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Re: Looping (what else!) questions..Human Prepared Piano!

hi Alex,
100-200 to spend...what currency?
If you're only using the amplification for the loops, and not the live 
playing then I reckon it's worth trying your condenser mic.

People do have a lot of problem with this sort of thing, but usually they 
are trying to play a "gig" volume. I assume you're playing in a situation 
where a piano isn't normally amplified.

The whole problem with the loops getting back into the mic is greatly 
helped by pointing( or moving) the speakers away from the mic.
Get the mic as close to your sound source (whatever that is in your case) 
as you practically can, remembering that as you have a large sound source 
you'll get a more realistic sound if the mic isn't too close.

The SM57 also has a very colored sound, it may or may not work for you.

andy butler

Alex Graham wrote:
> Hey all-
> I'm currently working on a piece that I hope to have performed at a 
> student composition concert at my University-
> It is completely through composed (I have having another student perform 
> it) and the basic gist of it, is the performer creates music with the 
> piano in every way but the conventional one (simply pressing the keys!). 
> If there wasn't looping I probably wouldn't be posting this :) so of 
> course, throughout the whole process a laptop is looping every four 
> measures or so, creating some very neat soundscapes as well as some neat 
> moments as things drop out and are added.
> Now I've got a lot of it figured out-
> The different sounds as well as the structure and composition of the 
> piece (I'd hope so!),
> the looping (ableton live is doing the looping, an envelope track sends 
> out "commands" to Bome's midi translator, which sends instructions back 
> to Live....this way the performer doesn't need to worry about a 
> footswitch or making the looping happen. She has enough to worry about 
> already!),
> So what I'm getting stuck on is input/output! In terms of speakers, I 
> think the school can provide some sort of PA system I can plug my 
> m-audio fasttrack pro into, but if not I have M-Audio BX5a studio 
> monitors which get loud enough I think, so I don't think that will be a 
> problem.
> As for the microphone situation, I'm running into two problems. First I 
> don't know which to use. I currently have access to an AKG Perception 
> 100 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, a Shure SM57 Dynamic 
> (instrument?) mic and a shure SM58 vocal mic. I'm going to assume now 
> the vocal mic isn't going to work as its got a pretty specific purpose, 
> but I haven't had a real chance to test out the Condenser and the 
> Dynamic mic. (I think the Condenser is more for recording- not sure its 
> going to be able to pick up enough? Maybe I'm wrong though.). This is 
> going to be played on a Grand Piano, and its very important that the mic 
> pick up all the sound coming from that area- one of the important parts 
> of the sound is the overtones/sympathetic vibrations which are generated 
> when a key is struck that is muted by a finger (the sustain pedal is of 
> course down, so the strings ring out while the one that is struck 
> becomes silent.) So its very important to get that sound as clear as 
> possible (its not very loud, but it is audible and complex). So what 
> would you suggest? I don't mind spending 100-200 on a mic if it can be 
> used for this purpose as thats a good investment!
> The other problem is I'm worried that the mic will pick up the looped 
> sound that is being played through the speakers/monitors. What do people 
> normally do to counter that? I feel that since the speakers will be in 
> front of the piano facing outward towards the audience the mic will not 
> pick it up so much, but does anyone know if this will be a huge issue? 
> If so how might I fix it...
> Thank you all SO much. I've had this piece bouncing around in my head 
> FOREVER now and I'm hopefully finally getting it realized the way I 
> like. Just gotta overcome a few more obstacles...!
> -Alex