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recording toy piano?

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Anonymous
September 8, 2005 9:14:11 PM

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

hello!

i've lurked here on and off over the years, but i don't believe i've
ever posted before...

anyway, does anyone have any advice on how to get a good recording of a
toy piano, ie a schoenhut or jaymar type piano? i'm trying to get a
reasonbly full-bodied and even sound over the full range, while avoiding
excessive high-end harshness.

has anyone managed to get good, listenable toy piano recordings, and if
so, what equipment and techniques did you use?

thanks in advance!!


--
Pea Hicks
San Diego, CA
USA
http://www.myspace.com/opyrs

More about : recording toy piano

Anonymous
September 9, 2005 12:17:39 AM

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

Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com> wrote:
>
>anyway, does anyone have any advice on how to get a good recording of a
>toy piano, ie a schoenhut or jaymar type piano? i'm trying to get a
>reasonbly full-bodied and even sound over the full range, while avoiding
>excessive high-end harshness.
>
>has anyone managed to get good, listenable toy piano recordings, and if
>so, what equipment and techniques did you use?

If you want it to sound clangy and plunky, without being really harsh on
the top end, try a 635A, or a ribbon mike. I know some people have opened
up the top of the things with a saw, but I think that just makes things
worse on top.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 12:17:40 AM

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

Scott Dorsey wrote:

> Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com> wrote:
>
>>anyway, does anyone have any advice on how to get a good recording of a
>>toy piano, ie a schoenhut or jaymar type piano? i'm trying to get a
>>reasonbly full-bodied and even sound over the full range, while avoiding
>>excessive high-end harshness.
>>
>>has anyone managed to get good, listenable toy piano recordings, and if
>>so, what equipment and techniques did you use?
>
>
> If you want it to sound clangy and plunky, without being really harsh on
> the top end, try a 635A,

is there any notable difference in a vintage 635a vs a modern one? i see
a vintage one on ebay for $35 (cosmetically rough, but the ad says it
works fine)... but i can get a brand new one for $100-


or a ribbon mike.

any particular recommendations here?


thanks!!!
pea
Related resources
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 4:45:02 AM

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

On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 17:14:11 -0700, Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com>
wrote:

>has anyone managed to get good, listenable toy piano recordings, and if
>so, what equipment and techniques did you use?

Do you like the Daniel Johnston sound? Sometimes
primitive applies. Perhaps not for you, but great
art has been made primitively.

What's your goal in this recording? Verbatim
accuracy, kitsch, nostalgia? Etc. like that?

Sounds very intriguing,

Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 4:45:03 AM

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

Chris Hornbeck wrote:

> On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 17:14:11 -0700, Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>>has anyone managed to get good, listenable toy piano recordings, and if
>>so, what equipment and techniques did you use?
>
>
> Do you like the Daniel Johnston sound? Sometimes
> primitive applies. Perhaps not for you, but great
> art has been made primitively.

alot of the stuff that i do is lo-fi/primitive in nature (see
www.optigan.com), but for this particular project (kind of a minimalist
rhythmic piece) i'm looking for a more detailed, "polished" sound that
fatigues the ear as little as possible. margaret leng-tan got a decent
toy piano sound on her recordings.

pea
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 5:41:06 AM

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

On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 17:58:55 -0700, Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com>
wrote:

>> Do you like the Daniel Johnston sound? Sometimes
>> primitive applies. Perhaps not for you, but great
>> art has been made primitively.
>
>alot of the stuff that i do is lo-fi/primitive in nature (see
>www.optigan.com), but for this particular project (kind of a minimalist
>rhythmic piece) i'm looking for a more detailed, "polished" sound that
>fatigues the ear as little as possible. margaret leng-tan got a decent
>toy piano sound on her recordings.

Somehow, the name Linda Ronstadt keeps coming to
my mind associated with the name "optigan". I'll try to
sober up tomorrow and find something useful. 'Course,
Scott's already covered all the bases.

Good fortune,

Chris Hornbeck
"But it's the almostness of Godard's films that makes it special;
if it were too perfect, it would be mechanized and dull. Instead
of dancing, it would be choreography, an applied science."
-rcraig62 commenting on _Bande a part_, 1964
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 8:36:36 AM

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

hi Pea,

i can't really offer a great deal of help, but your post reminded me of
an Oasis song which features a toy piano given to Noel Gallagher by
Mick Jagger (apparently).

Its used on the title track of 'Be Here Now' and has an annoyingly
catchyness to it :-) might be worth a listen at least.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/clipserve/B000002C250...

cheers,

LuKe
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 11:47:50 AM

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

Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com> wrote:
>is there any notable difference in a vintage 635a vs a modern one? i see
>a vintage one on ebay for $35 (cosmetically rough, but the ad says it
>works fine)... but i can get a brand new one for $100-

No. The old $35 one is fine.

