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Killing "pedal thump" on Piano Recording?

Discussion in 'Piano' started by bloodspoint, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. bloodspoint

    bloodspoint Active Member

    Anybody got any magic formula for this? I had a pianist come in and record some stuff, and while the piano itself sounds great, the player really thumped the pedal, which is kind of distracting. I found the frequencies it occupies, and I can take it out, but it also makes a big hole in the piano sound.
    Anything that will fix this, short of better player technique?
    Incidentally, I did notice that the room mic didn't pick up nearly as much as the up-close mics, but I want to keep the close mics for detail.
    Maybe I can mod the piano itself to quiet the pedal?
    The piano in question is a Yamaha C7, and I was mic'ing up close with a pair of Oktava MC-012s, and farther away with a U87ai.


  2. white swan

    white swan Guest

    take their shoes off. :)
  3. bloodspoint

    bloodspoint Active Member

    Well, I may not have been specific enough. They aren't hitting the pedal hard, per se... they're letting it up really fast, causing a "thunk" when the pedal hits the stop.
    I'm not a (good) piano player myself, so I don't know if this is technique. My main concerns now are:
    a) Can/should I add some padding or something to damp the hit when the pedal comes up (or will that freak players out), and
    2) Anybody had any luck removing the offending noise from their piano recordings without ruining the sound?


  4. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    What about putting a thin yet soft pad on the wood where the metal hits it? I don't know about your piano, but mine needs the pedal pressed about 1/3 of the way before the pads lift off the strings, so it could work for you, too.
  5. bloodspoint

    bloodspoint Active Member

    Thanks, that's a good idea. Maybe I can fit some felt in there. I need to take a look and see what will actually fit.

  6. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) I LOVE Yamaha Pianos! All I can suggest is to have your piano tech make sure all the felt pads are in good shape, and the adjustments on the rods are ok. Too much slack can cause noises and clunks, they can work loose and create a small space allowing more free travel than should be. Also check and make sure there is nothing else clunking inside, damp chaser etc.

  7. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Whatever it is that's causing the clunk, it happens when the pedal hits a certain position, (and usually sits at that exact spot) so slowing it down before it hits that spot should stop the sound, whether it's coming from the pedal itself hitting wood or other internal structures banging each other.

    Should work just as well. ;) :tu:

    If you have a whole bunch of materials with different firmness, put thin layers of each one after another, starting from most firm right up against the wood and softest on the side where the pedal hits. This maximises effectiveness vs space used.
  8. bloodspoint

    bloodspoint Active Member

    Thanks, guys. Some good ideas. I'm gonna try some easily reversible things on my own, 'cause I'm a DIY'er whenever possible, and if that doesn't produce the desired results, I'll call my piano guy and have him take a look.

  9. sign

    sign Guest

    FWIW, it's a matter of playing technique and a piano technical issue.

    When a player lets the pedal come up firmly, the dampers land on the strings with a pretty loud bump. Most grands have this 'problem'.

    I've tweaked the grand by putting a small shock absorber between the damper bar and the piano's frame. Problem of shitty player technique solved.
  10. bloodspoint

    bloodspoint Active Member

    So, it's not so much the pedal, as it is the damper bar? I'll have to look at that. If it looks complicated, I'll just leave it to my piano guy. I don't wanna screw up a C7...


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