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The Truth about many "Audiophile" Piano Recordings

goat76

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The investigation goes on, and the plot thickens... :)

What about these two objects, they sure look like microphones, or are they parts of the piano?

Piano close-up.png
 

Robin L

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that is a shadow, when you look at the video fully you will see there is no microphone there.

View attachment 222751
I looked again---probably the bulk of the sound is coming from overheads, but I saw what looked like a Schoeps cardioid hiding among the hardware on keyboard right side.

Can't help but note that the size of the venue is about the same as Maybeck Recital Hall in Berkeley California. The audience has a similar approach to dressing for a concert. I recorded there quite a few times, it was about the ideal size for a piano recital. I've heard/seen the microphone set-up Concord Jazz used for recordings there, this doesn't sound or look like that, so you're probably right about a more distant pick-up. I usually used a modified ORTF pair when recording recitals there. But the treble is juiced up enough to suggest a little bit of help from a closer pick up. Whatever process is involved, the video does a great job of hiding the microphones from view. Maybe the video does too good of a job of showing us Mr. Schiff's face. Fortunately, he's not a hummer.
 

dualazmak

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Hi all,

Really interesting "investigation" is going on for mic setting(s) for this nice video of Andras Schiff's amazing performance of Bach. It looks we need to identify the recording engineer of this video in order to find "the secret" of this wonderful recording...

BTW, what would be your subjective impressions of the total sound quality as well as your subjective music preferences for this "world-music-heritage" (IMO) performance, if you are non-hesitant to classical music especially JS Bach. At least for me, this is one of my most favorite and exciting "audiophile" piano recordings.

I used to stick to Glenn Gould's wonderful performance of BWV831 for the long period, but now this Schiff's BWV831 occupies the top position on my preference list (having 11 performances by various pianists in my library) for BWV831.
 

Waxx

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The investigation goes on, and the plot thickens... :)

What about these two objects, they sure look like microphones, or are they parts of the piano?

View attachment 222767
The left one could be a microphone, but it's strange that there is no cable coming out that goes over the border of the piano. The right one is to small to be a microphone i think, but i could be wrong. It also looks a bit rare, the only microphone i could think of that it could be is a Schoeps CCM series, and those are all wired microphone, so it should have a cable going out. And it's also strange position to put such a microphone as it will get a lot of mechanical toucing noise from the hammers and so leaning on that brace in the piano body and will mainly give treble notes in the recording (the bass notes is on the other side). They normally put it on an ugly stand for a reason as they are very sensitive and need to be higher to catch the whole piano. Even touching the stand gives disturbance with those.
 

mSpot

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I have been really fascinated with this video recording of Andras Schiff playing Bach Overture and Suites in French Style in B Minor BWV831. The recording quality is also amazing, but I do not see microphone(s) at least in the video image. Can anyone here guess or know the recording technology, engineering (and microphone settings) in this world-music-heritage (IMO) performance and recording?
I'm surprised nobody mentioned this, but the YouTube description says the performance was from Bachfest Leipzig 11.06.2010 and has a link to a playlist that I presume was the complete recital, which also included all 6 French Suites and the Italian Concerto. There is also an interview with Schiff and the venue was the Protestant Reformed Church of Leipzig.

Now you have an additional hour of video to search for microphones. :)
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhIP1CNbYhVObXv7ByHmE5oETjj6RXyAN

Wait, there's more!
The concert was filmed and released by EuroArts, and available from various sources including Apple Music:
https://music.apple.com/ag/album/andrás-schiff-plays-bach-live-from-bachfest-2010-visual/1595036780
It is probably the entire performance including pauses and breaks. I'm not an Apple subscriber but I can watch previews, including opening and closing credits.
 
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dualazmak

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Hi @mSpot,

Thank you indeed for further info...

I just also found that the recital recording is also available in physical DVD and Blu-Ray Disc at EuroArts site. I will be sure to purchase it very soon, and I hope I could find recording/engineering information in the liner notes for the physical discs.
 

goat76

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Hi @mSpot,

Thank you indeed for further info...

I just also found that the recital recording is also available in physical DVD and Blu-Ray Disc at EuroArts site. I will be sure to purchase it very soon, and I hope I could find recording/engineering information in the liner notes for the physical discs.
Yesterday when I tried to figure out what types of microphones were used for the recording, I stumbled across the name István Berényi, a Hungarian recording engineer. I'm not 100% sure he's the man behind this, but if so, he got a lot of recordings under his belt if you take a look at Discogs.
 
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