Because a grand is the standard piano store near me used in concert halls and large auditoriums, it’s relatively easy to find information regarding the recording techniques for a grand. But what about amateurs at home or if you only have an upright piano? You can still record your upright piano. However, it may take some extra steps to do the right thing. These will be briefly described below. However, each piano design is unique as well as the layout and design of the room in which it is located, so these tips should only be used as a guide.
The rear of upright pianos is often against a wall. It is where most sound emanates from. You can open most upright pianos’ top lids. However, what about the section below the keyboard? Or the section directly above the keyboard? Every piano is different so it’s important to let as much as possible open. It is worth taking the piano out of the wall if you are able to do so. You can then place the microphones facing the back. You can use two microphones to record stereo. Place them about one third to half-way up the rear from the bottom. Space them equally between them and on either side. You will need to record several takes to find the right position. The microphone type and model will also affect the recording. There is no universal rule here. To add some variation, room decor can have an impact on the final result. For example, a room without carpets or drapes will sound more alive and reflective than a room with lots of carpeting and drapes.
It is important to make sure that your mics are in phase when you use them as an inter-mic. While they should be of the same model, it is not necessary. If they are not wired in phase, however, the results will be significantly less than stellar. Phasing refers to the fact that mics are reacting together, and not in an opposite direction. It is possible to explain this and test it by connecting a stereo system to an amplifier that has a bare end wire. This is a cable with a negative and a positive wire that plugs into a latching termination marked Positive or Negative. You have an in phase system if you have this arrangement. Make sure that the right and left speakers are wired with negative to positive and positive to negative. Play a song you like and turn the system off.