In this video, Sound Pure’s Todd Atlas explains how using a four-mic setup while recording an acoustic grand piano can make a small, dry room sound like a concert hall.

Omni and cardioid capsules are compared using 2 Miktek C5 stereo kits. The omnis pick up a more open sound with their 360-degree pattern, while the cardioids use their “off-axis rejection” to pick up a tighter and slightly more focused sound. The omni mics are moved out into the room to capture the open and roomy omnidirectional sound, contrasted with the intimate details of the cardioid mics in a modified ORTF setup over the strings inside the piano.

During mixing, Todd starts with just the cardioid microphones and slowly brings in the levels on the omnis. When blended together, these wildly different sounds create an organic mix, making the room sound larger than life. Reverb is then added to just the room mics for the best, most natural sound.

Be sure to check out the full performance to hear this setup and mix in action.

Equipment used in this demonstration includes Miktek C5 SDC Mics, Phoenix’s DRS-8 Mic Preamp, and Bricasti’s M7 Reverb. Sound Pure Studios’ Steinway B Piano is used throughout the presentation.