Recital tonight in Chautauqua Auditorium with Olga Kern. An excellent Russian pianist. She has been excellent to work with, dealing with all the issues, like it being hotter than h*$# and schedules getting all messed up, and needing to move the piano, with class and calmness.
Should be a very fun concert, as we’re hitting 850 tickets as of earlier this afternoon. I’m working with a couple different sets of microphones, once again doing some comparisons. The first in an ORTF is the AKG 414 XLII in wide cardioid pattern with no roll off, the second is the Earthworks QTC50 microphones a little wider apart (about 24 inches) and in a similar position.
In listening the 414s really pic up the close sound of the huge Steinway piano with clarity, but the attack is a little overbearing. The QTC50s, which are technically omni, but really in practice are not, have a much more even pickup as she goes over the entire range of the keyboard. Both had a great stereo image, but as any one recording a grand piano it’s a beast of an instrument, with weird resonances and phase issues depending on the placement, as well as a crazy range of area that is producing sound. Moving the microphones about two and a half feet from the strings seemed to do a nice job with getting a balance between the attach, stereo image and room sound. I also placed an SM81 under the piano, but it really doesn’t sound very good. Tried it in four or five different spots and could not find a place that really worked on this particular piano.
In the end the QTC50s will probably be the main sound and we’ll add in a little reverb to supplement. No amplification on this concert.