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How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

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How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby Mei » Sat May 18, 2013 4:10 am

Hi everyone!

I would like to record songs from digital piano to laptop, with the sound exactly the same as when I play it.
I only have speaker and mic inputs on my laptop. (I heard line-in is needed?)
I am a real beginner of sound recording so please teach me step by step about the equipment and software needed.

Thanks a lot in advance!
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby BJG145 » Sat May 18, 2013 8:48 am

Hi Mei - welcome to the forum. If you plan to do a lot of recording you'll probably want to get a separate audio interface for your laptop, but for now it may be possible to use the mic-in as a line-in. What model is it...?

As for software, Audacity is a free, simple audio recorder which might make a good starting point.
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby Mei » Sat May 18, 2013 4:40 pm

I do plan to do quite a lot of recordings.
What interface should I buy? And does the interface include cable? (Sorry for all the dump questions :P)
My laptop is acer 4820TG, and is using Windows 7.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby Richard Graham » Sat May 18, 2013 4:48 pm

Mei wrote:I do plan to do quite a lot of recordings.
What interface should I buy? And does the interface include cable? (Sorry for all the dump questions :P)
My laptop is acer 4820TG, and is using Windows 7.

Thanks for your help!

A basic USB interface would be best for you. They almost all include usb cables, which are pennies to buy anyway, but you will need a lead to go from the headphone out on your keyboard, into the interface.

If you also want to record using microphones, ensure the interface includes microphone inputs. Many will do both microphone and line-level.
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby ef37a » Sat May 18, 2013 5:36 pm

Mei wrote:I do plan to do quite a lot of recordings.
What interface should I buy? And does the interface include cable? (Sorry for all the dump questions :P)
My laptop is acer 4820TG, and is using Windows 7.

Thanks for your help!

That being the case you would do well IMHO to buy a decent Audio Interface right at the start. I note that keyboard has MIDI ports. You might not know anything about MIDI atmo but if you did not buy something that could use it now you will surely regret it.

Audacity does not do MIDI but a free'ish DAW software Reaper does. However one of the best AIs on the market today for a variety of reasons is the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 and that comes with a "lite" version of Cubase 6. Cubase is THE bizz for MIDI.

If the price of the KA6 is too high I suggest you look for a second hand M-Audio Fast track pro and run that with Reaper.
But think long and hard Mei and tell somebody here before you jump!
Just checked that Acer specc'. Better than my HP i3 W7/64 Laptop and that runs the KA6 just fine!

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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby Mei » Sun May 19, 2013 7:46 am

Thank you Richard and Dave!

Richard, how is Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 different from M-Audio Fast track pro?
I asked a music store today and they said the cheapest option is CI1 USB Audio Interface.
Will the sound quality be way inferior with cheaper interfaces?

Thanks a lot!
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby BJG145 » Sun May 19, 2013 8:07 am

Like ef37a says, you'll find it well worthwhile having something with MIDI. The M-Audio M-Track looks similar to the Cubase Cl1 and costs about the same but also has built-in MIDI. (You could always add MIDI separately later, but you may as well get it from the start.)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=m-audio%20m-track

(I haven't tried either of these interfaces, but I doubt there's much to choose between them in terms of audio quality.)
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby ef37a » Sun May 19, 2013 8:23 am

Mei wrote:Thank you Richard and Dave!

Richard, how is Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 different from M-Audio Fast track pro?
I asked a music store today and they said the cheapest option is CI1 USB Audio Interface.
Will the sound quality be way inferior with cheaper interfaces?

Thanks a lot!
The KA6 is considerably younger than the Pro and probably 2 generations of hardware better!(not that the Fttpro is a "bad" interface at all!) It has much better mic preamps, extremely good drivers and the lowest latency of any AI near its price. (I wish SoS would review one. They can have mine!) It also has two extra line inputs over the Pro. The CI 1 is by all accounts very good value but it is about as basic an AI as you can get. No MIDI which is daft when you consider Steinberg practically invented the MIDI sequencer!

I know I keep banging on about MIDI and if you were not a keyboard player and moreover HAD a keyboard with MIDI I perhaps would not be so keen. But you are, it has and I am!

In addition to Cubase, the KA6 comes with Kontatk Player and about 3G (I think) of samples.

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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby The Elf » Sun May 19, 2013 10:04 am

I'll just add a further urging to get something with MIDI. You may not know what it is right now, but you will thank yourself when you realise what it can do for you!
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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby ef37a » Sun May 19, 2013 10:19 am

The Elf wrote:I'll just add a further urging to get something with MIDI. You may not know what it is right now, but you will thank yourself when you realise what it can do for you!

Ta Ee,
You can, as was mentioned, get a usb MIDI only interface at a later date but I have read of driver problems with some of them and in any case it is yet another dangly bit to clutter you up!

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Re: How to record digital piano to laptop (yamaha P-155)

Postby Mei » Mon May 20, 2013 7:11 am

Thank you BGJ, Dave and Elf!

I think I'm definitely getting one with MIDI as all of you are strongly recommending it.
So I will look into KA6 and M-Audio (and excluding CI1 since it doesn't have MIDI), and choose whichever that suits me more.

Thanks for all the detailed explanation! This is my first time visiting SOS and I've received way more than expected
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