The subtleties, overtones, and harmonics that give pianos their distinctive sounds make them a complicated instrument (and that we all love). The wood and soundboard of the instrument, as well as the environment in which it is played, all have a significant impact on the tone. We naturally want an acoustic piano we record to sound as authentic as feasible. We must select the best microphones for the job and place them in the best possible positions in order to produce the best audio quality.
Today, we’re going to look at the top piano recording microphones. We will also provide you with some advice on sound recording strategies to use as this is a complicated instrument that is not always simple to mic; we will also go over the optimum miking combinations (stereo pair, off axis, etc). Read on to discover more.
AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Instrument Condenser Microphone
- Engineered for highest linearity and neutral sound for beautifully detailed recording of vocals and any acoustic instrument
- Nine selectable polar patterns for the perfect setting for every application
- Three attenuation levels (-6/-12/-18dB) for close-up recording or high-output sources of up to 158dB SPL
The AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS stands out on our top piano recording mics. It has existed for as long as anyone can remember, and the designers are still innovating by reevaluating this mic. When this amplifier was first introduced, it was the best-selling piano microphone on the market. The most intriguing thing about this AKG C414 is how versatile it is and how well it fits different needs while still outperforming particular mic manufacturers in their own markets.
The AKG C414 piano microphone will initially appear to be assembling a hexagon when you look at it. Its variant features a silver carving along with a silver lattice. One of this microphone’s most well-known features is the ability to select between up to five different polar shapes. It is especially useful if there is a piano recording. You can choose a polar shape that perfectly complements your current setup or the omnidirectional polar for maximum impact and pivot checking. Setting it up for near miking, which is frequently necessary when recording a piano, may be your biggest problem.
In comparison to other microphones now on the market, the AKG C414 XLS offers the widest frequency reaction range, 20 to 20000Hz. Since the lowest frequency you can go is around 26Hz, this range is plenty to have a full piano account. The piano’s higher frequencies can extend beyond the 20 kHz threshold, and this frequency range is suitable because it is undetectable to humans. This piano microphone’s ability to combine warmth and clarity while other microphones can only provide one of those qualities is its strongest feature in terms of sound quality.
When playing the piano, you can hear the richness of the octave just before the middle C and the vigor and shudder of the higher octaves. With a 134db SPL, this microphone gives you confidence when recording contortion sound. It also contains buttons for different levels of cushioning and low recurrence move off, but if you are taping a piano, these adjustments can degrade your recording. Additionally, a bass cutoff may deprive your recorded material of its wealth, and a cushion may also negatively affect the off-pivot sound. The polar sample switch is the one you need to utilize with caution out of all the sample switches.
Overall, the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS is one of our top picks for piano recording because it has so many outstanding features. Take a closer look at this AKG if you’re seeking for a piano mic to meet your needs, such as recording a piano or producing a wonderful sound.
This is the Best Microphone for Recording Piano in 2022.
Neumann U 87 Ai Set Z | Multi Pattern Condenser Microphone Set
- Variable large diaphragm microphone
- Pressure-gradient transducer with double membrane capsule
- The studio microphone classic
The Neumann U87 Ai Stereo stands out on our top piano recording microphones list. This piano mic is renowned for its adaptability to the extent that, regardless of what you are recording, you cannot have a subpar result under any circumstances. The best thing you can hope for is a fantastic appearance, but the most exceptional thing you can expect from this piano mic is a respectable recording ability. This is the rationale for included this Neumann U87 in the list.
Neumann has survived the lengthy period of evolution and invention in building, even if the fundamental elements largely remain the same. However, out of the entire Neumann product line, the U87 Ai Stereo has proven to be the best piano recording microphone that any musician can utilize at least once. It is not surprising that the U87 is frequently compared to the majority of high-quality microphones on the market.
This U87Ai weighs 500g and is roughly 8 inches long and 2 inches wide. It is a lightweight device. The grille and shaft, nickel or silver-colored, are the most distinctive features. With this piano mic, you also have the option of a 10 dB cushion and a low-recurrence move off. However, if you intend to move off any low frequencies, you should make sure that you don’t need these lowest octaves. It is connected using an XLR connector that is located at the mic’s base.
This top piano microphone has a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, but it actually gives the impression that it can handle more frequencies. This mic’s affectability is really important. If you wish to record a large piano with this piano mic, you will effectively hear the whiff of air since the piano’s sleds are striking its strings. It was a delicate reminder that the piano is a string instrument as I tuned in to this.
In addition, the drifters are addressed frequently here. The recurrent reaction causes a small decrease in the limit frequencies, but its primary effect is to regulate the anticipated abundance burst or magnificence that goes along with these limit frequencies. This piano microphone is a wonderful choice for recording the piano sound because it also has a balanced bass response and a distinct midrange.
