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Sm81 VS KSM109/137/141

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Anonymous067, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Which would/should be best for micing piano?
    I want to buy a few of these to start my personal inventory, for ambiance and group micing.

    My main purpose for them is for upright piano recording.

    Suggestions?
    I'm kinda set on shure....but if somebody has worked with something else fanominal in the price range...lemme know. :]

    I have worked with 81's and 141's...but didn't get a chance to monkey with them much. I use 81's on grand piano at school/church and only used 141 for ambiance at concert I got a pass into through connections...:p.
  2. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member

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    I have used the KSM137s for micing a big Yamaha upright for live broadcasts with high profile jazz/blues artists (Dr. John for one). We keep the piano closed, and place the mics along the solid, horizontal wood piece that spans the top of the sound board, and point them down toward the sound board. The results have been great, with a sound that is not boxy, and pretty close to that of a small grand piano. That placement is better for recording in a quiet, dead room than for amplification.

    They also do well for drum overheads, and acoustic guitar. Once in awhile, in the studio, the omni pattern is useful, and it's nice to have the option to switch from cardioid. I think they would shine for pretty much anything a small diaphragm condenser is good at.
  3. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Re: Sm81 VS KSM109/137/141Multitrack for them

    Also...what would be a cheaper (under 1k) multitrack recorder that won't degrade the quality of these mics?
  4. howlingwolf487

    howlingwolf487 Active Member

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    Location:
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    I would say that, more than ANYTHING ELSE, mic placement and position will affect the sound you get.

    I recently did a grand piano recording using 4 microphones. I used 2 AKG C414's in a Mid-Side Stereo pattern, 1 Crown PCC160 underneath the low-mid bass strings, and a Shure SM81 in the hole of the soundboard nearest the high strings.

    I mainly used the Mid-Side mics and just used the PCC160 and SM81 to add some sheen/sparkle to the ends. Here's a sample (it's around 34MB in size). The clipping-like sound you hear is actually something in the hammer section of the piano that vibrated at a certain frequency. I couldn't hear it when I was playing.

    Download Here

    (A short note about the piano: it is a Steinway that was filled with water a number of years ago after the sprinkler system went off. It has never stayed in tune since, but it sounds good for jazz and is alright for just having fun on.)
  5. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    So, seeing that all these KSM's are cheaper than the SM81, which would you recommend for a piano that will be in a living room setting (moving it for recordings will not be an option).

    I really only have it in the budget for two mics right now....
  6. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    So, seeing that all these KSM's are cheaper than the SM81, which would you recommend for a piano that will be in a living room setting (moving it for recordings will not be an option).

    I really only have it in the budget for two mics right now....

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