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#2504356 - 01/26/16 07:34 PM My new Kawai MP11
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
This week my new Kawai MP11 arrived.

I absolutely love it so far.

It's interesting because I had been thinking about getting one for about a year but I couldn't find it in on display in any of my local stores (Sam Ash, Guitar Center) to actually try it. I actually traveled to many of these stores because I always like trying out new keyboards but I could never find this model on display to actually try.

My interest in getting this keyboard began when I saw another Piano World forum member (I believe it was Morodiene) explain how satisfied they were with their new MP11. I knew I had to try it. Before my MP11, I had been playing on a Roland Rd700GXF for the past few years which I really like but I wanted something new. I was looking for something with both a new sound and feel and from reading the forums, it appeared that the MP11 would fit the bill.

The only way I could hear it was through YouTube on various users videos but even on there, there aren't many posters demonstrating the sound of the MP11. I had also noticed that some forum members didn't really like the piano sound at first and felt that it needed to be tweaked to really enjoy it. I find that I really like the piano sounds in stock form. I find them to sound very rich and I think they enhance my amateur playing.

I made a video and posted it on YouTube as another example people can check out to assess the sound of the Kawai MP11 if they are thinking of getting one or perhaps comparing it with other keyboards. I'm an amateur player and nowhere near a pro but I think it helps to have videos like this out there so people can really see how an MP11 sounds.

Here is my video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlUYu4hNg7E&feature=youtu.be

Thanks Kawai for making such a nice keyboard.

Thanks to other forum members who pointed me in the direction of this keyboard (I never actually asked questions but I tried to read every post I could about the MP11 and ultimately this lead me to my purchase).

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#2504373 - 01/26/16 08:25 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13523
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Congrats on your new MP11! And nice playing smile

Was this recorded line out or through your monitors?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2504384 - 01/26/16 08:53 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
Thanks regarding my playing, Morodiene.

I also must thank you as I think your post about your own MP11 was the first one I read that lead me to start consider buying one (probably about a year ago).

I recorded to a Zoom Q3HD with the headphone jack from my MP11 to the line in on the Zoom.

I think the recording sounds better on my zoom than the way it came out on YouTube. Perhaps the YouTube processing changed the sound quality a bit but I'm not sure?

My next step will be to figure out how to record better so it can sound better on YouTube.

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#2504393 - 01/26/16 09:07 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 11307
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Hello Pedies, congrats on your new MP11.

Thank you for the positive feedback, and for sharing your video - always gratefully appreciated.

Kind regards,
James
x

EDIT: I can also here some of the compression artefacts in the YouTube video, which suggest that perhaps the original source audio (captured by the Zoom) was compressed quite heavily. If there is an option to capture uncompressed (e.g. WAV) audio, I believe this will result in higher quality playback when uploaded to YouTube etc.
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#2504394 - 01/26/16 09:16 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13523
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Pedies
Thanks regarding my playing, Morodiene.

I also must thank you as I think your post about your own MP11 was the first one I read that lead me to start consider buying one (probably about a year ago).

I recorded to a Zoom Q3HD with the headphone jack from my MP11 to the line in on the Zoom.

I think the recording sounds better on my zoom than the way it came out on YouTube. Perhaps the YouTube processing changed the sound quality a bit but I'm not sure?

My next step will be to figure out how to record better so it can sound better on YouTube.
What format did you record in? (mp3, wav, and the bit-rate)
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2504405 - 01/26/16 09:48 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
Thanks, Kawai James.

Your many posts are definitely one of the reasons I made my purchase and once again, I am very glad I did. I've been playing keyboard for a while and the MP11 has really reinvigorated my desire to play and learn more.

Morodiene, my Q3hd settings show a format of AAC with a bit rate 192kbps and a sample rate of 48 KHz.

My recording definitely sounds a lot better with headphones on the zoom than through my computer on YouTube.

I would appreciate any suggestions on how to get a better recording or how to get it to sound better online.

Thanks,
Peter


Edited by Pedies (01/26/16 09:49 PM)

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#2504415 - 01/26/16 10:12 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
pavanne1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/14
Posts: 87
Loc: FLORIDA
Congrats on your new keys!

I have the mp8ii but I wish I had gotten the 11. The 8ii is really heavy not so portable. I am so happy with Kawai pianos over all they just make excellent stuff.


Doreen Hall
_________________________
Doreen Hall
www.palomapiano.com

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#2504422 - 01/26/16 10:58 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 11307
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Peter, thank you for your kind words.

I briefly checked the Q3HD owner's manual and found the following information on page 10:



My recommendation would be to change the sound format from AAC to PCM. With AAC, the sound will be compressed once by the camera, and then once again by YouTube, thus lowering the quality. However, with PCM, the sound will not be compressed by the camera, only by YouTube, which should result in a higher quality output.

