Recording Acoustic Pianos

Until about 20 years ago I made recordings right after having my grand tuned and regulated, in the evening. I set up microphones and open reel recorders and did all the editing myself.  It was also hot, since I had to turn of air conditioning while recording. Finally, I had to make sure that I recorded at a time when there were no interruptions and no neighbors would be bothered. It was wonderful when it worked, but more often it was stressful and frustrating.

To this very moment there are people who consider any recording not made on an acoustic instrument as inferior. Period. They are doing roughly what I used to do, although recording equipment is improving all the time.

It’s important to mention briefly that while recordings of very fine players being recorded on superb acoustic pianos are wonderful, it’s a very impractical thing for people with limited space and limited funds. Acoustic pianos used for performance must be treated a bit like a fine race car. They are marvelous instruments, but they need continual attention. This includes regulation, tuning, voicing of hammers, replacement of broken strings and many other things of that nature too extensive and too technical to go into here. All of this is quite expensive.

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