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piano recording

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December 16, 2004 7:04:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an apartment

i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording. everything
was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially trying
to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows rolled off
about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100 hz at -15
db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my ears on
tape.


the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused by the
room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or will i
still need to eq.

another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at least
part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard arcing.
or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i would like
to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.

i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of eq and
just be tormented while i play.

More about : piano recording

Anonymous
December 16, 2004 7:05:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Is the excessive bass the recording or your monitoring setup?

What type of piano, where were the mic's and what type?

What are the room dimensions and where is the piano located?

Rgds:
Eric

"anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:LP7wd.84902$Vk6.56761@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an
apartment
>
> i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording.
everything
> was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially trying
> to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows rolled off
> about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100 hz
at -15
> db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my ears on
> tape.
>
>
> the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused by the
> room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
> treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or will i
> still need to eq.
>
> another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at
least
> part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard
arcing.
> or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i would
like
> to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.
>
> i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of eq and
> just be tormented while i play.
>
>
>
>
December 16, 2004 10:38:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Eric K. Weber" <eric-nospam@webermusic.com> wrote in message
news:p 68wd.36$B87.14402@news.uswest.net...
> Is the excessive bass the recording or your monitoring setup?

recording. monitoring is decent.
>
> What type of piano, where were the mic's and what type?

7 footer. tried mics all around the piano with similar results everywhere.
km 184,rode classic, akg c61

>
> What are the room dimensions and where is the piano located?

piano is in corner. room is 22x 15?

i pulled the piano out of the corner and it didnt make much of a difference


>
> Rgds:
> Eric
>
> "anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
> news:LP7wd.84902$Vk6.56761@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> > i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an
> apartment
> >
> > i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording.
> everything
> > was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially
trying
> > to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows rolled
off
> > about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100 hz
> at -15
> > db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my ears on
> > tape.
> >
> >
> > the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused by
the
> > room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
> > treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or will
i
> > still need to eq.
> >
> > another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at
> least
> > part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard
> arcing.
> > or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i would
> like
> > to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.
> >
> > i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of eq
and
> > just be tormented while i play.
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
Related resources
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 12:39:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:LP7wd.84902$Vk6.56761@twister.nyc.rr.com

> i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an
> apartment

Must be a huge room that you have in that apartment.

> i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording.
> everything was too bassy and muddy,

Generally, electronic approaches to acoustic problems are less than
satisfactory.

> i switched to a mackie preamp
> (intentially trying to thin things out) with the highs boosted about
> 4 db, the lows rolled off about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf
> on the masterlink at 100 hz at -15 db. this is pretty drastic eq, but
> at least it sounds good to my ears on tape.

Which begs the question that you then cogently ask:

> the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused
> by the room.

Let's look at the of potential guilty parties:

room
mics
mic position in room
mic position w/r/t piano
recording electronics
monitoring electronics
monitoring speakers
monitoring speaker position in room

>if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on
> room treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room,

Please see google searching of this newsgroup, under "Bass traps"

http://groups-beta.google.com/groups?as_q=bass+traps&nu...

> or will i still need to eq.

That would depend on whether or not the problem is the room.

> another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at
> least part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the
> soundboard arcing.

I presume you mean soundboard arching.

>or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard
> and the room.

Let's hope that the soundboard interacts with the room. ;-)

> i would like to get a decent sound while i'm playing so
> what's the next step.

Note that you've possibly shifted from bass heaviness in the recorded sound
to bass heaviness in the sound you hear as you play the piano. Is this
intentional? If so, its highly significant.


> i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of eq
> and just be tormented while i play.

A big piano in a small room, can lead to problems with heavy bass. Put the
piano in or towards a corner, and you will probably exacerbate the
situation.
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 12:42:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

anon <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an apartment
>
>i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording. everything
>was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially trying
>to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows rolled off
>about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100 hz at -15
>db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my ears on
>tape.

Well, that's fine, then.

>the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused by the
>room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
>treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or will i
>still need to eq.

Well, look at your chain. It can be caused by the room, the piano, the
mike, the mike placement, the recording process (probably the least likely
of the set) or the monitoring.

>another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at least
>part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard arcing.
>or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i would like
>to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.

