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There are many electronic stage pianos and software instruments that offer incredible realism due to the use of carefully multi-sampled sound sets, often recorded in world-class studios, with the best of these even going the extra mile to model the sympathetic string resonance that occurs when a piano note is struck with the dampers lifted. Using some form of electronic piano is obviously convenient from the space-saving point of view and it also avoids the cost and complexity of mic’ing. For the trained piano player, either a dedicated electronic piano with a proper weighted piano keyboard action or a software instrument controlled from a weighted master keyboard controller is clearly preferable as the feel of the keyboard is an important part of the playing experience. For some performers however, only a real, acoustic piano will do, and if you have access to a good instrument that is properly tuned, there’s no reason not to put up a couple of microphones and record it the traditional way. Capacitor mics are the most common choice for piano as the piano covers the whole of the audio spectrum and a capacitor mic has the best high frequency extension of any microphone type. The major benefit of the boundary mic is that it doesn’t receive any reflections from the surface to which it is attached simply because the mic is at the reflective boundary rather than in front of it.
I wouldn’t recommend dynamic mics for serious piano recording though some of the better ones (the Sennheiser MD441 springs to mind) can do a pretty good job.
The many moving parts that make up a piano can generate a surprising amount of unwanted mechanical noise that would probably go unnoticed in a concert hall during live performance but which close mics may pick up very clearly. While you may not have a grand piano in your studio, it may be possible to record one on location for later incorporation into your project. Similarly it can be argued that a large diaphragm mic is likely to have a less accurate off-axis response than a small diaphragm model, but once again the number of classic recordings made using large diaphragm models such as the C414 prove that this is another rule destined to be broken in the name of art. Another consideration is volume; a mic close up to the piano strings has to be able to works at high SPLs and in some cases a mic with a pad switch may be necessary to avoid overloading your mic preamp.
While you can get a good sounding piano recording using a single mic two metres or more from the piano, facing the partly-open lid, most engineers prefer to record the piano in stereo.
Where the room acoustic is beneficial to the instrument, I also like to try spaced omnis as they produce a very natural rendition of both the instrument and room where the mic spacing is usually around 1.5 metres and the mic-to-piano distance 2 to 4 metres. For a more contemporary pop piano sound, a common approach is to place a pair of mics inside the piano 300mm or so above the strings, beneath the open piano lid.
Start off with a pair of mics spaced by around half the width of the piano set up 500 to 700 mm above the top of the piano and a little way in front, just over the keys. Another slight variation is to leave the covers and lid in place but prop the lid open at around 45 degrees as this will reflect some of the sound towards the player.
Paul White is editor in chief of "Sound On Sound" magazine where he shares his musical and recording experiences with other gear addicts.
Thanks for reading the Wonder closely and paying close attention to the definition of the Wonder Words, Marinette! I played piano for a year and a half, but when I practiced I never played on a piano with strings!
I absolutely love the piano I can play many songs on it but I never knew this stuff about it. I thought today's wonder was great and I play piano, drums and saxophone and a bit of recorder here and there. To kick things off, I first extend the Pattern 1 (which is going to be the drum pattern) to 8 beats per bar.
My next step is to create the drum sequence in the Step Sequencer, assign the samples each to their own Mixer tracks and set their volume levels in balance in relation to each other. In the Piano Roll I select all the notes (CTRL+A), zoom in and while holding down the left ALT (to bypass snapping) I move the selection slightly to left. I route all the drum sounds (except the kick) to one empty Mixer track thus creating a drum bus track. Things are too loud so first I drop the Post gain (the Post gain controls the overall volume level after the compression has been applied). I also use Fruity Parametric EQ 2 to add a bit of brightness to the drum bus so it goes next to the drum bus effect slot.
I’m going to use a short snippet from a percussion drum sample (from the Loopmasters AS100 pack) for the bass sound. So first, I open the percussion sample to Edison, zoom in, select a short snippet somewhere in the sample and define loop points by pressing ALT+L. I drop the selection to Step Sequencer and new Sampler channel will be created automatically for it. First, I add an empty pattern to the Playlist, open the Piano Roll view of the bass sound and draw a note of C (C5).
Now the thing is, unless you have a good ear for pitch, you can’t really tell if this really is a C as the original pitch of this sample can be anything. Then I lay down a note of C to the 3xOsc Piano Roll – going down to C3 to be exact as it sounds to be roughly on the same octave as the C5 of my bass sound. To tune the bass sound, I let the two sounds play simultaneously and change the Root note of the bass sound (by right clicking on the keys in the keyboard view) until the sounds match (play in unison). Next, I apply a filter envelope to the bass sound and for filtering, I use the Sampler Channel’s built-in filter envelope features. Before I proceed, few words about the filter cutoff envelope: note that the envelope acts as an offset of the values that are already set in the Filter section (see image below) and the Amount knob (see image below) controls HOW the envelope is applied to the filter cutoff.


