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twocats Offline OP
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I figured out the bass issue! YouTube was defaulting to 480p but if you set it to 720p, you get a much fuller and richer sound.

Also forgot to mention in the above instructions for iPad, make sure the Camera App is not open when you plug in the iPad. Plug it in and then open the app!


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twocats, conguratulations on getting the stereo recording work.

But, you should lower the gain on of your right channel. See the image below I have taken from your Taubman recording. As you see, the right channel gain is too high (gets over -6dB at times). Also there is some hiss because of the high gain.

[Linked Image]

I suggest you use some audio software to set your gains as explained in the below link, and then use this setting for the camera app recording.



BTW, the variants are from Jan Ekier National Edition, and this time, I recorded with the music desk taken off, hence a bit brighter treble IMO.

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Also make sure the low-cut filter and the high-pass filter switches on the mics are at “0” position.

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Originally Posted by twocats
Now In Stereo! Plus More Setup Tips...

I recorded in stereo setup for the first time! Had a lot of issues getting it working. First a USB connection was loose, and everything was working once I figured that out, but then it stopped working again! I was incredibly frustrated. Then I figured out that you have to do this in order:

1) Set everything up but don't plug in the iPad yet
2) Press the 48V button on the Focusrite Scarlett
3) Plug in the iPad cable

You can see if it's working because when you play, the "gain halos" around the gain dials light up green (or red if you're clipping).

Set-up is similar to Hakki's Close A-B picture, except my mics are maybe a bit closer to the tail of the piano. Mics are 16" apart, 54" from floor, 4' from the piano. I bought an On-Stage MY950 Stereo Bar and it's really great, solidly made and allows you to set your mics farther apart than most stereo bars. You can get up to 24" with the single-bar setup (what I have) or if you install both bars you can get up to 48" distance. I don't think my mic boom stand could handle all that weight though! Also I upgraded to a pair of 15-foot XLR cables which are the perfect length for my space!

[Linked Image]

You can check out these videos for sound quality but the piano is different from before-- it has new hammers, is currently out of regulation, and I'm working on breaking in the hammers (my tech says to call him when it sounds so terrible I can't stand it anymore) before final regulation and voicing. So it's not apples-to-apples with the previous recordings. But I really like the sound of this setup, except the bass is sounding weak-- is this a positioning problem? Maybe I need to play with the height of the mics.



The Ballade No 2 is new to me, but I know this passage is going to kill my wrists to play it faster so I wanted to submit it for the Taubman masterclass. You can really hear the imbalance of the bass in this recording-- my piano has a huge bass and it doesn't show up in the recording at all! Or I just realized, maybe it's the sound setup on my computer? Let me know what you guys think.

Sounds wonderful twocats! Great job figuring out a way to do this with much higher quality equipment! I’m watching your thread with much interest and then make some recordings with my equipment to see if it’s worth the upgrade. From what I can tell so far I think it is.


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Thanks Hakki for all your help! Guess the left and right channels operate independently and I can't just look at the gain dial and try to get them at a similar looking position. I'll look into some audio software before I record next time (probably after the final regulation/voicing is done on my piano, so may be a little while). I double checked and the low-cut filter and the high-pass filter switches on the mics are at “0” position.

Jethro, I think it's absolutely worth the upgrade! It is such an effort for me to record (I always get nervous and then need to do a lot of takes and end up exhausted, on top of dealing with all the recording issues) so it'll be so nice to get a quality result. I had listened to a bunch of recordings of an H1n after I couldn't get the H4n working with the Camera App, but I didn't like the sound. You can save about $200 by getting a pair of cardioid NT5s, but if you want omni you can currently get NT55s open box on eBay for less than $300 each (same cost as a brand new NT5). I spent less than $850 for the entire setup if you include the mic stand I already owned, buying discounted on eBay where possible smile

Last edited by twocats; 05/13/21 12:48 PM.

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Originally Posted by twocats
Thanks Hakki for all your help! Guess the left and right channels operate independently and I can't just look at the gain dial and try to get them at a similar looking position. I'll look into some audio software before I record next time (probably after the final regulation/voicing is done on my piano, so may be a little while). I double checked and the low-cut filter and the high-pass filter switches on the mics are at “0” position.

Jethro, I think it's absolutely worth the upgrade! It is such an effort for me to record (I always get nervous and then need to do a lot of takes and end up exhausted, on top of dealing with all the recording issues) so it'll be so nice to get a quality result. I had listened to a bunch of recordings of an H1n after I couldn't get the H4n working with the Camera App, but I didn't like the sound. You can save about $200 by getting a pair of cardioid NT5s, but if you want omni you can currently get NT55s open box on eBay for less than $300 each (same cost as a brand new NT5). I spent less than $850 for the entire setup if you include the mic stand I already owned, buying discounted on eBay where possible smile
I have a pair of Behringer C2 cardioids laying around and a stereo mixer. I am able to use the H1n as an audio interface with this setup as well to do point and record with an iPad so I have to listen to some recordings again.

