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My take on upright recording at home
#3052026 12/02/20 12:34 PM
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Hi, I was kind of unhappy with a traditional XY mic setup so I experimented a bit and I am VERY happy with the result - for home use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyTJoCGtgf8

I had some help with the phase and delay correction between the two mics by a friend who happens to be an audio engineer.

What do you think? Ideas for improvement that don't cost a lot of money? All the setup details are in the video.

Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052040 12/02/20 01:03 PM
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I like that tone. Did you add some ambiance in DAW or this is the sound as recorded? Any eq or post processing?

Well done. I'm starting to experiment with recording my upright too, but I only have 1 mic, which can record in stereo (Blue Yeti Pro).


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Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052041 12/02/20 01:05 PM
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I have a Zoom H2 and I'm not really satisfied when I record my upright but your recording is very good. Maybe I should buy a pair of external mic.
I wonder how does it sound when the cover is closed ?



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052046 12/02/20 01:15 PM
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No ambience (not sure what you mean exactly), no EQ. Didn't actually improve the sound... but then again I have only tried the effects that come with Reaper and most of there aren't good at all.
Here's what I used:
- time adjustment delay
- phase rotator
- a tiny bit of tweaking with the stereo width
- a master limiter
- 10% pan to the right.

I will probably ask my friend if he can improve the mix even more with some more professional effects.

It sounds great with cover on but only to my ears, recording it didn't give great results with the microphones. When I make the effort to set up the mics, I also make the effort to remove the panels, so...

Here's a video (recorded with the internal camera mic) with the case closed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af28Wz2-828

If I only open the lid, which improved the sound a lot on my last piano, it just sounds hollow and boxy somehow - so I don't even bother anymore.

Last edited by Keybender; 12/02/20 01:19 PM.
Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052051 12/02/20 01:39 PM
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Your first recording with the panel removed sounds like a grand piano.
That's the problem with an upright, it's a closed box with a piano inside.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: My take on upright recording at home
Serge88 #3052056 12/02/20 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
Your first recording with the panel removed sounds like a grand piano.
That's the problem with an upright, it's a closed box with a piano inside.

Yep, but at least it fits in my living room and I can occasionally let it out smile

Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052070 12/02/20 02:31 PM
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Sounds great Keybender. Nice job on the Passacaglia!


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Current fling: Petrof III
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Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052349 12/03/20 08:00 AM
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it sounds good, but I prefer your old configuration (I mean this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKsVh7So7Ng) which sounds more natural. (using my iphone earphones on mac computer).
I haven't worked with acoustic sensors and I am not sure what do you mean better sound (very precise pitch scientifically, or your natural feeling, which depends also to the output equipment), but in my few wave experiences, I acquired the bellow principles:

-when could be resolved by hardware, don't use software.
-I am not sure if it could be done at home with acoustic sensors, but if it is possible, find the phase synchronization using the microphones positions instead using the software to do post processing.
-The same thing also for the wave intensity (especially this part: remember the wave intensity is not linear with the function of distance, it's ok if your are using linear captures you maybe find some way to mix and compensate, otherwise, in general it is a difficult problem to resolve).

Re: My take on upright recording at home
zonzi #3052382 12/03/20 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by zonzi
it sounds good, but I prefer your old configuration (I mean this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKsVh7So7Ng) which sounds more natural. (using my iphone earphones on mac computer).
I haven't worked with acoustic sensors and I am not sure what do you mean better sound (very precise pitch scientifically, or your natural feeling, which depends also to the output equipment), but in my few wave experiences, I acquired the bellow principles:

-when could be resolved by hardware, don't use software.
-I am not sure if it could be done at home with acoustic sensors, but if it is possible, find the phase synchronization using the microphones positions instead using the software to do post processing.
-The same thing also for the wave intensity (especially this part: remember the wave intensity is not linear with the function of distance, it's ok if your are using linear captures you maybe find some way to mix and compensate, otherwise, in general it is a difficult problem to resolve).


Yes, it's more neutral / natural but I wanted something that has more "space" and punch to it.
Can you elaborate on the acoustic sensors? My microphone is also an acoustic sensor so I'm a bit confused.

By better I meant more bass / warmth which is where the mics I use really don't shine.

Regarding the phase synchronisation - if you look at the way the mics are places you see that they are almost pointed towards each other and I had to shift the phase accordingly for it to not sound weird. I calibrated delay to middle C, which is where the player roughly sits, by looking at the time when the first transient arrives at each mic and then introducing an offset to compensate. Intensity is calibrated by ear - simply in a way that has both sides sounding similarly loud.

Re: My take on upright recording at home
Serge88 #3052430 12/03/20 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
Your first recording with the panel removed sounds like a grand piano.
That's the problem with an upright, it's a closed box with a piano inside.

Once upon a time maybe. There seems an increasing trend to put more and larger 'sound ports' in current designs so the box doesn't have to be so closed any more.

But it's still not a concert grand ....

Re: My take on upright recording at home
gwing #3052431 12/03/20 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gwing
Originally Posted by Serge88
Your first recording with the panel removed sounds like a grand piano.
That's the problem with an upright, it's a closed box with a piano inside.

Once upon a time maybe. There seems an increasing trend to put more and larger 'sound ports' in current designs so the box doesn't have to be so closed any more.

But it's still not a concert grand ....

Well, it´s not a very recent trend, both my in-laws´ piano from 1980 and my old 1964 model z have a lid that is made to be opened up "diagonally"...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxWW9zPV61I&ab_channel=OhjeohjeeinReh

Especially with smaller pianos this really makes sense.

Re: My take on upright recording at home
Keybender #3052437 12/03/20 12:44 PM
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I mean as I understand, the two microphone should be used one to record upper part and another for the bass.
As the piano is a unique sound source, so the unique expression of distance would be the captured sound intensity (I think the phase difference is small enough that could be ignored).
To really have the thing properly done, you should use the mixer to adjust the sound level on every frequency until you find the best solution. As the combination in this stage is huge, and in case you don't have a physical mixer, it will be tough to do it with a mouse. But I am not an expert on this domain, I can't tell which kind of mixer is the most suitable.

To make the thing more complicated, the resonance frequency could also be important, but it will depend on the geometry of the room and other factors.


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