Eclectic I

Friday, April 27, 2007

Audio Arts week 7



I think as a group we went all out experimenting with different mic positions and combinations this week. The Piano tuner showed up when we were due to start, but at least this ensured that the piano was sounding its best for the recording.

Although the piano sounded good in most spots around the room, I found that in the centre of the room with the lid open, facing towards the studio window gave the best result. It had enough space to spread out and not be boxed in, and had a pleasant but not overpowering room reverb. I felt that too much space yielded too much 'air' and I didn't enjoy it as much.

With the Mid Side technique, we were amazed to discover that when both the original and inverted wave forms of the figure 8 mic were panned centre, the two cancelled each other out. This made phasing issues quite evident and made us feel we had used good mic placement to have had this happen.

The first, and also my favorite recording utilised the Mid-Side technique with the AKG-C414 set to Omni and the Neuman U87 to figure 8. It didn't take us long to discover the best position to place the mic's although the space between the lid and the strings proved a small challenge.

We also utilised a stereo pair of Rode NT5's. We found that the best place for these was about a meter back from the piano, looking into the open lid, angled down from a higher position. One was facing the bass strings, while the other faced the treble strings. Obviously too far away resulted in too much ‘air’ and to close became too focused on specific frequencies. Although upon listening back we may have benefited from placing them slightly closer to the piano. I could have also experimented with some very minor EQ. to get rid of some of the higher frequencies and cutting a very small portion of 'air' in the mix.

MS 1 - AKG and Nueman only

MS 1 With the NT5's also

The second Mide Side recording was my idea. I thought that the AKG would give a better result as a figure 8 and the Nueman set to Omni. Although it sounded good. I think that John's original Mid Side idea actually had better results. MS 1 had more body, although MS 2 was not without its charm.

MS 2 just the AKG and Neuman

MS 2 With the NT5's

Next we approached the spaced pair technique using the Rode NTV and the Neuman U87. We would have liked to have used the NTV and Nueman for the Mid Side technique, but found we couldn't get them to fit. First we had the NTV angled close over the bass strings and the Nueman over the treble. The result was good, particularly in getting clarity from the bass strings, but overall did not sound as good as the Mid Side technique. Secondly we had the mic positions reversed. The sound was quite flat and dull in comparison. It would be worthwhile to experiment with the Rode NTV set up as it was in the first spaced pair recording but in conjunction with the first Mid Side recording set up.

Spaced Pair 1 -just the NTV and Neuman

Spaced Pair 1 - With NT5's

Spaced Pair 2 - Just NTV and Nueman

Spaced Pair 2 with NT5's

Finally we had the MD421 placed underneath the piano facing the soundboard. The sound we got from this was rather 'honky', but we agreed that this was actually a good thing, as it could be used in context. The 'honky' sound was reminiscent of an old Charlie Chaplin film and could be used in this manner. We got Dave to play a piece that was also reminiscent of this to prove the point. I was quite impressed.

Honky Charlie Chaplin using the MD421

A clean comparison of the same song

References

David Grice. “Audio Arts – Wk 6 – Recording the Piano.” Tutorial presented at EMU space and Studio 1, Level 5, Schultz building, University of Adelaide, 24th April, 2006.

Pic References

Unknown. May 17, 2004. Recording Piano, November 2003. http://mixguides.com/microphones/tips_and_techniques/audio_recording_piano_november/ (28 April 2007).

1 Comments:

Blogger John Delany said...

QUOTE: "we were amazed to discover that when both the original and inverted wave forms of the figure 8 mic were panned centre, the two cancelled each other out. This made phasing issues quite evident and made us feel we had used good mic placement to have had this happen."

I think you will find that the signals cancelled each other out, and made evident the phase separation because ProTools correctly inverted the figure-8 signal, not because we had perfect mic placement ;-)

3:42 AM  

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