Experimental Recording Techniques: How to Get Funky Auto-Filtered Acoustic Piano Sounds

Earlier this month, we stopped by Rax Trax Recording here in Chicago for an episode of Experimental Recording Techniques with Noam Wallenberg that focused on piano. Noam, with the help of Vulfpeck's Woody Goss on piano, demonstrated how to create a lo-fi, warbly piano sound using an acoustic piano and a Leslie speaker. Today, we're revisiting the track we laid down for that earlier lesson to add some funky basslines.

Noam starts by mic'ing a very basic piano tone with a AKG contact microphone directly on the soundboard. That signal is then run through an 1176 compressor and then, finally, through an auto-filter—"Essentially a wah pedal," Noam told us—by Mutronics Ltd. called the Mutator.

After recording the effected signal, Noam runs it through the Vulf compressor to bring everything forward. The resulting effect sounds very similar to what you might get if you were to play your bassline with a synth, but the fact that it's an acoustic piano lends it a specific kind of character you couldn't get otherwise.

Be sure to check out the full video above, and let us know what you think in the comments below. Stay tuned for another episode of Experimental Recording Techniques coming soon.

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