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#2558346 - 07/24/16 09:16 AM Line out recorder for N2
Chris Warren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 166
I currently record via the N2 line-outs to a very old slow laptop running Audacity (44k Hz / 16 bit.) The only editing I plan to do is perhaps to add a bit more reverb. I then have to import the resulting .wav file into iTunes to produce an MP3 file.

Is there a better/cheaper solution for this other than having to buy a new laptop?

You can hear the quality here:

Soundcloud

... any suggestions for improving the quality gratefully received.

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#2558352 - 07/24/16 09:51 AM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
toddy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 2734
Loc: Portugal
The piano itself sound really great to me. You could certainly experiment with reverb or other ambience treatments, though it is hardly necessary.

But white noise is evident. I wonder where that is coming from in your recording chain? It did not impair my enjoyment of your playing, nor impede the recording but it is audible.
_________________________
Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49

Reaper / NI Komplete 9 Ult. / Focusrite Saffire 24
W7, i7 4770, 16GB / Monitors: Yamaha HS7s .

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven & heck

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#2558355 - 07/24/16 10:12 AM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
JoBert Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/27/15
Posts: 287
Loc: Germany
No need for iTunes in that workflow. Audacity can export MP3 too (see the export option in the file menu). You just may have to download the free Lame MP3 encoder first (can be done from inside of Audacity, if I remember correctly).
_________________________
Kawai CA 97 | Yamaha P-115 | years ago: Roland HP-800
My piano recordings on YouTube

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#2558358 - 07/24/16 10:23 AM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
ElmerJFudd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1260
Oh that's a pity Yamaha didn't include record WAV to USB stick on the N series - since the USB port is there. But I suppose they felt the focus on these instruments was how they feel to play and sound in a room live.

What you can do is use the N2's record function to save your performances as MIDI files, which can then be saved to a USB stick and brought over to your computer. At that point you need to convert the MIDI files to audio using a software piano instrument that you enjoy the sound of.

Pianoteq by Modartt
https://www.pianoteq.com/instrument_list

Is a piece of software that models the sound of many acoustic pianos. You can load a MIDI file into it, including one you've performed on your N2, and then listen to it on your PC. You can also use the software to convert your MIDI file to an audio file using the software's sound engine. This method avoids "digital to analog" conversion on the N2 which then requires travel over audio cable to your PC where you are doing "analog to digital conversion" and hiss is being introduced somewhere in this signal path.

Alternatively, you can ignore MIDI entirely and record analog audio from the AUX outs of your N2 to your PC into Audacity as you are describing. If the internal sound card in your PC is a bit noisy you can try a USB audio interface to do the analog to digital conversion. The Focusrite Scarlett 2
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Scarlet2i2G2
$149
works with Windows 7 or better. Once you install the drivers and have the interface recognized and available to the computer. You would set it as your io device in Audacity. Connect the AUX outs of your N2 to the inputs on the front, set your output volume and your input gain appropriately to avoid clipping and record the same as you are doing now.

The hope with this method is that the Focusrite would do a better - and hopefully quieter job of converting your audio outs to WAV without introducing hiss. But we can't be certain at the moment where you noise is coming from exactly. My best guess is that its the audio hardware in the laptop.


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#2558384 - 07/24/16 11:44 AM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Chris Warren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 166
Thx Elmer. When you talk about the "noise", is that your perception from listening to the Soundcloud tracks? I hadn't perceived noise as an issue.

I'll try getting the MP3 codec installed into Audacity - that will certainly cut down the process; I'll then think about recording direct from the Aux outs to a Scarlett 2, which will presumably encode as an MP3 file if desired? (Sounds like the Scarlett might be overkill though for what I want)


Edited by Chris Warren (07/24/16 11:48 AM)

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#2558385 - 07/24/16 12:17 PM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
ElmerJFudd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1260
Hi, Chris. In between a few things at the moment, I'll listen to your audio in a little bit.

With an interface like the Scarlett (or your internal audio chipset, either way) you can record in whatever format you setup in the project setting in Audacity. We usually record at least a 16bit/44.1k WAV or AIF file. Then export to the delivery format, in this case you seem to want an MP3. Where are you sharing it? If SoundCloud, check their recommended upload formats - because they may be compressing the audio to MP3 on their end on free accounts. In which case, you want to upload a WAV to them, otherwise you'll be re-MP3'ing (ha ha) if you upload in a lossy format to begin with.

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#2558419 - 07/24/16 03:21 PM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
ElmerJFudd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1260
Hi, Chris. In listening here on my monitors I'm noticing a pretty minimal noise floor but it is there and it is a hiss. Pretty high up in the spectrum, it doesn't bother me or take away from the performance really - it's very soft. And actually, the older we get, the less and less noticeable something like this is at all! smile It's hard to narrow down where it might be coming from.

Regarding the shape of the piano timbre in the audio spectrum, your recordings are very strong in the mid range and maybe could benefit from a little EQ and a little reverb to place the piano in an ambient space. On the other hand the clarity is very good and I can hear the detail of your playing really well (which I quite enjoyed). Is the place you play the living room, is it a fairly large room? I wonder how an ambient recording might sound with a nice stereo microphone rather than direct.

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#2558462 - 07/24/16 08:11 PM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12095
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By ElmerJFudd
If SoundCloud, check their recommended upload formats - because they may be compressing the audio to MP3 on their end on free accounts. In which case, you want to upload a WAV to them, otherwise you'll be re-MP3'ing (ha ha) if you upload in a lossy format to begin with.


Yes, I was just about to make that point. I believe SoundCloud encodes audio at 128 kbit MP3, which will almost certainly introduce artefacts into the sound. If your source audio is MP3 to begin with, the transcoded result will deteriorate even further. It's therefore preferable to upload uncompressed WAV or a lossless compressed format such as FLAC.

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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#2558479 - 07/24/16 09:13 PM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
sullivang Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/05/09
Posts: 2591
Loc: Sydney, Australia
You could also consider buying a standalone recorder, perhaps one with inbuilt mics as well, if you thought you may ever need to use mics.

Greg.
_________________________
Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte

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#2558500 - 07/24/16 10:48 PM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Charles Cohen Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 3065
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By ElmerJFudd
. Where are you sharing it? If SoundCloud, check their recommended upload formats - because they may be compressing the audio to MP3 on their end on free accounts. In which case, you want to upload a WAV to them, otherwise you'll be re-MP3'ing (ha ha) if you upload in a lossy format to begin with.


Or, Soundcloud might post a 128 kbps MP3 "as received". There's no reason for them to process it further.

I'm speculationg - their rules should be posted somewhere.
_________________________
. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker

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#2558528 - 07/25/16 02:27 AM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Charles Cohen]
Chris Warren Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/10/03
Posts: 166
I believe Soundcloud allow you to keep the original format, if you make your tracks downloadable. For streaming listeners, they compress to MP3, though it doesn't say what they do with tracks already submitted in MP3 format.

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#2558533 - 07/25/16 02:35 AM Re: Line out recorder for N2 [Re: Chris Warren]
Kawai James Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 12095
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Chris, I assume if you upload a 256 kbit MP3 it will be transcoded to 128 kbit for streaming, while keeping the original 256 kbit version for download.

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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