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Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? #2704701
01/13/18 10:39 PM
01/13/18 10:39 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 82
Orlando, FL
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hbs60 Offline OP
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hbs60  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2017
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Orlando, FL
I'm trying to teach myself how to make better audio recordings, so I'm experimenting with different microphones, angles, and software before I try to record longer, more difficult works. This was recorded with a Samson CO-1 Studio Condenser microphone, processed with Cakewalk Music Creator, the video was done with a Samsung HMX-F90 camcorder, and the video was processed with VSDC Video editor. As for the music itself, I'm already aware that my tempo is irregular in places and I have this bad habit of moving my hands up and down too much, it seems more on the right, but any other kind observations will be most welcome.
Thanks!
Hector

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2704912
01/14/18 05:54 PM
01/14/18 05:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,951
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Hi, hbs60 -- I thought the audio was a significant improvement over a couple of your previous submissions (Los Requiebros; the Puerto Rican souvenir -- can't remember the title). There was far less "tubbiness" and overreverberance than I remember from the previous recordings; far better clarity across the entire register. My only reservation about your present audio assemblage is a slight "deadness", a slight lack of three-dimensional resonance in the piano sound. I wouldn't have the slightest suggestion as to how to improve that aspect -- only that I would rate your present audio setup as comfortably adequate, but not ideal. let's see if we get a few other opinions.

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2704927
01/14/18 07:45 PM
01/14/18 07:45 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,602
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
My initial reaction is that I thought it was rather unusual to be recording a grand with the lid closed. Surely you'll get a more balanced and perhaps a more resonant sound with the lid up. That said, the piano is very close to a large window and an adjoining wall, so there may be more resonance caused by the specific confines of that space.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2704959
01/14/18 09:58 PM
01/14/18 09:58 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 82
Orlando, FL
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hbs60 Offline OP
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hbs60  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2017
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Orlando, FL
Thanks for the feedback, very helpful. The piano lid is closed because it is very loud, the glass window and walls make it worse, so I keep it closed a lot of the time to protect my ears (sometimes I need earplugs when it bothers me too much). Once in a while I do open the lid and it’s a most beautiful sound, but I leave it for when a piece is truly performance ready. As for the “deadness” issue, it’s hard for me to hear that. From what I’ve read, audio engineers talk about stuff like “stereo image” and all kinds of things I have no clue about. Speaking of technical things, I struggle with figuring out the software, today for example it wouldn’t cooperate and refused to recognize the same mic I used yesterday, aaargh! I’m hoping to come up with an acceptable setup that I can use consistently, but I’m not even close yet. I’m afraid is going to be hit or miss for a while... :-(

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2704968
01/14/18 11:12 PM
01/14/18 11:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 932
Ohio
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MikeN Offline
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Ohio
I’m also with Bruce. As one with a passing interest in recording techniques who’s taken a class and has some personal experience, I’d chalk up the “deadness” as being directly related to your closed lid which makes it impossible to get a balanced sound between registers.

I certainly understand the issue with how loud a grand in a small room can be. I just recently returned a Steinway L I had on scholarship and now I have a Boston upright in the same room. It’s nice as I no longer have to practice with earplugs.

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: MikeN] #2705069
01/15/18 11:05 AM
01/15/18 11:05 AM
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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I'll add additionally that I use the "short stick' on my Kawai when I record, which I believe does indeed help to create a better tone quality. In fact, I would try that without doing any other adjustment -- IF you have that option available to you. I agree that if I open the lid to its full extent (the "long stick"), there's simply too much sound for my TASCAM recorder to assimilate in louder sections, even when a good distance from the piano.

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: MikeN] #2705072
01/15/18 11:09 AM
01/15/18 11:09 AM
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Tim Adrianson  Offline
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I'll add additionally that I use the "short stick" on my Kawai when I record, which I believe does indeed help to create a better tone quality. In fact, I would try that without doing any other adjustment -- IF you have that option available to you. I agree that if I open the lid to its full extent (the "long stick"), there's simply too much sound for my TASCAM recorder to assimilate in louder sections, even when a good distance from the piano.

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2705080
01/15/18 11:35 AM
01/15/18 11:35 AM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 82
Orlando, FL
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hbs60 Offline OP
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hbs60  Offline OP
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Orlando, FL
Thanks, will try the "short stick" as I do have it available. In the meantime, here's another recording attempt, the Chopin B minor prelude. My PC wasn't cooperating so I connected my mic to my iPad and recorded with Garage Band, then transferred to my PC for processing. Not sure why the volume seems so much lower but it may be a bit cleaner sound.

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2709374
01/28/18 03:51 AM
01/28/18 03:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 262
Germany
Pianist685 Offline
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Pianist685  Offline
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Germany
If find the sound of your recordings okay - your home is not a recording studio. I suppose the main "problem" (if one could call it such) is the room itself which is far too small for a grand piano. In a recording studio you would have a bigger room without a window, open the lid and place the mics at some distance from the instrument (they are too close and provide a very direct sound in this constellation). Your only chance - as far as I can tell from an amateur's experience - is to try to compensate these deficiencies electronically. I am using Audacity and find it quite sufficient to improve my recordings with only 3 of its features: 1) Equalizer, 2) Reverberation and in some cases 3) Dynamics compression (but that is not only enhancing the recording's presence but also reducing the dynamics range). Ah, and if you find the volume too low, it can easily be enhanced, but I am sure I do not need to tell you.

As far as your rendition of the B minor prelude is concerned, I think you should rehearse it a bit more since your playing is not yet secure throughout the piece.

The sound in the Bach recording is better than in the prelude recording. The last C major chord should be the end of a development in the measures before. You are playing it "separated" from the rest of the piece and a bit too loud as if you were saying: "I finally got it through, thank God it's over". wink

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2709678
01/29/18 04:12 AM
01/29/18 04:12 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,073
New York
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trigalg693 Offline
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New York
Another way to reduce the volume of the piano is have a technician soften the hammers. My old Kawai produced a thunderous sound, but when I was selling it, one guy had a technician come inspect it, and the technician lightly needled the mid range, and the difference was noticeable. The Kawai was replaced by a larger and more powerful piano but with really soft hammers that take a lot of the edge off so my ears don't hurt unless I'm playing a true fff.

Re: Invention #1 JS Bach-how's the audio? [Re: hbs60] #2710249
01/30/18 11:50 PM
01/30/18 11:50 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 82
Orlando, FL
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hbs60 Offline OP
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hbs60  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 82
Orlando, FL
Thanks, Pianist685 and trigalg693. My playing sounds insecure because it’s an old piece that I resurrected recently, I’m trying to play minimally challenging pieces because I’m trying to learn more about audio recording and I don’t want to play demanding, exhausting pieces unless I have a better sense that the audio is acceptable, so I’m not focusing on my performance as much as I should. Also, I have performance anxiety, so I AM glad that it’s finally over :-) but will keep that in mind and not be so obvious about it. Will talk to my tuner next time he comes around and see what he can do.
Thanks for the good feedback!
Hector


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