2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Who's Online Now
50 members (Brendan, 36251, Busyx2, AjinoRegret, Boboulus, Avid, chateauferret, 14 invisible), 569 guests, and 468 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
recording the piano
#2982644 05/22/20 10:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 665
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 665
For anyone who uses a recorder like the Sony D50 or Zoom, how do you position the mics? It seems the XY config (where they point toward each other) is a common way. Also, do you put the device inside your piano (assuming it's a grand) or a little distance away? I've had decent luck with it near the curved section of the case, slightly above the rim and pointed downward a bit, maybe a foot or so away. Farther away, it picks up more room sound, which may or may not always be a good thing.


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
(ad int) Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2982653 05/22/20 11:03 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 952
L
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 952
Good question, I am experimenting with this but have no idea what I am doing.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2982661 05/23/20 12:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 665
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 665
Same here =) I seem to get pretty decent results, but am not really sure I know what I'm doing, either.


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2982665 05/23/20 12:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 29
D
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
D
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 29
I'd put the mics about 1 foot above the strings, above the last copper wound string facing the hammers (or where the strings overlap). one mic will pick up the treble, the other the bass. Position further away from the player to get more bass and less treble (and less hammer attack).

This position picks up more of the piano and less of the room.

Obviously I'm talking about a grand.


1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Play my M&H as a Virtual Instrument here:
https://www.pianobook.co.uk/library/mason-hamlin-model-a/
Yamaha PF85 digital with Garritan CFX and Walker 1955 Concert D
Formerly Kawai KG-1D
Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2982675 05/23/20 12:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 29
D
Full Member
Online Content
Full Member
D
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 29
Actually, correction - I'd face the mic's downward and not directly at the hammers. Position above the strings the correct distance where the cardoid pattern will pick up most of the string vibrations. That is, if the mics have a wide pickup pattern, you can position closer.


1928 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Play my M&H as a Virtual Instrument here:
https://www.pianobook.co.uk/library/mason-hamlin-model-a/
Yamaha PF85 digital with Garritan CFX and Walker 1955 Concert D
Formerly Kawai KG-1D
Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2982877 05/23/20 04:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 52
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by Radio.Octave
For anyone who uses a recorder like the Sony D50 or Zoom, how do you position the mics? It seems the XY config (where they point toward each other) is a common way. Also, do you put the device inside your piano (assuming it's a grand) or a little distance away? I've had decent luck with it near the curved section of the case, slightly above the rim and pointed downward a bit, maybe a foot or so away. Farther away, it picks up more room sound, which may or may not always be a good thing.
Welcome to the fascinating and frustrating world of instrument recording.
As you've already discovered, distance is a primary variable. Close mics yield a very intimate sound which excludes room reflections and external noises, but do not necessarily give the most even tonal balance. Also, action and damper noises become more noticeable. Moving the mics back may yield a more natural balance in the recording, but then you start to pick up room sound - which may be undesirable if you're not in a well-designed studio.
My favorite setup is two mics placed just above the piano and just behind the music desk. They are about 3' apart so stereo recordings place bass toward the left and treble toward the right. Seems to be the best compromise in my living room, but sometimes I will use other methods. You can enhance bass response by placing a microphone inside, in the tail area, with the lid closed, for example. It's likely you will find different setups are optimal for different pieces.
I have not found microphone direction to be important, even though my mics are cardioid pattern. It seems many people forget that very little sound comes directly from the strings themselves; it's almost all from the soundboard. The most important factor is microphone position, not orientation or pattern.
Have a look at Joe Bongiorno's recording setup here: https://joebongiorno.com/piano-haven/recording-studio


First love: Kawai GX-6
Yamaha Motif XF8
Tektronix MSO4104
Re: recording the piano
MarianneØ #2982894 05/23/20 04:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,242
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,242
Originally Posted by MarianneØ
Moving the mics back may yield a more natural balance in the recording, but then you start to pick up room sound - which may be undesirable if you're not in a well-designed studio.

