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I need to make an audio recording of performing vocal and piano (acoustic piano, two different performers), using the "pocket studio" recorder (Tascam DR-07MKI if the model matters). I cannot bring any larger equipment or connect external microphones.

This recorder has two condenser microphones on the top. These microphones can be rotated to cross together or moved widely apart (this appears to be a common feature of many such recorders).

The manual talks very briefly something about X/Y and A/B modes but does not even clarify which one is which, leave alone when to use one or another. I tried some test recordings, both configuration do record sound. From Wikipedia, seems that X/Y is a "crossed" and A/B is a "opened" position. This still leaves the question about the optimal setup unanswered.

Which microphone setup (crossed together or flipped apart) should normally be used for recording piano and singer playing together in relatively silent room at close distance?

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You may also want to try this question on the SE Sound Design forum as well. That is a little more geared toward these types of hardware questions and the connection to your end result. – Basstickler Apr 17 '14 at 14:03
@Basstickler I found out the hard way that duplicate questions on multiple stack exchanges are not allowed :/ – Alexander Troup Apr 17 '14 at 16:44
@AlexanderTroup - I see. Well then my suggestion would be that if you don't get an answer you like it could be migrated there, which I assume would be ok. – Basstickler Apr 17 '14 at 16:56
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Since you'e not going to end up with piano in one channel and vox in the other, it's personal choice. Whichever way, you're going to end up with some piano and some vox in each channel. It will depend on things like how far apart the two are, whether the piano is much louder than the vox, what the acoustics of the room are like - bright, with sound echoing off the walls, or dull, with some frequencies somewhat muted, if the piano is against a wall or the back is exposed to the mics (assuming it's an upright!).There's only one way to find out...

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