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Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
#2688220 11/09/17 05:29 AM
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Hello!

Before a recording I got my hands to a brand new Steinway D. They have brought it to the hall during the summer. Nobody was in the hall yet so I decided to do a quick shot of its sound. It is a Steinway D no. 606359.

Recorded in a way that maintains the whole natural sound of the piano.

https://youtu.be/153BFlXrepg

Hope it helps.

b

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Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688231 11/09/17 06:52 AM
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Nice recording and a beautiful improvisation, Dr. Gaga.

I can see the stand where the microphones were placed, but can't quite see your mics. What did you use and were those 2 mics the only ones you used?

Nice Hamburg D. Very regal (and European) sounding piano. To my American ears it is more Bösendorferish than Steinway-esque. This is one of the things I enjoy of the Hamburg pianos in general.

Bravo all around.


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Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688237 11/09/17 07:58 AM
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Thanks. The impro is not so cool but hey, it was just an impulse. :-) I wanted to have the sound of the brand new piano.

The piano is chosen for the hall. The hall is bassy, very wet and it eats the sound. So the piano is extremely strong sounding and meaty. It is a performance instrument to make the biggest and strongest sound possible in order to be able to compete with a big orchestras.

Yes, only 2 mics positioned exactly to the right spot which is the almost the same on every piano. I use rather cheap but excellent Swedish Line Audio omni mics. Omni is the only option if you want the sound to be exactly as it sound in real. I didn't edit the sound...

Last edited by Dr.Gaga; 11/09/17 08:03 AM.
Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688253 11/09/17 10:01 AM
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Thanks for that. I enjoyed the quieter passages immensely and thought the sound was very controlled and even. However when you got to the louder passages, the whole character of the piano changed and became a very stereotypically sounding Steinway concert grand, you'd find in any large hall. The change almost felt like you were changing up into a higher gear. When you played it, did it feel like that to you, or perhaps it was the microphones ?


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688255 11/09/17 10:05 AM
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Nice recording, thanks for sharing.

I thought German Ds had a lock for the lid on the side while this one does not have one.

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688258 11/09/17 10:12 AM
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Beautiful. Not sure what else I can say. Thank you for sharing.


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Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688259 11/09/17 10:15 AM
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Lovely piano, fine sound. I also enjoyed this Czech folk song and the impromptu variations. Is that you playing, by the way? If so, congratulations

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688277 11/09/17 11:38 AM
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I enjoy listening to your recording. It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Chewbacca #2688284 11/09/17 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Chewbacca
Nice recording, thanks for sharing.

I thought German Ds had a lock for the lid on the side while this one does not have one.


Newest Hamburg Steinways have some modifications in design. They now share legs, music desk, lid prop design with NY Steinways. And yes, they don't have the lid lock anymore. Personally, I think it's a marketing trick to raise up the image of NY Steinways (inferior quality to Hamburg Steinways).

Newest Hamburg Steinways lost the ID of their infinity beauty now. How sad!

Last edited by trandinhnamanh; 11/09/17 12:57 PM.

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Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688366 11/09/17 05:53 PM
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Lovely sound and great choice of mics. Thanks for sharing this.

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2688384 11/09/17 06:46 PM
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Very nice indeed! I love the smell of a new Steinway too. Please send that new Steinway this direction smile


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Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2689102 11/13/17 06:24 AM
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Fareham: Yea, I use a lot of left pedal. Sometimes just a quarter of the pedal in order to play on fresh uncompressed hammer. That could be the changing of the gear.

Anyway, I actually felt that the discants are quite harsh, almost thin. Strange for a new piano... They have one more almost new D that I used to record a lot. It has too soft hammers so the sound is mushy and it is hard to fill the hall. But if the hammers are better, it would be a better piano...

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2690595 11/19/17 11:16 AM
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Nice improve. I thought the piano sounded better in the soft passages as well but I would never judge a piano in any way from a recording.

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
trandinhnamanh #2690612 11/19/17 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by trandinhnamanh
Originally Posted by Chewbacca
Nice recording, thanks for sharing.

I thought German Ds had a lock for the lid on the side while this one does not have one.


Newest Hamburg Steinways have some modifications in design. They now share legs, music desk, lid prop design with NY Steinways. And yes, they don't have the lid lock anymore. Personally, I think it's a marketing trick to raise up the image of NY Steinways (inferior quality to Hamburg Steinways).

Newest Hamburg Steinways lost the ID of their infinity beauty now. How sad!


DISCLAIMER: Readers of PianoWorld, please note. The above is a baseless, subjective opinion. Please take it with a very large hunk of salt, like the salt you see on those novelty pink Himalayan rock lamps.

(However, I do wish mine had the lid lock, so I can keep trolls out of the case)


Dr. Gaga your performance was as gorgeous as the instrument itself. Do you mind sharing your mic'ing/recording techniques you used for this piece? Thanks!


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2690622 11/19/17 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr.Gaga
Thanks. The impro is not so cool but hey, it was just an impulse. :-) I wanted to have the sound of the brand new piano.

The piano is chosen for the hall. The hall is bassy, very wet and it eats the sound. So the piano is extremely strong sounding and meaty. It is a performance instrument to make the biggest and strongest sound possible in order to be able to compete with a big orchestras.

Yes, only 2 mics positioned exactly to the right spot which is the almost the same on every piano. I use rather cheap but excellent Swedish Line Audio omni mics. Omni is the only option if you want the sound to be exactly as it sound in real. I didn't edit the sound...

An excellent choice for the hall. Big, bright, meaty - will speak well in that very wet environment. Unfortunately, not much tonal variation, which is the fault of the hammers, not of your playing, which was lovely.

