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#2236809 02/24/14 03:12 PM
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One of my goals in life was to set up a home recording system. I have finally gotten enough equipment, software, and knowledge together to take a stab at it.

I used two AKG C414 B-ULS mics. They were set up perpendicular to each other with the top mic facing the piano and the bottom mic parallel to the piano. Both mics are set at carotid. I am sure there is a technical term which my recording engineer used for this set up, it just didn't make it into my notes. I am using a Focurite Liquid Saffire pre-amp and my DAW is Reaper.

I chose this simple little invention because it was short enough I could finish quickly, and yet long enough to give me something to work with through the entire editing and mixing process.

I welcome all thoughts and ideas.

Thanks
Andrew


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqzdXtkU1uI

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Andrew,
Very nice to see a recording from you!

And, it's nice playing. There's a bit of unevenness (but not bad!) and some unsteadiness of tempo, particularly rushing at times, but this is good. smile

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Mark,

Having played lots of Bach (complete: WTC, Toccatas, Italian, Goldberg, and all 15 of 2pt) I don't necessarily play Bach as if he is in a straight jacket. My tempos do move around a bit by design. But this was really a do a few takes put together what is best and process exercise. And Learn.

Thanks for listening and the input.

How did it sound on your equipment? That is the one big uncontrollable. How was the balance between bass and treble?

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Beautiful, clean sound. I like the playing very much, as well. Your embellishments were excellent.


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I think the sound of the piano is fantastic. Very precise. How I test a good recording is if still sounds good on crappy laptop speakers, and this passes with flying colors!!!!!

Record something more "meaty", louder and pedal, lets see how it holds up. I think the quality will still be fantastic!
congratulations!

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Originally Posted by anrpiano
....How did it sound on your equipment? That is the one big uncontrollable. How was the balance between bass and treble?

I don't have "equipment." grin

It's just on my Mac laptop.
The balance seemed quite good.

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by anrpiano
....How did it sound on your equipment? That is the one big uncontrollable. How was the balance between bass and treble?

I don't have "equipment." grin

It's just on my Mac laptop.
The balance seemed quite good.


Mark, oops, sorry. Since I kind of retired and moved everything back home, I have gotten a little spoiled. I remember listening on those dime sized speakers for years. And thanks again for your input.

Noam, I will most certainly play some bigger things in time, but my interest is in learning not showing off so I am taking this one step at a time... next up, the complete Beethoven Sonatas ;-)

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Originally Posted by anrpiano
....oops, sorry.

No worries, no problem! I just thought it was funny. smile

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I didn't say anything about showing off. If you read my short post again you will see that it is preferable to record variety of dynamic ranges to make sure the quality is still good. Sometimes you can have clipping, and microphones could be too close and sometimes too far to capture the fullness of the piano in louder passages.


Just play some big chords with pedal and lets hear how your setup hold up. Like I said before, I think it will be great.

How far and where do you place your microphones?

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Congratulations! Great first recording! thumb Now the fun *really* begins, because the equipment you are using is going to allow you *a lot* of freedom to experiment with! grin But what you did sounds find from where I'm sitting! smile

I know just enough to be dangerous, so take the following feedback and suggestions with a big grain of coarse sea salt (or two).

Is this the kind of microphone set-up you are using? (The general idea of it...)? http://en.wikiaudio.org/XY_stereo_microphone_technique And, do you mean, maybe, "cardioid"?

I am listening through Grado SR60 headphones (which are decent headphones for the money) and everything sounds very sweet. Nice detail all around. Something about it gives a very pleasant vintage sound. In the very high frequencies, there is something a little bit disturbing going on, though... I'm not quite sure, but I think the top mic (R channel?) was catching too much of the high reflecting off the piano lid, perhaps. You might want to try pointing the whole mic set-up very, very slightly angled (veered) away to the right from where you had it focused, or, very, very much angled (veered) to the left, and see what happens. (What I mean is, don't change the mic angles in relation to each other, just yaw the base of the whole set-up one way or the other.) Sweet spots take some trial and error to find, and they can be touchy to keep, too! I think the spot you found for this might have been a little *too* sweet grin , even though it sounds very, very, very, very nice. thumb

The stereo sound is also very tightly focused in the center. Is this what you had in mind? There is nothing wrong with that, of course, and the reason I am asking is that some people strive for that kind of focused sound. But this is *so* tight that it *almost* sounds monaural to me. This is a small criticism, though--more of an aspect of difference in "taste" or "vision" in deciding what kind of recorded sound you are trying to create and present.

If you haven't already, you might also consider having some fun with this mic pattern, and see how it changes the presentation of the recording: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

The piano itself sounds GREAT! *That* part is very well taken care of! wink Looking forward to hearing more Bach! And bring out the Brahms if you have it! laugh

--Andy



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I myself have recently upgraded my recording setup and I know how big a deal this can be. I think it sounded very good and clear.


"A Sorceror of tonality; the piano is my cauldron and the music is my spell, let those who cannot hear my calling die and burn in He11."

Check my videos @:
http://www.youtube.com/user/chopinlives81
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Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Congratulations! Great first recording! thumb Now the fun *really* begins, because the equipment you are using is going to allow you *a lot* of freedom to experiment with! grin But what you did sounds find from where I'm sitting! smile

I know just enough to be dangerous, so take the following feedback and suggestions with a big grain of coarse sea salt (or two).

