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Schoeps for piano

Discussion in 'Piano' started by ctiger, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. ctiger

    ctiger Active Member

    Hallo. I am a professional piano player and I'd like to update my couple of mics (AKG 414s) with Schoeps matched pair, but I don't know what caps is best, if Mk 21 or Mk 22.
    Live use a part, I am recording a Steinway C (227 cm) in a medium room rather dry, about 40 square meters. I am not doing business in recording, but I'd like to buy something durable. I combine mics with a MOTU 896 MK. Thanks for suggestions. C
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    You know what, I don't know the Schoeps. But something caught my eyes when reading your post.
    Before changing the mics, I would think of upgrading your preamps.
    The motu mic preamps/converter are ok but there is a lot more to gain from your AKG414 if combine with the right preamps. Maybe what you don't like about your sound is infact the motu at work...

    In your case, the Motu will receive external preamps but via the TRS/preamp input. Preamp to preamp is not ideal, so you could bypass the Motu preamps all together and use the optical input or spdif.

    Thing is, the high end preamps with good digital converters are hard to find but you may take a look to the Lavry AD11 which has 2 preamp, converters and USB

    Other option would be using two more unit :
    Either the Lavry AD10 or Mytek AD96 with any highend 2 channel preamps.
    Focusrite ISA2
    Universal Audio 2-610
    Vintech 273
    Grace Design
    Great river
    and many others will let you rediscover does 414.
    You'll be surprise what difference preamps can do !
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Oh, I just came to this : http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/m201Dig/
  4. ctiger

    ctiger Active Member

    Hi, thanks to replay. I will certainly take in consideration your suggestions. Anyway, I am not thinking to sell the AKG 414s. I would like to buy 2 additional mics. I am doing classic music. The AKG 414s, do their job well, especially for a not professional recording but their colour sounds much more close to pop piano than a classic. For live performances I would like something less visible, because these two pineapples next to the piano...
    So I considered at first, Neumann K184-183 and Sennheiser 8020-8040 and Sennheiser Mkh 40-20 and Schoeps.
    I've been reading a lot and I arrived to the conclusion that Schoeps are the best standard mics for classical music.
    But it's very difficult to make a choice between the different capsule they provide for the Colette.
    They have several version of the same mic according if it's more or less close to the source.
    With the AKG 414s I achieved good results with the wide cardioid, but I am not convinced of the same for the Schoeps.
    Anyway, thanks for your suggestions.
  5. bamballo

    bamballo Active Member

    Hi Ctiger,

    in my modest opinion only Schoeps are clearly superior, but It is not easy to replace a pair of C414. I am fortunate to record with both: AKG 414 and Schoeps MK 21 and MK 4. I think both are perfectly integrated. I think you should consider the distance and placement of the mics, or study the characteristics of the room. The preamps used is also the weakest point, as has been discussed. The ADDA and preams referred all are excellent.

    KM 21 (wide cardioid) is a large capsule. For me, the next option would be to record a MK4 or MK21 par. MK 22 and MK 21 produce a sound with a similar opening.

    Finally, consider making some test with a cardioid format (ORTF x C414 or MS) very close to piano: if the room is small and the piano is great, and (with MK21) if the room is very resonant then it could be a difficult recording.
  6. ctiger

    ctiger Active Member

    Thanks bamballo, let me ask you, do you have any sample of schoeps mk 21 on classic piano to listen? Because they are not listenable even on schoeps showroom. The samples I could find are not good to make a compare, especially between mk21 and mk22, where the differences are unlistenable to me.
    The room I have is not too bad. Between 35 and 40 square meters, carpet on floor, square shape, about 2.80 m high. With AKG I had good results with wide cardioid pattern
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    To my limited experience, a thing that surprised me the most was when I bought some new preamps. The last I bought was the La-610 and was like a child in my mic locker.. It sound nothing like my ISA 2. And both pre (610 and ISA) are way better pre then my saffire 56 (which is the nearest from your motu).

    Of course mics mathers but you could buy the best ones out there, your motu is not quite cut for them.. sorry ;)

    Some inspiration :

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2t91591ISk

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKwp3mqcqZE
  8. bamballo

    bamballo Active Member

    Hi Ctiger

    I do not use the MK21 capsules to record instruments directly. I have only one MK21 capsule and use as support. Prefer Gefell MK221 capsule with Josephson C617, or CMC64 schoeps for more direct recording. For me they (C617) are excellent. All these combinations are highly recommended, especially as a pre-ad Larvy AD11 with only two channels for stereo recording, or similar.

