Piano Recording Method
Paul's new album is out! The Broken Mirror of Memory, winner of the International Clarinet Association composition prize. “Profound and deeply moving” —Eric Mandat in _The Clarinet._ Now available.

There's been some interest in how I make the recordings on In the Hands, so here's an explanation. It's my hope that this information not only satisfies the idle curiosity of those who want to know what the process looks like, but also helps make it possible for other pianists to produce recordings of their own.

Historically, making a good recording has been an expensive proposition, and even an individual who could afford a decent recording had few and poor options for distribution. Recording and distributing music thus remained almost exclusively the domain of record companies, and the musical landscape is currently dominated by a few musicians with very large audiences.

This has the potential to change right now, in a way it did not even ten years ago. Recording equipment is dramatically cheaper than it used to be: not including the computer, my recording setup is only around 1600 USD — not peanuts, certainly, but within reach of a dedicated individual with musical ideas to share. And the Internet gives individuals a viable distribution mechanism that is both more effective and less expensive than printing physical media — and has a very low fixed cost, meaning that it's easy to start small.

I don't believe that individuals distributing their music online are likely to become musical superstars, at least not as we think of a “star” now; rather, I hope that the musical landscape becomes one of numerous musicians with active, engaged audiences of moderate size.

I'm doing my best to make that happen. This guide is an overview of the technical details of how I'm doing it.

  1. Instrument
  2. Microphones
  3. Recording and Editing
  4. Mixing & Mastering
  5. Results

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