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Keyboard Recording
#2963189 04/03/20 06:50 AM
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Hi :-)

I want to record some tunes with my keyboard. Is it sufficient (regarding quality) to connect the audio output of the keyboard to the microphone input of my pc and record with a DAW? Or do I need an audio interface to get good results? How big is the difference?

Thx :-)

Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2963198 04/03/20 07:57 AM
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You'll need to be careful about the signal level (not too hot), possible "optimizations" for the mic input such as noise gate and automatic gain and of course it will only be in mono.

So, probably not that great. You can always try of course,

Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2963208 04/03/20 08:38 AM
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First, you can just try it. If it works and you like the results, you win! I doubt it will sound great for a few reasons:
- You most likely will have to use the variable outs from you keyboard so you don't overload the computer input... no damage, but it will distort if you input is too loud.
- Your computer will use its super super cheap analog-to-digital converters as the recordings will be digital. It will be sub optimal sound... if you like it, you win.

An "audio interface" does a bunch of things such as being able to take in multiple sources such as a microphone or a direct connection from say an electric guitar as well as the outs from your keyboard. So, IMO, you should use a decent converter and not use your computer's converter. If you don't need a microphone input, you may just be able to find a converter that is higher quality at a good price as it doesn't need to be a multi-function unit.

If you keyboard has a USB out.... you may not need a converter at all. I believe most if not all modern boards have this USB out.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 04/03/20 08:41 AM.

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Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2963210 04/03/20 08:43 AM
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If what you're recording is worth recording, do it right. Get a proper audio interface.

If you have a desktop computer, it will likely have a decent interface. But laptops generally don't.
Laptops next to desktops are like frozen microwave dinners next to fine French cuisine.

Re: Keyboard Recording
Bruce In Philly #2963213 04/03/20 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
I believe most if not all modern boards have this USB out.


Only a few output audio over the USB.

Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2963394 04/03/20 05:16 PM
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Quote

First, you can just try it.

This is not a good idea. This is like plugging a CD player into the phono input of a home stereo amp and hoping for the best despite the phono preamp now operating on a much higher voltage input than the output level of a phono cartridge.

Mixers and audio recording interfaces that accept microphone input have preamps for the microphone because microphone output level is very low. Plugging a line level output into an input with a preamp first microphone output levels has a great chance for causing an over spec condition for something.

Before doing it, check the sensitivity and functional specs of the mic input. If it is or can be configured for inputs with a vintage range that includes the output level of the keyboard, then it is safe to try it.

Even if a computer soundboard had a high end recording interface built in, it would be suboptimal because the inside of a computer case is a very noisy environment with EMI. Having the sound card and recording interface outboard is helpful. The recording interface driver with emulate a computer sound card interface while communicating with the audio interface. The interface will thus also function as an outboard DAC/sound card.

If all you need a recording interface to do is record keyboard output, then a very inexpensive one will work well because you don’t need to pay for high quality mic preamps or more than 2 input channels. A Focusrite Scarlett would be an option. Its microphone preamps might even be pretty good to boot.





My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2963415 04/03/20 06:25 PM
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So ... just get one of these ... and problem solved.

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Re: Keyboard Recording
Sweelinck #2963691 04/04/20 04:55 PM
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Typos from spell “corrector” corrected.

Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Quote

First, you can just try it.

This is not a good idea. This is like plugging a CD player into the phono input of a home stereo amp and hoping for the best despite the phono preamp now operating on a much higher voltage input than the output level of a phono cartridge.

Mixers and audio recording interfaces that accept microphone input have preamps for the microphone because microphone output level is very low. Plugging a line level output into an input with a preamp first for microphone output levels has a great chance for causing an over spec condition for something.

Before doing it, check the sensitivity and functional specs of the mic input. If it is or can be configured for inputs with a vintage voltage range that includes the output level of the keyboard, then it is safe to try it.

Even if a computer soundboard had a high end recording interface built in, it would be suboptimal because the inside of a computer case is a very noisy environment with EMI. Having the sound card and recording interface outboard is helpful. The recording interface driver with emulate a computer sound card interface while communicating with the audio interface. The interface will thus also function as an outboard DAC/sound card.

If all you need a recording interface to do is record keyboard output, then a very inexpensive one will work well because you don’t need to pay for high quality mic preamps or more than 2 input channels. A Focusrite Scarlett would be an option. Its microphone preamps might even be pretty good to boot.

All of the products Mac mentioned are fine. Tascam makes good products, but has no telephone-based customer support if that matters. Not sure about the other brands in regard to telephone-based support.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964034 04/06/20 02:05 AM
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Thank you all for your replies :-)

Ok, I think I will have a look at some low-cost audio interfaces.
The ones MacMacMac suggested seem to be pretty simple and not very expensive. I suppose for my intention totally sufficient.

There is a USB connection at my keyboard, but I think it's only for MIDI (I sometimes use it to control the drum kit in my DAW). At least I didn't get the real audio over that USB.

