how to record piano playing

Usually when you’re mixing an instrument, you’re actually making it sound worse in solo. Then a fast attack would be good. The “quality potential” for any track is dictated by how well was recorded. Turn all of your mics down, then bring them in one-by-one. You’ll probably be able to see that the peaks and troughs aren’t lining up. You just need go straight to the Video Editing step in the workflow (you’ll find good choices of apps to edit a simple video file right on your device – or you can download onto your computer and edit there). Doing this makes your instruments feel like they are being played in the same “space,” gluing them together a little more. That means you don’t have to apply the exact same plugins to each microphone. It also makes your piano feel more “glued together,” since you’re processing all of your mics together on the same plugins. Some people get a little carried away when they record piano. The device will automatically use the plugged in microphone over the built in one for you. Is your piano more percussive, meant to supplement the drums and bass with more bounce? How to Master a Song at Home (in 14 Easy Steps). To learn how to do this, check out our guide to volume balancing: This is more of a piece of advice than a full-blown step, but it needs to be said either way. (or Get It Right at the Source). I was using the Voice Memos app previously, but the sound was distorted. An app such as this enables you to control your device’s camera much better – more accurately setting focus, exposure, frames per second etc. Both get superb reviews, have free versions and give you all the basic things I’ve shown you in my videos on editing in iMovie. I’d be inclined to go for this given my experience with the MV 88 and also because Shure are a good quality brand. Synchronising them is fairly straightforward. If it’s subtle, 3-4 dB’s will do. I did a series of posts around how to record your piano playing at home using your smartphone. So believe me, making the instruments fit together nicely is much more important than making them all sound good in a vacuum. If you recorded your piano at home, there is likely going to be room resonances that have been captured in the sound. Without further ado, let’s take a look at my favorite mics for recording the piano. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), you’ll never get a reasonable quality of sound. Is it the main instrument? If you’re in a situation where you have a DAW and it’s computer-driven, you have to … Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about recording a piano. You can save the file and listen to the recording whenever you like. Whether you are recording for practice purposes, or you are recording a cover to upload to YouTube, these tips will come in handy. Writer at Musician on a Mission. The “quality potential” for any track is dictated by how well was recorded. Use these tips each time you record, and don’t be afraid to do multiple takes with different camera positions, lighting, and sound. The simplest way to record acoustic piano while minimizing the amount of expensive piano recording equipment that you need to purchase is to use an audio interface and DAW, or digital audio workstation. How to Record MIDI Piano. That’s a topic for another post. bad, I’ll cut 12dB’s or more. If so, it’ll be fine. There have been countless times where I’ve mixed an electric guitar or a snare drum in context of the mix, only to solo it and think “”…Man. Piano Practice eBooks by Graham Fitch – expert practice advice. I’ll usually make a cut of 6dB’s or so. Take your high pass filter and cut the low end out. Each brand and combination of equipment will give you slightly different options so you’ll need to do a little experimentation of course. Enjoy the sound of a world-class Grand Piano where notes are played using your computer's keyboard or mouse. You can do all your mixing on this one bus. Your attack times are going to depend on the sound you want as well. ; Keep your sound and tempo under control with the dedicated Sustain, Metronome, and Tempo buttons. I want to record her playing. If you find any, you’re going to want to cut those. Firstly, you are distracted by playing. Inside this new free masterclass, you’ll learn the secret to making radio-ready music at home. You should hear a lot more bottom end now! You can't judge what its potential will be for a recording if you are playing it yourself. Well, you might also kick yourself of not knowing this till now. One mic will likely be your primary tone, whereas the other mics will add color. I can then edit the audio file separately. The lid is only there to bounce the sound out into the hall when you're playing live with an orchestra." But you never use any instrument other than your keyboard and the sounds that came with it. The problem with using a phone is you will likely record a lot of unwanted noise