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Topic: Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

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  1. #1

    Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

    This issue has come up now and then. ProPiano has addressed it in a Garritan thread. Has anyone every actually created a multisample this way and then discarded it because the result was bad? Or was a convention established long ago and is now being followed?

    Or is it apples and oranges--a distant perspective needs the sound to come from the same location, whereas a player's perspective allows the player to hear the sounds coming from distinctly different places?

  2. #2

    Re: Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Johnson View Post
    This issue has come up now and then. ProPiano has addressed it in a Garritan thread. Has anyone every actually created a multisample this way and then discarded it because the result was bad? Or was a convention established long ago and is now being followed?

    Or is it apples and oranges--a distant perspective needs the sound to come from the same location, whereas a player's perspective allows the player to hear the sounds coming from distinctly different places?
    What do you do when you built a stringsection with let`s say 4 dry sampled playerinstruments?

    Ah, you set panning to the tracks and mix them with reverb to get a near real sounding.
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  3. #3

    Re: Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

    I've never worked with strings. (But if I did, I think I would want to do it for an audience perspective. I'm more of a would-be song writer.) Are you saying that you like the idea of recording the notes with moved mics? Include the usual wideness slider that let the user choose the panning spread?

    In any case, I liked the close perspective sound in the mp3s that were posted. The sound moved, but a player hears the sound move.

    Not sure what would happen, in a big multisample, however, with the harp and body resonance and the string resonance (not the sympathetic resonance, but the resonance of all the strings when a note or chord is played hard) on sustained notes and chords--would those sound sources produce strange results, as if their sounds were moving around? I'm in favor of experimenting.

  4. #4

    Re: Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

    Have you experimented with PianoTeq? It may come closer to a "moved mic" perspective, since the developers build the sound from partials.

  5. #5

    Re: Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

    Quote Originally Posted by propianist View Post
    ...

    I'm convinced the fixed-position mic "sound" is a serious limitation of any piano recording or multisample. Once you recognise it, you'll spot it a mile off and it's quite obviously affecting most well-known commercial piano libraries, including one very recently released.
    I think the problem is the directional mics most commonly used, not fixed-position micing generally. Folks use directional mics to minimize the room. But they have only one sweet spot and a variable off-axis response. Moving the mic 88 times only fixes the one note directly in front of it. And not its neighbors who participate in pedal-down sounds and resonance effects. And any room sound that leaks in will blur low-level imaging. If you used omnis in a great space that didn't need minimizing, there would be no response issue. As long as you didn't move them. Or use omnis and put the piano into an anechoic chamber. The only downside is possible phasing issues. A good compromise is using an omni in a mid-side point-source array in place of the usual cardioid. But I know of no libraries that use this approach. Although some recording engineers do in recording piano, choir, and orchestra performances.

    Howard

  6. #6

    Re: Moving the mics for recording a piano multisample?

    About the PianoTeq tone, I can only point towards two sets of controls
    that for me, have made an enormous difference in the timbre:

    1. The Remanent --- Direct sound slider. Moving this to the left creates a less smooth decay, and instead lets you hear the strings beating a little more. This sound has still more presence if you also detune the unisons a little more. Try this Direct sound slider all the way to the left, with the next edit below.

    2. Moving the soundboard impedance slider more to the left, in conjunction with the above edit, also helps to get rid of what some people hear as a too "smooth" sound. There's not one exact setting here for this or the above parameters, but combined, they give me a closer sound. One way to gradually develop the sound you want--put the Direct sound slider all the way to the left and the soundboard impedance all the way to the left. Then try moving each slightly to the right in varying combinations. Try this combination with several presets. (Be sure to try it out the preset called, I think, the M1 Jazz.)

    Obviously, adjusting other parameters, particularly on the right side of the interface, in combination with these parameters, has a large effect on the sound, too, but these two parameters are the first things I reach for to shape the timbre.

    Addendum: A lot of people seem to find that adjusting the velocity curve and adjusting the dynamics (moving the slider to the left so soft velocities are louder) also helps in creating sounds that they like.

    And there's the Key release duration (on the Options menu at the bottom left of the interface--this controls both the speed at which the damper completes damping and the extent to which the dampers resist the force of a strike. In other words, try increasing this in various increments and in combination with the other settings above: it's true that it's easy to create a synthy piano if you move one control. Often, what you must do is instead make several small changes...

    Hope this helps. You can get a great timbre out of PianoTeq.

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