[PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources

Posted by: Axtremus

[PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 08/30/04 11:29 PM

Piano World Member's Recording Compilation Project

Volume 1

The idea originated from this thread .

The Piano World Member's Recording Compilation Project (PW-MRCP) aims to create a compilation of recordings by Piano World members. The deliverable of this project will be a set of professionally pressed CD's containing recordings submitted by Piano World members.

(Please see Project Plan Outline for an overview of the Project.)

Recording Techniques and Resources

This thread is set up for members to discuss recording techniques to record themselves or find professional recording services, discuss such things as MP3 compression, AIFF, WAV, etc. Basically exchange technical knowledge and share expeirences so members can make good recordings to participate in the Project.

Current thinking is that we can accept submissions in the form of MP3 files, AIFF files, WAV files, or Audio CD. Final compilation will probably standardize on MP3 (we'll try to shoot for 240 kpbs VBR where we can, if the user-submitted material has high enough audio quality to benefit from the high bit rate). ID3 tags will be used to make the volume of recordings consistent.

Why MP3 instead of Audio CD? Because two Beethoven sonatas from two members will easily fill one Audio CD! Making multi-CD sets will cost more $$$. We will go with a compressed format such as MP3 so that we can accommodate more submissions without crimping members' styles while still keeping the cost down. ;\)

Thoughts and comments welcome.
Posted by: EHpianist

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 08/31/04 02:19 AM

For all you professional pianists and conservatory students out there, I would like to use this space to give a little advice. Set aside money to buy yourselves decent recording equipment. You might think like I used to "I don't know anything about making recordings", but you learn with your ears once you have the equipment and it has done more for my career than any practicing ever did ;\)

If you have no other pressing needs in your life at the moment, you could do something such as create a birthday/Xmas fund where people donate money into a fund instead of gifts which will go toward attaining good equipment.

I finally was able to purchase:

-A computer (which clearly all of you already have)
- Two Neumann mics ***
- A Blue Tube Preamp ***
-A professional DAT recorder(now you can get a hard disk, mini disc or even CD recorder or record directly onto your computer)
-A Lynx One Sound card for my computer
- Wavelab editing program (a simpler and cheaper version of ProTools)

The stuff all fits in one 12-space rack hard case. I can travel with it (though a little heavy and obviously must be checked) and best of all I can record anywhere anytime.

I realize it might seem like a lot of money at once --it did to me as well before I got the equipment-- but if you are a serious musician it is money very well spent. You can essentially create your own professional CD's in your own time, and in the end it will more than make up its cost when you take into consideration the huge expense of studio time, recording engineers and studio editing every time one wants to make a recording.

Just a thought... \:\)

Posted by: EHpianist

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 08/31/04 03:09 AM

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.. \:D

Record again and listen. If you like what you hear record away!

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.

Posted by: Bernard

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/01/04 03:28 PM

Wow, Elena, that was great. Thanks for the valuable information. I wonder if I see myself getting into a new project? Hm.

Actually, there are a few recording studios in my neighborhood and I want to check them out first. It would save me a lot of hassle, no doubt.
Posted by: jdsher

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 07:56 AM

If someone really wants to have a recording and has no other access to recording equipment, I have an idea how you might get this accomplished. Contact your local Kawai dealer and ask them if they would be willing to let you use their digital piano to record to a CD-R. I mentioned this to KawaiDon and he said the recording may not sound very piano like, however, as a last resort it may be better than sitting this one out. I tried to get in touch with Kawai USA about helping us with this project, but have not received any response. However, I think if you explain to your local rep what you are trying to do, I believe they will want to help.
Posted by: Axtremus

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 10:14 AM

Good idea... I think it will be quit natural for submitters to want to specify what pianos they recorded on anyway (this is Piano World with lots of Piano-philes after all). Kawai their dealers or whoever else that let our members record with their facilities gets an honorable mention of their product accompanying that recording in our CD booklet, and our members get to record and submit something. A very probable win-win arragement.

