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I mainly record classical chamber music (recitals in theatres and auditorium with very good acoustics) and I'm very proud of the results: by now I used a Neumann km183 spaced pair in A-B recording technique through a MOTU Traveler (preamp, AD converter and audio card all in a box) connected to an Apple powerbook (recording at 48KHz 24 bit).
I'm also a professional pianist and usually record my piano recitals using the above configuration: the problem is that in churchs often the acoustic is too reverberant, and so I plan to add some cardioids for close-miking.
Initially I considered Neumann KM184 stereo pair, but I've read opposite reviews, and by now I'm switching toward Oktava mics, mainly MK-012 stereo set or MK-011 stereo set or MK-319 stereo set (and this with eventual modification).
What do you choose for close or semi-close classical grand piano miking, guys? Are there other options to consider?
Let me know your opinions.



zemlin Wed, 12/13/2006 - 13:34

I was sitting in on a studio session a while back (my Daughter's choir was recording). I'm not a big fan of that studio's work, but the piano sounded ->great<- !

Gefell M300s. The recording engineer said those mics were iffy on a lot of sources, but rocked on piano. Out of my price range at this point ... but someday ...

anonymous Wed, 12/13/2006 - 19:15

The best price I found was from Mercenary Audio in Mass. Give Fletcher a call...

My personal experience is that they are great on LOTS of sources .... piano, harpsichord, voice, etc ... great as a spot, too. I replaced a pr of KM184 with the Gefells, and there is a profound difference, esp in the top-end smoothness.

Those with the experience say that the M300 is much more like the older Neumann KM84, a generally much more respected mic.

FifthCircle Wed, 12/13/2006 - 21:26

FWIW, an Octava is going to a rather pale comparison even to a new Neumann (let alone an older Neumann). The recommendations for the Microtech Gefell's are good. I like the M930 quite a bit for close micing a piano in a jazz/pop setting.

For classical work, I go for Schoeps or DPA. I like omnis generally the most. In some cases, a blumlein pair will work well... I could go on for a long time.

Try doing a search of this forum. There have been a number of great threads on various methods of piano recording.


Midlandmorgan Thu, 12/28/2006 - 04:43

I've used the Joly modded 319 in a 7 ft Yamaha grand with much better than I would have expected results....placed it about dead center at 1/4 stick, using an ADesigns P1 500 series preamp set fairly low gain...

Results were great...

FWIW: The BEST piano sounds I have personally heard recorded were played by Marcia Ball using a pair of M49s thru a pair of Neve 1073s (all old stuff) straight to a Radar...of course the engineer (Al Schmidtt) may have had a hand in it as well...:) )

anonymous Tue, 01/30/2007 - 10:02

The smooth as glass piano sounds on a multitude of ablums such as Steely Dan were done with the venerable km84. (not to be confused with the 184)
Expensive and near impossible to find, I wish I had a second one to make a pair, even unmatched.

That said the Octava with the large cardiod diaphram option is a good choice for the price but, not a Gefell M300. btw: these mics are quite a bit cheaper in Canada and for a matched pair with 8 diaphrams for a grand CND or $800.USD are a bargain.