Waldman's biography reads like a Who's Who of the music and entertainment business. He won a Grammy® Award for co-arranging Barbara's Streisand's “Somewhere” and he's performed on and/or arranged numerous recording projects for artists such as Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, and Michael Jackson. His performances can be found on soundtracks for leading films including Without A Trace, Titanic, and Ice Age (to name but a few) and he routinely serves as a pianist, conductor, and arranger for live concerts. With a track record like this, it's safe to assume Waldman knows a bit about miking the piano.
The process of miking the piano has been an ongoing challenge for years and Waldman certainly experienced his share of frustrations, as he explained. “Miking the entire keyboard evenly—without certain notes or areas being louder or softer than other areas—is a huge issue,” says Waldman. “Similarly, sound leakage from outside the piano is another consideration that makes capturing the instrument so difficult. I really hadn't found what I considered to be a workable solution until I discovered the Earthworks PM40.”
“What I like most about the PM40 is its ease of installation,” Waldman continued. “When I walk into a live concert situation, I would say 99% of the time, the piano is already miked. Since piano miking generally takes a fairly long time, most sound crews aren't willing to experiment because they have a million other responsibilities to attend to. With the PM40, however, the mics are so easy to place that, most of the time; the crew is open to the idea. I set the PM40 in place, angle the mics and hand them the plugs. Once the crew hears the system, the sound sells itself.”
In terms of its sound quality, Waldman offered the following. “The PM40 delivers even, natural sound across the entire range of the instrument, and since I can close the lid, there's considerably less of the usual bleed from other instruments on stage. Equally noteworthy, I never have to worry about the mics falling into the piano. I also get plenty of positive feedback from the sound crews when they hear the system for the first time. Their comments are almost always the same, â€˜You can hear the entire piano keyboard evenly.' The PM40 is a really well thought out system for piano miking.”
On April 17th, Waldman will perform in concert with Natalie Cole, Josh Groban, and Barry Manilow at the legendary Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles and he has every intention of using his PM40 PianoMic system. “I wouldn't want to be without it,” he says. “I'm also looking forward to using the new PM40T Touring PianoMic System, as this is designed for portable use. Once you get accustomed to the sound quality and ease of using the Earthworks setup, you really don't want to be without it.”
To learn more about Randy Waldman, visit him online at www.jazzpilot.com.
About the Earthworks PM40 PianoMic System
The Earthworks PM40 incorporates two random incidence, omnidirectional, 40 kHz High Definition Microphones with a frequency response ranging from 4 Hz to 40 kHz. With their extraordinary impulse response and extremely short diaphragm setting times, they are ideally suited to perform within the piano's highly diffused sound field (multiple direct and reflected sound sources). Equally significant, these microphones exhibit no proximity effect (change in LF levels), regardless of their distance from the piano strings or soundboard. The result is a remarkably consistent piano sound across the entire range of the instrument.
About Earthworks, Inc.
Earthworks is a New Hampshire, U.S.A. based manufacturer of High Definition Microphones that is dedicated to quality and sonic excellence. Each Earthworks product is handmade with great care, meticulous attention to detail, and a strong emphasis on quality. Earthworks prides itself in making only the very best in professional audio equipment intended for mission critical sound applications. For additional information, visit the company online at www.earthworksaudio.com.