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#2712629 - 02/08/18 12:10 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: JoBert]  
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Thanks JoBert - you and others here were a giant help - I feel like I just had a crash course in piano recording!

Think I'll spend some time this afternoon investigating audio interfaces on amazon...

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#2712818 - 02/09/18 03:07 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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There have been extensive discussions on audio interfaces in the "Digital Pianos & Synths" forum. You might look there, as well as Amazon.

Behringer makes some relatively inexpensive interfaces. This one gives you two "Mic / Line In" channels, and should do what you need:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UMC202HD--behringer-u-phoria-umc202hd

From what I've been reading, the Focus Scarlett 2i2 (or 2i2 "next generation") is much-loved by its owners:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Scarlet2i2G2

Remember that the Scarlett 2i2 is still in the "budget interface" category. As usual, you can spend as much as you want.

(I don't have either unit, so take this FWIW).


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2712853 - 02/09/18 08:12 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Charles - thanks much for your recommendations - I was thinking of PMing you for that, but it's better this way since there may be others here interested in what you might suggest...

The Behringer is definitely in a very reasonable price range - I would like to think that it would do all that it would want and be happy with for some time to come. smile

Thanks again!

Last edited by Handyman; 02/09/18 08:18 AM.
#2712902 - 02/09/18 11:22 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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I thought I understood how it works until I continued reading this thread. So: My piano has a left and right in the line-out. Originally I had that going directly into the computer. The "mono" that I got was turned into two monos via Goldwave - i.e. the signal was duplicated. It never bothered me. My Behringer mixer does have a left-right female jack, but then what it sends still goes into the same single line-in receptacle of the same computer. I can't change the computer's hardware.

The first question is: .... IS there actually a left and right to a piano? Even when I'm wearing headphones as I play, I don't hear the low notes on the left and the high notes on the right. Is it even important to be able to hear this, or to record "low on left / high on right" in a recording? Is this maybe just an extra unnecessary step for Handyman?

(And conversely, am I missing something?)

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#2712921 - 02/09/18 12:27 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Originally Posted by keystring

The first question is: .... IS there actually a left and right to a piano? Even when I'm wearing headphones as I play, I don't hear the low notes on the left and the high notes on the right. Is it even important to be able to hear this, or to record "low on left / high on right" in a recording? Is this maybe just an extra unnecessary step for Handyman?

(And conversely, am I missing something?)


There definitely is a purpose to a left and right channel for a piano, unless you use a sample that is explicitly mono which some pianos have as an extra option you can select.

While you may not hear a clear left/right distinction for individual notes, you will hear the presence of a stereo image (which provides the illusion of spacial projection ). If you have a genuine mono recording you will hear the difference immediately, the projection will be right in the middle of your head with headphones, with everything sounding exactly the same left and right, very uninspiring, it completely destroys any sense of sound stage also, (roughly as if there is no surround to the sound at all, but instead just coming from one source/direction right in the middle)

btw the effect is easy to test to explain what I mean, if you have a panning button or stereo width setting on a mixer, most mixer software packages do, many audio interfaces have this feature build in, mine does anyway, but even with a stereo recording of piano in audacity you can do this experiment.

Take a good stereo recording and start listening, turn the panning dial back slowly, bit by bit, you will hear the sound image slowly collapse to a centre point in your head, at the mid point and any sense of direction goes out the window with it .. completely, as well as sound stage.

Some may say, but surely a piano is not stereo in real life, but that's not the point , it does fire sound in all directions in a room with surfaces it interacts with that envelop you. In order to replicate that illusion only stereo can provide you with the sound queues the ear needs to replicate that, the above experiment should make that clear.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 02/09/18 12:30 PM.

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#2712994 - 02/09/18 05:23 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: JoBert]  
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Originally Posted by JoBert
To clear up that point some more: An audio interface is a little hardware box that is connected to your laptop via USB and that in turn has jacks of different types, into which you can plug the cable (or cables) coming from your digital piano. So the signal from the piano goes into that audio interface box, which converts it into digital information, that is then sent on to your laptop (via USB, i.e. not via the mic/headphones jack) where it can then be played back and/or recorded, for example by a software like Audacity.




