote before 414BULS or TL2 are not awful mics and you should be able to get a set of TL2's for not much more then selling your new ones.. though I would just get it right and get the Brass ring EB's! or contact Tim



sorry for the COMPLETE answer haha

best-j

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#1848638 - 02/20/12 06:48 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Del]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: hv
Del, I think the Earthworks setup would be hard to beat in the permanently installed application you require. I haven't used it myself but I do use their qtc40 omnis as well as their compact cardioids and they are top notch. I consider them the closest in performance from a US manufacture to DPA. Their setup installs for operation with the lid up or down. Keep in mind that its compact spaced omni mics would yield a very accurate and natural imaging that would probably work well for anything from classical to pop and both at fast and slow tempos. I've used spaced omnis myself and my only criticism is that imaging is a little flatter and lacking in depth for my tastes.

Yes, well, the Earthworks PM-40 is roughly twice my client’s already recently stretched budget of $1,500. And a pair of QTC-40’s seems to go for around $2,200. Also quite a bit out of his budget—he would prefer to keep the total expenditure below $1,000.

But, I’ll pass this along as well.


[/quote]

Here is a nice demo of the Earthworks PM-40:
PM40
_________________________
Charles Lang
Working on: A Night in Tunisia; Memories of Tomorrow (Keith Jarrett).
Just started: Brazilian Like (Michel Petrucciani)

Baldwin Model R (1974), Hardman 5'9" grand (1915), Rieger-Kloss 42.5" vertical

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#1848654 - 02/20/12 07:19 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: charleslang]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 471
Loc: canada
I believe I can rent the dpa stuff; so I will try it. But that particular demo does not do it for me in any way shape or form!

JG

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#1848668 - 02/20/12 07:48 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1226
Loc: Cape Cod
Here's an old thread where I A/B tested a bunch of mics including dpa, earthworks, neumann, and oktava:

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoo...a-qtc1-u87.html

The oktavas were surprisingly well received considering that they're so low cost compared to the others.

Howard

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#1848692 - 02/20/12 08:50 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Wound up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 65
The Octava's tend to be 'Harsher' and less consistant, If you find a use for them where the harsh character is not coming out they can be as Howard said - Suprisingly good! Lots of Mods out there for that one also..

You can Get a chinese Apex 460 and have it modded usually for less then 900 a pair.. those can come out really nice also..

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#1848815 - 02/21/12 12:49 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2318
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I think it's ok to post these, as I had done so in a previous thread, and as I recall, the pianist Mr.Pandolfi was fine with it so long as his name was by the recordings.

Here is a wonderfully restored 1906 M&H CC, by Keith at Pianocraft. (Great job Keith) Here is the original link to the thread.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1317813/Searchpage/2/Main/95802/Words/pandolfi/Search/true/Re:%20Mason%20&%20Hamlin%20restore.html#Post1317813

I also put them into mp3's for Keith a few years ago, since the original files were so large. Here is my box.net folder for those pieces, (no password necessary) Mr.Pandolphi plays the piano beautifully.


http://www.box.com/shared/6frkt9tqtl Thomas Pandolfi, Piano


The mics are great. Earthwork QTC40's. Yet another mic possibility! Here is the info on the equip used;

The recording engineer is the very talented Nate Taylor. The following is Nate's answer to someone asking about his recording chain:

"For live recording I'm using a matched pair of Earthworks QTC40 linear omni microphones, a True Systems Precision 8 eight channel mic preamp, and a Lynx Aurora 8 eight channel AD/DA converter, running into a custom build PC system running windows. The software I use is primarily Cubase 4. My studio monitors are Adam A7's. I'm also running a backup audio feed to a Sound Devices 702 two channel recorder. I'm using an AVS 2000pro voltage stabilizer, which has some power filtering ability."

According to Nate, the diaphragms were set about 10" apart. The mics were 7' high and about 10' from the piano.

Nate also wanted everyone to know that the files we have linked are CD quality and he hopes people will burn them onto a CD and listen on a good stereo system.


Edited by Grandpianoman (02/21/12 01:23 AM)
Edit Reason: password removed from Folder

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#1848904 - 02/21/12 06:30 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 471
Loc: canada
A little Chopin from the Beyerdynamic 160 ribbons, because i'm returning them to the rental folks:

http://www.box.com/s/yiugxe3z5937cv3rpq6f

Please excuse family chit chat spilling in from elsewhere (which also put my concentration off).

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#1848911 - 02/21/12 07:08 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Wound up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 65
Some thoughts about Ribbons and Pianos :

Yeah M160's are great mics- though they have a really tight hyper cariod pattern and the rejection is such they it would be hard for them to catch the whole piano.. Also-- Like Most ribbons they are not brillant on the top end -- I know if you had some API 550 eq's and found the right positions they could be stellar though they would be challenging to make work in comparison the capacitor mics which most all would have a wider pick-up pattern and be balanced for more high end...

But those 160's do lots of thing well! would not be my first pick on Pianos..

