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Old January 10th, 2010, 05:32 AM   #16
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Good advice from Seth there and just to add my 2 cents in laymans terms all you need is two XLR to XLR cables to extend the SM58 and the camera mic (or another mic) and plug one into ch1 and the other into ch2.

A set of headphones is a must so you can hear the inputs and as Seth says you may need to attenuate, also record a test and play it back to check that all is OK the meters may say levels are ok but it is still possible to overload the mic amps.

Training you in pro tools would not be a straight forward task as it is a pro application and I myself am still learning after 30 years as a dubbing mixer as I sue it in pro applications, but if you get yourself an m-box it is a few hundred quid to get the package and it will give you the basics that you need, it will be fun learning it too but it is quite easy as there are training videos available for less than 10. There are also free software packages available and your video edit software may have a few things to enable you to do some post prod on the two tracks.

One other offer to you is that I have boxes of mics lying around here so if you wish to borrow one to suit the piano I can sort you out with something suitable such as an AKG 3000 or a small diaphragm calrec mic. Drop me an e-mail if you need any help but if you are going to do this often it may be worth investing in a small condensor to assist.
One of these should be OK and low cost:"Studiospares" Studiospares S1000 Condenser Studio Mic Only at Studiospares
It will need phantom power but your V1 has this, if you scroll down the screen there is a package with lead and stand for less than 100 you then just need another XLR lead and stand for the SM58 but I suspect you may already have these.

I have to say though that the mic that comes with the V1 will be OK as it will have enough bandwidth for such a recording, just make sure that the wind/bass cut is turned off on the camera, OK its not a studio condenser and limited as said but will be OK for a test.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:10 AM   #17
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The "from the back" position is often best (if you'll pardon the expression) because it picks up less noise from the pianist :-) a species whose unadvertised extras can include foot tapping, heavy breathing, singing or humming along, curses and other comments as well as the more understandable page turning noises. Of course, if it's authenticity you are after...

Been there...
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Old January 10th, 2010, 08:29 AM   #18
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I'm concerned that a single mic on the piano is not going to capture the entire instrument well, due to the size of the source.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell View Post
...
"What circumstances are you going be shooting? ...."

Situation will finally be in a recording studio, where I would expect the equipment to be pro standard. Situation I wish to monitor will usually be a 35' x 15' sittingroom during rehearsal. It will never be live public performance. The video content will be less important during rehearsal than the audio which I want to be able to monitor closely, not for sound quality as such, but for the musical (= melody+harmony+rhythm) combination produced by the vocalist and pianist. I will use it to decide, among other things, whether we need bass or guitar and/or brushes and thereafter which combination will work musically (not for sound quality but for musical content).

I...
Been thinking about this as this thread progressed. Why are you shooting the rehearsal? Wouldn't such decisions as to instrumentation, etc, be better made live and in-person as the rehearsal progresses? The final nuances will need to be worked out in the studio during the actual recording, fine-tuning the sound that the studio's mics, mixers, processing, etc are delivering. The full studio is going to deliver a considerably different sound to what you're going to get from a video camera and a couple of mics and any decisions you make off of a rehearsal recording are going to have to be revisited when you do the "for-real" recording in the full-fledged studio anyway. If you're trying to minimize the time spent in an expensive by-the-hour professional studio I don't think you're going to really save very much.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Yes and yes. Although, the short shotgun included with the V1 is not a faithful mic for music. Its primary virtue is as an ambience mic. It can be at the end of an xlr cable.

SM58 - XLR cable - one of the V1's audio inputs. Settings for that input: Mic/Line=Mic, Att=0, 48v Phantom=off.

Your camera mic would go into the other input, with the same settings, except that 48v Phantom=on. This would be true for any condensor mic that doesn't have an internal battery.

.
This is a great help Seth, thank you, all practical instructions of this nature gratefully received.

Gary, you are being thoughtful and generous again. I'll check out that link and try for a condensor mic.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Been thinking about this as this thread progressed. Why are you shooting the rehearsal? Wouldn't such decisions as to instrumentation, etc, be better made live and in-person as the rehearsal progresses? The final nuances will need to be worked out in the studio during the actual recording, fine-tuning the sound that the studio's mics, mixers, processing, etc are delivering. The full studio is going to deliver a considerably different sound to what you're going to get from a video camera and a couple of mics and any decisions you make off of a rehearsal recording are going to have to be revisited when you do the "for-real" recording in the full-fledged studio anyway. If you're trying to minimize the time spent in an expensive by-the-hour professional studio I don't think you're going to really save very much.
By shooting a series of home rehearsals I use my V1E to record the note sequences that we are producing (as vocalist & pianist) ... it's the handiest way I can do it so that I can study each song afterwards, bar by bar, and be guided by the vocalist's timing to tell me when exactly to play which chord or accompaniment ... then I can make notes on MY dots so that I play better next time. I could not hope to make such notes on the run without dragging the vocalist through a litany of stop/starts (& other litanies as well, no doubt).

