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Joined: Nov 2020
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Hi

I'm sure this question is very debatable and mostly down to personal choice, but when recording a solo piano album what perspective of the piano is normally preferred, performer or audience?



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The audience option should be what is heard by the public. It would be natural to use it for the record.

The performer option is generally made to permute left and right channels and emulate a player perspective. But a real player perspective would be more accurate. Since I don’t know which virtual piano you use, I can’t be more precise.


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Agreed with Frederic. If you're recording an album, then 1) the "audience" that would hear the performance would typically be sitting to the right of the performer/piano with the lid up, and 2) studio and concert recordings all have the mics positioned over this area as well. Between "piano" and "audience" perspective is probably a matter of your preference wrt ambiance/reverb/environment, but the "pianist/performer" perspective would most likely be the only "wrong" answer.


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Audience would be a more natural choice for recording if it means samples taken with microphones placed where the audience would sit.

Keep in mind that difference between player vs audience perspective is twofold.
Usually 'player' samples are taken with microphone placed where a player head is usually positioned, and 'audience' samples are taken with mics placed anywhere before the open lid.
However, some VI (Garritan CFX?) represent 'player' perspective as reversed stereo image of same samples they use with 'audience' perspective. I.e. you choose a mic, and then, by switching to the 'player' perspecive you reverse its left-right stereo channels. Other developers use more intuitive approach, and name this effect as 'inverted' or similar.

Last edited by VladK; 01/22/21 03:25 PM.

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Garritan CFX is a bit peculiar : the player perspective has two set of samples, the stereo player and the binaural player perspective.

If you want to have basses in the left side and trebles in the right side (like you will hear as a player), you have to select player with stereo samples, and audiance with binaural samples !


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Thanks for your input everyone.

I have the Yamaha CFX from Garritan, best sampled piano I've ever heard. I recently read an article on how to record the Piano with multiple different MIC placements for different purposes.
1 For Cutting Through a Mix,
2 Sitting in the Track,
3 For Commercial Recordings.

The Commercial Recording MIC placements are
a pair of AKG C414 large-diaphragm microphones set to cardioid and positioned with one near the hammers on the high side of the piano and the other over the point where the bass strings cross the mid strings.

It's this commercial recording MIC placement (Stereo Imaging) that I'm wanting to record the album with, unfortunately the CFX only comes with Performer & Audience perspectives. I think my only option then is to buy a stereo imaging plugin and hope that it comes with a simular MIC placement as described above.

I have samples of all three MIC placements i could let you listen too to give you an idea of what i mean, but I'm not sure on how to upload audio clips to the Forum?



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« unfortunately the CFX only comes with Performer & Audience perspectives. »

You have Classical/Close, Classical/Ambiance, Contemporary/Close, Contemporary/Ambiance, Player/Stereo, Player/Binaural.

This makes 6 sound recording assembled 2 by 2 in 3 perspectives (we could also consider 6 perspectives).

The ambiance/player switch is simply a way to exchange left and right. It is not really a perspective switch. Then you can have a Contemporary perspective which seems more natural as a player (left basses, right trebles).

If you really want plenty of perspectives, you should get the VSL CFX.

Last edited by Frédéric L; 01/23/21 02:46 AM.

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Originally Posted by Frédéric L
If you really want plenty of perspectives, you should get the VSL CFX.

I was thinking about VSL but decided to go with Garritan as i thought it had the better CFX sample, but VSLs CFX is also outstanding.



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Hifi rendition of piano music especially solo piano often has soundstage setup as player perspective, isn't it? I personally prefer player perspective for solo piano.

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Originally Posted by kailord
Hifi rendition of piano music especially solo piano often has soundstage setup as player perspective, isn't it? I personally prefer player perspective for solo piano.

As far as I know, most (if not all) professional piano recording are done from audience perspective (mics to the right of piano) with natural (not inverted) stereo image.
There is a recent trend of using Earthworks PM40 PianoMic, but I don't think it was ever used for recording of top players intended to be released to general public.

Last edited by VladK; 01/23/21 03:12 PM.

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