When musician and sound designer Paolo Principi was asked to record the authentic sound of a Fazioli Grand Piano for a new Silent System and Virtual Instrument multisample, there was only one microphone brand that he felt could do the task justice – and that was DPA.
“I wanted to capture the rich and complex sounds of this piano in the most natural way,” he explains. “For this it was important that I used the best solution for each element of the audio path. I chose DPA for the microphones, Vovox for the cables and Apogee for the converter because each of these brands is renowned for delivering very high quality audio without colouring the sound in any way.”
Principi, whose company PSound specialises in sampling and creating virtual instruments, says he was delighted when Fazioli asked him to record its flagship piano – the F278 Gran Coda. To accomplish this task he chose two matched pairs of DPA 4006 Omnidirectional Microphones (including one pair with nose cones for a perfect omnidirectional response across the whole audio frequency range) and a pair of 4015 Wide Cardioid Microphones. These were supplied by DPA’s Italian distributor M Casale Bauer and used to record ‘binaural’, ‘close’ and ‘side’ sounds respectively.
“I was really delighted by the naturalness, precision and detail that all the DPA microphones delivered. I was also very surprised by the linearity of their frequency response, especially for the off axis sounds (thanks to the incredible nose cones).”
Principi recorded the piano note by note (all 88 keys) and across numerous dynamic levels (12 main levels, plus noises and different articulation levels), so that he could accurately realise its entire range of sounds. He also used a special machine to play each key with the same dynamic level and spent a great deal of time working out the best microphone position for each of the three sounds (binaural, close, side) that he was recording. He then listened to the audio in his own studio until he was sure he was obtaining the real sound of the instrument.