Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) End Stage Fright
End Stage Fright
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
#187579 - 12/15/04 04:38 PM best piano microphone
richard_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 192
Loc: philadelphia
I want to record my Boesendorfer grand. What are some excellent microphones for this purpose?
_________________________
Richard

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#187580 - 12/15/04 04:59 PM Re: best piano microphone
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13963
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
6 of them.

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

Top
#187581 - 12/15/04 05:41 PM Re: best piano microphone
katie_dup1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 1838
Loc: Canada
I do not have an excellent mic set-up; however, much has been written on this subject in some of the other forums on this board.

Using the "search" function -- run the words "micing", "recording techniques", "recording equipment", etc. & see where this takes you.

You may also check out the section in the main directory related to the *PW CD Compilation Project*, b/c I believe in the threads here people talked about their techniques for recording.

Good Luck .... \:\)

Top
#187582 - 12/15/04 07:03 PM Re: best piano microphone
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Some say a pair of ribbon Coles 4038 or 4040's is the best. I tend to agree \:\)

Dan
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

Top
#187583 - 12/15/04 08:42 PM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Coles 4038's (which are ribbon mics) are great. I have a Royer SF12 stereo ribbon mic that I think is wonderful. DPA 4011's are great mics as well. I've used AKG 414TLII mics with wonderful results. These are all very expensive at $2k (or greater) for two channels.

Other choices under $1500 would be Shure KSM141's (I use them all the time). Audix makes a lollipop-style mic called the SCX25 that's wonderful, but on the high end of this price point. Audio Technica 4041 (sound great on acoustic guitar -- haven't tried them on piano yet). Rode (I forget the model -- is the NT4?). My favorites at this price point would be the Shure KSM141's at around $750-ish for the pair.

Also, keep in mind that great microphones are only half of the equation. A great mic pre is also important. For a non-colored, transparent sound (which is probably what you're going for), I'd recommend preamps from Millenia Media, Earthworks, GML or Buzz Audio, with the Earthworks being the most economical of the bunch. In the prosumer/budget category, consider the Grace Audio preamp -- very clean sounding.

Of course, the title of this thread said, "the best". It would help to know your budget, as well as your expectations and experience with this sort of thing.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187584 - 12/16/04 05:12 AM Re: best piano microphone
Bob Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/01/01
Posts: 3789
Check out the December 2004 edition of Recording Magazine, page 72 for some help.
_________________________
www.PianoTunerOrlando.com






Top
#187585 - 12/16/04 06:19 AM Re: best piano microphone
richard_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 192
Loc: philadelphia
Thanks for the various suggestions. Just to put it all into perspective, although I own a high-end piano, my recording 'gear' is at the other end of the spectrum. I have a Boss BR864 digital 8-track recorder and a MAudio Audiobuddy dual microphone preamp (with phantom power). I tried recording the piano using the internal mike of the Boss recorder and I was horrified at what I heard. It sounded like it was recorded over a telephone! I'm probably being naive, but I'm guessing that a 'good' (whatever that means) microphone would make a huge difference. I'm not trying to make professional recordings, but I would like to capture some of the warmth and beauty of the Boesie's sound.
_________________________
Richard

Top
#187586 - 12/16/04 07:46 AM Re: best piano microphone
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Then why did you ask for the best piano microphones?

With that setup just get a pair of MXL 990's, cheap and will fit the bill.
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

Top
#187587 - 12/16/04 10:32 AM Re: best piano microphone
Ishkabibble Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Edmonton

Top
#187588 - 12/16/04 11:29 AM Re: best piano microphone
richard_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 192
Loc: philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ishkabibble:
Crown SASS-P MKII
Very good deal on this here:[/b]
How does this microphone compare with the others mentioned in this thread?
_________________________
Richard

Top
#187589 - 12/16/04 01:04 PM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
I have a Boss BR864 digital 8-track recorder and a MAudio Audiobuddy dual microphone preamp (with phantom power).
Not a bad set-up, but not "the best" either. If you can swing it, I'd recommend a spaced pair of Shure KSM141 microphones in omni mode. Should sound great. They're a significant step up from the MXL microphones (which aren't bad for your set-up either). Then down the road, you can upgrade your mic pre if desired.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187590 - 12/16/04 01:38 PM Re: best piano microphone
Ishkabibble Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 79
Loc: Edmonton
Richard,
I haven't used the other mics mentioned, but I own a SASS and it is a great stereo mic.

Within the enclosure, the mic capsules are postioned very similar to where they would be if they were the ears on a human head. Especially if headphones are used to listen to the recording, what is heard is very close to what one hear at wherever the mic was when it made the recording.

Position the mic in your favorite listening spot in the room and you'll record what your ears would hear in that spot. I have tried positioning the mic slightly higher and behind my head as I play and the results on headphones are amazingly similar to what I hear as I play. (I listen to the recording using a pair of Grado headphones which have very good dynamic range - bass response is simply fantastic.)

Crown has a demo CD of some recordings made with a SASS and, if you can hear it, I'm pretty sure you'll be impressed.

Top
#187591 - 12/16/04 02:13 PM Re: best piano microphone
Richard McIntyre Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Bedford, PA
Any comments on the KSM32 as a piano mic? Steve Y - can you compare the KSM141 with the KSM32? I've read that the large diaphram mics can be good for piano.

Thanks,
RichardM

Top
#187592 - 12/16/04 05:26 PM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I'm sure the KSM32 would be fine. I haven't compared the two. I was never a big fan of Shure mic's until I bought the KSM141's. I had used SM81's many times in the studio, and really didn't like them at all -- much too harsh/brittle sounding. Two different recording engineers that I really look up to told me that they love the KSM141 on piano. I thought they were nuts, but agreed to try them. I'm glad I did. They're completely different than the SM81. Very open and transparent sounding, with a silky top. They're not the best mics I've ever heard on piano. But they're definitely the best mics I've used for under $1500. Considering that they're well under $800, that's quite a statement!!!
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187593 - 12/16/04 11:18 PM Re: best piano microphone
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6150
Just made a recording following Dan M's playbook (a pair of MXL 990 microphones and an M-Audio AudioBuddy pre-amp). See THIS POST (click here) for details and link to MP3. Thanks, Dan M!

SteveY, I came very close to getting a pair of KSM141 -- but chickened out at the last minute figuring I cannot yet justify a pair of $800 microphones at the moment.

Comments and suggestions on how to make better audio recordings (with my current equipment) are welcome and will be greatly appreciated. \:\)
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

Top
#187594 - 12/17/04 05:40 AM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Sounds good Axtremus. MXL microphones are pretty great for the money. The KSM141 might get you a touch more detail, but at considerably more expense.

For those who want to learn more about recording techniques, there's some good information at this site. Click on "microphone university", then "application guide", then select an instrument.

http://www.dpamicrophones.com
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187595 - 12/17/04 08:26 PM Re: best piano microphone
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Bah, that dpa mic site! (sorry Steve \:\) )

I started there when I was learning, but for my situation (not unlike most home recordists) they're advice (spaced omni's) didn't work at all. I think it would work good in a nice big recording space.

But it's a good place to start.
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

Top
#187596 - 12/18/04 07:33 AM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
So what you're saying, Dan, is that you're favoring your EARS over what you read. Good for you!!!

For what it's worth, I love spaced omnis on my piano. But I use them in a close-miked situation so the room isn't that much of an issue.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187597 - 12/18/04 07:38 AM Re: best piano microphone
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Well, and to be fair I'm not done working on it. Recording is tough! I have a lot of respect for you guys.

I'm getting good results these days with a Jecklin disk, and a variety of mics, believe it or not.

Dan
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

Top
#187598 - 12/18/04 08:10 AM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Dan, what's your set-up again? (piano, mics, pres, converters, recording media)
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187599 - 12/18/04 03:40 PM Re: best piano microphone
Richard McIntyre Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Bedford, PA
Steve, have you tried a single KSM141? Does it sound good, or do you need the stereo pair to get good sound?

RichardM

Top
#187600 - 12/18/04 03:43 PM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
I think any mono system is going to be lacking. If you're considering a single KSM141 for budgetary reasons, I think you might be better off going with less expensive microphones.
MXL, Studio Projects, Oktava, etc. come to mind.
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187601 - 12/18/04 04:32 PM Re: best piano microphone
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Steve,
I have various cheap cardiod condensor, a couple of dynamics, pair of Coles 4040's, Lavry Blue D/A & A/D, and a custom tube pre I designed and built myself. Piano is a Walter 190.

Dan
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

Top
#187602 - 12/18/04 04:50 PM Re: best piano microphone
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Wow! Lavry -- I'm impressed!!! I have Apogee AD/DA in my studio with the Big Ben clock. I'm very happy with them. But I'm considering getting a Lavry Blue set-up for my piano.

What media are you recording to?
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

Top
#187603 - 12/18/04 06:57 PM Re: best piano microphone
Dan M Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 770
Loc: California
Hey Steve,
The Lavry is the best I've heard, both A/D and D/A. You know that point when electronics get really good, that the music gets silky quiet and smooth?

I record 24/88.2 to a Linksys NSLU2 fileserver - haven't burned anything yet.
_________________________
The piano is my drug of choice.
Why are you reading this? Go play the piano! Why am I writing this? ARGGG!

Top
#187604 - 12/18/04 07:00 PM Re: best piano microphone
HappyGoLucky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 295
Loc: Arlington, VA
I use a Shure VP88 stereo mic and think it is just great. My piano recordings are quite good for home recordings I think. I don't know how it compares with the other Shure mics recommended here -- and would be curious to know what others think.

Virginia (from Virginia)

Top
#1837918 - 02/03/12 12:04 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: HappyGoLucky]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: HappyGoLucky
I use a Shure VP88 stereo mic and think it is just great. My piano recordings are quite good for home recordings I think. I don't know how it compares with the other Shure mics recommended here -- and would be curious to know what others think.

Virginia (from Virginia)


Here's my set up:

Mics: (rented) 2 AKG 414xlms 5.5 ft off floor looking into the piano, about 1 .5 ft out from the middle of the instrument. Mics are 1 ft apart angled slightly away from each other (kinda like human ears).

Mic Setting: -12 headroom; "Omnidirectional" (Whatever the means)

Preamp: Fast Track Ultra (Sue me! Can't afford anything else!)

Software/Hardware: Little MacBook running Garageband.

Short raw sample of Nocturne (opus 9 no 1) (please excuse the playing!) at 320 kps: http://www.box.com/s/28llz3nl7f757z0tlr2n

Result: Here's a processed version which I will get around to improving:
http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o

Criticisms more than welcome. And please don't be nice. I want honesty and suggestions re: better Mics, Mic settings, and Mic placement.

For example: where should the Mics be placed with big piano in small room? Under the lid? And what's the deal on "Headroom" and "Polarity" settings????

Cheers,

JG

P.S. Piano: Hailun 218

Top
#1837987 - 02/03/12 01:51 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2625
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I believe you would be better served by starting a new thread than by resurrecting one that's more than 7 years old.

Top
#1837992 - 02/03/12 01:56 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Steve Chandler]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
I believe you would be better served by starting a new thread than by resurrecting one that's more than 7 years old.


I thought about that.... !!!!

JG

Top
#1838026 - 02/03/12 03:18 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Kieran Wells Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 237
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
Nice job John. I get what you are doing with the mastering; I might lighten the reverb saturation but choose a 'bigger room'. So, less but more. Sounds good though. I would not close mic with only 2 microphones especially if they are omni, so I think you are on the right track there. With cardoid mics, You can get closer to the piano, even inside a little. Just try to keep them as equally high up as you can and apart. I like to point the bass mic at the bass section where you can see understringing, and then the other in the mid treble. There is nothing wrong with what you are doing though. It is just another method that might work out for you with different mics.

I just use 2 Rode nt1000 mic's (like an NTK without the tube) into a focusrite pre, into vegas pro. Some of the pro audio guys I know really like the NTK's, Neumanns, and various crazy hand made and vintage remanufactured mic's. One of the last things we did had a ribbon mic in the mix. Those were big setups though--6-8 mics. Those setups had almost no eq, just blending for the most part.
_________________________
Wells Pianos
wellspianos.com
new: Sauter, Hailun, Brodmann, Charles Walter
rebuilt: Mason & Hamlin, Steinway and other quality pianos
651-695-1000
651-757-6136

Top
#1838069 - 02/03/12 04:44 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
My vote is on very-small diaphragm electrets.

