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Thread: Tips for pianists wanting to record?

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    Tips for pianists wanting to record?

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    Anyone with good ideas on how to record a piano at home?

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    Thomas Rickerby my sound engineer has released this article about how to record a piano.

    Ive known this guy for the last 3 years and Ive recorded a lot. He is a true genius in the art of recording acoustic pianos.

    I strongly recommend any pianist wanting to start recording on his or her own, to read this material. It can save you tons of time experimenting and failing...

    Post | WKMT

    Feel free to comment and add any details you might find useful.

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    I went to the page expecting, to be honest, the usual dodgy advice, but I agree with virtually everything on that page as it exactly mirrors our experience of recording pianos.

    There is mention of the 'sound' of a Yamaha, or a Steinway etc - but probably worth noting that the damn things all sound different and some sound much nicer than others from the same make. Finding the 'right' instrument is number one.

    Recording at home is always a dodgy start. Great piano - in a living room at home, with hard walls, and smallish space make capturing a sound that fits the mould of 'commercial sounding recordings' is quite tricky. We started with a Yamaha C3 in a pleasantish sounding room, but now we use VSTi instruments that sound like they're in a better sounding space - and of course, MIDI makes editing so much simpler, quicker and more accurate.Tweaks in tempo are easier to do too. We found that we had difficulty picking out the real piano from the VST on the recordings - often we'd detect an error after production and wonder why we didn't fix it, then discover it was a real recording and we couldn't do the fix!

    Unless your instrument is 100% great sounding, and mechanically quiet (many creak and groan dreadfully), being played in a lovely room - it will never sound as good as a VST. Does that matter to you?

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    I just started recoding acoustic drums at home, and the best way to know is to mic that sumbitch up and see what happens. I've recorded our digital piano by mic'ing the speaker just to see how it sounds. Answer: not as good as hooking it up through USB and recording directly...

    As for the link above...yeah, all that advice is universal for any instrument...but it doesn't give anything technical as far as how to mic the piano, deal with room treatment, how to filter out mechanical noise etc. He touches on it in point #3 so don't underestimate the effect the room and mic placement has. It matters way more than you might think.

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