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#1661046 - 04/16/11 02:51 AM "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio  
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To give yet another perspective on recorded sounds, I am including a new recording of a piece titled "In a Calm," played on the Kurzweil Mark Pro 3i, using Audacity.

And, the other piece, or "Romanza," was played on the Casio AP-620 and recorded using GarageBand, with its preset (default) recording levels.

Would like to know what the listener thinks of the music here (in these two very nostalgic pieces), as either one could be played in the lounge of an upscale bar, or, hotel. Both happen to be personal favorites:

1) "In a Calm"

http://www.box.net/shared/8gzo7g2806

2) "Romanza"

http://www.box.net/shared/e2e9ki82k7

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#1661066 - 04/16/11 04:11 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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I certainly prefer "In a Calm" over "Romanza". I think it has more light and shade and better thematic content. "Romanza" was a bit directionless for me. The piano sound of the Kurzweil is nicer to the ear than the Casio too. The Casio sounds artificial and like it's stuck on its ff sample most of the time.

#1661077 - 04/16/11 05:11 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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In Romanza, the SOUND is from a piano preset in Garageband, yes? I.e - you merely used the Casio as a MIDI controller - right?
(whatever it is, I agree - it sounds too biased towards forte timbres)

The Kurzy still sounds great, but it still lacks warmth and resonance IMHO.

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
#1661125 - 04/16/11 08:13 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: sullivang]  
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Originally Posted by sullivang
In Romanza, the SOUND is from a piano preset in Garageband, yes? I.e - you merely used the Casio as a MIDI controller - right?
(whatever it is, I agree - it sounds too biased towards forte timbres)


Oh, that would explain it - I hope that is, in fact, the case. I know Casios aren't top of the line, but I would expect a far better sound from their flagship model. Not that I've ever played a Casio.

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#1661129 - 04/16/11 08:26 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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I think the AP-620 has the same sounds as my PX-330, and that recording doesn't sound like my PX-330. smile

PV88: if the audio is from a Garage Band piano, I suggest you change the file name - it's misleading at the moment. (the audio source is more important than the MIDI controller)

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
#1661284 - 04/16/11 02:11 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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Originally Posted by pv88
To give yet another perspective on recorded sounds, I am including a new recording of a piece titled "In a Calm," played on the Kurzweil Mark Pro 3i, using Audacity. This performance should have better nuance, as it was recorded at a lower (recording) level than the other recordings.

And, the other piece, or "Romanza," was played on the Casio AP-620 and recorded using GarageBand, with its preset (or, default) recording levels. This performance contains much more overall resonance in the sound, although there is a lesser range of dynamics as compared with the other recordings.

Would like to know what the listener thinks of the music here (in these two very nostalgic pieces), as either one could be played in the lounge of an upscale bar, or, hotel. Both happen to be personal favorites, from my transcriptions collection:

1) "In a Calm"

http://www.box.net/shared/8gzo7g2806

2) "Romanza"

http://www.box.net/shared/e2e9ki82k7

Again, both pieces are original compositions / improvisations by another pianist (whose name is Victor), and I had professional transcriptions made so that I could play them. Victor has not written out (or, typeset) any scores for his performances.

#1661286 - 04/16/11 02:14 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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Originally Posted by pv88
..
And, the other piece, or "Romanza," was played on the Casio AP-620 and recorded using GarageBand, with its preset (or, default) recording levels....


Is this an audio recording from the Casio, using the Casio's internal sound or is this a MIDI, using Apple's "free" piano sample?

I'm also wondering why you'd use Audacity if you have Garage Band.

#1661496 - 04/16/11 08:49 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: ChrisA]  
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Chris (and, others above),

Didn't know that all of you were going to analyze / dissect my recordings as for technicalities, as that was not my primary intent in posting the pieces, here.

Doesn't anyone enjoy listening to good performances, and take in the music?

Anyway, to answer your question (Chris, that is), I only use two recording methods on either piano (Casio AP-620 / Kurzweil Mark Pro 3i) at present, and I use the following cables:

1) USB - from either Casio / Kurzweil - to USB port on the Mac.
2) Audio cable (stereo) -from either Casio / Kurzweil - to audio "in" on the Mac.

