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stereo vs mono piano

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Anonymous
February 25, 2005 2:35:13 PM

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

just to relate a recent experience doing a piano and flute duo
performing classical material.

the piano is a 7'4" bosendorfer in the pianist's living room, so i had
to track it on site. i used a spaced pair of DPA 4011s just outside the
curve. the flute was recorded in my studio using a spaced pair of DPA
4006s and an ORTF pair of AKG c481s. all through millennia media HV3
pres.

i started by mixing the piano as a hard LR panned image, which gives
you the 50' wide piano effect, low end on the left and high on the
right, with a slight hole in the middle for the flute. i reversed the
reverb returns to give some high end on the left and some bottom on the
right. i gave the piano a slight smile EQ to also make a place for the
flute to sit. i rahter tightly panned the flute tracks at maybe
10:30-1:30 or so.

the whole thing sounded mushy to me, flute wasnt localized enough, and
the piano sounded ridiculous to me spread out so far (even though most
of the piano/XXX duo CDs i have display this kind of wide panning for
the piano). i tried everything i knew with various stereo effects
reducing the panned piano image to a more naroow space (which made it
conflict with the flute, of course), blah, blah, etc. finally, i got so
frustrated, i pulled all the faders down except for one of the piano
mics, and one of the flute mics, gave them each a bit of a nice stereo
reverb, panned the flute just left of center, and the piano just roght
of center, and BINGO - all of a sudden the whole mix took on a new life
- both instruments have a defined place in the stereo image, while the
stereo reverb gives a natrual sounding width to both instruments.

i guess i relay all this because in the past, i have never even
considered micing a piano in mono, and virtually always have tracked
solo instruments like flutes in stereo. duh, duh, and duh...




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
jnorman
sunridge studios
salem, oregon

More about : stereo mono piano

Anonymous
February 25, 2005 5:51:38 PM

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

In article <1109360113.214525.119080@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
jnorman34@comcast.net wrote:

> the piano is a 7'4" bosendorfer in the pianist's living room, so i had
> to track it on site. i used a spaced pair of DPA 4011s just outside the
> curve.

Next time you might try micing the piano from a little farther off for
classical recording. Especially on a big instrument like a grand
Bosendorfer, the sound needs a little bit of space to spread/mix
acoustically before you get the mics on it. Assuming the room is good
and not noisy, you might like the stereo image more if you mic from 6+
feet away.

-Todd
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 6:22:23 PM

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

On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 14:51:38 -0500, Todd Lipcon <todd@lipcon.org>
wrote:

>Next time you might try micing the piano from a little farther off for
>classical recording. Especially on a big instrument like a grand
>Bosendorfer, the sound needs a little bit of space to spread/mix
>acoustically before you get the mics on it. Assuming the room is good
>and not noisy, you might like the stereo image more if you mic from 6+
>feet away.

Right. Went to a live vs. recorded demo at Bosendorfer in Manhattan
last week and they used a closely-spaced pair of omnis. The
reproduced sound was just as muffled and congested as was the live
since I was seated less than 6 feet from the piano. When I returned
to the room from getting a glass of water, the sound of the piano at
15-20' was vastly superior.

Kal
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 4:11:42 PM

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

<jnorman34@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> [...]
>
> i guess i relay all this because in the past, i have never even
> considered micing a piano in mono, and virtually always have tracked
> solo instruments like flutes in stereo.



This past week we had Pat Metheny on one of our shows with a bass
player. After some noodling around with various stereo setups, Don (the
mixer) decided that the best sound was both instruments mono dead centre
with a little stereo 'verb.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 2:06:20 AM

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

<jnorman34@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:1109360113.214525.119080@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> just to relate a recent experience doing a piano and flute duo
> performing classical material.
>
> the piano is a 7'4" bosendorfer in the pianist's living room, so i had
> to track it on site. i used a spaced pair of DPA 4011s just outside the
> curve. the flute was recorded in my studio using a spaced pair of DPA
> 4006s and an ORTF pair of AKG c481s. all through millennia media HV3
> pres.
>
> i started by mixing the piano as a hard LR panned image, which gives
> you the 50' wide piano effect,

So why not pan the L and R tracks to give the stereo width of the piano a
narrower focus ?

geoff
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 11:10:15 AM

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

Hi jnorman
If you like I could send you a PDF on recording grand piano.
It is based on my experience working with Oscar Peterson and Glenn
Gould.
I also have mp3's I could send
kevin doyle
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 10:06:45 PM

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

On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 21:22:23 +0100, Kalman Rubinson wrote:

