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Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2934903 01/16/20 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Wish we could read descriptions, the other Für Elise where mic positions are tried does not sound good.

https://youtu.be/ETT-JzsQ1e4


Courtesy of google translate:

Quote
I experimented with piano recording to see how it changes with the position of the microphone. For the microphone position, I recorded the sound near the hammer, the sound near the strings, the sound near the roof, and the sound of the roof from the side of the piano.
The result is a level where only people with good ears can see the difference on YouTube.
The equipment was a piano: YAMAHA C1TDSH, and the condenser microphone was a Behringer C2.


The audio sounds a little tinny as though there's too much treble and little/no bass. From that translation it sounds like they only used a single mic to make the recording rather than one for upper range and one for lower? If so that might be why it sounds as it does, since the C-2s are very directional, they'll be not picking up all that much from the low end. However, since it's computer translated, maybe the translation is wrong?

Last edited by Gary001; 01/16/20 03:14 PM.

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Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2934973 01/16/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Originally Posted by OE1FEU

The sound is pretty good, isn't it?


Yes it is good.

But I prefer the A-B stereo setup for classical music as defined at dpamicrophones site.

https://www.dpamicrophones.com/mic-university/how-to-mic-a-grand-piano



It might be what you prefer, but different from those guys I actually record concert grands and present the results instead of propagating theories without samples and comparisons, so how can you prefer something audio from pure writing and misrepresentation?

And a picture of a Steinway B instead of a D.

I have a B at home.

Anyway, never mind, I like my way of recording and by now I am pretty proud of being able to actually produce professional recordings of a concert grand with my idea of sound in mind.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935020 01/16/20 08:41 PM
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I have had very good results with a pair of OM-1 SDC omnis by Line Audio.
I use them with a Schneider disc about head high, 3' from the primary source I am recording.
They are nearly ruler flat and fairly low self noise.
https://www.nohypeaudio.com/line%20audio%20om1%20plot.jpg

If you want to go cardioid for X-Y or Ortofon, the CM-4 also sounds great.
https://www.nohypeaudio.com/line%20audio%20CM4%20freq.jpg

Mic placement matters, of course. That said, the OM-1 has been a great performer for me. I regularly use them to record audition videos for soloists playing a variety of instruments as well as singers.

Current price roughly 105Euros the last time I checked.


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1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: OE1FEU] #2935063 01/16/20 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by Hakki
Originally Posted by OE1FEU

The sound is pretty good, isn't it?


Yes it is good.

But I prefer the A-B stereo setup for classical music as defined at dpamicrophones site.

https://www.dpamicrophones.com/mic-university/how-to-mic-a-grand-piano



It might be what you prefer, but different from those guys I actually record concert grands and present the results instead of propagating theories without samples and comparisons, so how can you prefer something audio from pure writing and misrepresentation?

And a picture of a Steinway B instead of a D.

I have a B at home.

Anyway, never mind, I like my way of recording and by now I am pretty proud of being able to actually produce professional recordings of a concert grand with my idea of sound in mind.


I just tried that setup at home on my small grand. That is what i meant.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935101 01/17/20 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Ideasculptor, thanks alot for that!

That is very useful information to think about, and it all does sound quite logical. The plan is indeed to upload my future videos to YouTube, so the compression will hurt the quality. But, wouldn't it be still noticably better if I start with a better (cleaner, because of better equipment) recording before that happens?

Actually now i'm thinking about starting off with cheap mics like Samson C02's or Behringer C2's again, because if I add everything I need up, (camera, mixer, mics, stands, cables) it's quite alot of $$$ to spend at once. I could always upgrade to nt5's (or something else) at some later point.


Compression works, in part, by removing details from the spectral content that is deemed 'less important' or 'less audible' - high frequencies, very low frequencies, frequency ranges that are very quiet compared to other ranges playing at the same time, and frequencies that have constant amplitude, etc. Then those details are approximated back into the decompressed signal by the algorithm and the remaining content. With a lower quality signal chain, that's pretty much where the noise ends up, too - quiet noise relative to the recorded content, and most noticeable in the high frequencies, plus anything constant like 50/60 Hz hum. After compression, the less accurately rendered parts of the signal are likely to be somewhat stripped out and approximated, but those parts would be inaccurate and noisy after compression, regardless. Additionally, the effects of compression can result in audible extra noise (at least when played back through a high quality playback signal chain), and that noise is almost certainly louder than the higher noise floor of cheaper hardware, at least in some frequency ranges.

