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Thread: Mastering Piano tracks here. need comments

  1. #1
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    Mastering Piano tracks here. need comments

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    Hi guys. It's ZPphreak here.. I've finally brought to the forum what I think might just be admissible as a "Final" track... My first!!! WOO!HOO!

    I'm not much of a musician and much less a writer so I am primarilly an engineer. ( Or at least I pretend to be one on the internet ) I submit for your scrutiny a single track from a CD I am producing/mastering for an ACTUAL PAYING CLIENT! OMG! This is a 14 year old Kid from Korea playing piano believe it or not! I am really looking for mastering tips here as I already have the stereo mix complete (or at least I think I do)...

    I have only added a hiss reduction and slight EQ to the dry mix so I hope that I didn't color it too much. I accentuated the 60Hz region and the 130Hz as well. They just felt a little lacking in my 7506's... but they're a little shy of the low-end anyway so i may have fuqued it up... LOL

    Again, I'm looking for mastering comments mostly.. but any comments/Questions are always VERY welcome.. I'm still new at this recording thing so .. um..uh...gee... golly.. go easy.....
    AHH, the HELL with it...
    TEAR ME A NEW ONE BOYS!!!

    www.thesaltines.com/Music/Piano3EQ&Hiss.mp3
    192kbps 3.8MB

    (I have no idea what the title of the actual song is BTW)
    -Brent

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    Hi there,

    Nice performance, my keyboard fingers are jealous

    WRT the mix, I think that you may have sacrificed some of your top end brightness when you used the de-hissed. The high piano sound I am getting is rather dark - like it was maybe recorded with a lot of air between it and the mics.

    Also, have you used an EQ to roll off the top end? I am not seeing anything over 4-5k - if so, you might want to wind it back some.

    A little boost of 3db @ 1.5k seems to help things "brighten" up a bit on the track.

    I would reconsider your 60Hz increase - I don't think it needs it. And the increase @ 130Hz may be adding to the muddy tone on the piano.

    You might also want to run it through a compressor with a small ratio of 1.5:1 to tame the dynamics a little and allow you to deliver a fuller, louder sounding track to CD.

    Nice job!

    Q.
    <insert something witty here>

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    Q- thanks for the quick response!

    I agree fully.. The high roll off is only at 15K and the noise reduction was in soundforge and I tamed it down a bit so as not to kill it totally.. I'll see what I can do.. it was only hiss.. maybe the 15K roll off would be enough... We'll see...

    I'll do those things and repost tomorrow with another link.
    I hope you can have a look at that also.

    -I wish they were my chops.. LOL

    Phreak- Out
    -Brent

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    Hey don't take me as gospel - I am just a mug trying to do what you can like the rest of us....

    Have a play and see what the rest of the world thinks

    Q.
    <insert something witty here>

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    that's the Idea Q.



    untill tomorrow........
    -Brent

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    I think I mostly agree with Qs comments. It's a little too dark. Also, for solo piano, I think it sounds a little too far away. It has a very "live concert" feel, but I'm not sure that's what you want for a studio recording.

    His dynamics are fine though - I don't see any need for compression here.

    Chris

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    in reference to other solo piano clasical recordings, i think this one stacks up reasonably well. it's a little dark, but it fits for this particular song.

    the only thing is that there isn't much room involved. it sounds as if the piano was mic'd from a distance, yet the ambiance of the room never really comes into play.

    the only thing i might consider would be to add a slight, and i do mean very slight, amount of multiband to try to get a little room sound out of the recording. i'm talking maybe 2db of compresison here... and that might be too much.

    instead of that, perhaps use a quality reverb and add just the faintest touch of area into it... just enough that you can't detect it's there, but you *feel* when you take it away.

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    Would you please tell us exactly ... what kind of piano it was ?

    A boosendorfer grand, and a kawai grand, and a yamaha baby grand have very, very, very different top ends, and even more characteristic mid-ranges.

    And then .... there's a steinway ... and they are dark on the top ... rich ... comparitively.

    The more wood, the thicker the wood, the older the wood ... the richer the overtones are driven from the mid-range strings ... by the upper string fundamentals, and that will make the high end sound rich, and dark ... comparitively.

    A newer Kawai, less wood, younger wood, shiny laminates and brittle shellacs ... much, much brighter high end.

    In an orchestra hall live performance for this genre, the mic is usually quite far away, usually an overhead and a good 15 to 20 feet overhead, an incredibly sensitive, incredibly omni, incredibly expensive microphone. $3,000 to $12,000 for the mic.

    The two mics that hang over the stage at Carnegie hall are said to be irreplaceable ... $50,000 ? apiece ? They are fawking HUGE, and they are a balanced pair. They are ancient.

    A LOT of room comes into play in these recordings. But ... it's the best room ... in the world. Pushing a verb unit, hard or soft to try to get there, will hurt everything.

    Titrate your verb with a very subtle application of pure delay, use NO pre-delay. Use the pure delay to extend any verb you put on it.

    Put a tiny, tiny amount of two different kinds of verb on it. Close your eyes, smell the concert hall, use your imagination. BE IN THE HALL.

    Visit a concert hall, or at least go to a cathedral or church ... claps your hands, sing a series of pitches, softly ... etc ...

    If you can't mix up a room for this gifted young boy, then mix for his playing, not the music ... mix for HIS expressions. Find the room in his playing. He is playing in a room in his mind ... the room he aspires to concertize in one day.

    And I know this all sounds sappy ... but it's probably true.

    The nearest audience member is again, 20 feet away. Do you want to capture approximately what the nearest audience member would be hearing ... or what the performer would be hearing ? Those are two very, very different sounds, when you are nitpicking in the MP3 Clinic especially.

    I remember hearing Van Cliburn live, when I was 9 years old, when he was 28 ... in fawking credible. He was on an old, old steinway, and I remember how full and rich the high end was, and how he made it YOWL. I was about 50 feet away. He shook the chair I was in. I thought he would break this HUGE piano. He has tremendous hands, like lurch on the Adams family, only bigger. His hands FLOP as he crashes them about on the piano.

    And I'm reflecting now on the kawai grand at a school I went to ... it had an irratating high end, the chicks loved it.

    So the 'live concert sound' is much more where you are at this point. But ... like volt says, you ain't got the room. But you can find some of it. Just don't go for to much.

    But please, give us specs on the piano and mic placement.

    This crowd doesn't get a chance to examine a REAL nice piano with a player of this caliber from the 'classical' field.

    IMHO, I wouldn't mess with the hiss. Some of the greatest recordings of all time have so much hiss, you can't hear yourself yell at the guy next to you to be quiet ... because the hiss is so loud . But those recordings are revered.

    Don't worry about the hiss. If you mess with it at all, take out the tiniest amount you possibly can. Just so you know you took out a tiny bit.

    Give us a good rundown on the main axe daddyo !
    Performing and recording with real violin, viola, and cello for bands and artists.

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    I agree with most here

    The high is rolled off a bit and lose the boost at 130. Overall it is a good recording. If you are going for that live room sound, you need more room. If you are going for an isolated piano, it is about there--both are proper depending on the desired results.

    What was the piano??

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    Nice, I think it sounds very real. How was it recorded?
    People these days wont take responsiblity for anything, but don't quote me on that.

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