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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:56 pm 
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Tenderfoot
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Here's a question for you experts out there.

If you were micing an upright piano and could only use one microphone, where would you place it? and what type of mic would you use?


Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:10 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Call me silly, but without any experience mic-ing, I would start with placing the mic where your ears are when listening, with any acoustic instrument.

I remember a post at the old site about a mic that had an "amazing quality". They recorded a complete drumkit with ONE mic, meters away from the kit and it sounded incredible. So it can be done, furthermore, why would you place a mic where the sound is like no ear is going to hear it?

Just a take of a totally inexperienced mic-er.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:10 pm 
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I worked in a studio years ago where there had an upright. They had it miked with two condensors placed at the center of the back of the piano and facing opposite each other at about 120 degrees or so apart. The old X-Y technique. Can't tell you how it sounded on tape. But if I had only ONE mike, I'd start by using a good pre-amp and aim it either right at the back of the piano or from above and back, about 6-8 inches away. The best way, of course, is to experiment with the mike position and see what sounds best.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:18 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestions.

Robbie, I'm very much of the school of thought of micing as the ear would hear it. So I agree with you there. I've had some good success micing drums like that. I know what I would do with a drum kit. One mic behind and above the right shoulder of the drummer. My favorite technique! But I have much less experience with acoustic piano. The scenario is similar though. Great sounding instrument in a nice sounding (but very live) room.

Not sure I would have thought to mic the piano from behind so that is a very interesting idea. Thanks for that, IrishGuy.

As always, I know- experiment, experiment, experiment!!

Actually, I could use more mics than one, but I am most interested in what someone might choose if they were limited to one only!

This would be for my own purposes (because I'm a minimalist at heart)and also, a friend of mine will be recording with an upright soon and only has one (or two) track capability, so I'm just trying to gather as much info as I can on minimal micing techniques.

Any and all ideas are very much appreciated. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:54 pm 
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Newbie
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Howdy :wink:

I've seen uprights mic-ed like this with one mic on recordings done for my former music teacher, where I had the pleasure to assist during the recordings.

Set it to kidney-patter, place it about 10 inches above the middle of the opened piano top lid, and basically aim the diaphragm downwards (for a Behringer B2-Pro, this would mean, that the mic itself hangs horizontally).

Work with the distance to and from the piano some, unitl you get the "right" sound. But it shoud be a matter of maybe 17 inches of possible space from directy over until a bit higher up ;-).

Peace,

Michel

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:56 pm 
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Robbie The Botkiller
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Kester, it also depends on the mic you are using. With a condenser mic I would keep a distance. But a dynamics mic might end up IN the piano! :lol:

The best advice you gave yourself: experiment! And I am curious about your experience.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:50 am 
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Me 2! Let us know how it turns out!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 2:57 am 
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the firther away from the instrument the more room the mic will pick up.
you won't hearing it the same way the mic hears it.
if you're going to stuff it inside maybe figure out where most notes will be plucked.
also think about what it'll be blended with.
listen to some tom waites first.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:47 am 
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Cowhand
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We have an upright piano at the club where i work. It has a little stick on contact mic that goes on the back. Aparently, it goes there because thats where the different sets of strings cross ( High and Low). I dont know if its the same on all pianos though, this is an upright grand.

heres a diagram of the back of the piano

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
x x
x x
x x
x x
x x
x ( MIC ) x
x x
x x
x x
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx




good luck !!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:48 am 
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Cowhand
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the diagram is kinda screwy ( right side of piano smashed up on the left) but the mic is in the right place :)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:25 pm 
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a lot of people use those cheap radio sahck contact mics and really like em.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:18 pm 
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A contact microphone is a piezo disk. Piezo is a material that produces a voltage when it vibrates, thus produces sound when it picks up physical vibrations. So, it is good for recording sounds that are physical vibrations in an object, as opposed to vibrations in the air, which is what we are accustomed to hearing. A piezo disk can also produce an audible sound when a voltage is applied.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:21 pm 
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Most acoustic guitar "pickups" are piezo.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:33 am 
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I think i forgot to mention how awesome that little mic sounds on the piano. run it through a preamp and you've got full sounding acoustic piano with a live band and no feedback!


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