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ways to record an acoustic piano #2813215
02/10/19 06:09 PM
02/10/19 06:09 PM
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Madison
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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Madison
It may be a FAQ, if so please link me over. I searched already, really. grin

I read the "how to record yourself" section under important topics, or tried to, but I'm still left wondering how to record myself with my limited resources being an iphone and a mac computer, and my luddite self.

The app I have on my phone works, but is tinny and sounds terrible. Any suggestions, in non-tech speak, please, would be greatly appreciated.

Holly


but think how good I could be in five years...
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Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813233
02/10/19 06:44 PM
02/10/19 06:44 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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You can put the iPhone on the end of the piano with Sellotape. I eventually got a stand later. The problem is the iphone films on its side so you have to turn it around 90 degrees to get it the right way round. video . Turning a video 90 degrees is a mission. Youtube stopped doing it now. I downloaded an app RFV that turns it for me. It seems to work fine for me. That is my limited knowledge on this.

Last edited by Moo :); 02/10/19 06:45 PM.
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813247
02/10/19 07:21 PM
02/10/19 07:21 PM
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Canada
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A lot of people use Zoom H2 or H4. I have the H2 to record my acoustic upright but I prefer to record my digital piano directly to my computer. iPhone is not too bad. You have to find a good location.



"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”
– Maria Cristina

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813386
02/11/19 04:04 AM
02/11/19 04:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,794
Italy
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I put my iPhone on a tripod at my side, just over my right shoulder. A little farther away would be better for the sound, but then I would be in the video too much. I think this is an acceptable compromise, even if it's far from perfect. I also have a Zoom H2 but I've never managed to understand what the right settings for my piano are.

@Moo:) Hope you don't take offence, but to be honest I don't like the sound in your videos with the iPhone placed on the piano so close to the keyboard, I think it detracts from your performances.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813451
02/11/19 08:34 AM
02/11/19 08:34 AM
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What is the alternative? I don’t want to buy a tripod.

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813480
02/11/19 09:27 AM
02/11/19 09:27 AM
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Posts: 490
Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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I use a Sony P&S camera with a tripod. Does a nice job recording. Some high-end cameras allow you to plug into a stereo mic. I usually do both video & audio so I can see how my hands are moving.

If you don't like to carry a full-size tripod, you can consider a mini tripod that can be placed on a table or a chair. They can be carried around easily and sturdy enough for a phone.

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813482
02/11/19 09:35 AM
02/11/19 09:35 AM
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Madison
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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Thank you everyone. I don't really care to film, I just want to record sound. What, may I ask, are Zoom, H2 and H4?


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813518
02/11/19 11:00 AM
02/11/19 11:00 AM
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Maine
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I think acoustic pianos are just really tough to record. I have to say you guys really get remarkable quality off your phones. I use a digital system called Motu 828 that goes through firewire into my computer. To record I use a system in my Mac called Metro. My mics are Behringer C-2's that I have in a y formation over my strings.They go into a mixer which then goes into the Motu. All that said, I'm still never really satisfied with the sound. I once looked into a serious recording system and found out that really good mics would run me in the thousands.


"Nothing moves...where would it go?"
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Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813531
02/11/19 11:40 AM
02/11/19 11:40 AM
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Toronto, Canada
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thepianoplayer416 Offline
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Originally Posted by HollyBytheLake
Thank you everyone. I don't really care to film, I just want to record sound. What, may I ask, are Zoom, H2 and H4?


Zoom is a popular brand of sound recorders that are portable and record in stereo (.wav or .mp3 format). You can find other brands like Sony that also make stereo recorders. The cheaper voice recorders about the same size only record in mono and common for business meetings. I have a Zoom for sound recording that uses a mini SD card. Once I get the sound recorded, I can put the card in a SD card adapter and transfer my sound file into a computer.

The other option would be to get a high-end stereo microphone that plugs into your laptop computer like the Yeti from Blue. They come with software for sound editing. A laptop is portable although not as portable as a sound recorder that goes into your pocket. I took a friend to a music store and we looked at the mic option because he records his piano music at home and doesn't perform anywhere else. You can place your computer + microphone at different spots in the room for the best sound.

Now that I do a lot more video recording. If I only want to keep just the audio, I'd open the video file in Quick Time on my Mac computer and export the file as .wav

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813536
02/11/19 11:46 AM
02/11/19 11:46 AM
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Posts: 176
Salish Sea
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Zoom is make of small recorder. H1, H2, etc. are different models of Zoom recorders.
Here is an example: Zoom H1N
I have used H1 ($99) on a mini tripod (about $10 or 20). Some mini-tripods can hold a smartphone.


