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Author Topic: Grand piano mic/pickup options  (Read 448 times)

Eric Wiebe

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Grand piano mic/pickup options
« on: April 24, 2019, 08:10:52 pm »

Our church is considering upgrading the mic/pickup system for our grand piano.  We are running contemporary music with a full band including acoustic drums, bass, and electric guitar.  Currently there is an AKG C680 BL living in the piano and I will often throw a small diaphragm condenser (Audio Technical Pro 37) in there as well.  The sound quality isn't great, but the bleed from other instruments is probably the biggest issue we have.  Gain before feedback can be an issue as well, depending how much piano the band wants in their wedges.

I have been looking at different options including the DPA 4099 P dual mic set up as well as different pickup systems from Helpinstill, Barcus Berry, C-ducer, Yamahiko, and Schertler.  I don't think the budget will cover the DPA, but the number hasn't been finalized yet.  Any thoughts on any of those options?  Other thoughts or ideas?

Thanks!

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Kyle Waters

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Re: Grand piano mic/pickup options
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 11:36:48 pm »

Have you looked at the Earthworks piano mic system?  Expensive as well, but seems to work pretty good. We cant afford it so at our church we use two Shure Beta 98amp's. We use a shure drum clamp mic clip clamped to the internal supports of the piano. One over the high strings one over the low strings. You have to play with the mounting position to suit the sound you're looking for.  Works ok. The mounting is compact enough to keep the lid closed.   That helps alot with stage noise.   
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Grand piano mic/pickup options
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 10:47:54 am »

I concur with the Earthworks PM40 recommendation, but in addition to that when I've had difficulties getting enough piano into the monitors I've added a Barcus Berry pickup (actually nearly any brand will work for this) solely as a source for monitors. IMHO the pickup will not sound good enough for the house mix, but it's always been good enough to keep the band happy.

I've rarely had to do this with the PM40 though, as its proximity to the hammers somewhat decreases the amount of stage wash it hears. It does sound good with the lid closed, although I'm not a fan of the slight boxiness that occurs when the lid is parallel to the piano's soundboard.
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Milt
FitzCo Sound, Inc.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Grand piano mic/pickup options
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 07:32:31 pm »

We have used a Barcus Berry for years and been content with it.  We had a studio in a few years back to record our choir afterwards we set up some LDCs (I thrink AT's-can't remember exact model-but not low end for sure) on the piano.  We A-B'd against the B-B and decided there was not a significant difference (I wouldn't trust my ears-but the studio guys and my pastor do a lot of piano music and they felt good about it).  Of course, our piano can hold its own in our auditorium unamplified so it was a mix of mic'd and direct sound..
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Steve Swaffer

Frank DeWitt

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Re: Grand piano mic/pickup options
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 08:17:55 pm »

we Had the same problem with bleed from other instruments.  I found that the frame work under the piano includes a small triangle under the hammers.  The sound was good there so I placed a mic on a short floor stand so it is up inside the triangle but not touching the piano.  The triangle of wood frame shields the mic from other sources and the piano sound is quite good there.  BTW the piano is a Yamaha
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Steven Cohen

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Re: Grand piano mic/pickup options
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2019, 04:12:31 pm »

Erik,

We have switched to the DPA 4099P. Its one of those products that just works. The two mics work in any lid position. They will ring at high rock & roll volumes so if that's your application than perhaps they are not a good solution for you. In the past we have used SM 57s, Crown PCC 160s, AKG 451s, nothing that we have used compares to the DPA 4099P.

Steve

 
Our church is considering upgrading the mic/pickup system for our grand piano.  We are running contemporary music with a full band including acoustic drums, bass, and electric guitar.  Currently there is an AKG C680 BL living in the piano and I will often throw a small diaphragm condenser (Audio Technical Pro 37) in there as well.  The sound quality isn't great, but the bleed from other instruments is probably the biggest issue we have.  Gain before feedback can be an issue as well, depending how much piano the band wants in their wedges.

I have been looking at different options including the DPA 4099 P dual mic set up as well as different pickup systems from Helpinstill, Barcus Berry, C-ducer, Yamahiko, and Schertler.  I don't think the budget will cover the DPA, but the number hasn't been finalized yet.  Any thoughts on any of those options?  Other thoughts or ideas?

Thanks!
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