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I want to keep it simple. That’s why I ordered a Apogee Hypemice to record when I’m playing.
First, I wanted to buy a Zoom H4n Pro but then I cam across this Apogee Microphone and like what I read.

However, now I’m not that sure anymore. But again, as I want to keep it simple and I still consider myself a beginner, I’m not sure if it really gets easier/better with other devices/microphones.

Has anymore any experience using the apogee microphone?

https://apogeedigital.com/recordings/recording-piano-mic-2

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A piano sounds better in stereo and Zoom H4n record in stereo. If you don't mind monophonic sound, the Apogee seems like a good microphone.



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

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Thanks for getting back to me. As I said, I don’t know much (or hardly anything) about recording.

It’s interesting, because just before I opened this thread I watched this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA83EiU_ITc

And there I was surprised by how good the piano sounds when recorded in stereo. However, I am wondering if using the integrated mics of the Zoom H4n pro gets anywhere close to the two mics he uses to record stereo?
In other words: Is the Zoom H4n pro stereo a “real” stereo recording with the mics so close to each other?

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Originally Posted by zeitlos
In other words: Is the Zoom H4n pro stereo a “real” stereo recording with the mics so close to each other?

Yes,
check stereo XY recording with google.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
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Which tripod can you recommend for a Zoom H4n Pro Recorder? I mean not a small one that stands on top of the piano itself but a “real” one, so that one can flexibly move the Zoom’s recording position.

Thanks a lot for any advice!

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Any camera tripod will do.

I use a very cheap & cheerful one bought from Amazon for about €5, which is very light and collapses down to 50cm (so, it's easy to cart around in a small backpack for travelling around town by public transport), yet it has a spirit level in its head, which can tilt in any direction.

I normally just have my Zoom pointing down 40º to the grand piano with lid up, from slightly above and 2 metres away on the right side of the piano. It gives a sound picture similar to studio classical recordings on CD, but not a 'concert hall' sound.

If you are a jazzer and want an artificial piano sound as if your ears are inside the piano (typical of jazz recordings) with no ambience, you can put your Zoom's mics 2cm above the strings........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Thanks a lot! This is valuable information! Do you have a link to your tripod?

I wanted to order this very cheap one, but wasn’t sure if it’s stable enough for the weight of the recorder on the arm. Without arm I cannot get close enough: https://www.thomann.de/de/millenium_ms2005_mic_stand.htm

I have to record an upright piano. And I will of course buy an adapter. As I understood for the zoom I need something like this here: https://www.thomann.de/de/manfrotto_015_adapter_1_4_3_8.htm

Btw. I already have a “normal” tripod for my camera. But it has no arm, so I cannot get close.

On the other hand: I’m wondering if it might be better for an upright to place the Zoom H4n pro in the middle on top of the piano with a kind of mini tripod? Maybe a Gorillapod?

I’ve got no experience that’s why I’m completely lost at this point.

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/17/21 04:56 PM.
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Or maybe I just buy something like this one here: https://www.amazon.de/Mantona-Stativauslegearm-Mittelsäule-31-cm/dp/B00IZSV364

For my photo tripod.

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/17/21 05:00 PM.
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Originally Posted by zeitlos
On the other hand: I’m wondering if it might be better for an upright to place the Zoom H4n pro in the middle on top of the piano with a kind of mini tripod? Maybe a Gorillapod?

If the recorder sits atop the piano, it may muddy your sound by the addition of the vibrations transmitted from the body(lid) of the piano, through the legs of the mini tripod and into the body of the recorder. Those sounds would be added to the sounds picked up by the microphone diaphragm.

It is possible that isolating the recorder from the piano lid vibrations with foam or something similar might be necessary.


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I see! thanks! Yes, that’s what I was afraid of too. But I see a lot of people recording like this. But I am pretty sure that you are right. Not the best way.

Okay, I will buy the microphone tripod linked above and hope that it’s stable enough smile

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Originally Posted by zeitlos
Thanks a lot! This is valuable information! Do you have a link to your tripod?