Keystring - as related to your concerns I'll quote JoBert's post above, which if correct (and I'm assuming it is since no one objected) states that there is separate Lt & Rt audio signals coming into the audio interface from the piano - now, exactly what goes out of the interface to the computer via the USB connection (which is not the mic/earphone jack connection) was not precisely specified, but I was assuming (hoping) that it was a stereo signal being input to the recording program in the computer (Audacity) - maybe I'm wrong to assume this - can anyone clarify? Is a USB connection capable of carrying a stereo audio signal?

As far as just how important it actually is in terms of agreeable sound quality to have an input stereo audio signal (which I, too, was wondering about) Alexander seems to have answered that question rather nicely...I think...

Last edited by Handyman; 02/09/18 05:30 PM.
#2713000 - 02/09/18 06:12 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Originally Posted by Handyman
. . .
. . .
(1) . . . now, exactly what goes out of the interface to the computer via the USB connection (which is not the mic/earphone jack connection) was not precisely specified, but I was assuming (hoping) that it was a stereo signal being input to the recording program in the computer (Audacity) . . . can anyone clarify?

(2) Is a USB connection capable of carrying a stereo audio signal?



"Yes", to both (1) and (2).

The audio interface will show up in the list of "input devices", in Audacity. I don't know if it will be seen as two separate input channels, or one stereo channel (that might depend on details of the software associated with the audio interface)-- but it'll carry a stereo signal, in either case.


Last edited by Charles Cohen; 02/09/18 06:14 PM.

. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
#2713035 - 02/09/18 10:40 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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OK then - that Behringer is starting to look like a sure thing now...with a side order of Audacity too...

#2713066 - 02/10/18 03:04 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: keystring]  
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Originally Posted by keystring
I thought I understood how it works until I continued reading this thread. So: My piano has a left and right in the line-out. Originally I had that going directly into the computer. The "mono" that I got was turned into two monos via Goldwave - i.e. the signal was duplicated. It never bothered me. My Behringer mixer does have a left-right female jack, but then what it sends still goes into the same single line-in receptacle of the same computer. I can't change the computer's hardware.

The plug that goes into your computer is a 3.5mm plug, I would guess.
Compare it to this picture (ignore the ones at the far left and right, compare with the two in the middle):
[Linked Image]
Note the subtle difference. The one on the right carries a stereo signal (provided the other end of the cable is fed with a stereo signal) the left one only mono.

Of course, even if the plug carries stereo, there's still the question if your computer's jack accepts the full stereo signal or if it uses only mono. Do you have a laptop? How is the jack labelled?

#2713077 - 02/10/18 04:29 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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I was mistaken about what goes to the computer. That's a USB cable running from the Behringer mixer (XYNEX Q502USB) to my laptop. The other end going into the mixer is square. There is a stereo (two heads) jack from the piano going into a stereo (two heads) into the mixer. Originally when I had the old cheap Yamaha where I could only run a line through the headphone jack, I didn't have that luxury.

#2713086 - 02/10/18 05:58 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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I know this may be getting down into the mundane nitty-gritty basics of matters here but I have two questions:

Can I safely assume that the USB connection running from interface to computer (carrying our highly prized and much sought after stereo signal) is a cable ending in the standard USB plug, which is thin, short and rectangular and which will only fit one way into a USB jack or slot on the computer? Just to dispel any lingering misconceptions...

Will multiple sizes and types of plugs fit into the input jacks (slots) on the back of that Behringer audio interface linked to by Charles above? I vaguely recall reading that somewhere...

Edited to ask a third question: is the far right plug (the big one) in JoBert's pic above a 1/4 inch plug?






Last edited by Handyman; 02/10/18 06:03 AM.
#2713109 - 02/10/18 07:50 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Originally Posted by Handyman

Can I safely assume that the USB connection running from interface to computer (carrying our highly prized and much sought after stereo signal) is a cable ending in the standard USB plug, which is thin, short and rectangular and which will only fit one way into a USB jack or slot on the computer? Just to dispel any lingering misconceptions...

