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How to record vertical Piano with 2 microphones

Every time we happen to see a video with someone playing a classical piano composition, we can notice the artist plays a beautiful coda or grand coda piano, and normally we see very prestigious brands.

Vertical piano, why not?

But in the real life of many musicians the situation is quite different: actually the vertical pianos are large and mostly diffused and,  despite some old traditional nostalgic beliefs,  the recent production of these instruments is very often much better and less costly than the old one, so we suggest not to be obsessed with running after 2 centuries old pianos, there's really no need.

Actually, the most important difference between the vertical pianos and the half or full-size ones is not in the quality of sound, it's mostly in the power that they can express. We will now skip long and tiring discussions about sound and playability, we just want to remark that basically the bigger they are, the louder they sound.

Important questions and answers

  • Is it possible to have a good quality recording from a vertical piano? Yes
  • Is it possible to understand how to record piano in your own house, without graduating in sound engineering? Yes
  • Is it possible to own good equipment without spending a fortune? Yes

From “Garageband and Beyond” we have a beautiful example of how to record your own music. If you have a vertical piano, just get two microphones and see how to place them in order to achieve the best result. (I will write soon an article about how to record it with a free application, using your own computer). By the way, we are NOT sponsored by any brand of instruments, microphones, software and equipment, and the mentioned brands you'll find are totally occasional, so no need at all to find the same models and brands. The important thing is actually to understand the principles, then in next articles, we'll be reporting about some specific products, as we find the optimal compromise between quality and prices.

A perfectly tuned piano is a must!

A final suggestion: always keep your piano well tuned, 'cause it makes a big difference to have your instrument in good shape. Otherwise, your music risks unfairly being penalized by silly mistakes. Make sure to save it from dust, and care about the humidity, being aware that a too dry ambient is a bad enemy for your instrument.

Gianriccardo Pera