that will spoil the quality of your piano playing. Thanks. ). But if the piano is recorded really well, then even a novice mixer can make it shine! Before we continue… I’m guessing you’re here because you want to make music that sounds professional. You need to find the ‘speed editor’ control in your video software as anything more than a minute or two long tends to get out of synch. And because pianos have such a huge range of keys, they’re a common culprit for muddying up the low end. This is the basic workflow that I’ve taken you through in the other posts. Is your piano more of a background instrument, meant to fill up the arrangement? Of course, the obvious problem is this: what if you can’t hear the instrument? Is it the bass? However, if the waveforms are “out-of-phase,” then the peaks are in line with the troughs. The last piece of the equation is some video editing software to put all the pieces together. If you’re sending all of your tracks to one room reverb, then don’t forget to send the piano as well. Having that many sound sources is just going to muddy up your mix! Follow these 10 steps to get your piano sounding full, balanced, and professional. If you’re read this far, then don’t forget to download Volume 1 of my free eBook series. Another reason could be that you are being commissioned to make a soundtrack for a video, a game, or website, or you are going to sell your music to a royalty-free library. When I play a note (or chord) on my digital piano, the note or chord that I am playing shows up on a grand staff within the application. I know this is a little bit cheap. Follow these 10 steps to get your piano sounding full, balanced, and profes. What’s really good about both Audio and Video editing software is that they all look extremely similar. Then hit play. You might be able to use your DSLR or compact camera if you have one … or use this as the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a new phone. They aren’t expensive and are a well worth the investment. I’m sure you’ll have done this many times but, if not, just have a google for how to do it … there are literally hundreds of options and the best one will really depend which computer and phone or tablet you have. Phase is basically how the location of two similar waveforms react with each other. View all posts by this author. It’s a paid app – around £20 on the UK Apple App Store. However, the basic principles hold true and, as you’ll see, even the different pieces of software you might want to use are incredibly similar. Finally, we’re going to push the piano back in the mix using reverb. They’ll only be hearing it. Balancing your piano’s volume is going to go best if you work on the whole mix’s balance at the same. Please help me. You are routing each of your piano mics into one single track. I’m not going to go into the proper way to record piano here. To record your video, your Android Device or Tablet will almost certainly have built in Video Recording capability – I’m sure you’ve used it before if not for video then to take pictures. Mixing can seem overwhelming, time-consuming and downright frustrating… if you don’t have a process to follow. Nowadays, basic recording is as simple and available as photography, thanks to the smartphone and tablet. Ezra Kanarick played Mary Had A Little Lamb in 11.30 seconds on a baby piano while holding a pomelo in his non-playing hand. In that case, you’ll probably want 2-3dB’s of gain reduction and a lower ratio, like 3:1. You’ll want to control it less so that it stays dynamic and intimate. I’m sure first time piano sound mixers will appreciate your advice. If it’s really bad, I’ll cut 12dB’s or more. Is it the melody? Before I start mixing an instrument, I’ll put a gain plugin with 5 dB’s of extra volume at the end of the plugin chain. Every time we happen to see a video with someone playing a classical piano composition, we can notice the artist plays a beautiful coda or grand coda piano, and normally we see very prestigious brands. My Mom is 92 years old, plays a Steinway Baby Grand piano in our living room. This is a complete step-by-step guide to the kit you need and how to connect it so you can make a great, high quality recording of yourself playing digital piano … First, check that the keyboard or piano you are using is MIDI compatible. If you find any, you’re going to want to cut those. I usually leave it somewhere between 150 and 250 Hz. Piano is tough to get right. How to Record a Piano. It’s got the greatest range of any instrument, making it more complicated than most. I want to record her playing. Doing this makes your instruments feel like they are being played in the same “space,” gluing them together a little more. Literally on the verge of tears over here. You will need to experiment with the position of the recorder, the angle of the microphones and the record level until you get a good enough result. Also, take note of