Questions on Reverb *reduction*

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Anonymous, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hi all,

    This is my first time on the forum and if I receive some helpful comments I'll be sure to join as a member. I recorded myself playing a classical piece in a concert hall, putting the microphone (not mine, but some Sony version of the H4 recorder, portable) in the middle of the hall, about 100 feet from the piano. I thought it would sound a lot better than recording in a small room with the mic close, but when I listened to the recording, it didn't sound so great.
    It has a distant sound, like its being recorded from far away (which is was) and it loses some of its power and intimacy that it would have with a closer sound and more boastful volume. Also, some of the fine details of the playing get drowned out in loud sections because of the reverb of the hall.
    I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this, should I not record classical music in a concert hall from the middle of the hall? Would it be better to record in the hall, but have the mic closer to the piano? is there a way in editing (on Cakewalk's SONAR, which is what I have) to make it sound better?

  2. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Okanagan,B.C. Canada
    Well if you only have access to a portable recorder, then you will have to keep moving it closer and to different positions to the piano and get the best you can get.
    However,if you had a small interface, you should use a few mics.
    Two at the piano and one or two out in the hall and then blend them in sonar.
    As for getting something usefull from the recording you already have by fixing it in sonar now..Not likely.
    Having said that, i have made pretty good recordings of piano in a church hall in the past with a single recorder by repositioning it till its in the optimal location.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Welcome to RO,

    There's no way to reduce the reverb printed on your recording. You will have to do it again (and again and again....) if you want better results.

    Do you like the way it sounds when you're sitting at the piano? If so, I'd start with the mic(s) where it sounds good to your ear and move farther way a little at a time until you like the balance. Small changes of distance and angle can change the outcome pretty drastically. This will probably take some experimentation and may take much much longer to set-up than to perform. But hey if it was easy everybody would be doing it, right?

    This excellent Piano Recording link (complete with audio examples) that was posted by Boswell last month may give you an idea how painstaking the process can be. And it may give you some ideas about where to start.

    If you don't find any of this recording process to be even remotely enjoyable, find someone who does. You can concentrate on playing the piano while someone else concentrates on capturing your performance.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    You should absolutely record in a good hall. Remember though that an empty concert hall has significantly more reverb than a full hall. That said, you should move the mic's to at least within 6-10' of the piano. If you had the ability to use four mic's then I would put a pair close over the harp and a pair just past the edge of the stage. It is too difficult to give specifics without seeing/hearing the hall in question and the piano in question so I can't say more than that.
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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