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Just curious, what kind of equipment do you use for recording piano? I used to record only with iphone. (for lesson purpose). But music festival is coming up and soon my kid is also doing piano exam virtually. Then I think of should I actually invest in simple equipment? Perhaps a mic?

I have upright piano so it's more simple (I saw people need 2 mic for recording grand and also a larger mic stand). Would you like to share your recording equipment?

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She has placed a Zoom H1n recorder inside the piano close to the strings. And probably combined audio from Zoom H1n and video from iPhone with iMovie or similar software.

https://www.amazon.ca/Zoom-H1n-Handy-Recorder/dp/B0798HK7Z3


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I like the way he does it, great sound:

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Originally Posted by fibbi
Just curious, what kind of equipment do you use for recording piano? I used to record only with iphone. (for lesson purpose). But music festival is coming up and soon my kid is also doing piano exam virtually. Then I think of should I actually invest in simple equipment? Perhaps a mic?

I have upright piano so it's more simple (I saw people need 2 mic for recording grand and also a larger mic stand). Would you like to share your recording equipment?

I went through this recently as well, and the simplest way to get a quality recording (much nicer than your phone) is with a digital recorder as Hakki mentioned. Both Zoom and Tascam make an array of models available on Amazon ranging less than $100 to likely more than you're willing to spend. For the most part you are paying for added channels and features (think portable recording studio) on the higher priced models, although the microphones and audio circuitry do tend to get more refined at some points.

Bottom line is they all do very well capturing good stereo audio to multiple formats and bitrates (including mp3) to a memory card. Approximately $100 was a sweet spot of quality and cost when I had looked last year.

You'll need some basic video editing software to combine your audio and video.

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I use an H2n placed behind my piano slightly more towards the bass side, between 6" and 18" from the back of the piano, depending on my mood that day. I have it set to 2ch surround sound, the MS side facing the piano, and MS spread 150 degrees. I keep the gain low to avoid clipping (of course I test the levels before I hit record).

Dozens of recoding examples in my YouTube link in my signature (all of the recordings with the black piano, not the brown piano). Listen to the MacDowell video (the most recent one) and close your eyes. It's incredibly convincing. (Ignore the weird tenor sound of the piano--it has nothing to do with recording quality.)


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Here is my budget setup, though I use this mostly to listen via headphones rather than recording. I can move the mics around and change reverb settings to get a slightly different listening experience. The EQ is used to reduce some muddiness in the lower tenor area.

Two Rode NT55 Condensor mics
Mackie ProFx mixer (an audio interface like the Focusrite scarlett-2i2 would work also)
Midiverb effects
DBX 231 Equalizer
Tascam DR-05X Recorder

Last edited by TBell; 03/02/21 10:39 AM. Reason: edit
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thanks all!
But the challenges for me is that, for recital submission it's usually no post-processing allowed. So I have to take video and audio together can't mix them afterwards. For exam it's real time as well also no post processing.

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In that case you can plug this to your iPhone/iPad and record high quality audio and video live without the need for any post processing:

https://www.amazon.ca/Zoom-iQ6-iOS-Lightning-Microphone/dp/B00MZCEY9O

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Here is Zoom iQ6 on an iPhone X


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There is also a zoom iq7 mic that came out. I have the Shure MV88, which also plugs into an iphone/ipad (it has a lightning connector for use with these apple devices and is not made for use with other devices). There is also an MV88+ that appears to be a bit more compatible with other devices, but I haven't looked into this.

I'm quite happy with the Shure MV88. When listening to comparison videos on youtube, I thought the MV88 had better sound than the zoom devices I was considering at the time, but the MV88 costs more than the zoom iq devices. I haven't listened to comparison videos involving the iq7.

I suggest using youtube to see how the different mics sound. Caveats: the sound you hear can be the product of many factors, including mic placement and whether any post-processing was done. Also, a mic that does fine for podcasting might not do as well for instrumental performance. Finally, remember that it's much easier to record a grand than an upright because an upright's sound is normally more "boxed-in."

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Yes the Zoom iQ 7 seems more convenient for recording video. The position of the mics can be adjusted for video recording orientation.

https://www.amazon.ca/Zoom-iQ7-Mid-Side-Microphone-iOS/dp/B00S9WNULM

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There is also this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zoom-Q2n-4...653&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-1 with which you can very easily get a standalone video and audio recording without even needing your phone or computer.

I have the now-discontinued earlier non-4k video of this which was available for peanuts and is I think still available on ebay but no longer from the main suppliers.

Last edited by gwing; 03/03/21 12:43 PM.
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I just don’t like the fisheye look of Zoom Q2n.


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Originally Posted by Hakki
She has placed a Zoom H1n recorder inside the piano close to the strings. And probably combined audio from Zoom H1n and video from iPhone with iMovie or similar software.

https://www.amazon.ca/Zoom-H1n-Handy-Recorder/dp/B0798HK7Z3

I use a Zoom H1n. Combined with a newer iphone or ipad a little known feature of the Zoom cameras is that they can perform as an audio interface under Ios, but you will need an Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. This one: Apple USB 3 to Camera Adapter and you will need a USB Cable for the H1n like this one: cable

The H1n instruction manual explains how to make it work. But you plug the mic into the USB port of the adapter and the power brick into the lightning port of the adapter and power the ipad that way.