I use DPA4060 with Jecklin disk, at about 1 to 1.5 m distance

Here is an example

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/sinding.mp3

(My mozart performance of the last ABF recital seems to have disappeared already?)


Edited by wouter79 (02/03/12 04:48 PM)
_________________________

Top
#1838087 - 02/03/12 05:24 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: wouter79]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
I'm making progress. I now realize that in a small room the AKG 414 needs to be on the edge and perhaps slightly in the piano. I've eliminated the "boxy" sound that is so obvious in my first attempt. Now I have to get the position exactly right; so that the bass doesn't boom and the treble is not too bright.

Top
#1838088 - 02/03/12 05:24 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: wouter79]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: wouter79
My vote is on very-small diaphragm electrets.

I use DPA4060 with Jecklin disk, at about 1 to 1.5 m distance

Here is an example

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/sinding.mp3

(My mozart performance of the last ABF recital seems to have disappeared already?)


Sounds great.. i like it!

JG

Top
#1838128 - 02/03/12 06:31 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: wouter79]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Very nice recording. The DPA's are VERY accurate, and with the Jecklin disc, you can make a nice binaural recording as well.

Where did you put the disc?

What preamp did you use?

Did you make the disc or buy it?

Keep up the great work!
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1838148 - 02/03/12 06:52 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
You're on the right track, and the AKG C414 can work fine with piano though small diaphragm condensers like Wouter's DPAs are often preferred. It depends what you like.

Have a look at the setup I did here:


and here:


In this case, I used the microphones in a cardioid pattern - something you CAN do with the AKGs with no bass roll off and no volume pad.

You can hear the sound of this piano recorded with these microphones in this configuration in the mix on a recent CD by Laura Mills here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lauramills2. Yes, there was some compression and EQ done for the final mix, but not much.
====================
And here's another idea. In recent recording sessions at Blue House Productions in Silver Spring, two large diaphragm condenser mics, very good ones, Neumann U-87s, were used in a configuration SIMILAR but not identical to the one I used. In this case the microphones were used in an OMNI pattern, and were placed in parallel: one was about where my "treble" microphone is in the pictures, the other at the bass bridge break. The grills of the microphones were both facing the long edges of the piano as opposed to the way I did it in my set up where the "bass" microphone was facing down towards the strings.
================================
Happy Recording Adventures!
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1838248 - 02/03/12 11:01 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
MrMagic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Stettler AB Canada
I use a ZOOM H2n, inexpensive, very handy and easy to use. I’m very pleased with the results for my own amateur recordings.
_________________________
1928 Chas. M. Stieff 6'1" Grand. Major rebuild 2011
1920 Mason & Risch Upright (actually my mother's)
1971 Hammond R-100
Roland KR577
Roland VK-8M Tonewheel organ module
GigaStudio GS3 Ensemble (Bosendorfer & Estonia piano samples)
Roland E20, JV30 (retired)
An old concertina which I can't play

Top
#1838291 - 02/04/12 12:44 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Great, super clear pics. The mics are about a foot off the soundboard. And I can see that the bass mike is pointed down directly at the strings. Is that treb mic pointed down at the treb strings or sideways? Looks like it's pointed towards the long end (left side when seated at the piano). Can't quite tell. I guess you can play with that orientation.

Also Cardioid pattern is (I'm such a newbie) governed by a switch on the back of the mike, I'm guessing... well, that's the way it is on the akgs.

Having trouble posting... hope this isn't a double... here's what I'm getting now, with the 414s IN the piano, coincident layout, 1/2 between lid and board, pointing to treb and bass on an angle, not pointed right at the strings. Cardioid pattern.

Here's a brief sound sample, some verb added, that's it:

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o

Top
#1838302 - 02/04/12 01:08 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3293
The best mic will depend on how, exactly you're using it. Generally speaking, I prefer large diaphragm condensers or ribbon mics. My first pair of studio mics were the M-Audio Novas. They are $99, and more than adequate for most applications. That said, a few summers ago, I built a pair of ribbon microphones, which I love. I don't think I'd recommend ribbon mics for a beginner, though. Your best bang for your buck is probably the Rode NT1-A. Get a pair of those and a USB audio interface (I like the Focusrite Saffire 6) to record directly into your computer. If you're a Mac person, you can use the Ardour DAW (which is free, but good), otherwise, I'd recommend Sony Sound Forge (Audio Studio).

You really don't need to go out and spend several grand (or even one grand) for an audio setup. There is a very real diminishing rate of return with audio equipment.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1838390 - 02/04/12 06:49 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
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

I had a thread some time ago concerning where to place the mic:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1723144/Re:%20new%20gear!%20mic%20placement%20fe.html#Post1723144

Currently I use the "diagonal" position, about 1.5 meter high. My room is just a (small) living room, about 6 by 4 meters and 2.5 meter high, in an appartment/flat.

an even earlier thread on my equipment:

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1718523/1.html


The jecklin disk I made myself.


Edited by wouter79 (02/04/12 06:50 AM)
_________________________

Top
#1838412 - 02/04/12 08:52 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
i'm in the process of ugrading my recording equip from a zoom q3 (which i'll still use for the video, and merge via windows movie maker). here's what i got for under $300:

2 behringer C-3 mics
presonus audiobox 22VSL with Studio One & VSL software (am using a laptop for my DAW)
2 boom stands & cables

after experimentation i'm placing one mic in the bend of the piano, 1 foot away, in cardioid mode, aimed at middle C (per paul cantrell's advice). the other mic is in omni mode and is under the lid, over the bass strings. the piano is on half-stick to compress the sound and saturate the mics.

here's a doodle demo; no effects, pan hard L-R. i still want to capture more of the sonorous lower register of my C7, but it's a start. you'll need a decent set of speakers or headset to get the idea:

http://www.box.com/s/l79gfhkn50laao37nb4p

comments are welcome!
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1838421 - 02/04/12 09:09 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Entheo
i'm in the process of ugrading my recording equip from a zoom q3 (which i'll still use for the video, and merge via windows movie maker). here's what i got for under $300:

2 behringer C-3 mics
presonus audiobox 22VSL with Studio One & VSL software (am using a laptop for my DAW)
2 boom stands & cables

after experimentation i'm placing one mic in the bend of the piano, 1 foot away, in cardioid mode, aimed at middle C (per paul cantrell's advice). the other mic is in omni mode and is under the lid, over the bass strings. the piano is on half-stick to compress the sound and saturate the mics.

here's a doodle demo; no effects, pan hard L-R. i still want to capture more of the sonorous lower register of my C7, but it's a start. you'll need a decent set of speakers or headset to get the idea:

http://www.box.com/s/l79gfhkn50laao37nb4p

comments are welcome!



This is better souding than my rented AKG 414s!!!


http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o

What do you think?

Do I have work to do!! I'm going to try seeker's set up.

JG

Top
#1838431 - 02/04/12 09:30 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
I won't necessarily agree with John that Entheo's pair of C-3's sound "better" than John's 414's but on my listening setup both sound equally acceptable. So the sound-per-dollar ratio is off the charts for Entheo's setup. Well done!

The playing styles are different enough that I can't tell how much of the ringing, choir of angels type sound that John gets is the recording setup and how much is just the way his piano sounds when he plays that material. But there's a more focused and dry, punchy sound to Entheo's recording and a more sustaining and ringing tone to John's. I like them both but must admit to being partial to that brilliant wall of sound type thing, myself.

John,

I can hear that you still have a bit of trouble with that upper-bass resonance making certain notes boom and broaden out to where they dominate the mix. Your room and mine are very similar and I know that resonant bit of bother quite well (mine's around 125-128Hz FWIW). But better than some of the other setups you've tried.


Edited by Brent H (02/04/12 09:32 AM)
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

Top
#1838432 - 02/04/12 09:33 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Behringer B-2 Pro Dual-Diaphragm Studio Microphone? Basically the same, Etheo?

Top
#1838434 - 02/04/12 09:34 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
You've got it.

The mics are about the distance from the strings you suggest. An advantage to placing the bass mic where I did is that it is further from the dampers - a little "wooshy" in sound on that piano.

The treble mic IS pointed towards the left side of the piano. The orientation WILL matter in cardioid. In that pattern the mics hear like your ears if your hands were cupped around them and angled front. (Essentially they reject sound to the rear and sides, and a graph would produce a more or less heart shaped pattern of the on axis frequency response).

I like the sound of your recording. It works for me.

Now make another with some musical material that uses the strings at the very extremes of the keyboard so we know if there are any resonant peaks in the way you've got them set up.

Me - I could live with the sound you're getting. I think it's very nice. I like the sound of these AGKs better than the Behringers.

If you're interested, the microphones I use are CM-414 from Advanced Acoustics in Canada. The capsule response is claimed to be +1/-1 db from the capsule used in the AKG C-12, a classic tube powered microphone costing multiple thou$ands. The CM-414 is priced at $379. The value proposition is interesting.

Dave Thomas, a recording engineer since the 1960's, has! these microphones built in China to his specs, then goes over them in Canada, makes some tweaks, and sells them. There are other companies doing more or less the same thing. I went with his stuff, because he answered a phone call and spent some time talking with me about what I wanted to do. I'm satisfied with the results. http://www.aamicrophones.com/fet_mics/cm_414.htm. Were I buying today, I think the gear from KEL, another Canadian company, would give Dave Thomas' mics a run for the money. The microphones they make all sound good - but different(ly) from each other. You pick one that works for your application. http://www.kelaudio.com/

Why did I go with LDCs vs. SDCs?

I admit to earlier prejudice towards something like the Earthworks or DPA mics - but then I did a gig on a decent Steinway B accompanying a singer where we were recorded with Neumann U87s, 2 in the piano in parallel as I have described, and one in ultra-cardioid pattern for her. The sound was wonderful with a lot of that same top end shimmer and a nice roundness to the sound that comes with a mic like the AKG C414. Since I make some of my living accompanying AND recording singers and instrumentalists for audition demos in my own studio (we go to Blue House and other places for post-production mastering and/or if we want a lot of very fancy editing and splicing), I wanted microphones that sounded good not only on piano - but also for singers and strings. And LDCs do just that.

I am not particularly a fan of ribbon microphones on piano. I did a session at a studio where the piano was mic'd with two very expensive ribbons from Coles pretty much next to two Neumann U87s. I listened to the mix over very high end monitors in the control room. To my ears, the Neumanns sounded better - but again - that's "TO MY EARS". In any event, I know one rather distinguished engineer that uses this stereo ribbon ($2695 from Amazon.com),microphone and swears by it: http://www.royerlabs.com/SF-12.html. It was used to record a recital on a rather splendid Yamaha S6 at Downtown Piano Works in Frederick, MD, and the recording was carried some time later on WETA. Sorry not to have any more details on it.


Edited by Seeker (02/04/12 10:00 AM)
Edit Reason: Added information
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1838436 - 02/04/12 09:36 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Brent H]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Brent H
I won't necessarily agree with John that Entheo's pair of C-3's sound "better" than John's 414's but on my listening setup both sound equally acceptable. So the sound-per-dollar ratio is off the charts for Entheo's setup. Well done!

The playing styles are different enough that I can't tell how much of the ringing, choir of angels type sound that John gets is the recording setup and how much is just the way his piano sounds when he plays that material. But there's a more focused and dry, punchy sound to Entheo's recording and a more sustaining and ringing tone to John's. I like them both but must admit to being partial to that brilliant wall of sound type thing, myself.

John,

I can hear that you still have a bit of trouble with that upper-bass resonance making certain notes boom and broaden out to where they dominate the mix. Your room and mine are very similar and I know that resonant bit of bother quite well (mine's around 125-128Hz FWIW). But better than some of the other setups you've tried.


I'm going to try to completely separate the mics now, as in the pics: one at the treb and one at the bass. Maybe that bass mic shold be angled differently, perhaps off axis, to kill the boom I'm hearing (and you're hearing).

JG

Top
#1838447 - 02/04/12 10:05 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Re the bass resonance peak - try raising the lid all the way. I suspect the microphone is "hearing" what your ears would hear were they listening the same placement.