Neumann SM2 is great for Piano..
I am so excited to get my new Grand soon and start experimenting again --

if you had to use ribbons ROYER SF12 Has more high end then most ribbons and natual sound as well as RCA KU3A (though uber expensive and hard to find)

I look forward to more people posting about their experience micing pianos

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#1848968 - 02/21/12 08:59 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
quick update -- i have returned the behringer c-3s as being too thin of a sound. yeah, i was trying to skimp. i now have a pair of akg perception 420s -- still lower end mics ($250 each) so they're not great but already my tests are showing a marked improvement in tonal quality. examples to follow. here's a review of the mics:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb09/articles/akgperception.htm

here's a quick test of the new mics; previous photo settings:

http://www.box.com/s/r4kljxzs32ldjsp0y1ic


Edited by Entheo (02/21/12 01:32 PM)
_________________________
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#1849131 - 02/21/12 02:18 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Wound up]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 471
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Wound up
Some thoughts about Ribbons and Pianos :

Yeah M160's are great mics- though they have a really tight hyper cariod pattern and the rejection is such they it would be hard for them to catch the whole piano.. Also-- Like Most ribbons they are not brillant on the top end -- I know if you had some API 550 eq's and found the right positions they could be stellar though they would be challenging to make work in comparison the capacitor mics which most all would have a wider pick-up pattern and be balanced for more high end...

But those 160's do lots of thing well! would not be my first pick on Pianos..

Neumann SM2 is great for Piano..
I am so excited to get my new Grand soon and start experimenting again --

if you had to use ribbons ROYER SF12 Has more high end then most ribbons and natual sound as well as RCA KU3A (though uber expensive and hard to find)

I look forward to more people posting about their experience micing pianos



SF 12, next on my list, along with a few other ribbons and, what the heck, probably DPA 4060/61 and Schoeps MK2h and 21.
Yah, there's something thin about the hfreq on the 160s; on the other hand, the c 451b as full-sounding as the are, sound a tad coloured or harmonically distorted in comparison. I could actually live with the 160s, but not with the 451s.

As it stands, I think, I hope, I can do better. More renting on the way!

JG

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#1849136 - 02/21/12 02:21 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 471
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Entheo
quick update -- i have returned the behringer c-3s as being too thin of a sound. yeah, i was trying to skimp. i now have a pair of akg perception 420s -- still lower end mics ($250 each) so they're not great but already my tests are showing a marked improvement in tonal quality. examples to follow. here's a review of the mics:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb09/articles/akgperception.htm

here's a quick test of the new mics; previous photo settings:

http://www.box.com/s/r4kljxzs32ldjsp0y1ic


Sound pretty good to me! (And the Scarlatti, too!)

JG

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#1849138 - 02/21/12 02:27 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Entheo, that is a slight step up from the previous and it's not going to break the bank!

Glen
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March piano audio
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A Bit of YouTube

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#1849563 - 02/22/12 11:11 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Inlanding]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
Entheo, that is a slight step up from the previous and it's not going to break the bank!
Glen


glen i think it's more than a slight step up; i'm not at all displeased with the results so far:

http://www.box.com/s/sboh3z2za3dfrrkxsvc5
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#1849567 - 02/22/12 11:19 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Entheo
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
Entheo, that is a slight step up from the previous and it's not going to break the bank!
Glen


glen i think it's more than a slight step up; i'm not at all displeased with the results so far:

http://www.box.com/s/sboh3z2za3dfrrkxsvc5


That one is more pleasing to my ear, by far. Fine playing, too, by the way. How are they placed when you say parallel?

Glen
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March piano audio
https://app.box.com/s/evl3yyp1kj52ve8l069u


A Bit of YouTube

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#1849572 - 02/22/12 11:36 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Inlanding]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
How are they placed when you say parallel?


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#1849574 - 02/22/12 11:43 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
That is quite fine. Have you attempted to bring the mics in that configuration slightly farther back from the case so as to get a bit of natural room/soundboard reverb effect, or is your space not conducive for it?
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March piano audio
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A Bit of YouTube

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#1849584 - 02/22/12 11:52 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: beethoven986]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3463
I don't agree.

Just turn off the computer, fridge, ventilation etc while recording. And shield it (close that door and window, close a curtain or panel).

For me the good sound is more important than the bit of unwanted noise.

Good consumer grade WILL allow you to hear the differences. I'm talking about a good headphone particularly.

(why is nothing quoted when you click on "reply to"?? here is the quote I'm responding to)
Quote:
Originally Posted By: wouter79
Thanks!

Let me add that I think omni directional mics are the best to use: more accurate frequency response. What you need for a piano is a dead flat frequency response from 20 to 20kHz IMHO


Given the choice between some slight coloration and unwanted ambient noise (computer, refrigerator, ventilation), I'd gladly take the former. What you're advocating for doesn't really matter in the end, especially when you go to listen to the result on consumer-grade audio equipment.

For what it's worth, though, (good) ribbon mics are more natural sounding than condensers.


