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When you're recording the piano with other players in the room, you'll have to resort to close miking to reduce leakage from other instruments. Here's a way to do it with just one mic. Place a Directional mic about 18 inches above the center of the harp where the high and low strings cross. What we're trying to capture is an even balance of all the notes in the piano. (music playing) You can try lowering the mic, and while it might sound brighter, you won't pick up the highest or the lowest notes.
That might be okay, if the song only requires the mid range of the piano though. Remember that when you lower the mic close to the strings, you're likely to pick up unwanted pedal and hammer sounds, in addition to the sounds of the piano. But you'll also capture brighter and tighter sound. (music playing) All pianos have a different frequency balance, so you might have to move the mic a foot or so towards the upper or lower strings, in order to obtain the proper balance.
Sometimes the mic you choose just isn't right for the piano. Try replacing it with another directional mic to see if the sound fits the track better. (music playing) Finally, this is another case where the Omni directional mic might work better than the directional one.
Replace the previous mic with an omni-directional and see how it sounds. (music playing) Remember that the best way to evaluate if the mic and the placement are correct is by listening to the piano with the other instruments in the track if possible.
A great solo piano sound doesn't do you much good if it doesn't fit into the track. (music playing) Sum it up, start with the Directional mic about 18 inches above the point of the piano, where the high low strings cross. Move the mic to either side to adjust the frequency balance, don't be afraid to try a different mic or even an omni-directional mic to see if the sound fits better in the track.
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