”Mister Upright,” Yamaha YUS5.
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813556
02/11/19 12:26 PM
02/11/19 12:26 PM
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bennevis Offline
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A Zoom recorder is a good investment.

I have a Zoom H4n (which I bought because my sister wanted me to record some pieces for her, and send them to her in our home country, which as I've mentioned before is totally insignificant and minute but has caught up with the internet age - apparently) and I bring it with me on vacation as well as using it to record in a studio. On vacation, I might use it to record birdsong (à la Messiaen & Rautavaara - not that I have any plans to trump the former's Catalogue d'oiseaux or the latter's Cantus Arcticus wink ), folksongs (not that I have any plans to to trump the likes of Kodály and Bartók and Vaughan Williams), even whales (not that I have any plans to trump Hovhaness's And God created Great Whales), as well as pianos when I come across decent ones to play on.

For acoustic pianos, I position it on a camera tripod, about four feet away from near the tail with lid up for grands, which means that the stereo effect is similar to that obtained from commercial studio recordings, where the treble notes are towards the left and the bass are on the right - just like orchestras, where the violins are positioned on the left and the cellos & double basses are on the right (unless the conductor requests divided first & second violins, of course).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813583
02/11/19 01:26 PM
02/11/19 01:26 PM
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Madison
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HollyBytheLake Offline OP
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You guys are awesome. Thanks so much!


but think how good I could be in five years...
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813586
02/11/19 01:37 PM
02/11/19 01:37 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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Can you explain more what tripod you use and how you set it up ?

Also what exactly is Zoom, is it a type of microphone ?

I'm not very technological, thanks, so its a bit confusing.

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813602
02/11/19 02:12 PM
02/11/19 02:12 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Can you explain more what tripod you use and how you set it up ?

Also what exactly is Zoom, is it a type of microphone ?

I'm not very technological, thanks, so its a bit confusing.

This is what I have:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/AmazonBasi...26&sr=8-3&keywords=camera+tripod

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zoom-H4n-P...9912307&sr=8-3&keywords=zoom+h4n

Apart from that, you just need a SD card and two AA batteries.

P.S. Correction: I have the original H4n without the mic preamp and included batteries. This improved version should sound even better - and it's the same price. Get it hot while it lasts! (Disclaimer: I'm not promoting any product. Other portable sound recorders are available........ wink ).

Last edited by bennevis; 02/11/19 02:18 PM.

"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: bennevis] #2813606
02/11/19 02:27 PM
02/11/19 02:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 2,550
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by bennevis

I have the exact same Amazon Basics tripod and it works well. I used it to record this.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813660
02/11/19 04:16 PM
02/11/19 04:16 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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I dont want to buy a zoom for 180 quid. I dont even understand what is it! Can I just buy the tripod and put the iphone on it ? Does it really a difference to the sound in the video clip ?

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813680
02/11/19 04:43 PM
02/11/19 04:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Can I just buy the tripod and put the iphone on it ? Does it really a difference to the sound in the video clip ?

My video of SiFi was made with an iPhone on a tripod (iPhone XS Max). You can check the quality. In my case, I actually filmed the original in 4K resolution, but it was too big for Youtube (30GB file) so I had to transcode it to 1080p resolution. I think you can hear the microphone is fine. If you want to put an iPhone on a tripod, you will need a little camera mount for it. There are many inexpensive ones on Amazon. just search for "iPhone camera mount tripod" and you should see a bunch of possibilities. Some come included with little remotes controls the size of a large coin. This would be convenient for piano to be able to quickly start and stop the camera.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: Moo :)] #2813686
02/11/19 04:49 PM
02/11/19 04:49 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 314
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Online happy
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I dont want to buy a zoom for 180 quid. I dont even understand what is it! Can I just buy the tripod and put the iphone on it ? Does it really a difference to the sound in the video clip ?

Does it make a difference? Surely.
Does it matter? It depends on you.

If you'd like to register from your phone, I suggest you try with someone holding it for you in a short piece (or even just playing scales) just so you can judge by yourself if the sound and the picture is good enough for you. Then you can decide if you want better quality or not, and invest accordingly if necessary.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- (Classical piece TBD)
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
- Pozzoli, E.R. 427, etude no. 6
Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813734
02/11/19 06:07 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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Merci x

Re: ways to record an acoustic piano [Re: HollyBytheLake] #2813744
02/11/19 06:22 PM
02/11/19 06:22 PM
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Given that you're recording sound only on an i-whatever, there's no need for a professional tripod. You can use a hat rack or step ladder or whatever will let you position it higher than the rim and lower than the open lid, about 4 ft. from the tail, as Bennevis describes above. Cobble something up with cardboard, scissors, and tape to hold your i-thing safely and conveniently.


-- J.S.

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