Well, what does the piano sound like in the room if you walk around? It
can help to put a finger in one ear and listen only with the other. Get
someone else to play while you wander around. If it sounds bad in the
room, it will sound bad on tape.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 4:25:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

The corner position will usually give the most bass boost, try along the
short wall and vary the distance from the wall of both the piano and
microphones. Quality monitor speakers are influenced by the room and their
position in it the same way the piano is. If you are monitoring in the
same room as the recording is done in you may multiply any room node issues.
Try listening to some commercial tracks on you monitors to see if they also
have too much low end.

Rgds:
Eric


"anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:9Yawd.84909$Vk6.50980@twister.nyc.rr.com...
>
> "Eric K. Weber" <eric-nospam@webermusic.com> wrote in message
> news:p 68wd.36$B87.14402@news.uswest.net...
> > Is the excessive bass the recording or your monitoring setup?
>
> recording. monitoring is decent.
> >
> > What type of piano, where were the mic's and what type?
>
> 7 footer. tried mics all around the piano with similar results everywhere.
> km 184,rode classic, akg c61
>
> >
> > What are the room dimensions and where is the piano located?
>
> piano is in corner. room is 22x 15?
>
> i pulled the piano out of the corner and it didnt make much of a
difference
>
>
> >
> > Rgds:
> > Eric
> >
> > "anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
> > news:LP7wd.84902$Vk6.56761@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> > > i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an
> > apartment
> > >
> > > i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording.
> > everything
> > > was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially
> trying
> > > to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows rolled
> off
> > > about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100 hz
> > at -15
> > > db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my ears
on
> > > tape.
> > >
> > >
> > > the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused by
> the
> > > room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
> > > treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or
will
> i
> > > still need to eq.
> > >
> > > another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at
> > least
> > > part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard
> > arcing.
> > > or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i
would
> > like
> > > to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.
> > >
> > > i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of eq
> and
> > > just be tormented while i play.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:17:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

If you're close miking the instrument, I'd suspect the bassiness and muddiness
are more likely to be a monitoring issue than a recording one. Assuming you
have tried moving the mics around inside the piano- closer to the hammers,
further back, etc. and assuming the instrument is overly bassy or muddy, and
assuming you're using at least half decent mics, checking flat recordings on
various playback systems might reveal anomolies in your mixing room.



Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 8:17:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Throw some blankets over it, baffle/isolate it from the room. Record and
see if yer problem still exists.

Better still, get a Kawai MP 9000 stage piano.

Soft and loud pedals; excellent, variable action/touch; great sampled
sounds.

DI into your system, clean as a whistle.

Pick up an external sound module for more sounds.

Problem solved.

-rj-
www.thelittlecanadaheadphoneband.ca www.lchb.ca



"anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
news:LP7wd.84902$Vk6.56761@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an
apartment
>
> i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording.
everything
> was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially trying
> to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows rolled off
> about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100 hz
at -15
> db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my ears on
> tape.
>
>
> the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused by the
> room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
> treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or will i
> still need to eq.
>
> another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so at
least
> part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard
arcing.
> or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i would
like
> to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.
>
> i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of eq and
> just be tormented while i play.
>
>
>
>
December 16, 2004 11:28:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

the monitors sound good to me when i play commercial cd's so it's not the
monitors. i can't put the piano on a short wall due to layout.

it's not the mics or mic positioning because ive tried alot of different
mics and they all sound the same.

the piano sounds bassy in the room regardless of the recording so i need to
address the piano and/or room if i want a real solution. it's either too
big for the room, the room needs treatment or the soundboard was put in with
too much crown this is something i'm suspecting because it gets alot worse
when there is normal humidity. it sounds tolerable when the humidity is
below 20 percent which is too low and not recommended for pianos. very
frustrating. maybe i'll sell it and get an upright and be done with this.

i've made recordings in the room before that sounded fine, actually they
sounded great. drums sounded great, sax sounded great, acoustic guitar
sounded great. i recently recorded alto sax right next to the piano and i
couldn't get a bad sound if i tried.


