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mono piano revisted...

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Anonymous
August 23, 2005 6:29:12 PM

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

i just finished a CD for a flute and piano duo. as per apparently
normal technique, i tracked the piano in stereo with a pair of DPA
4011s just outside of the curve of the body (a nice 7'4" bosendorfer).

i struggled when pre-mixing this thing (final mixing was done by lynn
fuston, btw), because i didnt really like the sound of the piano spread
out with all the bottom on the left and all the high notes on the
right, which, however, sounds like almost every other piano CD in my
collection. but it just didnt sound realistic to me to mix it that way.
i tried pulling the piano in to a tighter LR spread, but of course
started introducing phase issues. i also tried just using one of the
piano mics to get a mono piano panned just left, with the flute just to
the right - a much nicer sound with a definte place for the piano in
the stereo image, especially sitting right in front of the monitors
(the wide piano effect sort of disappears as you get farther from the
speakers). on the CD, we wound up going with the wide piano, and it is
okay, but i am thinking maybe i should seriously try a mono piano next
time, or a compromise, like a single close mic and a pair of omnis out
in the room to give some vague stereo effect behind the mono close mic.
i also record pedal harp a lot, and have the exact same concern about
it - maybe i will try a single close mic, with a stereo pair out in the
room. however, i know some engineers complain about mixing close mics
with distant mics, like your ears are in two places at once.

anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.
__________________
jnorman
sunridge studios
salem, oregon

More about : mono piano revisted

Anonymous
August 23, 2005 11:35:10 PM

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

jnorman34@comcast.net wrote:
> i just finished a CD for a flute and piano duo. as per apparently
> normal technique, i tracked the piano in stereo with a pair of DPA
> 4011s just outside of the curve of the body (a nice 7'4" bosendorfer).
>
> i struggled when pre-mixing this thing (final mixing was done by lynn
> fuston, btw), because i didnt really like the sound of the piano spread
> out with all the bottom on the left and all the high notes on the
> right, which, however, sounds like almost every other piano CD in my
> collection. but it just didnt sound realistic to me to mix it that way.
> i tried pulling the piano in to a tighter LR spread, but of course
> started introducing phase issues. i also tried just using one of the
> piano mics to get a mono piano panned just left, with the flute just to
> the right - a much nicer sound with a definte place for the piano in
> the stereo image, especially sitting right in front of the monitors
> (the wide piano effect sort of disappears as you get farther from the
> speakers). on the CD, we wound up going with the wide piano, and it is
> okay, but i am thinking maybe i should seriously try a mono piano next
> time, or a compromise, like a single close mic and a pair of omnis out
> in the room to give some vague stereo effect behind the mono close mic.
> i also record pedal harp a lot, and have the exact same concern about
> it - maybe i will try a single close mic, with a stereo pair out in the
> room. however, i know some engineers complain about mixing close mics
> with distant mics, like your ears are in two places at once.
>
> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
> instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
> a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.

So basically you used a close miced approach, although the
stereo micing of the piano may have been fine if you where just
recording piano. But you are missing the main space that ties the two
together - I have a Chick Corea record with the 50 foot wide piano
thing in the middle of an Quintet or something, and that kind of bugged
me perhaps similarly to how the wide piano is bugging you on your
recording.

The way you did it is typical of how we have to do such things in
TV studios quite often, main mic pairs are usually not feasable in the
environment so you *need* a decent reverb, and I typically narrow down
the piano spread and try to move that to a specific location in the
soundfield that matches picture. You might try a good stereo
convolution reverb and try panning the piano and the flute into the
positions in the space they were actually in. Or a high end 'verb,
really once upon a time I saw Lexicon 480's and 300's used a _lot_ on
Orchestral recordings, and if you use stereo patches and careful
panning to match the Main Room mics (well - or lack thereof) you might
discover it's a pretty familiar sound.

But in a studio space I'd think a minimalist approach - a main mic
pair placed inside the critical distance where the piano and flute are
balanced properly for the material - and then with maybe your single
piano spot mic for definition, carefully panned to the piano's position
in the stereo field might have been a more satisfying approach for a
classical recording. Still might need reverb these days though.

Will Miho
NY Music and TV/Audio Post Guy
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 1:52:19 AM

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

In article <1124832552.642126.250580@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
jnorman34@comcast.net wrote:

> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
> instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
> a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.

If you are having problems with using 2 mics on grand piano, why would
adding a 3rd make it any better?? You gotta walk before you can run.

As others have pointed out, you gotta check the phase before you hit
record. If you don't have a mono button for your two mics, then pan them
dead center and listen to how different the full frequency response
changes compared to the stereo pan. Of course it's gonna sound
different, the trick is not to lose the sound of the piano, especially
the bottom.

You gotta be careful where you place your mics. Move them til you don't
mind the mono sound, and then you should be able to pan them any way you
like them.

I think the mono vs stereo piano question you have will answer itself
when you compare a well recorded stereo piano to its mono version.

Keep on messing around with it. A well recorded piano can sound
absolutely wonderful.




