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Old August 25th, 2009, 10:07 AM   #1
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recoding a pianist

I've got some opportunities to record some pianists. Some of them are soloists, some are accompanying. All I have is a Senn me66/k6, an Ocatave 012, and an AT lav. Camera is HD100 w/firestore.
These wouldn't be high paying, but they're not NO paying either so I can't justify a huge budget. Venues are small classrooms.

Should I get a dedicated flash recorder? A second octava if it's a duet? How should I round this out?

thanks
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Old August 25th, 2009, 05:02 PM   #2
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Are they grand or upright pianos? Some will usually sound awful, I'd find the best tuned best sounding one in all the classrooms and use that for everything.

Use your vid camera as a sound recorder with its stereo mic, using headphones move it around to get the best sound. Edit in your NLE and make CDs.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; August 25th, 2009 at 05:42 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:55 PM   #3
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Probably use the Ocatave and boom it over the top of the piano. If it's a grand open the top and stick the mic over the harp about 12 to 18 inches above the harp. If it's an upright, same thing.
I think the Senn might be too hot for a piano-I never really had great luck with that mic for live music. Maybe it was just me.

I would definately record to the camera with headphones to monitor. Kill the on camera mic and record to channels 1&2 if a single piano. If it's more than 1 instrument playing THEN set the Senn up on a short stand and hardwire it back to channel 2 on the camera and leave the piano mic on channel 1. Manually adjust the levels as needed.

Should work. If not don't blame me, it was the desert I had tonight-makes me crazy! ;-)
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Which AT lav do you have? Which capsule do you have on your Oktava? I wouldn't try to use the K6/ME66, I just don't think that would sound good at all.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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If you could get your hands on a stereo pair of small diaphragm condenser mics, that would be the way to go...set up using the X/Y pattern..experiment with placement to find a sweet spot, but like Don said..12 to 18 inches above strings is usually a good start. Do you have a separate audio recorder?? Laptop + Audio Interface??
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Old August 26th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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Piano is what I specialise in.

You can read about a recent project HERE.

I would mic. it purely for audio with the mics well off the camera.

Do you have 2 x K6? - if so use these with the ME 62 omni heads. I find the best position on a grand is about 20cm spacing and about 2-metres back at about ear height. Then adjust to suit the piano, the acoustics and the music.


Do you have two mini tie mics the same? If so, you can use some sticky tape (best is hypoallergenic tape or Rycote Stickies) and stick them to the raised lid of a grand piano.m These will basically turn the lid into a gians stereo boundary mic. - and also be almost invisible. The quality will depend on how good your tie mics are, of course.

I hope this helps - if you have questions, just ask...
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Old August 26th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Donohue View Post
If you could get your hands on a stereo pair of small diaphragm condenser mics, that would be the way to go...set up using the X/Y pattern..experiment with placement to find a sweet spot, but like Don said..12 to 18 inches above strings is usually a good start. Do you have a separate audio recorder?? Laptop + Audio Interface??
Yes to the small diaphragm condensers, but much better to use spaced omnis as the piano has a bottom end that goes way lower than what a directional mic. can pick up.

12 - 18" above the strings is normally far too close for classical and will give a very dry sound. OK for mixing in with other stuff, but I would normally never mic. like this for a solo piano.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #8
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Yes to the small diaphragm condensers, but much better to use spaced omnis as the piano has a bottom end that goes way lower than what a directional mic. can pick up.

12 - 18" above the strings is normally far too close for classical and will give a very dry sound. OK for mixing in with other stuff, but I would normally never mic. like this for a solo piano.
How about a second Ovtava? Would that be useful?

I've got the omni and hypercardiod.

Would a zoomh4 be of use?
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #9
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a 2nd matched octava would be preferable, but an H4 would suffice and would be a convenient, all in one solution...two Octavas into H4 XLR inputs would be even better (much better than the H4 mics)
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #10
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a 2nd matched octava would be preferable, but an H4 would suffice and would be a convenient, all in one solution...two Octavas into H4 XLR inputs would be even better (much better than the H4 mics)
What would I gain using the H4 over the JVC's onboard recording?
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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Are you recording in HD or SD on the camera?
I agree with the others, a matched pair of mics (but not two ME66's) will work. The placement is also going to depend on the room, which I'm guessing isn't going to be of concert hall quality.
You'll also need good quality, isolating headphones.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #12
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I'm not too familiar with the HD100 or it's mic pre's, but there are many benefits sound-wise to using a separate audio recorder, usually cleaner recording. I just usually prefer to use a separate audio source when recording live music performance so the camera isn't tethered to anything and you can still use the source audio from the camera mic to mix in with the separate audio (although you'll have to sync it in post), but you'd probably be just fine using the HD100 mic inputs also.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
Are you recording in HD or SD on the camera?
I agree with the others, a matched pair of mics (but not two ME66's) will work. The placement is also going to depend on the room, which I'm guessing isn't going to be of concert hall quality.
You'll also need good quality, isolating headphones.
HD.

Is the benefit of two matched mics only if the piano is accompanying? One for the vocals and one for the piano? Or do dual mics also enhance a piano solo?
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Old August 27th, 2009, 05:46 AM   #14
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Is the benefit of two matched mics only if the piano is accompanying? One for the vocals and one for the piano? Or do dual mics also enhance a piano solo?
Matched because you record as a stereo pair - one for the piano and one for the accompanist will be mono (or sound horrible if you tried to make it stereo).

Mics like the K6 series are matched close enough in manufacture for you to take random units - with many other makes the mics have to be factory matched.

Ideally a pair of omni for the piano (eg: K6 + ME 62) - if you are having a piano with an accompanist, either go further back with an ORTF pair of cardioids, or use a pair of omnis on the piano and a single cardioid for the vocalist.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
How about a second Ovtava? Would that be useful?

I've got the omni and hypercardiod.
Yes - check with Octava how closly matched random units would be.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
Would a zoomh4 be of use?
Not really, last resort only.
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