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Recording Real Piano and Singer

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by tracker, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. tracker

    tracker Active Member

    Oct 24, 2005

    I posted this in Recording and someone suggested I post it here in Acoustic Music..so here goes...

    As I don't have a real piano in my small studio, a client (singer/pianist) asked me if I could record her on the small Yamaha grand piano that is available in our local hall.

    I was wondering which mic setup might be best. I have a pair of AKG414EB mics that I thought of using in an X-Y config over the hammer area and using a Rode Classic valve mic on vocals.

    Would there be any use in using a room mic? I thought if it was just piano then that would be the best option, but as the room is probably not the best acoustically maybe I am just better sticking with the close mic arrangement so as not to pick up "room" vocals.

    Any suggestions much appreciated.

  2. ptr

    ptr Active Member

    Nov 3, 2004
    Göteborg, Sweden
    Home Page:
    What kind of music?

    Diffrent music will yeild diffrent setups..

    Is it the same person singing and playing? (Your wording suggests this..)

    The Grand, depending on its state will give you quite a bit of mechanical noice if beeing to close to the hammers, if its a jazzy kind of music I'd AB further out on the bend, one mike on the treble strings, one aiming at the bas strings in the middle of the grand, not closer than 12-15 inches to the strings.

    I would also think, given that she will sing and play at the same time, that that You would experience quite a bleed in the Röde Classic.. Unless its honkyTonk ala Jerry Lee Lewis, I'd put a baffle between the voice mike and the piano..

    What other mikes do You have?

    I would always put up a stereo pair for ambience (Omnis, AB'd), I'm guessing You would multitrack, so You can ditch the ambience if ít does not fit..

    If its "classical" voice and piano (ie. one person on each instrument), I'd start by AB'ng the 414's as a main pair infront of the players (6-8 feet away, 2 feet above the singers hight), then I'd probobly put a ORTF pair of cardiodsinfront of the grand (2-4 feet away from the middle of the bend, halfway between the rim edge and the lid). Then I'd put my most recilliant cardiod mike 3-4 feet infront of the singer..

    Any measurments given are aproximate, You'll have to move the mikes around to get the best sound from the artist(s)..

  3. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Home Page:
    If its a good room and its opera or lieder, I would place the singer slightly in front (500mm) of "recital" position, relative to the piano, and setup the 414's in Blumlein some 2m out from the singers toes and 30cm above her mouth. You will be astonished at the results. Piano on full stick please.
  4. tracker

    tracker Active Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Thanks for your suggestions. Yes the pianist is also the singer and the music is in the "folk" vein so I am guessing the piano won't be getting played too hard.

    So I might try your idea of micing the piano with the AKG 414s closer to the piano curve and baffling around the piano's music stand.


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