I will purchase microphones for recording pianos, and I need advice on how I reason about it.
My criteria for the microphones are (therefore):
- For piano exclusively, upright and grand. I have long K&M stands.
- For studio/home recording, not live
- Handling noise is irrelevant (but shock mounts appreciated nevertheless)
- Stereo recording (so a pair)
- (Low) noise level preferred
- I don’t have to worry about leakage (because it’s solo piano in home studio), so large diaphragm far away is possible. Hence doesn’t need to be small diaphragm/close.
- I preferably do any alterations in the DAW afterwards, so no need for switches for bass cut etc. This has the advantage of simpler electronics.
My conclusion therefore is to go for large diaphragms. The reason is to get a more rich, ambient sound from the whole piano. Then the question is what model, and then it boils down to what characteristics of the various models I prefer. My access to different models is limited, so I don’t know how to evaluate. I’m currently considering Neumann TLM 103. I’m not looking for advice of a particular product, but wonder, how shall I proceed and think about this? Am I right regarding small vs. large diaphragms, for instance?
Also, how does one figure out what characteristic one likes? People on forums saying “I like the sound of microphone X” is not of much help.