Upright piano (3 questions and replies)

What is the best placement for a GLM-100 in an upright piano? I have three points inside the wooden body – left, middle, or right. The piano is in a church sanctuary and needs a little boost to balance with the organ.
John D. Boothe

Reply: Here are some suggested placements for a single GLM-100 on an upright piano. Try them all and see which sounds the best for your particular piano, and gives adequate gain before feedback.
* Facing the soundboard in the middle of the piano. Angle the piano so that the soundboard is not facing directly into a wall.
* Hanging over the open front in the middle of the piano. Remove the front panel to expose the strings.
* On the floor underneath the piano.
* Attached to the middle inside the wooden body. However, this placement is likely to sound tubby or boxy.
* Taped to the underside of the top lid. The mic should be over the middle of the strings, and the lid should be raised to reduce the tubby coloration.
If you have two GLM-100 mics, place them to divide the piano in thirds -- one near the treble strings and one near the bass strings. This will provide more even coverage of the piano than a single GLM-100.


I want to permanently mount one or two mics to an upright piano for live performances. I'm concerned about getting too much bleed or leakage from a drum set five feet away. I heard that PZM mics are the way to go. Which microphone(s) would result in the least amount of bleed while still maintaining good sound quality and coverage of the instrument?
Sam Kassirer

Reply: Try two PZM-30D microphones on the floor under the piano or just in front of the sound board. You can set the tone of the mic to bright (rising high frequencies) or natural (flat high-frequency response).

If the drummer is behind the piano player's back, gaffer-tape the same mics onto the sound board, dividing the piano in thirds to pick up the bass and treble strings. The piano itself will block the sound of the drums pretty well.

Putting the mics inside the open top gives good isolation but sounds rather tubby.

If possible, make a recording of the piano and drums playing together, with the mics in the various positions described. At the beginning of each recording, announce into a mic where it is placed. Play back the recordings, and listen for the sound quality and the amount of drum leakage of each mic position.


I have two PCC-160 microphones. I am looking for the best way to mike a grand piano and an upright piano with one mic each. Sound leakage is a big issue. How would you mic them?

Reply: Here are some suggestions. For the grand piano, use gaffer tape (not duct tape) to attach the PCC-160 to the underside of the raised lid. Place it about 8 inches to 1 foot horizontally from the hammers over the middle strings, aiming at the hammers. Experiment with the height of the lid. If you get enough isolation with the lid on the full stick, use that. If you need to close the lid, do that (but the sound will be a little more boomy). Aim the hinged side of the lid at the upright piano for isolation.

With the upright you have a number of mic-placement options: