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  • #16
    as versatile as 57s are, they only capture a small slice of the big pizza, even when stereo micing.

    by comparison the 451s breathe much more realistically and reproduce the low warmth with added life. wider spectrum and better resolution.

    yet the large diaphram would do better still in this regard...

    a mic i am very impressed with is the shure ksm 27. i used it for a classical guitar live and was stunned by the sweetness of highs and feedback rejection.

    comments?
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    • #17
      Originally posted by mentoneman
      as versatile as 57s are, they only capture a small slice of the big pizza, even when stereo micing.

      by comparison the 451s breathe much more realistically and reproduce the low warmth with added life. wider spectrum and better resolution.

      yet the large diaphram would do better still in this regard...

      a mic i am very impressed with is the shure ksm 27. i used it for a classical guitar live and was stunned by the sweetness of highs and feedback rejection.

      comments?


      With a rockin' back line, the 451, 414 etc may not be ideal due to bleed and excessive bandwidth. Often, there are better tools for the job (in that context) that do not seem ideal by themselves. The 57 is one of those, though definately not my choice for solo piano for example, will work better in a band situation.

      I would look at other keyboard options personally, like a Yamaha CP-80.
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      • #18
        I don't have anything new to add on the microphone/pickup choices, except that I don't like the BB pickups at all.

        One really useful tip, though. If you're getting a lot of low-frequency feedback, switch the microphone polarity (nicer boards have a button, but you can make a couple XLR cables which swap pins 2 & 3 if needed). Makes a big difference in some situations.
        "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Scodiddly
          I don't have anything new to add on the microphone/pickup choices, except that I don't like the BB pickups at all.

          One really useful tip, though. If you're getting a lot of low-frequency feedback, switch the microphone polarity (nicer boards have a button, but you can make a couple XLR cables which swap pins 2 & 3 if needed). Makes a big difference in some situations.


          i agree my ears have grown weary of the BBs...
          i have run the afforementioned setups in and out of phase as well, again with mixed results...

          and i do recognize the overall effectiveness of the 57s. perhaps the answer lies between the lines...there is no one easy solution.

          maybe for rock it should be one barcus and one 57, and for the classical it could be the 451s.

          i REALLY prefer the lid on the full stick, and a player who isn't afraid to strike the keys!
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          • #20
            Certainly one solution won't be adequate for both applications.
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            Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

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            • #21
              Time to bump this thread back to life...

              So the Yamaha baby grand at the folk club has one of those Barcus-Berry pickups, which I've always hated. Recently I took the bold step of attempthing to find the installation directions, since it doesn't seem right at all that the pickup is mounted on the harp. Sure enough, it's supposed to be on the soundboard. So I need to find some of that special Barcus-Berry adhesive tape and try it on the soundboard.

              Any comments on where to locate the pickup?

              I've really gotten interested in getting a good live piano sound, so tomorrow on an off night we're going to have a little piano micing session to come up with a recommended-for-newbies setup. Plus I'm going to test my newly built stereo mics, one of which already has already done a successful show inside the piano.
              "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

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              • #22
                yes mounting the barcus on the soundboard is recommended---precisely where is kinda left to the ears and discretion of the engineer, versus the 2nd or 3rd soundhole they suggest.

                i have fallen into the routine of one barcus on the treble side, and one 451 over the bass/low mid string section, on a boom stand, slightly higher than the edge of the lid.

                i roll off the horrid frequencies which seem to leap from the barcus (350-450hz and 3.5-4k) as well as knock off some 12k. to me the barcus has a shrill "capsule resonance" eminating from the enclosure surrounding the pickup element.
                kinda honky and "tinky" sounding. but the gain before feedback and cut in a mix is important.

                maybe i'll try my dbx 376 tube pre/comp with it to soften the quack some...just thought of it...

                with the 451 i low cut it to approx. 100hz and dig out some of the boominess at 200-400. but set properly you can capture a great deal of the steinway magic and roar.

                paramount to his system is the judicious setting of the input gain sensitivity at the console's channel.

                unlike other instruments where i try to set the ppm squarely into the yellow, i strive to keep the piano channels at a conservative input unity and push the fader past unity if i need more steam.

                this seems to neutralize the ill effects of the barcus and 451 effectively.

                and i always return only the barcus into the monitor, not the 451, to avoid feedback.

                aloha.
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                • #23
                  I'm surprised no one has yet to mention the Crown PZM-30. We've had really great results with sound and gain-before-feedback. Two yield the best results.
                  Mackie Industrial Art 500a $1200/pair

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                  • #24
                    Well, I'm not surprised at all by my latest discovery: The Barcus-Berry preamp for their piano pickup is a piece of crap. So far I've mucked about with 2-3 different preamps from different eras, and all were basically half-assed designs.

                    In this case, the input impedance is apparently 2.2M. Not bad, but for a piezo pickup you often want something even higher. I've got a little DIY buffer I designed which does around 8M, and for upright bass it can make a huge difference. I'd brought the BB piano pickup home tonight just because I was suspicious about the preamp, and I was right - it's just a very basic phantom-powered DI with a couple extra bells & whistles. With the pickup stuck to the top of my acoustic guitar I tried a few different combinations, and the best results were my piezo buffer feeding a regular (in this case an EWI active) DI. Just the EWI by itself wasn't too bad either, but I could hear some of the mismatched-impedance piezo sound.

                    I think I'm going to just donate a piezo buffer to the folk club and suggest use of a regular DI. The pickup will still need to be blended with a mic, but I'm hoping to stick it
                    on the underside of the soundboard near the bass-side bridge and use it to fill in the bottom. Supposedly this pickup is designed to prevent feedback via the soundboard, so it might prove useful.
                    "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

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                    • #25
                      I ended up modding the Barcus-Berry preamp with a little single-FET circuit, basically my usual piezo buffer stripped down and tweaked to get power from the preamp.

                      It'll be a while before I can try it on a show, but I dropped by the folk club, reinstalled, and listened through a wedge. Sounds much better!
                      "I would kill the children of a thousand planets, just to see you smile"

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