Subj: thanks from ben folds
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 12:15:03 AM
my name is Ben folds. my band, ben folds five, a loud guitarless rock trio, carried a grand piano to small gigs from 1994-1997 until we had a few hits and could afford crew to move the piano. i've always used helpinstills. i've never used a digital piano. i think they're awful. we've managed to acquire 3 sets of helpinstills from the 70's, which are installed in my various pianos for touring. i want to thank you for inventing the pickup in the first place and for coming back to make some more. honestly, these pickups have helped make my career possible. thanks again. we'll buy a few sets soon.
I have been a professional performance audio since 1986 and am the founding partner of Our Master's Voice Audio. We design and install professional performance audio systems primarily in contemporary worship churches. I have used a wide range of high end microphones and BB pickups on grand pianos for years, with customer pleasing results, but as for achieving the results that I would find personally acceptable I was always wanting more. Our company recently finished the 24kW system in my home church the Chippewa Evangelical Free Church where the worship is of a contemporary nature. Last year at the NAMM show we were talking to some of the gurus of the 88's and learned that the Helpinstill product was available again. Today we received and installed our Model 180. In my near 20 years in pro audio, I can not remember being so impressed with the performance of a product! This pickup is like having 88 microphones on the grand and not having any comb filtering or phase issues. Every string exhibits the same energy. The house system has 10kW on the aux driven subs and the low strings were just so rich and full you could feel the piano engulf the room. Traditionally the piano has been such an integral part of Worship and remains so today even in the contemporary worship service. Now more than ever this acoustic instrument needs reinforcement and piano isolation to mix well with the other instruments both acoustic and amplified. With the Helpinstill pickup you can bring the "Grand" instrument to the place in the mix that it has rightfully earned and do it with ease and confidence that you are amplifying the natural timber of one of the finest instruments and can do so without risk of feedback of any kind.
Thank You for such a wonderful product, you can rest assured that I will recommend to all of our audio customers that the installation of a Helpinstill piano pickup is a very worthwhile investment.
I am the technical director and senior audio engineer at Coeur d' Alene Bible Church in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, located about 20 miles east of Spokane, Washington. We worship in a 2.5 year old facility that seats nearly 1000. A uniqueness of our building is that it was designed for sound and lighting FIRST and then for aesthetics. The sound system is based around Yamaha's DM2000 digital mixing console. Each worship service is multi-track recorded using an Alesis HD24 through a fiber optic connection from the DM2000. I was not satisfied with the piano recording track when trying to utilize microphones under the piano lid. Also, there was an older generation of members who disapproved of the "unnatural" re-enforced sound of the former mic setup. The Helpinstill system has made a huge improvement in our "live" sound as well as our recorded sound. The mic pickup is so natural sounding that most people are not aware that it is even being re-enforced! They think that I simply removed the mic's. True but only half the story! I would highly recommend the Helpinstill System for use in church music.
The pickup arrived the afternoon of our biggest show of the semester. Even though we had finished 3 days of rehearsals with mics and the Barcus Berry, as soon as I set it up and tried your pickup I switched it out and used it for the show. It sounded every bit a good as I remembered from years ago. Please look for another check to arrive shortly for three more systems for our other smaller recital halls.Again, thanks for all your help, and I will certainly talk up the pickup to all the touring acts and engineers who pass through the Berklee Performance Center, as well as all our engineering and production staff here at the college.
Today, I was able to install the pickup I ordered about 11 days ago on the grand piano in our church. The sound was incredible. The pastor kept bringing people out from the offices to hear the piano. He was so excited. Everyone was quite impressed. There are a few composers and quite a number of accomplished pianists in this church. They all took turns trying it out. Each one loved it. Needless to say, your product was a big hit!
I ordered a Model 120 pickup from you about 3 weeks ago for Second Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, AR. I would like to order another one! I am the technical director for the Jones Performing Arts Center at Ouachita Baptist University and we have a 9 foot Baldwin that I tested the pickup in. I was thoroughly impressed, excited and pleased!
Just to let you know, our church, Maple Valley Presbyterian in suburban Seattle, has been receiving several requests for references every month on the model 120 pick-up. I love the device and am happy to give my review.
Received the Model 120 pickup today...love it! Our Kawai baby grand sounds like a new instrument. And the sound is fuller with no feedback
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