I am curious what this "room sound" is. Are we talking about background noise in the room? I would have thought it was fairly easy to make sure there was none of that when one is recording. Or are we talking about reflections of sound in the room? I do not know what that would do to a recording. One does not usually listen to a piano from very close (unless one is the pianist! - but the pianist does not generally get the best sound), so I would not think to put a microphone very close. Am I wrong?

I have noticed that when broadcasting recitals the BBC tend to have a central microphone, often hanging roughly above the front of the audience, and another about 6 feet from the piano, located about 45 degrees round from the tail end. (Which in my opinion, is where the sound is best.)

Re: recording the piano
David-G #2982962 05/23/20 07:14 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 52
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by David-G
I am curious what this "room sound" is. Are we talking about background noise in the room? I would have thought it was fairly easy to make sure there was none of that when one is recording. Or are we talking about reflections of sound in the room? I do not know what that would do to a recording.

Yes, "room sound" refers to the reflections/reverberations in the room. They can be strong in smaller rooms because there is no microphone location that is far from all walls. Because recordings are generally played back on speakers in rooms which are also not very large, the result is two sets of small-room sound superimposed when you are listening.

One approach to recording piano, is to set mics close, which records the "bare" piano sound, almost as if the recording were done in an anechoic chamber. Then when the recording is played back, it gives the impression that the piano is present in the listening room.

Otherwise, if the piano is in a hall or studio setting that has desirable acoustics, setting the microphone back and collecting some of the hall sound will add openness and spaciousness to the sound on playback, mimicking the concert experience to some degree.
Originally Posted by David-G
I have noticed that when broadcasting recitals the BBC tend to have a central microphone, often hanging roughly above the front of the audience, and another about 6 feet from the piano, located about 45 degrees round from the tail end. (Which in my opinion, is where the sound is best.)

The microphone above the audience is there mainly for "hall sound" and for audience applause at the end. It is mixed into the recording in various degrees, depending on what the producer wants. The stage microphone placement you described is very desirable, and works quite well on a large stage in a hall, because the closest reflecting wall is rather distant.


First love: Kawai GX-6
Yamaha Motif XF8
Tektronix MSO4104
Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2983019 05/24/20 12:13 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 4,582
H
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
H
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 4,582
Here in the first two recordings (Brahms, Liszt) the Zoom Q3HD (XY onboard mics) is placed near the curve about 1 ft high above the rim. So that both mics point to the soundboard.

In the third recording (Mozart) the mics are at the same location as the camerea, since Q3HD both records video and audio if you want. In this case they are about 4 ft away from the side of the piano.
So one mic is pointing to the lid of the piano and the other to the room behind the player.

I hope these help in your experiments.

https://youtu.be/lkK2IvyjLlQ (Brahms)

https://youtu.be/NU6W6fSr53Q (Liszt)

https://youtu.be/DWyjpJVaYzc (Mozart)

Re: recording the piano
Radio.Octave #2983021 05/24/20 12:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 413
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 413
If you record using xy mics inside the piano, you might also consider adding another condensor mic and placing it somewhere in the room outside the piano, maybe a few feet away or even under the piano. This mic will pick up the some of the fullness you hear from outside the piano. Record that mic on its own channel, then when mixing, add a little of it to the main mix and adjust the level to taste. This will give you some natural reverb and add a little fullness to what you get from the inside mics.


Kawai MP11SE
souped up Kawai GL10

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Musician's Hand Sanitizer available in our online store (and our Maple Street Music shop in Cornish Maine). Antibacterial, 62% ethyl alcohol. Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Tons more music related products in our online store!
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Where Did The Buttons Go?!
----------------------
Our April 2020 Newsletter Available Online Now...
The Piano World During the Pandemic!
----------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Kawai means cute and adorable
by Fleer - 05/26/20 06:12 PM
What happened to the 'real' Feurich?
by williambonard - 05/26/20 03:51 PM
An easier arrangement of Bach 639
by Chordo24 - 05/26/20 01:54 PM
Tuning book from 1860
by Craig Hair - 05/26/20 01:01 PM
So here’s an odd piano for sale.
by jakedaniel - 05/26/20 11:51 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics199,202
Posts2,962,478
Members97,191
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4