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musicworld1



Joined: 21/04/08
Posts: 87
Recording On The Piano ???
      #1029715 - 22/01/13 12:07 PM
Hi

I have a Yamaha P155 digital stage piano hooked up to a Mac using Galaxy's vintage D as a plugin inside Kontakt 4, running through GarageBand. I'm recording a solo piano album but finding it very difficult to record with expressive playing. I know everything can be edited in GB using it's features like velocity, pitch, tempo and automation points etc, but the trouble is actually trying to record the piece with the best possible take.

I find I'm having to record the same part several times before getting even close to the best recording. Is there an easier way around this ? maybe using another app which could help in solving this, example, how do the pros do it.

--------------------
Without Music Life Would Be a Mistake

Edited by musicworld1 (22/01/13 12:22 PM)


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BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3483
Loc: Norwich UK
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029716 - 22/01/13 12:18 PM
Quote musicworld1:

how do the pros do it ?



They use a great piano and mics.


Quote:

I find I'm having to record the same part several times before getting even close to the best recording




What's going wrong exactly...? Is it the keyboard response...? Perhaps you could post up a clip and point out what you don't like about it.


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Scramble
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Joined: 11/09/02
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029718 - 22/01/13 12:33 PM
Quote musicworld1:

I know everything can be edited in GB using it's features like velocity, pitch, tempo and automation points etc, but the trouble is actually trying to record the piece with the best possible take.





Sure, you don't want to be having to edit that stuff with a solo piano track, it's very hard to get it to sound right, and it would take ages.

Quote musicworld1:


I find I'm having to record the same part several times before getting even close to the best recording. Is there an easier way around this ? maybe using another app which could help in solving this, example, how do the pros do it.




As BJ says, few pros would ever record a solo piano album using MIDI piano. MIDI piano in a rock band, fine, even an exposed piano section, fine with some editing. But solo piano? Not generally a good idea, unless you are really experienced with it and have an experienced studio team. MIDI just doesn't give you enough control.

Mind you, even with a real piano you will find that what you record sounds different, expression-wise, than what you thought you played. Recording yourself playing piano is quite an eye-opener, and so much more difficult than you think.


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Matt_Moose



Joined: 09/10/06
Posts: 359
Loc: Cheshire
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Scramble]
      #1029741 - 22/01/13 01:42 PM
Quote Scramble:

Recording yourself playing piano is quite an eye-opener, and so much more difficult than you think.



+1 to that. You'd never think it's the same feeling as when you hear yourself speaking, but in many ways it is. Usually stand-out notes I've hit harder - can see why my piano teacher kept on at me to get scales sorted and technique now... The fact you say it takes several takes to get the one you are "happy with" suggests there's quite possibly an element of this.

So which bits are you not happy with? Timing? Notes? Volume of individual notes? How the piece flows? Smoothness of playing (legato v staccato etc)?

Couple suggestions: ditch anything MIDI related. Record the actual audio. Although I've got a P200, I'm not sure how the local MIDI is implemented in them. It maybe that the sample/synthesised patch has more granularity than MIDI's 127 velocity. But it's also all about pedalling too - some Yammys have a graduated sustain pedal, so it's not a case of the on/off that MIDI will record, so you'll want the half pedalling.

Another reason for avoiding MIDI in GB (and don't even try to edit it) will be things like time quantisation. Real piano isn't quantised at all, so make sure that's all turned off if you're keen on keeping with the MIDI.

Also, which patch you use will affect the sound. If you record MIDI playing one patch, the chances are if you switch to another, the patch will react very differently given velocity curves etc.

But at the end of the day, if it's a solo piano piece, the only thing that will make it good (assuming you can track the audio accurately) is ability to play well - which comes from practice.

--------------------
Hammond M162, XM1. Yahama CP70B, PF2000, P200, P50m, QY100. Roland RD1000, JV1010. Alesis SR16.


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John Willett
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029749 - 22/01/13 01:56 PM
Quote musicworld1:

Hi

I have a Yamaha P155 digital stage piano hooked up to a Mac using Galaxy's vintage D as a plugin inside Kontakt 4, running through GarageBand. I'm recording a solo piano album but finding it very difficult to record with expressive playing. I know everything can be edited in GB using it's features like velocity, pitch, tempo and automation points etc, but the trouble is actually trying to record the piece with the best possible take.

I find I'm having to record the same part several times before getting even close to the best recording. Is there an easier way around this ? maybe using another app which could help in solving this, example, how do the pros do it.




