View Full Version : Piano sound issue

Dan Topic
02-11-2015, 02:57 PM
Hi guys.
Very often I struggle with piano sound. Some crackling appears even though the piano is at low volume with no peaks. It's in the tail of the played note, sometimes hardly audible but still it's there.
It's not over-compressed, over-gained but certain chords always reveal it.
Don't know how to get rid of it. Any idea?

You can hear it here at 2:06 - 2:16 min


Dan Topic
02-11-2015, 03:02 PM
Also I'd like to add that it sounds good when played on high quality equipment but some not-top speakers or headphones shows this crackling. Could it be caused by some sum of harmonics that not all output equipment can handle?

02-11-2015, 03:37 PM
I would think you just need to cut some frequencies in the piano track and adjust levels. Maybe even need to automate some.

02-11-2015, 07:25 PM
Ye the first thing im thinking of as well is frequency resonance.

Its really easy to get frequencies building up, and since most of us are on high end system trough which we monitor our sound and cause get used to those nasty build ups in the proces of production, it can stay unnoticed fairly easy.

Frquencies that i find are particular problematic are the 1.2, 2,5 & 5khz ranges. In relation to the piano in question those ranges sound rather on the higher end, but it very well could be that there is a really short maybe even a 5ms transient that manages to pop trough in the higher range. If there are any other instruments within that same range then indeed you get harmonics, thus freq build ups that actually dont sound that harmonic at all :P

Apart from that, every material has its own resonant frequentie. A piece of glass can be shatterd if the freq played is in perfect resonance with the glass for example.
Same aplies to the materials being used in speakers. So if there is a particular frequenty resonating with the material, it very well could strenghten the effect.

And minor peaks offcourse. But saying that it isnt particular peaky leads me to believe that that isnt the case.

I did notice it does "popped out" quite a bit on my headphones, but it felt like it was more of an fast attack thing then a volume thing. So, trying out slightly longer attack times (above 20ms) is worth trying?

Dan Topic
02-11-2015, 09:35 PM
Thanks for your thoughts guys. I appreciate your professional approach.
Matt: The piano volume isn't high, it even doesn't reach -3db level at the highest frequency peak. But still, the crackling is there. Even lowering the volume doesn't help much. When the crackling disappear you hardly hear the piano itself...
Osmose: The strange thing is, the accent that has the highest velocity and fast attack doesn't cause the crackling. It's audible in long sustained notes only. But... now I'm thinking about it.. it could be the attack but reverbed or delayed... perhaps.

I'll try to tweak it yet once with your advices, guys, in mind. Thanks again!

02-11-2015, 09:56 PM
Mm, ye a short attack trough a reverb could pose a problem but that should be noticeable on all systems and especially when the piano is solod.
Either way, good luck with it!

02-16-2015, 02:49 PM
Cant really say I can hear it.. What instrument are you using? Is it sampled stuff? Can it be heard with piano soloed or is it in the mix?

02-16-2015, 03:31 PM
Just had a listen on my hifi system, which is no were close to perfect. I still think it's an attack issue.

You could try lessening the attack with Kong's transient shaper.