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Brisbot

Anyone have any insight into how Avril 14th was recorded?

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So I have periodic access to a disklavier which I record piano stuff on, and recently this past week recorded a few of my piano tunes.

Usually I go for miking it further away and utilizing the background noise, the normal way piano is recorded...i think ( i am no miking expert and require the help of a friend to do it right). But Avril 14th has inspired me to instead mic it to where the actual acoustics of the keys moving, acting as a kind of percussive background. So I tried that and no matter which way I did it, I heard the playing more vs the soft sound of the moving key parts playing through the piano.

I recorded it many different ways and only got one way that I liked, but it wasn't what I was going for.

The way avril is recorded, it's almost as if the strings were removed, and only the sound of the moving keys were recorded by their selves, and then compressed or raised in volume. I can get that sound a little bit but it's very quiet compared to the actual song, but he has it panned differently. Thus it sounds like two different recordings playing the same song. Even if he didn't I'm pretty sure I could accomplish this result that way. That said there is a 0 percent chance of me doing this as I didn't shell out 1000s of $$$ for the disklavier.

Just wondering if he ever talked about this in an interview, or if anyone has managed to get a similar recording by themselves.

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i don't know but are you gonna upload your songs? i'm so into those disklavier ones i even wanna hear attempts at 'em.

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Yeah I'm going to be uploading the one that came out right in a few days. I'ma make another topic about it in the YLC, but I'll message you when I'm done.

I'm pretty damn happy with it.

The other two piano songs I did need another recording though.

I recorded the piano in the last quarter of the song on this a while back, but I did the miking myself and had no clue what I was doing. It came out alright though, could do it 10 times better now, but the way it was miked works in this mix, but not for a solo project: https://soundcloud.com/evoava/modular-hash-demo

Edited by Brisbot

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Piezo mics on the keys? Would be a pain to set up but could sound pretty cool.

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Oh wow yeah that sounds like a good idea. I keep thinking about big mics, but that could work perfectly.

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Even if it doesn't work, it's always useful to have a bunch to use as contact mics.

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hell man nowadays it's worth a shot to hit him up on sc, he's answered a couple questions i've thrown at him on there

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Does pming work? I've asked questions but he always seems to answer the least important ones to me :) heh, not much about the music making process.

 

 

Even if it doesn't work, it's always useful to have a bunch to use as contact mics.

I thought about the contact mics, it would work really well with probably just one key. It could probably pick up the rest, but things would be uneven. In aphex's track the noise as I said feels like it's layered over the track, but it's also evenly distributed in the stereo, things make sense.

That said I still could use one for other things, thanks for the recommendation!

Edited by Brisbot

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disklavier#Mark_II.2C_Mark_IIXG.2C_Mark_III

 

"During the Mark II and Mark IIXG era, various models of uprights were introduced that included a silent system. When the silent system was engaged, the hammers were prevented from hitting the strings and the instrument produced no sound acoustically. "

 

 

Hammers still move, keys will still clunk but no strings will be hit.

 

https://youtu.be/2LhLB8fb3CE?t=2m50s

Edited by dampboy

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It's possibly just mic'd up fairly close (closer than a typical "classical" session) and maybe with some compression to "boost" the background noise/clunking/squeaks, etc.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disklavier#Mark_II.2C_Mark_IIXG.2C_Mark_III

 

"During the Mark II and Mark IIXG era, various models of uprights were introduced that included a silent system. When the silent system was engaged, the hammers were prevented from hitting the strings and the instrument produced no sound acoustically. "

 

 

Hammers still move, keys will still clunk but no strings will be hit.

 

https://youtu.be/2LhLB8fb3CE?t=2m50s

Holy crap this must be it. Damn pretty sure he doesn't have that one. Oh well, one day I'll be able to do this, and I might still can with this one.... doubt it. oh well.

 

 

 

 

It's possibly just mic'd up fairly close (closer than a typical "classical" session) and maybe with some compression to "boost" the background noise/clunking/squeaks, etc.

Possibly, though I mic'd it INCREDIBLY close, and the noise of the keys was nowhere near that loud. As dampboy said it is likely to have been on silent, so only the sound of the keys could be recorded and volume increased. (as I suspected... SIGH)

 

Also you wouldn't be able to compress the background noise with the keys playing. it would get a different result than avril 14th

 

 

 

Edited by Brisbot

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I may be completely wrong (and don't have any gear to try this...), but it always sounded to me like he had just miked it from a non-traditional location like straight under the keyboard? So the main piano sound is being projected around the room and sounds more distant, and the keys themselves sound really close?

 

:shrug: :shrug: :shrug:

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So I have periodic access to a disklavier which I record piano stuff on, and recently this past week recorded a few of my piano tunes.

 

Usually I go for miking it further away and utilizing the background noise, the normal way piano is recorded...i think ( i am no miking expert and require the help of a friend to do it right). But Avril 14th has inspired me to instead mic it to where the actual acoustics of the keys moving, acting as a kind of percussive background. So I tried that and no matter which way I did it, I heard the playing more vs the soft sound of the moving key parts playing through the piano.

