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Microphones to record acoustic piano #2933396 01/13/20 04:31 PM
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U3piano Offline OP
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I'm looking to buy a set of affordable microphones to be able to record my playing in good quality.

After some internet research, some microphones came out:

- Rode NT5-MP (pair) $400
- Rode M5-MP (pair) $190
- MXL Mics 770 $70 x 2 = $140
- MXL 603 (Pair) $200
- Shure SM57-LC $100 x 2 = $200
- LyxPro SDCP-2 (Pair) $100

this website rates the very affordable LyxPro SDCP-2's quite high. Anyone have experience with these?

All advice is appreciated. Sure, I would like to just buy a pair of Rode NT5's, but these are a bit too expensive to me. Anyone have experience with any of the other options? Or maybe there are other/better options that are not in the list?

Right now i'm thinking about getting the MXL 770 or the LyxPro SDCP-2, because both are quite affordable, and both get raving reviews. But i think i wouldn't mind spending a little extra (say up to $200) if the sound quality gets noticably better.

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Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933402 01/13/20 04:43 PM
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As an initial investment I bought a blue yeti. I haven't got a piano yet, but I was convinced when I heard this to at least give it a try before investing what seems to need to be at least twice that amount. IN particular the comment from Allen Yuen and the link he provided to his recording using one stood inside the piano https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lwVhYeO77MBx403_uSpR33yxCpIrugmr/view



Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933415 01/13/20 05:16 PM
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I use Rode NT5 pair with the optional Omni capsules and I am very satisfied for my home recordings.
I am recording my grand piano and classical music.

Mic selection is also depends on the type of music and piano you would recording.
For recording an upright in a home setting I would suggest two condenser cardioids in a close miking position.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933424 01/13/20 05:34 PM
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You might like to add the Audio Technica AT2020 USB+ to the list of candidates. It gets good reviews and I’m happy with the results from using one to record my upright. USB, so easy to use with PC and no phantom power required. Don’t forget to check with any non-USB options if you need a phantom power supply or not.

If you’re looking to keep costs down you could consider buying a single one initially and recording in mono like I do. Two mikes don’t improve the actual quality of the sound with regards to frequency response - they just add that spatial separation which is nice to have. If you’re not satisfied with the results from one you could always add the second one later.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933517 01/13/20 10:28 PM
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I really love my Samson CO1's and I run them through Scarlett 18i by Focusrite.
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Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933562 01/14/20 03:25 AM
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I also have a matched pair of Røde NT5 with the optional omni capsules and use it to record a very old Steinway B (1886) in my home:


Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933571 01/14/20 04:34 AM
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If you want the best, then do what I did and bought a matched pair of Neumann KM184
https://www.neumann.com/homestudio/en/km-184
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...iaphragm-cardioid-microphone-matte-black
Ian


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Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: OE1FEU] #2933576 01/14/20 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
I also have a matched pair of Røde NT5 with the optional omni capsules and use it to record a very old Steinway B (1886) in my home:


That sounds great! thanks for the sample.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933713 01/14/20 12:41 PM
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Update:

After putting hours in doing internet research, listening to as many demo's as possible, reading forum discussions etc, I think i came to the decision of going for the more expensive option, a pair of rode nt5's. I found some examples of piano playing recorded with these, and they sound amazing. I couldn't find many piano sound examples of all the mics in the list, but I wasn't impressed by the ones I did find using the cheaper microphones. Also i read too much about a high noise floor on the Lyxpro's, while people say they sound great other than that. Somewhere i read the phrase "buy nice, not twice", which I agree with, and figured I will go by.

Luckily at thomann they are 266 euro, about 300 usd, instead of the 400 i thought they were before.

I did find a set of used ones nearby, but the seller had already bought them second hand, had no idea how old they were, and didn't want to sell for a lower price than €175 euro. I don't want to gamble that kind of money on anything, with no guarantee at all, so new it shall be.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933729 01/14/20 01:19 PM
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I bought a Zoom H1n recorder from Best Buy for $69 last month. Here's my first test recording of the H1n. I think the gain was set a tad too high though. If you can ignore all the mistakes (I just got to that section in my practice) I think the Zoom H1n is a good buy for just a few bucks. The recorder was 5 inches away from the tail of the piano so this was not close mic'd.

https://vimeo.com/379591382


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933748 01/14/20 01:59 PM
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Jethro:

Did you post a recording made using your Behringers in a distant A-B stereo setup?
I am asking in case I missed it.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2933753 01/14/20 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Jethro:

Did you post a recording made using your Behringers in a distant A-B stereo setup?
I am asking in case I missed it.

No not yet Hakki, I would be interested to hear what those sound like as well. My Shigeru is getting tuned in late January so I haven't been able to fiddle with the H1n since that first recording and I want to prep the piano first.


Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Chopin: G Minor Ballade
Schumann/Liszt Widmung

Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933796 01/14/20 03:42 PM
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Now that you have decided to go with NT5, you will need an interface with low noise quality preamps.
The value to look for is E.I.N .

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2933891 01/14/20 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Now that you have decided to go with NT5, you will need an interface with low noise quality preamps.
The value to look for is E.I.N .


Thanks, that is very useful information! I never heard of E.I.N before.

