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Barber - Piano Sonata - IV. Fuga: Allegro con spirito

Discussion in 'Piano' started by David French, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Hi guys, how's everybody been?

    Here's a recent piano recording for the chopping block. Please be picky.

    Barber - Piano Sonata - IV. Fuga: Allegro con spirito

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
  2. Costy

    Costy Guest


    Excelent sound, even with the mp3. What did you get it with ?
    What I hear - it seems to me the ballance is slightly to the left,
    and istrument appears to be quite close to listener. I don't know
    if it was your intention.
  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    It's just a pair of DPA 4006, spaced 44 cm.

    My intention was to provide a close, clear presentation with an 'inside the piano' sense of stereo. I think it works well for this modern, fugal texture. To me the balance is correct, but I'm very interested to hear that not everyone would agree.

    Thanks for your input Costy.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Hi David!

    That is one sweet piano recording. Those DPA microphones are awesome. I like that intimate in your face jazz piano sound. Quite lovely. Nice-sounding preamps also. That touch of reverb gave it some nice space to the recording.

    My only complaint would be that there really wasn't enough impact to the dynamics. Maybe a little too much limiting? This recording would be one of those perfect situations with which to mix the dynamically processed track with the unprocessed track to bring back some of the dynamic impact. It's a little too overcontrolled sounding and doesn't bloom and growl where it should. But otherwise quite beautiful sounding.

    I also didn't think that it was left heavy? Low keys left. Hi keys right. A nice pianist perspective. But for these kind of Solo piano recordings, I'm more inclined to reverse the left and right. High keys left. Low keys right. Why? Because from an audience perspective the highs appear more left and the lows appear more right. In a concert situation.

    Quality is as quality does. (And that's English?)
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you like it, Remy; it means a lot to me.

    There's no processing of any kind on this recording. As for the dynamics, it's all the player.

    I'm hearing the highs in the left, and I should, because that's the way I recorded it.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Really? I don't think my channels are backwards? But maybe they are on the Internet machine? I don't think so? Ah, so it's not just Bill Gates? So the Internet sounds every bit as bad as television station dynamics processing? I guess so.

    No dynamics processing? As beautifully clean and open a recording this is, the player really kicked the crap out of it then. Too bad. So it's an even better recording than it sounds.

    So that's real verb? Recorded in a church? Doesn't sound like the average studio to me. Its lovely sounding. Nice work David.

    Bad Internet. BAD! Sit. Stay.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Its almost perfect, a little close for me, you hear this most in the loud sections (1:55, 3:50, 4:05). But otherwise excellent recorded sound and perspective. Full range, tonally rich, wonderful.

    I am a new owner of a pair of 4006's, haven't used them much in earnest yet, but I have a solo piano CD project early in the new year and they are playing a central role.

    Nice one David.
  8. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    I like it. It does sound close, but suitably so. Not too close for the music IMHO. I've tried to capture piano, but never succeeded. Difficult beast to record.

    Could you please describe in a little bit more detail how you placed the mics? height, distance from instrument, where on the instrument perimeter, pictures, etc?

    best regards
  9. Keith_K

    Keith_K Guest

    Are you pulling our legs here? The difference between the loudest parts (e.g. 4:20) and the quietest parts (e.g. 2:24) just doesn't seem enough, judging by how it's being played.

  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Caveat: I only listened so far on my computer speakers, which I "know" how they sound.

    1- I hear the highs in the left. Good perspective.
    2 - I like the very contemporary sound. It's not a jazz sound at all.
    3 - With the exception of a couple flubs in the pianist's hands, I'd be content owning and having paid $17 for this recording.
    4 - I hear plenty of dynamic range. I don't know what you guys are listening to if you don't hear it! Even on my computer speakers, I hear a good 30-40 dB of separation between peaks and troughs, which for relatively close-mic'ed contemporary piano is perfect. Yes, if this were Schumann, you would expect a tad more....but it ain't.

    I wonder David - did you measure the mic placement after you placed them, or did you use a formula to determine the appropriate width? If the former, why did you measure? Simply for the overall knowledge, or are you hoping to use this as a starting point (or an ending point) at other times?

    I only ask since I feel that you are very detail oriented in general - a trap in which I fall in quite often (my interns often wonder why I have a ruler and a micrometer with me on recording gigs!) It's easy to "miss the forest for the trees" when worrying about such details.

    I'm not saying you did that here - this is a lovely recording - one you should be quite proud of!

  11. Keith_K

    Keith_K Guest

    Maybe my ears are compressing today...

  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I hate it when that happens... (y)
  13. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Lovely sound, David. You simply can't go wrong with a pair of DPA 4006s. The material almost records itself.

    Just curious: I'm assuming it was a Steinway? Size? Also the name of the hall and the artist?
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    I don't understand this sentence (maybe my brain is just not working today). Could you describe further or provide pictures?

    Were the mics above the piano soundboard? Facing down?
  15. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    That should read in the plane of the lid. Everything else makes sense to me and should describe the position fully.

    My post seems to have disappeared. Hmm...
  16. larsfarm

    larsfarm Active Member

    where did he say that?

    Also anxious to learn how David did it.

  17. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Oh...well "plane" of the lid works MUCH better!

    Now I get it.
  18. Costy

    Costy Guest

    David, what was angle between the mics ? I get the rest of the
  19. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    The angle between the mics was perhaps 20 degrees.
  20. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Thanks for posting the recording, David. Lovely sound and great recording (yes, highs on the left). I liked it a lot, but I'm not really convinced that an "in your face" piano is quite right, even for 20th century works like the Barber.

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