As a pianist, home recordings are part and parcel of my musical life – they help me listen to myself and fix things in pieces, are great for performance prep, and finally, enable me to self-publish my pieces.
As luck would have it, the grand piano is one of the most acoustically complex instruments to capture. I wanted something that sounded good but didn’t require a degree in audio engineering to run. In my search I focused on finding a mic that captured the resonances in the piano, sounded good, was easy to use, and wasn’t cost prohibitive.
I ended up experimenting with a condenser mic, and later the iPad mic – neither of which sounded good enough consistently for me to regularly record and publish with. The best option is of course to have a set of mics strategically placed on the piano’s soundboard to capture the sounds well – but that’s both difficult to set up as well as expensive (the equipment runs for a couple thousand dollars).
I finally found the Olympus LS-100 Recorder that sounded great while recording, and didn’t cost an arm and leg by comparison.