Piano Recording with different miking position - 192B Final Project
Kevin Kuang
March 18, 2006


Begin...
Larry and I spent few days in the studio and were trying to record our own music, guitar and vocal, but it turns out we spent 90% of the time practicing and keep making mistakes during the recording. I decided to change the situation and simply record the piano playing back MIDI files so that I can spent all my time playing around the microphone position and the mixing techniques. I did some web browsing and there are thousands of piano miking position, I chose three of them, one for classical music, one for Jazz/Pop music, and one weird position for fun.

Abstract
Three different miking position were tried to record the Yamaha C7 grand piano, with a Jazz and a couple of Chopin music.

Mic Position

Miking position 1
Two AKG 414 were placed 3 feet away from the sound board facing the piano with lid open, they are away from each other 5 feet.
One 4049 was placed inside the piano, 1/3 from the end, about one octave above middle C, one other 4094 was placed under the piano, about the same location.

Miking position 2
Two 414 were place inside the piano, facing down towards the hammer, 1 feet above the hammer, and the microphone away from each other about 1 feet.
Same location of the two 4049.

Miking position 3
I placed a box on the edge of the piano and close the lib so that there is about 4 inches open lib, the 414 were placed at the edge towards the piano with same height of the open position, one at the hammer position, one neat 1/3 from the end.
A 4049 was placed under the piano.

Piano Source
YAMAHA© DC7A (
specs on Yamaha's website)
Based on Yamaha
C7 grand piano

Equipments
2 x Audio-Technica AT4049
2 x AKG C414B-ULS
Mackie Digital Eight Bus (D8B) mixer
Pro Tools 6.9 / Max OS X 10.3

Multi tracks mixing down
I used some heavy high pass filter since I like to make some bright piano sound, notch filters were used to cut off about 4 dB at 4kHz on the tracks with loud damper sound, and boost 4 dB on the tracks without much damper sound to balance. To my ear, I like the damper sound when it's playing jazz, but it's weird to have too much damper sound when it's playing classical music.
Software: Audacity
OS: Linux

CD:
1. Prelude in Db, Op.28 Nº.15 (Miking position 1) ( wav 45.5MB )
2. Prelude in C# m, Op.45 (Miking position 1) (wav 37.7MB)
3. Prelude in F#, Op.28 Nº.8 (Miking position 1) (wav 17.7MB)
4. Prelude in D m, Op.28 Nº.24 (Miking position 1) (wav 22.7MB)
5. Prelude in Bb m, Op.28 Nº.16 (Miking position 1) (wav 14.3MB)
6. Prelude in F, Op.28 Nº.23 (Miking position 2) (wav 10.4MB)
7. Prelude in Db, Op.28 Nº.15 (Miking position 2) (wav 45.7MB)
8. Prelude in C# m, Op.45 (Miking position 2) (wav 37.7MB)
9. Prelude in F#, Op.28 Nº.8 (Miking position 2) (wav 15.9MB)
10. Prelude in D m, Op.28 Nº.24 (Miking position 2) (wav 20.1MB)
11. Prelude in Bb m, Op.28 Nº.16 (Miking position 2) (wav 13.1MB)
12. Close your eyes (Miking position 2) (wav 45.8MB) * Download this one if you only want to choose one.
13. Close your eyes (Miking position 3) (wav 45.8MB)