Solo piano recordings are (almost) always done on a good concert grand (Steinway D mostly, though I used a Blüthner recently) in a room or hall with good acoustics and normally with a single pair of omni microphones.

Ideally you need someone else to record you so you can concentrate on playing the piece and getting the best expression (solo piano recording is what I specialise in).

Playing and recording an electric piano can really only be for you to analyse your own playing so you can improve technique. I certainly would not want to buy a CD of an electric piano recording.


Back to your question - expressive playing comes from *you* and not from any recording or editing process.


If you *have* to record as you are doing (which I don't recommend) then forget about thinking about the recording. Set it to record and just play the piece - concentrate on the music. Sweat blood - put your soul into the playing - feel the music - just PLAY.

Play the whole piece several times and forget the recording - just let it run. Only then go back and listen to what you have recorded.

*DON'T* record in little bits - record the whole thing several times and use the best one. If there are any errors, use one of the other ones to patch the error; but use the best one as the base.

I hope this helps.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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tacitus



Joined: 04/02/08
Posts: 964
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029772 - 22/01/13 04:05 PM
+1 to everything John says (especially the Bluthner - a much underrated marque). You've discovered how difficult it us to play so that the recording sounds like what you think you played, and part of the reason for that is that there isn't any substitute for doing all the scales and stuff that gives you an even touch and programs you to play more consistently. That said, practise as much as you can; make your first recording - beginning to end - and then listen and analyse where you went 'wrong', or didn't achieve what you wanted. So, play as a performer, listen as a producer, then repeat the process until you get the results you want. It's not easy and you do need a decent rehearsal routine that makes you sort out what's not working rather than playing all the easy bits and then falling over big time when you hit a hard bit. The slightly good news is that by focusing on the bits that aren't working for you, it's possible to make a real improvement with concentrated work on a small section. Once you've seen how this works for you, it's just a question of how long it takes to get the whole piece right.


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BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3483
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029789 - 22/01/13 06:02 PM
You have to enjoy what you're playing, which means a keyboard you like the feel of, and a sample library you like the sound of. A Yamaha KX88 and Ivory was a nice combo, though the KX88 had some sticky notes and I had to ditch it.

I <3 my Bluthner upright.


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DaveFry



Joined: 28/07/10
Posts: 253
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029805 - 22/01/13 07:20 PM
Maybe try experimenting with the different velocity curves available in Galaxy to find one that suits your own feel/style .

--------------------
Music is it's own reward .


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DC-Choppah



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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029856 - 23/01/13 01:23 AM
Solo piano 'album' on a midi piano? Seriously? I don't think many would listen to that.

If you can really play and want to lay it down, then find a studio with a great piano and rent it out.


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
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Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029859 - 23/01/13 03:29 AM
depends heavily on whether its mic'd or midi/usb...
mics have to be positioned to pick up the full extent of the velocity of the note, without distortion and also capture all the softer notes etc..
i personally find that if youre trying to record something, play around with it and just jam for a few days, train yourself on the tune so you can get it perfect and THEN record it.. i do this with guitar and piano all the time and usually end up finding out different ways in which the melody can be played and finding new chord variations and such..
plus, you can also record and then layer it, like, if you screw a bit up, just keep going. sometimes i get a lot of takes, with various decent bits in each and its just a matter of layering and chopping the samples ive recorded..
but i do direct input from my keys into my audio interface for my M06 and with my novation i can use the usb straight into my DAW... i find mic'd up instruments pose a lot more challenges with acoustics and positioning and editing takes etc.. you may be better off using a midi/usb keyboard and getting a really nice piano plugin with some concert grands/rhodes etc.. just for ease.. plus itll present a good learning curve if youre not already very into recording via DAW's etc..

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5582
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029861 - 23/01/13 04:35 AM
Quote musicworld1:

Is there an easier way around this ?



No!

Practice, practice, practice and more practice and then some more practice until you can play it totally fluently, ideally on a proper and real piano. Then practice some more and book a proper and real studio with a good piano, acoustics and mics and people who know how to record it. And before the session, practice some until you're in a position to really nail it. You want to be able to do it it one take but it's not unknown to record several takes and then stitch together the best bits but that's best avoided if possible.

There is no easy way around this, no app, no magic button that can be pressed - there is no substitution for hard graft and the best facilities I'm afraid. If you want to do the job properly that is.

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1029929 - 23/01/13 12:14 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote musicworld1:

Is there an easier way around this ?



No!

