Posted by Joel Porter-De Vriese on September 15, 2000 at 18:22:50:
In Reply to: HELP!!!! with Barcus Berry 4000 Piano Mic.................Where exactly?? posted by Carlos Morales on September 14, 2000 at 02:26:35:
Barcus berry says that you should place the pickup on the soundboard in the third or fourth hole from the keys, PARALLEL to the grain. This means that the pickup is placed so it runs with the grain, not across it (I'm not trying to be condescending here, I just know that no matter how simple most people might think things like this are, there are always those for whom a reminder is helpful). I know that some folks will tell you to run it perpendicular to the grain somewhere else, but the instructions that come with the pickup tell you to do it this way. The exact placement will be different from piano to piano, but the third or fourth hole is usually about the middle of the curve of the piano, before it straightens out and heads down to the tail. Incidentally, I am told tha this is also an excellent place to place an XY pair when micing the beast. By all means do experiment and let us all know if you find that killer spot and be sure to include the make and model of the piano, because what might work on one may not wok on another. It is very important to make sure that you get good adhesion. Bubbles under the tape at the contact area will ruin the sound of the pickup. Make sure you remove the adhesive immediately when you take the pickup out of the piano because it is much easier when it is fresh. I keep a piece of 120 grit sandpaper in the box in case I need to recondition the brass at the contact area if someone has neglected to remove the tape. The surface has to be smooth. Also, make sure you try not to get oil from your fingers on the metal or the tape, because that will affect how well the pickup adheres to the piano. If you don't have a manual, it would be a good idea to get in touch with BBE to get one.
That said, I have almost never gotten a decent sound out of the damn thing. I always put it in, just in case, and it is always good to have something for the monitors if you're doing a loud band and you don't want your piano mics to take off or there is too much stage noise to use mics. Anything is better than nothing, but I'll always take the mics if I can get them. Sometimes it can really sound good, but much of the time I don't really like it. Sometimes artists will actually ask that you remove the pickup. I am always happy to oblige. I too prefer the sound of a piano in air, not wood.
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