Q:First of all I'd like to thank you for your awesome music, which is both great to listen to and a constant inspiration for my own playing! Something I'd be very interested in is your/your technicians' approach to miking pianos. Which microphones do you use? Where do you place them? How do you mix them? Do you do any further processing for records? Do you make any difference between live and studio situations? — Wolfgang
Your question about miking pianos is interesting to me as, for most of my life, I never paid much attention to what mikes and how they were placed. But I've become a bit more curious of late.
So that said, I can give you my personal taste in miking the piano.
I usually like the mikes to be anywhere from 2 to 4 feet distant from the strings. When the mikes are to close up to the strings, there's not enough air for the sound to breathe. The air, I believe, acts as a kind of filter and tends to smooth out any harshnesses in the piano sound.
I also don't always do the same thing as each performances situation has so many variables that the only final guide has to be listening to the mike choice and placement for that situation and deciding what should be done. Of course I've been working with a true artist in sound, Bernie Kirsh, for so many years that I leave these choices up to him since we seem to agree on what we're going for re the piano sound.
So, basically, my own rule of thumb is to listen newly each time and decide then what sounds right to me. For more technical info on exactly what kind of mikes, etc. you must consult Bernie himself: