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need help with unusual mic placement on a grand

Discussion in 'Recording' started by NancyNicki, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. NancyNicki

    NancyNicki Active Member

    I work for a church, we're not recording but it does have to go into the board and sound good for services.
    My boss got 2- Crown PCC 160 Supercardioid Condenser Boundary Mics and wants them installed in our grand piano. The catch is he doesn't want them under the lid b/c cables were getting pinched before. He wants me to semi-permanently (gaffers tape) install them underneath [aka to the bottom of] the piano somewhere. Any suggestions as to where and if it's even possible to get decent sound doing this?

    If not, as I'm new to this, do you have any suggestions as to where under the lid is a good place to start (I know you have to tweak based on sound, but a starting place would be awesome!)
    Thank you SO MUCH, in advance!

  2. audios

    audios Active Member

    IMHO putting any mics under the piano will result in pure low-midrange mud. It will sound as though there's a blanket over the piano. no note, no brightness. All you get is the sounding board and no hammer (brightness). I would assume the player plays with the lid open to at least 1/2 stick. (better to be fully open) But in a stage setting, 1/2 open lid keeps isolation under control a bit more.

    I would attach the PCC 160 to the back of the music rack at the center of the keys and run cable off upstage to your snake. it will give you the best sound and possibly the best control over gain. But watch for mid to low frequency rumble because of the physical attachment to the piano. Otherwise I always hang a stereo condenser from a boom stand upstage and swung over to right above the hammers (12-14") My mic of choice here is the RODE NT4
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The boundary mics may work under the piano but I'm with Audios in thinking the impact of the hammers will be diminished somewhat from that positioning. I have used a PZM before under a piano as a secondary mic to the condensers over the harp as a filler of sorts and it worked well for that. I did not attach it to the piano but rather attached the PZM to a piece of plexiglass and simply positioned it under the piano on the floor.
  4. NancyNicki

    NancyNicki Active Member

    Thank you guys! I really appreciate it! Plus you have me enough info (or enough words to google seach) that when I finally got the number to our system support guy I understood what he was talking about and he was happy I had a base knowledge he wasn't expecting.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    A hanger bar can also be made to span between the sides of the case over the hammer line or a little back. Line the parts hanging on the case with felt and hang your small condensers from that. Run cables out the back side of the piano and if not on half stick simply build a felt cushion for the lid by the stick thick enough not to crush the mic cables. DPA makes a prefab setup like this and maybe Audix too but you can build the bar yourself with a little effort and access to a big box hardware store like Home Despot.

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