Elena, THANK YOU. I want to thank you for your contribution above as well as in the booklet/artwork thread, albeit I'm doing it a bit late. \:\)
Posted by: gryphon

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 12:25 PM

General questions. First, no way am I gong to buy Neumann mics, Elena. \:D However, a condenser mic seems to be the way to go. MXL 990's (pic below) can be had for $60 inc. shipping. But these require a low-impedence balanced input and a pre-amp (like the other picture below), I believe, which is another $50. I want something I can just plug into my laptop. I know there are Low-Z to Hi-Z matchers for about $10, but I'm guessing the signal will be too low to use. Is there a single-mic solution that I can get for around $50-$60? I've tried the built-in mic in my laptop and it's only marginally better than a dixie cup and string.

Posted by: jdsher

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 12:37 PM

Why couldn't you use a Sure SM-57 with a XLR to mono doohicky from radio hack right into your sound card?
Posted by: gryphon

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 12:59 PM

That's the question, how suitable is a regular mic for recording a piano? I thought a condenser mic was much better. And still that is a Low-Z mic. Just add a Low-Z to Hi-Z adapter and plug-er-in? What about signal strength?

An SM57 and a Z-matcher is still $100.

And the big question, what's the sound difference between these solutions and a $20 Radio Shack mic? \:D (Seriously, would that really be awful?)
Posted by: Dan M

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 01:15 PM

I've played with both the Shure SM57 and the MXL990.

For a newbie, the Shure is much easier to get some kind of useful sound out of, because of the limited frequency range and capabilities. But of course, a condensor such as the MXL will ultimatly sound better, even though it's harder for a beginner to work with.

Warning, you'll want two mics. IMO, mono piano sounds horrible. I don't think you need a true stereo effect, but your two ears do want to hear something different when listening to a piano. I've gotten decent sound when just pointing at different parts of the SB under the piano.

The "audiobuddy" is a decent cheap preamp


80$ - it's very quiet and has phantom power.

For practice sessions I use the above preamp, pair of MXL's, and a Lavry Blue A/D. It sound excellent, I should post some results.
Posted by: Dan M

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 01:41 PM

FYI, here's two examples, one using a pair of cheap (20$ ea) global audio dynamic mics, which sound almost as good as the more expensive (70$) Shure mics, and a pair of the MXL's. Nothing fancy, they were put up roughly ORTF a few feet from the piano (CW grand), little effort to match levels.



The dynamics


This is using the audiobuddy and the lavry. I often hear "wise ones" using the old "weakest link" theory. That there is no point having good A/D if you have a cheap front end (mic). Baloney - I can easily hear the improvment from the Lavry versus a soundcard, using cheap mics.

At any rate, you be the judge.
Posted by: Dan M

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 01:42 PM

make that second link

Posted by: Dan M

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 04:57 PM

Gryphon privately asked about why condensers are more tough to work with, here's my answer as it may be useful to others.

First the extended freq range. Cond mics go much lower, so for instance, can easily pick up the low frequency thumps from the keys unless they are properly isolated. Just using a shockmount is barely adequate in my estimation.

Condensers tend to be rather hyper mics (I prefer ribbons), and present the piano rather percussivly to my taste. I like to capture the richness of the tone by getting closer, but then the cond's start picking up too much percussion.

Furthermore, being sensitive mics, they highlight all the defects in your A/D, placement, room, piano, playing, etc. So then you start having to run around fixing problems elsewhere. It's like when you clean your house, then you need to do some fix-ups, then you notice the old paint ... eventually you just decide to sell and move out of state \:\)

Ribbons are harder yet. The SS electronics in condensor mics tend to much things up enough to hide a lot of sins, with ribbons it's all out in plain sight. Plus they have an unusual pattern (fig 8), and typically low output. I'm still trying to figure out my ribbons.

The MXL mic has a 2SK170 family FET on the input, which is a wonderful little device (I use them as a input cascode (with the WE417 tube) on the input to my custom preamp). It's a nice quiet mic for a bargain price.

Posted by: katie_dup1

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 06:44 PM

To my untrained ears both DanM's dynamic & condenser recordings sound good to me.

I have a question though (being both digitally & computer challenged) ..... for DanM or whoever ......

1) If I record something using my analog Tascam Porta02MKII, my 2 Shure SM57s, & the 2 matching inline (Yorkville LHT-1 transformer) things I use, & it sounds okay to my ears, can I take this tape to one of these sound techs/recording/mixing type people so they'll create an MP3 or WAV file type thingy? Do these people do this type of conversion cheaply? Will this submission (sound quality, that is) perhaps "suck" in comparison with what others are submitting?