Practice, practice, practice and more practice and then some more practice until you can play it totally fluently, ideally on a proper and real piano. Then practice some more and book a proper and real studio with a good piano, acoustics and mics and people who know how to record it. And before the session, practice some until you're in a position to really nail it. You want to be able to do it it one take but it's not unknown to record several takes and then stitch together the best bits but that's best avoided if possible.

There is no easy way around this, no app, no magic button that can be pressed - there is no substitution for hard graft and the best facilities I'm afraid. If you want to do the job properly that is.




Yes - well said - especially the "Practice, practice, practice and more practice' bit.

But you do not necessarily have to hire a good studio at all.

What you need is a good piano in a good acoustic with a good engineer and piano technician.

My favourite place to record in the UK is The Menuhin Hall and they have a Steinway D and a Fazioli to choose from.



The hall is isolated and very quiet, so you are not disturbed by external noises and the Green Room is perfect to set up in.

The above picture was my set-up in 2006/7 showing the main pair of Neumann KM 183-D and the back-up pair of Sennheiser MKH 20 (I wrote up the session HERE).



The above was my set-up in 2007 when I recorded the Blüthner (though I have since replaced the FR-2 with a Nagra VI and AETA 4MinX, the O110 have been replaced by ME Geithain RL906 and the Grace M902 has been upgraded to a m903) - the Green Room is separated from the main hall by corridor and has seal-able cable-run ducts to the stage.

So - you don't need a studio - you need a good piano in a good acoustic and a space to set up the gear.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Dave Blackman



Joined: 20/10/05
Posts: 154
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: John Willett]
      #1029936 - 23/01/13 12:24 PM
Is that Richard Meyrick? He's my old piano teacher! Good to see he's still recording.

Dave

--------------------
www.hiltongrovemastering.com


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Persian Bit



Joined: 02/03/12
Posts: 104
Loc: Tehran \ IRAN
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029945 - 23/01/13 12:47 PM
What is the point to record a Midi signal as a 'piano' and then edit and fix everything in software? are you going to quantize too? If so, then you don't need a piano at all. you can do that on a midi controler.

If that mcuh accuracy is needed then why don't you write down your music in a notation software and leave the app to play it?

I don't know what's your siutation, but If I had to do it this way, I would play and record digital piano's audio out on an audio channel in software, treating it like recording a accoustic instrument. but even then It would be far a way from a piano solo record.

Regarding the performance, overthinking and too much analyzing can kill your performance and vibe. practice well, and when it's time to record, just let your soul takes the control. Play in a way that touches your own heart. If it did, you've got a good take.


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musicworld1



Joined: 21/04/08
Posts: 87
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029973 - 23/01/13 02:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I've realized it's a case of two things, key weight on the P 155 is heavy making it difficult to perform expressive playing therefor not getting the desired take after many recordings. Also being a perfectionist doesn't help.

Out of interest why is it recommended when recording piano to play the piece right through from beginning to end, then choosing the best take from those recordings, as opposed to recording a section at a time for the best take.

--------------------
Without Music Life Would Be a Mistake


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Scramble
active member


Joined: 11/09/02
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1029975 - 23/01/13 02:29 PM
Yeah, most people find the Yamaha action a bit too heavy.

Personally I think you can record in sections, but you have to do it well -- make sure the different sections feel like they're part of the one take, even if they're not -- and you have to edit carefully.


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Dave Blackman]
      #1030022 - 23/01/13 07:59 PM
Quote Dave Blackman:

Is that Richard Meyrick? He's my old piano teacher! Good to see he's still recording.

Dave




Yes it is Richard Meyrick.

I recorded the top five CDs in his Discography, plus the Chopin Nocturnes and "Personal Reflections - Chelsea" CDs listed.

I really enjoy working with him, he is a great pianist - and a good friend after working with him for many years.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1030023 - 23/01/13 08:06 PM
Quote musicworld1:

Out of interest why is it recommended when recording piano to play the piece right through from beginning to end, then choosing the best take from those recordings, as opposed to recording a section at a time for the best take.




Simple - you are playing *music*.

Playing a piece all the way through (like it was written to be played) you would (or should) be putting all your heart and soul into the *performance*.

Playing a section at a time you are not playing music anymore, but playing notes.

Doing it the first way, the recording will have passion and soul and will produce a CD that you will want to listen to again and again.

