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Home Piano Recording

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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:59 pm

iPhone 6S is perfectly capable of recording decent video, audio less so but mainly because the correct place to position the mic is rarely the same place as the best spot for the camera.

I assume you need to speak your name then play straight away while visible on camera with no edits? That makes things slightly tricky as you may find that dubbing the direct recording of the piano onto the video construes 'editing' in the eyes of the examination board, as CS70 says, you'd need to ask them. If I was the examiner I think I would want to hear you playing the piano in the room and would be immediately suspicious if the ambience disappeared immediately after the candidate spoke their name, recording the performance as midi then dubbing it to the video makes it very easy to tidy up the performance and any tidying up would be undetectable.

So if it was me recording a piece for examination purposes I'd record using my iPhone 6S, built in mic and all. Save the 'fancy' stuff for when you want to post on YT or wherever. WRT better speakers, that's another, separate, matter and a couple of (or even a single) decent small active PA speaker(s) would make playing in your room a more satisfying experience. Price for such ranges from a couple of hundred pounds (GB) to as much as you want to spend.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby The Elf » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:29 pm

Hudson1984 wrote:
The Elf wrote:For a simple 'quick and dirty' method...

Looks like the FP-30 has a USB output. With that you could record your MIDI to a DAW as you play. This MIDI you could then route to a virtual piano and record the output as audio and merge it with your video file.

Using Reaper as your DAW (free to start) and a simple, free virtual piano, you should be able to get something usable.

Here are a few free piano VSTs to get started: https://cymatics.fm/blogs/production/25-best-piano-vst-plugins#shootdown

Zero cost!

only issue there is the video has to be "unedited" so splicing it together like this could look like a cheat and get DQ'd
Your digital piano is only essentially MIDI playing samples, in exactly the same way as the method I'm suggesting - absolutely no difference!

The only 'editing' you need to undertake is making sure the audio lines up with the video. There's certainly no 'splicing' going on.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:07 pm

I'm not sure it's a matter of Hudson1984 knowing that he isn't cheating but the examiners knowing that he can't be cheating. Correcting bum notes and adjusting note timings in a DAW midi editor would be audibly undetectable unless the examiners could see the players hands sufficiently well in the video to detect such things. As I said I'd be suspicious if I was the examiner and the speech faded into a direct recording of the piano. Maybe I'm just being cynical but the people to tell the OP are the examination board themselves.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Hudson1984 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:10 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'm not sure it's a matter of Hudson1984 knowing that he isn't cheating but the examiners knowing that he can't be cheating. Correcting bum notes and adjusting note timings in a DAW midi editor would be audibly undetectable unless the examiners could see the players hands sufficiently well in the video to detect such things. As I said I'd be suspicious if I was the examiner and the speech faded into a direct recording of the piano. Maybe I'm just being cynical but the people to tell the OP are the examination board themselves.

Totally agree, I’d be suspicious myself so rather not risk it nor do i really want the hassle so I think I’ll stick with my phone, perhaps upgrade the mic, perhaps move to dslr so I can start on remote or something like that

I’ll get the monitors sorted then record on the phone and see how it sounds and go from there I guess
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:16 pm

The quality of the performance will be evident even if the recording quality is poor, just have a listen to some of those old blues recordings, even on scratchy 78's they sound amazing because those guys could really perform.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Hudson1984 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:41 pm

Very true, but that’s based on listening for pleasure rather than casting a critical ear to it, if you were listening to those scratchy recordings with a mind of assessing if each note was correct it would be harder than if it were a clear recording. The performance itself isn’t the total mark so whilst I agree nice playing is nice playing, I still need to present a clear submission.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby The Elf » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:43 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'm not sure it's a matter of Hudson1984 knowing that he isn't cheating but the examiners knowing that he can't be cheating..
But all I'm suggesting is adding clean audio to the video file - not editing anything at all. Even if the audio sounded like it was coming from a camera mic that's no guarantee it hasn't been edited.

If proof of not being edited is important then why try to create cleaner audio? Just record on the camera mic and have done with it.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Hudson1984 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:58 pm

The Elf wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I'm not sure it's a matter of Hudson1984 knowing that he isn't cheating but the examiners knowing that he can't be cheating..
But all I'm suggesting is adding clean audio to the video file - not editing anything at all. Even if the audio sounded like it was coming from a camera mic that's no guarantee it hasn't been edited.

If proof of not being edited is important then why try to create cleaner audio? Just record on the camera mic and have done with it.

