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Old November 16th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #16
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
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Chris and Mike have the answres I'd give....I've recorded a LOT of piano, ranging from Jim Brickman to Philip Auberg....we've used everything from 414's to SM91's, my faves are BK 4001's at distance but those are hard to find.
Distance, wear headphones as you place mics, do all this well before talent arrives to play, listen closely to the placement, tip mics small increments to left/right. Size of the piano, openness of the lid, ambience of the room are all at play in the final quality...and if the visual is most important, then you'll likely get a good recording from the perspective of a video piece no matter what, if the performance from the artist is there. If the performance is most important, have someone come in to play before artist arrives so you're not futzing around while the artist is there, because that alone will compromise any performance. Just let him/her play.

[edit]Yes, there are "bad" ways...totally open is great in some rooms, full lid in others, but generally, hammer and top end are great means of recording. We did the "Holy Grail" library with QUP Arts using two mics and a Hardy's generally known as one of the better libraries, very intimate. That might not be the sound, as it's entirely dependent on the style of the player.
A spread of lower left, upper right near the harp edge is often great, but the player will determine a lot of this. Piano is one of the hardest instruments to catch, because it's player and attitude dependent, plus the sound that you want. warm/mellow is a different technique than rock piano that bites through. George Winston piano and Wesley Chu (adult contemporary and classical) are very different miking styles and tools.... In other words, there are LOTS of wrong ways, but lots of right ways too, depending on what you're after.
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Old November 16th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #17
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,483
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt
Okay, so far we've had inside the piano, underneath the piano, and above the piano. Is there a bad way to record a piano? :)
Well, one time I stuck the mic right at the edge of the
piano (maybe 2" inside), about halfway down the
piano, at the main curve, aimed toward the center
of the strings, and I picked up some unwanted mechanical noise.
It didn't seem like it was the hammers. As I recall
it was more of a creaking sound. (After that I took
to backing the mic off some, 1 to 3 feet.)
Anyone else ever heard this creaking noise, or know
what it might be?
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