Some things to think about when choosing mics.

The untrained ear.

Getting back with the subject of what you are thrained to listen for, I'm allways finding out everything sounds different after I give it a break for a couple of days.

My ears get fatigued after awhile from listing and playing with the settings.
And that's why it's so important to get away from the music for a few days before trying a mix. Also, keep your levels pretty low while you're mixing and take frequent breaks. Crank it from time to time to check it at higher levels, but typically, you should mix at pretty low levels.
which mic?

That looks like a great piano! however, in all the rooms I ever tracked in I have yet to see a piano that close to a wall? The piano also seem's to be in a corner location, all the rooms I have been to seem to alway's track large Grand, baby Grand, and even uprights more in the center of the room. Could your phase problem"s be from the location of the piano? Just a thought
Since, there was a talk here about recording 9" piano, here is a track from a piano recording I just made in NYC, where I had a recording gig. No EQ, reverb, or mastering whatsoever--just straight from the session.
It was recorded with minimal chain--tubed omni SP C4 and Jecklin disk-->my DIY tube pre with Cinemag output trafos-->moded Alesis Masterlink with input buffer replaced with transformer input. Needless to say, MP3 192 took a lot from the sound quality, but still....

Marik said:
Since, there was a talk here about recording 9" piano, here is a track from a piano recording I just made in NYC, where I had a recording gig. ]

I find 9" pianos particularly difficult to mic! ;)
Maybe it's time for another bump.

Why not? It's been 2.5yrs this time!

It is still one of the things that makes me most happy, that I share my birthday with the G-RATE Harvey Gerst!! ;)

Threads like this made me want to be a good recording engineer. I learned a lot in a short space of time when I joined. I know there are thousands of Harvey disciples out there applying the skills they learned here, be it in pro or amateur fields.
My thoughts on piano FWIW


I just finished my first piano project so that makes me an expert.

If the piano sounds good in the room mic the room not the piano.

I recorded a Steinway Baby Grand in Suzanne Michell's teaching studio that is the living room of her house.

Suzanne was playing with the lid closed when I first started listening and I walked around the room listening. I was amazed at how much the sound changed from different places and I was surprised when I walked into a corner beside the piano and all of a sudden I had a rich stereo sound.

When I opened the lid the first impression was that the piano sounded a lot better. Fuller and more robust. But careful listening showed that with the lid open in this small hard room I lost bass definition and the upper mids became very stringy leaning towards a harpsichord sound. Short stop on the lid improved this and there was one place where the magic happened if you wanted a little bit of that stringy sound. I didn't so I closed the lid.

I used a pair of MSH-1 omnis on my Jecklin disc in the corner beside the hinge side of the lid. All my thinking would tell me this place was wrong but my ears told me different. I added a couple of gobos between the mics and the walls.

And that's it. KISS.

MSH-1 omnis > DMP2 > Zoom H4

I am very pleased with the full and rich piano sound on the recordings.

Different pianos, different rooms, different pianists will call for different solutions but I do think close micing the strings can lead to anomolies as noted above. Especially if you're recording solo piano don't record the piano. Record the sound of the piano in the room.


Hairy Larry
Yes and with reading all your threads (and believe me that took some time) Harvey I do have a question or two if you don't mind.

With all the microphones on the market and knowing that one should have a good supply of different mics for different folks.
What should one be looking for if and when someone wants to have their microphone modified?
Not so much as who will do it for you but what should be done and what should you expect as an out come.

I have a lot of the microphones that you have praised in past threads and of course you were right on and I thank you, but now instead of purchasing every microphone in the world, and I have to admit I'm a micaholic with to many to count for this post.
I'm now more interested in focusing on becoming a micpreaholic and modifying the good sounding mics I have into Great sounding mics

I'll thank you in advance for any insight that you can give me.
Now that is always in the works!
Just when you think you've got it down packed in comes a new monkey wrench.

So stop buying new monkey wrenchs.

Within every mic you already have is probably actually three or four mics, once you consider the near-vs-far-field response and off-axis response. When you multiply that problem by 30 microphones and 10 different "flavors" of preamps, you create an unsolvable problem. You will never learn every aspect of your gear.

Instead, by one or at most two preamps that you like in as many channels as you need. Find a pair or three of one mic that can be used to record nearly everything. Add in a small handful of mics to record the few things those can't do.

I don't really do any tracking anymore, so I sold off my better mics (KSM141s, M88) to a friend of mine. Every time I go to his place I see them out on something, and then he does nearly all of the vocals on his U87. It's really not that complicated, even if you don't have a U87 (I never did; I had a KSM44). I don't think he spends much time "auditioning" mics, he goes with what works and he always uses the same three pres he has.
That is sound advice MSH ! and I do have a hand full of go to mics for every - vocal/guitar/drums etc. - application and the usual suspects as back ups if they aren't up to par.
I'm interested in what I have as good microphones being turned into boutique microphones and not having to purchase a $5000. + microphone to get those results and was hoping that when Harvey logged back into HR he would be able to give some insight and answers to this question. :D