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I just made my first recording from my digital piano onto a flash drive (test driving the process for future PW recitals. The volume on the recording was barely audible at 100% on my laptop speakers. This was the case in both the .wav version and after I converted the file to .mp3. My digital is Yamaha CLP-635 if that make any difference. The quality of the recording sounded very good to me - just dismayed by the low volume.

Would a program like Audacity fix this? I understand that I can download it for free.

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>Would a program like Audacity fix this?

Probably/possibly/depending.

>I understand that I can download it for free.

Yes. So try it and see if the results are satisfactory to you.


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Thank you, FrankCox,

I'll try that out later today. I thought it might be a common problem and maybe unique to Yamaha DPs and that there might be quick fix for it.

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Audacity has a "Normalize" function. That's what I use -- "Normalize" to -3 dB, which will boost your softest sound (on the original recording) to "Loud".

If that's too loud, reduce the "Normalize" parameter to -10 dB, or whatever suits you.

The _reason_ it's so soft, is the the recording levels in the DP are set to handle the _loudest possible sound_. The flash-drive recorder doesn't know if you're going to play "Claire de Lune", or "Great Gate of Kiev", so it's set by the design engineers for "Great Gate of Kiev".

Audacity is free, and it has enough features to do standard audio recording chores. It's logical, and no more complicated than it has to be.

Last edited by Charles Cohen; 03/28/21 03:11 PM.

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Thank you Charles,

I'll try that you later this afternoon. I remember seeing something on my internet search yesterday about a '3' setting of some sort on Audacity.

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FrankCox, Charles, thank you both. It's better now!

Charles, I set the normalize parameter to -3 and the result was better than before, but still not loud enough to sound 'normal' with my speakers set at 50%. Would it be logical to try -4 to make it louder or go in the opposite direction? The minus sign has me a little confused.

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Honestly the normalize should be let at default audacity settings, which is -1db. It is 2db louder than -3db.

I also go a Yamaha with record to audio USB and you're right even with normalize the sould is still really soft. But that is the best option without delving into heavy editing.


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Mareg,

Thank you for clarification on the normalize setting. I changed it to -1db. My ears couldn't tell a difference from the -3db setting. I attempted a '+' setting, but the program wouldn't let me. I then tried just a 0.0db setting and it sounded the same to me as the -3db and the -1db versions. I'll take your advice and just keep it at -1db. It's still much better than what I started out with.

I'm sure there are other 70+ year olds out there that can handle heavy sound editing, but I don't think I'm one of them.

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Originally Posted by lilypad
FrankCox, Charles, thank you both. It's better now!

Charles, I set the normalize parameter to -3 and the result was better than before, but still not loud enough to sound 'normal' with my speakers set at 50%. Would it be logical to try -4 to make it louder or go in the opposite direction? The minus sign has me a little confused.

If you want it louder, why don't you raise the "speaker" setting to 60% or 70% ?

Or even (gasp!) 80% ?

There are lots of gain adjustments in a typical audio signal chain. They're there to give you the ability to get the most volume possible, with the least possible noise, without distortion. Figuring out how to divide up the available gain among the components, for best results, is called "gain staging", and it's a bit of a black art.

For Audacity, if you want something louder than "-3 db", use "-2 dB" or "-1 dB". Anything higher than "0 dB" means that you're introducing digital "overload distortion" , and that sounds _awful_, so Audacity won't let you do it.


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Originally Posted by lilypad
I just made my first recording from my digital piano onto a flash drive (test driving the process for future PW recitals. The volume on the recording was barely audible at 100% on my laptop speakers. This was the case in both the .wav version and after I converted the file to .mp3. My digital is Yamaha CLP-635 if that make any difference. The quality of the recording sounded very good to me - just dismayed by the low volume.

Would a program like Audacity fix this? I understand that I can download it for free.

There might be a setting on your digital piano when you record.

You might check the manual or watch for it in window when you go through process to record.


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
If you want it louder, why don't you raise the "speaker" setting to 60% or 70% ?

That's what I decided to do. 70% works well.


Originally Posted by dmd
You might check the manual or watch for it in window when you go through process to record.
There is a setting, but the manual recommends against anything higher than the default value to avoid distorted sound.

