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Recorded 9' Steinway D !!!!!!!
Old 23rd April 2003
  #1
Gear Head
 
Fat Cat's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Recorded 9' Steinway D !!!!!!!

Topic: Recorded 9' Steinway D !!!!!!!

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Oh my god, this piano sounds so freakin' awesome. The C5-C6 section sounds like butta', and the rest of it sounds great too. My setup is Neumann km184's 2' from strings with a Drawmer 1969 pre/tube comp into a Mx2424 via A/D card. I also put a Rode Nt1000--VMP-2 at the far end of the piano which really captured the low end nicely. Piano, room, mics, pre's, player sound incredible! I could'nt be happier.
Anyone else have a similar experience?



heh heh
Old 23rd April 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Nice do, fat cat!

Haven't had the pleasure of recording a 9' grand, but it is a wonderful experience to come even close to capturing a great big piano in all it's glory. What a great instrument.
Old 23rd April 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Because of my business, I get to record concert grands all the time (I specialize in acoustic music). A Steinway D is an amazing instrument. That said, if you really want to hear something special, you should hear a Fazioli concert grand.

OMG, every time I hear one I have a sonic orgasm... It has to be one of the best sounding and best constructed instruments out there... The wood in the case is at least an inch thicker than a steinway.... The lid is so heavy, to lift it to full stick safely, you need 2 people.

--Ben
Old 23rd April 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I too get to record a lot of acoustic music. Love the sound of a Steinway model D, particularly a good one.

I heard lots of amazing things about the Fazioli, though have to say in my limited experience of them I am not so keen. The ones I have recorded have a very noticeable break and tend to be a little bright. I find with a good Steinway its the overall package. Also having talked with a few notable players like Vladamir Ovchenikov, Anthony Goldstone, Jeremy Mehnuin they all seem to prefer Steinway's from a uniformity of tone and playing action point of view.

I can only say that the very best piano's that I have ever recorded were all Steinways.

Regards



Roland
Old 23rd April 2003
  #5
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Bontempi do a good range of keyboards.
Old 23rd April 2003
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
RaGe's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Fat Cat quit playing now and post us some mp3s
Old 24th April 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
If somebody has some server space, I will happily email a couple of tracks that were recorded on a nice Steinway model D!

Regards


Roland
Old 25th April 2003
  #8
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fifthcircle
Because of my business, I get to record concert grands all the time (I specialize in acoustic music). A Steinway D is an amazing instrument. That said, if you really want to hear something special, you should hear a Fazioli concert grand.

OMG, every time I hear one I have a sonic orgasm... It has to be one of the best sounding and best constructed instruments out there... The wood in the case is at least an inch thicker than a steinway.... The lid is so heavy, to lift it to full stick safely, you need 2 people.

--Ben
As it happens, I've been in touch with the Fazioli people over here, who propose good financing terms.

For a high-end recording studio environment, which Fazioli model would you recommend?
Old 25th April 2003
  #9
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Many [many] moons ago when M-A had purchased the assets of Capricorn Recording Studios [Macon, GA] there was a Steinway "D" in the package. The piano lived in the living room of my home for several months [and lemme tell you... a 9' grand in a 17' long living room isn't something that easily pleases the wife!!].

A friend of mine who is a Steinway factory trained piano tech did some maintenance to it... and we recorded it on a couple of projects while it was hanging around.

It's a very difficult tone to get to fit into a 'rock record'... but when you get it to fit in... there really is nothing like it!!!
Old 25th April 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
If you propose to buy a Fazioli, or any other piano for that matter, I would seriously recommend that you find a pianist with "golden ears" who can select an instrument for you. With all piano's be it Steinway, Yamaha, Fazioli, Boesendorfer etc amongst the same model you will get considerable variation.

I have in the past even been to Steinways in London with an artist and had 6 piano's "legged" just so that we could select one for a recording session. I believe this is a service that they offer for all artists on the Steinway rostar.

Its also worth bearing in mind that I have never come across an artist that objects to playing a good Steinway, there are ones that will not book if the piano is any other make.

Good luck with your purchase whatever you decide to buy!


Regards


Roland
Old 25th April 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
As it happens, I've been in touch with the Fazioli people over here, who propose good financing terms.

