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Old June 18th, 2003, 11:57 AM   #1
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Microphone location for piano audio

Our church video small group is getting ready to record some music in a couple of weeks when we cover audio. I the musician will be using a piano for his song and I'd like to know if some of you have had some experience with what microphone locations work best when recording the sound.

I have a quality lav mic that I could place within the piano but I'm not sure if that's a good location for it. My other thought was to just use a regular cardiod mic real close to the piano and check the sound from that.

Has anyone videod some recitals and gone through some mic setups that really worked good for the piano?

All of the mics will be running to a small studio mixer so I'll have full control over the mix before it hits the camera.

If I don't responed to posted ideas for a few days it's because I'm traveling this week but if you post something I'll take a look at it when I get back and see what ideas you all have.

Thanks for the input on this and I'll fill you in on our final setup and how it turns out after we record it.

Ben Lynn
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Old June 18th, 2003, 12:29 PM   #2
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Ben,
I do not know the best answer to your question. But, off-hand, I'd recommend not putting a mic inside the piano or letting a mic touch it. You're likely to pick up quite a bit of unwanted low-frequency vibrations through the piano's body.

If it's an upright piano, I'd try mic-ing it above and slightly behind the piano. If it's a full-sized piano with an open sound board I'd be inclined to mic from directly in front of the opening. In both cases I'd use a stand with a shock mount.

Just my thoughts on what I'd try, for what they're worth.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 12:39 PM   #3
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It will be an upright piano and that's why I'm looking for some help on this because I'm not really sure where the sound travels out coming off it. An open piano would be a much simpler setup indeed.

I hadn't thought about above and behind and I'll listen to it that way. I may just have to move the mic around and listen from several positions to see what works unless someone has already gone through that process and can shed some light on some pickup points.

Good point about the vibrations. I've taken note of it.

Ben Lynn
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Old June 18th, 2003, 12:44 PM   #4
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I've mic'd grands and baby grands for studio recording and we used about 3 mics or so. we mic'd the room( pro studio so we got excellent ambient sound.) and we put 2 mics pretty much inside the piano.One to capture the hammer sound hitting the strings and another further back in the case .As Ken mentioned you do not want the mics to touch the piano physically if at all possible.I proabably would not put a lav inside it either.Just my 2.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #5
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The more mics you have on the piano the better.try placing one or two mics at ear level behind you facing the piano. positon them as to not pick up sound from your movements -clothing etc. one behind the piano and from above too if you have the mics.do a pre mix of all the mics before going to tape.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 01:12 PM   #6
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Try asking a music store. I would think that they would know the best ways.
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