It is quite daunting to lay out cash .... 1) for 2 days at a particular venue; 2) for a good instrument; 3) for good mics; 4) for good USE of the equipment (mic levels, placement, et. al.)
Starting with the MOST IMPORTANT variable 5) ability at the instrument ... answer... no worries!!!
The other variables? Well, based on what little I have learned over the last 3 weeks of torture...renting ALL manner of microphones: Schoeps, Coles, AKG (various), Rodes (your nt5), etc., etc., etc... they are NOT all that different in terms of the end result..... (sue me) (Granted, ribbon mics are a different kettle... but small diaphram condensers? Well, mass production in China has made this game zero sum.)
Much more important is 1. the musical "material" 2. the type of mics employed on site (small card, medium card, small omni, medium omni, long ribbon, short ribbon, etc., etc., ) 3. the PLACEMENT of said mics. 4. the MIXING of the auditory results from each individual mic post performance/recording.
ALSO 1/ Slow, less dense piano music is a MUCH, MUCH easier starting point to the end of making a good to "state of the art" cd ready result. Just SO much easier to solve accoustically; 2. Microphone choice: A mid-high end (medium sized condensor) mic like the AKG 414 is made to be flexible (omni, card, etc ) but is NOT easy to use. The small diaphram condensor mics, your Rodes, will do the trick (make a pro. cd) much more easily. Typically, what the pro engineers (like Didier) will do is surround the piano with 4 or more mics, and MIX the result afterwards, to get the RIGHT balance between precise, closer-to-instrument tone and the venue ambience, which is equally critical to a getting a sensational CD sound.
Fortunately, the bar is (in my humble view) very low for solo classical piano recordings. Until you've heard, for example, little known CDs like Bunin's Bach compilation recorded in the early 90s, by who-knows?, you don't know how spectacular a well-recorded piano can sound. Such glories are few and far between. Even Barenboim, with his phenomenal abilities at the piano, his dedication to the art of the great recording, etc.., etc., has not (sue me) released a spectacular technical recording. They tend to be just "very, very good" and, naturally, just awe-inspiring pianism.
It's almost a lucky strike proposition, and I wish you much luck in it. You've got the chops. So you just want, in the end, for THAT to shine through, notwithstanding the vagaries of "recording the instrument." Getting over that hurdle.... that's going to take you a LONG way!!
Last edited by johnlewisgrant on Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.