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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    760

    Default Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    Does anyone have good experience/recommendations for mic-ing live piano in a church setting?

    The piano is a small grand. I am presently using a Barcus Berry Planar Wave system or an AT Pro 37. The 37 actually sounds better than the BB, but still not entirely natural when pushed.

    Inconspicuous is preferred, but not absolutely necessary.

    Thanks,
    Marvin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ms Gulf Coast
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    Here's a post on mic'ing a baby grand fro the Pro Audio Asylum forum...

    [quote:]My pick for the best mics to use on acoustic instruments would be the CAD VSM-1 single pattern tube condenser. I've used them in the studio and have become a big fan of the mic. It's worked on Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Drum overheads and even vocals.
    As far as placement on piano is concerned, I usually go with a V type placement just behind the hammers, just left of center and about 6 to 7 inches above the strings. For acoustic guitar, placement should be near the sound hold about 6 inches back and I use about 2 to 4dB compression. Be careful about what compressor You use, You want to keep Your levels consistent but You don't want the compressor to "Pump".[/quote]

    I've heard that condensor mic's are the best for pianos, but there are varying arguments on mic placement.

    My son is in an internship program at a well regarded recording studio. I'll shoot him a text and see if he can get some good tips.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    Thanks for your recommendation, Randy. Our price range is more modest--preferably $100 to 500 range.

    I will watch for further recommendations.

    Marv

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ms Gulf Coast
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    My son replied.

    He said for a tight budget a couple Shure SM-57's will work well. Mic'ing for a studio recording and live are very different, but he sais try this.

    Raise the back panel of the piano up so you can see the strings. You'll have to try some different positions for the type of sound you're trying to achieve.
    A. Position the mics parallel to each other...one on the lower octave strings and the other on the higher octave strings. Try different positions (spacing the mics further or closer apart) and find the sweet spot (dependant on pickup pattern of the mic). Try different distances from the strings...2 different brand & model mics will have very different sounds at the same location. 10" high is a good starting distance.

    B. Place the mics in an "XY" pattern. He didn't elaborate what that meant.

    c. Condensor mics have the best audio quality, but the better intrument mics will work, especially for live sound.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy L View Post
    My son replied.

    He said for a tight budget a couple Shure SM-57's will work well. Mic'ing for a studio recording and live are very different, but he sais try this.

    Raise the back panel of the piano up so you can see the strings. You'll have to try some different positions for the type of sound you're trying to achieve.
    A. Position the mics parallel to each other...one on the lower octave strings and the other on the higher octave strings. Try different positions (spacing the mics further or closer apart) and find the sweet spot (dependant on pickup pattern of the mic). Try different distances from the strings...2 different brand & model mics will have very different sounds at the same location. 10" high is a good starting distance.

    B. Place the mics in an "XY" pattern. He didn't elaborate what that meant.

    c. Condensor mics have the best audio quality, but the better intrument mics will work, especially for live sound.
    Tell him thanks for the info.
    A search gave this definition:
    X-Y miking: a stereo microphone technique where two directional mics (typically cardioid) cross at an angle from 90 to 130, with their capsules placed closely together. In most cases, X-Y miking provides good stereo separation with a well-balanced image.

    Marv

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    West Coast of NJ
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    I would agree that you should experiment with placement, churches vary in their acoustics and finding what works in your room is as important as the mic itself. That said I have had good luck with Sure SM81's though they are at the top end of your price range, you might also want to try a more budget friendly mic like the PG81. If you can find a dealer in your area they may let you demo or rent some different mics to see what works for you.

    The important thing to remember is that pianos have a very broad frequency range and need a mic with a broad flat frequency response, typical vocal mics are not well suited to this purpose.

    The following pdf maybe helpful to you as well, it covers mic placement for a variety of live instruments, Pianos appear on page 24 or so.

    http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups...c_sound_ea.pdf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ms Gulf Coast
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    Ray,

    Nice find of the Shure guide! That will help me a lot too.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Live sound piano mic recommendation please

    If you are looking for specific mic recommendations, the Behringer B-5 is perfect. You have to spend near a thousand dollars to get comparable performance/linearity. Seriously.

    This mic is dead flat, and has both omni and cardoid capsules with it. The cardoid has superb off axis rejection; better than most. Mic has excellent dynamic range. Even suitable for micing drums. Extraordinary low noise. Both capsules are dead flat, have same dynamic range and noise levels.

    -Chris

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