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#37946 - 12/04/00 12:57 PM Help with recording acoustic music
beppemaniglia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/99
Posts: 20
Hi everybody,
I'd like some directions from those of you who already recorded acoustic piano and voice.
I'll make it clear.
I had to record a romanza for piano and tenor, written by a friend of mine.
I HAVE CHEAP GEAR (2 SM57 used on piano, 1 Sony F-720 used on vocals, a Yamaha MD8 multitrack, no effects).
What I wanted to do was have a decent recording, with low noise and good separation between piano and vocals.
It turned out HELL!!
Input signal was too low, so I had to I place micros VERY close to piano strings, but it wasn't still enough.
So I had to raise the gain a lot, and then I had a lot of background noise, I recorded every little movement (the pianist on the stool,the turning of the score page!!).
The tenor was evanescent, being the romanza very variable in loudness (many "piano" and "forte").
I tried several placing for micros, and in the recording I did this way:
- piano with raised top cover, at 45 degrees (sorry for my english);
- micros under it, on the opposite side of the keyboard, facing 45 degrees low, one over low strings, the other almost inside the armonic "hole" to the right of high strings;
- singer behind the piano, with micro pointing away from the piano, straight to his mouth, 35-40 cm far from him.
- the room was small, with wooden floor, and all the walls filled with books to the top.

Now my question is NOT : "what's the right gear for such a recording?"
Instead I would like to know how I could have handled the recording better and how could I have the maximum from my stuff,
even though it's cheap.

Any help will be highly appreciated.

#37947 - 12/04/00 04:19 PM Re: Help with recording acoustic music
tails Offline

Registered: 07/20/99
Posts: 309
i'm guessing that the Sony mic is a ribbon or condenser of some sort? Whatever it is try using the SM57 for the vocal/tenor and the Sony for the piano. The extra 57 can be used as an ambient mic. It's not very suitable but it'll do since you don't have fx on your MD recorder. Or you could try the 57 on the piano and the Sony as an ambient mic. I think the former is better. Also try to position the tenor as far as possible from the piano. You should close mic the piano and let the ambient mic(hopefully) pick up the ambient piano sound. To make the sound big, you could always bounce it different tracks and layer them on the multitrack. Hope this helps.

#37948 - 12/05/00 06:30 PM Re: Help with recording acoustic music
Smitty Offline

Registered: 05/17/00
Posts: 155
Loc: Holtwood, PA. USA
You could record the piano first using all three mikes in different configurations and combine that with left & right panning in the MD8. One channel could be the "center"(probably the Sony) and the other two panned left and right at opposite sides of the piano about 4 feet away. The Sony could hang above to capture what the other two missed. Through EQ and panning you should be able to come up with something passable.
I would recommend the SM57 for vocals on the second take at about 18 inches. Tell vocalist to minimize Ps and Bs to avoid plosives. And to SING OUT so you dont need to crank up pre-amps.



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