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Recording A Yamaha CP70. Help?

Member for

21 years
So im recording my first piano on monday (in a few days), its a Yamaha CP70 stage piano!

After doing a whole lot of research I have decided to use an X/Y over the pianists head, pointing into the hammers.
As well as mic on the bass strings to emphasise them if needed.
Because their is no lid to reflect the Hi frequency content Im not 100% sure what I'm going to do!

Its going to be recorded in a professional studio with a very nice room.

The mics I have available are,

Neumann U67
AKG C414 TL2
Rode NT2
Rode NT1
AKG C451
AKG C460(Omni capsules)
Audio Technica AT20/20
Shure VP88(Stereo)
Shure SM91

So my thoughts were to use the 414's as the XY pair and the U67 as the bass mic and the C12A / 451 (or both) as room mics.

Your thoughts / comments most welcome! (And yes, I will take photos and provide .wavs/.mp3s after!)

Thanks heaps, Alex

Edit: forgot to add that it will be recorded into a Neve 5116 ;)


Member for

19 years 9 months

Thomas W. Bethel Fri, 10/10/2008 - 03:52
A lot of where to place microphones and what microphones to use has to do with what the type of music you are recording and the acoustics of the hall/studio you are recording the piano in. It also has to do with whether you are doing this as a solo piano or if the piano will be part of an ensemble.

You did not say what type of music you are recording or anything about the characteristics/acoustics of the hall/studio you are recording it in. Its going to be recorded in a professional studio with a very nice room. does not really say too much.

If you can give some more information you will probably get more replies.


And finally why would you want to record a CP70 with microphones anyway?

Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Fri, 10/10/2008 - 06:46
You can mic a CP-70, but I would guess that you won't end up using the miced sound as much as the direct outs. I have not heard one of these live in years, but my memory is that the acoustic sound isn't that great. The sound of the direct outs is, of course, very specific to the instrument. If you want your recording to sound like a CP-70, it's the direct outs that will do it. (That's what people sample when they sample a CP-70.)

Because it is small and quiet its going to be a bit different than micing a full size piano. I'd try an xy pair close to the bend to start. But that's just a guess.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Davedog Fri, 10/10/2008 - 06:56
I was thinking the same thing as Bob on this. I would also include a high-end DI on the outputs....possibly a tube type to warm up the sound of these...and then intro the Neve. Should be enough iron there to get that lush sound you may want.

The thing is, these pianos sound exactly like themselves. You could throw on a mic to get some more percussive hammer sound to mix in, but its not going to be a loud piano sound with micing......unless we are talking about two different models of piano. The only CP70/80 Yamahas I know of are electric stage pianos with hammers and strings but not much in the way of a sound board or a harp.......

This IS the unit?

Member for

17 years 2 months

JoeH Sat, 10/11/2008 - 06:49
I had the same thought....maybe he's pulling our leg here. (I once had an assistant who stuck an SM57 underneath a Wurlizter EP at a live gig, in an attempt to mic it up. :roll: )

I've amp'd up CP70's via DI's quite a lot "Back in the day" but never had the lid off, and never even considered mic'ing them acoustically. (Who knows? Perhaps in a really quiet studio they'd have some kind of useful sound, but I doubt it...)

What you can always try is a vareity of reverbs to the dry DI signal; digital, convolution, re-amping, etc. etc. to attempt to create a better sound.

I really think, though, that you're going to have a particular set of sonic artifacts that are inseparable with the CP70. It had (has) a sound all of its own, very distincitve; close (but not quite close enough) to a "real" piano, but good enough for those days when digital sampling hadn't come out yet.

Once digital sampling keyboards came along and changed the landscape, there wasn't much need or desire for that kind of sound anymore. Very dated to most ears nowadays.

I'd be very curious to hear how this one turns out.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 10/12/2008 - 11:37
Ah sorry, of course! I forgot to mention the genre.
The music is basically pop. I would say that it might be slightly darker, say influences of Bjok or similar.
I specialise in metal so this is something new for me ;) Turns out abit of change of plan, we are doing drums and double bass today but I will post mixes when all is tracked.
Hopefully the piano sounds good!

Member for

15 years 5 months

BobRogers Sun, 10/12/2008 - 13:28
The CP70 is one of the sampled "electromechanical" keyboards in my Nord Electro. Doesn't sound like a "real" piano, but I find that it works better on piano parts than Nord's sampled grand. I'll usually use the CP70 sound for piano parts if I've brought the Nord to a gig for its Hammond and Rhodes sounds and left my Yamaha P80 at home. The CP70 sample has a lot of guts and cuts through the mix. If someone was bringing one into a studio I would assume that (like someone bringing in a Rhodes or a Wurli) he or she was looking for that signature sound and not trying to sound like a "real" piano.

Member for

17 years 2 months

JoeH Sun, 10/12/2008 - 17:50
You still haven't cleared this up; are you actually going to MIC the thing, or take a DI?

You may want to save yourself a little embarassment ahead of time, and look into this before the band arrives for the session. You've gotten some good advice already here about the CP70 line of pianos and what's involved.

Trust me on this: They essentially don't make any usuable sound on their own, you've got to use the line outs, unless you know something the rest of us here don't....