The two recording programs are:

1) GarageBand - which records via the USB cable.
2) Audacity (for Mac) - which records via an audio cable.

When recording to GarageBand all I do is select the "Piano" track in GarageBand, start it recording, and then sit down and play. On either piano, it is the same. (Easy enough, no hassles with other settings.)

As for Audacity, I open up a stereo audio track, start it, and sit down to play and record into it. (Easy enough, no hassles with other settings.)

Also, since I know very little about MIDI files (and how to edit them), and haven't found out as of yet how to use any of the other features in either GarageBand or Audacity, I basically just hit the "record" button.

Do not expect professional recording quality in these amateur recordings, as this is what you get.

#1661510 - 04/16/11 09:11 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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pv88:
Thanks.

When you recorded using GarageBand, you did not need the audio cables at all - you ONLY required the USB cable. (as far as I can tell). Your Casio was telling the piano preset in GarageBand what notes to play, the velocity, and GarageBand produced the sound. You only need the audio cables when you want to record the SOUND. USB does not carry sound (in your configuration) - it only carries "instructions".

I say again - it is misleading to have the AP-620 in the file name, because it was not the AP-620 that was making the sound at all. The file name should reflect the fact that it was GarageBand that actually made the sound. smile

Your playing is really wonderful - I'm sorry I didn't comment on the music. You should have the very best piano you can get! smile

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
#1661514 - 04/16/11 09:14 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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It's still an important consideration. People can't enjoy the music if the tone of the piano is annoying them or it barely even sounds like a piano. The Garageband recording sounds pretty bad to my ears. I don't know why you would record the Kurzweil with its audio sound, but use the Casio as just a MIDI controller. Why not record with the audio from the Casio too? And why even tell us it's the Casio if you aren't using the Casio sounds?

Just saying...

#1661518 - 04/16/11 09:28 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: sullivang]  
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Originally Posted by sullivang
pv88:
Thanks.

When you recorded using GarageBand, you did not need the audio cables at all - you ONLY required the USB cable. (as far as I can tell). Your Casio was telling the piano preset in GarageBand what notes to play, the velocity, and GarageBand produced the sound. You only need the audio cables when you want to record the SOUND. USB does not carry sound (in your configuration) - it only carries "instructions".

I say again - it is misleading to have the AP-620 in the file name, because it was not the AP-620 that was making the sound at all. The file name should reflect the fact that it was GarageBand that actually made the sound. smile

Your playing is really wonderful - I'm sorry I didn't comment on the music. You should have the very best piano you can get! smile

Greg.


Hi Greg,

Thanks for your compliment and comments, and I do believe that Audacity has been making better recordings from both pianos (as opposed to GarageBand), since Audacity only records the "audio" via an audio cable.

And, there is yet another reason as to why I am going to be saving back some cash to get the Roland "V"-Piano, as it has some of the best playability and longest natural decay of any DP.

Questions:

1) So what kind of sounds am I hearing on playback from GarageBand, since I am recording the Casio / Kurzweil into it, via the USB cable? In other words, what are GarageBand files, to begin with?

2) Are these GarageBand recordings "MIDI" files, or, something else? Since everyone has said that the recordings always sound too loud (ff) most of the time, with everything on one level. I have to agree with that.

All I can do (after recording) is to convert the GarageBand recording into an mp3 so that it is playable, on the Mac.

Please do explain the GarageBand "recorded" sounds, as I have no idea what they are.

Extra note:

Also, I think I tried recording into GarageBand with the audio cable (instead of USB) and it does not work. That is why I found and have been using Audacity, since it yields better recording results, via a stereo audio cable.

All of this has been very confusing to say the least, since I am not a "techie" with regard to recording software.

#1661527 - 04/16/11 09:43 PM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: ando]  
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Originally Posted by ando
It's still an important consideration. People can't enjoy the music if the tone of the piano is annoying them or it barely even sounds like a piano. The Garageband recording sounds pretty bad to my ears. I don't know why you would record the Kurzweil with its audio sound, but use the Casio as just a MIDI controller. Why not record with the audio from the Casio too? And why even tell us it's the Casio if you aren't using the Casio sounds?

