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Solo Piano mastering ???

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Re: Solo Piano mastering ???

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:13 am

John Willett wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I wonder if the OP has a stereo recording of a solo piano and thinks (quite reasonably) that you can't 'mix' a single instrument? So, when referring to the processing applied to that recording, then it seems logical to refer to the process as 'mastering'?

You can, actually.

If you use more than a single pair of microphones on the piano - eg: phased array or a stereo pair plus a room pair - you would need to get the right balance between the two sets of mics.

I only used a room pair once, and that was at the specific request of the record company (who mixed the recording) - personally I prefer a single stereo pair of omnis at the right position to get the best balance between instrument and room.

Yup, I know that, but maybe the OP does not ;)
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Re: Solo Piano mastering ???

Postby forumuser840717 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:47 pm

John Willett wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I wonder if the OP has a stereo recording of a solo piano and thinks (quite reasonably) that you can't 'mix' a single instrument? So, when referring to the processing applied to that recording, then it seems logical to refer to the process as 'mastering'?

You can, actually.

If you use more than a single pair of microphones on the piano - eg: phased array or a stereo pair plus a room pair - you would need to get the right balance between the two sets of mics.

Yes but isn't that a rather important part of the recording/balance engineer's job (usually in cahoots with the producer and artist) rather than anything to do with the mastering engineer or mastering process?
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Re: Solo Piano mastering ???

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:53 pm

That was the point JW was making I think :thumbup:
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Re: Solo Piano mastering ???

Postby John Willett » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:27 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:
John Willett wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I wonder if the OP has a stereo recording of a solo piano and thinks (quite reasonably) that you can't 'mix' a single instrument? So, when referring to the processing applied to that recording, then it seems logical to refer to the process as 'mastering'?

You can, actually.

If you use more than a single pair of microphones on the piano - eg: phased array or a stereo pair plus a room pair - you would need to get the right balance between the two sets of mics.

Yes but isn't that a rather important part of the recording/balance engineer's job (usually in cahoots with the producer and artist) rather than anything to do with the mastering engineer or mastering process?

Yes - that's what I was saying.

I have had control, with the artist, of most of my recordings.

A couple were handed to the record company for editing, though.

But the ones I did were never "mastered" or messed about with - just a recording, edited. The final result was normalised if there was a good headroom (but *not* to 0dBFS).
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Re: Solo Piano mastering ???

Postby pianoworldstage » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:33 am

John Willett wrote:
pianoworldstage wrote:Hi,

Just finished cutting a solo piano album, and need advice on mastering.. had little experience with mastering in the past.. was wondering if anyone on here uses them? And if there are any free online mastering suites? My approach would be to simply select a preset, nothing customized or over complexed.

On all the piano CDs I have done so far - I recorded the music with a pair of microphones in the right position in the room.

I edited the tracks - no compression nor artificial reverb - inserted the track numbers - burned a test CD for the cliient and when he was happy burned a DDP to sent to the pressing plant.

No special "mastering" at all.

This was solo classical piano recitals.


That employs a very organic recording process.. although i suppose that method may suit solo classical piano?

What i find rebarbative are the dynamics..
In post production I'm not exactly sure what tool is best to improve the overall spectrum of dynamics. What i did find helpful when recording from a digital piano, was to change the key's "touch sensitivity feature" from Medium to Hard.

There was a slight reduction in tonal clarity when switching to Hard, but i found on the whole it provided for a more controlled performance when recording.. minimising much of the out of place dynamics.

John Willett wrote:
forumuser840717 wrote:
John Willett wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I wonder if the OP has a stereo recording of a solo piano and thinks (quite reasonably) that you can't 'mix' a single instrument? So, when referring to the processing applied to that recording, then it seems logical to refer to the process as 'mastering'?

You can, actually.

If you use more than a single pair of microphones on the piano - eg: phased array or a stereo pair plus a room pair - you would need to get the right balance between the two sets of mics.

Yes but isn't that a rather important part of the recording/balance engineer's job (usually in cahoots with the producer and artist) rather than anything to do with the mastering engineer or mastering process?

Yes - that's what I was saying.

I have had control, with the artist, of most of my recordings.

A couple were handed to the record company for editing, though.

But the ones I did were never "mastered" or messed about with - just a recording, edited. The final result was normalised if there was a good headroom (but *not* to 0dBFS).
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Re: Solo Piano mastering ???

Postby John Willett » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:01 pm

OK - so it's a digital piano.

Did you record it with microphones? Or was it direct injected?

What type of music?

From the original post I understood it was a solo piano recital - was I wrong?
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