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Best way to take video of myself?
#2982432 05/22/20 09:23 AM
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What’s the best way of recording yourself playing piano?

When I use my iPhone, the notes sound a bit muddy. Some of that may be the room in which I’m playing (which has little by way of sound-absorbing objects). But some of it is the microphone on my iPhone.

I’m playing pieces with a lot of staccato. For example:

https://youtu.be/HlvNKc5pYrk

I can play it almost like this, but my recordings lose the crispness of the notes.

Is there a special setup (or special microphone) I can use? Or do I need more sound-absorbing items in my room?

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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982436 05/22/20 09:32 AM
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What's your budget? Because you can certainly spend a lot of money and time trying to record acoustic piano.

Just audio? Or video?

One of the simplest and best ways is with a Zoom H4n (audio only), or a Zoom Q8 (audio and video). But it's not a cheap solution.

The best quality recordings are made with separate microphones, which you can use with either of those Zoom recorders.

Sam

Re: Best way to take video of myself?
Sam S #2982439 05/22/20 09:36 AM
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Audio and video.

And ideally I’d like to use my iPhone. Is there a special microphone I can use with my iPhone?

Again, ideally I’d like to use my iPhone. But it’s not an absolute requirement.

Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982450 05/22/20 10:15 AM
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Which iPhone? (which connector?)
What type of piano, vertical or grand?
What have you done to try and mitigate the muddy sound of your room? At least try a rug under your piano, for example.


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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982451 05/22/20 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DocOc
Audio and video.

And ideally I’d like to use my iPhone. Is there a special microphone I can use with my iPhone?

Again, ideally I’d like to use my iPhone. But it’s not an absolute requirement.

Sure, if you really want to do that you could get something like the IQ-6 which has the same microphones as the Zoom Z2n or H2n but without the digital recorder or camera and is more expensive. Your choice. There are other mics as well depending on your budget, both cheaper and more expensive.

Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982457 05/22/20 10:31 AM
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I'm an old guy, and not that technically savvy, but judging from the music videos I've seen and heard lately recorded on the latest smartphones, seems to me that would be hard to beat. The video quality is excellent.

Personally, I don't have a smartphone. I have an old fashioned flip phone cell phone for making and receiving calls, and an occasional text.

The audio on the smartphones is not that bad either, but Sam is right, a good quality audio recorder will make a difference in the sound of the audio.

For years I used a basic digital mini camcorder with the built in mic on the recorder. The sound quality was not that good, but neither was my piano playing. smile

Now, I still use the older camcorder for the video, but I also use a ZOOM H4n stereo audio recorder and sync the two files (video and audio) when I make/edit the music video file with my video editing software. I mute the audio portion of the video file, and try to synchronize the ZOOM audio file with the video. Not an easy task to get the sync 100%, but I can get pretty close if I keep working with it.

Also, the placement of the ZOOM H4n recorder is important. If not placed correctly, it is not that much better than the audio recording on the camcorder.

Next time around, I'll probably get the ZOOM video/audio recorder combo. No syncing involved. smile

Also, if you post your music video on YouTube, there will still be some loss of quality in the process.

Good luck!

Rick


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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982474 05/22/20 11:29 AM
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Rick, it's easier to sync if you start with a sharp short sound like a hand clap. You simply match the clap on the video and audio and away you go.


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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982510 05/22/20 01:22 PM
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OP, what model of iPhone? I have an 8plus and I think it sounds pretty darn good. Of course I play with too much pedal so.... whome

have you experimented with placement of the phone? Is the phone on a stand?

When I record with my phone, I have a holder-thingy that attaches to a tripod and then the phone is up at about 5.5 feet off the ground and angled down. I found that a closer position to the piano seems to work better.

This is the "holder thingy" -- it's actually called a cellphone tripod mount

I also have a Zoom H4n but my phone recordings are good enough that I rarely bother to get out the zoom anymore.


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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982520 05/22/20 01:49 PM
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You have 3 problems. The position of the camera you want will not be the best position for the mics. Additionally, mic settings on a phone are auto-gain, so it is difficult to record dynamic levels. 3rd, the mics are geared towards recording voice. Piano mics need to capture an extraordinarily wide frequency range. And this is all before you get into the specifics of the audio quality.

That said, there are better mics that can pair or plug into an iPhone. I've never tried, but I wonder if you could set the gain on an iPhone...maybe there are apps that will do this. With that, you would approach the quality of a Zoom Q8, and finding a good position to record from will take a fair amount of trial and error.

I personally recommend recording the audio separately. A Zoom H4n or even H2n can give you good results. With that, you can combine the phone's video with the separate audio. Virtually any video editing software can do this, so there are cheap options.


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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982567 05/22/20 05:13 PM
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You might look into the Shure MV88 which is a stereo microphone that plugs directly into the lightning port of an iPhone so the whole thing is still very compact. I have not tried it, but some on line videos show it being used to record musical performances.


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Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2982594 05/22/20 06:30 PM
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At the very minimum, dedicated recording equipment like a Zoom H4n. Nothing built into another device is meant for this purpose. Better would be stereo condenser mics, preferably phantom power instead of electret, preferably omnidirectional (better bass response), with the associated audio interface.

The cheapest camera I've found besides the phone or camera you already have is a low end action cam at 20 dollars. You can get smooth 720p footage and a clear lens with a little bit of fish-eye effect, which is good if you want shots from many different angles but can't afford to buy half a dozen proper cameras.

Last edited by trigalg693; 05/22/20 06:32 PM.
Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2983166 05/24/20 09:30 AM
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If you want the actual audio from the samples WITHIN your digital piano you'll either need to record from the AUX out, Headphones out or to USB/disk (depending on the age and features of your digital piano). If going AUX out or Headphones out, you'll need a cable to connect to some form of a recording device (regardless of whether you use a computer, digital audio recorder, tape deck, etc.) - if feeding the audio out from your keyboard into a computer, you can use something like Audacity to make a recording.

Re: Best way to take video of myself?
DocOc #2984312 1 hour ago
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Originally Posted by DocOc
What’s the best way of recording yourself playing piano?

When I use my iPhone, the notes sound a bit muddy. Some of that may be the room in which I’m playing (which has little by way of sound-absorbing objects). But some of it is the microphone on my iPhone.

I’m playing pieces with a lot of staccato. For example:

https://youtu.be/HlvNKc5pYrk

I can play it almost like this, but my recordings lose the crispness of the notes.

Is there a special setup (or special microphone) I can use? Or do I need more sound-absorbing items in my room?

Video of myself.... for comparison to Sokolov in my initial post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-CHT2emd-8


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