where those instruments were boosted themselves. Songwriter and producer. While you’re mixing, DO NOT solo the piano. So go and check it out now. Services such as DropBox and Google Drive provide useful ways of moving files if you can’t do it directly. The volume is increased in this sound, but that’s it. Share this page: By Dave Martin on Nov 19, 2019, 8:00 AM. To mix the reverb in, turn the fader of the reverb aux track all the way down. Mixing is a powerful step in the production process, but without building a foundation of good recordings. This article is for you if you want to record the actual sound of your keyboard or digital piano on your computer, iPad or iPhone. By the end of this guide, however, you’ll feel confident about getting your piano to sit perfectly in the mix. Once your mics are recorded, you’re going to need to route them to a bus. the main low end instrument of your song. Watch this free masterclass and get a complete framework — or “blueprint” — for professional mixes. I’ve received some good feedback that they have proved useful to my fellow pianists. If you’re a windows user, then there is a free application called Audacity which does the same things – including the ability to use pre-sets rather than needing to work out complicated settings yourself. The first is a Tripod (or two if you are recording audio and video on separate devices) and the second is an adaptor (or two) to hold your devices). By the end of this guide, however, you’ll feel confident about getting your piano to sit perfectly in the mix. I own an iPhone, iPad and desk top Mac and Mac lap top. Of a total of 2,500 submissions, 88 inventions were chosen, all built by engineers and schoolchildren. Japanese composer Akira Yamaoka is known for his use of sinister piano music, especially on the soundtrack for horror genre breakthrough game Silent Hill. These are frequencies that are naturally accentuated by the room you’re in. Your piano is likely not the main low end instrument of your song. Next, you need a Microphone. I showed you how to do this using Garageband in two posts (with associated videos) – one to add Reverberation and another to add Equalisation. If so, then you’re going to love this new free masterclass. Fast attacks thicken an instrument and push them further back in the mix. In fact, lots of tripods now come with one of these for free – and it’ll be fine for your phone. If you have a really busy mix, panning the piano to one area can be great. Its user interface has many similarities to Garageband as you’ll see and there are lots of tutorials available on YouTube. To get ideas about what’s possible when editing, I recommend you check out my post on Simple Video editing … whatever application you end up using the main things will be extremely similar. While that’s great if there are very few instruments, that can be problematic if you have a dense arrangement. But if the piano is recorded really well, then even a novice mixer can make it shine! One way to record a piano is to attempt to capture its sound within a suitable room acoustic, as naturally as possible using ambient microphone techniques. 2) Then cut that place in all the other instruments. I then save the result to a new file which I subsequently use for my main editing. Just adjust the send amount on the channel to dictate how far back you want to push the channel. If the piano is recorded badly, then even the greatest mixer in the world will only get a so-so sound. Condenser mics are usually the best choice for a clean, natural sound. Your piano might be meant for the background, so you’ve made it really quiet. It saves on time and CPU. Don’t forget to click on the record button to start the recording process. You can perfectly well record the Audio and Video on the same device, into the same file. That’s it for compression. Mrityunjay Sharma (India) completed his attempt on a Korg proffesional arranger PA300 keyboard. First we’ll record the Video and the Audio (either on one device or simultaneously on two different devices). A school bus picks up each of the students at their houses and then takes them to a single place – the school. Writer at Musician on a Mission. Try using an attack between 20-40ms. Mixing is a powerful step in the production process, but without building a foundation of good recordings, you will not get good mixes. Play with the volume levels until you like how the piano is sounding in context of the mix. Record Video While Playing Music. Before any mixing begins, the first thing you have to do is…. Out-of-phase waveforms lose their bottom end, sounding thin and unnatural in the process. Much love. Outside of GIRATS (Getting It Right At The Source), Usually when you’re mixing an instrument, you’re actually making it sound, in solo. Here’s an important thing to cover: there’s not one way to compress a piano. Piano is tough to get right. