HI recording of piano

Discuss the Zoom H6, H5, H4, H4n, H2, H2n, and H1. Please don't "post and run". Participate in the discussion. Thanks.
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h1new
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HI recording of piano

Post by h1new » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:46 pm

Hi all, I am new to digital recording, and just bought H1 to record my son's piano playing, after seeing excellent reviews on amazon.

I have to say I am stunned by the cleanness of the sound record by H1, comparing to TAKSTAR the SGC-598 microphone I previous used with my camcorder. However, my wife thinks the sound recorded by H1 lacks some "deepness" of the grand piano we have, she even feels like the sound sounds like an electronic piano. I have to say I agree, to some extent, with that, as I expect the sound should have more "bass". But I am not sure if this is because we are so used to the poor quality of sound from TASKAR....

Here are a few samples of piano playing. The position of H1 is very close to the piano lid opening to reduce echo in my living room. The setting: lo cut ON, auto level OFF, input 40.

https://soundcloud.com/user-30061425/zoom0002mp3
https://soundcloud.com/user-30061425/zoom0003mp3
https://soundcloud.com/user-30061425/z4-input-50-farwav

Do you guys think the sound sounds normal for a piano? I am also thinking of H6, will H6 make any difference?

Thank you,
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Wulfraed
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Re: HI recording of piano

Post by Wulfraed » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:36 pm

just bought H1
Interesting -- Zoom-NA web site shows DISCONTINUED for that model. There is a v2.10 firmware update -- you might want to check what version you have. Also take into consideration that the H1 was Zoom's simplest H-model field recorder -- it is closer to a dictation/memo recorder than anything aimed for fine music.

For low notes, make sure you do NOT have the "lo-cut filter" turned on. Also, do not record in MP3 format. For "CD quality", you require 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV.

The problem may be in the placement of the H1 (and would exist with any field recorder if using the built-in stereo head). Grand pianos often require the use of two or more microphones positioned at places so one picks up the treble while another picks up the bass. You also have options of Lid Open (aim at lid to get reflections, aim at strings for purity, position nearer hammers for percussive effect...), Lid Closed (maybe using boundary/surface microphones sitting on the lid).

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/piano-recording
http://sterlingaudio.net/miking-grand-piano/
{and others -- just google "micing grand piano" (or "miking")}
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Baron Wulfraed
IISS Elusive Unicorn (detached)

Superscope PSD-300; BOSS BR-600, Zoom HD16cd, Zoom R16, BOSS BR-800, Zoom H2n
Now to (re)learn to play an instrument

Lanikai S-C, SMC-E; GoldTone Banjo-Uke; Flatiron 1C, A5; Big Muddy M1-W; Ovation MM68AX, CSE-44; Orpheus Valley Fiesta FS; Taylor NS-72ce, T5-S1; Musima (4st, 20 fret, tenor-tuned) banjo; bongos, dumbeks, bodhrans, hand drum, tambourine; recorder: soprano, alto, tenor; Cedar Flute (5 sizes); Pennywhistle (3 keys); Casio keyboards

h1new
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Re: HI recording of piano

Post by h1new » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:33 am

Thanks for responding and the great info on miking the piano. I am by no means an engineer that can do this, just overwhelming for me :-) I just want to get a reasonably good recorder to record my son's piano playing, and hope to get a reasonable good sound (and must sound like a piano, :-))

Good suggestions on positioning the H1! Do you think a H6 would make better piano sound than my H1? Or do you think H6 vs H4 (or vs H5) would make audible difference?

Thanks again
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Wulfraed
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Re: HI recording of piano

Post by Wulfraed » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:11 am

Using the built-in microphones -- probably not that much better; you still have the problem of positioning them...

Using the XLR inputs with separate microphones would let you place them in more optimal positions, and mix down (for those units with MTR modes) into a more pleasing balance.
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Baron Wulfraed
IISS Elusive Unicorn (detached)

Superscope PSD-300; BOSS BR-600, Zoom HD16cd, Zoom R16, BOSS BR-800, Zoom H2n
Now to (re)learn to play an instrument

Lanikai S-C, SMC-E; GoldTone Banjo-Uke; Flatiron 1C, A5; Big Muddy M1-W; Ovation MM68AX, CSE-44; Orpheus Valley Fiesta FS; Taylor NS-72ce, T5-S1; Musima (4st, 20 fret, tenor-tuned) banjo; bongos, dumbeks, bodhrans, hand drum, tambourine; recorder: soprano, alto, tenor; Cedar Flute (5 sizes); Pennywhistle (3 keys); Casio keyboards

h1new
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Re: HI recording of piano

Post by h1new » Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:52 pm

I bought H6 to compare. YES, it records better sound! it has better range than H1, recording better in low frequencies than H1! I am very happy with H6.

setting:
lo-cut OFF
auto level OFF
WAV
48/24

H1:
https://soundcloud.com/user-30061425/h1-recording

H6:
https://soundcloud.com/user-30061425/zoom0002-lrwav
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