You can also fiddle with moving the mics up and down from the strings.

I know there's science to this recording thing, but there's at least an equal part art.

Welcome to the art part : )
=================================
Also - one of the things we did in mastering was to clear out a very small amount of bass muddiness - imperceptible to my ears until it was gone - with equalization using a multiband graphic equalizer plug in.
===============================
You will get a very different sound by placing the bass mic in parallel with your treble mic facing the side of the piano. You can try it in both omni and cardioid. Just listen and decide what you like.
===============================
There may also be a bass roll off switch on the C414. You might experiment with rolling off bass below 60hz. That might just do the trick for you.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1838470 - 02/04/12 11:05 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Hey Seeker, thanks for all the advice... very, very useful!

Since I actually live in the Great White North (which is anything but "white" this winter) I will check out the Canadian mics you mention. So you think they're more or less as good as the German 414s I'm renting? (Not to ask you to go out on a limb or anything!!)

And--OK sorry not to get this part-- but what do "LDC" and "SDC" stand for???

Top
#1838523 - 02/04/12 01:41 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
LDC = Large Condenser Microphone (usually "side address")
The sound goes -> into the mic | (The mic is pointing straight up)
SDC = Small Diaphragm Condenser (usually "end address")
The sound goes -> into the mic - (The mic is pointing towards the sound source)
=============================

Is the CM-414 the equal of a C-414 at 1/3 the price?

=================================
Of course not.
Is it equivalent?
Maybe. If you check Gearslutz.com, a community of folks as passionate about recording and recording equipment as we Piano World people are about pianos, and search around, you'll find that a fair number of people like them BETTER. It depends on the application and your tastes.

But then there's where the 95/5 rule comes into play.
Given identical signal chains AFTER the microphone and equivalent placement, you might find it hard to distinguish between the microphones on some material. On others, it would be easier, but it could be very surprising to see which you preferred. That's what I like about the sound demos on the KEL website. Similar materials recorded with identical signal chains but different microphones in the KEL lineup. All the clips are, of course, acceptable. There are subtle differences in the sound, and it becomes a matter of taste (the ART of recording thing, again) as to which you, or your client or audience, likes best in a particular application.

For under $400 you get, at least to my ears, 95% of the way with the CM-414, to where you get for 3x to 6x the cost of AKG C414 or Neumann U87 or etc.

There's also the matter of what comes next in the signal chain. In our case, i.e., yours and mine (M-Audio and ART USB respectively) , we've got relatively inexpensive pre-amp/analog to digital conversion hardware. For a REALLY good preamp, $1000 per channel, say $2500, gets you one of the good ones, and then there is the issue of "taste" as it applies there. What kind of music are you doing? What is the sound you desire?

And so forth.

To my ears, what I get with my CM-414s and my ART-USB preamp is as good as anything I ever got in a recording studio - back in the day - when people used things like Studers or Revox tape recorders, and some sort of AKG or Neumann microphones. It sounds like MUSIC. So today, we can get recordings with a smallish investment - say $1500 and $2000 for a pair of decent microphones, stands, cables, a preamp/analog to digital converter, a laptop with recording/editing software, some lower end self-powered monitors, a pair of audiophile headphones - and get results that rival what was done in high end studios years ago. Throw in a prosumer flash recorder like the Tascam DR-100 for $300 or 5x as much for a truly pro unit, and a shopping bag, and you can record remotely as well.

I think Dave Thomas has a reasonable return policy if you don't like the mics. When/if you call him, ask him about it, and feel free to tell him I'm happy with the CM-414s I bought from him.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1838533 - 02/04/12 02:07 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: wouter79]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3293
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.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#1838580 - 02/04/12 03:47 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: johngrant
This is better souding than my rented AKG 414s!!!

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o

What do you think?


i like your sound john; there's a nice warmth, richness to it. i'm not satisfied with my sound yet, but i have to be careful about too high of expectations with $50 mics smile

i'm putting one behringer under the hood (on half stick) in omni mode straight down the barrel of the bass strings from the back of the piano. that mic is horizontal to the strings.

on the treble, i'm following paul cantrell's advice as follows:



http://innig.net/music/recordings/method/mics.html

that really helps cut down on the damper noise and proximity effect. that mic is in cardioid mode. paul suggests an opening even smaller than half-stick (which i have on my C7; a 2" mini stick) but i can't seem to get close to the resonance in the low end that i want if the bass mic isn't under the lid, and that's not a big enough opening.

here's a recording of my piano by the composer i bought it from:

http://www.box.com/s/0lia1ms5c3ri0l735409

he's using custom built DBA 747 mics. today's equivalent would be 300 series from Mojave Audio @ $1300 each. would love to, but it IS a hobby after all.

so many variables, so little time...
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1838605 - 02/04/12 04:35 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Entheo
Originally Posted By: johngrant
This is better souding than my rented AKG 414s!!!

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o

What do you think?


i like your sound john; there's a nice warmth, richness to it. i'm not satisfied with my sound yet, but i have to be careful about too high of expectations with $50 mics smile

i'm putting one behringer under the hood (on half stick) in omni mode straight down the barrel of the bass strings from the back of the piano. that mic is horizontal to the strings.

on the treble, i'm following paul cantrell's advice as follows:



http://innig.net/music/recordings/method/mics.html

that really helps cut down on the damper noise and proximity effect. that mic is in cardioid mode. paul suggests an opening even smaller than half-stick (which i have on my C7; a 2" mini stick) but i can't seem to get close to the resonance in the low end that i want if the bass mic isn't under the lid, and that's not a big enough opening.

here's a recording of my piano by the composer i bought it from:

http://www.box.com/s/0lia1ms5c3ri0l735409

he's using custom built DBA 747 mics. today's equivalent would be 300 series from Mojave Audio @ $1300 each. would love to, but it IS a hobby after all.

so many variables, so little time...


What gives??? That's a FANTASTIC sound... and you had me wondering where that Beethoven was headed. But WOW... fabulous! And these are "cheap" mics? Hmmmm....

Hmmmmmm.....

Stop putting up these benchmarks I can't reach!!!

JG

Top
#1838629 - 02/04/12 05:22 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
One of my favorite mics for my grand are handmade to order by Aman Sahiaman. http://uvfmusic.com/ You can contact him there.

They are called "Little Blondies", and outperform mics costing 3 times as much. The model I have is slightly larger than the originals. Excellent hand-made to order mics, without the high price tag.


Here are a few recordings using both on my M&H 7ft Grand.

Aman mics http://www.box.com/s/g5p4qyjovdf2vr0fu765


Worth looking into are the Avenson STO-2 omni mics.

Avensons http://www.box.com/shared/8nh2hfye4o



Also, the new Tascam IM2 stereo mic for the Iphone/Ipad is not bad for what it is. ....better than the built-ins, that's for sure.

I did a quick video recording a few weeks ago of these 2 pieces played on the LX using the IM2 with my Iphone 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjI585XnM...mp;feature=plcp


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nh8WO0ssOk

Top
#1838638 - 02/04/12 05:56 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: johngrant
Originally Posted By: Entheo
here's a recording of my piano by the composer i bought it from:

http://www.box.com/s/0lia1ms5c3ri0l735409

he's using custom built DBA 747 mics. today's equivalent would be 300 series from Mojave Audio @ $1300 each. would love to, but it IS a hobby after all.


What gives??? That's a FANTASTIC sound... and you had me wondering where that Beethoven was headed. But WOW... fabulous! And these are "cheap" mics? Hmmmm....

Hmmmmmm.....

Stop putting up these benchmarks I can't reach!!!

JG


john, that last link IS a fantastic sound, but not by me, by the guy i bought the piano from, and he's using really good mics. he also claimed to have a technique of capturing the sound off the lid, which adds to the richness.

just so you feel better, that's the benchmark i'm trying to reach, but not sure i'm going to get there with my behringers.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1838644 - 02/04/12 06:13 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
One of my favorite mics for my grand are handmade to order by Aman Sahiaman. http://uvfmusic.com/ You can contact him there.

They are called "Little Blondies", and outperform mics costing 3 times as much. The model I have is slightly larger than the originals. Excellent hand-made to order mics, without the high price tag.


Here are a few recordings using both on my M&H 7ft Grand.

Aman mics http://www.box.com/s/g5p4qyjovdf2vr0fu765


Worth looking into are the Avenson STO-2 omni mics.

Avensons http://www.box.com/shared/8nh2hfye4o



Also, the new Tascam IM2 stereo mic for the Iphone/Ipad is not bad for what it is. ....better than the built-ins, that's for sure.

I did a quick video recording a few weeks ago of these 2 pieces played on the LX using the IM2 with my Iphone 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjI585XnM...mp;feature=plcp


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nh8WO0ssOk


There's some stunning improvisatory talent happening here, which makes it kinda hard to concentrate on the sound! Like the Avenson mic short improv is what I'd call a mini-masterpiece, "mini" only because it's so short. Babemagnet material....

I digress... the MH sounds fab; but you kinda suckered me with the Avenson recording.

OK... I get the picture... there are just too many good mics out there to choose from..

Or could it just be expert placement and post production/equipment and a damn good ear???

Edit... just read at the bottom that you tuned to Bremmer's no. 3.... Verituner or TL or other....?

JG



Edited by johngrant (02/04/12 06:17 PM)

Top
#1838650 - 02/04/12 06:35 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
One of my favorite mics for my grand are handmade to order by Aman Sahiaman. http://uvfmusic.com/ You can contact him there.

They are called "Little Blondies", and outperform mics costing 3 times as much. The model I have is slightly larger than the originals. Excellent hand-made to order mics, without the high price tag.


Here are a few recordings using both on my M&H 7ft Grand.

Aman mics http://www.box.com/s/g5p4qyjovdf2vr0fu765


Worth looking into are the Avenson STO-2 omni mics.

Avensons http://www.box.com/shared/8nh2hfye4o



Also, the new Tascam IM2 stereo mic for the Iphone/Ipad is not bad for what it is. ....better than the built-ins, that's for sure.

I did a quick video recording a few weeks ago of these 2 pieces played on the LX using the IM2 with my Iphone 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjI585XnM...mp;feature=plcp


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nh8WO0ssOk






Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
One of my favorite mics for my grand are handmade to order by Aman Sahiaman. http://uvfmusic.com/ You can contact him there.

They are called "Little Blondies", and outperform mics costing 3 times as much. The model I have is slightly larger than the originals. Excellent hand-made to order mics, without the high price tag.


Here are a few recordings using both on my M&H 7ft Grand.

Aman mics http://www.box.com/s/g5p4qyjovdf2vr0fu765


Worth looking into are the Avenson STO-2 omni mics.

Avensons http://www.box.com/shared/8nh2hfye4o



Also, the new Tascam IM2 stereo mic for the Iphone/Ipad is not bad for what it is. ....better than the built-ins, that's for sure.

I did a quick video recording a few weeks ago of these 2 pieces played on the LX using the IM2 with my Iphone 4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjI585XnM...mp;feature=plcp


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nh8WO0ssOk


Which piano player system is that? And BTW that Tascam? mic for the Iphone, while missing the high and low completely is nonetheless incredibly accurate in the narrow end of the middle range. The piano (MH) sounds absolutely fantastic... Bremmer 3 again, I'm assuming.

Something about the M&H... I could fall for that instrument...

JG

Top
#1838741 - 02/04/12 11:33 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
OK Here's something latenightish: Me sightreading through a relatively (emphasis needed) easy Shosty Prelude... One AKG is right over the bass strings, maybe 8 inches up, about a foot and a half from the end of the Hailun 218 (7ft2in).

The treb mic is over the high treb dampers, 8inches off, pointed sideways along the dampers towards the long end of the piano.

Both mics at cardioid setting.

I find the treb way too clinical. But that may be a matter of taste.

The bass mic works, though: somehow that position cleans up the boom factor in the high bass..... I think

Apologies to Shostakovich, and to unison perfectionists (like me) who will hear that one or two notes are slightly out!



http://www.box.com/s/464m6v0zoydgtof8lpe8


JG


Top
#1838758 - 02/05/12 12:24 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Here is my 'late night' improvisation, recorded as follows Improvisation

Two Rode M3 mics above the mid-tenor. Capsules aimed in opposite directions.

