Tim Gillett wrote:You sound like a fine pianist both technically and in artistic interpretation. It seems to me you shouldn't have to be adjusting your playing technique to compensate for problems which may be piano related. Maybe the small untreated room is not helping as you say.
Apart from the 'whooshing' sound we can hear when the felt damper wedges enter or exit the strings, (I cant hear them here but that may be due to my ageing ears) I hear what sounds like louder than normal "boomp" sounds. I'm a technician by trade but not specifically in pianos but I do remember dealing with this problem in my first piano when still a teenager. Some felts in the piano (not the damper felts) had over the years become compressed and hardened and so pressing keys or the sustain pedal - or releasing them - made that boomy sound. I think I ended up replacing various felt bump stop pads. It fixed those problems but it was a cheap piano and so its tone was never going to be great. Yours is a much nicer instrument.
But not even a Steinway in perfect condition has no extraneous sound from its mechanism. There are trade offs involved. But to my ears your piano may need some attention to reduce extraneous noise from the mechanism, perhaps especially in the bass part of the spectrum.
Some piano tuners may just not be interested in fixing these issues if simple tuning is all they're about. You may need to locate a technician who's more skilled and prepared to dive in a little deeper to address these noise issues. As always compare your piano's performance in this area to others so you have a benchmark.
If this was a vintage recording with the pianist long gone we would have no choice but to either leave the noises as they are or to try and improve things in processing without doing too much damage. Believe me I've had to attempt that enough times and it's often a depressing business with little overall gain made.
But you're not in that position. You're alive and well and able to make great performances on new recordings. If you want a good result I'd always say be wary of resorting to audio processing tricks after the fact to mask faults in the instrument or room. So much better in the long run to fix the problem at its source.
Yeah, I was overdue for a tuning when lockdown began, so I think it had probably been over a year when I did that recording. I just had the tuner in the other day now, with things easing up. The whooshing sound is something I'll just have to live with, but he was able fix the bump sound, as well as one particular damper that was making a cracking sound on slower changes. I'd recorded this shortly before getting it done.https://youtu.be/dIF82_jfBL4
If you jump to one minute in you'll hearing a couple of those grinding sounds. I think it must be when a damper is slightly offline or something. Whooshing is something that can theoretically be removed, but would take a huge amount of work, but those cracking/buzzing sounds are probably a fairly basic fix. I heard one commercial recording with quite a few of these. It was the first volume of the Debussy piano works on Naxos, played by Francois Joel Thiollier.
I certainly wouldn't want it if I was making a commercial recording, although part of what I like about recording things for YouTube is that there's no sense of pressure for everything to feel perfect. Although it's nice to aim towards high quality, somehow having the video makes it feel more like it's okay to have some flaws, both in terms of sound and performance. If I was going to record some audio only it would feel as though everything ought to be just right. With a video it feels a bit more like documenting a real life event, where it's good to have as much quality as possible but it feels more like a bonus rather than the basic requirement.