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#2169269 - 10/21/13 06:59 AM How do you record your playing?  
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 190
Jessiebear Offline
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Jessiebear  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2013
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New Zealand
I'm not talking professional level here, just private recording of your own playing to post here or keep for your own enjoyment.

I'm having real trouble finding a way to record that doesn't involve $400+ equipment!

I have tried the mic from a headset (very tinny but audible), and 2x 'vocal' microphones which give off the most hideous white noise and record very distorted, murky sound.

What do YOU record with? I'd love some ideas


Inspired by Einaudi and Tiersen.
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#2169295 - 10/21/13 07:59 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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Morodiene Offline
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Morodiene  Offline
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First of all, I think you may have the equipment you need already. What kind of microphones are they? Forget the headset one.

I think you may be getting white noise and all because you are recording at too high a level. You want to keep your recording levels within the -12db to -18db range. I recommend downloading Audacity which you can get for free, and just try recording using one of the mics. Try positioning in different places, but again, be sure the levels are good in each case. You can always increase the gain after the recording to make it louder, and you can also reduce white noise after the fact.

A lot of people use a Zoom H4n which you can get for around $270. I use this and have had very good success with it and the onboard mics. For me, the sound seems best when I have the recorder on a stand just over my head as I'm playing, but room acoustics and your instrument do play a factor.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#2169344 - 10/21/13 09:18 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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de cajon Offline
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London, UK
Are you recording to a computer? Or to a dedicated recorder - a "tape" recorder?

I just bought a Sure SM57 - one of the legendary mikes of the last many years. It wasn't as expensive as I imagined. It works really nicely with my PC sound card plus Audacity. I haven't tried plugging it into a camcorder or a dictaphone though.


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#2169362 - 10/21/13 09:51 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
Joined: May 2012
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Greener Offline

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Greener  Offline

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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 2,188
Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by Jessiebear

I'm having real trouble finding a way to record that doesn't involve $400+ equipment!
...

What do YOU record with? I'd love some ideas


Hello Jessiebear,
If you are recording an acoustic upright this video may be of some help for mic choices and placement.

Beyond this you will need a sound card (pre-amp to power the mics) and recording software. This set up suggests garage band recording software which I believe only works on a Mac. I use a similar setup with Audacity software on a PC (laptop.)

My total initial setup (lightly used mics found on craigslist and a very entry level sound card) was just over $300. Now I am striving for a better preamp and currently have one on rental for $15 per month.

Of course, you can go crazy on the expense of any of the elements. But a basic setup can provide quite a decent quality sound for a DIY setup.
Hope helps ... I found it is not so tough (or expensive) once you start getting everything. I highly recommend 2 mics (for stereo,) or a zoom mic --as suggested earlier-- which produces stereo and provides your sound card all in one I believe.

Best of luck ...



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#2169591 - 10/21/13 03:48 PM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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wouter79 Offline
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Originally Posted by Jessiebear

...
I'm having real trouble finding a way to record that doesn't involve $400+ equipment!
...
What do YOU record with? I'd love some ideas


Stereo pair DPA4060, EMU0404 and Jecklin disk.

The DPA pair alone is already $900 however

samples here

http://recitals.pianoworld.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Wouter79

Notice that a few of these are not DPA but older video cam recordings. Check the recording method in the links.

Last edited by wouter79; 10/21/13 03:57 PM.

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#2169592 - 10/21/13 03:49 PM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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Jessiebear Offline
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Jessiebear  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 190
New Zealand
Thanks that's really helpful!

Yes I'm recording from an upright straight to laptop. Will have a look at Audacity. A Zoom mike sounds like just the ticket.

Thanks so much for your suggestions!


Inspired by Einaudi and Tiersen.
#2169766 - 10/21/13 09:38 PM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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pwl Offline
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Tascam DR-40 is a reasonable alternative to the Zoom H4N. About $185 on Amazon.