Edited by wouter79 (02/22/12 11:53 AM)
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#1849590 - 02/22/12 12:00 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Inlanding]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
That is quite fine. Have you attempted to bring the mics in that configuration slightly farther back from the case so as to get a bit of natural room/soundboard reverb effect, or is your space not conducive for it?


i haven't yet tried the new mics back from the piano in ORTF config or XY pattern in cardioid mode; on my todo list and i'll post results if they sound promising; thx.
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#1849616 - 02/22/12 12:24 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Entheo
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
That is quite fine. Have you attempted to bring the mics in that configuration slightly farther back from the case so as to get a bit of natural room/soundboard reverb effect, or is your space not conducive for it?


i haven't yet tried the new mics back from the piano in ORTF config or XY pattern in cardioid mode; on my todo list and i'll post results if they sound promising; thx.


I look forward to hearing your progress.

There are many, many options that sound quite nice. It's a fun journey. I have a friend who uses two pretty expensive shotgun microphones placed approximately 15 feet from the piano, from the side, one facing the entire register across the top and another facing the bass strings a bit towards the tail. It provides a very nice balance across the register and a natural reverb effect and does not lead to any room slap. Fun stuff.

Glen
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March piano audio
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A Bit of YouTube

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#1851416 - 02/25/12 12:11 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Inlanding]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
sat. morning; good time to try some different configs. here's a config that's promising:



akg 420s in cardioid mode, parallel to the LID, per DPA suggestion. will try them up higher and back a bit as well.

here are some sample recordings (please overlook boo-boos; am focused on recording not music). of course no effects:

http://www.box.com/s/5axfetptdnrhq9ryp6u3
http://www.box.com/s/z6kcd9haxgey7bd7a6r5
http://www.box.com/s/cigu3lcpxr2xiav1eb8d
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#1852128 - 02/26/12 05:19 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 471
Loc: canada
Only the first clip is working.... but it sounds about... well... about as good as I can imagine. That's the sort of raw material you could make a very, very mainstream-quality piano (classical) recording from. (Add now-requisite verb and you're 99 per cent there!) That AGK looks like, sounds like, an exception to the rule... "they all sound the same in the end"!!!

JG

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#1852262 - 02/26/12 10:21 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
sorry, switching to soundcloud.com; i think they have better codecs; try this (with a bit of 'verb):

http://soundcloud.com/ekriege/schubert-impromptu-142-no2-a
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#1852513 - 02/27/12 12:17 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1640
Loc: Colorado
I've been listening with the Grados headphones to all the still available recordings you made, Entheo.

The Scarlatti and Schubert are very, very nice. You found excellent distance and placement with this AKG 420 set-up. I'd lock this one down as the basis on which you judge all of your other experiments.

You play beautifully

Glen
_________________________


March piano audio
https://app.box.com/s/evl3yyp1kj52ve8l069u


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

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#1852524 - 02/27/12 12:38 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Inlanding]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
The Scarlatti and Schubert are very, very nice. You found excellent distance and placement with this AKG 420 set-up. I'd lock this one down as the basis on which you judge all of your other experiments.


thanks glen! yes i agree i'm going to go with this setup and start focusing on the music again smile
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#1852757 - 02/27/12 08:48 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Sparky McBiff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Thanks for this.
I've been considering buying a good mic soon (to replace an ancient Shure 58 I've got) and I think I'm going to go with the AKG 420.
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#1852768 - 02/27/12 09:05 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
On the road without good headphones so I can't listen critically until this weekend, but I'll take the rave reviews from other posters as "mission success" for you.

Hurrah.

Glad the DPA book was a help even if we've decided on different placements. laugh
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1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#1852936 - 02/28/12 06:10 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Seeker]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Seeker
Glad the DPA book was a help even if we've decided on different placements. laugh


andrew, i tried your placement and there were good results, but i prefer the focus i'm getting with my current placement & cardioid mode -- at least for now!
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#1852980 - 02/28/12 08:33 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
grosminet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 2
Loc: USA (GA) FRANCE(PARIS)
I also used MXL 990's... superb results at the same time i recorded with the built in microphone of the TASCAM BB1000 CD direct to CD OR SD CARD = WHAT AN EASY MACHINE TO USE, NO COMPUTER, NO SOFTWARE JUST PUSH REC AND GO FOR IT!
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#1853270 - 02/28/12 05:43 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 471
Loc: canada
Love that Schubert... and the 420s in Card sound excellent!

Here's a mistery mic I used to record that old saw .... by JSB...

http://www.box.com/s/ctsg3mjrl5c6ebmg788v

Less precise, I think, than the AKG 420..

And that old Chopin again, but now on the same mystery pair...

http://www.box.com/s/e0bzcprrr221ox1so44t

By way of edit, I've changed the Bach to a close-miked version of the WTC 2 prelude, which is sort of a test piece, I guess.

There are numerous pops and clicks, which I attribute to the underpowered Macbook's audio recorder.

The Chopin is a more distant miking, a couple of feet off the piano.

Oh, yes, I added verb to the Bach, if it isn't obvious. Amd I had to equalize out some of the boomy bass around 100 hz.

JG


Edited by johngrant (02/28/12 11:12 PM)

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