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#2224574 - 02/02/14 10:55 AM Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget
eboats Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/19/12
Posts: 11
Loc: seattle, wa
Hello, I'm new to the world of recording but would like to record my grand piano. I've heard using 2 condenser mics in a stereo XY pattern is a good approach. I'm on a budget of $200 or less total. What are my best options for 2 condenser mics at this budget? Thanks for any info.

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#2224638 - 02/02/14 01:14 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 321
Loc: CA
I use a pair of CAD m179s. They are a bit above the price point you mentioned, but not astronomically high. You can get a pair for $250. The advantage of this pair is that you can try our various configurations, which you cannot try with fixed configuration mics. I have tried all 3 configs mentioned in this video with varying degrees of success:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XlN3kc1Hx0


Edited by rlinkt (02/02/14 01:18 PM)

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#2224647 - 02/02/14 01:40 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3489
My first pair of mics were the M-Audio Novas. $99 each, and did a nice job.

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#2224762 - 02/02/14 05:33 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: beethoven986]
jdw Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/04/11
Posts: 1432
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
My first pair of mics were the M-Audio Novas. $99 each, and did a nice job.


Are these mics that one could connect to a Zoom H4n recorder? I'm pretty clueless about recording but would love to get a better sound than I can with the built-in mics.
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#2224772 - 02/02/14 05:45 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
I don't have that much experience with mics at all. However, I picked up a Blue Yeti (there are two versions - $80 standard / $180 pro), a three-condenser mic in a single package, and it seem to be high on the quality to price ratio.

You can find my original thread when I was experimenting with the Yeti a little here: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2146005/New_mic_-_Blue_Yeti_Pro_/_Samp.html

Do watch Chrono Trigger's YouTube post in my thread. It's a pretty nice recording.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2224778 - 02/02/14 05:54 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
dynamobt Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 925
Loc: NH
I record with a Zoom H2n. I wanted to go with something not too complicated since I knew nothing about recording. Trial and error has led me to some basic settings. It's not perfect. But more than exceeds my expectations. Only thing I added was a mic boom so I can position the recorder up where the sound is.
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#2224914 - 02/02/14 11:11 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
phantomFive Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 2756
Loc: California
Might consider the Audio Spectrum OSM800 Platinum Series.

This article has good info about recording a piano: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/pianorecording_0108.htm

I really like the sound from inside the piano, right above the middle of the soundboard in an xy configuration, but you can listen to them all and decide for yourself.
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#2225196 - 02/03/14 12:20 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
andi85 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/11
Posts: 90
Loc: Germany
The MXL/Marshall 603s is also a nice microphone on a budget and absolutely worth checking out. They have a rather wide pickup pattern, so they wouldn't be my first choice for applications requiring good isolation, but for recording a solo piano in a nice room, they should do the job well.

For use with a Zoom recorder you need some device that will power the microphones, like a preamp, a small mixer or a dedicated phantom-power supply. Or you opt for microphones with internal battery supply - in the budget range that could be the Shure PG81, the AKG C1000 or the Rode M3. I have a pair of PG81's, and while the isolate considerably better than the 603s, they need a lot of preamp gain for a condenser microphone. Otherwise, they are decent, reliable tools.
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#2225204 - 02/03/14 12:35 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: jdw]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3489
Originally Posted By: jdw
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
My first pair of mics were the M-Audio Novas. $99 each, and did a nice job.


Are these mics that one could connect to a Zoom H4n recorder? I'm pretty clueless about recording but would love to get a better sound than I can with the built-in mics.


I believe the H4n has two XLR inputs with phantom power, so, yes.

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#2225215 - 02/03/14 01:08 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: eboats]
Hakki Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3527
Not that I have any experience with these, but considering your budget, these might be interesting for you, provided that you use them in close miking situations.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/C02
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#2225401 - 02/03/14 08:39 PM Re: Recording my grand piano - mics on a budget [Re: Hakki]
phantomFive Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 2756
Loc: California
Be careful when you are choosing your mic to look at the frequency response. The bottom note on a piano (iirc) is around 30hz, so you'll probably want a mic that can pick up notes that low.
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