> On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 14:51:38 -0500, Todd Lipcon <todd@lipcon.org> wrote:
>
>>Next time you might try micing the piano from a little farther off for
>>classical recording. Especially on a big instrument like a grand
>>Bosendorfer, the sound needs a little bit of space to spread/mix
>>acoustically before you get the mics on it. Assuming the room is good
>>and not noisy, you might like the stereo image more if you mic from 6+
>>feet away.
>
> Right. Went to a live vs. recorded demo at Bosendorfer in Manhattan
> last week and they used a closely-spaced pair of omnis. The reproduced
> sound was just as muffled and congested as was the live since I was
> seated less than 6 feet from the piano. When I returned to the room
> from getting a glass of water, the sound of the piano at 15-20' was
> vastly superior.

The lid on a piano suggests the sound comes from the top of the piano. A
lot of the sound comes from the bottom. So for a piano you should keep
some distance, and a reflecting floor, so the sound can blend a little.

The OP says the recording location was the pianist's living room. There
you have a dilema. Most living rooms have acoustics you want to avoid,
this results in rather close miking.

If you want a good stereo recording of a piano, keep your distance and
you can use a AB setup. If you must go closer, you better go to a XY
setup and try some pan to get the stereo image as good as possible. Close
miking with a AB setup combined with pan will give strange side effects.

--
Chel van Gennip
Visit Serg van Gennip's site http://www.serg.vangennip.com
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 1:45:42 AM

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

Chel van Gennip wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 21:22:23 +0100, Kalman Rubinson wrote:
>
>
>>On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 14:51:38 -0500, Todd Lipcon <todd@lipcon.org> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Next time you might try micing the piano from a little farther off for
>>>classical recording. Especially on a big instrument like a grand
>>>Bosendorfer, the sound needs a little bit of space to spread/mix
>>>acoustically before you get the mics on it. Assuming the room is good
>>>and not noisy, you might like the stereo image more if you mic from 6+
>>>feet away.
>>
>>Right. Went to a live vs. recorded demo at Bosendorfer in Manhattan
>>last week and they used a closely-spaced pair of omnis. The reproduced
>>sound was just as muffled and congested as was the live since I was
>>seated less than 6 feet from the piano. When I returned to the room
>>from getting a glass of water, the sound of the piano at 15-20' was
>>vastly superior.
>
>
> The lid on a piano suggests the sound comes from the top of the piano. A
> lot of the sound comes from the bottom. So for a piano you should keep
> some distance, and a reflecting floor, so the sound can blend a little.
>
> The OP says the recording location was the pianist's living room. There
> you have a dilema. Most living rooms have acoustics you want to avoid,
> this results in rather close miking.
>
> If you want a good stereo recording of a piano, keep your distance and
> you can use a AB setup. If you must go closer, you better go to a XY
> setup and try some pan to get the stereo image as good as possible. Close
> miking with a AB setup combined with pan will give strange side effects.
>
I'm curious. The soundtrack from Antwone Fisher, featuring music by
Mychael Danna, has several wonderful songs with piano leads. I love the
imaging in these recordings. I feel as if my ears are inside the piano.
How were those done?

CD
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 3:22:15 AM

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

maybe with the mics inside the piano? but who listens with their head
in there anyway?
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 11:03:01 AM

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

hi kevin - thanks for the offer. yes, i'd like to read the pdf. you
can email it to me at jnorman34 at comcast.net.
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 11:30:49 AM

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

Codifus <codifus@optonline.net> wrote:
>>
>I'm curious. The soundtrack from Antwone Fisher, featuring music by
>Mychael Danna, has several wonderful songs with piano leads. I love the
>imaging in these recordings. I feel as if my ears are inside the piano.
>How were those done?

That is the sad and unfortunate result of putting mikes close into the
piano and panning them wide. I cannot stand the fifty-foot-piano effect.
It sounds like your ears are inside the piano, and that's not how you
listen to pianos in real life at all.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
March 11, 2005 9:19:02 PM

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

Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:
> Codifus <codifus@optonline.net> wrote:
>>>
>>I'm curious. The soundtrack from Antwone Fisher, featuring music by
>>Mychael Danna, has several wonderful songs with piano leads. I love the
>>imaging in these recordings. I feel as if my ears are inside the piano.
>>How were those done?

> That is the sad and unfortunate result of putting mikes close into the
> piano and panning them wide. I cannot stand the fifty-foot-piano effect.
> It sounds like your ears are inside the piano, and that's not how you
> listen to pianos in real life at all.

