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#3104848 04/11/21 10:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2020
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Hi all,

I am very new to recording piano music apart from using the simple in built microphone of smartphones.

I am in the process of obtaining a pair of Rode NT5 and Focusrite 2i2 interface for recording acoustic upright piano music.
In the meantime before I have the above equipment, I have the following at my disposal:
Rode VideoMicro
Boya By-M1
Iphone 12 pro
Huawei 10p (Android)


My goal is to shoot a video with visual and to record better audio quality than the inbuilt mic by iPhone 12 pro.
I have previously recorded a piano video with iPhone 12 pro but I feel there might be some compression which minimizes the dynamic difference.

I have just tried using the Rode VideoMicro with the android phone to record some music with the app Motiv Audio. (I prefer if I can spare the iphone for taking the video as the visual is much better with the iphone). I placed the micro phone on top lid of the piano (lid closed). Despite me turning the mic gain from the Motiv Audio app down to 0 (which is the minimum), I am still getting clipping / distortion at the moderate/ loud sections of the music. The dBs are still getting into the red zone.

Do you guys have any suggestion for me as to how I should go about this?
Is there another app that would allow me to have negative mic gain to counter this?? (not sure about the correct word for that)
Should I be moving the microphone further away from the piano? But by doing that, wouldn't that decrease the quality of the audio?

Thanks in advance.


I love listening to music and playing the piano. It allows me to express myself and de-stress after a long day at work.
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If microphone is saturating, you can put it farther without losening quality. I have seen mics placed just behind the player and they give a pleasant result. Of course, an stereo mic would be best suited for that.

I use a Zoom H6 with its standard microphones but have got some other external mics to test on different positions, but still had no time to do it. My piano is a Yamaha U3H


Yamaha U3H
Kawai VPC1
...plus some other DPs, synths, controllers and VSTs

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Originally Posted by EB5AGV
If microphone is saturating, you can put it farther without losening quality. I have seen mics placed just behind the player and they give a pleasant result. Of course, an stereo mic would be best suited for that.

I use a Zoom H6 with its standard microphones but have got some other external mics to test on different positions, but still had no time to do it. My piano is a Yamaha U3H


Thanks!
I also just noticed that unless I have a TRS to TRRS adaptor, the rode VideoMicro doesn't work on the android phone..
I guess I will have to rely on the Boya for now.

Are there any good recording apps that I should use, or is motiv audio a good choice?


I love listening to music and playing the piano. It allows me to express myself and de-stress after a long day at work.
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Hi Jeff, I've been trying to do the same using similar equipment and have been documenting my process and issues. The "issues encountered" section in the first post will probably be useful to you! I started off with one Rode NT55 and a Scarlett Solo but after a bunch of people told me I should do stereo I'm looking into getting another NT55, and just got a 2i2.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3103927/recording-on-ipad-using-rode-nt55-mic.html

I think you may not have so much control over the gain using your phone (likely because it's not designed for recording loud instruments) but once you get the audio interface, you'll have much more control. When I first tried to record, I started off with 0 gain on the Scarlett Solo and it didn't even record any sound as far as I could tell. Also I just learned that the Scarletts have a "gain halo" around the gain dial that will flash red if you're clipping. I'm looking forward to using that feature because my samples are clipped.

Also, you will need a powered USB hub to provide phantom power to your mics. I'm using USB 2.0 but your devices might be compatible with a powered USB-C hub.

Good luck! For now, I'd just move your mic farther from the piano.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bösendorfer 225
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Placing the mic directly on top of the piano, you are inviting mechanical vibrations to mess up the "through-the-air" sound you want to capture.

Get a mic stand, and an adapter to hold whatever mic you're using.

Put the mic(s) in the vicinity of your ears -- just above, and behind, you head should be OK.

Ensure that you're recording in an _uncompressed_ format (eg WAV), not a compressed format.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq
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Originally Posted by twocats
Hi Jeff, I've been trying to do the same using similar equipment and have been documenting my process and issues. The "issues encountered" section in the first post will probably be useful to you! I started off with one Rode NT55 and a Scarlett Solo but after a bunch of people told me I should do stereo I'm looking into getting another NT55, and just got a 2i2.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/3103927/recording-on-ipad-using-rode-nt55-mic.html

I think you may not have so much control over the gain using your phone (likely because it's not designed for recording loud instruments) but once you get the audio interface, you'll have much more control. When I first tried to record, I started off with 0 gain on the Scarlett Solo and it didn't even record any sound as far as I could tell. Also I just learned that the Scarletts have a "gain halo" around the gain dial that will flash red if you're clipping. I'm looking forward to using that feature because my samples are clipped.

Also, you will need a powered USB hub to provide phantom power to your mics. I'm using USB 2.0 but your devices might be compatible with a powered USB-C hub.

Good luck! For now, I'd just move your mic farther from the piano.

Thanks for sharing your experience in the pursue of better recordings!

Hopefully once I get my equipment I can do the same.
I’ll be getting the 3rd gen 2i2 so it should have a USB c port and I’ll be plugging it into a laptop, so power should be ok.

Exciting! For now I will make do with what I have.


I love listening to music and playing the piano. It allows me to express myself and de-stress after a long day at work.
Joined: Jan 2015
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You're very welcome! Hopefully I'll be set up for stereo recording in a couple of weeks and can get to testing optimal microphone placement. What a pain 😂


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bösendorfer 225

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