Mics are one of the most important pieces of equipment that are used in recording piano. They have a huge effect in the quality of sound and it is because they can pick up more details from a piano’s sound. There are many types of microphones out there that can help you record a piano. However, these mics vary in their price and quality so it is important to find one that works for you!
This article has compiled a list of some of the best mics for recording piano available on the market.
- What Type of Microphone is Best for Recording Piano?
- List of the Best Microphones for Recording Piano
- What to Consider When Buying a Piano Microphone?
What Type of Microphone is Best for Recording Piano?
A microphone is the device that converts sound waves into an electrical signal. To record piano, you need a microphone with a cardioid polar pattern – one that captures sound from all around the instrument.
Options for recording piano include: condenser microphones, dynamic microphones, and ribbon microphones.
- Condenser microphones use a thin diaphragm that is suspended over a conductive backplate to create an electrical circuit with the microphone capsule. This technology allows for high-quality sound recording and reproduction.
- Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, make use of a thin sheet membrane (a diaphragm) which vibrates in response to sound waves from the source being recorded. This type of microphone is less expensive than its counterpart and can be easily integrated into most devices without needing any special circuitry or mounting hardware.
- The ribbon microphone is one of those rare designs that combines both condenser and dynamic features into one single
There are many types of microphones used to record piano. Each type has its own specific use and benefits. You should decide which type is best for you before choosing a microphone.
According to the feedback from professional musicians, a condenser microphone is the best mic for recording piano sounds. A ribbon microphone works well too but its design makes it difficult to place right over the instrument’s strings and brass resonance tubes on a grand piano, making it difficult to capture both instruments cleanly. Dynamic microphones work well with digital pianos but not so much with acoustic pianos.
List of the Best Microphones for Recording Piano
1. Shure SM7B
The Shure SM7B Microphone is a dynamic microphone that has been designed specifically for professional applications, but it also works well in all sorts of different environments where you need to record vocals or acoustics instruments like guitars and pianos. Its rugged construction makes it durable enough to take on the road or in your studio without worrying about damage.
Shure SM7B provides a warm, smooth, and accurate sound with a wide-range frequency. It also has detachable windscreen for reducing plosives when speaking or singing. This microphone is perfect for singers, vocalists, instrumentalists.
It has an impedance of 150 ohms and a sensitivity of -43 dB, with the cardioid design providing the best rejection of ambient noise.
2. Rode NT5-MP (Matched Pair)
Rode Microphones are a popular choice among audio engineers. Their products are both cost-effective and high quality. NT5-MP is a compact condenser microphone that is perfect for recording pianos, vocals, acoustic instruments. Coming in at just under $500 it has a tight cardioid pickup pattern to give you the best sound quality. All of the microphones are designed to be portable for convenience but also offer sturdy construction for durability.
It has a gold sputtered 1/2” capsule, puts out high performance and has a durable satin-nickel plated body. This is a high-quality microphone made for sound recording. It is particularly popular due to its full frequency response, low noise levels, and reduced distortion.
3. MXL 770
MXL 770 is a condenser microphone designed recording pianos, guitars, string instruments and vocals. Some acoustic musicians use this microphone to deliver better sounds. They find that the low noise and high output gain are useful for their sound quality. The cardioid polar pattern provides natural sound for vocals and instruments in home recording as well as live performance.
When it comes to the frequency response of a microphone, lower frequencies usually mean a more accurate recording as well as a better sound. MXL 770 makes up for this with its 30 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response and 137dB SPL handling.
This microphone is perfect for high-volume settings such as bands and conferences, where you need high quality recordings, but not necessarily an extremely loud sound.
MXL 770 includes a rugged and durable carrying case to help you take your microphone anywhere you go without worrying about its safety. This case is made from hard-wearing materials and has an attractive design that helps keep your microphones safe from any mishaps.
4. AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS
The AKG C414 XLS is one of the best mics for recording piano. This condenser microphone is designed to achieve a neutral sound and high-quality recordings.
It has 9 selectable polar patterns, which makes it a great tool for recording a variety of instruments. The 3 attenuation levels give you the flexibility to use the microphone with or without proximity effect or getting it close to the sound source.
The audio overload warning LED on the side of the C414 XLS is great for when you’re recording outside but might not be able to hear your voice as well as you would like. When it lights up, it means that the signal is too loud and if this happens, you should reduce your levels on the microphone or turn down your amplifier levels.
5. Shure SM81-LC
Shure is a leading company in the audio industry. They are known for producing quality products, and their SM81-LC Microphone is no exception. This microphone has a ruggedly constructed design with a long life span, making it an ideal mic for recording piano. It has a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, a low noise output with high output clipping level.