"Eric K. Weber" <eric-nospam@webermusic.com> wrote in message
news:Sdlwd.32$I93.1918@news.uswest.net...
> The corner position will usually give the most bass boost, try along the
> short wall and vary the distance from the wall of both the piano and
> microphones. Quality monitor speakers are influenced by the room and
their
> position in it the same way the piano is. If you are monitoring in the
> same room as the recording is done in you may multiply any room node
issues.
> Try listening to some commercial tracks on you monitors to see if they
also
> have too much low end.
>
> Rgds:
> Eric
>
>
> "anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
> news:9Yawd.84909$Vk6.50980@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> >
> > "Eric K. Weber" <eric-nospam@webermusic.com> wrote in message
> > news:p 68wd.36$B87.14402@news.uswest.net...
> > > Is the excessive bass the recording or your monitoring setup?
> >
> > recording. monitoring is decent.
> > >
> > > What type of piano, where were the mic's and what type?
> >
> > 7 footer. tried mics all around the piano with similar results
everywhere.
> > km 184,rode classic, akg c61
> >
> > >
> > > What are the room dimensions and where is the piano located?
> >
> > piano is in corner. room is 22x 15?
> >
> > i pulled the piano out of the corner and it didnt make much of a
> difference
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Rgds:
> > > Eric
> > >
> > > "anon" <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote in message
> > > news:LP7wd.84902$Vk6.56761@twister.nyc.rr.com...
> > > > i posted a few times about problems recording a grand piano in an
> > > apartment
> > > >
> > > > i finally solved the problem at least getting a decent recording.
> > > everything
> > > > was too bassy and muddy, i switched to a mackie preamp (intentially
> > trying
> > > > to thin things out) with the highs boosted about 4 db, the lows
rolled
> > off
> > > > about 8 db or more. then used a low shelf on the masterlink at 100
hz
> > > at -15
> > > > db. this is pretty drastic eq, but at least it sounds good to my
ears
> on
> > > > tape.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > the problem now is how do i determine whether all of this is caused
by
> > the
> > > > room. if it is i guess i would need to spend a fair amount on room
> > > > treatment. is it possible to get all that bass out of the room, or
> will
> > i
> > > > still need to eq.
> > > >
> > > > another problem is that the bassiness gets worse on humid days, so
at
> > > least
> > > > part of this is the piano. specifically i think it is the soundboard
> > > arcing.
> > > > or maybe it is interaction between the soundboard and the room. i
> would
> > > like
> > > > to get a decent sound while i'm playing so what's the next step.
> > > >
> > > > i'm wondering if i need a different piano or if i just use alot of
eq
> > and
> > > > just be tormented while i play.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>
>
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 11:28:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

anon <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>
>the piano sounds bassy in the room regardless of the recording so i need to
>address the piano and/or room if i want a real solution. it's either too
>big for the room, the room needs treatment or the soundboard was put in with
>too much crown this is something i'm suspecting because it gets alot worse
>when there is normal humidity. it sounds tolerable when the humidity is
>below 20 percent which is too low and not recommended for pianos. very
>frustrating. maybe i'll sell it and get an upright and be done with this.

That basically is a room/piano problem and not a recording problem.

>i've made recordings in the room before that sounded fine, actually they
>sounded great. drums sounded great, sax sounded great, acoustic guitar
>sounded great. i recently recorded alto sax right next to the piano and i
>couldn't get a bad sound if i tried.

You can work around room problems. If you have standing wave issues, there
is usually some place in the room where you can put the mikes to avoid
them. There is also some place in the room that will make them all worse.
It's sure nice not to have to work around them, though.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 22, 2004 4:03:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 17:17:26 GMT, "**bg**"
<info@thelittlecanadaheadphoneband.ca> wrote:

>Throw some blankets over it, baffle/isolate it from the room. Record and
>see if yer problem still exists. <snip>

"Blankets" will attenuate the high end, not the bass.
>
>Better still, get a Kawai MP 9000 stage piano. <snip>

Oh boy....
>
>Soft and loud pedals; excellent, variable action/touch; great sampled
>sounds.
>
>DI into your system, clean as a whistle.
>
>Pick up an external sound module for more sounds.
>
>Problem solved. <snip>

....or just beginning, if he's a serious pianist.

I don't know, but having played piano since I was 4, I find there's no
substitute for a good grand inasmuch as tactile expression goes. The
"digianos" all sound the same to me...tinky tinky, and VERY japanese.
I played a Yamaha-ha-ha thing once because there was no grand to be
had at this studio...it was awful to me, but seems to satisfy the
general populace's need for the sausage which is popular music.

