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1 mic 4 - Steinway grand & baritone malevoice

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Newatthis, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. Newatthis

    Newatthis Guest

    Price is not an object! I sing my songs and record a steinway grand piano all the time. I feel that it is time for a magor upgrade in quality. I know preamps are just as important but I think I have that covered or at least enough to experiment with a nice microphone. Any suggestions.
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Suggestions, I have many. But I'll need a little more info. A mic for piano and voice at the same time? Vocal only? What preamp do you have? A major upgrade in quality from what?
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    If you're only buying one mic and trying to pick up your baritone voice and the piano at the same time - I'd probably go with an AKG-414 because of its multiple pattern options. If you will use the one mic to multitrack, lots of engineers still like the 414 for piano (but usually use matched pairs of whatever mic they're using) although there's a lot of options and varying opinions on piano micing.
    I don't think you'd be dissatisfied at all with the 414 on a baritone voice- the TL-II or B/ULS is a matter of tastes and timbres. I use the ULS almost every day and I'm a classically trained baritone. They can be found for $700-1K. You could spend more but you may not need to.
  4. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    Yes Please tell us a little more about how you plan to use the mic and what style of music you are recording.

  5. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    I made assumptions on my post that the other two responses are wisely not assuming.
    Because you said you were a baritone and playing a Steinway - I'm assuming classical and/or traditional jazz and that you were going for single pass/live-type recordings. Please elaborate on your question.
  6. Newatthis

    Newatthis Guest

    Yes, I'm looking for a mic that will do well for both my baritone voice and Steinway grand piano; seperately or simultaneously. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible. Is this possible? Or is it much better to have two different microphones? Thanks so much for your feedback so far.
  7. Newatthis

    Newatthis Guest

    Oh yeah, my style is jazz and or classical and the preamps are Sytek MPX 4a.
  8. Newatthis

    Newatthis Guest

    So the AKG 414 is the best choice for this application?
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    First, there really is no best. Best is subjective and can be one thing one day and be something very different the next day. The AKG 414-ULS is a common mic in studio's and a common mic used for piano. Is it the best for you and your piano? No one knows. What I like or think is best may not be what you think is best. My suggestion is only from my experiences and by not hearing or knowing more about you, your instrument, your voice, your style, your goals, your experience and background, all I can do is guess. My guessing may or may not be of much value to what only you can decide. What I can say is that I've used the 414-ULS on piano and gotten some very good results. There are certainly higher quality mics that are able to capture more detail. I feel an instrument like the piano needs to have two mics to capture it's full vast tone.

    The logic I explained about piano, applies to a vocal mic as well. Very good mics for any application are made by Neumann, Soundelux, Telefunkin, Lawson, Blue, to name a few. If you really want one or more very high quality mics and can't find a place or dealer to audition some good mics to listen, then I would suggest you rent a few and try them. Or better yet, find a studio that has a very good mic selection and a piano and book a few hours to have them help you decide. You will gain much more from that experience that just deciding which mic or mics that you like best.

    One other thing to keep in mind. The better the mic, the more detail it will capture and the need to have a very good room to use it in as they will be more sensitive and capture the tone of the room (good or bad) as well as the noise of the fridge, the ticking wall clock, cars going by, squeeks in you bench and floor pedals, ect.

    Choosing which great and expensive audio or music tools to buy requires some time and effort to really get what you think you want.
  10. Newatthis

    Newatthis Guest

    Thanks Audiogaff, I need to be reminded of such things every once in a while. To be more correct; what I was asking about was for commonly used mic's for this application. My room is 13' x 20' , has a wood floor and brick fire place built into a bookcase on one wall. It sounds great live now to capture it. Thanks for all of the comments so far.
  11. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Try a search on the archives here on piano or piano mic. I seem to recall past postings on this subject with various comments from me and others.
  12. Newatthis

    Newatthis Guest

    What post? I can't seem to find it.
  13. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Try a search for "grand piano" in the micing,mixing..." category. It came up with a bunch of hits that could help. There's a few that are a year or two old as well as some from a month or two ago. Techniques haven't changed and lots of different options are offered.
    Good luck

  14. I would go with a pair of 414s for what you are talking about. They are excellent multipurpose mics that will retain their value. Even if you buy other mics in the future you will always find use for them. David
  15. audiovalley

    audiovalley Guest

    hey there,

    It's not my favorite vocal mic but my Soundfield sps422 is an incredible piano mic .
    Small capsules, great transient response, wonderful stereo image control.
    I've used it on Steinways, Yamahas, Baldwins and Knabe's with great results.


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