Upright 4-Mic Experiment

Upright 4-Mic Experiment


For this instrument I sampled our Yamaha C108, which is now over 30 years old.
It’s in our living room and is played by all family members every day.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it hasn’t seen a piano tuner for a long time.
The C7 key has also been broken for years – miraculously it works again in its virtual existence.

My wife bought it as a new piano when she was still a pupil. She has saved five D-Marks every month since first grade for several years.
At some point, her grandmother and her parents said that she could be proud of having saved so much and that they would give the rest.


For the recording I was lucky to borrow rare and outstanding equipment:

For the player position (stereo) I used two Neumann TLM 170i (cardioid).
This mic position is supplemented (in mono) by an original Neumann M49 (tube, 1950s).
A Neumann USM 69 was used as a Blumlein pair for the room signal.
And finally a Neumann U269C (tube, 1960s) was placed directly in front of the soundboard next to the pedals.

Noise was removed from all recordings (where needed), but no EQ adjustments were made.


For this bonus Instrument I used the monoliths of the original recordings and transformed them into something new.
Each mic received a treatment with an individual set of effects.
It’s fun to play around with different mixes of this 4 signals.
To save spaceI, I only created a Kontakt version with compressed samples.


I recorded all signals using Christian Henson’s monolith system. Thank you Christian for Pianobook!

Without Stephen Tallamy I would not have been able to finish the instrument in this form!
Thank you for your endless patience with all my questions and ideas, Stephen!

Many thanks also to Hanjo Gäbler for his encouraging and very helpful feedback.


Kontakt 6 (full version) (pre-assigned to CC 14 – 21 for the knobs on a Komplete Kontrol keyboard)
Decent Sampler (1.0.4 or above for multi-mic support, and four separate instruments, one for each mic) (https://www.decentsamples.com/product/decent-sampler-plugin/)
SFZ (experimental support)

Thomas Schimmack (December 2020 – May 2021)


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Yamaha C108 Upright Piano recorded in a living room with vintage mics in its slightly out-of-tune glory and imperfection.

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