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Upright Piano

Hey Guys. I recently moved an upright piano into my home studio. The room is about 17' x 20', but it's carpeted, has tile recessed ceilings, and there's a crap load of other musical toys cluttering the area. I have two MXL 603s that I wanted to use to record the piano, but have never explored this instrument in the studio world. If anyone could give their two cents on mic positioning, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


John Stafford Sun, 10/09/2005 - 18:51

Try this link.,mynodeid,189,nodeid,1,id,22,_language,EN,pid,,_view,.html

If you mic with the top open, you will pick up more sound from the end of each string, and also get a more percussive sound.

If you take the front off you have more options regarding usable mic positions. If the piano is up against a wall, this is probably your best option.

Of course mic'ing from behind is also an option. It can be difficult to find a good position for the piano if you want to do this.

Good luck
John Stafford

anonymous Mon, 10/10/2005 - 03:07

micing from behind is the best starting point, i usually find. its important to remember that thats the soundboard on the back of the piano, so most of what you're hearing is that board resonating.

unfortunately its also the part of the piano thats normally up against a wall, and if studio space is at a premium, its usually easier to move mics than it is a piano.

anonymous Mon, 10/10/2005 - 19:35

The only way to mic an upright with any success is in the back.

Sticking mics down the top produces a funky boxy sound that isn't really at all what an upright sounds like.

The strings aren't making sound, the soundboard is.

Mic down below the keyboard, and you're into a world of hurt from mechanical noise.

IF you can remove the music desk and front panel, then micing from the front is viable...but you've got a player breathing into those mics too.

An upright can sound REALLY strong and powerful, because the hammer strike point is way down in the middle of the string compared to a grand. This tends to suggest backing away a bit, compared to where you'd mic up a grand.


anonymous Fri, 10/14/2005 - 07:40

For an upright with teh back to wall, lets say that there is still some gap in between, enough for pencils to hang in would it be advisable to locate the mics there? Comparing with micing from the opened top.

If from the opened top sounds boxy, hanging the mic in the small gap between the soundboard and the wall would not have significant reverbation problems, standing waves might also not be a problem. This position is somewhat enclose, would this have a sound proofing effect, isolating the piano if other acoustic instruments plays in the same room... plz comment.

anonymous Sat, 10/15/2005 - 06:17

sticking mics in the 10 inch space between the piano and the wall will most likely sound like gash. but, ive never tried it - give it a go and see what it sounds like. i dont expect you will get much to be happy about though.

when ive been faced with a piano against a wall, ive taken the top AND front off, and mic'd up from the front. this (in my experiences) has given the most natural sound, but as someone mentioned earlier, you get a bitch of a hammer noise. all the mechanicals are right there in front of the mics.

i reckon it might be worth just sticking an omni 10 feet away from the piano, and recording the sound of it in the room. this should give you a nice natural sound, but of course it depends on the quality of the room its in ;)

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