Yes

Quote

Will multiple sizes and types of plugs fit into the input jacks (slots) on the back of that Behringer audio interface linked to by Charles above? I vaguely recall reading that somewhere...

I don't know this box, but from reading the various write-ups the input jacks are on the front. The back has the usb socket (for the other end of the cable that goes into your computer) and some (single channel?) outputs labelled L and R

The sockets on the front appear to be for input and are for multiple types.

Quote

Edited to ask a third question: is the far right plug (the big one) in JoBert's pic above a 1/4 inch plug?


Yes - (I think) there are 6.3mm, 6.35mm and 1/4 inch plugs which are virtually the same size and all fit in the same socket. You can see from the picture that is 6.3 ish mm

#2713111 - 02/10/18 07:58 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Handyman - are you sure that the usb from your keyboard carries audio? Are you counting on that? Mine just carries midi data. Which works great with Pianoteq, but that's a different topic...

Sam

#2713125 - 02/10/18 08:58 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Sam S]  
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Originally Posted by Sam S
Handyman - are you sure that the usb from your keyboard carries audio? Are you counting on that? Mine just carries midi data. Which works great with Pianoteq, but that's a different topic...

Sam


I think you are getting confused with where this topic has been. Is USB output from the piano is midi, so instead he is taking output from a Line Out port and putting into a Behringer Audio Interface, which is converting it to a USB signal and output from USB-B socket on the back. From there its going to his laptop as USB

#2713220 - 02/10/18 03:03 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Sam S]  
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Sam - akc42 has it correct...the output from the DP is digital audio signals via standard audio cables to the interface - no MIDI involved (my DP does have MIDI jacks, but I'm staying away from them like they were infected with the plague!).

#2713297 - 02/10/18 06:50 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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If you want to use something like Pianoteq, then you'll need to make use of those MIDI jacks laugh


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#2713345 - 02/11/18 02:54 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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What is Pianoteq (or don't I want to know)?

#2713362 - 02/11/18 04:36 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Originally Posted by Handyman
What is Pianoteq (or don't I want to know)?


Its software that runs on a computer which takes midi inputs and converts them to the sound of a piano and sends the output to the sound card (or output jack) on the computer. Generally you connect your digital keyboard to the computer so that it knows what notes (and how loud or soft) to play. Generally they also support pedals and model the effects of things like the dampers and hammer noise etc etc. The aim is to get as close to one of the quality grand pianos as possible.

Pianoteq is one program in the class of these programs, which you will see on here referred to as VSTs. There are long discussions in the "Digital Pianos - Synths & Keyboards" forum about these and which makes the best sound.

Last edited by akc42; 02/11/18 04:39 AM.
#2713370 - 02/11/18 05:34 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Originally Posted by Handyman
What is Pianoteq (or don't I want to know)?


I love Pianoteq - and you can record with it - very simple.

I don't really use my keyboard/Pianoteq that often, since I have my old Bechstein to play on, but when I need to use it, it works great.

Sam

#2713387 - 02/11/18 08:18 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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OK, thanks for the info - now, I'm not even going to ask how the final sound quality achieved via Pianoteq compares to that obtained thru the audio interface method discussed at length above, because if I find out it's generally superior I'm going to become highly conflicted again... laugh

Sam is scaring me with his "love" for this Pianoteq stuff...

Last edited by Handyman; 02/11/18 08:20 AM.
#2713397 - 02/11/18 09:43 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Originally Posted by Handyman
OK, thanks for the info - now, I'm not even going to ask how the final sound quality achieved via Pianoteq compares to that obtained thru the audio interface method discussed at length above, because if I find out it's generally superior I'm going to become highly conflicted again... laugh

Sam is scaring me with his "love" for this Pianoteq stuff...


Pianoteq will make your keyboard into a 9' Steinway - or choose from a bunch of other pianos. Your recordings will sound great...

