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OE1FEU Online Content OP
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I have created a video that has three distinct audio tracks:

* A matched pair of cardioid condenser microphones (Røde NT5)

* A pair of dynamic microphones with omni pattern

* A mixdown of those two tracks

This is me in my home playing Brahms' Intermezzo A-major Op.118 No.2 on an 1886 Steinway B. I'd like to illustrate one way of recording myself that turned out to be consistent in its results and can be adapted according to one's own taste.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1env8F_zBHB3-CN9bq-dQcMrpOQlirrgv/view?usp=sharing

You should use VLC or mpv as playback software in order to seamlessly switch between audio channels.

The first pair of microphones is set up on a tripod with a stereo bar with defined capsule distances and angles as they have been determined in the 60s by the Dutch broadcasting studios:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

This set up has various distinct advantages:

* The distance between the capsules is 30cm - which corresponds to the size of classical sheet music and can thus easily be established

* For the 90° angle between the microphones the same sheet music can be used

* It's a proven concept determined through countless experiments by true recording experts

* It gives you a stereo picture of the piano with a space where bass comes from light left and treble comes from slight right. You need to switch inputs from R to L respectively to get the corresponding result

* The recording sound equally good with headphones and loudspeakers

* Distance of capsules to the piano can be varied according to your own taste. I prefer a little more distance as opposed to the close string, jazz-like approach

The second pair of microphones is a cheap set of dynamic capsules the you can basically throw somewhere, just to give you an ambience that you can then add into the downmix. In my case it's this thingy: https://micbooster.com/modules-with...-em172-module-35-mm-plug-thin-cable.html

Luck has it that this plugs right into my camera and through one obscure setting in the audio set up of the camera I can actually record in linear 48kHz/16Bit PCM, bypassing the internal preamps and have really good audio without any digital processing.

Some pictures of the actual set up:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xs6pi2mJu4nM5fQR9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/cGEyzaoJUcDMapmL7

Summary of equipment:

* Matched pair NT5 Røde cardioid microphones

* Steinberg UR22 MKII audio interface

* Audacity as recording software running on a Linux Thinkpad

* Micbooster dynamic omni capsules

* Olympus OM-D E5 Mark II camera for both video and ambient audio

* ffmpeg as command line based software to put together the final video with different audio tracks

I hope this helps you to spare yourself a couple of hours/days of trial and error.

Last edited by OE1FEU; 05/06/22 05:19 PM.
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Thanks so much for posting this— very helpful 😊


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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I think it sounds very good.

It is picking up the dynamics very nice.


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

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Have you disabled the video? It opens and I see your piano but the video will not start.


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Originally Posted by Beemer
Have you disabled the video? It opens and I see your piano but the video will not start.

The video plays just fine, but I had to pause it once and then start again and then it plays in the browser. The point is, however, not to play it in a browser window, but download the mp4 and play it with a dedicated separate video player in order to switch between the three audio tracks.

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
Originally Posted by Beemer
Have you disabled the video? It opens and I see your piano but the video will not start.

The video plays just fine, but I had to pause it once and then start again and then it plays in the browser. The point is, however, not to play it in a browser window, but download the mp4 and play it with a dedicated separate video player in order to switch between the three audio tracks.
I listened to all three tracks. For me track 1 has a distinct warmth similar to my Blüthner sound. It was very beautiful to hear and I heard no sound that I was unsatisfied with. Track 2 had reduced volume and track 3 the same volume but not the tone of track 1.
I use a matched pair of Neumann KM184 with my Sound Devices MixPre-3 II. I wish I was as an accomplished player as you.
Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 05/07/22 02:05 PM.

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Thank for this very nice summary OE1FEU! This is indeed very helpful.

After trying different mic placements some time ago, I decided to go on recording using a ORTF stereo technique. I never tried NOS though. Have you tried ORTF yourself? Did you notice any drawbacks compared to NOS?

Thank you in advance smile


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Originally Posted by AndresVel
Thank for this very nice summary OE1FEU! This is indeed very helpful.

After trying different mic placements some time ago, I decided to go on recording using a ORTF stereo technique. I never tried NOS though. Have you tried ORTF yourself? Did you notice any drawbacks compared to NOS?

Thank you in advance smile

Actually, ORTF was my choice of set up for just a pair of condensers without any additional ambient microphones. However, after a lot of comparisons I concluded that ORTF had a tendency for phase interferences that led to have some notes in the lower treble region oscillate without a defined direction. Since I listen to music with headphones only, this was something that became quite annoying over time.

I believe ORTF is the system of choice when you record an ensemble or orchstra and place the microphones further away from the source.

Here is an ORTF recording of mine:


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Nice recording, nice playing, useful information. Thank you for all of this.

And as an aside, it's interesting to me how for under $2000, Peter has managed to create a recording sonically equal to commercial recordings without the added pluses or minuses, depending on your taste, of over doing the mastering.

My own recording aesthetic skews towards "sounds like it did when I was playing it", Peter's recording fits squarely into that category for me.

Bravo.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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I Make Music that Lifts People Up & Brings Them Together
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Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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