I would like to hear a concert pianists response to this. Since that
is indeed how they hear the piano as they play it.

Do they prefer to hear pianos as an audience hears it? Or the way they
do when they play?

My experience with their choice in having the lid up or down or half-stick
sometimes indicates that they are doing that way because they prefer the
sound from their vantage point. But would they do so if they had to
listen to it from 20 feet way and get that mushy closed lid sound?

Maybe the next time a pianist wants to play with a closed lid, I should put
the mics behind his head.

Rob R.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 3:43:57 AM

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

Rob Reedijk <reedijk@hera.med.utoronto.ca> wrote in
news:D 0snem$3mj$1@news1.chem.utoronto.ca:

> I would like to hear a concert pianists response to this. Since that
> is indeed how they hear the piano as they play it.
>
> Do they prefer to hear pianos as an audience hears it? Or the way
> they do when they play?

I don't qualify as a concert performer, but I recognize the differences
between what I hear at the keyboard and what the audience hears. I don't
want them exposed to the pedal noise, the felt on the strings, and the
action noise, not to mention the wide stereo sound. Still, being that
close is an important part of hearing what I play with maximum accuracy so
I can adjust as needed to the instrument, the room, the audience, time of
day, barometric pressure, whatever.

It isn't much different from playing a violin, calmly assured that what the
audience hears is much more pleasant than the sound at my ears.
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 4:51:41 AM

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

Hi Lorin!
Bucky Burro is smiling and nodding his approval as if to say, "Ahhh,
Lorin is finally catching on...." :>) Mono rules!
Cheers, Rick Novak.

Lorin David Schultz wrote:
> This past week we had Pat Metheny on one of our shows with a bass
> player. After some noodling around with various stereo setups, Don
(the
> mixer) decided that the best sound was both instruments mono dead
centre
> with a little stereo 'verb.
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 11:05:05 PM

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

In article <d04f69$gdv$1@panix2.panix.com>,
Scott Dorsey <kludge@panix.com> wrote:
>Codifus <codifus@optonline.net> wrote:
>>>
>>I'm curious. The soundtrack from Antwone Fisher, featuring music by
>>Mychael Danna, has several wonderful songs with piano leads. I love the
>>imaging in these recordings. I feel as if my ears are inside the piano.
>>How were those done?

>That is the sad and unfortunate result of putting mikes close
>into the piano and panning them wide. I cannot stand the
>fifty-foot-piano effect. It sounds like your ears are inside the
>piano, and that's not how you listen to pianos in real life at
>all.

I liked to use crossed cardiods positioned pointing to the far end
of the piano with placement just over the keyboards. Then another
mike pointing to the keyboard/vocalist. The pair isolated the
vocal from the piano tracks and gave a nice real stereo sound,
and the vocal mike kept the piano out of the vox mike.

When I could do it I'd use a C-24 a few feet away from the piano.

Close miking a piano takes away so much and you can often tell
where the mikes are placed by the hot notes in the mix.


--
Bill Vermillion - bv @ wjv . com
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 2:30:17 AM

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

"Bill Vermillion" <bv@wjv.com> wrote:
>
> Close miking a piano takes away so much and you can often tell
> where the mikes are placed by the hot notes in the mix.



If you're getting hot notes you're not compressing it hard enough. <g>

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 9:32:37 AM

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

"Lorin David Schultz" <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote in message news:D _m0e.103718$fc4.34102@edtnps89...
> "Bill Vermillion" <bv@wjv.com> wrote:
> >
> > Close miking a piano takes away so much and you can often tell
> > where the mikes are placed by the hot notes in the mix.
>
>
>
> If you're getting hot notes you're not compressing it hard enough. <g>


Ouch.... ;-)
Anonymous
May 4, 2009 12:55:39 AM



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

Hi jnorman
If you like I could send you a PDF on recording grand piano.
It is based on my experience working with Oscar Peterson and Glenn
Gould.
I also have mp3's I could send
kevin doyle



Hi Mr. Doyle,

I'm a professional classical pianist and have no idea if I should buy stereo mics or mono one for recording myself on stage, or in another environment, wanting the recording to be as professional as possible for making a dvd. I currently bought two mono SE1a mics to make a stereo recording but can return them-- should I? Is one mono mic better for recording piano than two perhaps poorly placed by an amateur (I have no recording experience), and where should it be placed? Which microphone/s would you recommend? I heard that Brendel was recorded using only a mono mic, how was Glenn Gould recorded?

Thank you!!! I would love your input and pdf on recording piano, as I need to return the mics ASAP if I have to.
!