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Even the phrase “Grand Piano” evokes a sense of majesty, of power, of complexity. Then, go to your other major instruments, like your kick, snare, guitars, and vocals. That sounds terrible!”. If it’s a ballad, the piano is probably more full and subtle. You can download Volume 1 here – which covers the basics of getting yourself set up to record and produce a credible result without needing to use a laptop or any kind of slightly more involved technique. But if the piano is recorded really well, then even a novice mixer can make it shine! Just like learning the piano, learning to record yourself takes practice. Share . GarageBand allows adjusting the recording input level on the slider called "IN", so I figured this would prevent distorted recordings. They’ll suck the lifeblood out of an instrument. This causes low and low-mid frequencies to get lost. Your email address will not be published. No need to make fifteen cuts or anything – just pick the most important three. Because sound moves at a consistent speed, if one microphone is slightly farther away from the sound than the other microphone, then the first mic will record the sound of the piano slightly earlier than the second mic. If the piano is recorded badly, then even the greatest mixer in the world will only get a so-so sound. The piano is not a one-size-fits-all instrument! So, if you want to learn the *exact* steps that will take your mixes to a professional standard in under a year…. Of course, your piano might be the main bass instrument of the song. Picture: 88 pianists Together with nine other top UK universities, they attended and worked with primary schools from across the UK to design the mechanisms. This is the only time I’ll say you really do need to think about external equipment. Different microphone positions and techniques can produce wildly different results, and the recording environment can have a large effect on the sound as well. We then take the combined file and do the overall Video Editing before exporting the result so that we can share it. You’ll still be mixing in the context of the rest of the instruments! Now that we’ve scooped the goop out of the sound, let’s move on to compression. I’m not going to go into the proper way to record piano here. When you solo an instrument while mixing it, you’re doing all of your work out of the context of your mix. This is because they are designed to look like the physical equipment that was used previously and the commands tend to use the same terms that people were using long before the computer age (things like splitting, trimming, plugins etc.). The more you practice it, the better results you will get. So, you can record yourself playing the melody of a song with a piano sound on Track 1, followed by the drum part on Track 2, and then the guitar part on Track 3. For Mac Users, there is iMovie (which is free). For instance, keep one mic panned 50% to the left and the other panned 50% to the right during the verses. ; Discover our growing list of free Interactive Songs and experience the joy of playing popular pieces like a professional pianist. Recording a Grand Piano. Of course, you don’t need to do the audio editing- you can record both the audio and video on the same device and move straight onto the video editing step. Then you can pick the one that turned out the best. Setup. If you’re using a piano with multiple microphones, try automating your panning during the choruses to be a little wider than the verses. This will serve as an advantage on recording a full band music with an easy-to-use interface. It all depends on how the instrument serves the song. There are so many factors with a live acoustic piano. I recently received a request through a Facebook Group asking could I do something which would show how to record on a ‘Tablet’. If everything is processed perfectly but the volume’s aren’t balanced, it won’t matter how meticulously you did you EQ…. The MIDI in and the MIDI out lines are both plugged into the piano and the USB is in my computer. So let’s go through that process with the piano. If you are an Instagram or a Snapchat user then this is going to be really easy and quick for you. Firstly, you are distracted by playing. An audio interface is a form of hardware used in audio recording and production. Just keep your piano with a smaller stereo field during the verses. It’s a pretty simple process. The frequencies lost due to out-of-phase mics can’t be fixed with an EQ. I hope this has given you some ideas about how you can convert the advice in my very ‘Apple’ device videos – just remember that whatever equipment or software you use, it will be incredibly similar. Now that our phasing has been handled, let’s balance our piano with the rest of the band. Are Online Piano Performance Workshops a good idea? This is excellent information and I appreciate the details you shared. Either that could mean panning the mics to both be