To record other instruments I already have an USB microphone with integrated audio interface, but I guess recording keyboard via microphone is no option xD

Re: Keyboard Recording
Sweelinck #2964081 04/06/20 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
All of the products Mac mentioned are fine. Tascam makes good products, but has no telephone-based customer support if that matters. Not sure about the other brands in regard to telephone-based support.

Don't know about telephone support, but there is a very active support forum for the Focusrite interfaces, and lots of YouTube videos.

Presonus Audiobox is also widely used, so I would guess it also has a good support forum, and some YouTube videos lying around. No idea about the other ones in MacMacMac's list, maybe they have good online user support.

Thing is, if you run into a problem with an audio interface, chances are other users have run into the same problem(s). In that case, it's good if one can find some tips online, and won't have to wait a long time by the telephone.


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Casio PX-5S. Garritan CFX, Production Grand 2 Gold, Concert Grand LE, AcousticSamples C7, NI Giant, Sampletekk White Grand, Choc. Audio Steinbach, and a few more. Kontakt 5. Reaper.
Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964082 04/06/20 08:08 AM
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I don't use telephone support. It's generally poor, and often completely useless.

Tascam was on my list because they make pro-grade equipment ... if that's what you're looking for.

But Meticus says he's looking for a low-cost unit.
IIRC, The Focusrite Scarlett units are a bit more expensive.
So Presonus or M-Audio would be good choices

Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964213 04/06/20 04:51 PM
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I own and have owned Tascam products. They are very good generally. But the idea of having the internet as the only source of support for a pro-oriented product is problematic. Professional work has schedules for engagements and deadlines for deliverables. A working pro sometimes needs a resolution to a current problem by yesterday, not by tomorrow. Many vendors fall short here.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
Re: Keyboard Recording
Sweelinck #2964261 04/06/20 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I own and have owned Tascam products. They are very good generally. But the idea of having the internet as the only source of support for a pro-oriented product is problematic. Professional work has schedules for engagements and deadlines for deliverables. A working pro sometimes needs a resolution to a current problem by yesterday, not by tomorrow. Many vendors fall short here.


Tascam is more of a value-for-money manufacturer, although their equipment can be very good.

There are companies like Nagra, Sonosax, and Sound Devices serving the pro end of the market.

Last edited by johnstaf; 04/06/20 08:28 PM.
Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964310 04/07/20 05:43 AM
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Since it is only for my hobby, telephone support is not necessary. I think I'll get along with internet forums and YouTube tutorials.

In the first instance I want to check out the possibilities and experiment a little with keyboard recording and get an idea where the journey will take me. So for a start a simple audio interface should do, maybe a Tascam device as suggested.

If I deepen that topic and some day I miss functionality or quality I can upgrade to a better device, but I think that would last a while.

Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964313 04/07/20 05:55 AM
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An alternative suggestion would be to get something like a Zoom digital audio recorder. You can give it a stereo line signal direct from your keyboard (or use the decent built in stereo condenser mics - for that or any other purpose). Write the audio (mp3 or WAV) to an SD card. Then load that into the computer if you want to manipulate it or share it.

They're useful things to have. My experience is that you can get some pretty decent results.


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Re: Keyboard Recording
EssBrace #2964361 04/07/20 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
An alternative suggestion would be t o get something like a Zoom digital audio recorder . . .
They're useful things to have. My experience is that you can get some pretty decent results.


+1.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964362 04/07/20 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
An alternative suggestion would be t o get something like a Zoom digital audio recorder . . .
They're useful things to have. My experience is that you can get some pretty decent results.


+1.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Keyboard Recording
EssBrace #2964587 04/08/20 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
An alternative suggestion would be to get something like a Zoom digital audio recorder.

Thank you for the tip :-)
Didn't hear of such a device before. Could be a good alternative for a start.

Re: Keyboard Recording
Meticus #2964754 04/08/20 03:42 PM
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If you're only recording your keyboard, you may find something like the Behringer UCA202 will suffice (costs around £22). The tracks recorded in my earlier thread used this connected to the keyboard outputs and then into Audacity on my laptop.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2964621/vst-sound-test.html#Post2964621

Re: Keyboard Recording
johnstaf #2965842 04/11/20 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I own and have owned Tascam products. They are very good generally. But the idea of having the internet as the only source of support for a pro-oriented product is problematic. Professional work has schedules for engagements and deadlines for deliverables. A working pro sometimes needs a resolution to a current problem by yesterday, not by tomorrow. Many vendors fall short here.

Tascam is more of a value-for-money manufacturer, although their equipment can be very good.

There are companies like Nagra, Sonosax, and Sound Devices serving the pro end of the market.
Sure. But Tascam is just one example. Some of the big name digital keyboard companies have untimely support models. Never mind if you need a problem resolved for a performance tonight.


My chronological list of the top 20 composers: Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich.
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