Overall, Neumann’s U87 Ai Stereo is one of the best piano recording microphones available and has a variety of useful functions. It captures more than just the piano sound; it also captures the piano’s vintage-style appearance. This occasionally makes the difference between a passable account and an outstanding one, especially in the case of old-style music displays.
Rode NT5-MP Compact Cardioid Condenser Microphones
With a number of exceptional characteristics, the Rode NT5 has been demonstrated as one of the best microphones for recording piano. You’ll notice right away that this mic has advanced in terms of innovation. Given that it is made entirely of metal and has a level grille top with a comparable shade, it is undoubtedly a cutting-edge microphone for recording piano.
If you want to record a piano, you may put this NT5 piano mic as close as you need, but you can just use a stun mount to reduce vibrations because it has a thin body that makes mounting easier. The NT5 uses ghost power and is linked to other entities.
The Rode NT5 piano microphone can pick up frequencies as low as 10Hz, and the low frequencies function better in this frequency range despite having an incredible repetition field from 20Hz to 20000Hz. This microphone solidifies it as a great choice for piano recording. In order to produce the best work possible, record it using two NT5 microphones and surround sound. It does not, however, have a cushion or switches for turning things off, which are not absolutely necessary for recording a piano.
With 143db SPL, you won’t worry about mutilation. You won’t be alarmed by the bass forming due to closeness impact even though the low-recurrence reaction extends to 10Hz. Additionally, the strong affectability makes it possible to record off-pivot piano sounds very well. You get a good balance of delicate sound catching and great loudness prospective with this affectability and SPL. The overall recurrence reaction is excellent, with a high recurrence that is evenly distributed and accurately mimics air and transient developments.
Overall, there’s little doubt that the Rode NT5 is one of the best microphones for recording piano. It has excellent frequencies, a smooth response, and a thin, straightforward mounting design. Any musician who uses one of these to record their performance must be delighted to have the opportunity to listen to the replay of their performance recording. It produces an incredibly loud piano sound and sounds so distinctive because to the architect’s adaptations.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone
- The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
- Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
- High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is an inexpensive microphone that includes a soft vinyl carrying cover and a simple stand attachment. The AT2020 is a decent microphone with a fixed cardioid polar pattern, especially if you’re searching for a cheap, professional-sounding mic. When used as a vocal mic, it has a mid-range warmth and an outstanding presence peak for more clarity and air. As a result, many singers favor using this microphone.
This mic provides excellent clarity for close-miking vocals and instruments. It may not be particularly effective at reducing noise, but placing it close to the piano when recording it will work nicely. The Audio-Technica AT2020 provides a well-balanced sound when utilized with an acoustic piano. Furthermore, positioning this mic in the right area will allow you to capture acoustic sound with quality. The quality and depth of this microphone will astound you because it lacks the added “honkyness” that other microphones add.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 features excellent off-axis capture and superb rear-axis rejection. This might be a positive, especially if your studio is equipped with computers and other technology. This mic is inexpensive, yet it offers a sophisticated and convincing sound that you will undoubtedly enjoy. This is the Best Microphones for Recording Piano under $100.
Rode M5 Compact 1/2″ Condenser Microphone
- Small-diaphragm Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones
One of the modern microphones from the Rode family of compact amplifiers is the Rode M5, which is one of the best microphones for recording piano. It is well acknowledged that Rode created the M5 as a less expensive version of the NT5. To be really honest, we have to tell you that despite having a design that is somewhat similar to the NT5, it still has a subtle, lovely sound. It is now marketed in coordinated sets, giving you the opportunity to simultaneously record two pianos.
The Rode M5 is a case made of quality dark material with a very constrained Rode construction. Its immensity is what makes its structure stand out the most. It is smaller and shorter than most mics of the same layout, being 10 cm long and 2 cm wide. With these measures, setting up a piano for recording is much easier. The body of this M5 is unchanged and cannot be moved by any cushion switches. Given that recording piano doesn’t require a lot of usage for those at any rate, it is okay. We must let you know that if you get a coordinated pair, you won’t notice a difference in affectability greater than 1dB.
Additionally, this mic piano features a potential close-mike. The majority of players who use this instrument complain that there is some bending when the musician presses on the notes firmly; as a result, it produces a raucous sound that irritates them. Some experts add a rider to the contribution to prevent the sound from being damaged due to this specific issue. In order to ensure that using this Rode M5 won’t cause you any anxiety, This mic has a fantastic 140db SPL to accommodate the musician’s expected volume range. Additionally, this piano microphone has a broad frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz, providing all the frequencies your piano needs.
Even though there may occasionally be a little lift at 7 kHz two octaves above the center, the reaction is often subdued. The two limits of the recurrence run also appear to have a tiny drop in dB, although this is not a problem for the majority of piano display recordings. However, it is still fantastic for musicians who want to execute or play by pressing on the smallest or most notable octave notes.
Overall, the Rode M5 is unquestionably among the best piano recording mics. We advise you to take this mic into consideration if you’re looking for one that’s simple to use.