in the same area – say 50% to the right – or narrowing the stereo field by panning one mic 100% to the right and leaving the other directly in the middle. As there are probably hundreds of different types of tablets, phones and computers on the market. If your two waveforms are perfectly out of phase from each other, flipping the waveform will put them perfectly back in phase. One of the best ways to find these room resonances is to grab your EQ, boost one of the bands to +12dB, set the Q around 5, and sweep around the frequency spectrum to listen for areas that sound louder than the rest. By 'good auditorium', I mean one in which the piano sounds good to the ear. And if similar waveforms are out of sync… that causes phasing. My piano is a Yamaha Clavinova and my laptop is a Dell Inspiron. There are so many factors with a live acoustic piano. The best thing to do is to try it out – just record something on the standard camera app and have a look at the video you get … are you happy? If you just want an easy way to record your piano, you could try to use Music Memos instead of GarageBand. Luckily, there is a good range available that will work easily with a variety of different equipment. ContentsWant your mixes to sound pro?Step 1: GIRATS! Digital recording and sequencing programs allow you to record on several different tracks. Think about this while you’re balancing the piano volume. Bussing’s an incredible thing. Then when I’m done, I just turn it off. Have fun with it! The choice between wide-diaphragm or pencil condensers is a matter of taste, but pencil condensers are a little more common. It’s got the greatest range of any instrument, making it more complicated than most. This ensures they are synchronised first. Start “Audacity” and play whatever you want to on your keyboard. The scoffing students have a right to scoff, for earlier this year they broke the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people playing the same piano simultaneously, with 16 young musicians jam-packed gathered round the keyboard (that’s 32 hands on the piano keys for us mathematically challenged folks). Getting the Right Angle: How to Record Video for Piano Players January 19th at 11:05am on students, teachers, videos, recording, visualize Please Share With Your Colleague, Families, Students Twitter Facebook Google+. Our next step is to control the dynamics of the piano with a compressor. Once you’ve got your tone sounding good, use the volume fader on your piano bus to balance the piano with the rest of the instruments. That’s usually the sweet spot. Some people pan the piano mics hard left and right to get the biggest stereo field. I record the Audio and Video separately simply because it means I can put the microphone in the best place possible to capture the sound and put the camera elsewhere. BONUS STEP: Make Your Choruses Pop with Automation, Making sure the original tracks are recorded well, Controlling the dynamics with compression, Using range allocation to make your piano fit in the mix, 15 Best Amp Simulators of 2020 (Most Realistic Amp Sims), How to Mix Vocals: The Definitive Guide [15 Steps], Vocal Compression: Learn How to Mix Like the Pros, Gain Staging: 9 Tips to Supercharge Your Mix, The Best Vocal Plugins of 2020 (No Matter Your Budget), How to Use EQ: 10 Amazing Tips for a Professional Mix, How to Use a Compressor: The Easy to Follow Guide, How To EQ Vocals: 5 Steps to Professional Vocals, Home Recording Studio Setup [8 Essentials You REALLY Need], The 3 Types of Microphones You NEED to Know. What it really comes down to are these two questions: how busy is your mix? Next step is to cut the low end from your piano. If you have a grand piano, like I do, you should open the lid and point the recorder into the piano. Slower attacks don’t thicken an instrument, but they do make them more punchy. And if you’re recording for a film soundtrack or iTunes sales, you definitely needprofessional qualityaudio recording, though for keeping track of your rehearsing progress or mocki… This volume will be helpful as you work through your set up. Don’t try to learn piano music that is too difficult. Another thing to think about is how to transfer files from one device to another (so from your phone to your computer for example). It’s easy to adjust as I showed you in my video on Reverberation. So, you’ve put in the practice, you have your recording space set up…Now it’s time to record! These days this approach is primarily used for classical music recordings, where the intent is effectively to recreate a 'best seat in the auditorium' sound for the listener at home. You’re just using a magnifying glass on that particular sound. So first things first: mute any unnecessary mics you have. Well, as we’ve said, piano is somewhat difficult to record, but even more so, it can be difficult to find a great piano to record. 