It's been a journey....
Here's the set up: Piano: Hailun 218 (7ft 2)
Room: small and not particularly nice ambiance (mainly because it's small!!! 12X15X10.
Computer: Macbook with GarageBand, Audacity, (and all the other usual suspects)
Interface: Scarlett 2
Music: Dense classical (Rach). Light (Scarlatti) which is easier to mic for "classical piano" sound.
So, primary weak links are the small room and the poor interface.
Journey for me, so far? Rented pairs of the following: akg 414 xls; Beyer M160 (Card Ribbons); Coles 4041s; Rode NT5s; AKG b451c; Nuemann 184s ....
Main problem for the above was TO MUCH COLOR in the sound, with the exception of the Beyer M160s, which were clean but bass missing in action. I didn't want to have EQ that in..... a little sure... a lot, no!
So now I'm considering the following:
AT4051 (hope these aren't like the AKG b 451c--too bright--too colored)
MKH 4080 (will these cards be any better than the AKG? I wonder?)
Avenston sto-2 (omnis, I know, and so will pick up the poor room acoustic; but still, look incredibly interesting from the narrow standpoint of classical piano recording--because they're FLAT)
DPA 4011, 4006, 4060 (may be a total waste of money given the room and the equipment, but I've heard one good piano recording from the cheapest of this set, the minis)
Beyer MC930 (folks "say" it's different from the other card pencils)
Studio Projects C4 MKii
Kind of sound I'm looking for ? That's easy.... listen to ANY of the classical piano recordings put up here by "Marik," whom I don't know... these seem very CLEAN to me.... not a lot of color or harmonic distortion....(OK he's got good acoustics going for him, and for the pianist who is playing TO those acoustics; so maybe Marik's high benchmark is totally unobtainable.)
Any opinions, suggestions from folks who have spent time doing classical piano recording a pro or semi-pro context?