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Mastering acoustic piano: minimal treatment?

CGR

Pianist, Composer & Arranger
Leave it with me for a while, and I'll see what I can suggest and what results I can come up with.
 
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creativeforge

creativeforge

the plumber
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What is the reason you want the recording to be changed?

This recording is going to be released as an album. I figure everything needs to be minimally mastered before press, for levels, stereo image, etc. I want the recording to be enhanced in as transparent a way as possible, yes?

Thanks!
 

Beat Kaufmann

Senior Member
Hi Creativforge

What could you do?
My anlysis:
Your recording has a bit a 60Hz hum, it also comes with a lot of noise between 0-30Hz and there is also a quiet but constant tone around 15kHz/16kHz. These are all technical things which one can see and repair/delete with a spectrum editor (This is mastering as well).

Your piano
has bit a too wide stereo image for my personal taste, so it sounds "nowhere but evereywhere" (sorry my english). This is nice with headphones but with my monitors it is too much. You obviously used an AB microphone setup. The averrage correlation is around 0 which is still Ok but some frequencies around 2kHz are always within the range of "0 to -1". So I would narrow the stereo width it a bit (85%?).
Further your piano seem to ring a bit a round 3,3 kHz Edit: 4,8kHz. A lot of pianos do this - nevertheless I personally don't like it really. And also: The piano's lowend is a bit week. This matter probably comes from your microphones again. Could be that you used small condenser microphones such as KM184. They all have a bit a week low end (below 100Hz). Use an EQ Low Shelv 100Hz.

Best Beat
 
Last edited:

Joram

Active Member
This recording is going to be released as an album. I figure everything needs to be minimally mastered before press, for levels, stereo image, etc. I want the recording to be enhanced in as transparent a way as possible, yes?

Thanks!
Oh no, not at all. If the levels, stereo image etc of recording are ok there no reason for mastering other than adding ISRC, make a good in and out fade and eventually preparing for pressing vinyl or cd. It is a quite common misunderstanding that some mastering engineer needs to alter a good recording or mix. However, the comment above it seems that you need one in this case.
 
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creativeforge

creativeforge

the plumber
Staff member
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Hi Creativforge

What could you do?
My anlysis:
Your recording has a bit a 60Hz hum, it also comes with a lot of noise between 0-30Hz and there is also a quiet but constant tone around 15kHz/16kHz. These are all technical things which one can see and repair/delete with a spectrum editor (This is mastering as well).

Your piano
has bit a too wide stereo image for my personal taste, so it sounds "nowhere but evereywhere" (sorry my english). This is nice with headphones but with my monitors it is too much. You obviously used an AB microphone setup. The averrage correlation is around 0 which is still Ok but some frequencies around 2kHz are always within the range of "0 to -1". So I would narrow the stereo width it a bit (85%?).
Further your piano seem to ring a bit a round 3,3 kHz. A lot of pianos do this - nevertheless I personally don't like it really. And also: The piano's lowend is a bit week. This matter probably comes from your microphones again. Could be that you used small condenser microphones such as KM184. They all have a bit a week low end (below 100Hz). Use an EQ Low Shelv 100Hz.

Best Beat

Thank you Beat! I'll have to walk this one pretty slowly. But I agree with the stereo image, and notice at the end, a reverb tail sudden hiccup, from 3:03 to 3:06 it sounds like the piano's reverberation moves left.
 
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