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Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

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Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:32 am

Any suggestions on possible ways to remove this kind of thump are greatly appreciated.

Here is a little audio segment where there is a thump from the pedal (damper) that is audible in the mix - at the 5 sec mark of the clip.

https://soundcloud.com/dc-choppah/pwc-with-pedal

Thanks
DC
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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby davidjmaxey » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:08 am

Hey, I'm not trying to be unhelpful in any way, but I think it sounds great as is. In my opinion, the pedal noise gives it realistic character. Just my two cents.

That said, if you want to try and lesson it some, you might try putting a light gating/expansion on just that section of the wav file. Play with a faster-medium, attack and slower release time for more natural sound.
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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby The Elf » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:36 am

I also think it sounds fine. I'd probably only fix the thumps if they were sapping my headroom or pushing the buss compressor - to do this I'd look at multi-band compression, or a bit of EQ automation.
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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:02 am

The thump is a part of the natural mechanical action of the instrument, and I agree with the others that removal often leaves the track sounding more sterile and unnatural.

If it is a significant problem, then fixing the piano (or the player) is the preferred solution -- often adjusting the mechanism or using a different, more gentle, pedal technique can help a lot.

If it's already on the recording, the either carefully set-up multiband compression if there is a lot of pedal noise, or spectral editing if there are just a handful of thumps -- in both cases process to reduce rather than remove the noise.

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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:20 am

I cant identify anything like a pedal thump at the 5 second mark.

Was it recorded as stems or just a mixed 2 track?

At that point the pianist seems not to be playing any notes in the bass range so even if there was some low frequency energy from the sustain pedal action, I would think you could roll it off with EQ (assuming it is a separate track) and not lose anything from the keys played.


Hard to understand how there is anything "musically intrinsic" about sustain pedal thump.

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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby Tony O'Shea » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:12 pm

A little off topic but sometimes unintended/unscripted/non-scored 'noise' adds to the performance. Keith Jarrett springs to mind.

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Tony
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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby BJG145 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:23 pm

Tim Gillett wrote:I cant identify anything like a pedal thump at the 5 second mark.

Me neither. It's completely buried in the mix and I wouldn't worry about it anyway.
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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby damoore » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:39 am

Its part of the sound of the piano. One of my synthetic pianos even has a control to dial in some pedal thump! You sometimes run up against a piano where the pedal is so noisy its unusable, but this is not one - it is fine.
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Re: Any suggestions for removing grand piano pedal thump

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:00 am

Thanks all for the replies. I guess the thumps stay!

Here's the whole tune then, thumps and all: https://soundcloud.com/dc-choppah/someday-my-prince-will-com...

Any feedback is welcome.

I figured out that what happens is when my foot comes off the damper pedal quickly and I release the pedal it makes an audible noise. I will have to make an effort to keep a little pressure on the pedal when releasing. Hard to remember that in the moment though.

My piano tech always says I should be miking the piano at the sound holes for this reason. But I much prefer now the sound of a spaced stereo pair over the hammers since I learned the Al Schmitt technique described by Mike Senior. That was the setup for this track.

My tech will always moves the mics back to the holes when he tunes the piano and shows me how you can't hear the pedal from there. Maybe he's got me too conscious of these thumps.
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