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#2445070 - Today at 04:21 AM Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ???
musicmad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 158
Loc: London England
Hi
which of these portable recording devices would be best recommended for recording the sounds from a digital piano. Zoom H4NSP, Tascam DR22, Yamaha PR7, or Roland R-05. Will be recording using a direct line input, no external mics. Overall will be looking for best recording sound quality.
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#2445137 - Today at 10:43 AM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: musicmad]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12911
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
If it's a direct line-in, you probably don't need to waste money on a portable device like any of those. Why not just use a laptop and record using Audacity or some other software - assuming you already own a laptop.

If you're not able to use a laptop, then any of them would work, but really I think the cheapest of them would be best since it's a line-in situation. You just want to be able to record a .wav file at no less than 44.1kHz/16-bit or 48kHz/16-bit for video quality. There may be a case for higher res than that at 96kHz/24-bit which is what I like to use, but the difference probably won't be very noticeable.

The portable devices really get their value with the microphones, but since you wouldn't be using them, a simpler, less-expensive device should work just fine.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2445141 - Today at 10:54 AM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: musicmad]
ElmerJFudd Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 635
That's good advice. What digital piano are you using? Does it not have internal audio recording to USB drive?

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#2445154 - Today at 11:47 AM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: musicmad]
Charles Cohen Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2024
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . There may be a case for higher res than that at 96kHz/24-bit which is what I like to use, but the difference probably won't be very noticeable. . . .


If you do much editing (e.g. with Audacity) after recording, 96 kHz/24-bit WAV files are (IMHO) substantially better than 44.1/16-bit files. The 44.1/16-bit file sounds fine, but once you apply EQ, compression, boost some soft passages, etc, etc, the extra signal resolution in the 96/24-bit file pays off in a better final product.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2445235 - Today at 04:07 PM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: Charles Cohen]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12911
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen
Quote:
. . . There may be a case for higher res than that at 96kHz/24-bit which is what I like to use, but the difference probably won't be very noticeable. . . .


If you do much editing (e.g. with Audacity) after recording, 96 kHz/24-bit WAV files are (IMHO) substantially better than 44.1/16-bit files. The 44.1/16-bit file sounds fine, but once you apply EQ, compression, boost some soft passages, etc, etc, the extra signal resolution in the 96/24-bit file pays off in a better final product.



Ya, I agree totally. I just didn't want to get into an argument with anyone who insists that you really can't hear the difference between 44.1 and 96 wink .

Regardless, if you do direct line-in to your computer and use something like Audacity, it's easy enough to test out which sounds better. Perhaps all of those devices listed can do 96/24 so it's a non-issue.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2445261 - Today at 05:36 PM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: Morodiene]
Thomas B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 74
Sorry, but I had to jump on the 96/24 train...

Most of our audio software will calculate internally with 32bit floating numbers anyway no matter if you recorded in 16 bit or 24 bit. Editing in Audacity, etc. will not be effected by the bit depth.

What you get with 24 bits is a lower level of the quantization noise. If you need to boost the signal because you recorded with really low levels/gain settings you have better chances at 24 bits than at 16 bits that you are not raising this noise to a significant level. See also this post on bit depth which also contains links to the nice videos by Monty Montgomery talking about 96 as well...

Neither an acoustic piano and especially not a digital piano will give you much more than 60 db of dynamic range. There's plenty of head room left with a minimum of 96 db dynamic range for 16 bit recording - no need to spent hours to adjust the gain :-)

If you are interested you can do a little experiment:

Render a piece of piano music in your favorite DAW to a normalized 16 bit wave file.

Open that file in an audio editor and reduce the gain by 32 db (that's close to muting ;-) and save it again.

Close and reopen that file (the editor might play tricks on you otherwise) and push the gain by 32 db (short cut: normalize the audio again). You should be able to hear a slight reduction in quality (added noise) but the audio should still be useable.

Now, 32 db is a ridiculous value. In practice you would never be 32 db off when recording.

Try the same procedure with different reductions for both 16 bit and 24 bit and you will get a feeling what this extra head room might mean in practice.

Thomas

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#2445265 - Today at 05:39 PM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: musicmad]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12911
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Thanks for the explanation, Thomas, and you are correct about the 32-bit floating that Audacity normally does. This of course is not available in the portable recording devices, so if you were to buy one, you'd want to make sure it could handle 24-bit recording.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2445267 - Today at 05:46 PM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: musicmad]
Thomas B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 74
Hello musicmad,

I second that any of these recorders should be fine. If you really just want to record the line out of your digital piano even cheaper models (e.g. Tascam DR-05,
Zoom H1) would do the job as well.

Thomas

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#2445274 - Today at 06:02 PM Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: musicmad]
Charles Cohen Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2024
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
I'm pretty sure that all of the listed devices will run at 96 kHz / 24 bits. I suspect that's enough for most people, most of the time.

The problem isn't in Audacity -- 32 bit, floating-point range is plenty. The problem is (as ThomasB says) quantization noise in the original audio capture.

I mostly record live events. The dynamic range -- from the speaker's mic'ed presentation, to a question from the last row, picked up by the speaker's mic -- can be quite large. You must boost the level of the question from the back row, so that it's audible, during post-recording editing. I found that 96/24 recording gave better results than 44.1/16 recording, for that application.

For anyone who suggests that I should "ride gain" during recording -- it's very difficult to do that on a Zoom H4 !!!

There's no argument here, just clarification.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2445310 - 16 minutes 45 seconds ago Re: Best Portable Recording Interface For a DP ??? [Re: Charles Cohen]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12911
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Charles Cohen


For anyone who suggests that I should "ride gain" during recording -- it's very difficult to do that on a Zoom H4 !!!



LOL, try doing that while playing piano! Zoom does have an automatic levels setting to help prevent clipping, but best to find one level that works.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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