2) Can I then e-mail this file (as an attachment) to whoever is collecting these compilation recordings? Or, will a 2 minute recording produce a file that is too large to send as an attachment to an e-mail?

3) Who's collecting the recordings anyway & how will they be collecting the files (via e-mail or what)?

Thanks ..... I apologize if my questions appear silly or poorly worded.
Posted by: gryphon

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 08:37 PM


How about recording them directly to your computer instead of your Tascam?

And I can hear the difference between the two samples, but for my purposes (I want to begin listening to myself play as well as present some material here) I think I either will do.
Posted by: Dan M

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 08:57 PM

The MXL is better, but as I say it then highlights other problems (placement, etc.)

I would recommend a pair of the MXL's and an audio buddy for most people (200$ total), they aren't that much more expensive than the cheapo dynamic mics. And ultimately they'll give you better results.

If you do buy them, be sure to put them away after use. Ideally condenser mics are stored in a humidity controlled "mic closet", but it doesn't matter with cheap ones like this.
Posted by: katie_dup1

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/03/04 10:13 PM


To be honest .... I wouldn't have a clue how to record to a computer & I lack a "technical" support system too \:\( . I presently record analog wise so I can monitor my practicing through headphones & occasionally on a mini-stereo. It's passe technology, but it works for me.

It would be simply easier to give someone else a tape to create a CD or sometype of file. But the sound would have to be acceptable. I can't spend too much money either.

My playing is not that great, but it's the idea of contributing that interests me.

--Katie [who's still trying to figure out the photobucket-picture posting thing].
Posted by: EHpianist

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/04/04 10:26 AM


You're not a performer, you don't need the Neumanns!

Regarding your questions, I am far from being a recording engineer and being able to answer your questions, I just know how to deal with my own equipment, at the most basic level as well. Nevertheless, when trying to come up with equipment to buy I got a lot of help from the Google Usenet groups rec.audio.tech and rec.audio.pro. You might want to ask them.

The MXL sounds much much better....

Posted by: paulie567

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/09/04 11:32 PM

I have a little MP3 voice recorder called a PoGo RipFlash (about $120-150 or so, I think) which seems to record pretty decently, and obviously records digitally so the only noise you get is what comes in off the line. I'm going to give it a shot with a $50 Best Buy mic I picked up and see how the quality comes out.

The software I use is called GoldWave and it has many of the features Elena mentioned above. I highly recommend it from my own experience in using it for making CDs, ringtones for my phone and other silly stuff. http://www.goldwave.com
Posted by: gryphon

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/12/04 05:40 PM

Help. I've been recording directly to my laptop (Compaq Evo 610c) and have an unacceptable background noise. Even when I calibrate the software (Sound Forge) for a DC offset it's there. Post processing with a noise gate is unacceptable because the level is so high, about -30dB. I suspect it is the built-in sound card and there's nothing I can do about it. \:\(

Just for fun I checked my desktop which has an old SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 card and its background is better than -63dB, a world of difference (over 2000x quieter!). Same thing with the built-in sound on the MB. Unfortunately the computer is on a different floor.

That -30dB is just too, too, too high, and it doesn't seem right, not for even the crappiest of electronics.
Posted by: paulie567

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/13/04 09:56 PM

Hi Gryphon,

I don't know why the Compaq's built-in sound card would have so much noise, but here are a few more questions that might lead us to some answers... Is it just white noise or 60-cycle hum or both? What's your mic setup, is it powered by AC or battery? Is the mic cable shielded? To do your test on the computer upstairs did you use the same mic setup?

Is there more than one input on the Compaq's sound card? If so you could try the other input (which you probably already have if there is), also did you play with the volume-control applet & shut off whatever inputs you're not recording from? For example, my PC's card has a line-in and a mic-in, and I'd guess the mic-in is preamped to some degree. There's also a 20db mic boost option of some sort. Any options like that on your Compaq? If you haven't already, I'd suggest shutting off unused inputs and cranking the volume for the input you're using most or all the way up.

I don't suppose you could run shielded cable up to the PC to do the recording on that computer? That might just introduce more noise though.

Another option might be to use an MP3 recorder, they can record at basically CD quality. I use a PoGo RipFlash trio, it's a little credit-card-sized thing with 128MB of RAM, holds hours at decent quality. Pretty handy if I want to mess around and do a little recording session at the piano store where I take my lessons, etc.

Hope that helps...

