Piano recording with new mic

Yesterday I built a simple shock-mount for my new condenser microphone and recorded some piano tracks in the church. Using a large ring of PVC pipe, two hose clamps, a bunch of elastic bands, a joining piece of electrical conduit, and two bolts I MacGyver’d the shock mount together. It doesn’t look pretty and I needed to use a 2lb weight to counterbalance the mic stand, but it works!

Shock mount for the large diaphragm condenser mic.

I recorded some piano tracks in the church with our 11 foot Petrov grand piano. They turned out quite well. I used the large condenser and one of the small ones I built last year, about 5-6 feet from the side of the piano, in an ORTF-ish configuration. I then reversed the stereo field because I thought it sounded better (lower notes on the left, higher on the right, like it would be if I was sitting at the keys).

The church has a beautiful natural reverb sound to it that the mics captured quite nicely. Unfortunately, they also captured the fan from the furnace, but there’s not much I can do about that until the summer!

Piano Test – 3 Pieces.mp3

The 3 pieces are:
– “Thaxted” by Gustav Holst
– “God Is Alive!” by David Haas
– “Kingsfold” by Lucy Broadwood, arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams

Please forgive any mistakes. :-)

Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic

I’ve just finished building a new, large-diaphragm condenser microphone. This was a lot of fun to do!

This microphone uses a Transsound TSB-2555A electret condenser capsule and seems to work pretty good. Here’s a quick, stereo, piano test with a second mic of the same type, if you are curious and/or bored.

The circuit is based on a classic Schoeps circuit. This particular variation was developed by user “zapnspark” on the Yahoo “micbuilders” forum. If you are interested in doing something like this, that forum is amazing!

Here are some photos of the construction. I used a tip from an exhaust pipe that I found at a surplus store for the casing. The base is a 2″ steel ring, to which I epoxied a washer and fastened an XLR connector. Copper wire holds the circuit in place. A piece of wood holds the capsule assembly in place.

I have yet to build a shock mount for it.