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Author Topic: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique  (Read 1803 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« on: April 17, 2019, 06:31:55 PM »
I had the great fortune to go to my local Steinway dealer today to select a concert grand for my organization to purchase.  While there, we got to discussing mic placements for use in a jazz band setup.  The head concert technician shared a technique that he has found works great, and eliminates all action noise, while giving a balanced tone and isolating from the rest of the band.

Take a pair of SM58s, and aim them right into the 2nd and 5th holes in the plate, as numbered starting at the keyboard end of the piano (right to left as shown in the image here).

I haven't tried it yet, but he said that it gave better results than all of the specialized piano mics he has ever put his hands on.
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Offline perks

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 07:12:34 PM »
^ I've noticed a local club does something similar with tiny mics (I assumed omni) in the plate holes but I'm not sure which one holes. I'll pay close attention next time I get the chance.

Whenever I've seen Chick Corea perform I notice he brings his own set of Schoeps CMC64 in ORTF in line with the curve on the bentside hovering above about a foot in front of the hammers.
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Offline b9audio

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 09:59:11 PM »
I had the great fortune to go to my local Steinway dealer today to select a concert grand for my organization to purchase.  While there, we got to discussing mic placements for use in a jazz band setup.  The head concert technician shared a technique that he has found works great, and eliminates all action noise, while giving a balanced tone and isolating from the rest of the band.

Take a pair of SM58s, and aim them right into the 2nd and 5th holes in the plate, as numbered starting at the keyboard end of the piano (right to left as shown in the image here).

I haven't tried it yet, but he said that it gave better results than all of the specialized piano mics he has ever put his hands on.

A pair of SM58? I've seen some 200 grands piano ruin by 200 dollars microphones....  :shrug:

Offline anodyne33

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 09:16:09 AM »
1) Awesome trip
2) No shit? I haven't mic'd a grand live but I'd never have guess to go there.
3) S'plain that to me B9. Smacking the sound board? That seems like something hard to hurt.
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Offline b9audio

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 10:27:15 AM »
3) S'plain that to me B9. Smacking the sound board? That seems like something hard to hurt.

Listen to this one: https://youtu.be/4RVWrt_UdYU
This is a Fazioli F228

Even an old Yamaha G3 could sound good with proper miking.
https://youtu.be/tadZiWFkGHo

Offline goodcooker

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 03:01:58 PM »

The one time I had the opportunity to mic a grand piano I put a SM57 wrapped in a towel right next to that 4th hole aimed toward the middle. Put a rubber stopper in to keep the lid barely propped open. Turned out great.

It was for PA reinforcement and not recording though....
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Offline bombdiggity

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 07:48:06 PM »
There's a major difference between micing a solo piano and in a band setting. 

This seems like a very interesting idea for isolating it as much as possible.  In a band setting some degree of bleed enters in even with mics pretty far into the cabinet.  Just piano I like to move off it a bit.  Most people like a little ambiance and I think I do too, though I have not tried in the sound holes. 
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 09:25:48 PM »
I feel like I need to reiterate...

This technique is ONLY suggested for PA of the piano in a band setting, isolated from the rest of the band.

Also, full disclaimer, I have not personally tried this.  I am very intrigued by it though, and I don't think it should be dismissed out of hand because of the mic being used.  Example: There is a professional recordist on GS who gets outstanding drum set PA balance with one SM57 next to the drummer's right knee.

I would never record a solo piano this way.  For classical piano recording (completely different animal), my default starting position is:

Lid fully open
50 cm spaced omni pair - absolutely MUST be omnis unless the room is bad
2-3 m high; similar distance in front of piano

 
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- Gustav Mahler

Offline anodyne33

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Re: Interesting grand piano PA micing technique
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2019, 09:55:19 PM »
3) S'plain that to me B9. Smacking the sound board? That seems like something hard to hurt.

Listen to this one: https://youtu.be/4RVWrt_UdYU
This is a Fazioli F228

Even an old Yamaha G3 could sound good with proper miking.
https://youtu.be/tadZiWFkGHo

My head went to physically damaging the piano. One of the studios I worked in had a C7, that's the only proper piano that I'm personally intimately familiar with. It was a ton of fun to play with it. Our usual MO was a TLM103 and a KM84i spaced out. We had a really big, really pretty main room and that thing shone into those mics from 3' to 6' away. Occasionally the U89 would make it, too.

If we had a good set of ribbons in those wound sometimes wind up on a piano track and depending what the engineer was looking for we'd either have used the set of Telefunken V72s we had or an API lunchbox behind them. Those preamps were so vastly different but at the same time they were all so incredibly musical. Let me rephrase that, the V72s were incredibly musical, the APIs simply weren't there aside from maybe adding a little hype up top.
Pockets full of nickels and nothing left to eat, and I'm stuck behind a semi on Soniat Street.

 

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