For a high-end recording studio environment, which Fazioli model would you recommend?
Can't say that I can answer that question. I've recorded some 7' instruments here (with the Golabek sisters playing) and the 9' they have at Zipper hall (downtown LA). The 7' instruments were nice, but from a sound perspective, nothing really special. The artists raved about the feel, though... Then again, with a 7' instrument, you are going to have sonic compromises regardless of the brand. The 9' concert grand is the one I was raving about earlier.

Also, what is your clientelle expecting to see? Here in the US, when a pianist walks into a studio, they are going to prefer to see a Steinway (pref. "D"), but will probably be happy with a quality Yamaha instrument. I'm sure in Europe, things would be slightly different... When it comes time to purchase an instrument, have a good pianist (or 2 or 3) go and try instruments. I'm a decent classical pianist, but I wouldn't try to pick something like that out myself.

--Ben
Old 26th April 2003
  #12
Gear Head
 
Fat Cat's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What do y'all think of the Yamaha C6?
Old 26th April 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Yamaha C6 is a good workhorse piano, and actually might be better in tone for most rock, R&B, smooth jazz etc., because it's brightness cuts through loud drums and other instruments more easily than a typical Steinway sound.

But if you are doing classical, solo jazz piano, etc. most Steinways will blow the Yamaha away. It is in these situations especially where the timbral fullness and roundness of the Steinway sound will be preferred by most artists to the brighter cutting Yamaha timbre.

My small studio has an 1897 Steinway B (6'11"). I'd love to have a "D" but, even if I could afford it, I don't have the room for those extra 2 feet. (The "B" just barely shoehorns in....) But even my little guy has a remarkable effect on most pianists - they sit down and play a few notes and their whole face just lights up. They can't wait to start recording. This is an intangible you probably will never get with a Yamaha.

On another board I had a huge argument with Alan Hyatt (of PMI). I proposed that a great recording chain (mic/pre/compressor, etc.) can potentially elict a more inspired performance from a vocalist because of the higher (inspirational) quality of the aural feedback they get back through their headphones. I argued it was the same as a musician playing a world class instrument (Steinway, Stradivarius, etc.) who gets inspired by the aural feedback to play in ways they might not have thought of on an inferior instrument. He insisted all that matters is the player - a great player will make great music no matter how ****ty the instrument was his argument. While I don't disagree with his statement, I think that the great player has a better chance of making great music on a great instrument than on a mediocre one, all other factors being the same.

But price is always a factor, and a C6 will certainly cost you less, and will certainly play with more subtlety and responsiveness than, say, a Kurzweil.

By the way, in the realm of electronic pianos, i would submit that the Yamaha S-90 is the cream of the crop. I've had many hard core acoustic pianists sit down for a minute at the S90 and not want to get up... Never happened with my Kurzweil PC2x.
Old 28th April 2003
  #14
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks, guys, for the advice. I appreciate it!

Old 28th April 2003
  #15
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by fifthcircle
Because of my business, I get to record concert grands all the time (I specialize in acoustic music). A Steinway D is an amazing instrument. That said, if you really want to hear something special, you should hear a Fazioli concert grand.

OMG, every time I hear one I have a sonic orgasm... It has to be one of the best sounding and best constructed instruments out there... The wood in the case is at least an inch thicker than a steinway.... The lid is so heavy, to lift it to full stick safely, you need 2 people.

--Ben
Hey fifthcircle! don't forget that it is not the lid who makes sound. Don't be impressed by the heavy weight!(I'm not)
The soundboard is more needed to make sound!

You could have titanium pedals with stainless bench and it wouldn't make any difference!

Please stop this s***!!

Any good piano brand with a well regulated/tuned/harmonized piano is great. Please stop theese kind of posts!

Piano brands are only a part of the nivea.

I've heard Steinway Hamburg sounding like crap and Yamaha like glory (I'm piano tech/sound engineer/composer/pianist with "ears").

Get the job done(well) on the piano and it will sound at it's best. Shure you can't have a toy piano sounding like a Fatz or Boes or Stein. This is not the point here.

Good and well made piano with all the attention to it and this is a good receipe.

Sorry for my english(I'm french)

Oh! by the way don't forget that there are some piano who better fit precise kind of music. (dependinbg how they are tuned and harmonized) The sound pick-up would change too.

So there is no "one" kind of a receipe for "all"kind of music.

