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No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
#2945109 02/10/20 11:17 AM
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to record my acoustic piano keyboard from above using my iPad but didn't want to invest in buying a tripod or mic holder, plus an iPad holder. So I made some cuts to an Amazon box that was lying around and voilà! It works pretty well. So I figured I'd share it here in case someone else is interested:

[Linked Image]

And here's my first recording of a famous Brazilian song using it:

https://youtu.be/nzx-BLB8Aew

(little mistake at the very end (last chord); lifted the pedal too soon)


Talão

Yamaha U3 and P125
Playing since July 2019
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945125 02/10/20 11:54 AM
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I'm not an Apple user so seeing your set up I am a little confused. I too use twin condenser mics to record but they are connected to my Audient iD44 usb interface. Just how is your iPAD connected to these mics, or do you use them with a mixer?
There is no way I would sit anything on top of my Blüthner never mind such a contraption that some day might bring a few scratches and dents in your Yamaha. Better to use an iPAD mount on a boom stand.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945172 02/10/20 01:51 PM
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Creative! And as long as it works, who cares? Now I am looking forward to some recordings.


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Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945187 02/10/20 02:15 PM
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That is great! I love it. I've often wondered how to position an iPad directly over head.


[Linked Image]
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945196 02/10/20 02:43 PM
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Interesting solution.

But, IMO, videos that show your hands and arms from the side, as in your 290 hrs videos are better.
And more suitable in case you post the video to ask questions about your posture, technique, progress etc.

Oh, and please have your piano tuned.


Last edited by Hakki; 02/10/20 02:44 PM.
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945235 02/10/20 04:26 PM
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I don't understand why you would want to place the mikes almost inside the piano? When broadcasting recitals, the BBC have a central microphone hanging above the front of the stage, and another about 2 or 3 yards from the piano, towards the tail end. The mikes are nowhere near so close as in the picture above. Or is it something to do with this being an upright?

Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
David-G #2945267 02/10/20 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Beemer
I'm not an Apple user so seeing your set up I am a little confused. I too use twin condenser mics to record but they are connected to my Audient iD44 usb interface. Just how is your iPAD connected to these mics, or do you use them with a mixer?
There is no way I would sit anything on top of my Blüthner never mind such a contraption that some day might bring a few scratches and dents in your Yamaha. Better to use an iPAD mount on a boom stand.
Ian


Ian: I'm only using the iPad for video. The 2 mics are connected to an audio interface connected to my computer. I delete the iPad audio and combine its video with the audio from the mics in a video editing software. You're right that there's always some non-zero probability of an accident and each person's tolerance is different. In my case, I feel like the probability is low enough.

Originally Posted by Hakki

Oh, and please have your piano tuned.


Does it sound super bad? I had it tuned for the first time in my house (bought new) on January 2nd. The plan was to wait 3 months until the next one.

Originally Posted by David-G
I don't understand why you would want to place the mikes almost inside the piano? When broadcasting recitals, the BBC have a central microphone hanging above the front of the stage, and another about 2 or 3 yards from the piano, towards the tail end. The mikes are nowhere near so close as in the picture above. Or is it something to do with this being an upright?


From my researching piano mic-ing techniques (I'm not an expert by any means), near vs far is a matter of what kind of sound one wants to go for. Both are valid and there are lots of examples of people doing both. When more than 2 mics are possible (if you have a larger audio interface), some people do a combo of both and combine the sounds. If you google "piano recording" you'll see lots of videos of people recording a grand piano with mics super close to the strings.


Last edited by Talão; 02/10/20 05:25 PM.

Talão

Yamaha U3 and P125
Playing since July 2019
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945321 02/10/20 07:50 PM
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My question is whether or not the iPad must be open for the camera to be operational. If that's the case, I would worry that that would make your "contraption" front-heavy, and the results could be disastrous to the piano and to your hands.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945325 02/10/20 08:01 PM
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Pretty ingenious!



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Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
BruceD #2945344 02/10/20 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
My question is whether or not the iPad must be open for the camera to be operational. If that's the case, I would worry that that would make your "contraption" front-heavy, and the results could be disastrous to the piano and to your hands.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the iPad being open. What you see in the picture is what it looks like when it's recording. It's not front heavy because most of the iPad is inside the cut in the box. I tested its stability before sitting down to play and it's going nowhere. :-)


Talão

Yamaha U3 and P125
Playing since July 2019
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945345 02/10/20 09:21 PM
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Brilliant!

Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
David-G #2945492 02/11/20 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by David-G
I don't understand why you would want to place the mikes almost inside the piano? When broadcasting recitals, the BBC have a central microphone hanging above the front of the stage, and another about 2 or 3 yards from the piano, towards the tail end. The mikes are nowhere near so close as in the picture above. Or is it something to do with this being an upright?


This is one of the standard recommended mic positions for an upright and works for me too. Only conditions are not to close to pick up mechanical noise and the mics must be at least 1-1/2 times apart the distance to their respective strings to avoid comb filtering.
Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945518 02/11/20 12:09 PM
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Very clever. You should draw eyes and nostrils on the box. wink

Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945545 02/11/20 12:43 PM
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That's pretty ingenious if you ask me! I just need to fabricate a smaller version for my mobile phone. wink

Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945559 02/11/20 01:13 PM
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Very clever, I love free solutions.
I'm surprised the ticking from that giant clock doesn't drown out your playing. smile smile smile


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Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945568 02/11/20 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Talão
Originally Posted by BruceD
My question is whether or not the iPad must be open for the camera to be operational. If that's the case, I would worry that that would make your "contraption" front-heavy, and the results could be disastrous to the piano and to your hands.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean by the iPad being open. What you see in the picture is what it looks like when it's recording. It's not front heavy because most of the iPad is inside the cut in the box. I tested its stability before sitting down to play and it's going nowhere. :-)


My bad! - as they say. Not being an iPad user, I was thinking laptop that has to be opened to be operational, but of course, I get it now.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
MarkL #2945631 02/11/20 04:47 PM
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Thank you all for the kind words. I'm glad it's inspiring others to make their own version.

Originally Posted by EP
Very clever. You should draw eyes and nostrils on the box. wink

Great idea! My daughter (turning 5yo in March) will love that! :-)

Originally Posted by GC13
That's pretty ingenious if you ask me! I just need to fabricate a smaller version for my mobile phone. wink

Certainly. That's very doable.

Originally Posted by MarkL
Very clever, I love free solutions.
I'm surprised the ticking from that giant clock doesn't drown out your playing. smile smile smile

Haha! That big clock actually doesn't work. It is set to the hour my daughter was born: 9:05pm. But, yes, I wouldn't be able to play unless it made a sound every second, which is equivalent to my setting the metronome at 60bpm which, coincidentally, is what I'm using to practice my scales with triplets and 1/16 notes right now smile


Talão

Yamaha U3 and P125
Playing since July 2019
Re: No-Cost Contraption for Recording Keyboard from Above
Talão #2945674 02/11/20 06:34 PM
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I could have sworn that I read, "it's going nowhere" and "five year old daughter". In relation to a cardboard box with an iPad slotted into it.


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