Sam

#2713419 - 02/11/18 11:29 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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I'm getting overwhelmed - but also so freakin' glad I came here to PW and started asking questions - you guys are really amazing!

Is Pianoteq a free download?

What is the real, safe site for that?

How about for Audacity?

A 9' Steinway?

Last edited by Handyman; 02/11/18 11:31 AM.
#2713425 - 02/11/18 11:39 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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@Handyman Why can't you find these yourself - Google is you friend in this regard

Pianoteq https://www.pianoteq.com/try

Audacity https://www.audacityteam.org/

#2713453 - 02/11/18 01:18 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: akc42]  
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Originally Posted by akc42
@Handyman Why can't you find these yourself - Google is you friend in this regard



akc42 - I can & did - just wanted verification of the exact site (among all the look-a-likes that pop up) so that I didn't download something that ate my laptop...

Thanks much!

#2713912 - 02/13/18 07:19 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Don't forget to listen to some of the demo recordings on the Pianoteq website.

Ian (with Pianoteq Standard +Steinway B and Blüthner Model One add-ons)


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#2713914 - 02/13/18 07:24 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Sam S]  
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Originally Posted by Sam S
If anyone would like to write up a new guide to recording, we can replace the one that is missing. Volunteers?

I use a Zoom H4n for recording. Then I transfer the file to my computer and edit and export to mp3 with Audacity.

Sam

Sam,

I too use a Zoom H4n and did use Audacity until in investigating serious problems after the Windows 10 Fall edition (1709) I found many Windows error reports citing Audacity dll files as the problem. The problem was Windows freezing and also mouse movement freezing. As a result I uninstalled Audacity and removed all reference to it in the Windows registry. The problem has gone.

I am looking for an alternative Windows based audio recording program.

Ian


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#2713946 - 02/13/18 09:53 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Google gave me these six options, when I searched for alternatives to Audacity. I haven't tried any of them, since Audacity works fine on my Windows 10 computer.

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-awesome-alternatives-to-audacity-for-recording-and-editing-audio/

I have an old AudioDirector from Cyberlink, which I got as a bonus when I bought PowerDirector 12. Haven't used it many times, but at least I know it works. To buy it standalone, is crazy expensive, so I won't recommend you to do so.

If you're not uncomfortable at the command line, there's also FFMPEG, which always does it's job without bogging down the computer. There are some GUIs available for it, to make life easier, which I haven't tried. Actually, Audacity uses FFMPEG under the hood, but I doubt that's what's causing you problems.

Last edited by TheodorN; 02/13/18 10:06 AM.

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#2713949 - 02/13/18 10:08 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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I'm using an old macbook, so no problems with Audacity...

Sam

#2713958 - 02/13/18 10:26 AM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: Handyman]  
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Just wanted to add, you can convert from WAV to MP3 in VLC Media Player, which most people have, I assume. It's very easy, just choose Convert/Save in the first menu, choose the file, and you're lead step by step. Just make sure you choose Audio - MP3 as profile, and change the parameters if needed, which you really don't need, as the default profile saves in 128 kb/s, 44.100Hz. The target file can be called anything, and saved anywhere, though it's better to choose the path wisely, so you know where it ends up.

Last edited by TheodorN; 02/13/18 10:29 AM.

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#2714022 - 02/13/18 02:54 PM Re: The Latest in Recording Piano? [Re: TheodorN]  
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Theodor,

Thanks for the information and especially mentioning Audio Director which I forgot I have!

Here is one report although for a different Windows build:

https://www.neowin.net/news/windows-10-insider-build-17063-causing-audio-issues-in-firefox-audacity

Ian


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by Piano World. 02/22/18 02:22 PM
"C" hammer??
by Sanfrancisco. 02/22/18 01:01 PM
Piano Movie: Making The Grade In Cinemas April 13th
by Chili_Time. 02/22/18 12:56 PM
Looking at Used Yamaha GC1 - Looking for opinions
by ecstudier. 02/22/18 10:59 AM
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