#2169775 - 10/21/13 09:53 PM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
Joined: Mar 2012
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Sand Tiger Offline
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Sand Tiger  Offline
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Southern California
I use a Sony voice recorder. Used it was $40, new about $80. Works well enough for my amateur needs. It is not as good as the Zoom models that many others have, but it is simple. I also have a Sony t-mic which was another $30 back in the day.

I never had much luck recording directly with a computer, but I have always had low end computers. The voice recorder is so much simpler, and I can use it to record in the field too.

#2169857 - 10/22/13 01:45 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Sand Tiger]  
Joined: Dec 2012
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Charles Cohen Online content
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Charles Cohen  Online Content
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Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote
. . .
I'm having real trouble finding a way to record that doesn't involve $400+ equipment!


OK, let's see what we can do. I assume you have a laptop, and it has a USB port, and it can run Audacity.

Then:

Behringer C-2 microphones (sold as a pair,
. . . with stereo-pair mounting bracket)

Behringer UB802 mixer (2 inputs, with phantom power)

Behringer UCA202 audio interface

One mic stand -- OnStage, with boom -- about $25.

Two mic-to-mixer cables, two mixer-to-interface cables.

That will get you started. The C-2's are quite respectable, and the UB802 is incredibly good for its price.

It'll be less than $400.

I _thought_ Behringer made an inexpensive mixer with a built-in USB interface, but I can't find it in the catalog.

. Charles

PS -- I have gotten some good recordings (not piano, but live vocal group) with the C-2 mics feeding a Zoom H4 recorder. No preamps needed with that setup, but the H4 is expensive. A nice piece of kit, as the Brits say.



. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2169866 - 10/22/13 02:29 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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Posts: 168
JosephAC Offline
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JosephAC  Offline
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What about recording into your phone or tablet? Would not it be cheaper ? I record into my iPad. There many free Apps.

#2169874 - 10/22/13 04:10 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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Jessiebear Offline
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Jessiebear  Offline
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New Zealand
Ah yes apparently Audacity is the one hubby was mucking round with last night while battling with the stupid mikes.

Good idea about the tablet or phone Joseph, I will try that too.

Charles that combo sounds idyllic!


Inspired by Einaudi and Tiersen.
#2169913 - 10/22/13 08:00 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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peterws Offline
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peterws  Offline
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Northern England.
in the pre digital days, (pre Hammond days come to that) a mic was stuffed down the back of whatever ole upright I got lumbered with. The mic was whatever was left after the good stuff was taken by those who "sang" lol.

It picked up the notes (which worked) rather well as long as it was held in position . . .the lid usually sufficed when there was one . . .

Not quite the answer you`re looking for? eek

Last edited by peterws; 10/22/13 08:01 AM.

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#2169991 - 10/22/13 11:13 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
Joined: Dec 2009
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findingnemo2010 Offline
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findingnemo2010  Offline
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I just use my iPhone.


music to me is kind of like putting together pieces of a puzzle
i call it the paino because its where i put all my pain
#2170000 - 10/22/13 11:29 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,156
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,156
Lexington, Kentucky
Jessie, I am a *huge* fan of the Zoom products for their combination of user-friendliness, ease of setup, and affordability. You can get better sound using separate mics, a mixer, etc. etc., but only you can decide if the marginally better sound is worth the headache and learning curve of setting all that up.

If you have any desire to upload videos on YouTube, you should check out the Zoom Q3HD or the Q2HD. Same quality stereo mics, no hassle with trying to synch an audio and video file.

I think it depends on your level of tech savviness and desire for ease of use. I know where I fall on that dimension. grin

My YouTube channel gives you an idea of the type of audio/video quality I get with the Zoom, and trust me, all I do is slap the sucker on a tripod and press the Red Dot. Couldn't be easier.


Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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#2171582 - 10/25/13 12:32 AM Re: How do you record your playing? [Re: Jessiebear]  
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Jessiebear Offline
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Jessiebear  Offline
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New Zealand
Thanks for the idea for the Zoom mike, I got one and wow what a difference! And so easy!


Inspired by Einaudi and Tiersen.

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