Just saying...


Hi ando,

I agree with everything you say, here. I know that the "audio" from either piano is going to yield the best results, and will continue to use Audacity instead.

#1661646 - 04/17/11 03:05 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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pv88:
Here's a MIDI/Audio FAQ: http://www.midiguy.com/midiguy.shtml
(I haven't actually read it, but it looks like it might help).

I've never used GarageBand, but from what Chris is saying, it should be able to record audio, just like Audacity. It appears that you are probably doing something wrong.

When you created the Romanza recording, GB was using the note information that your Casio sent to it over the USB cable, to create the audio. While you were actually playing, GB was recording the NOTES you played - not the audio. I.e - GB had recorded what notes you played, when you played then, and how hard you played them. It also recorded when you pressed the sustain pedal. Etc etc. When you converted it to MP3, GB processed this MIDI information in a similar way to how a digital piano would. I.e - if you think of a digital piano as having a small computer that interprets the notes you play, and creates the audio - GB is doing the same thing. You're simply replacing that section of your digital piano with the external computer that is running GB.

Now, I wonder what you were actually hearing DURING the actual performance, when you were doing the actual recording! smile (does the MP3 sound the same as the sound you heard while you were actually playing?)

I didn't think that GB sounded all that bad - it's quite a rich sound. You might be able to adjust the velocity curve settings on either your digital piano, or GB, or both, to produce a wider range of timbres, so that when you play softly, the notes have a mellower timbre, with more sustain. Maybe someone who is experienced with GB can tell us whether this recording is a good representation of it's capabilities or not.

There's no reason why a computer can't sound as good as, or even better than, a digital piano. It might be possible to add more piano sounds to GB. If not, there is a lot of choice now for piano software. A more fully fledged program than GB is called "Logic", and I know for sure that this program can load different piano sounds. (but again, I've never used it)

When you record MIDI into GB, you don't have to use GB's internal piano sound - you can get GB to send the MIDI back to your digital piano. So, you can record the MIDI, then edit the MIDI very easily to fix mistakes or whatever, and then once you are happy with the MIDI recording, THEN produce the audio. You can easily try different piano sounds, using this ONE MIDI recording, rather than having to repeat your performance every time.

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
#1661661 - 04/17/11 04:58 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: sullivang]  
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Hi Greg,

Thanks for the link on the MIDI "FAQ" and all of the other info, but for now it is all pretty much greek to me, since GarageBand doesn't come with any detailed instructions on how to make recordings, and its probably going to be a very steep learning curve.

I am generally happy enough to be able to play, hit a "record" button in Audacity, and let it do all of the the work, as I have enough to do as it is. Prefer to just perform and not have to do any editing, or, tweaking.

Keeping things as simple as possible, would be my preference.

#1661662 - 04/17/11 05:06 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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You're welcome, and no problems.

You don't need a USB cable to record that way, though. Just the audio cables.

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
#1661664 - 04/17/11 05:21 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: sullivang]  
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I agree about using the stereo audio cable to record into Audacity. And, the overall results have been better when recording in this manner.

#1661666 - 04/17/11 05:33 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: pv88]  
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Yes, except that don't forget that another recording you made (which you posted about in another thread) had problems - the levels were too high when you made the recording, producing distortion. If you had used MIDI to make the recording, you could have simply used that same MIDI recording to produce another audio file (after having adjusted the audio levels to fix the problem), instead of playing the whole piece all over again. ;^) Get the picture?

Greg.
p.s You could actually process that bad recording, probably in Audacity in fact, to hide the distortion. However, it's not as good as simply setting the recording levels properly to begin with.


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#1661671 - 04/17/11 06:02 AM Re: "In a Calm" and "Romanza" recordings - Kurzweil & Casio [Re: sullivang]  
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Okay, thanks for the additional info, as I do agree that the recording level was set too high in the other recording, creating some distortion. However, it can be adjusted in Audacity, before starting the recording.


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