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How to Record Piano with Spire Studio

by Ben Andre, Spire Contributor January 29, 2019

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For so many genres and styles of music, piano plays a central role. And while it can be easy to record a keyboard or MIDI instrument with a piano patch, nothing compares to the real thing.

So if you have an acoustic piano handy, let’s check out how to record piano with Spire Studio!

Making a recording

Here’s how to record your piano:

1. Create a new project

2. On a grand piano, place Spire Studio at the center of the music rack (folded flat) on your piano, facing the hammers

3. On an upright piano, place Spire Studio on top of the piano in the center, facing you

4. Hit Soundcheck and play the piano to have Spire Studio automatically set your level

5. Record your track

And here’s an audio clip of Spire Studio placed on the music rack of a baby grand piano:

Piano Recording on Spire Studio

Tailoring your sound

While the technique above is a great starting point, sometimes you may want to further tailor your sound to get closer to what’s in your head. And while it’s important to understand that the most important sonic factor is the sound of the piano itself (and how it’s played), there are some easy ways you can adjust the timbre of your recordings.

One trick is to move your microphone (Spire Studio in this case) to fine-tune the balance of lower and upper strings on the piano. By moving Spire Studio left towards the lower register, its balance will shift towards low notes, and moving it towards the higher register will do the opposite. Depending on what you’re playing, this can make the difference in balancing your sound.

Another, although perhaps the obvious trick is to vary the distance of your Spire Studio from the piano. The closer it is, the tighter and more articulated the sound will be (with less room reverberation), and the further it is, the more the sound of the room will be present. Although for most purposes you’ll probably find that a closer sound will be appropriate—if you’re room doesn't sound excellent then you may find the distanced recordings sound more like a voice memo!

Try Spire Studio’s recording effects

If you want to give the piano you’re recording a different feel entirely, try reaching for Spire Studio’s recording effects. Under the “Spaces” category, there is a variety of different reverbs that can bring the sound of your piano into an entirely different room. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use some of Spire Studio’s other effects to create some pretty crazy and unconventional sounds for your piano.

Spire Studio recording effects

Conclusion

For those of us who have a live piano handy, we know just how important its sound, feel, and energy is to our music. And whether you rock an upright or grand, Spire Studio can help you record piano without getting in the way of your creativity. So with this in mind, try laying down some tracks!

For our other instrument-specific recording guides, check out:

Recording Bass Guitar with Spire Studio

Recording Electric Guitar with Spire Studio

Recording Acoustic Guitar with Spire Studio

Recording Drums with Spire Studio

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