 

I recorded it many different ways and only got one way that I liked, but it wasn't what I was going for.

 

The way avril is recorded, it's almost as if the strings were removed, and only the sound of the moving keys were recorded by their selves, and then compressed or raised in volume. I can get that sound a little bit but it's very quiet compared to the actual song, but he has it panned differently. Thus it sounds like two different recordings playing the same song. Even if he didn't I'm pretty sure I could accomplish this result that way. That said there is a 0 percent chance of me doing this as I didn't shell out 1000s of $$$ for the disklavier.

 

Just wondering if he ever talked about this in an interview, or if anyone has managed to get a similar recording by themselves.

 

sounds like a somewhat traditional piano mic technique, with close mics near where the hammers strike the strings, plus a stereo pair somewhat distant in the room.

also sounds like it could have been recorded to tape

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sounds like tape to me

also sounds like just a close mic

perhaps a ribbon into a pre amp into tape

 

Isn't the piano some odd tuning or a prepared piano?

 

PS this is the song I walked out to when I got married

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what suggests that it was recorded to tape?

 

I also think that one of the key press sounds is a loop, basically made like a hit hat line using a sample of the key press or something. Even the pedals could be a bunch of one-shot samples that are layered to make them sound like part of the performance

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you could try muffling the hammer hits with some thick wads of cotton gauze or something.


then record two separate takes (with and without the muffling) and mix them together.

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what suggests that it was recorded to tape?

 

I also think that one of the key press sounds is a loop, basically made like a hit hat line using a sample of the key press or something. Even the pedals could be a bunch of one-shot samples that are layered to make them sound like part of the performance

 

it sounds like tape - warm and a bit muffled. maybe hard to tell if you're not used to listening for it. - compare with the last track on syro which he said was recorded on tape.

 

i don't think there are layered samples here. it is possible he did 2 takes though since it's a midi sequence, maybe one normal and one with a more prepared/clicky sound?

Edited by Ingwe

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what suggests that it was recorded to tape?

 

I also think that one of the key press sounds is a loop, basically made like a hit hat line using a sample of the key press or something. Even the pedals could be a bunch of one-shot samples that are layered to make them sound like part of the performance

 

it sounds like tape - warm and a bit muffled. maybe hard to tell if you're not used to listening for it. - compare with the last track on syro which he said was recorded on tape.

 

To be honest, it doesn't to me, I think it's just the characteristic of where it was recorded, room, etc. Tape can be as clean as a digital recording platform if setup and maintained correctly.

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Well the hammer hits are more important than tape for the track. It seems irrelevant whether it was or not, tape or not, I'd like his tracks just the same.

 

you could try muffling the hammer hits with some thick wads of cotton gauze or something.


then record two separate takes (with and without the muffling) and mix them together.

ha, yeah I've asked if I could do that(with rubber stops) and was told no. I'm not allowed to tamper with it :(((

Aww I just wanna modify your $19000 piano just so I can record a few traks, plz.

Edited by Brisbot

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sounds like a somewhat traditional piano mic technique, with close mics near where the hammers strike the strings, plus a stereo pair somewhat distant in the room.

also sounds like it could have been recorded to tape

That was my thought too - the close mic for the hammer action noise, the distant mics for the rest of the sound, then just sync the two up if you don't have access to a multitrack recorder (possibly by making a short clap noise at the start of the recording to make syncing easier)

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Guest

 

sounds like a somewhat traditional piano mic technique, with close mics near where the hammers strike the strings, plus a stereo pair somewhat distant in the room.

also sounds like it could have been recorded to tape

That was my thought too - the close mic for the hammer action noise, the distant mics for the rest of the sound, then just sync the two up if you don't have access to a multitrack recorder (possibly by making a short clap noise at the start of the recording to make syncing easier)

 

I agree.

 

There are lots of different ways to mic piano for different flavours:

 

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/pianorecording_0108.htm

 

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what suggests that it was recorded to tape?

 

I also think that one of the key press sounds is a loop, basically made like a hit hat line using a sample of the key press or something. Even the pedals could be a bunch of one-shot samples that are layered to make them sound like part of the performance

 

https://soundcloud.com/user18081971/avril-14th-reversed-music-not-audio

 

[[tapedel] played & programmed customised Yamaha Disklavier Pro, Recorded To Nagra IVS 5"]

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what suggests that it was recorded to tape?

 

I also think that one of the key press sounds is a loop, basically made like a hit hat line using a sample of the key press or something. Even the pedals could be a bunch of one-shot samples that are layered to make them sound like part of the performance

 

https://soundcloud.com/user18081971/avril-14th-reversed-music-not-audio

 

[[tapedel] played & programmed customised Yamaha Disklavier Pro, Recorded To Nagra IVS 5"]

 

So should I walk out to this song 20 years from now when I renew my vows ?

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>Anyone have any insight into how Avril 14th was recorded?

 

by kanye west

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