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Record a keyboard in a Scarlett Solo

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Record a keyboard in a Scarlett Solo

Postby Oguy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:18 pm

Hello, everyone
I'm new in this forum and also in the the musical production universe (there's a lot to learn!) :crazy:

I have a Scarlett Solo 3rd gen and I'd like to know if it's possible to record a keyboard through it. The interface has only one line/instrument input, and the keyboard itself has just two line outputs (stereo) and a headphone output (all of them using 1/4 jacks). I imagine there is no perfect solution, but I though of two possibilities to deal with this (and get a mono recording):

1) Connect the keyboard to the interface from the headphone output of the former to the line input of the latter. To do this, which cable do I have do use (TS or TRS)? The interface's manual says that it's line/inst input can be either 2-pole (when in inst mode) or 3-pole (when in line mode), so I imagine it has to be a TSR cable. Is it right? And then the signal would be then transformed from stereo to mono naturally?
2) Try to change the keyboard from stereo to mono (through its settings, I must verify if it's possible) and plug one of its line outputs to the line input of the interface. And again, in tihs situation, I don't know which type of 1/4 jack to use (TS or TRS) ><

And one last question: is it possible that I damage the keyboard or the interface by trying out these things?

(I'm kind of broke and cannot buy a new audio interface with two or more line inputs haha)
I hope these questions are useful for other people too... I searched for this subject, but didn't find a post that deals directly with it.

Thanks in advance!
Oguy
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Re: Record a keyboard in a Scarlett Solo

Postby Jumpeyspyder » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:54 pm

Hi Oguy,
The simplest option is just to connect one cable from the synth main outputs to the interface and record in mono. (Add stereo effects in your DAW software if you want it to sound wider)

Another option (not sure if you might get some phase issues) would be to buy a single channel DI box to reduce the line level so you could feed one side of the stereo signal to the mic input and the other to the line in.

BTW way keyboard are you using ?

hope this helps
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Re: Record a keyboard in a Scarlett Solo

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:41 pm

Oguy wrote:I have a Scarlett Solo 3rd gen and I'd like to know if it's possible to record a keyboard through it.

Yes, but if you want to keep things straightforward you'll have to record the keyboard in mono. Your interface simply isn't designed to record stereo line sources like a keyboard. So just hook up the left output channel of the keyboard to the instrument input of the interface (and select mono mode in the keyboard, if it has one).

1) Connect the keyboard to the interface from the headphone output of the former to the line input of the latter.

This won't work. The headphone output is unbalanced stereo on a TRS socket. The input to the interface is balanced mono. The result will be a very thin and quiet sounding keyboard. Please don't connect it that way!

Hook the keyboard up with a standard TS instrument cable from the instrument's line out (NOT headphone out), to the interface line (or instrument) in.

Try to change the keyboard from stereo to mono (through its settings, I must verify if it's possible) and plug one of its line outputs to the line input of the interface. And again, in this situation, I don't know which type of 1/4 jack to use (TS or TRS)

This is the right way, using a TS cable.

And one last question: is it possible that I damage the keyboard or the interface by trying out these things?

No.

If you want a slightly less straightforward solution that will allow stereo from the keyboard, then Jumpeyspiders suggestion is the best one: buy or borrow a DI box to allow one channel of the keyboard to feed the mic input of the interface, while the other channel plugs into the line/instrument input, as before.

However, since the two channels are getting into the interface through very different signals paths, it's possible that the two sides could end up sounding different, and that could affect the intended stereo imaging. You'll also have some faffing about in trying to balance the input gains for the two input channels on the interface.

In your situation, I'd just record the keys in mono for now, and save up for a more versatile interface.
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Re: Record a keyboard in a Scarlett Solo

Postby Oguy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:40 pm

Thanks for your answers, Jumpeyspyder and Hugh Robjohns, you really helped me! :bouncy:

Jumpeyspider, waah I'm sorry, I don't remember the keyboard model by heart (I'm not in my house these days, so I can't check it), I just know it's an old Yamaha with 61 keys :oops: (a gift I received many years ago) haha
Oguy
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