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Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

  • 1.  Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-02-2018 23:07
    I have been researching recording equipment in order to get high quality piano recordings that is reasonably priced.
    I was thinking for a while about getting a Sony PCM D50, but could never commit. But then I came across this video (yes the piano is out of tune) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLu5wXyVYwU
    but wow the quality. So after listening to more focusrite samples i was sold. The sound seems to have a luscious quality about it.
    Finally, the long search is over!

    I got all of this for under $500
    Any comments on how i did?
    -chris
    #caveman


    ​​

    ------------------------------
    A hunter's drumbeat steers the stampeding herd,
    His belly growls in hunger to what he sees.
    The mammoth aware blows his mighty trumpet,
    But alas, the caveman tickles the ivories.

    chernobieffpiano.com
    865-986-7720
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-03-2018 02:59
    I have the Focusrite 2I2 and the same mics and I like the preamps and sound quality.

    I might recommend more separation of your mics.  You could even put one over the left and right shoulders of the piano over the music desk.

    I have customers with much better equipment and I have tested my mics against considerably more expensive mics and these are adequate.

    One thing I have found is that I prefer the sound with more mics mixed in.  I like to use one under the piano, two or three above the treble and bass and one further away to get room ambience.  If you don't like the sound from any mic you can always drop it out, but if you don't have that input available you have lost it.  I usually prefer to use most or all of the tracks I recorded as it gives a fuller sound and more flexibility for mixing and EQing.  Throw more mics at the piano (if you have the available inputs).

    Please keep us posted on your progress!

    ------------------------------
    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-03-2018 08:14
    Chris 
    I have the Scarlet unit and find that the dynamic range it will except before distorting in limited. Maybe a newer version works better. 
    Rex





  • 4.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-03-2018 09:05
    I agree, Chris...we are selling sound, and it makes "yeah, duh" sense to be able to communicate the sound we are targeting and selling.

    After much research I bought:

    2/ Avenson sto-2 mics
    Tascam DR-60D Linear PCM recorder (which can do both audio and visual)

    I think I paid a bit over $1k for the setup, but that's buying the Avenson's used (almost new, but at significant discount). I feel this investment is as important a priority as any piece of machinery in the shop...though I hate taking the time to set it up and do the recordings. Here's a Box.com sound link to hear the sound of the setup.

    https://app.box.com/s/hoh7h60yghrmwyicmeh4

    The placement of the two mics was thus...and, with just 2 mikes, I'm finding this the best setup I can come up with.  I use more directional aim in the treble these days.



    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-03-2018 10:52
    Blaine,
    Can you share a recording that features the Scarlett and Samson? And perhaps a comparison recording with added mics? I hope i don't regret not buying the four mic version.

    Rex,
    That's the first bad review I have heard of Scarlett. Could it have possibly been something else like the mics or headphones?

    Jim,
    That Knabe recording was very crisp, I could even hear you humming lol. The setup and choice of equipment you chose served you well. I know mics can be pricey, but the mics i chose have a good reputation. I wanted to start small, see if it's something i'll stick to and build from there.
    -chris

    ------------------------------
    A hunter's drumbeat steers the stampeding herd,
    His belly growls in hunger to what he sees.
    The mammoth aware blows his mighty trumpet,
    But alas, the caveman tickles the ivories.

    chernobieffpiano.com
    865-986-7720
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-04-2018 00:59
    Chris,

    I was using the Scarlet to record my dad's band but in a noisy night club I had too many issues and I soon moved to a 6 input unit (Tascam US-800). I have recorded one customer's piano with multiple mics on the Tascam with decent results. In spite of my offers to record my customer's music or performances I have had few takers. Lots of people who say they would prepare and do it, but few who actually practice and work up something.

    I have recorded one teacher's recital and that turned out well, with multiple mics (I used everything I had in the final mix).

    I will try to find something worth posting.


    ------------------------------
    Blaine Hebert
    Duarte CA
    626-795-5170
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-04-2018 04:12
    I was using the Scarlet to record my dad's band and I soon moved to a 6
    input unit (Tascam US-800). I have recorded one customer's piano with
    multiple mics on the Tascam with decent results.?? In spite of my offers
    to record my customer's?? music or performances I have had few takers.??
    Lots of people?? who say they would prepare and do it, but few who
    actually practice and work up something.

    I have recorded one teacher's recital and that turned out well, with
    multiple mics (I used everything I had in the final mix).

    I will try to find something worth posting.




  • 8.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-03-2018 21:39
    Looks pretty good to me.  I use a PreSonus box myself with 4 channels.  Also, maybe you have these already but if you don't I'd recommend getting spider mounts for the mics.

    ------------------------------
    Neil Vanderschaaf
    Round Rock TX
    512-577-1840
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-04-2018 12:44
    This certainly would not qualify as "budget", but a client who had a recording studio at his house uses this:

    Earthworks Piano Mic System
    Sweetwater remove preview
    Earthworks Piano Mic System
    Only at Sweetwater! ✅ 0% Financing, and ✅ FREE Shipping, ✅ FREE Tech Support for your Earthworks Piano Mic System!
    View this on Sweetwater >


    He claims it is best.  ??  Obviously not cheap, but it does appear relatively straightforward.

    Pwg


    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-06-2018 00:52
      |   view attached
    Hi, Peter,

    Without at all taking away from the Earthworks system...which truly is
    quite marvelous...it was originally designed to take market space from
    the now-decades-old Countryman system with which some of us have been
    afflicted over the years. Compared to the semi-occasional difficulties
    in getting a Countryman set up and working well...most installations of
    the Earthworks I've seen and/or worked with have been duck-soup (not of
    the Marx variety).

