GloWorm Studios has a great upright piano that we discovered on a studio tour feature (look up our GloWorm video) so we were keen to ask engineer Iain Hutchison to show us his various methods for getting a great piano sound - we've got a bunch of samples for you to compare the various mic setups so please put on your headphones.
In this video we compare two main piano recording setups; Shure SM57's on the back and Schoeps CMC6 condensers on the front with additional room and effects mics including the Placid Audio Copperphone and the Scope Labs Periscope. When all blended together they give a lovely sound but as can be heard, the setup really is dictated by the tracks requirements - if the track is less dense a fuller piano sound might be more appropriate but on a thick and full sounding track something that cuts through might be more suitable.. Anyway, we hope that these samples show just how different the sounds from one piano can be so hope this inspires some experimentation.
In this demonstration with Iain Hutchison, Iain shows how easily you can get a great piano sound with under $200 worth of mics using Shure SM57's - naturally high quality microphones such as Schoeps can add greatly but if budget is tight and if the track calls for it, a pair of 57's work brilliantly.
Details for the recordings are: - 'Sleep Fast' & 'Take it All by Siiga' (artist's name), plus an original composition by Iain, and these are used with permission. The first piece Iain plays is 'Sleep Fast', the piece under the chat at the approx 7 minute mark is 'Take it All'. The piece at the end with the multi image sequence (14 mins ish) is an original composition of Iain's.
The assistant engineer seen on camera setting up and also playing piano was Ewen White. Thanks to everyone at GloWorm for making this video possible!