Doing it the second way will give you a recording that may be note-perfect, but will have no life - you may listen to the CD once, put it on the shelf, and never listen to it again.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Trevor Johnson



Joined: 15/05/10
Posts: 109
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: John Willett]
      #1030059 - 23/01/13 11:43 PM
Quote:

If you *have* to record as you are doing (which I don't recommend) then forget about thinking about the recording




As John eloquently pointed out, you are concentrating on playing and recording, but it is very difficult to do one well, never mind both!

You need to record all the time and eventually you will become unaware of the recording process. Recording your playing will help you listen to it: hearing and listening are very different entities. To make a good recording, (i.e. good to listen to by others), you will have 'finger memory' so the note playing itself is automatic, then you can 'conduct' your performance, concentrating on tone, dynamics, phrasing, etc..

As a matter of interest, what sort of music are you recording?

Trevor


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
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Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: John Willett]
      #1030068 - 24/01/13 01:10 AM
Quote John Willett:

Quote Dave Blackman:

Is that Richard Meyrick? He's my old piano teacher! Good to see he's still recording.

Dave




Yes it is Richard Meyrick.

I recorded the top five CDs in his Discography, plus the Chopin Nocturnes and "Personal Reflections - Chelsea" CDs listed.

I really enjoy working with him, he is a great pianist - and a good friend after working with him for many years.



Ha! Small world. My daughter has a piano scholarship with him. Lovely bloke. If you speak to him soon, tell him Alice says 'Hi'!

But there's the thing...

We attended a piano recital given by his pupils (including my daughter) on New Year's Eve in Tonbridge, Kent. Aged between about 13 and 16, 17, maybe 18 ... oh and one gifted 11-year-old. Phenomenal. But they played everything live and in 'one take', not stopping and starting - played as written to be performed, start to finish, when 'fixing in the mix' (or even recording) hadn't been invented. These young people played some very challenging pieces and they achieved it through sheer hard graft (and the guidance of Richard and some despicably talented Russian piano tutors). My daughter played some Chopin piece and I swear that if you closed your eyes, you'd think there were two players - her little fingers were flying over the place. Dunno how she (and the other young people there) do it. Phenomenal dexterity.

But as I say, this is achieved through practice, practice, practice, then some more practice and then a bit more until it flows from you fluently with passion and emotion and you're immersed in the music/moment and isn't a mechanical process that'll be fixed later with all the life being sucked out of it. The technical term for that, I believe, is 'polishing a turd'!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030077 - 24/01/13 06:48 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote musicworld1:

Is there an easier way around this ?



No!

Practice, practice, practice and more practice and then some more practice until you can play it totally fluently, ideally on a proper and real piano. Then practice some more and book a proper and real studio with a good piano, acoustics and mics and people who know how to record it. And before the session, practice some until you're in a position to really nail it. You want to be able to do it it one take but it's not unknown to record several takes and then stitch together the best bits but that's best avoided if possible.

There is no easy way around this, no app, no magic button that can be pressed - there is no substitution for hard graft and the best facilities I'm afraid. If you want to do the job properly that is.




wellllllllll you actually can do it, im no pro and ive laid down some good piano recordings via my DAW, theres some really really good grand piano plugins and samples out there... if youre not necessarily a musical genius but you can get the right notes and chords down, you can record via midi or usb and move the notes around on the step sequencer/piano roll in your daw...
ive gotten better since i made this, but i dropped a little piano jam in here just after 3 mins and added some delay and reverb and quantized to the 1/4 beat when id finished playing... sounds pretty nice although im not a professionally trained musician - i dont think 4 years of guitar in high school counts....
http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/daydreaming

the job may not have been done "properly" so to speak, but recording through a line-in into your DAW via a decent interface gives you no external noise or room treatment and venue/hiring costs to worry about... and you can essentially alter the effects of the "room" in the program giving youre using to get the sound youre after if you fiddle faddle around with it enough..

i did this one (see below) using my focusrite scarlett interface quite recently, i just connected my yamaha m06 directly to the L and R channels on my interface via 1/4" cables and went to the playlist, hit record and started playing.. this one is completely raw, non quantized and done in two layers each recorded in one take.. but its just a decent example of recording just a piano.. i had the gain a little too high on the interface which provided an unexpectedly nice crunch on some of the bass notes.. but theres other stuff ive captured that sounds impeccable (in terms of the quality of the audio)
http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/sundaze

Edited by Skerrick (24/01/13 06:52 AM)


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12463
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030091 - 24/01/13 09:47 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote John Willett:

Quote Dave Blackman:

Is that Richard Meyrick? He's my old piano teacher! Good to see he's still recording.

