You are here

Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Page 4 of 5

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:52 am
by John Willett
Siejen wrote:<dawning realisation I might actually have grown up, but just not noticed >

You can't be a musician then. ;) :D

Mummy, mummy, when I grow up I want to be a musician.
Sorry darling, you can't do both.

:bouncy:

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:04 pm
by Siejen
Moving on... it’s the night before and all the gear is packed. Good news is I’m sold on the dominant pair of mics. Discussion here and lots of listening and playing with multiple tracks says you’re all right, so thanks. Nearly failed at the first hurdle!
Now I’m worried by how far away an ORTF pair needs to be to capture the pair. In the room I’m going to be lucky to get 2m from the piano. Is there a recommended distance from source for ORTF? Does NOS allow me closer? (Narrower recording angle; been reading and listening )!
Experiments here favour ORTF over xy (too clinical)

I’m guessing this is normal nerves. Thanks for all the help so far. More tomorrow!!

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:26 pm
by Siejen
Question; does the ‘over’ cardioid response of the line Audio cm4 come into play here as well?
As they’re not strict cardioid, should I be closer to 27cm, 120degrees for a 96degree SRA?

Rabbit hole here I come :o

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:16 am
by Bob Bickerton
It sounds as though your research has been excellent but maybe, and others may disagree, my recommendation now will be to start with the CM4 ORTF pair and then focus your energy on listening.

Be aware of balance, width of the image and placement within the image. Be prepared to move musicians as well as mics. Assess the tonality of the elements and what impact the room is having on this.

And try to enjoy the experience!

Do report back and let us know how you got on.

Bob

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:09 am
by Siejen
Thanks Bob.
The car is so full of duvets, clips and things to hang them from I lost a little perspective :beamup:
Musicians, instruments and room are all above angle of mic separation in my head now

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:39 pm
by Siejen
Recording day done, and grateful thanks to all your wonderful advice. Day went well, spoilt only slightly by technical issues (not mine)!
Fuller report and samples tomorrow. It’s glass of wine o’clock!!

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:46 am
by Guest
Gordon shares some practicalities & advice on how to record your playing, ... recording for posterity, you can often do so at home with reasonably basic ... I find it good to place my recorder on a chair next to the piano bench. . please mail them to your nearest Simply Music office inappropriate packaging:

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:59 pm
by Siejen
Days report, for those interested ;)
The room was really quite small, but such an unusual shape the normal room modes were just not the problem. The double height hall (as it was a hall) had almost no parallel walls, balconies on three sides and a domed roof!! Listening around the space, the piano sounded great wherever, which was the bit I was really worried about. The mics went up in various positions while the pair played, including over the balcony looking down which gave a nice balance. The best balance was mics 2m high behind the flute pointing down ish, almost the ideal flute position, and placing her in the curve of the piano the mics could 'see' the strings. This gave a central flute impression, with a broad piano that had no issues when collapsed to mono :) This height was at the bottom of the balcony, so I put duvet over the balconies behind the mics and the other side where they pointed, just to cut first reflections.

However, this close to the flautist key clicks became an issue. The pads of the flute were pretty worn, and we ended up using about a pack of cigarette papers under the keys and moving the mics around to almost behind her head just so the clicks weren't so direct.
At this point I ran secondary spot mics to the piano and flute, pointing 180degrees away from each other so one saw the piano strings and one looked at the flute headpiece (again, slightly away from the keys). The thought of this was if I could use a 'transient designer' plugin to reduce the 'attack' of the flute (i.e. the clicks) I could support the main pair and at least minimise the impression of clicks.

We then ran through the pieces (2 sonatas, 3 movements each), and I was so grateful that I could follow the score!! After the first couple of recordings (where I was so busy monitoring recording levels and making sure I wasn't in loop record(!!!) I wasn't able to do anything else) I was able to note the score as we went through and make sure the mistakes in the next take were in a different place :)

I spent yesterday comping the different takes together, just from the stereo pair. Good news is that the key clicks are a lot less obvious over speakers than on my headphones. I've not tried the spot mics yet, bar a quick listen which has done nothing but confuse me. The piano is about the same level in each of the mics (did I mention this was a diffuse environment!), and the flute is not to far off. Either that, or I have the worlds only omni SE1a mics....

Big thanks for all the advice here. Notes on the score were essential. Main pair and spots was exactly the way to go. A pre-run would have highlighted the flute key issue (the flautist left slightly ashen faced after playback on headphones), but I didn't have that luxury.
We didn't record any solo flute pieces, but have agreed to do those at my place once the flute is serviced.

Other things: next time I'll get a long headphone extension lead to listen to the mics as I place them (I could only do that in a limited point from the pc, but it was bloody useful for making the image central!), and when listening to recordings of different positions, remember to normalise them first. I spent half an hour fine tuning an over the balcony position that only really sounded better because of a level difference!!

Now, hopefully I'll see you on the mixing forum as I try not to over-cook some basically good recordings!! I will post some of the comped stuff 'dry' and after a bit of hall reverb, for comment. Cheers,
Iain

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:45 pm
by blinddrew
Sounds like a pretty good first day, thanks for the update. :)

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:29 pm
by Exalted Wombat
Any results for us to hear yet?

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:41 pm
by Siejen
Anything for you, EW :)
Schubert Sonata in A Minor, except the first bit because Soundcloud has a copyright issue with it :(

https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert3
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert2
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert4
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert5

These are just the main pair (no spots yet), some eq and reverb.
All comments gratefully received

Iain

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:11 pm
by Siejen
Those lovely SoundCloud people have re-instated the first section, so you can hear it now complete :)
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert1

And then to the Bach (with less reverb as befits the more chamber-y style)
Iain

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:52 pm
by Exalted Wombat
Finally got round to listening!

Not bad at all. Were the performers pleased?

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:09 am
by Tim Gillett
Nice performance.

On a random listen I heard what sounds like a nasty clip on Schubert 4 at 0:50, suggesting record levels were too high.

Generally I hear what sounds like pedal thump, or it may be one of the performers beating time with a foot. Possibly the thump has transmitted mechanically through the mic stand and into a mic.

I also noticed a high frequency clicking sound from the flute which puzzled me as I'd never heard that particular sound before. Reading your post recording post, I'm wondering if the cigarette paper may be causing this sound.

It's always good to monitor the recording as it takes place, with headphones.


Cheers
Tim.

Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:19 pm
by Siejen
Thanks EW, Tim,
Yeah, pleased so far.
The overload is a great spot, Tim. There are actually 2, and I've replaced them with different takes from each so they're gone.

The bass / mechanical noise is something I'm struggling with. I agree it sounds like the pedal movements continually transmitting to the mics. I had the mics in suspensions, but couldn't get 17cm / 110degrees as the holders were too big or the Line Audio mics too small, so I took them out and used normal clips. I couldn't hear the low frequencies on the day, but they're there now :( For anyone interested, they're most audible in part 1, bars 1-8 the very first few seconds!!! I have put Waves F6 (level dependent EQ) on this first section which has reduced it a little, but it's pretty clear on decent monitors. Any other suggestions welcome. All takes have it, I checked and checked again!

The key clicks are the technical issue the flautist was most upset by. The cigarette papers were an attempt to minimise clicks, but don't last as long as new pads. I did move the pair of mics away from line of sight of the flute, but they're there for us all to hear.

The only other thing I hear in the recordings is the pianist huffing his way through some of the pieces, but this is real life, and he enjoys a good huff :)