Shure SM81-LC produces a sound that is warm, with a natural presence and a full sound. It has a cardioid polar pattern which means it picks up sounds from in front of the mic and rejects sounds coming from the sides and back.
Field microphones are often used in environments with high RF susceptibility such as loud concerts or noisy construction sites. In these environments, the cardioid polar pattern provides superior feedback reduction when compared to other types of microphones.
It is furnished with an attenuator-switch lock for adjusting the input level of the microphone and foam windscreen for noise reduction. There are also cases included to allow the mic to be carried and stored easily during transport.
6. Behringer C-2 (Matched Pair)
Behringer’s dedication to their customers’ needs has generated an unprecedented level of trust in the company and its products. Their products are consistently rated highly, making them ideal boughs for those starting out in the music business as well as seasoned professionals looking for affordable yet reliable gear.
The Behringer C-2 is a condenser microphone. This durable ultra-rugged makes it perfect for use in live performances, studio recording and anywhere else where gear needs to be protected from physical damage.
In addition to its great low cost, nearly everyone can afford the Behringer C-2 Microphone because of its ability to use inexpensive XLR cables that are commonly found laying around in any studio. It comes with low-mass diaphragm for ultra-wide frequency response.
Behringer C-2 is an excellent choice when you need to produce a professional recording. It’s built to handle the performance of a choir, piano or vocal.
7. LyxPro SDPC-2 (Pair)
LyxPro SDPC-2 has a frequency response of 30Hz-18kHz, sensitivity of -38dB ± 3dB. It includes the Omni capsule for general use, the Cardioid capsule which is ideal for voice recordings and the Super Cardioid capsule which captures sounds from a single direction with high gain.
SDPC-2 is designed with a smooth-tilt microphone clip and windscreens to keep the sound of your voice or instrument out of the way and isolated. In addition to this, it has aluminum carrying case that comes with it so you can carry it around without worrying about damaging it.
8. Bluebird XLR
Bluebird XLR Microphone is highly versatile and can be easily plugged into a variety of instruments and devices. It is the perfect solution for recording music in studio or personal home studio. The sound quality of this microphone is crystal-clear which provides a highly enjoyable listening experience to anyone who listens to the recording.
This microphone has a precise cardioid pattern with a high pass filter that increases clarity and reduces rumble. It also has a gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm with less surface noise and reduced proximity effect, great for live vocals and recording piano.
What to Consider When Buying a Piano Microphone?
A piano mic is a type of microphone that is specifically made for the perfect sound of the piano. They are generally used as studio microphones as they offer a flat response and can be easily placed on top of the piano.
Unlike other types of mics, they are usually not directional. They do not pick up sound from all angles, but rather the sound is projected in one direction and then picked up by the mic itself. A good piano mic needs to be able to get close enough to the action without picking up any unwanted noise, while maintaining a large enough diaphragm that it can pick up sounds at a high volume.
When buying a microphone for your piano, there are a few things you should consider.
- The first thing to look for is the number of inputs. This is because you want to get the best sound quality possible without having to buy multiple microphones.
- The second thing is the sensitivity of the microphone, which should be around 40dB or more. The sensitivity of this mic will determine how close it can be placed to the instrument without being distorted or too loud. It needs to be able to pick up very subtle sounds without distorting them and give a balance response that can be used in different parts of the music without making it too bright or dull.
- The third thing is the audio range and how far it can go. It’s important that this range goes as high as possible because it allows you to use more techniques such as harmonizing and doubling.
- The final consideration would be if you can mic-stand it on your piano or not, since some electric pianos have their own built in mics and so do MIDI-controllers.
Are condenser mics good for piano?
Condenser mics are a great tool to use for recording piano. They will pick up the sonic spectrum of the instrument and produce a more accurate recording.
How many mics does it take to record a piano?
It will depend on the size and make of a piano, but for most standard pianos, it would take at least two microphones.
What is the best way to mic a piano?
The best way to mic a piano is by using a microphone in front of the soundboard. This method is recommended because it captures the sound from all directions and provides even sound levels.
The microphone should be installed at the height of the soundboard, about an inch away from it. The mic should be pointed at the strings but not in front of them; otherwise, you will get uneven volume distribution
In addition to mics, some people use a single-point condenser microphone as well. However, this system has a poorer response quality and doesn’t record as well as a cardioid system
Can you record a piano with one mic?
Yes. A piano requires multiple microphones to record it properly. However, one microphone can also produce a good quality recording result.
When looking for the best mic for recording piano, there are a few things to consider. The type of mic, the size of the room, and the placement of the mic are all important factors. By following these guidelines, you can select the best mic for your specific needs and get the best possible sound from your piano recordings.