What does it sound like?

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

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jeffe
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What does it sound like?

Post by jeffe » Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:12 am

I had a comment on a critique that said that I should try putting a microphone right up against a piano to get a sound that more suited the composition.Only problem is. I don't seem to have a piano at hand. I looked in the cupboards and no. Definitely no piano.Does anyone on here have any good examples of that type of sound so I can try and emulate it?
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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by edteja » Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:25 am

I tried putting a microphone on my piano for you, but it is electric and the sound was, well, dull. I could try putting the mic on the speaker if you want.
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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by Casey H » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:06 am

I've read that John Lennon once put a microphone in a plastic bag and put that in a bucket of water to get the sound he was looking for... So I guess that means mic placement is important... But I guess there are no listings that read "Producer seeks rock music with vocals that sound like they were sung in a pail of water". Maybe you can bring your mic to a piano store... Casey

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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by jeffe » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:02 am

Quote:I've read that John Lennon once put a microphone in a plastic bag and put that in a bucket of water to get the sound he was looking for... So I guess that means mic placement is important... But I guess there are no listings that read "Producer seeks rock music with vocals that sound like they were sung in a pail of water". Maybe you can bring your mic to a piano store... CaseyThey might throw me out if I walked in with a microphone, a plastic bag and a bucket of water Perhaps they meant including the dull thud of the hammers hitting the strings.If you walk past a piano store and see a guy with his head against it. It's probably me!!!I will endeavour to experience the sound. In the meantime. If anyone has recorded piano in this way then I would appreciate a link to the recording
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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by mikehelms » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:13 am

I had a friend who would use too Hi freq vocal mics placed in the.. Bell? body? of a baby grand.. anyhow he would mix them down to a single stero track for his " real Piano sound"...

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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by ernstinen » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:57 pm

A microphone trick on an upright piano is to use a quality dynamic mic (RE-20, 441, 421, even a 57) to mic the back of the piano near the low end (the wood that resonates). Then add a condenser mic on the front to capture the upper end of the piano, listening to balance the hi mic with the low mic. (It helps to take the wooden front "music holder" off). The combination makes for a nice stereo piano recording.Ern

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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by sgs4u » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:49 pm

Quote:Only problem is. I don't seem to have a piano at hand. I looked in the cupboards and no. Definitely no piano.as you read this, you are hearing the sound of NO PIANO in the track!I think some of you have been struck by the mighty wit of British humour(yes humour with a "u"). I will also email you the sound of no piano in the track if you like, Jeff, I'm sure I know what the your reviewers comment was asking for.Did I miss something?steve

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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by mixopenta » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:14 pm

Jeff, do you mean to say that the reviewer mentioned a piano while there wasn't any piano playing in the track? Just to say putting a mic right up against a piano could mean a lot of things sound wise, depending on exactly where you'd put it. Ern provided you with a useful hands-on tip. It could also mean that the piano sounded too dull suffering from too much ambience. Upright pianos have a tendency of sounding almost out of tune when micing them from a distance.And if you'd put two mics facing each other, always remember to flip the phase switch on one of them, unless you want the NO PIANO sound if ever played back in mono...

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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by jeffe » Sun Apr 15, 2007 10:12 pm

Well Steve. You were close. The point was that I don't have a piano. Upright or Grand.There is piano in the track but it's electronically generated. I'll have to check to see if the piano sound was stereo. I have used stereo piano before.They mentioned Mic and not Mics so I am assuming it's to do with the acoustic dynamics rather than the stereo sound.That's why I asked if anyone on here has recorded anything like that so that I could take a listen.Casey has given me an idea. I'm going to dig out some John Lennon stuff and take a listen to his piano sounds. I will also examine some Coldplay tunes for piano (as they said they thought it was similar to their style). The scientist comes to mind.However, if any of you guys/girls have done this then I'd love to hear it.Here is some of the text from the critique:"Consider simply sticking a mic up to any piano you can find. The recording may not come out as clean and balanced, for for an earnest artist like you, it will come across better."Help at all?
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Re: What does it sound like?

Post by mixopenta » Mon Apr 16, 2007 12:33 am

You're right, they suggest a more organic sounding piano. Tighter is not always better, and in this case might sound a bit detached from the rest of the sounds, which in your case might be a real acoustic guitar and voice.I'm using EastWest's Steinway samples which is the best emulation of a piano sound I've ever heard so far. If you don't have access to a real piano, EW could be the middle ground. Now there might be better than EW, but if you go with the silver edition you can get it for around £100 which in my opinion is well worth the money. plus, you get a lot of more or less useful orchestra sounds as well.Mixing acoustic and electronic instruments together is one of the hardest things to do in a convincing way. And this particular song might call for a more gritty, and uncontrolled timber of the piano making it "sit" together more neatly with the rest.I agree that you could look at the "Lennon sound", which is organic "personified". If you should use a real piano and mic just make sure they're waterproof

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