The sound quality comes afterwards. Here's an example of poor sound quality (presumably because it's YouTube) but note how beautifully the vocalist interpreted and trio accompanied the song ... the audience have little to do with it; the atmosphere doesn't matter a damn; we know the sound distortion will be sorted out later; but what's important comes out where it should be - right on top - the talents of the musicians and the results of their many rehearsals. (I wish they would put it on CD & I'd buy a few copies for friends as well and we could all enjoy the talent with sound quality to match)
YouTube - "One Day I'll Fly Away" - Randy Crawford (2006)
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Old January 10th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #22
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I'm concerned that a single mic on the piano is not going to capture the entire instrument well, due to the size of the source.
you are correct...unless the mic is a proper distance from the piano.

As a 20 year veteran of music production and recording engineering, I can tell you there are a million ways to mic a piano but only a few will offer up what's considered "good sound" meaning balanced from one end to the other. Even in a controlled studio with a perfect piano and any mic you could ever want, it was incredibly difficult to mic it properly. Any engineer will tell you it's the single most difficult instrument to mic.

That said, since you're on a budget and plan on the sm58 for vocal duty, I'd look at a small mixer like a Mackie, and a stereo mic like a Rode NT-4 or Shure VP88. This will help you in several ways. 2 mics for the piano requires a lot of knowledge on where to place them and if you get it wrong, phasing will occur which will cause dropouts at certain frequencies.
By using one stereo mic, you can pick up the whole piano by placing it a certain distance from the piano. There is no phasing issue with these mics as the heads are fixed in place properly. Also you can safely combine the left/right of the mic to one channel of your camera and put the vocal on the other to keep them separated if necessary.
I've never been a fan of miking the back of the piano, you will find the sound a bit muted and dull, also bass heavy. ideally, open up the top and front of the upright and have the mic above the player's head pointed just above the hammers. Both of the above mentioned mics are fairly directional so isolating them from the vocalist should be easy. The sm58 will take care of itself.

Funny thing is my favorite recordings of piano and vocal were done with one mic, properly placed, in a good sounding room. Those are from the early days of recording and generally a U47, M49 or M50 was the mic. The art was placing the musicians around the mic.
Same with my favorite stereo recordings. 2 mics as a stereo pair, group placed properly around them.
Hope this helps!
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Old January 10th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #23
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Just as a side note this recording I heard a few years ago of a vocalist and a piano with two mics always makes me smile:YouTube - Smile
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
you are correct...unless the mic is a proper distance from the piano.

As a 20 year veteran of music production and recording engineering, I can tell you there are a million ways to mic a piano but only a few will offer up what's considered "good sound" meaning balanced from one end to the other. Even in a controlled studio with a perfect piano and any mic you could ever want, it was incredibly difficult to mic it properly. Any engineer will tell you it's the single most difficult instrument to mic.

That said, since you're on a budget and plan on the sm58 for vocal duty, I'd look at a small mixer like a Mackie, and a stereo mic like a Rode NT-4 or Shure VP88. This will help you in several ways. 2 mics for the piano requires a lot of knowledge on where to place them and if you get it wrong, phasing will occur which will cause dropouts at certain frequencies.
By using one stereo mic, you can pick up the whole piano by placing it a certain distance from the piano. There is no phasing issue with these mics as the heads are fixed in place properly. Also you can safely combine the left/right of the mic to one channel of your camera and put the vocal on the other to keep them separated if necessary.
I've never been a fan of miking the back of the piano, you will find the sound a bit muted and dull, also bass heavy. ideally, open up the top and front of the upright and have the mic above the player's head pointed just above the hammers. Both of the above mentioned mics are fairly directional so isolating them from the vocalist should be easy. The sm58 will take care of itself.

Funny thing is my favorite recordings of piano and vocal were done with one mic, properly placed, in a good sounding room. Those are from the early days of recording and generally a U47, M49 or M50 was the mic. The art was placing the musicians around the mic.
Same with my favorite stereo recordings. 2 mics as a stereo pair, group placed properly around them.
Hope this helps!
It helps a great deal, thank you, Robert, very much. The voice of relevant experience is hard to beat.

