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Best Piano Recording Environment ???

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Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby pianoworldstage » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:36 am

Hi

I recently came across a pianist named Francois Chaplin, and was immensely impressed not only by his tender virtuosity at the piano, but also by the quality of his recordings. I'm looking for a consensus opinion regarding the piano recording environment.

My opinion is to say this was recorded not from a listeners but rather an audience perspective? Reverb type possibly chamber or small concert hall? Reverb depth note sure. The stereo output is magnificent, but not sure what other effect is being applied ?

I'm soon to record a solo piano album, genre, "ambient soundtracks" using the CFX Concert Grand from Abbey Road Studios, and would like to replicate the same revebial sound environment on this recording.

Comments welcome.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tsiaxxjx8xmt8 ... 1.mp3?dl=0
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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:14 am

Nice performance but I found the sound abnormally dark, woolly, distant. I found myself reaching for the EQ.
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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:00 am

I wonder if Tim and I were listening to the same recordings?

Rather than sounding distant, dark and woolly, it sounded to me more like the listener's head was under the piano lid. My perception is of a closely miked sound, with the wide stereo image from the player's perspective, and then an entire shed load of reverb has been thrown on top.

The piano doesn't sit within a space. It doesn't sound like a concert grand being played in an empty reverberant concert hall. To me the acoustic space has simply been plastered on top.

It's lovely playing, and perhaps this is the sound you're aiming for, but for me the unnaturalness of it is distracting from the classical performance.
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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:10 am

I initially thought this was quite haunting, the whole package, but after a very short time the close microphones combined with what is definitely a very annoying honky and harsh mid range really got on my nerves. Some notes stuck out like spikes.
The playing is superb, and would benefit from a nice hall, a natural acoustic and sympathetic miking.
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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby Tim Gillett » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:14 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I wonder if Tim and I were listening to the same recordings?

Rather than sounding distant, dark and woolly, it sounded to me more like the listener's head was under the piano lid. My perception is of a closely miked sound, with the wide stereo image from the player's perspective, and then an entire shed load of reverb has been thrown on top...


It would be interesting to have heard it minus the reverb, just the piano mic(s).
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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:07 pm

Most intriguing - I agree about the lovely quality of the performance, but to me the sound suggested a 'phantom of the opera' figure clad in a mask playing in total isolation in an empty dungeon lit by candles.

Or perhaps I've just got an over-vivid imagination ;)


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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby pianoworldstage » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:34 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:My perception is of a closely miked sound, with the wide stereo image from the player's perspective, and then an entire shed load of reverb has been thrown on top.

I also thought exactly the same at first. How does one create the effect of a wide stereo image from a player's perspective when dealing with a solo piano recording? I've not received it yet, but wondering if the CFX concert grand could apply the same effect?
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Re: Best Piano Recording Environment ???

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:34 am

Sounds like hard mallets hitting the string rather than soft felt mallets hitting the string.

Like 'T' instead of 'D'.

You only get that sound if you mic close to the hammers. And the piano itself has that tone too. So not a New York Steinway, but an Asian piano, like a Yamaha.

To me it doesn't fit with a classical piano.

Then the reverb was added on top of that. So a weird combination of a recording close up to the hammers, but then played through a concert hall reverb.

I would prefer the sound of a concert hall, from the listener perspective where you don't hear the hard mallets hitting the strings. Unless the player hits it hard. So there is more range of expression.

More like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUB-qW3 ... Qn&index=1
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