David Correia
www.Celebrationsound.com
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Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:21:55 AM

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

On 8/23/05 5:29 PM, in article
1124832552.642126.250580@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com,
"jnorman34@comcast.net" <jnorman34@comcast.net> wrote:

SNIP
> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
> instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
> a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.

Damn...
Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's important to check
for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME SOUND!" and hitting REC.
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 4:27:51 AM

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

On 2005-08-23 ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com said:
>> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other
>>big instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo,
>>and/or blending a single close mic with a room stereo pair?
>thanks. Damn...
>Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's important
>to check for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME SOUND!" and
>hitting REC.
HEy I resemble that remark1!! I've been known to do that with stereo
and multiple mic setups for such instruments. gUess I'm paranoid but
I might decide at the mixing stage that I really don't want a wide
stereo piano and don't like being bitten in the posterior.
My thoughts might change by mixdown time etc.



Richard Webb,
Electric SPider Productions, New Orleans, La.
REplace anything before the @ symbol with elspider for real email

--
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 4:45:10 AM

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

On 8/23/05 8:27 PM, in article baPOe.1113$db6.263@bignews3.bellsouth.net,
"0junk4me@bellsouth.net" <0junk4me@bellsouth.net> wrote:

>
> On 2005-08-23 ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com said:
>>> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other
>>> big instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo,
>>> and/or blending a single close mic with a room stereo pair?
>> thanks. Damn...
>> Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's important
>> to check for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME SOUND!" and
>> hitting REC.
> HEy I resemble that remark1!! I've been known to do that with stereo
> and multiple mic setups for such instruments. gUess I'm paranoid but
> I might decide at the mixing stage that I really don't want a wide
> stereo piano and don't like being bitten in the posterior.
> My thoughts might change by mixdown time etc.

Richard... Richard... It's OOOOOZING with sarcasm up there... Those of us
who've been recording longer than some folks have been ALIVE find it more
than passing amusing that, after being giggled at for such a thing so
old-fashioned (or is it now Old School and thus Cool?) as INSISTING that if
the anything in the mix doesn't survive mono-sum you're not NEAR done yet,
folks are bypassing the BASICS and then runnin ginto a wall and wondering
why...

Dick Rosmini, Thanks yet again, wherever you are...
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 8:38:02 AM

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

On 2005-08-24 ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com said:
I wrote:
>>> Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's
>>>important to check for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME
>>>SOUND!" and hitting REC.
>> HEy I resemble that remark!!! I've been known to do that with
>>stereo and multiple mic setups for such instruments. Guess I'm
>>paranoid but I might decide at the mixing stage that I really
>>don't want a wide stereo piano and don't like being bitten in the
>>posterior. My thoughts might change by mixdown time etc.
>Richard... Richard... It's OOOOOZING with sarcasm up there... Those
>of us who've been recording longer than some folks have been ALIVE
>find it more than passing amusing that, after being giggled at for
>such a thing so old-fashioned (or is it now Old School and thus
>Cool?) as INSISTING that if the anything in the mix doesn't survive
>mono-sum you're not NEAR done yet, folks are bypassing the BASICS
>and then runnin ginto a wall and wondering why...
True, gathered there was some sarcasm there, but one of our purposes
here is education, and that's one area where I'm actually qualified to
help do some of that <g>. Hence I couldn't leave it alone.
Hate to tell the original poster, he forgot part of the basics and ran
into that thar wall.
NExt tom grasshopper check for mono compatability and you'll be much
happier with the choices available to you at mixdown.




Richard Webb,
Electric SPider Productions, New Orleans, La.
REplace anything before the @ symbol with elspider for real email

--



Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 1:03:55 PM

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

<jnorman34@comcast.net> wrote:
>i struggled when pre-mixing this thing (final mixing was done by lynn
>fuston, btw), because i didnt really like the sound of the piano spread
>out with all the bottom on the left and all the high notes on the
>right, which, however, sounds like almost every other piano CD in my
>collection. but it just didnt sound realistic to me to mix it that way.

So, pan it in so that it sounds like a real piano. My feeling is that
pulling the mikes back and miking the room prevents the fifty-foot-wide
piano effect and gives you something that sounds more like a real piano
in a real room.

>i tried pulling the piano in to a tighter LR spread, but of course
>started introducing phase issues.

Why of course? How did you mike the piano? If you used fairly close
placement inside the piano, that shouldn't be too big an issue.

>anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
>instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
>a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.

I think there are a lot of ways to get a piano that sounds like a piano,
both miking the room and spotmiking the piano and panning it into place.
But I do not like feeling like my head is inside the piano."
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 3:02:04 PM

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

SSJVCmag <ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com> wrote:

> Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's important to check
> for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME SOUND!" and hitting REC.

Yeah well... Now you've made me confused again. jnorman didn't use
spaced omnis, but in reference to your remark about mono
compatibility... Isn't it so that a A-B stereo using a pair of spaced
omnis is a valid and widely accepted recording technique? and isn't it
so that mono compatibility is one of it's weaknesses?

