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AKG 451 vs Beyer 160 OR Schoeps vs Coles 4038 for classical piano?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Keyboards' started by johnlewisgrant, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    Time to fess up. Apex 210s, positioned at the treble end beside and parallel to the stick, over the rim, slanted slightly towards the treb.

    Bass mic just outside the rim at the bottom of the piano, just peering over the rim and slanted towards the label. Trying here to keep the proximity effect down while remaining close to the piano (a contradiction)!

    JG
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Location:
    currently Billings
    You would be better served centering them in M/S about 3-6' from the piano and about 4' high right about where the piano bows in. Angle them down 10-15 degrees. You don't just close mic for classical. Close mic is always only to augment in the barest of fashion. For rock and roll get right under the lid and go to town.
     
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    A few more thoughts -

    I agree with John on all of his comments. Reverb is fine on classical music as long as its tasteful. DPAs do work beautifully on piano. Placement of ribbons is critical (but like any mic, once you've practiced it a lot, you can basically see where it needs to go once you set it up). Also, as he points out, preamp choice is critical with non-transformer coupled ribbon mics.

    The Beyer 130 and 160 are some of my favorite mics of all times. They're cheap (relatively so), sound amazing and have VERY predictable patterns. They sound phenomenal on piano, orchestra, strings, winds, drums, guitars, voice...hell, everything!

    For piano, my go to mic is my Royer SF12. I owned an AEA R88 for quite a while and found it useful on piano as well, but the SF12, IMO, has a much more realistic, pure sound whereas the AEA sounded artificially big. Ultimately, despite how awesome the R88 sounded on full chorus, I decided to sell it as the SF12 was FAR more versatile. Someone used the term "lush" with regards to Royer. I don't know that I'd use that term. I'd say smooth and accurate. I don't hear and thickened mids or rolled-off highs. I hear a natural sound that is devoid of grain.

    If I were to be forced to record a piano with a pair of 451s, I suppose I could. However, given my mic selection of Schoeps, Royer, Sennheiser, etc., I would reach for the 451s dead last (even behind my AT 4040s!).

    The Coles sample you have is interesting. I do like several aspects of them and I know a lot of classical engineers like the Coles. I personally haven't tried them.

    Have you made any decisions about anything yet?

    Cheers-
    Jeremy
     
  4. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    Update: now adding AT4041a (a pair) to the Apex 210 ribbons and mixing the 4 mics:

    210highmicplacement mix.mp3 - File Shared from Box - Free Online File Storage

    JG
     
  5. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    Settled on AT 4041 cards

    I'm OK with the AT 4041 cards, which I used in combo with the Apex 210s in this Youtube recording. The 4041s are by far the most prominent sound in this mix. The 210s were used just to provide a teensy bit of extra low end.

    There are some pops and clicks, which I can easily remove with more careful production.

    Used a bit of verb to hide the dead, small, room sound of my space.


    Chopin Nocturne Opus 9 No 1 performed by John Lewis Grant - YouTube

    JG
     
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    John that is exquisite and beautiful recording you made. The piano is not too tinkly bright. Chinese eh? Sounds a bit like a Baldwin. Velvety.

    I'm really cheesed to hear this.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  7. johnlewisgrant

    johnlewisgrant Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    Well, I'm cheesed that you're cheesed!

    JG
     

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