And then there's the fact that modern manufacturing methods and materials mean that cheap gear really isn't necessarily particularly poor quality. Sure, in a head to head blind comparison, you can label the higher quality signal chain (most of the time, if there is a significant enough difference), but on a standalone basis, the cheaper signal chain will not necessarily sound cheap or bad. An untreated room or a piano that needs some technician attention will degrade the quality of the recording much more than a cheap recording signal chain will. It's more of a lowest common denominator equation than a cumulative thing, so you don't really need (or can often get away without, at least) anything in the chain that is better than the weakest link. They'll just end up rendering the weakest link more accurately.

I'm not saying quality gear is never worth the money, but you definitely get diminishing returns for your investment the higher up the ladder you go, and the curve levels off quite rapidly and much lower down the price scale than most gearheads (and we're all gearheads to some extent) want to admit. I think it is quite wise to buy very affordable pieces now, and then upgrade slowly, over time, as you can afford it, rather than trying to break the bank up front. You'll learn more about getting good results from your gear, too, since you'll have to work a little harder to get the results you want, and that attention to detail and technique will translate to your results even better once you have higher end gear AND experience.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2935114 01/17/20 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
I agree with ideasculptor that the most important element is the piano itself. How well it is tuned and voiced is very important for a good recording.


Here is recording with Behringer C2s.

https://youtu.be/nTyyKvP4sLA

And another one with Samson C02.

https://youtu.be/UqGFEG8WDrY

Of course impossible to compare, because of different pianos, settings, music etc.

But anyway they might be what you need.


That second video is a classic example of poor quality recording that has nothing to do with the microphone quality. When he plays the quieter passages, they sound nice, but at some point in the signal chain, he's gone too hot and it distorts badly when he starts playing loudly. There's almost no chance that the mics are contributing that distortion unless one is damaged. He's either overdriving the preamps (but it sounds like digital distortion to me, though that could be the compression causing that, or my laptop speakers) or he's got the gain too high somewhere when he mixed/mastered it for the video.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935638 01/18/20 09:05 AM
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U3piano, this might not be the recommend way , but if you already have a DSRL you might try this.

https://youtu.be/MuV2bZVI-n4

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2935657 01/18/20 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
U3piano, this might not be the recommend way , but if you already have a DSRL you might try this.
https://youtu.be/MuV2bZVI-n4


Hakki thanks for the video, It is interesting and I will save it to my favourites just in case. But, as you probably have noticed i have changed my mind about a couple of things before, and again I'm having totally different ideas in my head. smile

My upright piano is located with it's back against a wall, which is the side of a cabinet under the stairs of my house. Since nothing of the options so far seemed ideal to me, now I'm thinking of just putting a PC in that cabinet, dedicated for recording my piano playing. I have searched and I found that a used PC that is fast enough does not cost alot, at all. (Of course i would still need a cam and a audio interface or mixer)

So that is an option i'm now considering.

Possibly, I found yet another option. It is interesting, but it's hard to tell if it will work well. I found out about a device that can take two USB devices, and connect them to a pc through WIFI. If this works well enough, I could buy an audio interface, a usb camera, and connect them to my PC in the attic through WIFI with this device. It's called a "Silex ds-510" or "Silex ds-600" (the 600 has 1 usb 3.0 port). The description on the Silex website says these devices are capable of "isochronous data transfer" for audio and devices like webcams. Still, of course I have no idea if it would work well, having to send data from both an audio interface and a webcam simultaneously up two floors over WIFI. (I do have a good WIFI setup that uses the high 802.11ac standard in both the pc and router.)

Maybe i can try such a Silex device and see if it works, I have emailed a company about it that sells them. Then again the dedication PC in the cabinet seems like the more reliable option.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935663 01/18/20 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by Hakki
U3piano, this might not be the recommend way , but if you already have a DSRL you might try this.
https://youtu.be/MuV2bZVI-n4


Hakki thanks for the video, It is interesting and I will save it to my favourites just in case.


(Too late to edit my post)

Also, are mic inputs on DSRL's usually not mono inputs?

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935674 01/18/20 10:44 AM
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@U3piano

I wonder whether this video would meet your requirements and be good enough for your purpose:


Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935696 01/18/20 11:29 AM
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U3piano:

Do you need to keep your Scarlett interface at the attic for other purposes?

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: OE1FEU] #2935711 01/18/20 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
@U3piano
I wonder whether this video would meet your requirements and be good enough for your purpose:


The piano, you mean? Yes I think it will do. smile

Without kidding, I don't know! I don't even know what my requirements are exactly. I guess i'm aiming for something like "as good possible while as affordable as possible". The piano sounds pretty good in the video, but I do hear some static noise which I do find a bit disturbing.


Originally Posted by Hakki
U3piano:
Do you need to keep your Scarlett interface at the attic for other purposes?


Yes, I use it to play my digital piano in the attic. There are also studio monitors connected to it.