I'm looking at the zoom U44, would you say this is any good? The specs say:


Input conversion noise: Measured E.I.N: -119,5 dB (IHF-A) at 43dB, 150 ohm input.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2933988 01/15/20 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by Hakki
Now that you have decided to go with NT5, you will need an interface with low noise quality preamps.
The value to look for is E.I.N .


Thanks, that is very useful information! I never heard of E.I.N before.

I'm looking at the zoom U44, would you say this is any good? The specs say:


Input conversion noise: Measured E.I.N: -119,5 dB (IHF-A) at 43dB, 150 ohm input.


No that is not good. You should be looking for values around -126 or lower

Edit: e.g., my Soundcraft Spirit Folio Notepad is at -128.5 .

Last edited by Hakki; 01/15/20 01:07 AM.
Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2934030 01/15/20 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki

No that is not good. You should be looking for values around -126 or lower

Edit: e.g., my Soundcraft Spirit Folio Notepad is at -128.5 .


Allright, that's too bad, the zoom u44 looked like a nice versatile device, but, if it messes up the sound quality, I don't need it.

I could use something like a Behringer xenix 802 It's quite cheap, but the specs say:

Mic E.I.N: 0 ohm. -124dB / 135.7dB A-weighted
Mic E.I.N: 50 ohm. -131dB / 133.3dB A-weighted
Mic E.I.N: 150 ohm -129dB / 130.5dB A-weighted




Would something like that be a better option, sound quality wise? Can you judge a device by these specifications?

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2934050 01/15/20 05:00 AM
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Behringer 802 has much quieter preamps compared to the U44. Sound quality wise it would be better than the U44.

But since this is an analog mixer you would still need to convert the main mixer output to digital and record in these days.

They also seem to have a USB model, which you can connect to your computer for recording.







Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2934060 01/15/20 06:14 AM
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I use a Tascam DR-100 mk 3 and an Oktava MK 012-01 pair to record with.

Here's a recording of my upright with that setup:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqHw22X6SmI

And here's my teachers student recital I recorded below (although I part mixed the ambient audio from my camcorder with it to get the 'airiness' of the church). Performances are in order of difficulty, the last piece is a Liszt piece. There's also a piano/vocals song in the middle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKm-QAVX38o

And here's a recording my teachers baby grand (pure tascam + oktava audio):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv9umEEM6p4&feature=youtu.be

Last edited by WTM; 01/15/20 06:19 AM.

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Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2934072 01/15/20 06:52 AM
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The thing is, I want to record video/audio of my playing, but i'm not planning to use a computer for the recording itself, because my piano is in the living room, and my pc with focusrite 2i4 and dp are in the attic. The pc with the focusrite 2i4 would be great for my goal, but since they are in the attic I can't use them to record my upright.


So, my plan is to buy a camera and mics, but.. since you can't have xlr inputs in an affordable camera, I figured i need something like a mixer, mic pre-amp, xlr adapter, or audio interface that can work standalone like the zoom u44, im still not sure what i need exactly.

The plan is to feed the audio from the mixer or whatever I will choose to the line in on the camera, and record that way.

At first i was looking at dedicated xlr adapters for camera's, like the ones from beachtek and juicedlink, but I can't even find E.I.M information in the specifications, and since these are made to record on the go i now suspect the quality is lower compared to for example a mixer like the Behringer 802

Originally Posted by WTM
I use a Tascam DR-100 mk 3 and an Oktava MK 012-01 pair to record with.


I believe the oktava's are very nice as well! I will consider them as well as the nt5's. Thanks for the recording! I will listen to it when i get the chance.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2934083 01/15/20 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
The thing is, I want to record video/audio of my playing, but i'm not planning to use a computer for the recording itself, because my piano is in the living room, and my pc with focusrite 2i4 and dp are in the attic. The pc with the focusrite 2i4 would be great for my goal, but since they are in the attic I can't use them to record my upright.


So, my plan is to buy a camera and mics, but.. since you can't have xlr inputs in an affordable camera, I figured i need something like a mixer, mic pre-amp, xlr adapter, or audio interface that can work standalone like the zoom u44, im still not sure what i need exactly.

The plan is to feed the audio from the mixer or whatever I will choose to the line in on the camera, and record that way.

At first i was looking at dedicated xlr adapters for camera's, like the ones from beachtek and juicedlink, but I can't even find E.I.M information in the specifications, and since these are made to record on the go i now suspect the quality is lower compared to for example a mixer like the Behringer 802

Originally Posted by WTM
I use a Tascam DR-100 mk 3 and an Oktava MK 012-01 pair to record with.


I believe the oktava's are very nice as well! I will consider them as well as the nt5's. Thanks for the recording! I will listen to it when i get the chance.


No worries.

And just to point out, apart from the student concert one where there's mixed audio. The other two I haven't tweaked or altered the audio at all except to set the peak volume at -6 or -3 (amplification). The rest is just imported into Final Cut Pro, and whatever youtube does to it.

The setup I have will suit your situation. I plug the mics into my Tascam via XLR, it records onto an SD card in the Tascam. I can then import the audio onto my PC and sync it up with the video I record on my camcorder.

Last edited by WTM; 01/15/20 07:53 AM.

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