Best of luck!

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#2504520 - 01/27/16 08:55 AM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
Thanks Kawai James.

I will definitely give that a try, changing from AAC to PCM.

Its interesting because the recording quality on my Zoom from the MP11 sounds amazing but when I play it back on YouTube, the sound quality is a bit lackluster.

Thanks again.

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#2504534 - 01/27/16 09:39 AM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Charles Cohen Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 2463
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
AAC and MP3 are both "compressed" formats -- they lose information that's in the original (WAV or PCM) signal.

To convert from one to the other, I suspect the Youtube software first takes the .AAC file and uncompresses it to .WAV (which doesn't recreate the original signal -- some information is lost), and then re-compresses to .MP3 (losing more information).

. . . That's a good recipe for "audible loss of quality".
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / ZXA1 speaker

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#2504552 - 01/27/16 10:41 AM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Garf Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/14
Posts: 91
YouTube uses AAC or Opus, not MP3. But compressing AAC to AAC (potentially at another bitrate) is also lossy (except in extreme, theoretical circumstances).

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#2504676 - 01/27/16 05:15 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
Great info.

Thanks.

I will switch my zoom to PCM and make a new recording.

I will probably try it on another song so I'll have to chose one to learn and post.

I had thought that AAC was one of the better forms of compression but I did not realize that YouTube would further process the sound with additional compression changing my ultimate sound quality. Good to know.

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#2504691 - 01/27/16 06:18 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13523
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By Pedies
Great info.

Thanks.

I will switch my zoom to PCM and make a new recording.

I will probably try it on another song so I'll have to chose one to learn and post.

I had thought that AAC was one of the better forms of compression but I did not realize that YouTube would further process the sound with additional compression changing my ultimate sound quality. Good to know.


It's always best to record at the highest quality that you can, that way your compression won't be as noticeable.

It would be kind of cool if you recorded the Peanuts theme again just for a side-by-side comparison of the recording methods. But do what you want smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#2504707 - 01/27/16 07:03 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Morodiene]
Marko in Boston Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 1166
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts
Originally Posted By Morodiene

It would be kind of cool if you recorded the Peanuts theme again just for a side-by-side comparison of the recording methods. But do what you want smile


Agree. Actually, anything Vince Guaraldi would be nice.

Still haven't touched a MP11. I got to get to my Kawai dealer. You guys make it so tempting.
_________________________
KAWAI ES7 | ROLAND RD-800 | YAMAHA CP4 | YAMAHA STAGEPAS 400i | PRESONUS ERIS5 & T10 | SHURE SRH1540 | SENNHEISER HD650 | K&M OMEGA

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#2504712 - 01/27/16 07:20 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
Marko, definitely try one. As I said, I'm very pleased with my MP11 and I based my decision on trying other Kawai keyboards that I could find at dealers (I really liked the wooden keys on the other models) and the positive reviews that the other forum members gave the MP11. I bought it without even being able to try it and I'm very pleased with it.

Morodiene, definitely a good suggestion to post it again without compression on my zoom but it actually took me quite a few takes to get the song where I only had a few mistakes so I think I'll try to learn another Guaraldi piece with my efforts and post that.

I actually switched my zoom to PCM and tried some recordings and to me it sounds the same as AAC. I haven't posted it on YouTube, though, where the change in sound quality seems to occur (I guess the second processing of processed sound is the issue where I lose quality as others have stated above).

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#2504722 - 01/27/16 07:56 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Kawai James Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 11307
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Pedies, the kind of 'lossy' compression used by AAC or MP3 generally sounds okay when starting with an original, uncompressed (e.g. PCM) source. Depending on the encoding bitrate, it may not even be possible to hear any degradation the first time around.

The problem occurs when re-compressing a previously compressed piece of audio. The initially compressed file stripped away a large amount of information, however most humans have difficulty perceiving these frequencies so it's a fair compromise. However, if we then re-compress this audio file, we're again stripping away information that was already removed, and this is what causes the 'swishy-swashy' sound associated with too much compression...or really, re-compressing the same information too many times.

The same principal can be applied to video or still images. If you open a JPEG image in a picture editor, it may initially look very rich and detailed. Information was stripped away from the original uncompressed data captured by the camera, however we typically cannot detect this quality loss without zooming in closely. However, if we then resave the JPEG again as a JPEG, we will start to see more quality being lost and compression artefacts being introduced, depending on the quality level at which the JPEG is saved. Repeat the process 10 times, and the resulting image will look rather blocky, with dull colour.

