Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments. Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
Since my teacher canceled the lessons some time ago, we only communicate online - I record all the pieces I play on my phone, post it on youtube and my teacher gives me feedback. The problem is that the video/sound quality is no good (to say the least).
I own a Yamaha-P45 and I have a midi cable - the USB-B part goes into my DP, the other, "normal" USB goes into my laptop. Today I tried probably a dozen different software solutions like Audacity but nothing really worked. I did manage to record and save the midi file but then I couldn´t make my laptop play it in any player (software). What I want is just the sound from the piano recorded in my laptop as mp3 or any other format I can easily convert to mp3. I watched some tutorials but they didn´t really help. I am wondering if midi is the way to go or if there is any other way (the non-midi way) to do it. Thanks in advance good people.
I use Audacity and don't have such problems. Once you have the recording you go to file, export, and export as mp3. It used to be you had to install an extension called Lame to achieve this, but I believe it is now built in to Audacity.
If you have a USB output from your digital there would be no need to use the midi output. You could even just use the headphone output as well.
I use a Canon PowerShot camera on a tripod to do my recordings and does a good enough job. The video recording can go up to 1920x1080 60fps. It is not necessary to go this high. I normally have the resolution as 1280x720 30fps which is already in HD. The audio file is in .m4a which isn't too bad.
If you are just doing an audio recording, a good microphone like Yeti from Blue plugged into a computer would work. My Yamaha P-95 keyboard has 2 speakers (1 on each side). If I'm recording off my camera I'd aim the camera towards 1 of the speakers to record the sound from only that speaker or I'd get a lot of recording noise. Have to experiment with the ideal playback volume to minimize noise & distortion (not too soft or loud).
The other portable device I have for recording audio is a ZOOM-H1 recorder. It's a few years old and does a reasonable job recording audio in .wav format at 9600bps. My camera goes up to 14400bps in .m4a format. I don't find it necessary to compile an audio file to .mp3 unless I'm sending it as an Email attachment. When I'm sharing a video on Y-T or Facebook. I just stick to a .m4a or .wav audio file for less compression. My Apple phone also does a reasonable job recording audio as .m4a file with Voice Memo. Recording a video would be a .mp4 file.
I stopped using .mid files ages ago. In the beginning I used a keyboard that recorded in midi format. Once upon a time (at least 20 years ago), there are composer software that can open a .mid file. Now I'd save my audio files in .m4a or .wav.
Here is a video recording I made recently with my Canon PowerShot camera:
If you want to record the P-45's _own sound_, don't use MIDI at all.
You have a choice:
. . . 1.Use a microphone (or a stereo pair of microphones) to record the sound through the air, as your ear hears it:
. . . . . a Zoom H1 or H2 recorder is a reasonable choice; or,
. . . . a mic, into an "audio interface", feeding a computer running "Audacity" is a reasonable choice;
You'll get a ".WAV" audio file, and edit it onto the video recording.
. . . . . or . . . . . . . a separate microphone, that plugs into your video recorder.
. . . . . . . If you use a mic(s) plugged into the video recorder, you won't have to synchronize the audio recording, . . . . . . . . and the video recording -- it'll be right, without any editing.
. . . 2.Use the signal from the P-45 "Phones" jack -- no microphone needed -- into "Audacity" or a stand-alone audio recorder . . . . . . that has an input for an external microphone (I think the Zoom H2 has that, I know the H4 / H4n does).
. . . . . You'll get a ".WAV" file you can edit onto the video recording.
For most good mic's, and most computers, you'll get better results using an "audio interface" between the mic and the computer, . . . than you will get by plugging the mic into the computer's "mic" input.
For some computers, matching levels between the computer's audio (either mic or line) input, and the "Phones" output of the P-45, may create problems. In that case, an "audio interface" with a _line-level_ input(s) would be useful.
Behringer makes some low-cost audio interfaces -- the UM-2 (one mic) and UMC-202 (2 mic). There are lots of others.
So, two questions:
. . . . What are you using to make your video recording, now?
. . . . What is your budget for this project?
Last edited by Charles Cohen; 03/31/2010:51 PM.
. Charles --------------------------- PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
Does your laptop have an analog mic input? It is probably combined in the same socket as the headphone outlet and will be intended for non-USB headsets that have both a mic and headphones.
I have a P-45 and I simply connect its headphone output direct to the headphone socket of my Surface Pro. I use Audacity to record audio only or else the camera app on the laptop if I want combined audio and video. Quality is fine for a beginner like me.
In theory the P-45 headphone output should be too loud / high power for the laptop mic input but modern laptop mic inputs auto adjust between line in and mic in, so all is well.
If you are using a laptop on battery you should not get any ground loops or hum and should not need an interface or isolator.
You may have to experiment finding which pins to connect to on the microphone / line input plug as there are different types with different numbers of pins and connectors. Google will help.
I wouldn’t try miking the P45 speakers - as you know, they are rubbish. You will get immeasurably better results recording the P45 sound before it gets anywhere near the speakers.
The way I understand it, the main issue is that the P-45 doesn't support audio through USB, so that connecting your DP to your computer only gets you a MIDI file (which does NOT include the P45's actual sound). In other words, USB is not the way to go if you want an audio file with the sound produced by the DP.