1) Find a place where the instrument sounds good and boost. That title usually goes to the kick or bass guitar. If so, then you’re going to love this new free masterclass. Best DAW 2020: Which Digital Audio Workstation Works Best For You? I’d recommend using a small-to-medium sized room reverb with a reverb time of under 2 seconds. So fix it before it’s ever a problem. That’s one of the most important lessons to learn with compression: the amount of compression you use varies by genre. In case you are not using these apps, download and install … You’ll find a great range of tripods on Amazon for example. Songwriter and producer. Next up, let’s get our piano fitting well in the mix. How loud you want it will depend on the nature of the song. Grab one of the audio files and nudge it a bit to where the peaks and troughs line up. Probably any tablet or smartphone will have a good enough camera. First, zoom in as far as you can on both of your waveforms. The frequencies lost due to out-of-phase mics can’t be fixed with an EQ. By 'good auditorium', I mean one in which the piano sounds good to the ear. Is listening to recordings good for piano students? Let me know in the comments how you get on …. Learn how to use your time more efficiently in this free training video. Using it is a matter of tapping the Record button. I'm trying to record an acoustic upright piano using GarageBand on my iPhone. It should sound good when someone else is playing it. If you already understand all of these things, then it’s worth thinking about as the result will be better than just the standard camera app. An optional extra is to edit your audio file. I use the Shure MV88 which is specifically aimed at iOS devices. If you want to go a step further, Apple mak… In that case, just move the filter up until you can start to hear the attack of your low notes begin to dull. As for your release times, you’ll want to time them with the tempo of the track. Once you find a space that makes the piano sound better, give it a wide boost of around 3dB’s. I’ll usually make a cut of 6dB’s or so. Strangely, not the ‘physical’ size, but the size in terms of Mega Pixels. I usually start around 100ms and move it left to right to see what sounds best. Upright Piano. Reply World piano playing record broken. Finally, you need an adaptor to hold the phone or tablet on the tripod. Recording piano can be one of the trickier things to get right in the studio. I look forward to seeing the results of your own efforts. This isn’t even a mixing step. Range allocation is one of the best ways to get all the instruments in your mix to sit well with each other. First, we need a Camera. First, use an EQ sweep to find an area that sounds good: Boosting in the low end will give it more roundness. Outside of GIRATS (Getting It Right At The Source), Balancing is BY FAR the most important step in the mix. For example, built into Apple’s iOS is an app called Voice Memos. I’ve received some good feedback that they have proved useful to my fellow pianists. I’m always astonished at how little pianists seem to use this capability when it can boost your piano skills and cut down … Same thing with chords. Your approach hinges on your answers. If two similar waveforms are “in-phase,” then the peaks and troughs of the waves are lined up with each other. It should sound good when someone else is playing it. If it’s just for practicing or recording ideas quickly, maybe do it that way. Take your time to find the places where the mics sound best. So, if you want a shortcut to pro-quality mixes, watch this free masterclass now: But if you just want to learn all about Earplugs specifically, keep reading. So for example, if I play a middle C note on my piano, the middle C note shows up notated between the bass and treble clef. You can do everything just right and still end up with music that sounds amateur if you’re missing a crucial step. What works on Apple … I did a series of posts around how to record your piano playing at home using your smartphone. These are frequencies that are naturally accentuated by the room you’re in. Of a total of 2,500 submissions, 88 inventions … Don’t just throw a few mics up and start banging away at the piano. MIDI tracks record the pressed keys and the sound volume, but use DAW to set the tone. Some very basic audio editing will be possible in your Video Editing software. Again, you’ll find a good range of these on Amazon. The Tablet in question was not an iPad. Most recording studios will use MIDI in one way or another. Want your mixes to sound pro? And boosting in the highs will give it more clarity and “air.”. RECORDING Note / MIDI Recording. It says the cord is connected but I can't find out how to record the piano to the laptop. You’ll probably want 4-6dB’s of gain reduction and a higher ratio, like 5:1. Nick Boxwell Videographer Next, we’re going to find anything nasty that’s hiding in the frequency range of the piano.

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