    In a previous post you can hear the C617 (AB par) with two C414 in (MS) with an preamps RME UFX. (Is a Test recording, not final recording). The recording have some error. The piano is not in good condition. Sorry.

    View: https://soundcloud.com/bamballo/nocturno-test
  9. robe1972

    robe1972 Active Member

    Hi i like Schoeps CMC6 MK2 on piano....and for me the tube preamp is not correct for classic music.
    If you purchase the Prism Orpheus audio interface, you have 4 wonderful preamp and 8 AD DA converters at the top!
    The Prism preamp are very neutral, very very good for classic music..!!
    Here you can listen..!!
    bigtree likes this.
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I second the Orpheus, in fact I like it so much, I just bought the new Atlas. yippie! Just a perfect all round very high quality, stable converter. The preamps are clean transparent in a sweet way.
    I also love a pair of DPA 4011 and Royer-SF-24 combo on almost all acoustic related music through Prism's new lineup. I've always wanted a pair of Schoeps, maybe one day!

    To comment on tubes with piano... The tube amp that sounds absolutely amazing with everything is bar none, the Millennia M-2b. This is a transformerless BIG V tube pre-amp sure to be one of the best pre's ever made. I haven't talked enough about it because its really expensive. But, that is going to change. Its time to share things I've found to me my fav over the last 38 years. If I could own 24 channels of m-2b's I would. Nothing compares. Big silk sweetness.
  11. robe1972

    robe1972 Active Member

    Wow..... Prism Atlas...8 preamp channel...it's a dream for me...it's very expensive!!
    I don't know Millennia M-2b because i never used....but i have to use the Millennia HV-3C and i like so much.....i like solid state preamp..!!
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    robe1972, so nice to have another Prism user here paying it forward. I just got the Atlas a few weeks ago. Its boring looking beautiful!
    Its sound the same as the Prism but the USB interface seems to be smoother, meaning, it reacts really fast to SR changes and seems to grab and lock up to the DAW quicker. I never expected that with USB. I think they've improved something there.
    I haven't used it for live yet, I'm hoping it likes my laptop and the 100ft runs to my Royer SF-24 better. I was using a FW card on my laptop and it always made me nervous.

    I'm the opposite, I have never used the HV-3C but would love 2 or 4 of those too. :love:
    I know they are the preferred for classical, more true but the m-2b is simply astonishing. I'm a real Millennia freak as you can now tell. I have the NSEQ-4! Wow, it is crazy lush. What a build too.
    pcrecord likes this.
  13. robe1972

    robe1972 Active Member

    Hi...i think if PrismSound use the USB port, there is a reason..ahah!!
    But i use Prism Orpheus with my MacBookPro and FW port is ok....never a problem!!
  14. unit7

    unit7 Active Member


    My first post here. Nice tone here! (pun semi intended..)

    Great advice here already. Just wanted to add some minor things as I was triggered (as both producer and piano player) by the topic :)

    I mostly work with jazz and acoustic pop, but I listen a lot to classical and dare to say that regarding the basic tone of the instrument (not talking choice of room/ambience) the ideals doesn't seem to be that different between classical- and jazz pianists. Most seem to prefer a full bodied, warm sound. Open of course, but not bright, which I agree the 414 can be.

    I've used Schoeps on piano many times and they are among my very few favorites. I wouldn't advice on capsules though. The situations I'm in often involves having other musicians in the same room so I often have to put mics fairly close to strings. I'm a fan of ORTF micing so I guess MK4 would be my choice. But for a bit more distant micing and for classical, not sure.

    If I were in your situ I'd definitely find a retailer or talk to Schoeps directly to arrange so I could demo the different options. This is important stuff (!) and it's impossible to say what would work for you, with your instrument and in your room.

    Finally, regarding choice of preamps I'd just like to add one brand to the list. http://www.davelectronics.com/index.htm
    They are a no hype (as in 'you pay zero for the graphic design'), clean and quiet, very high end AND cheap alternative if you'd like to start to explore what an external pre could do for you.
    Chris likes this.
  15. Jensenmann

    Jensenmann Active Member

    Gents, have a look at the Schoeps homepage. ThereĀ“s a nice tool called showroom :) Enjoy!

    Schoeps, btw, is a great choice for classical piano recording.

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