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I have ordered two MXL 603 mics.

Will these work for miking piano?

How should I position them?

Is there a better way to do if for the same amount of money?

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I think in live situations you will run into the problem that only two condenser microphones will not capture the whole range of the piano effectively.

  • If you move them too close, you won't capture the whole sound board.
  • If you move them too far, you won't even be able to make out the piano in a live application, especially if there are other instruments to compete against in a mix.

Then again it depends on the musical style:

  • If it's rock music, you want a close miking
  • If it's classical music, you might want to have a more "ambient" sound

And of course on the player:

  • If the player is using little dynamics, you will have an easy job
  • If the player plays parts ranging from pianissimo to fortissimo, you will have a hell of a job to account for the dynamics, so that the mics don't clip but at the same time you get at least some signal

That all being said, I'd suggest you to use an X/Y Stereo approach where the microphones are positioned as close as possible slightly above the player's head, pointed towards the middle region of the strings, because this is where "most" of the sound is coming from.

As your budget is limited, using two condensers is probably the only way to go. Miking pianos is one of the hardest things to do in recording of instruments. In the end I'd just suggest you to experiment and see what fits best. Trust your ears.

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