Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DC-Choppah »

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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DanDan »

Remove the Lid. If the piano sounds good an M/S or XY a few feet over the centre should sound awesome. If your piano is lacking in balls or whatever, you could try to add in say Bass by using a mic close to that aspect. Quite often there is an interesting sound available at the sound board. Try poking a SDC, DPA 4061, into the holes in the frame near the inward curve at the side.
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DC-Choppah »

DanDan wrote:Remove the Lid.

That's actually more practical for me than relocating the piano around the room..

So far, the music stand, and the lid have only caused me problems. I'm a jazzer and prefer to learn a song so I don't need music anyway. So I am ok without the music stand. But no lid!?!
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DC-Choppah »

This is my mix reference.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBimSLh3I78

Kenny Barron playing piano with Stefan Di Battista, Embraceable You. I wonder how this was recorded?

The piano sounds upfront, very detailed, very jazzy, and this recording reads well wherever it is played. You can always hear all the instruments. In comparison to many recordings the piano really stands out here to me as being expertly recorded and played. I love the way the piano sounds in stereo here.

I could pick out every note he plays on this recording even with the other instruments playing.

Check out the piano solo BTW.
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DC-Choppah »

This is starting to sound like my piano when I play it back!

Taking High's advice, I ditched the PL9 and replaced with an SM81.

I tracked down the L/R imbalance on the XY mics. One of the channels in my analog mixer was set to PRE so the faders were not balancing properly. I fixed that so now when I hit a middle D, the mics ring at the same level.

I tried the SM81 all around the rim along the curve, but it always sounded hollow and like the sound hole. I tried the SM81 inside pointed at the strings. Same hollow sound. Very hard to combine with the other mics too. But just sounds bad on its own.

So then I moved the SM81 out front like the KSM137, but pointed at the high strings. This sounded good and more natural. So it seems the lid is not my friend. Gotta stay away from it.

So then I figured that instead of removing the lid, at least open it up on the tallest stick. The outside mics don't interact with the lid because of where they are out in front. The reflections from the lid don't come towards the outside mics perhaps.

This setup is actually sounding much more like my piano coming back through the Adam monitors. Cool.

Here is a photo
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1nTh7N ... -gKMYEoxWZ
IMG_3031.JPG
Here is the blend (no processing)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1I8_cs ... ufEaxwzu2P

Tracks
Stereo mics (PULSAR II) over the hammers
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1z_lg9 ... w4qrFvLOWD

KSM137 out front L
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1advsg ... AfK6l2m5hi

SM81 out front R
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1k6Zxz ... zObFkePA2u

Please let me know how this sounds. This sounds much improved to me. At least much more like my piano.
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by Ariosto »

I liked the blend - no processing.
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by Arpangel »

This piano needs a good tune, TBQH, that could improve things dramatically, if you’re playing an instrument regularly, unfortunately you tend not to notice as much as other people would.
Millions of opinions about mic placement, but honestly, just move them around until it sounds good to you, and that sweet spot may be in a very unlikely place, just experiment.
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by John Willett »

Ariosto wrote:
John Willett wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:T
It's still amazing to me how the recorded piano actually sound nothing like the real thing. I can play back what I play right away and hear the difference sitting at the piano. The recorded piano is pleasant, just completely different than the real thing.

The pianist never hears the piano properly - he/she is sitting in the wrong position. :roll:

The piano is designed to be heard by the audience, not the player.

So if you get the recorded piano to sound like when you are playing it, it will be very wrong and nothing like the audience would hear when they are listenin g to you play.

That does not make sense to me. If the pianist can't hear and effect what the sound is (and I know they can) then how do they interpret the music, and change the balance and the tonal effects? It's more like the mic does not hear the piano properly, and we mess about until we get it to sound how we want it to be heard! (And then it's only an approximation!)

Virtually no musician hears his instrument properly.

BUT - a competant musician learns his instrument to interpret the music.

For example, a brass player is behind his/her instrument that radiates sound in a forward direction. They will never hear the instrument like the audience hears it.

A pianist hears the instrument from the keyboard - the audience will hear it by reflections from the lid and floor

A musician should NEVER try and record an instrument that sounds like he/she hears it as the sound will be very wrong.

If you can, I recommend the book "Acoustics and the Performance of Music" by Jürgen Meyer - it's on Amazon.co.uk HERE:thumbup: It shows the sound radiation patterns of various musical instruments which I find very useful. I found the book so good I bought it twice - I have the 1st edition and also the current 5th edition. :thumbup:
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Greatly improved, tonally, but the stereo imaging is excessively wide with a strong and unpleasant 'out-of-phase' quality to my ears. You can see the problem on a vectorscope or phase meter quite clearly.

Mono compatibility is not entirely desperate, thankfully, probably because you're blending in those close hammer mics with the wide-spaced front mics?

If you're happy with those mic positions you could try panning the front mics inwards a bit, rather than hard left/right. That might help. Or you might find that flipping the polarity of one of the front mics helps. Worth a try...
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DC-Choppah »

John Willett wrote:
Virtually no musician hears his instrument properly.

BUT - a competant musician learns his instrument to interpret the music.

For example, a brass player is behind his/her instrument that radiates sound in a forward direction. They will never hear the instrument like the audience hears it.

A pianist hears the instrument from the keyboard - the audience will hear it by reflections from the lid and floor

A musician should NEVER try and record an instrument that sounds like he/she hears it as the sound will be very wrong.

If you can, I recommend the book "Acoustics and the Performance of Music" by Jürgen Meyer

Thanks for that. I'm going to see if I can borrow that book.

I saw an interview with Miles Davis. They asked him why he played live with his back to the audience and his horn pointed down at the floor. He said that way he can hear himself, and it changes the way he plays.

When we play jazz, we are reacting to each other and our own sound, listening to the whole group, and making up the music as we go. Hearing yourself and the band is very important to us. There is no sheet of music to interpret, except the basic structure sometimes. How the players can hear themselves dramatically effects the overall performance.

I have learned that if the jazz group can make it sound good on stage for each other, the sound man/recordist can make it sound good for the audience. I used to rely on others to do that technical stuff for me and didn't think much about it, but with my own project studio, SoS has helped me get things to sound right. Very tricky stuff. All the help is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by DC-Choppah »

Arpangel wrote:This piano needs a good tune, TBQH, that could improve things dramatically, if you’re playing an instrument regularly, unfortunately you tend not to notice as much as other people would.
Millions of opinions about mic placement, but honestly, just move them around until it sounds good to you, and that sweet spot may be in a very unlikely place, just experiment.

I am afraid we are locked-down. The piano tech can't come over. I appreciate your ears and will have the piano tuned. I love the way it sounds after a fresh tune.

One thing I have noticed is that I have two different techs, and for one tech, the tuning lasts much longer than the other. :eh:
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Re: Please help recording grand piano to eliminate phasey sound

Post by Arpangel »

DC-Choppah wrote:
Arpangel wrote:This piano needs a good tune, TBQH, that could improve things dramatically, if you’re playing an instrument regularly, unfortunately you tend not to notice as much as other people would.
Millions of opinions about mic placement, but honestly, just move them around until it sounds good to you, and that sweet spot may be in a very unlikely place, just experiment.

I am afraid we are locked-down. The piano tech can't come over. I appreciate your ears and will have the piano tuned. I love the way it sounds after a fresh tune.

One thing I have noticed is that I have two different techs, and for one tech, the tuning lasts much longer than the other. :eh:

It’s not the end of the world, adapt your music to suit.
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