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Studio recording query

Discussion in 'Useful resources' started by andrew, May 12, 2011.

  1. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I was wondering if I could have a few opinions.

    I have a recording project which is scheduled for this autumn: between eight and ten transcriptions. (It was supposed to be much earlier, but my teacher wants to dissect, probably quite painfully, my playing, so I'll wait until the aftermath of that.)

    As it stands, I have an Edirol R09-HR already bought and I'm pretty happy with the sound quality I've got when using good, but borrowed, mics. Realistically I need to get my own mic and the Edirol mic I currently have isn't good enough. I was toying with getting the Studio Projects SP4 as I've read good things about it here, and elsewhere. It's also in the appropriate price range.

    I'm likely to be recording in a big church; it's quite resonant and I've given six recitals there in the past and have generally got on ok with the venue and the piano (Weinbach grand). Venue hire is very reasonable at c. £200 for 3 days. The alternative, which I'd prefer in terms of the piano but will probably steer clear of, is a university recital hall with a lovely Steinway D but the venue hire would be in excess of £1000 for 3 days. (My teacher's advice is to hire for 3 days so as to have no time pressure, and to allot the first half-day to setting up.)

    I'm planning on doing editing myself but have the option of passing it on to a friend (professional sound engineer, though he doesn't usually work with classical or piano) should I need assistance, adding reverb, effects, etc. I currently only have Audacity, which is ok for cut and paste in my experience (not sure if I should be looking for something more upmarket and less free!)

    In particular any suggestions re the mic, or on additional equipment required (e.g. mic stand(s), piano miking, cables, anything I've not thought of but should, etc.) would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Sounds like a nice project, Andrew. Sorry I can't offer you any significant advice; I'm just interested in learning that you use an Edirol but with external mics. As far as editing programs go, I use Adobe Audition. I like it a lot, especially the reverb capabilities. But you won't have to fiddle around with reverb since you are recording in a church.

    Good luck with everything! :)
     
  3. hanysz

    hanysz New Member

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    Don't be too sure of this!

    I think the ideal is to record four tracks, with one microphone pair fairly close to the piano for clarity and another pair further away to get the ambience of the church. Then you can play around with different mixes to see what works best. If you're recording with just one pair of microphones, you should err on the side of having them too close to the piano rather than too far away: you can always add reverb later, but you can't take it away!

    If you've got three days to record, then expect to spend a big chunk of the first day just playing around with different microphone placements.

    Good luck with this project!
     
  4. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the comments and encouragement! I'm looking forward to the project, having already delayed it far more than I intended. I presume that I should get high-quality professional headphones for comparing and listening to the results of testing the mic placement.

    @ Monica, yes, I always use an external mic of some sort. The internal mic is ok for recording your own playing and then casual listening, but not for something like this.
     

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