The further the Amount knob is turned left, the more the envelope SUBTRACTS from the values set in the Filter section and the further it’s turned right, the more the envelope ADDS to the values set in the Filter section. So now, I first enable the envelope and turn the Amount knob to almost full left as I want the envelope to subtract from the default filter values. Sidechaining with Gross Beat is simple: I make a dip (or dips) to the volume with the volume envelope editor.
I used two percussion sounds in this drum loop that have somewhat apparent pitch and they are out of tune so I need to tune them to make them match with the bass line.
To tune the samples, my first task is to detect what their original pitch is and I’m going to use Edison for that. If you require further details regarding the transaction data, please contact the supplier directly.
Roland is one of the leaders in this area when it comes to hardware pianos for home and stage, and unless the piano is playing a classical solo or is in a very exposed part of the mix, a good sample-based piano (or one using advanced modelling) will do a fine job with the added benefit that you can select between different piano types, most of which you could never afford in their physical incarnation and which would probably not fit into your studio even if you could afford one. They provide consistent sound regardless of the acoustics of the room and are always in tune. Other players may be happy to record their sampled piano software instruments using a non-weighted keyboard of the type used for general synth or organ performance. In many cases it is better to reduce the effect level or even turn it off altogether so that you can add a more sophisticated room ambience later, perhaps using a reverb plug-in based on impulse responses taken from real concert halls, studios or other suitable performance spaces. Having said all that in favour of the capacitor mic, I attended a session at Air Studios shortly after the launch of the  sE RN1R ribbon mic designed in conjunction with Rupert Neve, which demonstrated that the new generation of extended range ribbon mics are capable of producing an extremely natural piano sound with plenty of high end detail.
On more modern instruments, which tend to have much more durable finishes, double-sided sticky foam pads work well as they are secure and also damp out some of the vibrations carried via the piano lid. The majority of dynamics mics, however, roll off above 15 or 16kHz whereas the response of capacitor mics often extends out beyond 20kHz. A grand piano is physically large and its sound is generated both by the vibrating strings and by the soundboard to which they couple so any mic used fairly close to the instrument will receive sound both on and off-axis. Keep in mind too that both cardioid and figure-of-eight pattern mics are susceptible to the proximity effect causing low frequencies to be boosted when the mics are used up close to the instrument.
A purely scientific analysis then might seem to suggest that a small diaphragm, omni pattern, capacitor mic with a fairly high SPL handling capability is the best option, but the reality is that you can get a good sound with all kinds of microphone types so some experimentation may be necessary to see what produces the most pleasing subjective result. The lid acts as a natural reflector that throws the sound towards the audience, which is why you mic from this direction. Of course this won’t give you high strings on one side and low strings on the other but you will capture a stereo sense of room ambience which is well-suited to classical performances.
As with the boundary mic setup, one mic goes over the bass strings and the other over the treble string group, though some fine adjustment may be needed to get an even coverage of notes across the keyboard.
It may not exhibit the sonic grandeur of the concert grand but works well in many pop styles.
Here my usual approach is to remove the lid and upper front cover to give the sound a little more space to breathe, though occasionally you’ll capture a better tone by leaving the front cover in place — it all depends on the instrument and the acoustics of the room.
This should produce a fairly even coverage across the strings but the mic distances and positions can be tweaked to improve the evenness of the coverage if necessary.
A pair of mics set up either side of the player and aimed half way up the open is a good place to start.
In most cases adding reverb or ambience will have the effect of narrowing the stereo image slightly so always judge the stereo width in the context of the whole track and with any effects turned on. It's so much fun to listen to beautiful piano music, and we're glad you like playing so much! How INCREDIBLE that you have learned to play four different instruments-- we WONDER if you have a favorite!
Even if you don't play, we hope you continue to Wonder about COOL instruments and beautiful music!
We love to learn about different instruments and listen to all the beautiful tunes that musicians create!
We LOVE that you enjoy the challenge and think it's WONDERful that you have fun while playing! In that video, some of the samples in the drum loop were slightly out of tune so I will also show two different tuning methods to fix those.
Using longer patterns makes it possible to add more variation to the sequence without the need to create a new pattern for each variation.
First clap sample is from the Loopmasters AS100 sample pack (free version which you can download here – check the full version here).
I also use Fruity Reeverb 2 to add a sense of large space to it and fine tune the overall volume level with the Mixer track volume level fader. Using the LMH mix I set the mix balance between the dry and compressed signal and the Release time I set to something short to make things sound purposely a bit bumpy.
