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Studio quality recording
#1944280 08/17/12 05:55 AM
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OK, so after all I have decided to record and relase a solo piano EP by myself somewhere around next year. It's just that I have so many demos now, and some of it have received good feedback and suggestions that I put out a compilation of it, I think that's the right move forward.
I'm also thinking that for just a solo piano recording you don't need that much of a technology behind it (meaning with mixing and mastering) as it's just 1 instrument.

So, my plan in technological aspect is this: play it on FP7F and via midi transfer to computer and software piano (studio quality) and record. After that probably do some tweaking if necessary via EQ , reverb, etc. But also maybe that will not be needed.

My question - does FP7F in terms of keyboard touch, velocity levels is considered as studio quality (sound isn't important as I will be using software sound)? I mean, would it be realistic enough?

And most important part - what software piano to choose? What's the best thing out there that professionals in studio also use?

Thanks a lot!

Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944387 08/17/12 10:04 AM
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If I were in your position I'd go to a shop and try direct recording to WAV on an RD-700NX. The internal Studio piano may be sufficient for your needs, particularly if you turn off the internal reverb and apply a high quality convolutional reverb in post processing.

Re: Studio quality recording
dewster #1944390 08/17/12 10:12 AM
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Dewster, you really think the Roland piano is competitive with the multi-gigabyte software pianos? I haven't used any of them myself, but I would hope they would be better than the Roland. The Roland SN piano may not be stretched or looped or have discernible velocity timbre shifts... but I still don't think it sounds like a real acoustic piano, personally.

Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944403 08/17/12 10:34 AM
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My suggestion would be to get your system together, including software piano, and use it when you do your recording. Practice on it and record with it. My 2 cents.

Re: Studio quality recording
emenelton #1944409 08/17/12 10:45 AM
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Practice like mad, then save up some cash and book a couple of hours in a studio with a real piano. That's going to give the recording more credibility. And it's going to give you some extra inspiration. Playing a decent grand piano is like nothing else cool


Roland RD-700NX // Casio PX-5S // Galaxy Vintage D
Re: Studio quality recording
anotherscott #1944410 08/17/12 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
Dewster, you really think the Roland piano is competitive with the multi-gigabyte software pianos? I haven't used any of them myself, but I would hope they would be better than the Roland. The Roland SN piano may not be stretched or looped or have discernible velocity timbre shifts... but I still don't think it sounds like a real acoustic piano, personally.

I think it's worth a try. Many digital pianos get the pedal / key interactions right, whereas most software pianos don't. Pianoteq gets them right but it isn't sampled and I think I'd rather listen to the SN Studio piano.

Dr. Popper, if you're around could you weigh in on this? I'd be interested in your take on it.

Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944412 08/17/12 10:51 AM
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Thanks for input so far. Real piano studio recording would probably be better, but it also might not. It depends on the studio and engineers (mic placement, etc.). I have heard that at least for pop/rock recordings, most of the stuff is done digitally nowdays.

emenelton, I'm planning to do so, but at the moment the question is about what kind of software piano to use that is studio quality. I have recorded a bit using FP7F internal sounds, but after some thoughts at the moment I think that it is OK for demo stuff, but not enough quality to claim studio quality. However, dynamically I think it is very good so can serve very well as MIDI controller.

dewster, no RD700NX locally available, so can't do that at the moment. I also think that there shouldn't be much of a difference between FP7F and RD700NX except RD700NX have STUDIO piano sound that I have read is better than FP7F concert grand sound. However, comment about pedals is interesting. If recording via MIDI , does it also catches pedal or pedal needs to be applied via software (if so, makes it more complicated).


Last edited by EO3; 08/17/12 10:54 AM.
Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944419 08/17/12 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by EO3
If recording via MIDI , does it also catches pedal or pedal needs to be applied via software (if so, makes it more complicated).

Yes, pedal events are captured via MIDI, and playing them back on the NX will give you the same result as playing - with the exception of the "loom of strings" sound you normally get when mashing the pedal (not a huge deal).