I'm reasonably satisfied with the my result using the default (-1.0) 'normalize' effect with Audacity.

Thanks to all you folks that replied.

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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
There are lots of gain adjustments in a typical audio signal chain. They're there to give you the ability to get the most volume possible, with the least possible noise, without distortion. Figuring out how to divide up the available gain among the components, for best results, is called "gain staging", and it's a bit of a black art.
Recording directly to USB from a digital piano, there is no analog audio involved anywhere, therefore gain staging plays less of a role.

However what is needed afterwards is a process called "mastering" - turning a raw recording into a sound file ready to be listened to on a laptop, on a phone, on a car stereo etc. That's done by importing a recording into a DAW and carefully applying the tools of a sound engineer until the mix is polished.

That's what people get confused about: They expect their digital piano to output ready-made studio quality mixdowns onto USB. People with acoustic pianos and Zoom hand-held recorders often have similar expectations. Professional recording studios exist for a reason.


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@JoeT, Keeping slightly on topic but I need help on this also for very different reasons.
I believe my DP is creating a lot of distortion and now have taken this up with my dealer. They are asking in first instance to make a usb recording to demonstrate this bad effect.

Am I right in thinking that by using this method they are not really getting what I hear from the piano output?
I have not sent the recording yet but they did not ask for the file to be normalised and after reading this thread I am beginning to wonder if is their way to simply pass my off.

Thought on this would be appreciated

Andy


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^^ That request from the dealer doesn't make sense. The dealer needs to hear the piano as it is being played in its physical setting, where the distortion is heard and felt. A USB recording will not provide that, only a mic will. IIRC, you have the CA79(99?) - the user manual of those models says in the USB recording section - "increase the gain if you wish, but beware that distortion might result at high volumes." Maybe the dealer is trying to mislead you into thinking that you are the problem - not something new for dealers.

This also relates slightly to JoeT's comment. Some DPs provide a gain adjustment when recording to USB - although I have not seen examples on slabs. But even then, is it true gain staging, or simply an increase in volume output?


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Originally Posted by mmathew
Some DPs provide a gain adjustment when recording to USB - although I have not seen examples on slabs.
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Originally Posted by mmathew
But even then, is it true gain staging, or simply an increase in volume output?
It is true gain staging. I recorded audio with increased gain and default gain, then compared files on a computer, and the file with increased gain level sounded louder.

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Thx for your input MMathew - I surmised the same I think I will have to ring them again and query before I shoot myself in the foot.

Cheers

Andy smile


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Originally Posted by Killomiter
Am I right in thinking that by using this method they are not really getting what I hear from the piano output?

Do you hear the "distortion" on the usb recorded output ?

If the answer is yes, then it is what you are hearing from the piano output.

Otherwise, they are not getting what you are hearing from the piano output.

Last edited by dmd; 03/30/21 09:36 PM.

Don

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Originally Posted by mareg
Honestly the normalize should be let at default audacity settings, which is -1db. It is 2db louder than -3db.

I also go a Yamaha with record to audio USB and you're right even with normalize the sould is still really soft. But that is the best option without delving into heavy editing.

The 0dB ceiling level is not an absolute standard across all playback devices, so -1dB is too high and does not leave enough headroom to be sure that you don't get digital clipping. A standard in many mastering studios is -3dB (3dB of headroom) and some mastering engineers are more conservative than that.

Most amateur recordings I hear online are unmastered or poorly mastered. I hear them clip regularly. Do your listeners a favor and leave a little headroom.


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@DMD - yeah you state the obvious. I really trying not to take this thread off track but Mine is a CA 79 and there is a lot of other chatter on that thread so my queries were going a bit unheard not wanting to create another topic I guessed that this thread discussing recording was the timely place to ask.
I hear distortion both headphones and normal playing as if the output is being overdriven. Therefore when Bonners here in the UK were asking for a usb type recording it simply did not make sense unless it is the first step in the process of elimination.
I am going to phone them this morning as above to get this part straight as just like the peeps at the head of topic here I am not getting what I would consider anything like what I should.
For the sake of others reading this I will report their logic (if any)

Andy


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