I’m not much into making recordings of my playing. For some reason or another I’ve always considered my music happening in a fleeting moment oftentimes not worthy of a recording, (or I’m just too lazy) but there are those occasions when I tell myself, boy I wish I recorded that!

Last edited by Jethro; 05/13/21 04:28 PM.

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I've had three years of going from zero to recording not only myself but other pianists as well, both in homes and in concert halls.

There is one thing that I've learnt: Microphone set ups from 50 years ago were the result of endless trial and error by people working in radio stations that were publicly funded and whose engineers were at liberty to play around with what was available and could order new stuff when they had a reasonable explanation.

Two of those experiments turned out to be real ear openers for me, having experimented with everything possible under the sun with both cardioid and omni condensers, deliberately not wanting to add a third downmix channel, jut one stereo set up that can be set up quick and dirty and work as expected.

No, nothing is perfect, but once you got a standard setup that you can easily adapt to different recording environments, then this will save you a lot of experimental work and give you really satisfying results.

There are two specific setups for solo piano recordings that I have really come to conclude as the best possible setups without a big hassle:

* ORTF: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORTF_stereo_technique
* NOS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

Both are are cardioid setups and if you are still in an experimental mood, you can try ORTF with omnis, which also gives nice results, at least in a concert hall, not so much in a home environment.

Both ORTF and NOS cardiod need to be listened to with headphones for the final balance i.e. pointing the mics in the most natural between treble and bass section of a grand piano.

This example isn't perfect, I should have turned the microphone stand a little more towards the left in order to reduce bass dominance, but in general it's a decent standard setup for piano that really gives you pleasure to listen to the piano, both with headphones and speakers. Recorded with a matched pair of cardioid NT5s into a Steinberg audio interface with Yamaha preamplifiers and audacity on Linux as recording software. No postprocessing whatsoever. Piano is a Bechstein D 282 concert grand on stage in a small concert hall in Vienna with Kiron Atom Tellian as pianist in this Rachmaninoff etude.


Last edited by OE1FEU; 05/13/21 04:31 PM.
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Very nice! Where were the mics placed in relation to the piano?

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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
There are two specific setups for solo piano recordings that I have really come to conclude as the best possible setups without a big hassle:

* ORTF: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORTF_stereo_technique
* NOS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

Both are are cardioid setups and if you are still in an experimental mood, you can try ORTF with omnis, which also gives nice results, at least in a concert hall, not so much in a home environment.

Thanks! I will try out NOS (can eyeball 90 degrees easily) when I do my testing. Where do you put the mics, and how far away and how high?


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Originally Posted by OE1FEU
I've had three years of going from zero to recording not only myself but other pianists as well, both in homes and in concert halls.

There is one thing that I've learnt: Microphone set ups from 50 years ago were the result of endless trial and error by people working in radio stations that were publicly funded and whose engineers were at liberty to play around with what was available and could order new stuff when they had a reasonable explanation.

Two of those experiments turned out to be real ear openers for me, having experimented with everything possible under the sun with both cardioid and omni condensers, deliberately not wanting to add a third downmix channel, jut one stereo set up that can be set up quick and dirty and work as expected.

No, nothing is perfect, but once you got a standard setup that you can easily adapt to different recording environments, then this will save you a lot of experimental work and give you really satisfying results.

There are two specific setups for solo piano recordings that I have really come to conclude as the best possible setups without a big hassle:

* ORTF: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ORTF_stereo_technique
* NOS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOS_stereo_technique

Both are are cardioid setups and if you are still in an experimental mood, you can try ORTF with omnis, which also gives nice results, at least in a concert hall, not so much in a home environment.

Both ORTF and NOS cardiod need to be listened to with headphones for the final balance i.e. pointing the mics in the most natural between treble and bass section of a grand piano.

This example isn't perfect, I should have turned the microphone stand a little more towards the left in order to reduce bass dominance, but in general it's a decent standard setup for piano that really gives you pleasure to listen to the piano, both with headphones and speakers. Recorded with a matched pair of cardioid NT5s into a Steinberg audio interface with Yamaha preamplifiers and audacity on Linux as recording software. No postprocessing whatsoever. Piano is a Bechstein D 282 concert grand on stage in a small concert hall in Vienna with Kiron Atom Tellian as pianist in this Rachmaninoff etude.

That sounded very excellent !
Both the piano and the pianist.Obviously recorded very well.

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IMO, in the 60s mono comparability was very important for broadcasting.

AB stereo is problematic for mono compatibility.

But do we need mono compatibility for our home recordings nowadays? I don’t think so.

IMO, AB stereo with Omnis is the natural way to go when recording a grand piano for classical music.

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After a great deal of indecision, I ordered a stereo pair of SE8 small diaphragm condensers and a Focusrite Clarett 4pre. It should all hypothetically arrive tomorrow, but Fedex has lied to me before. I'll try to post a recording once I get everything set up.

Long-term, I'm thinking I would supplement the SE8s with some large diaphragm mics to get more of the room's sound, and then mix them together. Or just to have a mic for my wife to play violin and sing into.

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