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I have to record my next classical solo piano recital (Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff) in a small-medium sized church, in which reverb could be a problem.
The piano will be a steinway concert grand and I have at my disposal 2 Neumann km 183 (omni) matched, 2 schoeps cmc5 mk4 (not matched) and 2 schoeps cmc5 mk 21 (not matched).
I think I should go for a schoeps pair plus Neumann for ambience, but I'd like to avoid multitracking for a variety of reasons, the first being I only have 2 channels of high-end preamps, and the other preamps are the ones on my MOTU Traveler or in my Mackie 1202 vlz pro.
What approach to this recording (mic choices and techniques) do you suggest?
Thank you for your help


Cucco Tue, 11/06/2007 - 07:23

I have only a moment to reply, so I'll touch on only one topic at the moment.

I wouldn't ever hesitate to use a Mackie VLZ pro on piano. They're a fine sounding pre and the only thing they generally lack from their finer brothers is excessive amounts of headroom, the boundaries of which should not be pushed by solo piano, no matter how loudly its played.



David French Tue, 11/06/2007 - 08:01

If I were doing it, I would probably opt for the MK21s, using them like spaced omnis but with the benefit of some back attenuation to fight the verb. I've been liking going high, in the plane of the lid, and off toward the tail, angling back in for balance. I'm not so sure how useful ambient omnis will be. If you're not multitracking, I wouldn't use them.

DavidSpearritt Tue, 11/06/2007 - 13:29

The church setting means the KM183's are out. Try the MK21's as a spaced pair like David says. If its still too wet, the MK4's as a main ORTF pair and the 21's as outriggers if this is too dry on its own.

Just the pair of 21's will probably work with correct positioning.

RemyRAD Tue, 11/06/2007 - 14:43

OK, now I'm really going to screw you up with the suggestion.

You take your KM 83's hold them side-by-side together and make the capsules reversed from each other. That is to say, while looking at the microphones lying next to each other the capsules would be back-to-back. No move microphones so that the capsules are exactly next to each other facing in opposite directions. You will then plug them into 2 separate inputs and you will invert phase on one of the microphones. Combine these two microphones into a single output Channel. What you have just created here is a figure of 8 microphone. This will be recorded onto a single channel.

Next, take your best cardioid condenser and place it as close to the KM 83's as possible but make sure that it is facing towards the piano. That microphone will be recorded on the other track. The KM 83's will be facing the left and right walls. Eh voila'! You have now created a beautiful MS pair. Most any audio software program has a preset for properly decoding an MS stereo pair.

Try it, you'll like it.

MS crazy woman
Ms. Remy Ann David


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