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5 Piano Recording Myths and Misconceptions

People talk about piano recording like it’s Mt. Everest.

They look at it like it’s some insurmountable obstacle that you can’t overcome.

Like some grandiose instrument that you can only record with the most expensive equipment and the bestestest of studios.

But it’s simply not true.

You can easily get a great piano sound. Just as long as you don’t fall into the trap of believing any of these myths.

Myth #1 – You Need a High-End Microphone

Nope. That’s a lie. You don’t.

Slau, the piano recording expert I interviewed for Recording Strategies,  says:

“The best microphone is the one you have. That is the best one. And they say that about cameras. It’s the one you have with you when you want to take a picture, and if you didn’t have the camera, what’s the use?”

Myth #2 – There’s Only ONE Right Set Up

There are a ton of ways you can record piano. And with a bunch of different mics too.

You can even mix and match.

Slau sometimes sets up two pairs of microphones, ribbons and condensers. Then he chooses between them depending on what the client wants.

“I do that because, occasionally, any given client of mine might really prefer the sound of the ribbons as opposed to the condensers.”

Myth #3 – The Better the Gear, The Better the Song

If the performance ain’t there, the song is pretty much useless.

Listeners aren’t hearing your perfect recording setup, they’re hearing the impeccable performance of the pianist.

If you’re too concerned about the gear to forget about the performance, you’re never gonna get a great piano recording.

“It’s just globally true that the most important thing is the performance. And that is foremost.”

Myth #4 – You Need a Great Sounding Room

Not necessarily, because the piano is so loud you won’t really notice the room sound.

If you’re placing the mic inside the piano, you won’t  get a lot of room bleed.

“Because the sound of the piano is so much higher, so much more present than any reverberation.”

Myth #5 – You Need Fancy EQ Tricks for a Great Piano Sound

Bzzzzt….dead wrong.

You should try to aim for the piano sound that you want, right there in the room. Don’t throw up a mic and aim to EQ it later. Aim for no EQ and the recording process will be much easier.

“I don’t even EQ the pianos typically. I might maybe, maybe add a little bit of top end to it occasionally or I might take off a little bit. Sometimes I’ve done classical sessions with a pianist who was used to a softer sounding piano, and basically had to take off a little bit of that top end.”


Of course, there’s a lot more to learn about piano recording from master Slau, but I ain’t giving it away.

But you can still get it for free…


The hour long interview(13 pages) is included in the Recording Strategies package, whether you buy Recording Strategies or the Strategies bundle.

(Hint: I recommend the bundle. There’s more stuff in it)

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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