Placed above the piano pointed down there is a Sterling Audio ST-66.

Processed in Audacity (reverb and compression and a tiny bit of boost to the bass).

As far as the thread topic, my main discovery has been that the cardioid mics I have (the above plus Rode NT1-a's) have surprisingly small sweet spots. If I buy more mics, I think I'll probably try wide cardioid or omnidirectional ones.


Edited by charleslang (02/05/12 02:52 PM)
_________________________
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

Top
#1838881 - 02/05/12 08:32 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: charleslang]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: charleslang
As far as the thread topic, my main discovery has been that the cardioid mics I have (the above plus Rode NT1-a's) have surprisingly small sweet spots. If I buy more mics, I think I'll probably try wide cardioid or omnidirectional ones.


charles, i'd recommend mics that are switchable, so you have lots of options. my $50 behringer c-3s have 3 positions: cardioid, figure 8 and omni.

Originally Posted By: johngrant
OK Here's something latenightish: Me sightreading through a relatively (emphasis needed) easy Shosty Prelude... One AKG is right over the bass strings, maybe 8 inches up, about a foot and a half from the end of the Hailun 218 (7ft2in).

The treb mic is over the high treb dampers, 8inches off, pointed sideways along the dampers towards the long end of the piano.

Both mics at cardioid setting.


sounds good to me!


Edited by Entheo (02/05/12 08:37 AM)
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1838893 - 02/05/12 09:27 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Quote:

equalization using a multiband graphic equalizer plug in.
bass roll
reverb
compression
mixing


Let me add that the recordings I made with the DPA have not been processed at all. Left mic straight into left channel, right mic straight into right channel.
_________________________

Top
#1839019 - 02/05/12 01:39 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
I really like the sound of the recording and of the piano.
It sounds like it's panned slighly left of center, might have been a level thing with the mics.

The treble sounds great to me.

You might consider two things with the treble mic:
1) point it at the short side of the piano
2) keep it as is, but use it omni vs cardoid.

Good luck.
You're 99% of the way "there" to my ears at any rate.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1839058 - 02/05/12 03:04 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Hi John,

In all those recordings, except where noted, the player system is the "LX" from www.live-performance.com Some recent news about the LX....Fazioli will install an LX into one of their grands for the Frankfurt Musikmesse in March, 2012.

All the recordings I have made, there is no after-processing done. It's straight from the mics to the Korg or Zoom H4, then converted to an MP3.

Here are a few more recordings of my M&H BB that I made that day with the Sahiaman mics. It's not in pristine tune, hammers need some voicing, but you still can get a feel for the mics.

Also, I tried these mics over at a friends house with a professional classical guitarist. I made an A_B with the Avenson's as well.

As I listen to these recordings over my headphones, I am struck at how my piano does not sound like it's from 1925. It has it's original soundboard. Other than that, everything else was rebuilt, new Isasac Bass strings, also his "classical west" hammers, new Roslau wire, new Tokiwa action, a new W&G carbon fiber back action. It also has the "Wapin" bridge conversion. It just goes to show you that an older well restored piano can compete with the new ones smile


1. Avenson STO-2 mics Classical Guitar http://www.box.com/s/06dxhgagt93ly3zcgisj

2. Sahiaman mics Classical Guitar http://www.box.com/s/1imx0kiqlayaqb2f2zjm


The tuning is all EBVT III.

1. Jazz Piano 1 on the LX Sahiaman mics
http://www.box.com/s/he6ofjk8byfp6mfzu7nn

2. Jazz Piano 2 on the LX Sahiaman mics
http://www.box.com/s/fig7acib4lphjxshspz6

3. Jazz Piano 3 on the LX Sahiaman mics http://www.box.com/s/ftb47ibf43knyutjydj4




Edited by Grandpianoman (02/05/12 04:31 PM)
Edit Reason: added content

Top
#1839073 - 02/05/12 03:45 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
Seeker,

I'm not sure but it might be that the two channels are still very slightly unbalanced. In fact I'm not sure how to get them exactly the same level. The amp knobs on the EMU are very small and even putting them at apparently exactly the same location seems to give a slight inbalance - actually more inbalance than when I adjust the levels from the scope image. But the scope image also remains a rough approximation since the two channels have quite a different signal

There is no cardioid option for the DPA4060, and even if it were I would not use it as it reduces the linearity of the mic (so it is coloring the sound).
_________________________

Top
#1839082 - 02/05/12 03:55 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Originally Posted By: Entheo
Originally Posted By: charleslang
As far as the thread topic, my main discovery has been that the cardioid mics I have (the above plus Rode NT1-a's) have surprisingly small sweet spots. If I buy more mics, I think I'll probably try wide cardioid or omnidirectional ones.


charles, i'd recommend mics that are switchable, so you have lots of options. my $50 behringer c-3s have 3 positions: cardioid, figure 8 and omni.



Thanks. I thought the switchable mics were more expensive. That sounds like a great price to try one out.

To be fair to my current setup, I posted the same recording on box.net, with noticeably better quality: Improvisation

What I hear in this recording is that the tube mic gets a pretty beautiful reproduction of the mid and lower treble, and the M3's give the stereo image (they are panned full left and right while the ST-66 is panned center). What it needs is something to get the overtones in the bass, to get the growl of the strings; I think I will experiment with using an NT1-a for that.


Edited by charleslang (02/05/12 04:04 PM)
_________________________
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

Top
#1839201 - 02/05/12 07:39 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: charleslang]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: charleslang
Originally Posted By: Entheo
Originally Posted By: charleslang
As far as the thread topic, my main discovery has been that the cardioid mics I have (the above plus Rode NT1-a's) have surprisingly small sweet spots. If I buy more mics, I think I'll probably try wide cardioid or omnidirectional ones.


charles, i'd recommend mics that are switchable, so you have lots of options. my $50 behringer c-3s have 3 positions: cardioid, figure 8 and omni.



Thanks. I thought the switchable mics were more expensive. That sounds like a great price to try one out.

To be fair to my current setup, I posted the same recording on box.net, with noticeably better quality: Improvisation

What I hear in this recording is that the tube mic gets a pretty beautiful reproduction of the mid and lower treble, and the M3's give the stereo image (they are panned full left and right while the ST-66 is panned center). What it needs is something to get the overtones in the bass, to get the growl of the strings; I think I will experiment with using an NT1-a for that.


WOW! ya... totally BETTER sound this time.... In the room sound (listening on the MMG maggies, so I can't speak to the bass!!)

Love it! Super-clear... ARt? not science?

Top
#1839226 - 02/05/12 09:17 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Originally Posted By: johngrant
Originally Posted By: charleslang


To be fair to my current setup, I posted the same recording on box.net, with noticeably better quality: Improvisation

What I hear in this recording is that the tube mic gets a pretty beautiful reproduction of the mid and lower treble, and the M3's give the stereo image (they are panned full left and right while the ST-66 is panned center). What it needs is something to get the overtones in the bass, to get the growl of the strings; I think I will experiment with using an NT1-a for that.


WOW! ya... totally BETTER sound this time.... In the room sound (listening on the MMG maggies, so I can't speak to the bass!!)

Love it! Super-clear... ARt? not science?


smile smile thanks so much for those words. smile Yeah I think it feels like science for the first 40 setups, and then when it finally feels like art it's absolutely the payoff.
_________________________
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

Top
#1839926 - 02/07/12 12:13 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: charleslang]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
I'm narrowing down the sound/mic placement of the 414s. Lid full stick. The music stand/whatever-you-call-it is also gone. That made a big difference. Both mics at the front of the piano, just underneath the lid, but the treb mic a little beyond the lid facing at a6, approx. Both mics about 16 inches off the strings.

Oh almost forgot: Cardioid setting and 80hz cut on the bass (also a setting on the mic)

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o


Edited by johngrant (02/07/12 12:14 AM)

Top
#1839950 - 02/07/12 01:13 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Originally Posted By: johngrant
I'm narrowing down the sound/mic placement of the 414s. Lid full stick. The music stand/whatever-you-call-it is also gone. That made a big difference. Both mics at the front of the piano, just underneath the lid, but the treb mic a little beyond the lid facing at a6, approx. Both mics about 16 inches off the strings.

Oh almost forgot: Cardioid setting and 80hz cut on the bass (also a setting on the mic)

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o


I listened to it a couple of times. To me, the upper melody sounds similar to what you hear being in a medium-sized stone church in a pew halfway back, with the piano at the front. I think it's nice for the meditational, trance-inducing qualities of Bach. A few notes of the bass are boomy.

Another take on Bach (other than the church/trance/meditational) would be more focused and intimate, with more of the attack. Aiming the mics closer to the hammer line might do this (assuming they're not already aimed there).
_________________________
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

Top
#1839993 - 02/07/12 06:05 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: charleslang]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: charleslang
Originally Posted By: johngrant
I'm narrowing down the sound/mic placement of the 414s. Lid full stick. The music stand/whatever-you-call-it is also gone. That made a big difference. Both mics at the front of the piano, just underneath the lid, but the treb mic a little beyond the lid facing at a6, approx. Both mics about 16 inches off the strings.

Oh almost forgot: Cardioid setting and 80hz cut on the bass (also a setting on the mic)

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o


Yes... I will post the raw (without added reverb) version. And then I will try lowering the mics!

JG

I listened to it a couple of times. To me, the upper melody sounds similar to what you hear being in a medium-sized stone church in a pew halfway back, with the piano at the front. I think it's nice for the meditational, trance-inducing qualities of Bach. A few notes of the bass are boomy.

Another take on Bach (other than the church/trance/meditational) would be more focused and intimate, with more of the attack. Aiming the mics closer to the hammer line might do this (assuming they're not already aimed there).

Top
#1840229 - 02/07/12 02:42 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Originally Posted By: johngrant
Originally Posted By: charleslang
Originally Posted By: johngrant
I'm narrowing down the sound/mic placement of the 414s. Lid full stick. The music stand/whatever-you-call-it is also gone. That made a big difference. Both mics at the front of the piano, just underneath the lid, but the treb mic a little beyond the lid facing at a6, approx. Both mics about 16 inches off the strings.

Oh almost forgot: Cardioid setting and 80hz cut on the bass (also a setting on the mic)

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o


Yes... I will post the raw (without added reverb) version. And then I will try lowering the mics!

JG

I listened to it a couple of times. To me, the upper melody sounds similar to what you hear being in a medium-sized stone church in a pew halfway back, with the piano at the front. I think it's nice for the meditational, trance-inducing qualities of Bach. A few notes of the bass are boomy.

Another take on Bach (other than the church/trance/meditational) would be more focused and intimate, with more of the attack. Aiming the mics closer to the hammer line might do this (assuming they're not already aimed there).


There is reverb and there is reverb. I use the freeware Audacity and I'm not sure what other programs offer exactly. In audacity it's possible to adjust slider bars for 'dampening', 'room size', 'early reflection' and 'tail reflection' levels (the effect is called "Gverb" in Audacity).

I'm not sure what you mean about lowering the mics. If the capsules are pointed down at the piano, lowering the mic has the effect in cardioid of narrowing the sweet spot and I think raises the possibility that some certain notes or certain sounds are prominent. I found that even with my ST-66 fully 32 inches above the pinblock (pointed down) that it mattered a lot where I aimed it, and it got a pretty good attack sound. Your piano and mics are completely different, though, obviously . . . Good luck.
_________________________
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

Top
#1840268 - 02/07/12 03:42 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: johngrant
I'm narrowing down the sound/mic placement of the 414s. Lid full stick. The music stand/whatever-you-call-it is also gone. That made a big difference. Both mics at the front of the piano, just underneath the lid, but the treb mic a little beyond the lid facing at a6, approx. Both mics about 16 inches off the strings.

