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Piano recording tips from Venice Italy and a villa studio tour

May 31st, 2009 | 17 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 5  |  Next »

The Italy Episode: In this episode Ronan answers a viewer’s “Ask Ronan” question about piano recording from the Hotel Metropole in Venice Italy (Where Vivaldi composed the Four Seasons), and tours a boutique analog studio in the 17th century Villa Prosdocimi.

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Prosdocimi Recording

Hotel Metropole

Little Labs IBP

To download this episode to your ipod click here

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Rating: 5.0/5 (20 votes cast)
17 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Anthony Rochester

    nice show!
    I particularly appreciate the mic placement tips, and its always inspiring to have a peek into awesome studios like that.

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  2. Brent Langley

    More a general comment. I stumbled on to this site while surfing a few weeks back and immediately subscribed. I like your behind the scenes perspectives presented in such a down to earth manner. Most of us would never have had the opportunity to view all these places. Great tips, great gear, great advice, great show! Keep up the good work!

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  3. Chris

    A great episode! My wife was watching with me and now of course we have to go to Venice. I told her that we would go as soon as I get my first recording gig over there. She has started digging a very deep hole in the ground and filling it with ice cubes.

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  4. Baz

    Hey, thanks for covering my request, re mic’g a piano, Ronan! I thought I’d throw it out there but didn’t really expect it to be covered =)

    Great tips and I’m actually going to try some out this week hopefully. As I had mentioned in my request, the piano always seems to be a WIP.

    Great tour of Venice and how can a viewer not want to go check it out for themselves, given the chance.

    Love the show. It’s fresh and “cool” and I’ll continue to look forward to future episodes :)

    Arrivederci!

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  5. jdtrbn

    Fun to watch. I’d just wish there was more to *hear*, it’s about recording after all :) .

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  6. Ronan

    Fun to watch. I’d just wish there was more to *hear*, it’s about recording after all :) .

    Thanks for the input. I am trying to develop that for some of the future shows. The challenge has been trying to do it in a way that the audio is worth hearing. I just invested in some new equipment that should help with that. Thanks for the comment and thanks so much for watching. – Ronan

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  7. Lee Ron

    Great piano recording tips Ronan – thank you for sharing this. I was wondering: What is your personal preference for piano mics?

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  8. Ronan

    Great piano recording tips Ronan – thank you for sharing this. I was wondering: What is your personal preference for piano mics?

    Hey Lee, It depends on the piano I am recording and what role the piano plays in the tune. For classical and chamber music I am a big fan of the B&K/DPA 4006 mics, for something a little more pop with a big piano sound I often like Large Diaphram condensers like Neuman U87s or Pearlman TM-1s. For less money the Shure KSM 32s or 44 can be great choices. Sometimes on rock records or singer songwriter stuff where I want the piano to have a reaaly focused sound, the Shure SM57 can work surprisingly well.

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  9. Anton Evans

    Thanks for the 5th installment! I’ve used the bottom mic technique you talked about and your spot on about the control over timbre that you gain. Thanks for talking about it.
    Also I must get a studio “throne” built in Italy. That way clients will know who’s really in charge!! LOL ;-) Looks like the throne is made of marble.

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  10. Mike 3rd

    Hello everybody … just a short note,
    the Producer’s Throne is a really cool thing … an easy way to say “Producer is God” ;-)
    The throne is a hand painted wood throne made in the 30’s and it comes from a Palace of Venice.
    On the back of it Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio’s motto saying: “Semper Adamas” latin sentence that means “strong as a diamond”
    Best

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  11. benjamin

    I saw that you had a clip with you teaching drum micing techniques. Is there any way I could watch that video somewhere?

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  12. Ronan

    Hi Benjamin, We do not have full video of the drum clinic. It was a master class I was doing in Milan. I do a far more in depth version at my home recording boot camps.

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  13. Dan K.

    These are great piano recording tips. I tried the bottom piano mic you suggest and it works very well for me. You talk about phase relationship and that has always been a mystery to me. Can you provide a quick tip about how you can tell you have a phase issue?

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  14. j.j

    Great show, You mentioned a lot about where to place the mics but not how you like to place them (eg spaced pair,xy etc). Any chance you could give some tips on that too?

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  15. Ronan

    Hey J.J.
    Thanks for watching the show and your nice comment about it. If I am doing the piano in stereo (which is only about half the time) I will you an XY pair if I want a fairly natural sound, and spaced pairs if I am going for something with more dramatic stereo imagine.

    Ronan

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  16. Wolfgang Willms

    Thats exactely what we did, visit Venice’s more “lonly” places. When we’ve been there, it looked almost like beeing in Japan at the tourist places, so many eastern people there – we hided for example in the juish quarter – yeah, Venice is the place to be.

    By the way, I really appreciate the work and effort you put in to transfer parts of your know how to us – thanks a lot. I do the same in my field, not yet on the web, but in universities where I hold lectures (obviously free of charge) and I love it.

    And one last comment – you’ve recorded some really awesome sounding guitars, that is exactelly what I’m working on for in my home studio since quite some time.

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  17. Mat

    Hi Ronan,

    When are you going to Venice again?
    I’m living just 10 minutes far from there.. ;) )
    All the best and thanks for really nice advices you gave.
    Mat

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