Dave




Yes it is Richard Meyrick.

I recorded the top five CDs in his Discography, plus the Chopin Nocturnes and "Personal Reflections - Chelsea" CDs listed.

I really enjoy working with him, he is a great pianist - and a good friend after working with him for many years.



Ha! Small world. My daughter has a piano scholarship with him. Lovely bloke. If you speak to him soon, tell him Alice says 'Hi'!

But there's the thing...

We attended a piano recital given by his pupils (including my daughter) on New Year's Eve in Tonbridge, Kent. Aged between about 13 and 16, 17, maybe 18 ... oh and one gifted 11-year-old. Phenomenal. But they played everything live and in 'one take', not stopping and starting - played as written to be performed, start to finish, when 'fixing in the mix' (or even recording) hadn't been invented. These young people played some very challenging pieces and they achieved it through sheer hard graft (and the guidance of Richard and some despicably talented Russian piano tutors). My daughter played some Chopin piece and I swear that if you closed your eyes, you'd think there were two players - her little fingers were flying over the place. Dunno how she (and the other young people there) do it. Phenomenal dexterity.

But as I say, this is achieved through practice, practice, practice, then some more practice and then a bit more until it flows from you fluently with passion and emotion and you're immersed in the music/moment and isn't a mechanical process that'll be fixed later with all the life being sucked out of it. The technical term for that, I believe, is 'polishing a turd'!




Very well said - perfect.

Music is written to be performed, not recorded.

So a recording should be a record of a passionate performance.

Yes, you patch to cover bum notes and the like - but the essence is the record of the performance.

Your following quote is perfect and should be on the wall of every studio:-

Quote:

... practice, practice, practice, then some more practice and then a bit more until it flows from you fluently with passion and emotion and you're immersed in the music/moment and isn't a mechanical process that'll be fixed later with all the life being sucked out of it. The technical term for that, I believe, is 'polishing a turd'!




--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Ariosto



Joined: 04/05/08
Posts: 304
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1030106 - 24/01/13 11:35 AM
As someone who has recorded professional solo piano recitals as well as piano in small chamber groups I would always favour the recording of a whole movement/piece maybe two or three times and then if necessary edit between those complete recordings. I've recorded people who wanted to record section by section (sometimes covering just a few bars) and then the inevitable later patching together of the best takes. This never seems to really work, and I would never now agree to do this again.

As has been said, by John and others, the only way to get a good piano recording is to (1) have a very good pianist who knows the work inside out (2) use a great instrument like a full size Steinway grand or similar (3) record in a very good accoustic (4) get the mics in the best place for overall sound, and use good mics.

The whole movement/piece recording means that you can limit editing to just a few sections and keep the overall architecture of the movement/piece believable.


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Dave Blackman



Joined: 20/10/05
Posts: 154
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030127 - 24/01/13 01:26 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote John Willett:

Quote Dave Blackman:

Is that Richard Meyrick? He's my old piano teacher! Good to see he's still recording.

Dave




Yes it is Richard Meyrick.

I recorded the top five CDs in his Discography, plus the Chopin Nocturnes and "Personal Reflections - Chelsea" CDs listed.

I really enjoy working with him, he is a great pianist - and a good friend after working with him for many years.



Ha! Small world. My daughter has a piano scholarship with him. Lovely bloke. If you speak to him soon, tell him Alice says 'Hi'!

But there's the thing...

We attended a piano recital given by his pupils (including my daughter) on New Year's Eve in Tonbridge, Kent. Aged between about 13 and 16, 17, maybe 18 ... oh and one gifted 11-year-old. Phenomenal. But they played everything live and in 'one take', not stopping and starting - played as written to be performed, start to finish, when 'fixing in the mix' (or even recording) hadn't been invented. These young people played some very challenging pieces and they achieved it through sheer hard graft (and the guidance of Richard and some despicably talented Russian piano tutors). My daughter played some Chopin piece and I swear that if you closed your eyes, you'd think there were two players - her little fingers were flying over the place. Dunno how she (and the other young people there) do it. Phenomenal dexterity.





OT, so ignore if you want to know about recording a piano!

See, Richard was always ahead of the game when it came to teaching. He was one of the first teachers to put on these recitals, the idea being, as you said, part of learning to play an instrument is being able to perform. I remember him teaching me to bow properly - I think he sent me back through the doors six times before I got it right. While he was teaching me (late 80s early 90s) he was also working on a set of exercises to aid technique, strengthening wrists, fingers and fore-arms, a lot of which could be done without a piano. I've still got his handwritten notes somewhere which I think he went on and put in a book. And I still practise on a table - a great test as to whether you've memorised a piece.