Oh almost forgot: Cardioid setting and 80hz cut on the bass (also a setting on the mic)

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o


john, that's a very nice sound; i like those AKGs. just so i'm clear re: your treb mic placement -- your mic is parallel to the keyboard, pretty much over your dampers, and facing the tuning pins for A6? (i'm surprised you're not picking up a lot of damper noise)
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1840288 - 02/07/12 04:29 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Sounds great.
Can you post a photo of your placement?
================
I'm glad you tried full stick.
It really helps.
===================
You might also try the AKGs in omni pattern.
As I recall, the response is flatter.
=====================
I agree with CL, the AKG C414s sound great,
different from the Neumann U-87, but less than half the price,
and just as sweet.
==============================
Regarding damper noise, the Hailun seems exemplary in that regard.
I went to the bass mic over the tail end of the bass strings on my original piano, because of some wooshing from the triangular cut dampers in the bass region. Moving the mics down the strings from the dampers eliminated that problem.
===================
Have you decided to buy the C414s yet?
Or are you going to try others as well?
==================
AK
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1840459 - 02/07/12 11:28 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Entheo
Originally Posted By: johngrant
I'm narrowing down the sound/mic placement of the 414s. Lid full stick. The music stand/whatever-you-call-it is also gone. That made a big difference. Both mics at the front of the piano, just underneath the lid, but the treb mic a little beyond the lid facing at a6, approx. Both mics about 16 inches off the strings.

Oh almost forgot: Cardioid setting and 80hz cut on the bass (also a setting on the mic)

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o



john, that's a very nice sound; i like those AKGs. just so i'm clear re: your treb mic placement -- your mic is parallel to the keyboard, pretty much over your dampers, and facing the tuning pins for A6? (i'm surprised you're not picking up a lot of damper noise)


Not facing the pins, at this point, but over the dampers facing away from the keyboard...towards the long end of the piano. I'm now set up so that i can fairly quickly hear the results of different mic positions. I will start keeping a log of the results and that way, I hope, find out which mic position I like the most. It's pretty clear that with this piano in this room, I HAVE to have the bass cut switch on at 180. Any lower, and I get boom.

So I'm still at the drawing board.

I probably SHOULD try a few other types of mics before parting with cash...

JG


Edited by johngrant (02/07/12 11:29 PM)

Top
#1840485 - 02/08/12 12:26 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Does anyone have any experience with the Audix SCX25a-ps. I've used an Audix measurement mic (TR40a) for spectrum analysis work but not for general recording. No, I don’t know why not—it would probably work reasonably well—but the SCX25a-ps mics are sold as a matched pair for piano use. Not cheap, though.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1840488 - 02/08/12 12:37 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Speaking of mic positions....this mic position is what we used for all the EBVT III recordings that I have posted. In fact, I made a mistake when I said we used the Avenson's ....it was actually the Rode NT5 as pictured....my apologies.

This mic position was one I was not aware of and was suggested by Patrick. I don't remember the name for it. The rule is to put your head in different positions until you hear the best sound, then, put the mics at those angles in the pic, one at 9 o'clock, the other at 12 o'clock, and exactly 12 inches apart between the front two mic capsules. The Edwards string cover was not in place during the recordings.



Here is what we achieved with that mic position.

1. Rode NT5 Patrick improvising http://www.box.com/shared/8nh2hfye4o and http://www.box.com/shared/afkxg3yln2

2. Rode NT5 Patrick improv http://www.box.com/shared/uhmv9g5dvh

3. Rode NT5 Patrick improv "Kristallen den Fina" http://www.box.com/shared/l2553oa4ha

4. Rode NT5 Patrick improv 4 diminished chords http://www.box.com/shared/5dhsvufjge

5. Rode NT5 Patrick improv 4 dim chords transposed http://www.box.com/shared/9gh67aqris

6, Rode NT5 Gregg playing Windam Hill/George Winston http://www.box.com/shared/ld9sd3267z



This is interesting...same piece on the LX...one with the Avensons the other the NT5's. The Rodes are cardiods, the Avensons are omnis. You can buy omni capsules for the Rodes.

1. Rode NT5's Rachmaninoff on the LX http://www.box.com/shared/3z4gjyjnt9

2, Avenson STO-2 Rachmaninoff on the LX http://www.box.com/shared/xpl5mszzpr



Edited by Grandpianoman (02/08/12 12:43 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

Top
#1840626 - 02/08/12 10:35 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
This mic position was one I was not aware of and was suggested by Patrick. I don't remember the name for it.


that looks like the ORTF technique...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORTF_stereo_technique
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1840758 - 02/08/12 03:02 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Entheo, just to clarify...I found the post in my EBVT III thread where Patrick explains about this mic position.

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1424097/21.html

an excerpt from that:

Yes, good explanation of the NOS stereo technique. Just to clarify, the left mic is -45 degrees off the center, the right mic is +45 degrees off the center, making the angle between the two mics 90 degrees.

It gives a remarkable stereo capture, and I personally like it a bit more than the ORTF standard which has a wider angle and closer distance between the mics. The NOS is somewhat more focused to me.

If you record people talking in NOS and then play it back, listening through your headphones, sometimes you will hit the stop button just because you think somebody in the room is talking to you... only to realize that the talk stops when you hit the stop button



Here is another example of this mic position on a full blown classical piece, played here by the composer Ernst Von Dohnanyi on the Ampico, from the original piano roll circa 1920. Rode NT5's.

Konzertstuden-Concert Study Opus 28 No5 in E Major- composed and played by Ernst von Dohnanyi on the Ampico.mp3

http://www.box.com/shared/ktyp9u27iy





Edited by Grandpianoman (02/08/12 03:37 PM)
Edit Reason: added content

Top
#1840859 - 02/08/12 06:17 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
OK here's the latest attempt (with pianistic boo boos but that's not relevant here!!!)

http://www.box.com/s/pp0zh66ly8dovi269cgy

Pics and mic placement etc.. I'll add after dinner!!

http://www.box.com/s/si7i2cpnu27qbyx3tffs


Don't know how to post this pic here!

1) Piano at full stick but covered with an absorbant material
2) 1st 414 mic underneath the piano (not visible in the pic) 1 foot from the soundboard, at rear of piano, pointing towards the soundboard. Set at "Omni" with no bass cut.
3) 2nd 414 mic as in pic, about a foot above C7 pointing slightly down towards the middle of the piano. Set at "Omni" with 160hz bass cut.



JG


Edited by johngrant (02/08/12 09:21 PM)

Top
#1841120 - 02/09/12 08:00 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
john, fwiw, i like the previous placement & setting a bit better; i liked the lower reg resonance of those settings (i think that may have been a result of your bass mic in cardioid setting and some proximity effect [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kl_D93mMrk] which, altho unwanted near the dampers produced a nice rich sound for you. btw, i'm listening on a very good JBL sat sys with subwoofer, and there was no boominess to my ears on your previous settings). thanks for posting all your experiments; i'm in the same process but with much less capable mics than yours so altho this is good grist for the mill it's a bit apples to oranges. i would suggest you try the cantrell method for the treb mic as follows; i'm quite pleased with it (i'm doing half-stick to make room for the bass mic under the lid): http://innig.net/music/recordings/method/mics.html

re: posting pix, here's my method: create a free tinypic.com account, upload your pix, copy the full URL, then in the post menubar click the 'enter image' button and paste the URL; preview to be sure it's coming thru, et voila.


Edited by Entheo (02/09/12 08:22 AM)
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1841145 - 02/09/12 08:56 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
One thing is for sure... when you go through this process you really begin to understand the sorts of judgement calls that are made in recording studios.

The toughest thing for me is the coloration that seems to creep into various piano recordings, whether they're recorded close up or at a distance, in the room.

I've figured out, too, that most solo classical piano recordings are "in the hall" type recordings; but I think I'm starting to prefer the close-mic sound more. The in the hall option isn't open to me anyway.

Omni does seem to create a somewhat more reverberant sound than cardioid.

JG

Top
#1841187 - 02/09/12 10:30 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: johngrant
One thing is for sure... when you go through this process you really begin to understand the sorts of judgement calls that are made in recording studios.


and we're just talking mic placement sans effects, processing etc.

Originally Posted By: johngrant
The toughest thing for me is the coloration that seems to creep into various piano recordings, whether they're recorded close up or at a distance, in the room.

I've figured out, too, that most solo classical piano recordings are "in the hall" type recordings; but I think I'm starting to prefer the close-mic sound more. The in the hall option isn't open to me anyway.


i've come to the same conclusion with my setup. i might add a little seasoning (touch of reverb, possibly compression & makeup gain) but discretion is the better part of valor.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1841213 - 02/09/12 11:20 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Edit on 2/9 @ 9:40PM EST--- changed my mind. Listened again on my studio monitors (Alesis Ones, nothing fancy, but if it sounds good on them, it will sound good on something else). I actually liked the final cut the best. But, as I wrote earlier, I think either cut is more than satisfactory.
=============================================

I'm with Entheo. I liked the previous placement a bit better in terms of clarity of the bass - BUT - either are fine.

BTW - very nice playing on a very nice sounding piano.

Folks with recording studios might take note of the quality of the Hailun 218 and its price point.

Can we see a photo of the previous placement please?



Edited by Seeker (02/09/12 09:40 PM)
Edit Reason: Changed my mind
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1841253 - 02/09/12 12:46 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Seeker]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Originally Posted By: Seeker
I'm with Entheo. I liked the previous placement a bit better in terms of clarity of the bass - BUT - either are fine.

BTW - very nice playing on a very nice sounding piano.

Folks with recording studios might take note of the quality of the Hailun 218 and its price point.

Can we see a photo of the previous placement please?



I don't know about the "playing"!

Anyhow, the only photo I have that I can be sure relates to a specific placement that I can be certain of is the one via the Box link above.

I can say that the recording that was preferred was essentially very, very different. By far the biggest change I made was to try out something my wife suggested, viz: to dampen the overall character of the sound. Not energetic enough to attempt to dampen the entire room, I figured I'd just thro∑ something over the piano, which is the tacky material you see in the pic.

Like everybody here, I listen to the sound file through most of the speakers/devices at hand (giant MAC monitor, ProAc Response 1sc, MMG (maggies), HR 824s (which are just too complimentary--they make everything sound plausible and even fantastic). Having said that, I'm leaning towards the rag-over-the piano, with one 414 under the piano, sound.

The journey goes on.

JG

Top
#1841274 - 02/09/12 01:28 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Is it just my screen or has this thing really grown so large that it is now necessary to scroll way over to the right to read the second half of each sentence?

When the oversize picture went up things got a little weird but it is now getting ridiculous.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1841318 - 02/09/12 02:51 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
That is strange Del. On my laptop, the pic I posted fits within the normal parameters of this post, I don't have to scroll to the right. Sometimes I do see over-sized pics and I then i have to scroll to the right to read the text.

Top
#1841340 - 02/09/12 03:36 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
That is strange Del. On my laptop, the pic I posted fits within the normal parameters of this post, I don't have to scroll to the right. Sometimes I do see over-sized pics and I then i have to scroll to the right to read the text.

Odd. Ever since the picture first appeared on my screen the message frame--or whatever it's called--has been getting wider. Your whole post appears on one line with room left over for half-again that many more words.

ddf

(Ah! I might just have solved my own problem. When you said your screen was normal I went looking. Under the "Tools" menu I found a "Compatibility" setting and added PianoWorld to an otherwise empty list. I don't know what else might be getting screwed up as a result but at least this screen now looks normal.)


Edited by Del (02/09/12 03:42 PM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1841354 - 02/09/12 04:03 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
scratch that; still experimenting... shocked


Edited by Entheo (02/09/12 05:44 PM)
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1842064 - 02/10/12 05:05 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
here's an interesting tidbit -- the following graph from a recording i did of the same piece, one on half stick and one on full stick, mics in same position, omni mode:



you'll notice how much more fully saturated the mics are on half stick. then the question becomes which sounds better to one's ear.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1842268 - 02/10/12 10:43 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
I’m still curious about the Audix SCX-25a-ps. This is a two-mic package intended for use on—actually, in—the piano. This is what Audix has to say about it:
Quote:
[The] piano is one of the most challenging instruments to reproduce, particularly in a live performance where there are other instruments on stage. The SCX25A, in addition to producing a highly transparent and remarkably accurate sound, is designed so that it can be easily positioned parallel to the soundboard. To further enhance ease of placement, Audix provides the Dflex mounting clip which attaches directly to the rail of the piano, enabling the microphone to be placed securely just about anywhere on the soundboard.

In a live sound or live broadcast environment, the instruments surrounding the piano will often bleed into the piano mics. In order to compensate for this sound leakage, it requires the piano be played in either the short stick or closed lid position. The SCX25A, with its low profile and phase coherent reproduction, is the best microphone for this application.

