Octatrack & Piano

Yesterday I managed to bag a lovely upright piano for only the cost of delivery. A nice early Christmas present to me. I intend to work on my music theory and all that stuff (maybe actually learn how to read music for a start…) but was wondering which of you guys out there use or have used a piano with the Octatrack?

Ive seen a couple of videos from the likes of Cuckoo and I’ve not really decided how I want to do this (pickups? Just playing along? Sampling phrases/random stuff? etc) but thought it would be cool to marry the two. Is there a particular type of mic I should look to use? Any other things to think about?

Always wanted a piano - just never had the room so delighted this worked out!


A good stereo pickup couple…

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Hi there. I use to sample my piano with digitakt like this:

piano -> AT2020mic -> art preamp -> rnla compressor -> digitakt

IMO it’s really important to have the compressor somewhere in the chain to squash those dynamics.


Cheers! Will take a look over Christmas period - see what I can find in the sales!

The piano has a lovely sustain so planning all sorts of nonsense with reverse reverbs and the likes. Should e fun!

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nice. have fun.

i would recommend two mics and a good preamp for them… then route them into the octatrack… dont use dynamic mics (for most cases), but condensors, and its better to use big membrans… cheap one are from rode or AKG… i prefer two Neumann TLM 103 (but they are really expensive)… anyhow you can get good results with a lot of mics… place them right and left, directing slightly “into” the piano… a good distance (exspecially if you have cheaper mics) is 30-50 centimeters, depending on how your room sounds…

playing: try looping yourself with the octatrack… you dont even need pic up machines, just the normal recording buffers… a great fun if you layer piano tracks…

(and get your piano tuned… i payed already 3 times as much for tuning and transporting my piano then for buying it :-))

have fun!!!


I have OKTAVA condensor couple, logical for OCTATRACK !

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oh… one thing… try putting masking tape on the piano string (along the whole distance)… take three or four layers of it… put the masking tape right there, where the pianohammer hit the strings… kind of amazing ambient type sound… all strings are vibrating slightly muted… so you get something like a natural crazy reverb sound on a muted piano sound… i spend hours with this and its great fun :-))


Top tips! Cheers @pulsefrequenz

Now I just need to get my kids of the thing long enough to play it ha!

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Ditto, I love the sound of a muted piano.

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A friend of mine got a free console piano from his old piano teacher a few years ago and it had a pair of very old sound board pickups, probably late 60s, amateurishly installed in it and even those work great. Haven’t tried it with the OT but he plays it through a Kaoss Pad in to a 70s Fender PA head pretty regularly and it sounds great.

Muted piano sounds great. Tack piano sounds great but is pretty hard on the hammers so I’d consider it a permanent modification (it isn’t but you’d probably want to replace all the felt if you took the tacks out, and that’s a big job). But it’s almost worth it.

I’m guessing you idn’t get a grand or baby grand piano, but if you did, try laying a few loose sheets of light weight printer paper on the strings for a really distinctive fuzz-like sound.


Prepared piano all the way! Reminds me that I’ve wanted to create my own prepared piano sample library for awhile. Just need to find someone with a grand who trusts me enough to do the preparations and not harm the piano :grinning:

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