...hΓ© hΓ© big owl soup again
Old 28th April 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by freemidnight
Hey fifthcircle! don't forget that it is not the lid who makes sound. Don't be impressed by the heavy weight!(I'm not)
The soundboard is more needed to make sound!

You could have titanium pedals with stainless bench and it wouldn't make any difference!

Please stop this s***!!

Any good piano brand with a well regulated/tuned/harmonized piano is great. Please stop theese kind of posts!

Piano brands are only a part of the nivea.

I've heard Steinway Hamburg sounding like crap and Yamaha like glory (I'm piano tech/sound engineer/composer/pianist with "ears").

Get the job done(well) on the piano and it will sound at it's best. Shure you can't have a toy piano sounding like a Fatz or Boes or Stein. This is not the point here.

Good and well made piano with all the attention to it and this is a good receipe.

Sorry for my english(I'm french)

Oh! by the way don't forget that there are some piano who better fit precise kind of music. (dependinbg how they are tuned and harmonized) The sound pick-up would change too.

So there is no "one" kind of a receipe for "all"kind of music.

...hΓ© hΓ© big owl soup again
As a professional pianist for about thirty years, I agree with some of this, but not all.

I can agree that there can be as much difference between one piano and another of the same brand as between two pianos of different brands. That is why, as someone stated earlier, it is crucial to pick the specific piano from amongst a group of the same model and brand in order to maximize the chances of getting "the one".

I also stated earlier about the Yamaha is often a more appropriate timbral choice for certain kinds of music.

Where I disagree is in areas like how the piano will sound in ten years. (Lots of pianos spound great in the showroom, but how will they age?) That Kawai you love so much may well play like a piece of crap in a few years, while chances are the Steinway might sound and feel even better than the day you bought it.

I've played a lot of thirty year old Steinways (and much older, of course) that were superb. How many can say that about a 30 year old Yamaha, Kawai, or Young Chang? I know I can't. Obviously, maintenance plays a big part, but even regular skilled maintenance can only do so much.

In addition to the above, there still is some truth that you get what you pay for. Damper quality, mechanical smoothness, even-ness of sound across the break, fullness of the bass, sweetness of the treble, responsiveness of touch, quietness of the action, pinblock quality (ability to hold a tuning), lack of self-beating strings, damper quality, smoothness and quietness of the pedal mechanics, etc.

MAYBE you can find SOME of those things in a cheaper piano, but probably not all - and you'll have to look a lot longer and harder.
Old 28th April 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
OK... since we have resorted to personal attacks... Just so you know, my name is not "fifthcircle." If you looked at the bottom of the post, you would have noticed that my name is Ben Maas. So "freemidnight" who are you?

Did it every occur to you that there might just be a reason why you would want to have a more rigid construction for the body of an instrument. In a variety of instruments (as well as other equipment related to sound), construction materials make a HUGE difference. When you make an instrument with an inert body, more of the vibrations will make it out in to the room, rather than be lost through the instrument in to the floor.

Like a set of speakers, you'll have a better sound and especially better bass response when the instrument is isolated acoustically. With speakers, this is why we fill stands with sand and place them on cones. With a piano, I've placed them on coasters to acoustically decouple them from the floor and it can make a huge difference. If you don't need to worry about vibrations being lost in to the body of the instrument and the lid, there will be better acoustic transmission of the sound in to the room.

This concept is in place with other acoustic instrument as well. Have you seen the trumpet that Wynton Marsallis plays? I forget the name of the maker, but it is the same concept. It doesn't even have a seperate mouthpiece because that is a place where vibrations can easily be lost into the walls of the instrument. Clarinets have thick walled models (like the Selmer 10G) or thin walls for a different sound (Buffet Elite), Flutes are made of Gold, Silver, Platinum and Nickel.... Need I go on?

Yes, of course the sound board is important. That is a given. I, too have heard plenty of crappy Steinways. I just recorded one tonight-- A "D" that has not been taken care of. When it was new, it was amazing. Picked from the famed Basement of Steinway, New York. Now it is a tinny piece of **** (didn't help that they played it with the lid down). I've also heard great Yamahas and Kawai's. But all things being equal, there is a hell of a lot more to instrument construction that may meet the eye.

Dude.. get a life.

--Ben
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