Piano recording session , your opinions please

Discussion in 'Acoustic Keyboards' started by TanTan, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    Hi folks ,

    i've been away for a while ... i took a two month vacation and here i am with my new fresh ears ... :lol:

    I've seen the discussio :wink: n about piano recordings and i happen to have piano recording session tomorrow , so , i'd like to hear your ideas please ,

    We are going to record a version of "She - Charles Aznavur" which is a pop song with a classical sound attitude (12 strings players are also playing in that song) , and we are going to record two more songs with the same attitude ,

    We are gonna use a grand Steinway located in a great sounding room , i am gonna use a pair of u87's (also available a pair of 414's a one 149 and one Lawson L47 and there are some more mics i guess i won't be using tomorrow like 414b tl-2 , 81's , 451's ... )

    I'm goona use a pair of 1073's and in case of added room mics another pair of Neve 1064's (my favorites) i also have some Neumann , RCA ,UA and 1081 pre's but the classic neves are my first go-to pre's for my piano flavour , 1176 compressors (i don't think i'll end up using these) and an optional stereo pultec eqp1-a (stereo or m\s mode) for some nice color (in case i'd want the effect ...) all going to a dcs 904 a\d converters.

    Because this is a pop album i guess i'm gonna use close mics but not too close ,
    how do you guys deal with phase problems when close miking a piano ? what are you searching for ? what do you listen to first and what after ? what is your favorite miking techniques for that aplication ? what mics from my list would u use for what ?

    Thank you guys :D
  2. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    I usually don't have a phase problem when stereo mic'ing a piano at close range. The over-tones are so strong that I think it would be nearly impossible to get thing too out of phase.

    I would consider adding the 149 as a mono mic just outside the lid. Some of my favorite piano tracks that I've produced came from a single 149 placed just right.

    My .02
  3. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    lots of engineers love the 149 for a grand piano , i've heard it's amazing for that aplication and i wish i had another 149 for my session tomorrow , the last time i recorded a grand piano i've used a pair of u67's which sounded very sweet , and i've printed another mono signal from a vintage m48 but i didn't use it in the mix , the 67's just did it ... but it took me forever to find the "sweet spot" and place the mics so they will give a good perspective and image , be percussive enough but not too percussive , get a bit of room reflections and not distort on peaks , so if you have a 1 step 2nd step 3rd step technique for recording grand pianos i'd love to know them
  4. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    Nov 30, 2003
    HI ,

    thank you all for your kind help , it was realy touching :cry:
    seriously i thank LittleDogAudio

    I ended up miking the session with two omni 414's inside the piano (about 12" above the strings) and another two omni 87's placed two meters from the piano at about 3 + meters hight 1 meter from each other and i've got great resaults , i've used neve pre's for all my mics (2*1073 and 2* 1064) and i've used the studio's ssl for monitoring so i could realy figure my options in the mix .
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    thank you all for your kind help , it was realy touching
    seriously i thank LittleDogAudio


    You can be a wise-guy if you want, but if you've waited a few days for a response, or taken a few minutes and scrolled down the lists of topics, or done a word/phrase search of this site, you've have already found the in-depth discussion of mic'ing a piano for classical music. It's been done to death already here, frankly.

    There are at LEAST two long-running threads on the subject, and most of us have already posted responses ad nauseum. I read your post and made a decision NOT to respond because I was in a hurry at the time, and I've already weighed in twice now. (I'm sure no one wants to read my same blather over and over again.)

    Plus, there's a little thing called "available time" during any given day. This is the "busy season" for most working professionals in this biz. As you may have noticed there are days when there's hardly a post at all on here and that's usually due to one simple fact: We're all a little BUSY right now.

    NO ONE is paid to be here, everyone posts and shares info out of their own generosity and good will. The inverse is also true in that no one is OBLIGATED to post a damn thing, either.

    So next time, maybe you want to be patient for a response, or do a little homework here before complaining that no one came to your rescue. The information is already here; except this time no one was available to spoon-feed it FOR you, ok?
  6. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    Nov 30, 2003

    You took my words way too seriously and twisted them like i'm disrespecting this forum members , that upsets me a lot and it's 100% not true . i have tons of respect for everyone in this forum including yourself , and i'm taking very seriously everything a professional have to say , if i won't respect my own profession who else will ?

    of course no one is getting payed for anything, i'm sure you enjoy sharing your knowledge with other engineers just like everybody else here ,after all i can't use "sound engineers language" with my friends or girlfriend and i guess you can't either, altho that's the language my head using most of the day , everyone likes communicating with people who speaks their own language and sure , if it's no fun for you , you don't have to answer my posts, i was surprised , and that was my way of expressing it .

    and where in my post did you find anyone that looks for a " spoon-feed of rescue information" ? that's not nice man , you are the one who have no respect at all, i've recorded many grand pianos so far and i'm a (not so good anymore) piano player myself , i was excited about this session because it's been a very very good pianist playing a very good piano for my studio's main project at the moment , and my question was regarding the tools i'm going to use on this specific recording session , i even wrote the name of the specific song i'm going to record which is a classic i'm sure everyone here knows, i've already seen the piano discussions in this forum , and in many other professional forums , but i was looking for a more specific ideas related to this specific song using a very specific gear in my post, isn't that what this forum is there for ???
  7. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    Which 414s did you use? I'm considering a pair of XLSs owing to their versatility, so I can work while saving for some of the other mics I need.

  8. TanTan

    TanTan Distinguished Member

    Nov 30, 2003

    I've used a pair of ULS , i have also a TL-2 which i don't use so much but i've never heard the new XLS series , akg sells them as "the same sound with better features" attitude but it's strange , i've seen AKG's website and haven't seen anything written about the exact changes they made there ,maybe i didn't dig deep enough , but if you are after versatility , from my experience with the previous 414 series the ULS is a more versatile mic than the tl-2 (the gold one with the c12 capsule which is very accurate on omni pattern but very selective about the sources he likes...) , so you should check out if the B-XLS \ B-XL 2 is using the same capsules as in the previous series .
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