Once set up like this you can just film a video from your ipad or iphone just as you normally would but the audio would come in through the H1n at 44 khz stereo. No syncing of audio/video required it's just point and shoot. The other beautiful thing behind this set-up is that you can control mic positioning separate from video. So you can record with the mic just over the strings or the mic outside the piano. I've never liked the idea of going into another program to sync audio or video though you can send the file for post processing if you want. I just want to keep things simple and make a video with high end audio recording. You can also just message the video within seconds to your family and friends. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

By the way this set-up also allows you to live stream a Zoom session with high fidelity audio again with proper mic positioning. This set-up accomplishes the same thing as the IQ mics from zoom but you are able to physically separate the mic from the camera limited only by the length of the cable you buy.

You can get the H1n on sale usually for $69 and the apple USB 3 camera adapter costs $39.

Last edited by Jethro; 03/03/21 01:44 PM.

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BTW if you want to use the set-up as I described above you have to buy the exact Apple adapter as shown not a knock off or another type of USB to camera adapter. For whatever reason, the ipads/iphones are finicky that way. Also the iphones and ipads must be plugged into power through the adapter or the ipad/iphone will say it does not have enough power use the USB (H1n) mic.

I also think this set-up will work with all Zoom mics, but you would have to check the manual first. See if it offers a Ios audio interface option. Beyond that the manual doesn't tell you how to set up the hardware or what adapters you need. What I described above is how you do it.

Last edited by Jethro; 03/03/21 01:52 PM.

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Whoa! I will have to see if the H2n does that as well. The issue I have in a darker environment is the VFR of the iPhone can get off from the H2n audio. It drives me nuts. But if I can plug directly into the iPhone...that changes everything!


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Yep, I have a YouTube channel!

Current:
1998 PETROF Model IV Chippendale
LEGO Grand Piano (IDEAS 031|21323)
YAMAHA PSR-520

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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Whoa! I will have to see if the H2n does that as well. The issue I have in a darker environment is the VFR of the iPhone can get off from the H2n audio. It drives me nuts. But if I can plug directly into the iPhone...that changes everything!
Out of curiosity I looked at the manuals. You can attach the H2n to a computer as an audio device but is does not specifically mention Ios (which is the operating system that runs ipads and iphones) So it may not work, but you are welcome to try and let us know. When I use the H1n with my ipad or iphone I choose a setting on the H1n that specifically says "Ios"

Check page 60 here of the H2n, page 33 of the H4n compared to H1n page 43.

H2n manual

H4n manual

H1n manual

Only the H1n specifically mentions Ios. So call Zoom first and clarify but I think it will work with all Zoom mics just not so sure how you choose it as an option on the mic itself. Edit: the H1n manual does indeed say to use a USB to camera adapter, but again it MUST be the one I referred to a couple of posts back or it won't work.

Last edited by Jethro; 03/03/21 02:14 PM.

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Originally Posted by Jethro
I use a Zoom H1n. Combined with a newer iphone or ipad a little known feature of the Zoom cameras is that they can perform as an audio interface under Ios, but you will need an Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. This one: Apple USB 3 to Camera Adapter and you will need a USB Cable for the H1n like this one: cable

The H1n instruction manual explains how to make it work. But you plug the mic into the USB port of the adapter and the power brick into the lightning port of the adapter and power the ipad that way.

Once set up like this you can just film a video from your ipad or iphone just as you normally would but the audio would come in through the H1n at 44 khz stereo. No syncing of audio/video required it's just point and shoot. The other beautiful thing behind this set-up is that you can control mic positioning separate from video. So you can record with the mic just over the strings or the mic outside the piano. I've never liked the idea of going into another program to sync audio or video though you can send the file for post processing if you want. I just want to keep things simple and make a video with high end audio recording. You can also just message the video within seconds to your family and friends. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

Whoa, this is amazing! I have a Zoom H4n but I think I've only used it once. I hate the process of recording myself, but I regret not recording when my friend and I worked on chamber music together, and I think having video is a huge plus! I'll have to look into it for sure. Do you know if that feature exists on the first gen 12.9" iPad?

Edit: looks like the adapter is compatible with my iPad!

Last edited by twocats; 03/03/21 03:48 PM.

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By the way, I found the adapter for half the price on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/265075141330


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Originally Posted by Hakki
I just don’t like the fisheye look of Zoom Q2n.

I can understand that, nobody should expecting this to be megabucks video production quality but it's absolutely fine for a simple and easy recording of a piece for exam submission or even non-obtrusive recording of a live gig you go to.

It does have a huge 160 degree FOV and there is always some distortion associated with anything over 125 degrees or so - I do have a rectilinear fixed focal length (no zoom) SLR lens with 122mm FOV but just that single lens was about seven times the price of this whole recorder. Remember also that the Q2N lens is a zoom and if you select a less extreme field of view it does greatly reduce the fisheye effect - but at the end of the day it is indeed comparable to gopro type cameras not specialist video equipment.

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