Having recorded more pianos in smallish rooms than I'd care to
remember, I DO know the kind of sound you're getting...tubby. Even
things above middle C seem tubby. You had no report as to the sound
of the piano when you play it for yourself in this room. Does it have
the proper "clang" during fortissimo, or is it still tubby? If the
latter, I'd check your soundboard and hammers, in that order.
Usually, extreme dryness (20% RH is considered "extreme") WILL cause
an arched soundboard, but will also cause "hard" hammers, partially
offsetting the tubbiness. Don't overlook the obvious here, either.
Sometimes wide variations in humidity can loosen the harp, making
harp-to-body conduction nearly impossible. If the soundboard is
severely distended, once "normal" humidity (30-60% RH) is attained,
the piano will sound terribly tubby, since humidity gets absorbed into
the hammer felt and thus mutes it ever so slightly. Japanese pianos
seem ungodly prone to this, but not real Stienways...for reasons I've
never figured out. Bald-ones seemed impervious to humidity
problems..."plywood" soundboard, perhaps?

I'm willing to bet you MAY have a piano problem as mentioned. But,
also, recording piano in a modern, 8 foot ceiling room is NOT optimal,
even with close miking. You could also be running into additive bass
wave problems. Many forget that the third dimension in ANY room,
height, is usually THE most important. If it is indeed the piano, get
a good, guild member tuner/voicer who's been around and is highly
recommended. This could be a real trick in outlying areas these days,
but paying for his time might work wonders.

By the way...how's the tuning and temperament on this grand? A poorly
tuned piano, one not off far enough to be "sour", can be robbed of
brightness, also. Press the damper and give Middle C a good jolt and
hold. If you hear beating faster than about one beat per one and a
half seconds, you need to at least touch up tuning. Play at the same
dynamic, with damper and una corda depressed...notice any apparant
pitch change? Same thing, maybe even worse. Also, beware of
screwball "alternative temperaments" and excessive "stretching" in
tuning. The pianoforte is tuned to Equal Temperament...PERIOD...and
stretching should be minimal, if at all. Excessive "stretching" to
fake brilliance is one of the biggest faux pas a tuner can make, and
bespeaks poor training. A tuner who crosschecks using a flatted 21st
knows how to NOT do this, even when turning by counting beats from a
single 440 Hz tone...which is getting to be a lost art.

Mics? Well...I'm SURE I'll get a lot of "you must be joking," but the
best piano mike I ever used was an Altec 21C set up for omni!

dB
December 22, 2004 6:11:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

the piano sounds tubby like a tuba in the room with or without recording. if
i roll of 100hz drastically to -15 then the recorded sound is ok. celings
are 11 feet, floor is hardwood. putting the lid all the way down makes
things alot worse. closing the lid completely over the piano i can still
hear the tubbiness.

humidity makes the tuba worse. dryness better, but it's not good for the
piano.

not sure what can be done to the soundboard by a tech. resetting the
bearing?

i never used an altec mic, but a mackie preamp helped things alot by
thinning the sound out.
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 1:35:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

anon <anonymousm@nyc.rr.com> wrote:
>the piano sounds tubby like a tuba in the room with or without recording. if
>i roll of 100hz drastically to -15 then the recorded sound is ok. celings
>are 11 feet, floor is hardwood. putting the lid all the way down makes
>things alot worse. closing the lid completely over the piano i can still
>hear the tubbiness.

Yes, this is typical.

>humidity makes the tuba worse. dryness better, but it's not good for the
>piano.
>
>not sure what can be done to the soundboard by a tech. resetting the
>bearing?

Maybe, but I bet you have a room problem from that description. Have a tech
come in, and a REAL tech and not just a piano tuner, and see what he can do.
Even if you have a room problem, a good tech can voice the piano to compensate
for it.

>i never used an altec mic, but a mackie preamp helped things alot by
>thinning the sound out.

That sure isn't a good sign.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 23, 2004 3:43:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I wonder how much is just taste in piano sounds. I'm often surprised at
how much low end I like rolled off a piano. Maybe you just prefer a
thin piano sound - more hearing it than feeling it.
!