Small vs. large diaphragm condenser mikes for recording grand piano at home

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by Kelly, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Kelly

    Kelly Guest

    Hi all - I am going to purchase microphones to record my grand piano
    (at my home), and I am considering a matched pair of Oktava stereo
    mikes from the Sound Room (www.oktava.com). Does anyone have any
    suggestions or reference information to help me decide whether to buy
    small or large diaphragm condenser mikes? Thanks!

    Kelly
  2. Mike Clayton

    Mike Clayton Guest

    In article <51e2f1.0308301808.1cfcf72b@posting.google.com>,
    pleasenospamplease@yahoo.com (Kelly) wrote:

    > Hi all - I am going to purchase microphones to record my grand piano
    > (at my home), and I am considering a matched pair of Oktava stereo
    > mikes from the Sound Room (www.oktava.com). Does anyone have any
    > suggestions or reference information to help me decide whether to buy
    > small or large diaphragm condenser mikes? Thanks!
    >
    > Kelly


    What type of music? Got a good sounding room and piano? Got good preamps?

    (Gawd, I'm starting to sound like Dorsey...)

    --
    Mike Clayton
  3. Ty Ford

    Ty Ford Guest

    In Article <3f51f875_2@news.cybersurf.net>, "Ron Charles"
    <portugal@3web.net> wrote:
    >The Oktavas from Sound Room are good, but for piano I would suggest (at the
    >same price point) either a pair of Beyer M260 ribbon mics, or perhaps a
    >couple of used Crown PZM mics, depending on the sound you want.
    >RON CHARLES



    In the midst of a review of the nickel diaphragm Gefell M 294, 295, 296, I
    got a chance to revisit the MC012 (mostly in cardioid, and from Sound Room).
    I was reminded that they are boomy on the bottom and have a bit of skritch
    on top. For the price, though, that's a pretty good deal.

    Regards,

    Ty Ford

    For Ty Ford V/O demos, audio services and equipment reviews,
    click on http://www.jagunet.com/~tford
  4. Ron Charles

    Ron Charles Guest

    The Oktavas from Sound Room are good, but for piano I would suggest (at the
    same price point) either a pair of Beyer M260 ribbon mics, or perhaps a
    couple of used Crown PZM mics, depending on the sound you want.
    RON CHARLES
    "Kelly" <pleasenospamplease@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:51e2f1.0308301808.1cfcf72b@posting.google.com...
    > Hi all - I am going to purchase microphones to record my grand piano
    > (at my home), and I am considering a matched pair of Oktava stereo
    > mikes from the Sound Room (www.oktava.com). Does anyone have any
    > suggestions or reference information to help me decide whether to buy
    > small or large diaphragm condenser mikes? Thanks!
    >
    > Kelly
  5. Kelly

    Kelly Guest

    m.clayton@it.canterbury.ac.nz (Mike Clayton) wrote in message news:<m.clayton-3108032218130001@mcl47.tacacs.canterbury.ac.nz>...
    ....
    >
    > What type of music? Got a good sounding room and piano? Got good preamps?


    I'll be recording classical music on a 1908 Steinway model O ( 5'10"
    ). I've replaced the strings and hammers, so the piano sounds good. I
    suppose that the room sounds ok, but we may be replacing the carpet
    with laminate "hardwood" floors, so I guess that will change
    everything. As far as preamps, I was just planning on running the
    mikes into my Mackie 1202 mixer and using the preamps in it.
  6. David Satz

    David Satz Guest

    Kelly wrote:

    > Hi all - I am going to purchase microphones to record my grand piano
    > (at my home) [ ... ] Does anyone have any suggestions or reference
    > information to help me decide whether to buy small or large diaphragm
    > condenser mikes? Thanks!


    That normally isn't the first or the primary decision. First you have to
    have a reasonably clear concept of what kind of sound you're hoping for,
    and then you can make a plan for how to get it, if that's possible.

    From everything I've read here, Oktava microphones from The Sound Room
    might well be a good starting point for trying out some possibilities.
    I don't use them myself, but I hear that they're not too expensive and
    rather good sounding for the price. That's a good level to start out at.
    Once you've used them in a bunch of ways and listened to the results, you
    will (I hope) find that your perceptions and judgments about piano
    recording will have progressed, such that you may find yourself thinking
    about your whole conception of recorded piano sound somewhat differently.

    That's experiential learning for you--a notoriously wayward process. But
    if you're a musician, you already knew that ...

    If your interest is in classical music or in other music that is normally
    listened to in "real-world" acoustics rather than artificial/electronic,
    you may find that it takes an "obscenely large" (to use Roy Allison's term)
    living room with the right balance of materials to give you a satisfying
    room sound. This can be quite frustrating since only rather wealthy people
    can usually afford a living room that large and that specifically furnished.

    There's a reason why the best studios for classical (or natural sounding
    acoustic recording generally) are large, rare, and rather costly to rent.
    Many good classical recordings are made in concert halls, churches and
    other spaces that aren't, in themselves, recording studios for this reason.

    But there's no guarantee whatsoever that you can get a beautiful piano
    sound in a living room that's anything like most people's living rooms.
    The laws of physics don't let you substitute anything else for the
    required spatial proportions and volume of enclosed air, unfortunately.

    If you want recordings that cleanly document what you're playing, you can
    make relatively close, "dry" recordings that are well-balanced and accurate
    within the context of documentary sound quality--and there's a fairly wide
    variety of microphones which you can use for that purpose.
  7. James Boyk <boyk@caltech.edu> wrote:

    > (Do try ribbons, though.)


    Understand that with a Mackie 1202 preamping one will be restricted to
    ribbons like the active Royers, because gain enough for others there is
    not.

    --
    hank alrich * secret mountain
    audio recording * music production * sound reinforcement
    "If laughter is the best medicine let's take a double dose"
  8. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    Kelly <pleasenospamplease@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >Hi all - I am going to purchase microphones to record my grand piano
    >(at my home), and I am considering a matched pair of Oktava stereo
    >mikes from the Sound Room (www.oktava.com). Does anyone have any
    >suggestions or reference information to help me decide whether to buy
    >small or large diaphragm condenser mikes? Thanks!


    Get the mikes that you like the sound of, and don't worry if they are
    large or small diaphragm condensers, ribbons, or what have you. People
    worry too much. Use your ears.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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