With its innovative design and patented capsule suspension system, the SCX25A has earned a reputation for the most compact large diaphragm condenser microphone on the market. The piano package includes two SCX25A mics, 2 Dflex mounting clips, and 2 high quality quad conductor microphone cable with braided shield to help reduce noise induction from external sources.


I have a client enquiring about this setup. I’ve found a couple of “reviews” in the internet but I’ve not been able to find anyone who has actually used it or who has any personal experience with it. It’s a little on the pricey side at around $1,600 for a pair of mics and the “mounting clips,” etc., but if it can be used to successfully mic a piano with the lid on half-stick my client would be happy—well, at least willing—to pay the price.

Anyone?

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1842427 - 02/11/12 08:20 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
hi del, so take my research & opinion with a grain of salt...

your post implies (to me) that your client needs to mic a piano for live performances. altho piano mics designed for live performance can perform admirably in the studio, it appears you will pay a premium for systems that eliminate or reduce proximity effect when the lid is closed/lowered. therefore, if the application is only for a studio (home or otherwise) where bleed is not an issue, you can probably take that money and buy mics (tube) that produce a much richer sound, e.g. 300 series from Mojave Audio, Charter Oaks or AKGs.

there is an in-piano system that i came across that sounds beautiful, and it sounds as good with the lid closed as open. it's also easy to set up and move around -- perfect for live performances. the drawback of course is the price.

it's the earthworks piano system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7HTqlXcZRI

soundpure does lots of mic testing for acoustic piano. you can see their many youtube videos and contact them; i have and they're very helpful and friendly.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1842456 - 02/11/12 09:24 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Del]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Del - perhaps this link will help. There are sound samples there that include the mics about which you are asking.
http://www.earthworksaudio.com/our-microphones/pianomic-series-2/

The Earthworks system sounds phenomenally good, and it is priced roughly twice that of the Audix system. My bet is, that with the Audix, the 90/10 rule would come into play, i.e., for half the price you get 90% (or better) of what you get for a lot more ca$h.

For about half the price of the Audix, I'm pretty sure you could successfully mic a piano at half stick with something like the Shure KSM-141 or even some of the very small diaphragm pencil condensers.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1842575 - 02/11/12 12:43 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Seeker]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Seeker
Del - perhaps this link will help. There are sound samples there that include the mics about which you are asking.
http://www.earthworksaudio.com/our-microphones/pianomic-series-2/

The Earthworks system sounds phenomenally good, and it is priced roughly twice that of the Audix system. My bet is, that with the Audix, the 90/10 rule would come into play, i.e., for half the price you get 90% (or better) of what you get for a lot more ca$h.

For about half the price of the Audix, I'm pretty sure you could successfully mic a piano at half stick with something like the Shure KSM-141 or even some of the very small diaphragm pencil condensers.

Thanks for the link.

I’ve heard about the Earthworks PianoMic system but have never seen one in action. For my client the Audix system would be a stretch, though, so I’m quite sure they would not go for something twice as expensive.

The goal is to come up with a system that can be simply installed—without requiring a lot of experimentation—and left in place. It would be used primarily as a live system and only secondarily for recording.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1842609 - 02/11/12 01:21 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1178
Loc: Nashville, TN
I have a recording studio and a grand piano and I have found that a pair of Countryman Isomax II Omni mics work extremely well on piano with lid open or closed or half stick and they are about $200 each. You can use a piece of tape or almost any kind of clip to attach them to the plate struts at appropriate locations. They are extremely small, invisible to an audience, and pick up with great precision and detail. Really a sleeper mic, but I would definitely give them a try before shelling out $1200 on the Audix mics. Buy them from an online retailer that has a good return policy and if you don't like them, send them back for the Audix mics, but I have a feeling you won't be sending them back. That's must my 2 cents worth, but I have a/b'd them with some U87's and the sound stood up amazingly well. Full Compass sells them for less than $200, but there return policy is not as generous as some other retailers. (read 15% restocking fee)
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

Top
#1842615 - 02/11/12 01:25 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Del]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Del
The goal is to come up with a system that can be simply installed—without requiring a lot of experimentation—and left in place. It would be used primarily as a live system and only secondarily for recording.


for that purpose you may want to look at the piano-specific M40 boundary mic; @ $450 thru musiciansfriend.com:

http://www.appliedmicrophone.com/products/show/13

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Zsp93jgXqc

http://innig.net/music/recordings/method/mics.html
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1843976 - 02/13/12 04:54 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Thanks to all who responded. I'll pass all this on to my client.

It is apparent that there are still no easy choices or solutions—which is, of course, what my client is interested in finding.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1843994 - 02/13/12 05:11 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Pianolance]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Pianolance....curious as to how these the Isomax II sounds...do you have any sound files you can share here? I like the specs, especially the frequecy range of the 2.0 20-20, and the OSL, 150 db SPL. Would like to hear a sample you have made, since you have a recording studio and grand....thanks, GPM

Top
#1843999 - 02/13/12 05:15 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Del, forgot to mention this.....Kawai makes this for grand pianos...it looks pretty good, but I have never heard a sample. It may be worth a look by your client, since it's very simple to use and set up.


http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Special/pr-1.html

Top
#1844023 - 02/13/12 05:48 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Del, forgot to mention this.....Kawai makes this for grand pianos...it looks pretty good, but I have never heard a sample. It may be worth a look by your client, since it's very simple to use and set up.


http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Special/pr-1.html

Interesting.

And it reminds me of a question I intended to ask but then forgot: Is there any practical downside to miking the piano from the bottom. In theory, at least, essentially the same sound energy and waveform should be radiated from the bottom of the soundboard panel as from the top.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1844028 - 02/13/12 05:51 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Del]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Good question Del...there must be something positive about that, maybe that's why Kawai designed their system utilizing the underside of the piano.

Also, I just read the PDF on the Kawai PR-1...it's also for uprights and other instruments!

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/grands_09/PR-1/brochure_om/PR-1.pdf

Top
#1844067 - 02/13/12 06:49 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Good question Del...there must be something positive about that, maybe that's why Kawai designed their system utilizing the underside of the piano.

Also, I just read the PDF on the Kawai PR-1...it's also for uprights and other instruments!

http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/grands_09/PR-1/brochure_om/PR-1.pdf

I notice it's a little shy on specifications of any kind.

Any idea of the cost?

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1844381 - 02/14/12 09:53 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Del]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Del, forgot to mention this.....Kawai makes this for grand pianos...it looks pretty good, but I have never heard a sample. It may be worth a look by your client, since it's very simple to use and set up.


http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Special/pr-1.html

Interesting.

And it reminds me of a question I intended to ask but then forgot: Is there any practical downside to miking the piano from the bottom. In theory, at least, essentially the same sound energy and waveform should be radiated from the bottom of the soundboard panel as from the top.


the sound file of the kawaii system doesn't sound good at all to my ear, and they muck it up with tons of reverb -- not a good example. besides, that system seems wholly inappropriate for live use; seems like a very simple home recording system for pressing a CD.

here's a link to a Shure PDF regarding mic placement. in general they discourage under piano placement as muddy. my experiments confirm muddiness. again that would not be appropriate placement in a live situation...

http://www.shure.com/idc/groups/public/documents/webcontent/us_pro_micsmusicstudio_ea.pdf

lastly, here's another very simple piano system from DPA:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjILuNfLr-U

i think they also have a non-stereo option, which is appropriate for ensemble live performance. along with the M40 i'm not sure it gets much simpler for live performance.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1844406 - 02/14/12 10:39 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
more grist for the mill:

i'm back to full stick with the behringer c-3s in omni mode parallel to the piano, diagonal in position with the treb mic pretty close to middle C and about 6 inches back from the hammers, the bass mic over the bass strings, 1 ft above the strings, no effects. here's a doodle example:

http://www.box.com/s/heoz9hgtkamvsf4x3m96

sometimes the sound file crackles but that's coming from the box.com stream, not from the mp3 file.

i was told by a recording studio yesterday that USB powered breakout boxes are under powered for large diaphram condenser mics; they don't give enough juice for the needed headroom, better to get a preamp that properly plugs into an outlet. my audiobox 22vsl is USB powered, but i'm going to make the best of it for the time being.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1844409 - 02/14/12 10:43 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Colorado
Nice sound, Entheo
_________________________


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


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

Top
#1844496 - 02/14/12 01:20 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2100
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Del, forgot to mention this.....Kawai makes this for grand pianos...it looks pretty good, but I have never heard a sample. It may be worth a look by your client, since it's very simple to use and set up.


http://www.kawaius.com/main_links/digital/Special/pr-1.html



Here is an old sample recorded using PR1 performed by our dear member KawaiDon.

regards,


Edited by Hakki (02/14/12 01:32 PM)
_________________________
Put in one of IMO, I think, to me, for me... or similar to all sentences I post

http://www.youtube.com/user/hakkithepianist

Top
#1844590 - 02/14/12 03:56 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Pianolance]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Pianolance - You write that "I have a recording studio and a grand piano and I have found that a pair of Countryman Isomax II Omni mics work extremely well on piano with lid open or closed or half stick and they are about $200 each".

I went to the Countryman website, and they are recommending the omni for mono, and the cardioid for stereo.

Do you have a sample recording you could share either here or by pm?

My interest goes beyond the academic. I'm about to self-record a CD which I hope to distribute commercially. Right now I'm using some LDCs which are pretty nice, but the Countryman Isomax II looks like a lot less trouble to set up from session to session.

Thanks for letting us know about these microphones.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1844593 - 02/14/12 04:01 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: Entheo
more grist for the mill:

i'm back to full stick with the behringer c-3s in omni mode parallel to the piano, diagonal in position with the treb mic pretty close to middle C and about 6 inches back from the hammers, the bass mic over the bass strings, 1 ft above the strings, no effects. here's a doodle example:
====snip=====

Sound very nice.
I can't picture your set up.
Could you share a photo?
"parallel to the piano" side? keyboard?
"diagonal in position" with respect to what?

Thanks for posting.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1844974 - 02/15/12 01:56 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Grandpianoman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
For what it’s worth…another PDF.

Brüel & Kjaer (B&K) acoustical test equipment has, for decades, been regarded as some of the world’s best. Years back—late 1980s—I worked with a B&K measurement microphone which, even then, was noted for its dead-flat frequency response. Like everything B&K it was frightfully expensive. Sometime back in the 1990s sales of at least some B&K microphones was transferred to Danish Pro Audio (DPA). Initially these mics were still manufactured by B&K but this may have changed.

As may be, I was snooping around DPA’s website and came across this on miking the grand piano— http://www.dpamicrophones.com/en/Download/~/media/PDF/Download/grandpiano.pdf
—and thought others might also be interested.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1844983 - 02/15/12 02:07 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1178
Loc: Nashville, TN
I'm sorry, but I no longer own my pair of Countryman Isomax mics, I traded them a couple of years ago for a vintage Beyerdynamic ribbon microphone and it's one of the worst trades I've ever made. I have really missed those things, and as a matter of fact I am considering buying another pair. The reason I recommended them in Del's situation is because they are extremely easy to mount and very easy to hid inside a piano. Del wanted something that was easy to leave in place, invisible, and would work for both recorded and live sound and these fit the bill. When I was doing most of my recording with those mics I had a 7' Schimmel and it was awesome. They wouldn't sound as good on my 5'2" Knabe, it's just not as resonate as the Schimmel. As far as omni vs directional, I don't know, mine were omni so I have never compared the two, by the omni's worked great.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

Top
#1845013 - 02/15/12 04:03 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Seeker]
CJM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 140
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Originally Posted By: Seeker
The Earthworks system sounds phenomenally good

It is (Stevie Wonder has just bought one). I record Stuart & Sons pianos, and use the PM40 for live ensemble recording, and complement it with two Earthworks QTC50 omnis placed level with the RHS of the piano for studio work. The resultant sound is out of this world.

I've also recorded two Stuart pianos with two PM40s. I know they are expensive, but believe me they are worth it. Having said that, I used to use two Behringer C-3s, which are surprisingly good given their low price.

