No Not One Acoustic Piano Mixoff

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum but have been observing some and listening to some great mixes. I recently recorded my own band project and I learned a lot having a pro mix it, so I am gaining proficiency in the recording department. I'd like to develop my mixing skills some and that's why I'm here.  I'm recording a new project which is strictly solo piano. I thought it would be pretty easy to mix but not so (at least for me). Here are the details:

Instrument: 6' baby grand, equal temperament tuning. Recorded with the lid off (it sounded a little too woody with the lid on).

Room: Living room with 9' ceiling, drywall, and hardwood floors. It's pretty lively but I have added several bass traps and a little bit of mid-high absorption to tame it some. The room opens out to a family room and a foyer through large openings.

Mics: The tracks are named by their position. There is a stereo pair (lo, high) of Superlux S241/U3 SD condensers at the front of the piano and facing down onto the strings. No attenuation or rolloffs. By the way, for low-cost mics the Superlux mics are really good. I used these to capture the fundamental sounds, fairly dry given the room. I am using the preamps on my recording device for these.

There is also a Cascade Fat Head ribbon mic (single element) used underneath and pointing up at the soundboard. My intent was to mix in some of this since it is fairly dark sounding and the piano is pretty bright. I'm using a ART Tube Preamp for this. It's not real clean but it's all I've got available at the moment.

And there is a room mic, an AKG Perception 820 Tube. This is set in "almost" full omni, about 10' away from the piano, at the entrance into the hallway. I intended to mix in some of this to bring in the room's reverb, thinking it would be more natural than using only an added reverb.

Interface: Zoom R16. I am recording at 24 bit, 44.1 (It is the highest resolution the interface offers unless you are connected through a computer, which I am not.) FYI: I have it set up so the artist can manage her own recording, with the Zoom comfortably beside her. The idea is to allow her the freedom to do many takes without me "engineering" the whole time, and then she is set up with small monitors to play back and decide which take she wants to use. Most of her performances are live "one takers." Occasionally I will do a little bit of comping. No comping on this particular song.

For those interested in taking a shot at this, I am hoping you will share your specific steps so I can try them on my own system on other recordings.

The files are here:

My "very rough" mix is attached.


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Drag audio files here, or tap to choose
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Might be a probalem with the file you posted for download...It took about 5 times to get the file to download...had to keep typing in the letters/code they ask for...Once I did finally download the file it will not open/extract...tried a few times with no luck.
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I tested the links on a separate machine and they seemed to work fine. Filedropper is a bit circusy looking so make sure you click the gray download link that says "Download this file." I also opened up the zip on another machine and it worked fine, but do make sure you wait for the entire download. Filedropper doesn't show you the file size or a progress bar when you're downloading. The Zip file is 69 MB.

If anyone else is having trouble, please let me know. I'll upload somewhere else.
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OK, I just did a superfast pass:

I ditched the room and ribbon mics, hard panned the other two, and used the TC Electronics M30 reverb (free) set to A Touch of Hall. No eq, or any other processing.

I think it sounds pretty nice that simple. Too many mics and you get comb-filtering and weird room things going on...

Nice piece, too!
Thank you for doing a mix. Sorry for not getting back right away. My day job has been insane lately.

I notice some of the funky overtones (comb filtering) and such when I listen to all 4 ... (read more)
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Yeah, room mics are always going to be a little prone to comb filtering, since they are usually far enough away from the source that reflections are similar in level to the direct sound. Of course, just pushing up a tiny bit of room can work well, in many cases. In this case, I just felt that the reverb was cleaner and gave more spaciousness than the room mics. Maybe if the room mics had been a stereo pair in a bigger room. If you like the distant sound, go with it, just bring the close mics in a bit, until they fill in wahtever's missing and stop.

Recording solo acoustic instruments is in some ways harder than tracking a band. There's just nothing to cover up technical or artistic shortcomings!
I have discovered that there is very little room for error when recording solo stuff. I recorded a full band project and in some ways, it WAS easier (the administrative part -- keeping the band tog... (read more)
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well there r no files to mix in ur feed