The NX requires one setting change from the factory default for MIDI playback to follow the front panel voice settings. The FP-7F is much more problematic in the MIDI department (if you want to use the internal SN voice). This, the Studio voice, and direct WAV recording makes the NX a much better platform for recording IMO. You get SN EPs and easy layering too.

Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944443 08/17/12 11:49 AM
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E03...

regarding all the posts- i would say your strategy is the right approach if you are playing pop type music. The reason i say this is the classical pianists on the blog here really, really emphasize dynamics and the connection to the keys as the prime mover in their work. I think pop music tends to be different, with a lot less emphasis on dynamic range - in fact most pop piano tends to have the dynamics compressed so that the listener isn't running back and forth turning the volume up or down on each piece. At least that has been my own experience.

i'm trying a system of using my vpiano to create midi files and then rendering them to audio with either the Galaxy Vintage D or Ivory II's German D (and i will probably add the American Steinway to that when it is released). i would imagine your FP7F sends the same midi signal as the Vpiano so it should work about the same. I use Powertracks pro audio as my midi sequencer and then use the sample pianos as plugins to render audio. Or i should say that is my plan whenever i get around to it. a few test files sound pretty good.

would that create pro studio quality? i don't think so. Go to Dave Ferris' soundcloud recordings. he's recording his acoustic steinway through high quality mikes and preamp into a multitrack recorder. THAT's a pro sounding recording, and i bet he'd even argue it could be better. I'm not sure you can get to that level digitally- if anybody disagrees please share the secret formula.


Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250;
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; True Keys American; UVI Yamaha C7; Ravenscroft 275; Garritan CFX
Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944462 08/17/12 12:31 PM
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Well, my playing and compositions are very eclectic, and of course my goal would to be to get the most authentic sound possible, so far at the moment on some demo stuff I don't use compression at all (I have tried to use it, but as I don't like all that mixing,tweaking,editing stuff, I try to get it done as raw as possible).

Recording in studio seems to be a costly option + a lot of pressure to get it right + unknown space, etc. and also where I live there aren't really that much studios to choose from (I think most in my are are only equiped with digital pianos).

It would be interesting to know, what other piano players/composers use. Of course, in the end I guess I'll have to choose some software, I'll check out the ones mentioned here, also probably it's worth to get some all in one package (with orchestra instruments also) or those lack quality? thanks again for opinions so far (I'm planning to do the EP/album recording earlier next year, so no rush and plenty time to think about options, so if anyone has something to add after a while, go ahead).

update: I have talked with some people who work in music where I live, also a composer (more known in rock field, however, but professional piano player also) and he when practicing always play his grand piano even if it's out of tune, still better than digital, but he use digital for recording...So, of course no denying that real acoustic thing is the king, the question is if digital can be enough of a replacement to bring that magic into recording. I'm an optimist. smile

Last edited by EO3; 08/17/12 01:02 PM.
Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1944725 08/17/12 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by EO3


Recording in studio seems to be a costly option + a lot of pressure to get it right + unknown space, etc. and also where I live there aren't really that much studios to choose from (I think most in my are are only equiped with digital pianos).

)


i started to put the point about "pressure to get it right" in my response earlier but pulled it. I believe that is a HUGE factor in deciding to go into a studio. i'd much rather be able to take my time and record and edit in my own recording environment. That to me is a big plus for your own digital "studio" at home.

I hope you figure it out!



Steinway M; Roland V-Piano; Yamaha P250;
Ivory II Grands, Italian, American D; Galaxy Vintage D; True Keys American; UVI Yamaha C7; Ravenscroft 275; Garritan CFX
Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1947713 08/23/12 09:18 AM
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Perhaps some of you here can post some experiences with different software pianos? Maybe some concrete software that are the best ones out there at the moment and can do the best job? Of course it's all very subjective and down to a personal experience, but anyways.

Re: Studio quality recording
anotherscott #1947740 08/23/12 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherscott
you really think the Roland piano is competitive with the multi-gigabyte software pianos?


