Mics for piano recording

Discussion in 'Acoustic Keyboards' started by Traumakind, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest


    I am planning on getting a new piano for my small home studio (15 square meters for my bed, DAW and intruments). Of course I will want to record it, too. So now I am in need of mics. I have so far an AKG C3000 and a Sennheiser 441 which I run through a Symetrix 528 or a Zeck 10.14 mixer. These two are obviously very different. bearing in mind that I am on a very very very tight budget (the cheaper the better) after getting the piano, what mics would you recommend for recording the piano decently? The room is of course pretty bad, its small, got a carpet and a huge window.

  2. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    2 C3000Bs or 2 sm81s :p shall do a nice job to you

    use waves q4 plugins
    quite good to fix a sound
  3. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest

    Thanks for the advice. I was kinda hoping that I could get another C3000. Two mics would have defintly been too much.

  4. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    Budget mics for piano ehhhh? Check out the TBK SE-2200. Only about $200 a pop. I'd suggest 2 for your piano. If your really strapped for cash, try the SE-1000 which is a fixed card patten, but only $150. I A/B'ed the 2200's against 2 U89's on an upright, and the 2200's, to my suprise, beat them out. If you're still strapped, get a second C3000 which is always a pretty good purchase for a project studio. Make sure you run these through the same types of pres.
  5. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest

    Thanks e-cue!
    I think I know the mic you recommended, they sell them as Thomann SE-1000/2000 here in germany.
    I thought about the C3000 and it occured to me that I have the C3000 classic and not the B version. Are they different in sound? I talked to some guy who is a mic freak once and he said the C3000B was a huge disappointment to him. But he admitted that he had only protoptype for testing. Any other opinions?
  6. sign

    sign Guest

    Traumakind, (what's in a name), anyway Stefan, guten tag, do yourself a big favor and get a pair of cheap (Radio Shack) PZM's.

    Swap the penlight for a 9 volt battery and make them balanced. There are already two wires in the jackplug.

    Tape them inside the piano, experiment and you will get a very nice sound.

    Hope this helps :w:
  7. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest

    Nice tip han! I do love to experiment!
    You got a link for these?
  8. sign

    sign Guest

    Stefan, the Radio Shack PZM mics are a special kind of mics originally made by Crown.

    They were sold in the Netherlands in the "Tandy" stores, but as far as I know they are not longer available.

    Perhaps our American friends can offer more information about whether the RS PZM's are still being sold or not.

    If not you should try Ebay or similar sources.

    I have a pair on the inside of my grand piano and although I have (tube) Neumanns, I use the RS mics most of the times.

    The PZM is a very versatile microphone which was very inexpensive too, about 95 DM.
  9. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest

    Han, I went to the radioshack site and searched their catalog but I found only descriptions, no actual price or order info. I emialed them. I also found sites that mention the modifications you talked about.
    So, if anyone has any more info on how to obtain them, especially on Germany, i`d be very happy.

  10. pan

    pan Guest

    Moin Stefan!

    "Radio Shack" ist sowas wie Conrad-Elektronic.


    Gruß, Niko
  11. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest

    Hey Niko!

    Danke für den Tip. Was macht die Kunst?
    Hab am 18.10. eine DJ/Laptorock auftritt in der weissen maus, schau doch mal aufn Ton und ein bier vorbei, würde mich freuen.

    Ok, I found out the PZM mics are now branded Optimus - Is it this one, Han?
  12. sign

    sign Guest

    Meine Herren, das ist ein Amerikanischer forum :D

    Das Deutches forum ist: http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum&f=14

    Stefan, the Optimus boudary mike is not the famous PZM I have inside the piano. I cannot find an Image at the RS website, but I found an image somewhere else: http://www.gbaudio.co.uk/data/pzm.htm

    You can find a ton of info on Google, Hotbot, Lycos etc.

    Peace, Han
  13. pan

    pan Guest

    LOL, so what are you doing here, dear european neighbour??? - as there is no discussion-board of this quality I know of based in europe, we have to lurk here and enjoy ourselves virtually on the other side of the atlantic, or even the globe...some aussies as well and southamerica don't we ;-)
    I remember even one guy from Vietnam, asking for advice on recording a band with his PC :w:
    But it's so tempting to fallback in the mother-tongue, though we should keep it international, good point


    P.S. Conrad - Electronics is a german vendor of circuitry-elements and other electronics-stuff.
  14. Traumakind

    Traumakind Guest

    Han, at the GB audio site they said that the Audio-Technica ATR97 is a good replacemnt for the PZM mic. costs more, tough. I`ll try it out and let you know what comes out. http://www.gbaudio.co.uk/sales.htm#atr97
    Cheers und auf wiedersehen,
    Herr Stefan :D
  15. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest


    Bless you!
  16. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    Try to check out some Audio Technica models on the Thomann website (they have some of the best prices I've ever seen) like the 3035, which for the price (285€) seem to be really good; I'm planning to get a pair soon, or a pair of 4040.

    Hope this helps

  17. DanDan

    DanDan Active Member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Cork Ireland
    The"Classic" RS Tandy PZM are no longer available. They looked like the Crown, but were quite noisy. They have a replacement model I believe, but I don't know how good it is. On the original The mods are well worth doing for increased headroom, but the noise is a problem. For Piano I like AKG 414's. Recently I used a Soundfield which was incredible. Cheap answers-Try some really cheap Electret Omni tie-clip mics. Mid price, the DPA 4060 is pretty amazing.
  18. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Multi-lingual is simply fine here, we always expand our horizons!

    To do Piano par excellence, one needs only to use a match pair of condensers spaced about 3 feet from the Plate or top (horn) of the piano and make sure they are spaced about 14 inches apart if cardiod, and pointing at 45 O of the keys to the right front from the player. Both in absolute zenith to each other. Other than that, behind the player , over the shoulders also works. I have mic'ed Bob James, you will find his keys always sounding correct.
    I personally use the B&K 3529 system, but even a pair of Shure condensers work well. I have even used 58's and they came out fine with some post EQ.

    Know the sound and make it so.
    Listen to the source and match it. Keep Piano tracks large in the mix, fully panned L/R if stereo mics are used. I do it no other way.
  19. Hi All,
    It is a problem using budget microphones for piano.
    It is just my opinion :but the c3000 makes a good door stop.
    If you want something cheap that will really do the job it is an Audio Technika AT825 stereo condenser.
    I have used it for many a Live Jazz CD on the Piano & it is more than acceptable.
    Other than that of course the B&K's are the real thing!!!!
    Peace Michael
  20. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    I agree on the c3000's I was loaned 3 of them and I really could not find a vibe for 'em. possible phase shift internally. They were not solid. A cluttered sound at best from resonant tones bouncing inide it too many times...quite useless. If it gets the piano that bad..think of the other anomilies..well I was not impressed...using my gear..

    Actually, a buddy used a set of 57's in the same way I used the B&K's and it was not shabby at all..we had to play with the eq and add some upper level shaping, but it was a go.

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