Is this the kind of microphone set-up you are using? (The general idea of it...)? http://en.wikiaudio.org/XY_stereo_microphone_technique And, do you mean, maybe, "cardioid"?

I am listening through Grado SR60 headphones (which are decent headphones for the money) and everything sounds very sweet. Nice detail all around. Something about it gives a very pleasant vintage sound. In the very high frequencies, there is something a little bit disturbing going on, though... I'm not quite sure, but I think the top mic (R channel?) was catching too much of the high reflecting off the piano lid, perhaps. You might want to try pointing the whole mic set-up very, very slightly angled (veered) away to the right from where you had it focused, or, very, very much angled (veered) to the left, and see what happens. (What I mean is, don't change the mic angles in relation to each other, just yaw the base of the whole set-up one way or the other.) Sweet spots take some trial and error to find, and they can be touchy to keep, too! I think the spot you found for this might have been a little *too* sweet grin , even though it sounds very, very, very, very nice. thumb

The stereo sound is also very tightly focused in the center. Is this what you had in mind? There is nothing wrong with that, of course, and the reason I am asking is that some people strive for that kind of focused sound. But this is *so* tight that it *almost* sounds monaural to me. This is a small criticism, though--more of an aspect of difference in "taste" or "vision" in deciding what kind of recorded sound you are trying to create and present.

If you haven't already, you might also consider having some fun with this mic pattern, and see how it changes the presentation of the recording: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

The piano itself sounds GREAT! *That* part is very well taken care of! wink Looking forward to hearing more Bach! And bring out the Brahms if you have it! laugh

--Andy



Andy,

Thanks for taking the time with some really good ideas. The mic set is not XY, my engineer suggested to get two more and add that to the mix.

I know exactly what you mean about the higher range I had noticed that as well. I will certainly play with the mic direction a bit and see what happens. That has always been my main concern thus far, I get too much treble and not as much low end as I would like. My piano has a huge bass and I would like to hear a bit more.

The panning troubles me, I will have to go back and listen to my copy of the recording because I thought I had two pretty distinct channels. Maybe something got lost in the mix which I didn't notice.... so much to pay attention to when everything is so new and you have all of those fancy dials and gauges and knobs and bouncing lines and all sorts of fun stuff all happening at the same time...

There really is a lot to this recording engineering stuff, the manuals for the two primary pieces of equipment run over 500 very dense pages of a language which looks like English, though I recognize very little of it.

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The sound of the bass is coming from the rear of the piano, not near the bass strings where the hammer strikes. If you point one microphone towards the bass strings where the hammers stroke, you will get a muddy bass.
Point one microphone to the bass end of your piano, and one towards the front treble. Microphones about 1 foot apart.

Hope this helps. Experimenting is fun!

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Andy wrote"

And, do you mean, maybe, "cardioid"?


Yes, Andy, that is what I meant. It was a case of the spell check not catching my correctly spelled, incorrect word. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by anrpiano
[...] The mic set is not XY, my engineer suggested to get two more and add that to the mix.


Is this the mic you are using?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AKG-C414-C-...udio_Microphones&hash=item461a473274

Because, if so, 'feye were you, I would hold off buying two more for a little while. You are going to find you have lots of options with the pair that you have! grin (Including gaining some room reflection with a different setting, if that is something you want.)

Is there any way you can post a photo of your microphone set-up? I am curious to know if I am imagining correctly what it looks like.

You will find that microphones that are as sensitive as the ones you are using will give you vastly different raw sound when angles are tweaked by the tiniest amounts. This means that, in a stereo pair, on the cardioid setting, directed individually, if you tweak one or the other by a smidge of a degree, you will effect the pan.

If I am understanding correctly, you have four pattern settings on each of your mics, too. The Cartesian possibilities numb the brain!

Since you are a DIY audio engineer, you have cosmic permission to screw up what your engineer has set up for you. wink Height, distance, and angle are the three main variables to keep in mind when playing with your microphone set-up. By listening and not seeing what you are doing, I would suggest you keep the height and distance of your set-up, and fiddle with the angle of the mics. If you spread the angle just a hair, you might get the pan you want. And if you spread the R channel a smidge more, you might get rid of the high reflection. And if you tighten the L channel, you might get more bass. Or, if you yaw the whole set up to the R, then spread each mic by a hair, you might find the sweetest spot! smile Or not. Remember... my middle name is "Danger."

The Bach Invention you chose is not a bad one to experiment with, especially since you can dash it off. There is not a lot of bass to listen to, but you can certainly assess the spread. Take a day. Multiple takes. Multiple tweaks. Take good notes. Spike the stand on your floor with masking tape if you decide to yaw.

I am not an expert, but I play one on Piano World. blush

--Andy


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Andy,

Yes, that is my mic. I have a third which I will probably hang in the room somewhere. I am thinking of getting two smaller mics and using them in an XY near the tail to get some more bass.

I have spent my wad for now, so I am going to wait a bit. Then I need better monitors, and then.... you know how it goes.

I have a couple of pictures to show the mic placement and set up, but I can't figure out how to load them. I am actually quite technically challenged.

Thanks for all of your great ideas, Andy. It has been quite fun to play around with all of the variables and see what happens.

Andrew


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