Lars


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
aim: larsfarm@mac.com
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 5:06:01 PM

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

On 8/23/05 9:52 PM, in article
cassette1-F9CCB2.21521823082005@comcast.dca.giganews.com, "david correia"
<cassette1@comcast.net> wrote:

> In article <1124832552.642126.250580@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
> jnorman34@comcast.net wrote:
>
>> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
>> instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
>> a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.
>
> If you are having problems with using 2 mics on grand piano, why would
> adding a 3rd make it any better?? You gotta walk before you can run.

Howsomever, If I read his idea right he suggested ONE mic in The Right Place
and then a couple farther back to give a stereo-field option... All to
separate tracks, not intended to mono-sum. A MONO-Close-Mic Stereo-room
approach

>

\
> Keep on messing around with it. A well recorded piano can sound
> absolutely wonderful.

BING!!
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 5:08:37 PM

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

On 8/24/05 12:38 AM, in article KQSOe.27013$xW.22446@bignews6.bellsouth.net,
"0junk4me@bellsouth.net" <0junk4me@bellsouth.net> wrote:


>>>> Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's
>>>> important to check for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME
>>>> SOUND!" and hitting REC.
>>> HEy I resemble that remark!!! (SNIP)
>> Richard... Richard... It's OOOOOZING with sarcasm up there... (SNIP)
> True, gathered there was some sarcasm there, but one of our purposes
> here is education, and that's one area where I'm actually qualified to
> help do some of that <g>. Hence I couldn't leave it alone.

Good Cop Bad Cop...
It's a time-honored approach for getting the target's attention...
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 5:21:14 PM

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

On 8/24/05 7:02 AM, in article
1h1su9w.1e8np5mkpagyoN%see.bottom.of.page.for.lars@farm.se, "Lars Farm"
<see.bottom.of.page.for.lars@farm.se> wrote:

> SSJVCmag <ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com> wrote:
>
>> Next thing I know, folks here'll be suggesting that it's important to check
>> for mono compatibility before saying 'AWESOME SOUND!" and hitting REC.
>
> Yeah well... Now you've made me confused again. jnorman didn't use
> spaced omnis, but in reference to your remark about mono
> compatibility... Isn't it so that a A-B stereo using a pair of spaced
> omnis is a valid and widely accepted recording technique? and isn't it
> so that mono compatibility is one of it's weaknesses?

Who said otherwise...?
You're forcing together "coincident pair' with "mono compatible' and they
are NOT tied-at-the-hip.
Finding a mic sweet-spot for any instrument is the job. The closer you get
the more impossible this is. It's EASY to get things to work equally well in
mono with a coincident pair, but you might not be able to get the SOUND you
want that way and thus you walk thru the door (the one over there with the
illuminated WARNING sign over it) into spaced pair and THEN it's TOUGH to
find those -two- sweet spots that ALSO like to be summed -and- keep the
sense of the stereo sound.
It's a hell of a fight but that's what I THOUGHT we were supposed to be in
the room for.
RCA recording engineer Max Wilcox comes to mind any time I have to approach
a piano. I Am Not Worthy...
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 6:38:11 PM

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

Why not try a coincidental X-Y pair mouned above the piano? This will give
you a narrower stereo image compared to a spaced pair. Also, if you decide
to mix it even narrower by panning each side closer to centre, you won't
have any phase cancellation problems.

Bill Ruys.

<jnorman34@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:1124832552.642126.250580@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
>i just finished a CD for a flute and piano duo. as per apparently
> normal technique, i tracked the piano in stereo with a pair of DPA
> 4011s just outside of the curve of the body (a nice 7'4" bosendorfer).
>
> i struggled when pre-mixing this thing (final mixing was done by lynn
> fuston, btw), because i didnt really like the sound of the piano spread
> out with all the bottom on the left and all the high notes on the
> right, which, however, sounds like almost every other piano CD in my
> collection. but it just didnt sound realistic to me to mix it that way.
> i tried pulling the piano in to a tighter LR spread, but of course
> started introducing phase issues. i also tried just using one of the
> piano mics to get a mono piano panned just left, with the flute just to
> the right - a much nicer sound with a definte place for the piano in
> the stereo image, especially sitting right in front of the monitors
> (the wide piano effect sort of disappears as you get farther from the
> speakers). on the CD, we wound up going with the wide piano, and it is
> okay, but i am thinking maybe i should seriously try a mono piano next
> time, or a compromise, like a single close mic and a pair of omnis out
> in the room to give some vague stereo effect behind the mono close mic.
> i also record pedal harp a lot, and have the exact same concern about
> it - maybe i will try a single close mic, with a stereo pair out in the
> room. however, i know some engineers complain about mixing close mics
> with distant mics, like your ears are in two places at once.
>
> anyway, what do you guys think about recording pianos, and other big
> instruments like pedal harp, in mono instead of stereo, and/or blending
> a single close mic with a room stereo pair? thanks.
> __________________
> jnorman
> sunridge studios
> salem, oregon
>
!