If you're set on using your P-45's sound, then you should try the tips above.
On the other hand, it might be a good idea to look into VSTs if you don't absolutely want the P-45's sound. You can very easily turn your .mid files into audio files when using VSTs. My personal recommendations would be:
- to buy a VST. Garritan CFX Lite, for instance, only costs 60$ (i.e. not much more than a low-range sound interface, and cheaper than a higher-quality interface or good recording device) and sounds pretty good! Though everyone has his likes and dislikes, I doubt anyone would prefer the P45's sound over Garritan's. You just need to make sure your PC is not utter crap (an SSD and decent RAM are recommended) and can run it.
- OR to ask someone who has one or more VSTs to turn your MIDI recordings into audio files (mp3 etc.). I'd be willing to do that for you if you're happy with CFX Lite.
You can check if your laptop headphone socket includes a microphone input by opening the old-school Control Panel app (NOT the Settings app) and going to Hardware and Sound > Sound, and then selecting the "Recording" tab from the Sound window.
In there you will see all the recording devices that your laptop has. If it has a normal microphone you will see that but hopefully you will also see a greyed out entry for "Headset Microphone" saying "Not plugged in". Once something is plugged in to the headphone jack you will be able to use the Properties tab to make it default, set levels etc.
It is mono so you only need one channel of the P-45 stereo headphone output (they're identical as far as I can tell).
If you decide to go ahead just ping me a PM and I will send you my detailed setup instructions that I worked out.
Situations like this is where have a USB microphone is real handy for lessons, recording practice, and any quick and easy recording needed.
Before i got my USB mic for situation like this I used one of those USB computer cameras for a better picture, but most also have a microphone built-in also. I was doing video and sound recording for lessons that way.
Few notes on my experience how to make Roland DP603 work for recording and live online lessons. I think this applies to most digital pianos.
TL;DR: Get Yamaha AG03 or AG06 usb mixer.
Background: - "Audio interface" is a physical device that you connect with USB to computer and you plug microphones and instruments to it. To record keyboard in stereo you need two-channel audio interface and to record vocals with a mic at the same time you need three channels. - Usually all audio recording connections are mono.Some sound cards on computers might have "line in" jack that might be stereo, but that's rare. Mic ports are mono.
About Roland's audio outputs: - Piano has line out that is 2xTS mono jack so you can connect that with two mono TS cables to two ports of an audio interface. You'll then get stereo signal on computer. - The piano also has two headphone outputs (6.3 mm and 3.5 mm) that also will work, but you need a Y-cable that has two TS mono plugs on other and and stereo TRS plug on the other end. - On Roland the volume control affects the level of line out and to have acceptable signal level the volume has to be 50/100 or more, preferably at max. For me 25/100 is about as loud as I like on headphones or what my family members like on speakers. This means that I cannot record and listen what I play directly from the piano. I'd really like the piano to have setting that that line level is line level (100%) and I could still set the speaker or headphones volume lower, but it's not possible. - There is really no difference in audio quality if you feed audio interface from headphone out or line out. The headphone outputs are little hotter so that with volume maybe 70% from headphone jack you get the same signal level than from line out with 100% volume. - Roland sounds horrible when recorded mono direct from line out to audio interface. If you only have one input channel (like a mic port on laptop) using a real microphone to record what comes our from piano's speakers will give better results than connecting the piano directly to single channel input.
I have had Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 two-channel audio interface. It's is not great for recording and even worse for live lessons. The recording is problematic because of Roland's line out volume issue you need to turn piano volume to max and put headphones (or dummy plug) to the headphones jack to turn the speakers off. So you cannot hear from piano what you are playing. In digital recording there is a big delay so if you plug in headphones to computer and turn playthrough on, you will hear what would hear from the piano, but with half second delay. You can't play like that. Luckily Scarlett has live monitoring feature so you can plug in headphones to the audio interface and you will hear what you play without delay, BUT 1. The max volume is too low. Lower what piano headphone output is at 25% 2. On max volume the live monitoring is noisy 3. It combines both input channels to mono and play that from both channels, and it sounds just bad. The recording will turn out good, so there is no problem with the end result. But it's not pleasant to work with.
For online lesson (Skype/Zoom), you want you voice and your piano to be heard on the other end, preferably with high quality and with a nice balance. For your voice you will need a microphone so that will take one of Scarlett's inputs. Then you could plug mono signal from piano to the other input, but again because of mono and volume problems you cannot hear your playing clearly and the sound is bad on the other end. Additionally the other end would hear you speaking on the left channel and mono piano on right channel. That's no good. Scarlett can be used for live lessons with mic only if you just connect one mic or stereo mics to it and turn piano speakers up.
Specially for online lesson I now bought Yamaha AG03, which is three channel audio interface / mixer. It's great for this purpose. As plain audio interface it's better than Focusrite scarlett (more gain with lower noise), it's cheaper and it's a mixer too. This device has one XLR mic input and one stereo instrument channel, so I can plug in microphone and the stereo piano to it. Then I can set the gain for both separately so my voice and piano both come though clearly without clipping. The device will send stereo mix to PC, so the other party will hear my voice on both speakers and my piano as stereo. This device also has good headphone amp and it does not mix the channels to mono in live monitoring so I can turn the headphones as loud as I like and the sound quality is the same as directly from the piano.