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Seeking Inexpensive Mic for Acoustic Piano (upright), suggestions please!

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  • Seeking Inexpensive Mic for Acoustic Piano (upright), suggestions please!

    Hi guys, I'm looking to buy an inexpensive mic to record an acoustic upright piano into Pro Tools. Would love to hear some suggestions and recommendations. I heard about the MXL 993 as a contender but I don't know much about mis in general and don't have a big budget. Any help greatly appreciated, thanks!

  • #2


    • #3
      Don't know if these are any good but they still have stock on 'em.
      Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...

      Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...


      • #4
        Thanks I will check those out. I heard about the MXL 993, curious if this would be a good choice for miking an upright piano?


        • #5
          Pianos especially upright pianos are tricky animals to mic well. You'll find the micing technique getting the best tones from the keyboard is going to be a much bigger challenge then which budget mic you choose. Most budget mics come from China now and most use the same mic diaphragms. Unless you get into the pro quality mics the differences for specific jobs will be hard to foretell. The MXL will do about the same job as any other condenser in its range, I would use at least two mics on an upright however. The instrument projects three dimensional sounds from the back off the wall, from the top and from the front. I've gotten good results from micing the back and opening the top and placing a mic in the center of the top. I've also taken the front off and miced it close to the beaters with a pair, one on the high side and one on the low side for some stereophonic effects.

          Best thing you can do is monitor the mic with good isolation headphones and move the mic finding the best position for the sound you want. The mic (or mics) you eventually use will make vast differences as will the particular piano you have and how old the strings are. Old string are going to sound mellow and using an MXL should give you good top end. If you want a more honkey tonk sound a Dynamic mic might be a choice.

          Heres a bunch of pics on micing techniques and mics


          • #6
            Thanks WRGKMC! In addition to the mic you mention, would I also need a good pre-amp to get a good miked piano sound? I'm using Pro Tools and have a MOTU interface (I think its the 828 mkii).


            • #7
              The Motu should have more then enough gain and for most mics. Its an older interface but it was a high end premium interface with phantom power for condenser mics and you also have trim knobs for adjusting the gain. It should do very well for just about anything you want to do.

              It does have some additional stuff on there that's become instinct. Not many use ADAT Tape machines any more. MOTU had them as one of those crossover features. I haven't looked at the specs to see how expandable it is. Its supposed to so 24/96 sampling. 24/88 is as high as I've even need. The rest just comes down to using it the best you can. Like I said. Most good recordings come from hard earned experience, the interface and DAW are just tools like a hammer and saw. It takes the skilled hands of a good carpenter top produce a work of art. Don't even let yourself think the technology or gear can do it for you.


              • #8
                Thanks! I'll give it a try without pre-amps then. Cheers for the tips