A really inspiring man. I think, other than my parents and misses, he's had the biggest impact on the direction my life went. If you run into him say hi - and I'm always up for a beer.

OK, back to microphones and stuff.....

--------------------
www.hiltongrovemastering.com


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12463
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Ariosto]
      #1030138 - 24/01/13 02:10 PM
Quote Ariosto:

As someone who has recorded professional solo piano recitals as well as piano in small chamber groups I would always favour the recording of a whole movement/piece maybe two or three times and then if necessary edit between those complete recordings. I've recorded people who wanted to record section by section (sometimes covering just a few bars) and then the inevitable later patching together of the best takes. This never seems to really work, and I would never now agree to do this again.

As has been said, by John and others, the only way to get a good piano recording is to (1) have a very good pianist who knows the work inside out (2) use a great instrument like a full size Steinway grand or similar (3) record in a very good accoustic (4) get the mics in the best place for overall sound, and use good mics.

The whole movement/piece recording means that you can limit editing to just a few sections and keep the overall architecture of the movement/piece believable.




Yes - this is how I do it.

The only time I strayed from this way was when I recorded "Gaspard de la nuit" which is fiendishly difficult to play - and even then, we recorded as long a section as we could.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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Scramble
active member


Joined: 11/09/02
Posts: 2220
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Dave Blackman]
      #1030145 - 24/01/13 02:19 PM
> I remember him teaching me to bow properly - I think he sent me back through the doors six times before I got it right.

Myself, I was taught how to bow to the audience by the great Austro-Hungarian Otto von Keinhoffer. But I later adopted the Freinhauser method, although it took me years more practise to master. (Always do as much practise on the bowing as the playing, Otto used to say.)


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BJG145



Joined: 06/08/05
Posts: 3483
Loc: Norwich UK
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1030149 - 24/01/13 02:27 PM


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12463
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Dave Blackman]
      #1030152 - 24/01/13 02:32 PM
Quote Dave Blackman:

If you run into him say hi - and I'm always up for a beer.





I have passed on yours and Hollowsun's best wishes to Richard and let him know the nice things you both said.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5582
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1030238 - 24/01/13 08:13 PM
Quote Skerrick:

wellllllllll you actually can do it, im no pro and ive laid down some good piano recordings via my DAW, theres some really really good grand piano plugins and samples out there... if youre not necessarily a musical genius but you can get the right notes and chords down, you can record via midi or usb and move the notes around on the step sequencer/piano roll in your daw...



Sorry, Skerrick. That may be true for (and I don't want to 'diss' your music ... which I have listened to) simple little piano chords and riffs here and there but there's no comparing it with the kind of proficiency required for 'serious' piano playing.

This is my daughter, aged 14 (I think ... maybe 15) at a recital for which she won a local 'Young Musician' award playing a tricky Bach fugue and which earned her the scholarship with Mr Meyrick. The recording's crap (done on my iPhone in the audience) and it was a school upright piano but whatever - the performance is everything.

Bach Fugue

And that was achieved not through step sequencing, piano roll editing, note shifting, quantising, dynamics automation, auto tune with delay and reverb and/or whatever else but sheer hard bloody graft ... and done (as you can hear) in one take.

Please don't muddy the waters with talk of simple piano riffs in a sequenced tune compared with 'real' piano playing and performance!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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musicworld1



Joined: 21/04/08
Posts: 87
LOST *DELETED* new [Re: Trevor Johnson]
      #1030264 - 24/01/13 09:30 PM
Post deleted by musicworld1

--------------------
Without Music Life Would Be a Mistake


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Scramble
active member


Joined: 11/09/02
Posts: 2220
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1030265 - 24/01/13 09:37 PM
Sounding okay on headphones here.


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musicworld1



Joined: 21/04/08
Posts: 87
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Trevor Johnson]
      #1030268 - 24/01/13 09:58 PM
Quote Trevor Johnson:

Quote:

If you *have* to record as you are doing (which I don't recommend) then forget about thinking about the recording




As John eloquently pointed out, you are concentrating on playing and recording, but it is very difficult to do one well, never mind both!

You need to record all the time and eventually you will become unaware of the recording process. Recording your playing will help you listen to it: hearing and listening are very different entities. To make a good recording, (i.e. good to listen to by others), you will have 'finger memory' so the note playing itself is automatic, then you can 'conduct' your performance, concentrating on tone, dynamics, phrasing, etc..