It seems that what I will need most of all in the recording studio, in March hopefully, will be an appropriately experienced sound engineer. In the meantime a Mackie mixer and a Rode NT4 or close alternative(s) will do for home rehearsals, according to a few helpful voices, thank you all.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #25
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If you really want a good final recording, my advice would be to dump the upright piano and use a half decent grand. Upright pianos have their tone compromised before you even start to record. Even a boudoir will probably sound better and it's much easier to record. Nobody uses an upright piano for serious recording unless that sound is wanted for some reason.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #26
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Or even easier get a Roland HP-2e, it is what my wife uses and you can then take a line out feed to the camera.

I also do the same with drums as I hate trying to mic them up at home, I now use a Roland TD20.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #27
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Colin,
I accept your point, not that I understand the engineering principles involved, but because I have just found a studio with a good grand piano and a vocalist room and an engineer who has produced excellent recordings of jazz combos using this piano. I must ask him for an in-house rehearsal or 2 prior to recording.

Gary,
Got XLR to XLR x 2 today and will be testing and practising as advised, not for sound quality at all yet but for note accuracy.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 05:44 AM   #28
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Got XLR to XLR x 2 today and will be testing and practising as advised, not for sound quality at all yet but for note accuracy.
What do you perceive as the difference between "sound quality" and "note accuracy?" To my way of thinking, they are the same thing. Sound quality, to me, means that the recorded notes are as close as possible to the original notes as played - pitch hasn't shifted, tempo is the same, all the harmonics and overtones are present that distinguish the sound of, say, a violin playing middle C from that of an oboe playing the same note and are in the same proportion to the fundamental as the original instruments have them so that the nuance of the individual instruments are present, and there are no hisses, pops, crackles, hums, squeaks and other extraneous sounds to distract from or obscure the desired sounds. Take your piano. Because of the way shotgun mics work indoors in a reflective environment, recording the piano in a normal living room lacking acoustic conditioning using a shotgun mic located 10 or 12 feet away, may result in a mix of direct and reflected sound being recorded that would make it sound tinny (or otoh maybe too bassy) and hollow, like a child's piano recorded in a culvert. That to me would be a loss of "note accuracy" due to the distortion introduced by the poor sound quality of the recording situation
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Old January 12th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #29
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Steve,

This explanation is no more than a simplification but here goes ...

... the melody behind the first four words of the nursery rhyme "Twinkle twinkle little star" is made up of 7 notes, notated below (well-known to many in the northern hemisphere). It could be argued that millions of people could (if the circumstances were right) sing those seven notes in unison with little rehearsal. I would argue that in theory and in practice the permutations for singing those notes in the correct sequence but not in unison are as endless as the chances of winning a national lottery. An example is the Swingle Singers version which includes 5-note variations on each of the 7notes. Mozart who composed that melody within Eine Kleine Nacht Musick (I think) is said to have written the definitive version and all others (incl a million or more kids every bedtime) add their versions.

If I want to play those seven notes on my own, that's my party. But if I want to play them with one other musician or a vocalist we (don't have to but we) should agree how we want the outcome to sound (I'm not talking about sound quality) ... the obvious example is that the 7th note is twice as long as each of the first 6 notes ... but who said so? Mozart said so and we all appear to agree with him whether we are aware of it or not. So these seven notes have other values apart from pitch; a basic value is duration; then comes musical variation such as emphasis and phrasing of the notes. So, before we consider improvisation at all, chaos is just around the corner. And all that must be carefully disciplined and scripted/agreed before we consider sound quality. there's little point in agreeing sound quality before we agree which notes will be played and in what form. So it's the notes and their form I mean by "note accuracy". You might expect that all the content and form would surely be written down in precise detail long before performance. Not so I'm sad to say. Even classical piano (some written 300 years ago) music is available in 2 written forms ... with performance marking and without performance marking. I spent years playing Mozart badly (& lots of other stuff badly) before i was taught the effects created by crescendo/decrescendo, legato/staccato, lente/presto, f/p etc etc These terms are all about form and are called - performance markings. They have a huge effect on content, as you can imagine. For me they add another vital layer to "note accuracy", and should be decided and rehearsed long before sound quality from the instruments (in tune hopefully) is considered. If you're still awake, you can nod off now and thanks for the question.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 11:36 AM   #30
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I understand, but you were saying you weren't worried about sound quality in these recordings. Aren't the nuances of performance that your talking about here exactly what you're seeking to use the recordings to evaluate? If the recordings aren't made to high (technical) sound quality standards, how will you hear the musical elements you just said you were making the recordings to listen to? You've said you don't care about technical sound quality but I'm concerned that the things you want to hear about the performance will be missing from the recording without it.
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