Posted by: Bob Muir

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/14/04 12:24 PM

Gryphon, you might try what I do. My Dell Inspiron laptop has a completely unacceptable hum when it's plugged into AC current. But if I run it on battery the hum is gone. It's also gone if I bypass the ground. I just plug one of those 3->2 ground adapters onto the power cord and leave the ground unconnected.
Posted by: Ted

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/14/04 02:14 PM

Thanks for the information, Elena. My musical purpose in recording is more to keep a diary of ideas rather than to perfect performance. I do have high quality tape equipment but tapes do deteriorate over many years and I am toying with the idea of buying a decent CD recorder.

For the purpose of the Pianoworld CD I shall just pay somebody to do a one-off transfer for me to CD or file and hope the quality is good enough.
Posted by: Bernard

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/14/04 03:03 PM

I've been wanting to buy something to record with for some time, so yesterday I did it. I Bought: A Fostex MR-8 8-track digital recorder and 2 Shure SM57s.

I hope the Fostex does a good job, but just in case it doesn't do what I want, I can return it for a full refund.


* Stores to included 128MB flash card
* 16-bit/44.1kHz uncompressed linear sound quality
* 2-track simultaneous recording
* 8-track playback
* Ultra-intuitive interface
* 128x64 backlit dot-matrix LCD
* 38 self-illuminating keys
* Onboard guitar distortion
* Amp modeling
* Mic modeling
* Digital reverb and delay section
* Mastering effect for stereo bus
* Optical S/PDIF out
* USB port for WAV transfer to PC
* 6 AA alkaline cell operation
* Included power supply
* Built-in microphone
* Sophisticated editing/archiving system
Posted by: Bernard

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/14/04 03:05 PM

BTW, If this works out well, I'll be willing to loan it to anyone in the NY area for recording their piece for our CD.
Posted by: pete

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/18/04 12:48 PM

Okay, I'm a computer dunce. If I record onto a cassette, what do I have to do to get that to digital form? Can I just snail mail it to someone with a good soundcard and the knowledge to convert it to MP3?
Posted by: Ted2

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/20/04 12:34 AM

I was waiting for someone to answer you, Pete, but nobody has. I'm in the same boat. I have very good tape facilities but nothing else. I'm hoping somebody local, for a few dollars, will make me either a CD or a file from a tape. I've found a few contacts from music shops - shouldn't be too hard to jack up.
Posted by: iamcanadian

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/20/04 12:54 AM

I can do a fairly decent analogue to digital conversion from either Vinyl or cassete. Not professional, but it wouldn't sound any worse than the original.

Send me a private message if you want my help.
Posted by: KlavierBauer

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/25/04 05:00 PM

We used to record our recital series (20 + years ago), and used to record to VHS. Does anyone still do this, or know if it's worth trying?

I'd really like to take part in this, but get too nervous playing in front of people to actually have someone record it for me. If I can get the VHS to my computer I could probably record myself, and do whatever digital work I can to it on my computer.
We already have some nice mics, and such, but the medium is the problem, how to get the VHS to my laptop?

Does anyone have any ideas?
Posted by: Ted2

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 09/26/04 03:46 AM

I have now bought a CD recorder (I wanted one to make durable recordings of improvisation; tapes deteriorate over the years) which, in conjunction with my good tape deck, seems to make excellent recordings. Well, they sound all right to me anyway. I can use software on this computer to make mp3s from the CD quite easily if required.

So now I have finalised what I shall submit it's just a question of playing well enough.
Posted by: georgeped

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 10/30/04 05:37 AM

so how did the mr 8 with the sm 57s work out?
Posted by: Bernard

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 10/30/04 10:25 PM

Hi georgeped. The MR8 is great--quite easy to use. It came with a 128MB compact flash card which can only hold about 20 minutes, so I'm going to buy a 1Gig card (currently ~$99) that will hold and hour and a half's worth.

I haven't yet figured out how I want to mic the piano though. I've been so busy I haven't had much time to experiment. Ditto with the various settings on the MR8.

Posted by: georgeped

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 10/31/04 09:46 AM

Thanks Bernard
Posted by: Penny

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/09/04 03:17 PM

Someone? Anyone? Need help!