That’s pretty much where we’ve come to anyway, I think I only really questioned my phone is I’ve used it in the past and it sounded bloody awful but having not done that for years I guess they’ve come along a touch, and to be honest I thought it would be too simple an answer.

I think, having listened as far as possible, I’ll do just that, use my phone, see how it turns out. If it sounds bad to the extent I’m worried I’ll make some changes based on the advice you’ve all given but I’ve at least got a start now and feel a bit more informed
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Hudson1984 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:08 pm

I did make a seperate thread but perhaps you guys would be able to confirm - PreSonus Eris E3.5 would a pair be a good choice for my setup?

found a pair for £70 delivered, and seems like a good deal and a half decent upgrade. Just wanted to be sure it'll work for my piano before I buy them

what cable would I need to go from my headphone jack to the main speaker?
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby CS70 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:18 pm

Hudson1984 wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I'm not sure it's a matter of Hudson1984 knowing that he isn't cheating but the examiners knowing that he can't be cheating..
But all I'm suggesting is adding clean audio to the video file - not editing anything at all. Even if the audio sounded like it was coming from a camera mic that's no guarantee it hasn't been edited.

If proof of not being edited is important then why try to create cleaner audio? Just record on the camera mic and have done with it.

That’s pretty much where we’ve come to anyway, I think I only really questioned my phone is I’ve used it in the past and it sounded bloody awful but having not done that for years I guess they’ve come along a touch, and to be honest I thought it would be too simple an answer.

I think, having listened as far as possible, I’ll do just that, use my phone, see how it turns out. If it sounds bad to the extent I’m worried I’ll make some changes based on the advice you’ve all given but I’ve at least got a start now and feel a bit more informed


Something else you can try (for you pleasure of recording more than for the course, as we already agreed too polished is too suspicious :) ) is to connect a studio microphone to the iphone, so that you can record good video and good audio by way of having a better microphone positioned - in relation to the new speakers - where it sounds good

Stuff like the iRig Pre (but there's others) allows your phone to use a regular studio mic, and since the mic is connected to a cable you just need a mic stand to place where the sound is best.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Hudson1984 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:22 pm

I think longer term you're on the right track for sure, I think i'll enjoy keeping track of progress and stuff anyway so i'd like to record a bit more than I do now, even if all I do is listen for the sake of critiquing myself.

The garage is pretty insulated but won't be the best room for sound. My office where my acoustic lives is a bit better as I soundproofed the ceiling, it does need some help with echoes now though!

but all those things are definitely down the road a bit.

I think for now it'll be
Phase 1: sort the speakers
Phase 2: test drive my Iphone as a recording device
Phase 3: upgrade as things take my fancy or I become more interested in that side of things.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby blinddrew » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:32 pm

Sounds like a plan to me.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:30 am

The Elf wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:I'm not sure it's a matter of Hudson1984 knowing that he isn't cheating but the examiners knowing that he can't be cheating..
But all I'm suggesting is adding clean audio to the video file - not editing anything at all. Even if the audio sounded like it was coming from a camera mic that's no guarantee it hasn't been edited.

Edits to a video would be pretty easy to spot though, midi edits would be undetectable.

If proof of not being edited is important then why try to create cleaner audio? Just record on the camera mic and have done with it.

Exactly :thumbup:
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:03 pm

Hudson1984 wrote:Very true, but that’s based on listening for pleasure rather than casting a critical ear to it, if you were listening to those scratchy recordings with a mind of assessing if each note was correct it would be harder than if it were a clear recording. The performance itself isn’t the total mark so whilst I agree nice playing is nice playing, I still need to present a clear submission.

I'm pretty sure the examiner would be adept at assessing the accuracy of the performance even with a poor quality recording to work from. But the only people that can tell you of a phone recording will be acceptable are the examination board themselves or, possibly, your piano teacher who will likely have had experience.

The ABRSM guidelines suggest a smartphone, tablet or laptop as suitable and add
The exam should be recorded as an audio-visual file in one continuous ‘take’. The recording must not be edited in any way after the exam.

And
Performance Grades are assessed remotely: choose your pieces/songs, practise your performance and - when you’re ready – record a video of your performance and send it to us for marking by our examiner panel. A full guidance document covering how to record and submit a Performance Grade video will be available soon. You must read this document before making any exam recordings.
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Re: Home Piano Recording

Postby Hudson1984 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:11 pm

Sam, we've already got to the bottom of it mate, i'd already agreed the phone is the way to go, i'm only getting the monitors to make the piano sound a bit nicer for my own playing, then will be using the phone to see what the quality is like on my own phone - if it's crap i'll make some changes from there.

simmer down :lol:
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