I don’t have a good ear for pitch so that is why I need a tone that is definitely a C so I can compare them side-by-side and tune the sample according to it. This way I can detect and tell to FL Studio what the actual pitch (root note) of the bass sound is and on what key it should play. Now I know the original pitch of the sample and I can go on and set it as a root key in the Sampler Channel settings window. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.


There’s also no risk of pickup up spill from other instruments, though for a satisfactory playing experience with a piano plug-in, use as low a buffer size in your DAW as you can get away with and also bypass any unnecessary plug-ins to minimise latency. Since then the less costly sE Voodoo ribbon mics have been released and these too have a very open-sounding high end combined with traditional ribbon smoothness. Start by putting one mic above the treble strings, and and the other above the bass strings, close to the hammers, each positioned at the centre of their string group. Of course you can use dynamic mics if you need the effect of a deliberately restricted top end and apparently this technique was used on some of the Beatles’ tracks.
Squeaking wooden parts can often be cured by rubbing candle wax onto any moving parts that touch, though clonks caused by wear in the mechanism may take more fixing. This being the case, there is a technical argument for using omni or figure-of-eight pattern mics as they have a far more consistent off-axis response than typical cardioid pattern mics. This suggests that where mics are being placed inside the piano lid, omni or boundary mic (hemi-omni) models may be a safer choice than cardioids or figure-of-eights, though it is possible to use cardioids or figure-of-eights of mic in conjunction with some low cut filtering to balance the sound. You can vary the amount of room acoustic in the final recording by varying the mic distance. Where other instruments are playing at the same time, the amount of spill reaching the piano mics can be reduced by hanging duvets or blankets over the piano so as to block off the open side of the lid. Moving the mics towards the piano so the are pointing straight down into the workings tends to produce a brighter tone while moving them further towards the player, or even behind the player, tends to capture a warmer sound.
This can be thought of as being equivalent to a scaled down version of the grand piano mic’ing arrangement. If the piano is well recorded, you’ll probably need little in the way of EQ but cutting out the ultra-lows always helps preserve headroom and it keeps your mixes from sounding muddy.
We LOVE learning to play new instruments, especially when we can share our talents with others!
Second and third clap is from the Prime Loops Drum Sample Tasters 2012 pack (free, download here). FL Studio needs to know this as all other notes are generated by changing sample’s speed (and so pitch). You can clear the sticky residue from the finish when you’re done using spray furniture polish.
I’ve used elastic bands in the past to keep a pedal pressed hard to one side so as to take out the play in the mechanism.
However, there have been some great sounding piano recordings made using cardioid pattern mics set up either as a coincident stereo pair or as a spaced pair, so the rules are clearly very flexible and only the subjective result matters. Where the room ambience is less useful, improvised screens (duvets again!) behind and to the sides of the mics will help dry up the sound. We LOVE to listen to all types of music, including piano music, and would LOVE to learn to play! Transposing notes in the Step Sequencer is simple: I open the Keyboard editor, hold down the left CTRL and click on the key I want to transpose the sequence into. So all I need to do is to set A as the kick’s root key and transpose the kick to E in the Step Sequencer.
EDM loops are even made ??a theme that very much can be treated according to times (claps layern, hat on an off note, etc.). Metal parts that squeak can usually be cured by a squirt of WD40 or similar oil, so if you’re recording on location, make sure you take plenty of elastic bands, an old candle and some oil as well as that faithful standby, a roll of gaffa tape. Facing this fast-changing and highly competitive market, we push out high-performance, high-quality, the most popular products unceasingly.
However, after trying this I decided to leave it to A because in E, the kick sounded way too uptight. If you've never taken piano lessons, chances are you probably have a friend or family member who has taken piano lessons at one time or another.Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori invented the piano in the 1690s. Over time, the instrument came to be known simply as the piano.A piano's sounds are created by strings vibrating.
When you press a key on a piano, the key moves a tiny hammer inside the piano to hit a string. When the string vibrates, it creates sound.Each of the 88 keys on a piano plays a different note. More than one key can be played at the same time to create chords and harmonies.Some of the keys are black and others are white. The white keys on a piano are sometimes called the “ivories," which led to the phrase “tickling the ivories" to be used for playing the piano.Although there are 88 keys on a piano, there are more than 88 strings inside the piano.
Higher notes can require as many as three strings.To play the piano, you have to use more than just your hands, though.
These pedals have different purposes, such as allowing the player to play softer notes or to sustain (lengthen) notes that have been played.Pianos come in different shapes and sizes. Grand pianos are complex instruments that can be made up of over 7,000 different parts!The piano is sometimes called the “King of the Instruments." From its lowest note to its highest note, a piano can produce a wide range of tones.
In fact, a single piano can cover the entire range of notes that can be played by every instrument in an orchestra!



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