I thought of using it, but that would mean connecting/disconnecting it every time, using it upstairs and downstairs. That seems like unnecessary hassle to me. The reason why I want to keep it as simple as possible, I'm planning to hit the record button every time I sit down and play. This way I think a good recording will come out every now and then without me messing up because of having that feeling of "having to perform" because I am recording a video. If i simply always record, I think i will get used to it and I might even forget about it. smile

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935713 01/18/20 12:09 PM
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Does this instantaneous every time recording mean video and audio, or audio only?

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: Hakki] #2935722 01/18/20 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Hakki
Does this instantaneous every time recording mean video and audio, or audio only?


Both.

Tough crowd, am I not. smirk

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935733 01/18/20 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by Hakki
Does this instantaneous every time recording mean video and audio, or audio only?


Both.

Tough crowd, am I not. smirk


Then you would probaby make do with a Zoom Q4n or similar.

Edit: I mean only a Zoom camera. No mics, interface etc.

Last edited by Hakki; 01/18/20 01:03 PM.
Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935745 01/18/20 01:16 PM
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Or if you have an iPhone, one of the Zoom adapters and an adapter to hold your phone would be practical.

https://www.amazon.com/Zoom-Mid-Side-Microphone-iOS-Devices/dp/B00S9WNULM

https://www.amazon.com/Zoom-iQ6-Professional-Stereo-Microphone/dp/B00MZCEY9O

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935752 01/18/20 01:39 PM
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I think i have my mind set on one thing by now, and that is recording with 2 separate, well placed microphones.

I think ill go with the PC in the under-stairs cabinet, Ill drill a hole in the wall for the cables. This way I can just hit the power button on the PC, and it will be set up so that it will automatically run the program of choice to record video+audio on startup.

If i'm right, that way I will have to do only two things whenever Ill play.

1. Turn on the PC
2. press record in the recording program.

(who knows, maybe there even is a program that will record instantly on startup. In that case all I would have to do is turn on the pc)

Audio input will be digital through USB from the audio interface/mixer to the pc, that should be good for the quality, and this way I can choose any usb camera with decent video quality for the video part.

I think i finally found the best way to do this, now all I need to do is make it happen and find some nice video recording software. smile

Thanks to everyone in the thread, especially Hakki, you have been extremely helpful!

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935754 01/18/20 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
Originally Posted by OE1FEU
@U3piano
I wonder whether this video would meet your requirements and be good enough for your purpose:


The piano, you mean? Yes I think it will do. smile

Without kidding, I don't know! I don't even know what my requirements are exactly. I guess i'm aiming for something like "as good possible while as affordable as possible". The piano sounds pretty good in the video, but I do hear some static noise which I do find a bit disturbing.


The static noise is from A/C in the concert hall. Other than that I find the video pretty satisfying. The reason I ask is whether this may actually be a good start for you in terms of set up, because it's completely hassle free. It's just a mobile phone, nothing else. I put the phone on to the seat in front of me, hit record - and that's it. One could have improved on the focus and lighting on the camera app, but this was a spontaneous thing.

It's a onePlus 5 with its internal microphones and the Steinway is reproduced rather faithfully. The phone does not have automatic gain control, which is rare, so for ~250 EUR you'll get really decent quality in both video and audio.

Here is another videeo, but this time it's the phone with its camera, but the audio is from the pair of NT5s connected to the camera through USB-C to go and the Steinberg/Yamaha audio interface and preamps. The phone actually provides enough power to drive the audio interface with 48V phantom power. It's pretty neat for the quick and dirty method. No postprocessing or synchronizing necessary.



Yes, it's a bit out of tune and recorded before the final voicing session.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: OE1FEU] #2935757 01/18/20 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by OE1FEU

Here is another video, but this time it's the phone with its camera, but the audio is from the pair of NT5s connected to the camera through USB-C to go and the Steinberg/Yamaha audio interface and preamps. The phone actually provides enough power to drive the audio interface with 48V phantom power. It's pretty neat for the quick and dirty method. No postprocessing or synchronizing necessary.


Well I think that looks and sounds just great!

How exactly is everything connected? I don't think I understand fully. My phone also has USB-C, but i'm unsure what I can do with it. It's a xiaomi mi-a2.

Re: Microphones to record acoustic piano [Re: U3piano] #2935766 01/18/20 02:17 PM
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You need a USB-A input to USB-C output adapter. That's a short cable adapter which you use to plug the Steinberg audio interface into and then plug the USB-C into the phone. Android should give you an option to select USB to go and then the audio interface is powered up. There are a lot of free camera apps that allow you to select the microphone input once the audio interface is activated and available to the phone.

That's it.

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