>or a ribbon mike.
>
>any particular recommendations here?

Try whatever you got in the box! Last time I had to do this, I used a
77DX since that's what was on the stand already. I'm not saying it's
optimal...
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 6:11:31 PM

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

Hi Pea....

Glad to see you here.
I've always loved your Optigan website...

I've recorded toy pianos quite a bit, and have always wound up using a
ribbon, mainly to reduce the hammer-on-metal sound....

The aforementioned 635a is a good call too...

Hell, an SM57 or 58 would work too....

Just steer clear of a condensor, as it tends to drag all that auxillery
hammer-noise along with it....

Luck!
Bruce
Anonymous
September 9, 2005 8:17:33 PM

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

tonewoods@rockisland.com wrote:

> Hi Pea....
>
> Glad to see you here.
> I've always loved your Optigan website...

thanks bruce!

>
> I've recorded toy pianos quite a bit, and have always wound up using a
> ribbon, mainly to reduce the hammer-on-metal sound....

yeah, that's part of what i'm trying to get at... have you used any
other sort of processing?

cheers-
pea
Anonymous
September 10, 2005 3:38:42 AM

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

On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 17:58:55 -0700, Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com>
wrote:

>alot of the stuff that i do is lo-fi/primitive in nature (see
>www.optigan.com), but for this particular project (kind of a minimalist
>rhythmic piece) i'm looking for a more detailed, "polished" sound that
>fatigues the ear as little as possible. margaret leng-tan got a decent
>toy piano sound on her recordings.

The toy piano intro to "Handful of Hearts" on the
Spinanes' _Imp Years_ singles compilation (Merge MRG160)
will break yer heart. It's close miked (I'd guess)
and the out-of-tuneness is emphasized.

It was recorded by Pat Maley at YoYo Studios in
Olympia, Wa. Maybe Pat would have an interesting comment.
ps: the music's great; worth hearing. As is anything
else by Rebecca Gates.

Good fortune,

Chris Hornbeck
"But it's the almostness of Godard's films that makes it special;
if it were too perfect, it would be mechanized and dull. Instead
of dancing, it would be choreography, an applied science."
-rcraig62 commenting on _Bande a part_, 1964
Anonymous
September 10, 2005 5:26:10 AM

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

In article <vs4Ue.209356$E95.102466@fed1read01>,
Pea Hicks <phix@optigan.com> wrote:

> anyway, does anyone have any advice on how to get a good recording of a
> toy piano, ie a schoenhut or jaymar type piano? i'm trying to get a
> reasonbly full-bodied and even sound over the full range, while avoiding
> excessive high-end harshness.
>
> has anyone managed to get good, listenable toy piano recordings, and if
> so, what equipment and techniques did you use?
>
> thanks in advance!!




Reminded me of the INXS song 'Beautiful Girl" where the melodic hook is
either a toy piano or a damn nice sample of one. Just played it a couple
days ago for an Austrailian client who didn't know much about the band.

So you may also want to see there's a nice sample of one around
somewhere ...



David Correia
www.Celebrationsound.com
Anonymous
September 10, 2005 11:45:27 AM

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

"yeah, that's part of what i'm trying to get at... have you used any
other sort of processing?"

I guess it depends on what you're trying to do with it...

Seems like I always wanted that realistic airy child-like sound that
the Jaymar is so good at doing...

I could really hear some interesting sounds coming out of that
instrument though, like nuke-ing it with a Distressor after running it
through a Leslie or the like...

My pile of Jaymars and Schoenhuts is getting rather large around here,
as I just can't seem to turn them down when I see them cheap at garage
sales.
The problem is that they all seem to have a very similar sound, with
the little red Jaymars sounding pretty similar to the concert-grand
models that come complete with the bench....
Wish they varied more....

You might want to Google Margaret Leng Tan, who has a gob of serious
toy piano recordings out there...
Interesting stuff...

Oh, and I have a bunch of 635a's kicking around here if you want to
borrow one for your project.
Very useful mics to have permanently wired and on hand for a variety of
things like hand-percussion and shakers....

Bruce
Anonymous
September 10, 2005 2:41:00 PM

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

tonewoods@rockisland.com wrote:


> You might want to Google Margaret Leng Tan, who has a gob of serious
> toy piano recordings out there...
> Interesting stuff...

yeah, i mentioned earlier in the thread that the leng tan recordings
were a good model for this project, as this is a "serious" recording,
not "experimental" in nature.

>
> Oh, and I have a bunch of 635a's kicking around here if you want to
> borrow one for your project.
> Very useful mics to have permanently wired and on hand for a variety of
> things like hand-percussion and shakers....

thanks! i really appreciate the offer!! at this point, i'll probably
just buy one because they're so cheap, but i'll let you know.

cheers!
pea
!