Regards
Chris
_________________________
Stuart & Sons 2.2 metre #25

Top
#1845115 - 02/15/12 09:03 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

Sound very nice.
I can't picture your set up.
Could you share a photo?
"parallel to the piano" side? keyboard?
"diagonal in position" with respect to what?


hi andrew, here you go:

_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1846480 - 02/16/12 11:20 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
SOME learning curve happening....

Spent 2 weeks tearing my hair out trying to get a "classical" solo piano sound out of a couple of AKG 414 XLMs!

I think, perhaps, that the 414s were TOO good: they picked up unwanted room ambience no matter how I set them up.

Placing them very near the piano, and even over the strings, "solved" the room ambience issue, but introduced a dry and slightly nasal quality to everything around C3 that I didn't like.

Here's the Beyer m160s at about 7ft out from the bend in the Hailun 218, again in a REAL small space, which is my piano/music room:

http://www.box.com/s/hlgr617go9vs4grujczg

Also working well set up in the same way are the AKG C 451 Bs.

Note: you can't mic for a classical piano sound INSIDE the piano with either the Beyer B160 or the AKG C 451B (hypercard). The result, to my ears at least, is super twangy.

So I guess these small ribbon and small diaphram condensor mikes are made more for listening at a distance.

Now the question is: would the realively cheap Oktava 012 (mod or otherwise) do an even BETTER job. Same type of mic as the AKG, but cheaper (and better?)...

JG


Edited by johngrant (02/17/12 07:22 AM)

Top
#1846640 - 02/17/12 09:08 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
How do you upload pics here???

JG

Top
#1847584 - 02/19/12 12:02 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Two AKG 451 b mics, the Hailun 218 sitting in my slightly cramped music room (at least, that's what we call it), and the same-ol JSBach prelude played with the requisite number of mistakes.

AKG 451s in an xy configuration, roughly 3 ft out from the fully open lid, 6ft off the floor:
http://www.box.com/s/993x2kd9zo9kxne9j0p2

AKG 451s 5-6ft apart, 3ft out from open lid, aimed at the treb and bass strings respective. Lid wide open:
http://www.box.com/s/pjxe0000osg64q2po7ur

AKGs 10 ft apart and about 5 ft out from open lid (mics actually sitting a little outside the outer edge of the piano, again facing the fully open lid and pointing to the treb and bass respectively):
http://www.box.com/s/cilx8e6kug0zx4p23pkx

All different performances of the same (are you getting bored) piece. But useful.

I will be going up a notch next week, and will post what DPAs and the Cole Ribbons sound like.

I wonder if they're be a noticeable difference?

JG

Top
#1847709 - 02/19/12 08:31 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
john, not getting bored; appreciate the consistency for comparison's sake.

the further apart you go with those mics the more i like the sound. is it my imagination or did the 10 ft apart volume drop about mid-way thru (auto gain?)

little bit of clipping in the 5 ft apart example?

what are you running your mics into? (preamp, etc.)

for posting pix, what i do is:

create a free tinypic.com account
1 upload your pic
2 copy the full URL
3 then, come back here and in a Full Reply (not Quick Reply) click on the image icon in the post toolbar and paste in the URL. preview to be sure it's working et voila.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1847806 - 02/19/12 12:12 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
Ahhh.... so THAT'S the secret...(re pic upload) Can Do!

Interesting.. so you prefer the mics out max distance from the instrument? WELL... it seems that the further out I got:

1. The more reverberent the sound
2. The less coloured the piano sound

So what I call the "midway" file is sort of a compromise between in close, which I find too coloured and out ten ft, which I find picks up too much ugly verb.

Not all rooms have ugly reverb, but this one does.

Clipping: Yes, I think there is a bit in the midway file. And the mics at a distance version is not normalized to the max. Also, I think the 10 ft out version is converted to 228 kps; whereas the others are 320.

Mics to Scarlett 2 pre; to garageband on macbook (aiff format); to ultimately to my pc i9 to wav format, where I trim the file, normalize it, and convert the wave file to mp3.

Lots of weak links, the weakest being my daughter's old macbook, which can barely handle the recording (I get some pops and clicks).

In theory, the idea is that I'm getting through this process a reasonably accurate approximation of what any particular mic might sound like in this particular room with this particular piano.... when I find something that seems to work, I will fork out the big bucks.

So far, the AKG 451s seem to work the best for me (compared to the 414s and the beyer m160s), at least in the sense that when I a/b my trials against pro recordings of exactly the same music, the difference is mostly subjective.... or a matter of taste.... Which is why I leaned towards the "midway" mic position in these examples... seemed about as verby as the average recording of these piece, and no more coloured.

Next week I'll try to rent some of the "big boys" Coles 4038, Schoeps, and DPAs.

Thanks for the input. It confirms what I'm hearing.

JG


Edited by johngrant (02/19/12 12:14 PM)

Top
#1848142 - 02/19/12 10:26 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: johngrant
====SNIP====

Mics to Scarlett 2 pre; to garageband on macbook (aiff format); to ultimately to my pc i9 to wav format, where I trim the file, normalize it, and convert the wave file to mp3.

Lots of weak links, the weakest being my daughter's old macbook, which can barely handle the recording (I get some pops and clicks).
====SNIP====

Couple of things to suggest.

1) You can swap out the Mac for your PC if you download Audacity (free from SourceForge.net as I recall). If your PC has USB ports, I think the Focurite should work fine with it.

2) When you "normalize" the file, does that mean you're adjusting the max level to "0 db"? If so, that may be where your background noise is coming from. You might get better results by getting your input levels adjusted better, normalizing if necessary to say -2DB, and using a compressor. There is a very interesting package here which you could download and play with.

Meanwhile - I think your latest efforts are sounding fabulous. It will be interesting to A-B the same piano, with mics set up the same way, when you get to the truly great mics from Coles, Schoeps, DPA, etc. My bet is that we'll see the 90/10 rule come into play.

Good Evening to All.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1848210 - 02/20/12 12:10 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Another interesting article—to me, at least—I’ve found on recording the piano can be found on the Sound on Sound website. This article gives some (mostly accurate) information on just why the piano is so difficult to record. It can be found here:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may99/articles/recpiano.htm

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#1848384 - 02/20/12 10:27 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Wound up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 65
I feel bad even writing this, Those who were trying the AKG products -- I think would notice a major improvement using older examples. i.e.: the 451E sounds much better to me then the 451B, Also the older 414's get the better the newest ones are near useless... but a BULS or a TL2 are easy to find and should still stomp on the new ones while costing less....

Also For a small diaphragm budget option I have heard many rave reviews on the Rode ntk-4 and 5 series

Of course Neuman KM64/84/54 are great as well as other really expensive old german tube mics..

If someone was interested in that quality but wanted to go new I would recommend all of BOCK AUDIO mics everyone of them..

good luck micing!


Edited by Wound up (02/20/12 10:29 AM)

Top
#1848417 - 02/20/12 11:44 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 1226
Loc: Cape Cod
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.

For most of my live stage recordings, I use the DPA 3521 kit which consists of a pair of 4021 compact cardioids. Pictured in the DPA pdf you posted above in the 2nd graphic (as spaced cardioids in magnetic holders on the plate) and in figure D in the XY holder which is the way I always use them. I find their medium sized capsule rich in bass response and texture and quick enough to also be well suited to both fast and slow tempos. I like them on stage because they are so small they are almost invisible on the end of a mic stand and do a nice job rejecting air conditioning and lighting noises. They're kind of expensive, however, and hard to get these days. Not sure if DPA is still making them.

For studio recording where environmental noise can be controlled, I favor mid-side micing. I've used pairs of U87s but find their large diaphragms sometimes lose detail with fast tempo and/or percussive playing. Same for ribbon mics. They work very well for slower melodic material, however. One fix was to substitute a qtc40 for the mid which works quite well. Setup and positioning is still a little clunky, however. I've been spoiled by the ease of handling with DPA 4021s.

For my most recent studio work I tried a pair of MJ modified Oktava MK012s in a figure 8 array with a qtc40 mid and it was fantastic. The compact diaphragm of the Oktavas seem to make for more ambient detail and razor-sharp imaging in a small and light package that was reasonably easy to position. At a cost probably 1/4 that of a Neumann DAAK AK20/AK40 equivalent setup (which I've always lusted for, btw).

Howard

Top
#1848468 - 02/20/12 01:14 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
charleslang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2076
Here is a demo of some CharterOak tube microphones on a Steinway -- yet another nice option among the very many:

M900t
_________________________
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

Top
#1848469 - 02/20/12 01:16 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
"Those who were trying the AKG products -- I think would notice a major improvement using older examples. i.e.: the 451E sounds much better to me then the 451B, Also the older 414's get the better the newest ones are near useless."

Oh no Wound Up--- if I'd only had your advice before I bought those nasty (and new) AKG 414B-XLS dogs. In my ignorance, I thought I was getting nice recordings. Though I do envy johngrant's strategy of renting and trying out a variety of good mikes; I merely looked at a lot of spec sheets then crossed my fingers and went through the learning curve until I found some things that worked well with my piano, room, and purpose.

I admit it was not that easy. It was somewhat less nerve-wracking knowing that Sweetwater had my back, and that if they really turned out to be wrong I could send them back. Well, it's too late now. But
it would be interesting if you would say more about the old AKG 414 mikes (and the dates the good ones were made), and how they were better. Everything wears out in time, and maybe I will live long enough to need to replace the mikes I have.
_________________________
Clef


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

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5065
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]
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

Top
#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

Top
#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

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

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
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

Top
#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

Top
#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..

Top
#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: 2244
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

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

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
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).

Top
#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

Top
#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)
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1849131 - 02/21/12 02:18 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Wound up]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
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

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

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
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

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

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Colorado
Entheo, that is a slight step up from the previous and it's not going to break the bank!

Glen
_________________________


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


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

Top
#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
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1849567 - 02/22/12 11:19 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1631
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
_________________________


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


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

Top
#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?


_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#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: 1631
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?
_________________________


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


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

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

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3243
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)
_________________________

Top
#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.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1849616 - 02/22/12 12:24 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1631
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
_________________________


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


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

Top
#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
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1852128 - 02/26/12 05:19 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
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

Top
#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
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#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: 1631
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

Top
#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
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#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.
_________________________
Hailun 198







Top
#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
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#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!
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#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!
_________________________
We are one of the pioneer of online piano sales, a440pianos.com dates from the dial up days( 2 mn to upload a picture ehehe do u remember these days?)
OVER 10000 PIANOS SOLD on line worldwide


"WE LOVE WHAT WE DO AND SO WILL YOU"

Top
#1853270 - 02/28/12 05:43 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
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)

Top
#1853781 - 02/29/12 03:02 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
Originally Posted By: johngrant
Here's a mistery mic I used to record that old saw .... by JSB...
And that old Chopin again, but now on the same mystery pair...


other than the clicks & pops i can find no fault with either recording, and believe that your choices (close mic for bach and a bit back for chopin) served each piece respectively well. and having to edit OUT some bass; my, what a luxury! your piano sounds excellent.

so will you tell us the name of the mystery mics?
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1853789 - 02/29/12 03:24 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Colorado
Hi John,
Wonderful playing. Perhaps a bit too much room feel on the Chopin recording (I guess it's all a matter of taste), but it sounds great.

The placement for your Bach recording sounds about right to my mind's ear.

Glen
_________________________


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


A Bit of YouTube

PTG Associate Member

Top
#1853857 - 02/29/12 05:51 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Inlanding]
johnlewisgrant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 394
Loc: canada
I agree about the Chopin being, perhaps, a bit "roomy", and the piano sounding a bit in-a-box on the distant miking.

OK... the mics, which I only purchased out of morbid curiousity (and I can return them) are Chinese Ribbons!!!! Apex 210, which you can get, I think, for around 230US a pair.

These are very fussy about placement (I suppose all ribbons are).

I think I can live with the Bach sound, and I'm not sure whether in this room, with this piano, my equipment, etc., I would do any better with expensive cardioid small diaphrams, like the AKG 451 series, or the KSM 141s (switchable between card and omni). I may still yet be in a position to rent some Schoeps, and if that happens a comparison would be interesting.

As it stands, I think this Ribbon mic captures the actual tone of the instrument more accurately, depending of course on placement.

