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Old 7th January 2022
Lives for gear
AB omni pair: max width for solo piano re Richard King ?

If you've read Richard King's book "Recording Orchestra and Other Classical Music Ensembles" :'ll be aware of his guidelines for setting up an AB omni pair for solo grand piano (typically Steinway D9 or similar) in a large hall. It involves some lid hinge to mic measurements to place the mic pair roughly central along the piano's forward facing width, ...with the resulting placement being approx 45 degrees angled towards the player, and facing into the curve of the piano.

Or...both (parallel) mics are broadly pointed at the the lid-hinge closest to the player, is another way to describe it...

This puts the centre of the stand about 4 feet from the front lip of the instrument

Mic height varies according to the hall capacity ...between 1.85- 2m/ 6'1"- 6'6

The AB bar width remains constant irrespective of hall size: 34" or 85 cms

So it's reasonably prescriptive, while accounting for hall/room size up to 750+ capacity in some of the adjustment parameters.

When I've used this it has resulted in imaging that retains a good balance between instrument clarity and hall ambience, but also produces an overly wide (bordering on 'hole in the middle') stereo picture.

Clearly it's at the other end of the spectrum from the 9-12" width of the Decca Tail pair, despite ending up much closer to the instrument than the Decca's typical stand location.

In the Dunkerley et al book it explains the narrowed AB width as being aimed towards a 'realistically narrowed' stereo image width, while King doesn't address this aspect

Has anyone used Richard King's recommended dimensions....what were your findings ?