I wanted to order this very cheap one, but wasn’t sure if it’s stable enough for the weight of the recorder on the arm. Without arm I cannot get close enough: https://www.thomann.de/de/millenium_ms2005_mic_stand.htm
Are you recording jazz?

Your tripod, as I said (for classical recordings) should be about 2 metres away from the piano. For uprights, 1 meter will do. You don't need an arm unless you want your Zoom to dangle right above the strings. Just point the mics towards the piano.

Quote
I have to record an upright piano. And I will of course buy an adapter. As I understood for the zoom I need something like this here: https://www.thomann.de/de/manfrotto_015_adapter_1_4_3_8.htm

Btw. I already have a “normal” tripod for my camera. But it has no arm, so I cannot get close.
See above. Your camera tripod will do.

You don't need an adaptor: the threaded socket embedded on the bottom surface of the Zoom is the same as those on cameras and therefore fits all camera tripod screws.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Thanks again, no, no jazz. However, so far I have always read that one should put the mic close to the strings. But, if it’s only for jazz, it’s good for me!

The adapter was meant for the microphone tripod. smile

I will just use my normal photo tripod in the beginning. Thanks a lot!

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/17/21 05:42 PM.
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Better than a tripod, is a "microphone boom stand":

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Tripod-Boom-Microphone-Stand/dp/B019NY2PKG

That will give you a lot of freedom, to position the recorder exactly where you want it, and not interfere with your playing.

If you're using a Zoom H4n, you'll need an adapter from the 5/8" microphone thread on the boom, to a 1/4" camera-tripod thread on the H4n:

https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-Recorder-Head-360-Connecting-Camcorder/dp/B07571NL5G

I have an H4 (original model), and it works well. The mics are probably not as good as the HypeMIC -- but you'd need two HypeMIC's for stereo recording, and that isn't cheap.

The H4n includes an adjustable compressor -- I suggest that you _avoid_ using it for piano.

A possible choice for mics, if you get an H4n and want to improve the built-in mics:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/C2m--behringer-c-2-matched-studio-condenser-microphones-pair

The C2 mics are quite respectable, and the package includes very nice accessories for mounting them as a stereo pair. The H4m has "phantom power" to feed the C2's. You'll need XLR cables to connect the C2's to the H4n.

Have fun -- remember that even the best-quality microphone won't fix your mistakes.<g>


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Thank you Charles, I appreciate your comprehensive answer!

Okay, now that I’ve changed my mind a lot over the last 24 hours, I finally made a decision. I’ve canceled the Apogee yesterday. Then I ordered the Zoom H4n and now I just ordered the tripod I was interested in yesterday. Your solution with the boom stand mirrors my initial plan from above. Fortunately they aren’t that expensive. I bought one for about 40 Euros now. And the adapter I linked in one of my posts from above. Let’s see how it words out.

The only question that is still to be answered (by experience) is where to place it so that it sounds best. Closer to the upright piano or far away. 1 meter, as mentioned above, sounds reasonable to me. But well, I will have to find out.

I’ll have fun, I’m sure. Btw. Maybe my microphone will fix some mistakes, because it might help me to detect some additional things that go wrong (rhythm, speed etc.) frown wink


P.S. Thanks for your tip with the microphones. I will keep them in mind. They are not really expensive so they are an option. smile
P.P.S. Funny, I bought the more expensive version of the Apogee because it has the compressor. But maybe using this compressor wouldn’t have been the best decision anyway.

Last edited by zeitlos; 02/18/21 04:19 AM.
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I will receive both tomorrow, the Zoom H4n pro and the tripod. We’ll see how it works out smile

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I've had a USB mic' for about ten years and one of the best music investments I've made. I can plug it into my computer or tablet and record a practice, improv idea, and audio like a video on my computer. It also improve the my sound on Skype or Zoom sessions.

I have a AT2020USB and just use Apple's Quicktime app to record or when on Window Audacity to make fast recordings. If I was going to set it on a acoustic piano I would get a piece of neoprene (or an old mouse pad) to help isolate the mic stand from pianos vibrations.

Being able to record quickly is a great tool for musicians.


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