Recording acoustic piano

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  • @ayehahmur  6 days

    I write on an acoustic piano and due to the rapid fire nature of FAWM, I'm probably just going to be recording simple piano/vocal demos without anything additional.
    Does anyone have any tips for recording acoustic piano?

  • @timfatchen 6 days

    Even though I have an acoustic grand that lends itself to recording by having parallel strings throught, all my attempts in the early days were appalling. The best I could do you can hear on Spotify (look up Tim Fatchen - Jiglet or Tirdewater. Or CDBaby). Which is why I eventually shifted and stayed on keyboards and stage pianos. My best suggestion is to treat the piano like a live performance, and record back in the room a bit. And try to get a fairly dead room too.

  • @ayehahmur  6 days

    I find it hard to evenly get the whole range without being swamped by the lower tones - and unfortunately my room is pretty lively too, which doesn't help.

    Yours comes across pretty well, in the top range anyway, but it probably helps that you're not venturing too far down the bass end. (Very nice playing btw!)

  • @standup  6 days

    Look for a video by engineer Larry Crane on this topic. I watched it on, but it might be here and there other places. Basically, for a grand piano open the lid and use two microphones pointed at the strings. For an upright, there are options like removing the top/front panels so you can mic the strings, or if you have space behind the piano you can mic the soundboard. From what I remember.

  • @headfirstonly  6 days

    There's a good Sound on Sound article here:

    (Simplest approach is to mic close up and above, with the top lid open).

  • @ayehahmur  6 days

    Thanks guys lots of good things to consider. For FAWM I'm going to be just straight ahead recording piano and vocal on the same device I think, but this will be invaluable when I come to doing "proper recordings".

  • @standup  6 days

    So it's all about positioning the device to pick up the best balance of the two. Try some options, be sure to experiment a bit.

  • @ayehahmur  6 days

    For FAWM it is, yeah, but I'll be doing proper recordings at some point too, so I'll no doubt report back on both.

  • @roddy 6 days

    There's some very good advice here. Two important factors are the sound that you want to achieve and the quality of the piano. I know a studio where they keep an upright with all the panels taken off to give a Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' sound, however, they use digitals for more rich and romantic piano sounds. Given the cost of decent mics you might want to consider the alternative ofr buying a second hand digital piano, they have improved tremendously and offer you a huge number of possibilities both in recording and mixing - also you don't record the sounds of the neighbours and the neighbours can't hear the sounds of your piano. Good luck.

  • @ayehahmur  6 days

    Thanks @roddy - those factors are indeed the things I'm considering. My upright is great and has a tone that I just love, and when it comes to recording the more intimate songs especially, digital pianos just don't come close. I do have a workhorse DP that I've been gigging for 15 years, but it's not really fit for recording.

    What you say about annoying the neighbours is absolutely true though, but I kinda like the occasional random background bleed** and often leave it in, for shits and giggles like.

    **Mostly police sirens and washing machines.

  • @songsville 4 days

    Nils Frahm has mics right inside the piano, and makes a thing of the creaks and finger noises and so on ... very intimate, I like it :

  • @ayehahmur  4 days

    I love that approach, @songsville. Kathryn Joseph does the same and it sounds like the instrument is breathing. Wonderful stuff.

  • @aflinner 4 days

    I've only miked a grand once, but felt I got good results. Lid open, XY stereo pair of small diaphragm condensers pointing down right behind the music stand, plus a large diaphragm condenser in the room a few feet outside the lid. Some good sounds can also be found underneath pianos too, from what I've heard. If you have some time beforehand, do some experimentation, maybe. Also, if someone else can tickle the ivories while you listen, move your ear around the piano to find the sweet spots. ☺️

  • @metalfoot  4 days

    @musicsongwriter -- how do you record piano? Or do you mostly use digital instruments?

  • @musicsongwriter 12 hours

    @metalfoot I usually record acoustic piano Alex.

  • @jamkar 11 hours

    In the studios I have been around. The Grand piano is typically miked as @headfirstonly describes.

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