My Piano

I’m not a professional pianist. While the saxophone is my main axe, and the one I used to earn a living with, lately I’m more at home on the piano. When I return to the saxophone, the things I’ve worked out on the piano are there for me. My chops get a little rusty – but conceptually the things I’m learning and hearing seem to get worked out far more efficiently at the keyboard. I also feel a frreedom at the keyboard because I don’t hold my self to any particular standard, past or present.

I bought a full size Yamaha upright piano a few summers ago and I’ve been wanting to record it – just for fun, and also to analyze what I’m playing so I can get better. My wife Kristin bought me a pair of CAD GXL-1200 mics for my birthday.

Its a great sounding piano, at least I think so. I have it tuned every season, but its really tough this time of year. Even with the humidifier, the temp and humidity are all over the place and it doesn’t stay in tune for long. But it isn’t bad.

The mics were about $100 for the pair! Including cables!

If I were mic-ing the piano for real, I’d take the case apart and expose the strings. But I can’t leave my piano like that with two dogs and a cat… and I wanted to mic inside the case so I could just sit down and record it when I feel like it.

So I ended up mounting the mics inside the kick panel on two pieces of styrofoam about a foot in from each edge and halfway up from the the bottom, with the mics pointed in toward the strings and soundboard at about a 45 degree angle. It actually sounds ok – the levels were a few db’s too hot – so there is a bit of distortion on some of the peaks. listen to my new CAD gxl1200 Mics and Yamaha 52\" upright piano… Kind of unbelievable what $100 can buy in terms of audio quality today…