Yep in fact it's better then nearly all of them. The Studio Grand is one of the nicest pianos ...digital or otherwise I've ever played ...period. I'm not a huge fan of the concert grands midrange but the Studio is the goods.


"I'm still an idiot and I'm still in love" - Blue Sofa - The Plugz 1981 (Tito Larriva)
Disclosure : I am professionally associated with Arturia but my sentiments are my own only.
Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1947831 08/23/12 12:47 PM
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EO3,

Some have suggested doing your recording with an AP. I agree that has the potential to give the best results, but in practice, I don’t believe it is the most practical approach for the following reasons:

1) As with any acoustic instrument, the sound you hear will be strongly dependent on the acoustics of the space it is recorded in (i.e., the room). In addition to the color the room adds to the piano’s sound, external sounds can be a real problem in many/most studios (e.g., rumble of trucks, planes flying over, etc.). These problems usually follow the Murphey's Law, Jelly-Side-Down corollary, occurring just as you are finishing a difficult passage that you finally got right after 5 bad takes.
2) Requires high-quality (i.e., expensive) microphones expertly placed. Also need high quality preamps and ADC.
3) Editing any mistakes after recording is difficult or impossible. Knowing that post-recording editing is not generally possible puts even more stress on the recording artist.

All of these reasons make recording an AP much more expensive and difficult. We occasionally record our Steinway with fairly good results, but reasons 1 and 3 generally drive us to use the FP-7F controlling Ivory II.

IMO, the FP-7F makes a fine MIDI controller (for driving Ivory II, for example) for classical music. The lack of other MIDI controllers (e.g., Mod Wheel, programmable buttons, etc.) limits its usefulness for popular music. I also don’t believe that the FP-7F’s sound is adequate for a high-quality solo piano sound (particularly classical), although it is OK when buried in a mix with a bunch of other voices.

Good luck with your recording adventure.


Regards,
Bob

NY Steinway A 1907, FP-7F wi RPU-3
HW: GA-X58A-UD3R, i7-930, 6GB & 2ea WD2002FAEX, 1ea WD1001FALS1TB, UA1000, Yamaha 2.1 HSM80M/HS10W, DPA SMK4061, Mackie LM3204
SW: Win7 Pro x64, Sonar PE 8.5.3, NI Komplete 8 Ult, Ivory Grand Pianos II
Re: Studio quality recording
EO3 #1947979 08/23/12 04:41 PM
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bbent, thanks for response. It's interesting to know that You (do you have a studio or something?) also use FP7F as MIDI. I think in that sector FP7F will also be perfectly fine for what I need. The question now is about software. I looked up Ivory II and it looks OK, but I wonder does it have only these 3 grand pianos mentioned or also probably some other pianos (for example, I recently discovered that one composer/pianist recorded his solo piano album entirely on upright piano acoustically, so I wonder does any softwares also offer some upright sounds as it would probably be more suited if want to achieve some kind of "smooth" sound, etc.). I looked into what we have here on studios, it seems only 1 studio offer to record acoustic piano, I'll get info on prices soon.

Studio grand on roland piano might be good, but can't comment as it's not on FP7F (strangly so, as it seems to be better than concert grand). But does really studio grand could compete with something like Ivory 2 grand pianos?

Update: Already found that there's also Ivory upright pianos, but to buy both would be too pricey I think. It seems that in software pianos it comes down to offers by Ivory or Native Instruments that also have different grand/upright piano combinations and also Pianoteq that seems to be modelled piano...And vintage D by galaxy... Tough! smile

Update again: Got back response from local studio, they have Steinway concert grand D, not terribly pricey (would be managable), but my feeling still points to doing it at home - more peaceful , and you are in control (in case if you don't like the recordings at studio, nothing really you can do about it). I understand that acoustic is preferable, but at this point I think I'll go with software/DP midi.

Last edited by EO3; 08/24/12 04:03 PM.
Re: Studio quality recording
bfb #1948038 08/23/12 06:48 PM
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