Why are some recordings panned like this?

I’m listening to a German broadcast now and the treble is panned hard to the left, and the bass to the right. The hard panning is too much, but I’m wondering why it’s like this anyway (treble left…)? Am I missing something about this?

Piano? It’s probably the mic position. I know I’ve been on about this before, but a grand piano has a secondary HF maxima out from the tail of the instrument, in the direction the pianist is looking, which provides an attractive position for a microphone if you don’t want it blocking the view of the piano (as in video, typically, where you might want the microphones to be “invisible”). The quirk that comes with it is that you’ll get this frequency separation between channels because of the width of the instrument. So treble ends up to the left, bass to the right.

You’re a tech wiz C.

I read about this a bit online – some sound tech guys were advocating standard treble-left practice, and some pianists treble-right. Apparently standard recording industry practice is treble-left.

Normally I don’t mind the mild treble-left / bass-right split, but I’m uploading this Derzhavina recording in which the German engineer put the treble hard left and it just sounds wrong. I think I’m going to switch it around to the treble right (far right).

I hate that too. That’s why i switch around my headphones when listening to piano solo recordings.

I think the ECM label is one of the few labels that has treble on the right and bass on the left for piano recordings. At least that’s what I noticed on the Schiff Beethoven sonatas. They also seem to add reverb to their recordings.

Having the treble panned hard left would sound so weird.
Like that “left handed” piano that someone made.

Just listened. God this was annoying now when you think about it. :slight_smile:

I have actually never heard of anyone deliberately trying to achieve this effect, but with piano you get a similar thing naturally from the way “professional” (%#¤#$&#%¤…) recordings are made. When you keep one mic pair that close to the piano you’ll have the bass strings extending out to the right while the shortest treble strings stop to the left, meaning you’ll have a bit stronger treble signal from the left mic. As you move away from the piano this separation quickly disappears however, and it’s also not as distinct as when you’re recording from the tail. But trying to enhance this or artificially create it in post sounds… like an incredibly bad idea.

Yes your description matches with what I’ve noticed – that although treble is more to the left, there’s quite a lot of blend with the two ‘sides’ mixing up. What puzzles me a bit though is that some sound technicians online said they pan the treble to the left on purpose, and someone said that that’s how it’s taught to be. Like Mr. Ninja I think this is going to annoy me more now I’ve thought about it. Oh look Adam has become self-conscious in the Garden of Recordings.

Stick to old recordings, they’re all monaural. Problem solved.

Randomly da xsdc has decided on his next gear upgrade purchase over christmas. It’ll only set me back $4k. :unamused: But as this thread has amply demonstrated: if you want something done properly, you’ll have to do it yozelf.

Nah. That way I’d have to begin playing the piano mazelf as well. :wink:

Damn XSDC knows how to spoil himself.

Yes I know what you mean but the problems never end. Tomorrow I iz uploading a 1960 Leningrad Ashkenazy Chopin PC 2 and I had to tack on fake applause (from another rec) because the douchebag DJ decided to cut the ending early and breathe into the microphone to tell us what we already knew. Man if I were Bavarian I would mess people up.

Well… I just hope it’ll still feel like that’s what I’m doing when I have them.

Do tell.
Is this sound setup or recording gear (or both)?

New mics. I’ve decided on a pair of Schoeps MK2-H, along with their CMBI amps and a KIY cable which will allow me to use them directly with my current recorder, without battery box or an external preamp in between.

Thing is that I’m actually not sure I’ll prefer them on piano over the 4060s. They’ll give me a lower noise floor by a lot - which is good - but also a different flavour to the sound which is where I’m worried because I’ve never heard a Schoeps capsule deliver such gorgeous results on piano as DPA do. But I’ve also never heard a pair of MK2s used the way I want to, and I’m either way just too damn curious on them to leave them be. What I am sure about is that they’re the best microphones I’ve heard on almost anything else acoustic, that they’ll complement the signature of the DPAs I already have (and which I’ll keep) beautifully, and that I’ll get caught the moment I walk in to a concert hall with them because of their size. :dong: But hell, I’ve never been to jail. Might be nice in there.

any chance you could just go in totally loaded and record to two different setups at once?

Um, what gear did you buy?

That’s beast! 8)

Sure. That’s what I’ll do over the entire next season to decide which mic belongs where as it were. I’ll have to try them on different ensembles since while I think there’s a very real chance I’d still prefer the 4060s on solo piano - in spite of the better precision and lower noise I’ll get with the large-diaphragm MK2s - I’m almost sure I’ll like the Schoeps better whenever strings & bows are involved. Also on organ and lute, where the lower self-noise will be a life saver. And flavour aside it will be nice to hear Sokolov’s ultra-precise pianism against that pitch-black backdrop.

That’s cool. It will be interesting to hear how those sound.
Might be a challenge for stealthing since with the amps they would be around 10cm long (?).
The Shoeps I’m most curious about are the ones which can switch between omni and cardiod.
I feel like that flexibility might come in handy if your horizontal placement is okay but you’re further back than you’d like.

I prepared a proxy this morning. 8) Capsules, amps and cable will be around 15 cm, and I think that’s just what I can realistically conceal. The competitor is DPA’s flagship 4006, but they’re upwards 20 cm which I think will be problematic, and they’re also the same mic I already have only with 8 dB lower noise (and a bit more precision, but also a bit less openness so it evens out). They’re my ideal mic for recording solo piano, but I nonetheless think I need something more than a lower self noise to warrant spending that kind of money - especially when making recordings with it would be a lot more cumbersome.

Cardioids are very popular with other tapers, but I just haven’t been able to warm up to them. From first row I normally think they sound too close, and further back they end up behind someone’s back, and with a microphone with a strong directionality that feels like a bad idea. And even when accurately placed I think they sound dry, clinical and undynamic. If you like I can send you a recording made with a pair of Schoeps cardioids, from first row and with state of the art electronics backing them up. With such gear and such positioning it is of course very impressive, but it nonetheless doesn’t capture the kind of sound I want from a piano recital. Cardioids definitely do serve a purpose, but for my taste that’s primarily in environments with poor acoustics where you want to reduce impact from the reflex field, and I rarely record (anything important) in such places.

Yes, please send it over.
I’m also interested in hearing the Shoeps signature.
I think the only sample I’ve heard was the bootleg Chris posted a while back.