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Mics for Felted Piano (close miking)
Old 20th January 2013
Gear Head
Cloudwalker's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Mics for Felted Piano (close miking)

Unique application here.
Looking for a good pair of mics for recording (very) close-mic'd upright felted piano. (ala Nils Frahm or Goldmund)

Current budget is $500. Used or new.
I wouldn't be opposed to buying 1 nicer mic now, and a 2nd one later if the total stays under $700 or so.

My piano is quite 'dark' 'bassey' and 'large sounding'.
I've used Sterling ST77s and Rode NT5s.
The st77s pick up FAR too much boominess, and they're too large and cumbersome to position properly.
The NT5s play much more nicely, but lack a certain 'warmth' and 'presence'.
but they are much easier to position around the piano and experiment with.

Using Steinberg UR824 (mr816) preamps.

Considering at4040's or akg c214s. Any other recommendations?
Would a pair of ribbons be worth considering instead?

Thanks for any guidance.
Old 20th January 2013
Lives for gear
KRStudio's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Get the Omni capsules for your NT5's. I think it would be perfect, and cheap.
Old 21st January 2013
Gear Head
Cloudwalker's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Get the Omni capsules for your NT5's.
Thanks for the tip. Omni capsules were on the purchase radar anyways. Might get them sooner than planned now.

Guess I'm looking for a some other viable options too.

After more research, a pair of ribbons seems like an interesting and unique option for felted piano.
Worried about the 'darker' nature of ribbons picking up on too much of that felted 'boominess' though...
Any thoughts on Cascade Vinjet vs Fathead, vs Avantone Cr-14?

Trying to sift through hundreds of condenser mic choices for this type of 'eclectic source' seems like a gambling shot-in-the-dark...
Old 23rd January 2013
Gear Head
Cloudwalker's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Giving this a bump.

Any other advice or opinions?
Old 23rd January 2013
Gear Head
🎧 5 years
I don't know if you are talking about this: File:Silent piano.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
But i recorded and produced an EP wich was mainly felted piano + vocals. The piano was recorded with an Avanton cr-14, a rode Nt1a a sm57 and a sm58. Closed mic'd.
You can hear it here:
Santiago Maria Vrljicak

Piece of advise, better get really low-noise preamps for this kind of recording.
Old 23rd January 2013
Gear Head
🎧 5 years
As far as freq response, in my experience there is not much to capture above 3-4k. Also, felted pianos tend to get really noisy mechanics, so you should close-mic it on the rear part, unless the music benefits from really loud mechanical noises, which in some cases do.
Old 23rd January 2013
Gear Head
Cloudwalker's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Just a studio upright with a felt (damper) bar infront of the hammers.
Intentionally trying to pick up the percussive and mechanical noise from the front insides

Nice ep.
How do you find the upper low-end (200hz-600hz) on the Avantone to be?
This seems to be my problem region with the st77s. Way overhyped, harsh, and boomy with this particular piano.
The NT5s are much better. But, again, they lack a certain presence and warmth.
Old 24th January 2013
Gear Head
🎧 5 years
Thanks. I wouldn't know on your source, but mainly my problems where around 160-300 hz. I think that damped pianos are so particular, there is no ¨right¨ mic choice or placement. Yeah, ¨you should get your sound when you record¨, but being such a strange source I wouldn't be so purist.
As far as mechanical noise, I get you, but for me was quite useless material what I could get from the front of the piano. This might be because of the damper I used which was really thick and dense.
Also, I don't think the ¨matched stereo pair¨ is so important for this source, maybe you should experiment with different combinations such as 2 cond + 1 din or 1 ribbon.
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