As a matter of interest, what sort of music are you recording?

Trevor.

Here's a clip. www.soundcloud.com

--------------------
Without Music Life Would Be a Mistake

Edited by musicworld1 (24/01/13 10:02 PM)


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5582
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: musicworld1]
      #1030271 - 24/01/13 10:34 PM
Quote musicworld1:

Here's a clip. www.soundcloud.com



Nice. Hissy but nice enough piece and played nicely. It's just a bit '1 dimensional' and 'flat' (IMO).

Get your arse to a place with a real (and good) piano with someone who can record that properly and really go for it.

Don't get me wrong - digital pianos are bloody great ... seriously good these days ... but there's stuff that goes on inside a 'real' piano when you're playing ... sympathetic resonances and so on (more so with the sustain pedal down) that digipianos can't capture (yet?) whatever the manufacturer may claim.

From that snippet, your music is lovely but please do it justice by doing the job properly, especially if it's something you plan to release.

IMO of course!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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Scramble
active member


Joined: 11/09/02
Posts: 2220
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030273 - 24/01/13 10:46 PM
Yes, the test is whether the limitations are going to see it get a bit boring after a few minutes (so really a one-minute clip isn't enough for that test). This is especially important if the music itself gets a little samey after a while.


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030322 - 25/01/13 02:47 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote Skerrick:

wellllllllll you actually can do it, im no pro and ive laid down some good piano recordings via my DAW, theres some really really good grand piano plugins and samples out there... if youre not necessarily a musical genius but you can get the right notes and chords down, you can record via midi or usb and move the notes around on the step sequencer/piano roll in your daw...



Sorry, Skerrick. That may be true for (and I don't want to 'diss' your music ... which I have listened to) simple little piano chords and riffs here and there but there's no comparing it with the kind of proficiency required for 'serious' piano playing.

This is my daughter, aged 14 (I think ... maybe 15) at a recital for which she won a local 'Young Musician' award playing a tricky Bach fugue and which earned her the scholarship with Mr Meyrick. The recording's crap (done on my iPhone in the audience) and it was a school upright piano but whatever - the performance is everything.

Bach Fugue

And that was achieved not through step sequencing, piano roll editing, note shifting, quantising, dynamics automation, auto tune with delay and reverb and/or whatever else but sheer hard bloody graft ... and done (as you can hear) in one take.

Please don't muddy the waters with talk of simple piano riffs in a sequenced tune compared with 'real' piano playing and performance!




okay so, although i mentioned using quantizing and such...
as i said; the tune sundaze that i posted (second link), i recorded live with NO quantizing or editing/slicing of any kind. none whatsoever. just whacked a very slight delay on it and a bit of reverb after the recording was done and boom, finished. and imho (even if i say so myself) i did a pretty decent job for someone whos only been playing piano less than 12 months and is completely self taught.

there was the main tune and melody and then the second layer was a couple of extra hi-end notes just to make the tune peak in a few spots.. but that was recorded live through a DAW.
my point being, dont worry about rooms and mic and setups as much as you all are, if you have a decent keyboard and a cheap interface then theres countless ways to record your music without losing any form of sound quality/integrity... if you ONLY have an analogue instrument/piano then i guess you dont have much of a choice.. good luck.

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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Skerrick



Joined: 10/01/13
Posts: 262
Loc: Sydney NSW
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030324 - 25/01/13 03:33 AM
that bach fugue piece is incredible man! i really admire the skills of your daughter, did you say she was only 14? jeez mang, shes really good, never mind the quality of the recording, the technical skill/ability is very evident!
shes gonna be a genius (if she isnt one already haha)
hectic skills indeed!

--------------------
www.soundcloud.com/skerrick


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5582
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1030334 - 25/01/13 07:20 AM
Quote Skerrick:

that bach fugue piece is incredible man! i really admire the skills of your daughter, did you say she was only 14? jeez mang, shes really good, never mind the quality of the recording, the technical skill/ability is very evident!
shes gonna be a genius (if she isnt one already haha)
hectic skills indeed!



She's not too shabby and I am (obviously) immensely proud of her ... to the point that I have declined my position as 'musician' just because I know a few chords and can play a few riffs. That's an arrogance.