You capture the sound very well. Omni’s close in capture a good balance between the piano and the hall. The character of the piano is clearly heard.

I do have a criticism of the recording technique though. The stereo image is unstable. I hear the bass initially the right channel, then it moves around, sometimes appearing in the left channel, then in the middle, then back in the right again, depending on the particular notes being played. Placing the mics a little further away (2+ metres) may help.

For those here on PW who want to record their piano in their living room, unless it has 5 metre ceilings and a 2 second reverb time, this is not the right approach. Using this technique will produce a piano recording that sounds like you are recording a piano in a small room - surprise, surprise. It will not compare well against commercial classical piano recordings done in a medium to large hall.

If you want to produce a good piano sound in a small room, you need to use studio techniques - often cardioid mics placed close in to eliminate the room and allow the natural resonance of the piano to take over the soundscape. This technique can create a lovely, stable stereo image of piano. Judicious use of varying levels of reverb can be added to create a sense of space.

Last edited by prout; 11/19/17 01:50 PM.
Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
prout #2690652 11/19/17 03:05 PM
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I just ordered the Earthworks pm40 close mic Omni bar (got a good deal used) and have just been consistently floored by the excellent reviews and all the recordings I've heard. Even close miking with cardioids it's very difficult for me to eliminate the sound of the room no matter how much I massaged The Equalizer. I think that a combination of the blumlein rig I have just outside of the rim and the new Earthworks set might be a winning ticket. Crossing my fingers!


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Markarian #2690664 11/19/17 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Markarian
I just ordered the Earthworks pm40 close mic Omni bar (got a good deal used) and have just been consistently floored by the excellent reviews and all the recordings I've heard. Even close miking with cardioids it's very difficult for me to eliminate the sound of the room no matter how much I massaged The Equalizer. I think that a combination of the blumlein rig I have just outside of the rim and the new Earthworks set might be a winning ticket. Crossing my fingers!

The Earthworks system is certainly one of the best for highly accurate, inside the piano, live and recording work - especially for rock and jazz. Being close means lots of piano made noise, so careful pedal technique and damper pedal adjustments are critical if you intend to do quiet playing, but being inside means essentially no room noise.

I have had great luck with cardioid tube mics right at the rim with the lid on the short stick,- one at the crook looking at the treble strings, and one at the tail looking straight down the bass strings. This eliminates the room almost entirely and provides precisely the same stereo image on the recording that I get when seated at the piano bench.

Post some recordings when you get your system set up. I would love to hear it.

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
prout #2690676 11/19/17 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by Markarian
I just ordered the Earthworks pm40 close mic Omni bar (got a good deal used) and have just been consistently floored by the excellent reviews and all the recordings I've heard. Even close miking with cardioids it's very difficult for me to eliminate the sound of the room no matter how much I massaged The Equalizer. I think that a combination of the blumlein rig I have just outside of the rim and the new Earthworks set might be a winning ticket. Crossing my fingers!

The Earthworks system is certainly one of the best for highly accurate, inside the piano, live and recording work - especially for rock and jazz. Being close means lots of piano made noise, so careful pedal technique and damper pedal adjustments are critical if you intend to do quiet playing, but being inside means essentially no room noise.

I have had great luck with cardioid tube mics right at the rim with the lid on the short stick,- one at the crook looking at the treble strings, and one at the tail looking straight down the bass strings. This eliminates the room almost entirely and provides precisely the same stereo image on the recording that I get when seated at the piano bench.

Post some recordings when you get your system set up. I would love to hear it.

What type of mics? I guess my problem until now is I've never purchased a single mic that was more than $399, so I keep wondering if I've also hit a quality ceiling.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Dr.Gaga #2690679 11/19/17 05:45 PM
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I think the real reason that Hamburg are using some NY parts is it's simply easier for the company. Nothing to do with raising the profile of one or losing the identity of the other. As long as the rim, soundboard, action and hammers remain distinct from each other then I'm quite certain the Hamburg and NY Steinways will remain distinct regardless of cosmetic appearance.

Markarian, welcome back, it's been a while!

Re: Sound of a brand new STEINWAY D
Joseph Fleetwood #2690681 11/19/17 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by joe80
I think the real reason that Hamburg are using some NY parts is it's simply easier for the company. Nothing to do with raising the profile of one or losing the identity of the other. As long as the rim, soundboard, action and hammers remain distinct from each other then I'm quite certain the Hamburg and NY Steinways will remain distinct regardless of cosmetic appearance.

Markarian, welcome back, it's been a while!


Heh, yeah thanks, been a bit :-) Life's had its ups and downs, but at least I got better at recording and mixing, hence taking this step!

So at risk of hijacking this thread, I'll put out there that I have two nice cardioid pencil condensers and two Aston Spirit LDC mics with three patterns, which are currently in blumlein M/S-ish on the crook. I can get a decent sound, but there's always a little room and boom that's hard to fudge out. I'm hoping I can use the Earthworks to augment, but not fully replace the mics in the room.

As for NY vs Hamburg, around 2009 Steinway announced that there would be greater unity between the lines in terms of fit and finish, look and feel, etc, for precisely these reasons. It's also due to a lot of high-end buyers in the US being used to the Hamburg Steinways in their home country and expecting the same styling, I would imagine. Mine's a late 2012/Early 2013 delivery B, so it's got the ratcheting music desk, the extra layer of lamination in the rim, the CNC-designed harp, but not the even newer stuff like the interior rim veneer.

The sound preference between these two lines is purely, deeply subjective. Some adore the more refined and rounded qualities of the Hamburg instruments, while some relish the wild complexities and ringing nuances of their American counterparts with the thinner soundboards. But when you compare them both to other manufacturers, they still sing as siblings.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
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