    Partly because of when I entered the profession (mid-60's), partly
    because I've done a fair amount of recording (mostly live, on site),
    I've gone a different direction with the gear that I've collected over
    time.

    I'm trying to attach a list to this EM of the gear that I currently have
    an inventory. If it doesn't come through, I can put it into the text of
    an EM; but, it's not short, and I don't want to burn kilobytes of
    anyone's data downloads...

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    On 3/4/2018 9:44 AM, Peter Grey via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    > Please do not forward this message due to Auto Login.
    >
    > This certainly would not qualify as "budget", but a client who had a recording studio at his house uses this:
    >
    > Earthworks Piano Mic System ">www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/pianomicsys--earthworks-piano-mic-system="">
    >
    >
    >
    > Sweetwater
    > remove preview
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > ">www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/pianomicsys--earthworks-piano-mic-system?gclid="EAIaIQobChMIgKeHgpvT2QIVAlcNCh2jQgxwEAQYCCABEgISt_D_BwE">
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Earthworks Piano Mic System
    >
    >
    > Only at Sweetwater! ??? 0% Financing, and ??? FREE Shipping, ??? FREE Tech Support for your Earthworks Piano Mic System!
    >
    >
    > View this on Sweetwater > ">www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/pianomicsys--earthworks-piano-mic-system?gclid="EAIaIQobChMIgKeHgpvT2QIVAlcNCh2jQgxwEAQYCCABEgISt_D_BwE">
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > He claims it is best.?? ???? Obviously not cheap, but it does appear relatively straightforward.
    >
    > Pwg
    >
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Peter Grey
    > Stratham NH
    > 603-686-2395
    > pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    > ------------------------------
    >

    Attachment(s)



  • 11.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-06-2018 08:02
    Horace,

    Phew!  That's extensive. It almost seems like it could resemble a model train addiction. Thanks for sharing that.

    Pwg

    ------------------------------
    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-06-2018 12:31
    Hi, Peter,

    Very glad that the attachment got through!

    On 3/6/2018 5:01 AM, Peter Grey via Piano Technicians Guild wrote:
    > Please do not forward this message due to Auto Login.
    >
    > Horace,
    >
    > Phew!?? That's extensive.

    It's certainly turned out to be...it sure didn't start out that way.

    >It almost seems like it could resemble a model train addiction.

    Oh, yes...At this point in my life, I suppose that I really should start
    thinking about that stuff as part of my retirement fund...just not ready
    to start selling off things that I know that I could never now replace.

    >Thanks for sharing that.

    My pleasure.

    Kind regards.

    Horace

    >
    > Pwg
    >
    > ------------------------------
    > Peter Grey
    > Stratham NH
    > 603-686-2395
    > pianodoctor57@gmail.com
    > ------------------------------
    >


  • 13.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-20-2018 22:10
    So, I had upgraded to the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 which has the capabilities for 4 mics following the above suggestions.  I just produced a quick sound track and video using the new equipment ( only 2 mics though). Recording on a out of tune, out of regulation piano is pretty tough I must say. But i am very pleased with the first efforts. At the very least i have a beginning first video of a before the rebuild for comparison. I like the sound quality of the samson C01 microphones, and the focusrite is easy to use. I didn't go with the free software they offered, but instead went with audacity since i was already familiar with it.
    Here's the video
    Any comments on it would be appreciated, even if you hated it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4t35av0hoA
    -chris

    ------------------------------
    A hunter's drumbeat steers the stampeding herd,
    His belly growls in hunger to what he sees.
    The mammoth aware blows his mighty trumpet,
    But alas, the caveman tickles the ivories.

    chernobieffpiano.com
    865-986-7720
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-21-2018 08:52
    That's sounding pretty decent for what we want to show. I wold like to hear what is does with sustained tone and thicker textures, but I think its adequate to the task.

    Is there some software that allowed you to  put that still-slide with audio youtube together?  I have had my web lady do this for me...but she's gone AWOL ...might end up doing myself next time.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-21-2018 09:03
    Yes, I use cyberlink powerdirector. It's easy to add media and manipulate it.





  • 16.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 03-21-2018 19:13
    Another sample of the Lester Grand Piano.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez7R-z4N1-c&feature=youtu.be

    ------------------------------
    A hunter's drumbeat steers the stampeding herd,
    His belly growls in hunger to what he sees.
    The mammoth aware blows his mighty trumpet,
    But alas, the caveman tickles the ivories.

    chernobieffpiano.com
    865-986-7720
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Piano Recording Equipment on a Budget

    Posted 04-03-2018 14:09
    Grand Piano recording.  I have done quite a bit of Piano recording.  How you do it depends on the sound you are looking for.  Concert style, you want some distance between the microphone and the piano.  I play instruments in a world music group (Native American flute, piano, percussion etc)  We have some very nice recordings of the Steinway D we use on our tracks.  The best, we used 2 cardioid mics close, one up 7' in the air, bass side at the pin block pointed in to the piano, the other 7' in the air on treble side at the pin block pointed into the piano.  This works very well.  To add some space, we added a stereo ribbon mic out 10' about 6' in the air. The lid was on the high stick.  Simply an awesome recording.

    I have used a couple of cheap 602 mics into a portable digital recorder and gotten great results. using a similar method(inexpensive mics)  I have also used a single diaphragm mic at distance to record the piano along with a symphony concert.   The orchestra was recorded with a pair of cardioids in an ORTF configuration, 10' up behind the conductor.  The piano was mic'ed at 6' with a single large diaphragm condenser.  Terrific recording.

    ------------------------------
    Jeffrey Gegner


    ------------------------------