And piano is her second instrument!! You should hear her when she's a-fiddling!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12463
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: Skerrick]
      #1030355 - 25/01/13 09:51 AM
Quote Skerrick:

Quote hollowsun:

Quote Skerrick:

wellllllllll you actually can do it, im no pro and ive laid down some good piano recordings via my DAW, theres some really really good grand piano plugins and samples out there... if youre not necessarily a musical genius but you can get the right notes and chords down, you can record via midi or usb and move the notes around on the step sequencer/piano roll in your daw...



Sorry, Skerrick. That may be true for (and I don't want to 'diss' your music ... which I have listened to) simple little piano chords and riffs here and there but there's no comparing it with the kind of proficiency required for 'serious' piano playing.

This is my daughter, aged 14 (I think ... maybe 15) at a recital for which she won a local 'Young Musician' award playing a tricky Bach fugue and which earned her the scholarship with Mr Meyrick. The recording's crap (done on my iPhone in the audience) and it was a school upright piano but whatever - the performance is everything.

Bach Fugue

And that was achieved not through step sequencing, piano roll editing, note shifting, quantising, dynamics automation, auto tune with delay and reverb and/or whatever else but sheer hard bloody graft ... and done (as you can hear) in one take.

Please don't muddy the waters with talk of simple piano riffs in a sequenced tune compared with 'real' piano playing and performance!




okay so, although i mentioned using quantizing and such...
as i said; the tune sundaze that i posted (second link), i recorded live with NO quantizing or editing/slicing of any kind. none whatsoever. just whacked a very slight delay on it and a bit of reverb after the recording was done and boom, finished. and imho (even if i say so myself) i did a pretty decent job for someone whos only been playing piano less than 12 months and is completely self taught.

there was the main tune and melody and then the second layer was a couple of extra hi-end notes just to make the tune peak in a few spots.. but that was recorded live through a DAW.
my point being, dont worry about rooms and mic and setups as much as you all are, if you have a decent keyboard and a cheap interface then theres countless ways to record your music without losing any form of sound quality/integrity... if you ONLY have an analogue instrument/piano then i guess you dont have much of a choice.. good luck.




Skerrick - what you are proposing may be fine for a piano track that will be mixed in with other tracks in an album.

However - for a solo piano recital CD you really *do* need a real piano in a real room, otherwise it's not worth doing.

OK - do it to test your playing and learn from it, but - please - not for a recital CD!

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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musicworld1



Joined: 21/04/08
Posts: 87
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: hollowsun]
      #1030416 - 25/01/13 02:35 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote musicworld1:

Here's a clip. www.soundcloud.com



Nice. Hissy but nice enough piece and played nicely. It's just a bit '1 dimensional' and 'flat' (IMO).

Get your arse to a place with a real (and good) piano with someone who can record that properly and really go for it.

Don't get me wrong - digital pianos are bloody great ... seriously good these days ... but there's stuff that goes on inside a 'real' piano when you're playing ... sympathetic resonances and so on (more so with the sustain pedal down) that digipianos can't capture (yet?) whatever the manufacturer may claim.

From that snippet, your music is lovely but please do it justice by doing the job properly, especially if it's something you plan to release.

IMO of course!





I get your point and agree with your quote. But that sample was recorded using only the Yamaha P 155 sound, just a preset with added reverb from the internal tone generator, not a high end plugin VST. Since then I've bought the Galaxy 2 and Vintage D pianos libraries giving a Steinway D, Bosendorfer 290, Bluthner and a Steinway Vintage D. The samples from all 4 of these pianos are "outstanding" giving you all the articulations needed to record a more then true to life piano.

Additional resonance, Release and noise samples, Chromatic and multiple velocity resonance and release samples, Multi velocity pedal, Damper, Hammer and string noises, Real una corda samples, Real overtones, True half pedaling when using a continuous sustain pedal, True repedaling and sostenuto and Convolution reverb with many different types of rooms and concert halls. But it's the Steinway Vintage D that stands out from the rest. The Vintage D is exceptional and unprecedented IMO in the virtual instrument domain, and supports all the above features. SOS even made a review about this library on the Galaxy site, this is the piano i will be recording with.

The clip was only to give an idea of what kind of music is being recorded.

--------------------
Without Music Life Would Be a Mistake

Edited by musicworld1 (25/01/13 03:02 PM)


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DaveFry



Joined: 28/07/10
Posts: 253
Re: Recording On The Piano ??? new [Re: DaveFry]
      #1030421 - 25/01/13 02:51 PM
Quote DaveFry:

Maybe try experimenting with the different velocity curves available in Galaxy to find one that suits your own feel/style .




--------------------
Music is it's own reward .


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