Regarding making a good recording, TRUST YOUR EARS. One thing I have learned is that the best place to place a mic may not necessarily be in front of the piano. This is what would seem logical but in reality it's not a concert, and it depends completely on the piano and the room. Some recording engineers REMOVE the lid of the piano and place the mics high above it. If your piano is too brassy on the low end you will need to place it nearer to the outside upper end, if it is too shrill perhaps at the lower end near the tail. If it is too loud try it behind the piano with the lid in the way. The point is, to get good sound in a recording you should spend hours testing different places until you find the one that suits your environment best. Laura and I ended up spending an entire day preping the mics in the hall before we made our second recording (not out yet), something we didn't do for our first and the sound difference is quite noticeable. We are very happy with what we ended up with.
Ideally you will want someone to sit at the piano, doesn't have to know how to play, can be simply doodle and bang while you walk around the room, listen closely to the sound, the reverberation, the fullness of the instrument and the balance of the different ranges. If you find a spot you like put the mics in exactly that spot, a few inches in variation can change the resonance. Record a few seconds and listen back, see if you like it.
Once the spot is chosen, test the level. Have someone play as loud as they possibly can with pedal and set the recorder so it doesn't distort, the bring it down a couple of notches from there... if playing anything beyond the Classical Period I find my levels are always louder during performance than during testing. I think it has something to do with the continuance of resonance and harmonics with pedal when things are in tune with eachother. I'm just talking out my arse here..
Record again and listen. If you like what you hear record away!
RECORDING THE PIECE
I recommend you record the piece all the way through once, regardless of mistakes. I find recording a harrowing experience because you are aware that EVERYTHING is being recorded and have the urge to stop the moment something goes wrong. You must fight that urge. I find it necessary to get over that first hump of doing the whole thing. Ironically I never like it when playing it but it is usually the take I use most. After one full play through you can 1)try and do the whole thing a second time or, 2)if it is a very long piece, break it down into major sections where there are good places to stop. Record one section several times. Continue to the next section and record this several times.
A good idea to keep a notebook with the start times of takes, and what they contain.
Many computers now come with very basic editing tools installed such as Nero Wave Editor and other such things. If you don't want to spend the money buying Wavelab I'm sure there mut be some inexpensive ones out there. You load your recording into the computer and edit the bits you like most.
In editing programs a wave will appear on the screen which looks like two almost identical mirrored mountaintops. The best places to edit are clearly the silences or rests where there is no leftover resonance. but due to the nature of our music these are few and far between. When there is sound playing, the easiest place to edit is at the point where a quite or staccatto note will give way to a suddenly sharply louder note. In most editing programs I have used you put your cursor near that spot before the wave becomes big and magnify the wave vertically and horizontally so that the image becomes two single lines one for each of the right and left channels (for stereo). Place the cursor at the moment you see the calm wave start to get squiggly with sound and start moving backwards from this point. You need to find a place where BOTH waves are at or near the 0 crossing point. When you find a place mark it, and keep looking for more. Find the same spot where you want to splice in the selection you like and do the same. Then select the one you like and copy, select the one you don't like and paste. If done incorrectly you will hear a "click" at the edit point when you play it back. Test and try the different points you marked (first good with first bad, first good with second bad, first good with third bad; second good with first bad, second with second, etc.) until you get a noise-free edit.
Don't forget to save the master when you have made an edit you like (yes I have learned the hard way).
Don't know how many will use this very long post but at least for me having known this when I started out would have saved me literally days of work and from big mistakes. hope it's useful.