Many music producers try to go with live players whenever they can. It can take your track to a new level when you control exactly what kind of performance you get. But recording live players can be a challenge depending on what kind of studio you have.
At P5Audio we record alot of Live Grand Piano. We have one here in our studio and it sounds great. Here is a very basic rundown of what we did to get our sound.
- We used a set of stereo microphones. For example the Rode NT4‘s or the Neumann SKM184 are both great. (click the link to read a review of either mic…)
- Place both microphones above the strings of the open grand piano. One over the high strings, and one over the low strings. Each mic is placed about a foot above the strings.
- We used high quality microphone cables and ran them through an SSL strip into avalon preamps.
- We use Apogee converters for Analog to Digital conversion.
- We use a very live room for piano recording. Very little sound treatment and hardwood on the floor.
Here are some other articles I found for recording live piano that go into great detail:
This article tells you how to record piano at home with both a single mic, and a stereo mic technique.
This article is a very unique way to record live grand piano. I am including it, but I have never tried it myself. Still, it sounds like something worth trying, and I might give it a go…
Here is a long f’in article from Mix Magazine that interviews several engineers who record both solo piano and piano/voice at the same time. These are engineers who know their stuff. Take some time and read it.
Please post a comment if you have your own tried and true recording techniques!