Uploading a high quality uncompressed video to YouTube will reduce the image and sound quality, however it's still generally acceptable for most uses (although some will inevitably argue otherwise). However, if the source data is already compressed (e.g. audio using AAC at just 192kbits, as I believe is the case using the default settings on your Zoom), you will find the quality loss to be more substantial. For this reason, it's best to upload uncompressed (or compressed with high bitrate) data to YouTube wherever possible.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

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#2505393 - 01/29/16 08:18 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Lakeside Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/04/12
Posts: 114
Loc: Beijing China
Hi, Pedies.
Congratulations on your new MP11!
I also consider selecting MP11. I would like to know what you configure the speaker system for your MP11?
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK-3
Kawai CA95(In Haikou City)

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#2505395 - 01/29/16 08:44 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
I used 2 KRK Rokit 6 speakers.
They are on stands at ear level.
For me, the sound quality they produce is amazing.

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#2507875 - Yesterday at 10:14 AM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
So I changed my recording methods and recorded one more piece on my new Kawai MP11 which hopefully
better demonstrates how nice I think this keyboard sounds.

This is Over the Rainbow using the first piano setting when you turn the instrument on without any modification to the sound (i.e. no use of equalizer setting changes, etc).

https://youtu.be/Sh02-a645GE

I tried to record with my Zoom Q3hd and I changed the settings to PCM to avoid compression of the sound but when I uploaded to YouTube, I still felt like the sound wasn't really coming though the way I heard it at home with my KRK monitors or headphones.

The recording I just made was done with my DSLR, a Nikon D7100 with my phones output going directly into the line in on the camera (I set the microphone sensitivity for the line in low so the sound wouldn't clip).

Obviously I have a lot more to learn about recording sound from a digital piano to my computer but I don't want to take a huge amount of time processing sound and video if I use two sources (i.e. separate video and sound) as I see the professionals seem to do (and then having to sync up the two).

Any suggestions are welcome on how to improve getting the sound and video across online.

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#2507910 - Yesterday at 11:58 AM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
JoBert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 91
Loc: Germany
If you have a halfway decent multi track video editor, swapping out the sound track shouldn't be too difficult. It should show the wave outline of the sound. Then you import the other sound file as a second track, move it around until the two waves match up, then delete the original sound track. The editor may even have a feature to do this aligning for you.
_________________________
Kawai CA 97 | Yamaha P-115

My piano recordings on YouTube

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#2507951 - Yesterday at 02:10 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: JoBert]
HwyStar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/11
Posts: 361
Loc: Reno Nevada
If you aren't happy with the audio of YouTube you may want to consider posting the sounds up to SoundCloud.

Here is a good article about SoundCloud and YouTube optimization techniques. It appears to be correct, but honestly I did look at it to much: http://www.justmastering.com/article-mixingformp3.php.

PS: Nice recording Pedies!


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#2507997 - Yesterday at 04:21 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
JoBert, thanks for the advice. I do have a video editor that came with my computer which I think is decent, but my problem is that it takes me a bunch of recordings (as I'm sure it does plenty of other people) to get a video/recording of my music with minimal error on my part and it would be take me a very long time if I were to record both independently (i.e. with 2 devices at the same time) and then mix them. With my DSLR, I just press the record button and it seems that the sound is pretty good (better than my prior attempts with my Zoom Q3hd). I'm sure it can be done better and I probably will give a try at using a separate sound and video recorder and trying to mix them in the near future.

HwyStar, thanks for pointing out that article. I just read through it and it is really helpful. It seems that for YouTube, if you want sound quality, the best bet is to make sure you record in HD video so you loose less quality when they process it.

Great info. Thanks again.

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#2508035 - Yesterday at 06:53 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
JoBert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 91
Loc: Germany
Sure, I understand that recording can be a hassle. Just in case you want to try in the future: The way you write about a separate sound recorder, I'm not sure if you are aware that you don't need additional audio recording equipment? You can simply record directly to USB with the MP11 itself. (Please ignore if you already knew this...)
_________________________
Kawai CA 97 | Yamaha P-115

My piano recordings on YouTube

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#2508042 - Yesterday at 07:26 PM Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
Pedies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 166
Thanks again, JoBert.

I have read on the forums that you can record directly to the computer. I found that people seem to like Audacity for this. I just haven't tried it yet but that is probably my next move, to record the sound directly to the computer to optimize the quality.

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#2508111 - 1 minute 46 seconds ago Re: My new Kawai MP11 [Re: Pedies]
lophiomys Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/01/14
Posts: 389
Loc: Austria, EU
From my experiences with m MP7(s), I would not recommend to record using the internal USB recording.

To record the actual sound, which ends up in your ears via the monitor speakers, I'd recommend to use a good external recorder directly connected to the LINE OUT (or Headphone OUT), that could also be a (external) sound card of a computer and using Audacity as a recorder.

For publication and comparison you could also upload the unmodified WAV/PCM to a shared folder in a file hosting service (e.g. Dropbox).

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