JG


Edited by johngrant (02/29/12 05:51 PM)

Top
#1853918 - 02/29/12 08:28 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
i close out with a "final production" (as if there is such a thing) of the schubert impromptu, as follows. AKG 420s in cardioid mode, audiobox 22VSL, studio one DAW, converting WAV to MP3 with Exact Audio Copy (YouTube codecs suck, what can i say), windoz7 movie maker, here ya go:

_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1854987 - 03/02/12 03:28 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
gabi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/12
Posts: 10
Loc: Romania
Edited by moderator... SPAM


Edited by Rickster (03/02/12 04:08 PM)

Top
#1855712 - 03/03/12 07:36 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: johnlewisgrant]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
John - I listened carefully with my studio monitors, and I agree with your conclusion. The Apex 210's sound as good as the AKG condensers - maybe even a little better - at least on my equipment.

I actually like the Chopin sound a lot, though there were some balance issues between the channels.

I think a little fiddling with that would give me the "classical" sound that I like.

Interesting about the Apex 210.

Good luck with it, and, BTW, I think you're playing of the Bach was darned good.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1855717 - 03/03/12 07:44 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Entheo]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Finally had a chance to listen on my studio monitors to your Soundcloud clip.

Hurrah - you're there!

The recording sounds just fine;
the C7 sounds just fine;
and so does your playing.

Congratulations.

=====================================

PS - I have received a lot of benefit from the resurrection of this thread. I'm self producing/recording a CD of "Music from the Golden Age of the Piano" soon as there's time this spring. I think folks will enjoy the music as well as the sound of my 1929 Steinert (New York Steinway B close copy). I've changed microphone placement based on what I learned in several posts - I've got an idea of what sounds "right" to some very fussy PW ears - and I learned about some dirt cheap Chinese ribbon mics that sound fantastic on solo piano which might even fit into my budget.

Good Evening to All.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1857221 - 03/06/12 02:11 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Seeker]
NorseHorse Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 11
Loc: Washington, DC
Good afternoon, friends. I frequently record grand piano, both solo and in ensemble. The tools and techniques that work for you will depend on your instrument, your space, your genre, your vision, your budget, etc. That said, let's get to the nitty-gritty...

This thread (Barber's Piano Concerto, Piano World Thread) has some videos recorded with two Shure KSM141s in omni:



And here's the same space, [different] piano, different performers, recorded with Rode NT5s (omni) on the piano and Gefell M270s in omni on the ensemble:



Edited by NorseHorse (03/09/12 11:05 AM)
_________________________
Piano Recording Engineer, Videographer
http://artslaureate.com/

Top
#1857229 - 03/06/12 02:16 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1111
Loc: chicago, il
VERY nice recordings norsehorse!
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#1857515 - 03/06/12 10:29 PM Re: best piano microphone [Re: NorseHorse]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: NorseHorse
Good afternoon, friends. I frequently record grand piano, both solo and in ensemble. The tools and techniques that work for you will depend on your instrument, your space, your genre, your vision, your budget, etc. That said, let's get to the nitty-gritty====snip----

NorseHorse - you are, of course, correct. Me, I'm usually good with the vision thing; it's the darn budget that does the squeeze cry

Your two included recordings sound... professional.
Did you use the same preamps?

FWIW, I was surprised to find I liked the sound with the single omni pair of Shure KSM141s over the one with the NT5 and the Gefell M270s for the orchestra. I'm listening with a decent pair of headphones, not over speakers, since I'm on the road this week - but I didn't find the Gefells to sound better on the ensemble. As for the NT-5s, I'm note a Rode fan. They made the piano sound "brittle" and a bit "dead" to me.

I'll keep you in mind for recording work when I have the budget to pay for you smile
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#1858917 - 03/09/12 11:04 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: Seeker]
NorseHorse Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/11
Posts: 11
Loc: Washington, DC
Thanks for the responses!

A TL-Audio Tubetracker console was used for the Barber, and a Grace 801 was used for the Gershwin.

Recording-wise, the biggest difference in the recordings is how far the microphones are from the piano. In the Barber, they are in the third row of the house. For the Gershwin, they are close, which results in a brighter, more "modern" sound. Both practical and aesthetic concerns went into the decision for each.

[UPDATE] ** Just remembered these are probably not the same pianos. A rental was brought in for the Barber, presumably leaving the in-house piano backstage in its storage area for the soloist to warm-up and practice on.


Edited by NorseHorse (03/09/12 11:10 AM)
_________________________
Piano Recording Engineer, Videographer
http://artslaureate.com/

Top
#1859214 - 03/10/12 01:06 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: NorseHorse]
Dave Ferris Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 1675
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
NorseHorse is a recordist par excellence !

Welcome to PW Christian..
_________________________
http://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D, Nord Piano 2

Top
#1908124 - 06/04/12 10:30 AM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: Dave Ferris]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
For those who might be interested, here is a link to a recording made in my piano studio with my current set up. The complete recording will become part of my first CD available for commercial release: "15 Pieces from the Golden Age of the Piano". Should have everything ready for "mastering" in about two weeks if things go as planned.

The Music Sample: from Harry Farjeon's Einen Schanengesang. http://andrewkraus.com/Smpls/Farjeon-EinenSchwanengesangPreview.mp3

Microphones: 2 CM 414 large diaphragm FET condenser microphones from Advanced Audio in Canada. The pattern was set on "Omni".

Placement: Just past the ends of the keyboards, on stands, with the base of the mics 60" above the floor

Signal Chain: simplicity itself, direct into a Tascam DR-100 flash recorder 24-bit, 96k sampling frequency.

Recording: no EQ, no reverb added. Ready for trimming and mastering.

Piano: 1929 Steinert 6'10" grand. This is a very close copy of a 1929 New York Steinway "B". It has been restrung but has the original sound board (which I think is one of the reasons it sounds as good as it does). I also had the action refurbished and replaced the original WNG parts with Renner whippens, shanks and flanges, new back checks, and Abel Natural Select hammers medium weight.

Studio: started life as a 1 car garage, became the sales office for our suburban subdivision and got a "cathedral" ceiling in the process. Tile floor. Room was very reverberant, so I've done some treatment with 2" thick fiber glass panels covered with acoustically transparent burlap as well as a 4" thick corner trap. To my ears, the room is dry enough to allow hearing details, wet enough not to be dead.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

Top
#2159854 - 09/29/13 09:51 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: richard_dup1]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 355
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I stumbled on this old thread recently when I was looking at ways of recording my acoustic piano. My requirements were:

1) Reasonably cheap
2) Decent audio result
3) Something that is better than recording directly from iPhone or PC using on-board microphones
4) Simple and easy to use
5) Easy to move to the computer

In this thread, Grandpianoman suggested the TASCAM IM2 microphone and tried it out. I did some follow-up research.

Then I found out that Tascam is dumping their inventory of IM2 microphones. I found this:

TASCAM iM2 Channel Portable Digital Recorder on Amazon for $24. Wow!

Ref: http://www.amazon.com/iM2-Channel-Portab...ords=tascam+im2


The IM2 TASCAM microphone is specially designed for IPOD Touch and older IPad/iPHone models that have the large (almost 1 inch wide) power connector. That's what I had, so I thought: "what's to lose for $23?" I had been seriously considering a portable digital recorder but this seemed to fill the same niche.

The IM2 arrived in about a week and I was lost on how to use it for about a day. The documentation for the microphone itself is ok but how to use it on/with the iPhone/iPod/iPad using TASCAM's PCMRecorder app left me a little lost for awhile.

From the accompanying manual:

Overview of Features:

1) This stereo mic can be connected to an iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad, or iPod touch (4th generation) and used to record with applications that support mic input.
2) Using the angle-adjusted pair of high-sensitivity condenser mics, you can record in high-quality 44.1 kHz/16-bit format, which is equivalent to CD audio.
3) The limiter can prevent distortion when the input level is too loud, and the input level can also be adjusted, enabling optimal recording.
4) The USB connector allows the connected iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad or iPod touch (4th gen) to be recharged while using this unit to record.

For what it's worth:

Here's a short clip that I made recording my Kawai KG-5 grand piano using this TASCAM IM2 recorder on my iPod Touch.

https://app.box.com/s/a77aw80akqe5hmws7n2k



Edited by AZ_Astro (09/30/13 01:18 AM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


Top
#2159864 - 09/29/13 10:15 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: richard_dup1]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 355
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
... By the way, to record, I open the top and remove the music desk and place the ipod touch/IM2 mic on top of the front edge of the piano, on top of some cloth. [So the recording is 'close' and dry.] Recording is like using a VCR. You CAN play back the .wav files. You can record four or five recordings, upload them to SoundCloud (easy), or connect to your PC and move the files to your PC via iTunes. The iTunes procedure requires a little sleuthing but worked ok.


Edited by AZ_Astro (09/29/13 10:21 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


Top
#2159896 - 09/30/13 02:00 AM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: richard_dup1]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 774
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
Tascam has been bought by Gibson. Based on what we're hearing from inside, It's not pretty.

Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

Top
#2160061 - 09/30/13 12:26 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: richard_dup1]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2625
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I must have read this thread way back when and every time it's resurfaced in between, but I'm grateful it's been resurrected again. AZ Astro it seems you've resolved your inquiry before you asked, but in typical PW style I'm going to offer a different solution.

I recently recorded my Estonia using the following; Rode NT5s through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 preamp and interface. It sounds much better than the previous setup of the NT5s through a Presonus preamp into converters in my laptop (that's probably the weak spot). Here's a link.

http://soundcloud.com/pantonality/rhapsody

Top
#2160185 - 09/30/13 06:19 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: Steve Chandler]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 355
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler


I recently recorded my Estonia using the following; Rode NT5s through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 preamp and interface. It sounds much better than the previous setup of the NT5s through a Presonus preamp into converters in my laptop (that's probably the weak spot). Here's a link.

http://soundcloud.com/pantonality/rhapsody


I'm no audio engineer but to my ear it sounds like a professional recording. The recording is clean and tight and it brings out nuances in the piano and your playing nicely.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


Top
#2160186 - 09/30/13 06:20 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: KurtZ]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 355
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
Originally Posted By: KurtZ
Tascam has been bought by Gibson. Based on what we're hearing from inside, It's not pretty.

Kurt


That would explain the fire-sale price of the IM2 microphone. Thanks for the note.
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


Top
#2160452 - 10/01/13 12:40 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: AZ_Astro]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 365
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
Originally Posted By: AZ_Astro
Originally Posted By: KurtZ
Tascam has been bought by Gibson. Based on what we're hearing from inside, It's not pretty.

Kurt


That would explain the fire-sale price of the IM2 microphone. Thanks for the note.


Anyway to use this microphone with a newer iPad (and the tiny power connection)?

Forrest
_________________________
Graham Fitch's Piano Pedagogy Site
(A WORTHY RESOURCE!)

--------------------
current studies:
Debussy: Suite Bergamasque, Prelude & Menuet
Beethoven Op. 78
Bach WTC 1, C# Major (#3)

Top
#2160532 - 10/01/13 04:08 PM Re: best piano microphone(s) - My Solution [Re: richard_dup1]
AZ_Astro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/12
Posts: 355
Loc: Tempe, Arizona
I don't think so, I think the connectors have a different number of pins on them.



But - maybe there is another microphone out there that works with the new iPhone and a smaller power connector?


Edited by AZ_Astro (10/01/13 04:09 PM)
_________________________
Kawai KG-5. Korg SP-250. Software pianos: Ivory II, Ravenscroft, Galaxy Vintage D, Alicia's Keys, et al.


Top
#2190350 - 11/30/13 01:07 AM Re: best piano microphone [Re: richard_dup1]
E. Christensen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/13
Posts: 38
I use a similar set up but add a third mic in the middle to try to pick up more of the treble.

Top
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
96 registered (Atrys, adanepst, angga888, ando, Adypiano, Alux, 23 invisible), 1269 Guests and 47 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74206 Members
42 Forums
153516 Topics
2249655 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Re-stringing an 84yr old Grand.....?
by Grandpianoman
04/17/14 01:56 AM
Theme identification
by Polyphonist
04/17/14 01:26 AM
Morning Mist: a ballade for piano
by JoelW
04/17/14 12:27 AM
Insanity
by Polyphonist
04/16/14 11:55 PM
Yamaha P140 sluggish keys : how to fix?
by Bambell
04/16/14 11:52 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission