Piano piece using Plate 140

Mark Edmonds

Active Member
Long while since I've posted here to save my blushes :roll:

I've done a mix down of a piano piece I recorded fairly recently and this mix uses the new Plate 140. Thing is that I have been tweaking it so much that I have lost my objective capability with it so I could really do with some feedback.

The music is Gershwin - a light bluesy salon piece so it may not be everybody's cup of rat's blood. Also, being classical, there is no compression so the overall level might sound low.

The piano is a *digital* recorded direct via Mackie 1604 and a Lynx and mixed using PSP PianoVerb, Pultec Pro and Plate 140.

I'll hold back my comments on the mix and reverb sound so as not to colour anyone's judgement but I am really looking for that sense of being in the space with the piano (but not in a big echoey hall).

Does it sound that way or does it still sound too artificial?

Really appreciate any comments on the mix please.



http://www.sonicbedlam.co.uk/mp3/Gershw ... ate140.mp3


Hi Mark, one thing for sure is that you are a talented piano player.
Listening to this gave me the impression of sitting in hall before the audience arrives. Now of course it could be just the system I am listening to it on, but the sound seemed to lack some highs. Overall though, very nice.

- Doc

Mark Edmonds

Active Member
Thank you for your diagnosis Doctor! :D

I agree about the empty hall effect - it sort of sounds a bit lonely but I'm really not sure how to fix that.

As regards the high end, this never occured to me but I've done a new mix with more Plate tweaking and a minor mod to the Pultec settings which could actually be much much better. I'm not going to post this one until it has passed the morning after test though.

Thanks again,



Active Member
Very nice and passionate in your playing :)

the Plate sounds awesome :) So Natural. ;)


Established Member
Hallo, Mark

...Yeah, it doesn't have that -edge-. Not just in the -sound- but in the highs of the -reverb-. One thing when you mentioned being in an empty hall is that you hear the ringing of the high freqs in the reverberations notes even more than the note itself. Almost like a sitar drone. I wonder if there's a way to emphasize the highs of the verb just on the top notes without washing out the bass (which needs a bit of edge too, IMHO).

But I love the piece.



PS: So how come you're still using a digital piano if you have that flash new studio? ;)

PPS: Any word on EFT?

Mark Edmonds

Active Member
Thank you everyone for your feedback - it is really appreciated :D

One thing I completely forgot to mention though is that is my first real attempt at balancing a mix having completed the acoustic treatment in my studio room. Therefore, this is also an exercise in translation.

I am encouraged that no one has mentioned any flaws like boom, muddiness or harshness. Basically, I am mixing as I hear it except the bass (sub ~200Hz) where I have two problems - one is the room size plus monitor position and the other is the monitors themselves (Mackie HR824s) which IMO are very poor at delivering the true character in the lows. They can tend to sound like someone banging on dead leather so I have a big learning curve to get through with the bottom end. A piano is still critical in the bass and I have to criticise the current sound as being too bland in the bottom octaves. Where is that resonance between the strings, the twang, the interaction which gives the long strings their character? It isn't there and this is where the digital piano is failing.

I've done some more work on opening up the sound - getting it more \"clangy\" if you like but I'm not happy that it is ready yet. I'll post when it is.

@Admin - I tried finding some heckling noise off a DVD to mix in (there is some great heckling in the circus scene from A Bug's Life but it has background music). It would be quite funny to add in and although I'm 100% morbidly serious about getting the sound right, I have no qualms about having fun at the same time! :)

@JC - Yes, its a really sweet piece. Gershwin is one of my piano heros. Tragic he died so young but he left a fantastic legacy of genuine piano classics if you look past the show songs.

No real piano? Well, I simply couldn't afford a decent one plus I wasn't confident how it would sound in the new room and then there is the expense of microphones and pre-amp on top. It had to be digital for this generation of studio.

EFT - no reply from Doug. I've mailed him twice and then I decided to read the license agreement and found it clearly states non-transferable. He is probably tut-tutting me for not reading it in the first place!

@All - thanks again for taking the time to download and listen!

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