My teacher recorded me today. It's not the best equipment, but there I am, on CD (and it wasn't even a bad take!). Except, I can't upload it. Is there a way to convert it to a mp3 or wav file? My computer says it's a cda file. Does this make sense?

thanks in advance!
Posted by: jazzyd

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/09/04 03:47 PM

It does. \:\) You need to "rip" the file from the CD, Penny.

If you don't have Nero, or something similar, CDex should do the trick.



Posted by: Penny

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/09/04 04:17 PM

You are so sweet to help! BUT ...

I've copied it to my computer, and now it's a wma file. I guess I'll click on that link you show above.


Posted by: Penny

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/09/04 04:25 PM

Yikes, I downloaded it. But it's not exactly user friendly. Any idea where to start?

Posted by: Penny

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/21/04 11:27 PM


(help, only a week and a half left!)

Posted by: Axtremus

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/22/04 06:37 AM


If you intend to submit the recording to the Piano World CD project, send me an e-mail or private message -- I'll give you an address where you can send me the CD. I'll do the conversion for you and retain a soft copy of the material for inclusion in Piano World CD. \:\)

(I use Apple's Macintosh computer and they have something called iTunes can let you "rip" music from CD and convert to MP3 quite easily -- and they have a version for Windows that you can use for free -- see http://www.itunes.com/ if you want to give that a shot.)
Posted by: Axtremus

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 12/16/04 11:20 PM

Just made a recording following Dan M's playbook (a pair of MXL 990 microphones and an M-Audio AudioBuddy pre-amp). See THIS POST (click here) for details and link to MP3. Thanks, Dan M!

Comments and suggestions on how to make better audio recordings are welcome and will be greatly appreciated. \:\)
Posted by: teachum

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 12/26/04 05:32 PM

So how much does it cost to have a "decent" set-up to record yourself? I'm on a budget here, folks - new piano and all. \:D
Posted by: kenny

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 12/29/04 04:43 PM

I really hate to say it but it really depends on your definition of decent.

I hesitate to throw out any number but I might draw the line at $500.

You may consider hiring a professional to bring portable equipment to your home to record you.

I did.
Posted by: gryphon

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 01/14/05 09:11 AM

Originally posted by paulie567:
Is it just white noise or 60-cycle hum or both? What's your mic setup, is it powered by AC or battery? Is the mic cable shielded? To do your test on the computer upstairs did you use the same mic setup? did you play with the volume-control applet & shut off whatever inputs you're not recording from?[/b]
This is an old post but I realize I never replied to it.

No, it's white noise, noisy circuitry. Period. No 60 cycle. I'm using a plain unpowered mic, but it doesn't matter. I've turned off all other inputs, but the noise is internal. Operating off battery power makes no difference. It also makes no difference whether a mic is even plugged in or not (although when one isn't it uses the internal mic) but the noise is not external to the laptop.
Posted by: Angelus-Mortis

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 10/26/09 09:20 PM

I have been trying to record some of my piano playing with a Logitech webcam; I heard they're pretty good. It's the Quickcam Pro 9000, but I've been having static problems. Moving the cam elsewhere doesn't seem to do very much; there's still static. I don't know if it's simply because I'm using a webcam or something else is causing it.

You can see the results here; please disregard the bad playing.
Posted by: PianoTouch

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 04/21/10 10:13 AM

Hi to you all out there,

I am really pleased I found this thread, as I am an ex sound technician, with over twenty years experience in TV audio.

The really good news is that today, you can record an amazing quality recording with even a basic laptop, and a good microphone.

If you alrady have the laptop, All you really need is the Audio Technika USB Cardiod Condenser microphone. AT2020USB.

This is available from http://www.hostingsuccess.com/audiocreation

I recommend this mic, as it has a large diaphragm, and wil sound more natural, and clean, as well as faithfully capture your recording nuances in detail.

You can also use free software, like Audacity, and be set up to record in a matter of an hour or less, after installing the software on your laptop.

Whilst some audio phiole people may suggest the idea is too simple, I can assure you that it does work, and I use this very microphone for all my recordings, and even when I use the phone on my computer. Most of the people I speak to say it sounds like I am right there, as it is so natural, and clear.

Please do not feel you need t spend thousands of dollars, like you had to in the late eighties, before the advent of the laptop made audio recording more convenient.

In addition, you can then convert the file to an MP3 file, for this project, or any other.

I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and really feel that audio recording has made it to the point where the 'more average joe' can record a professional result at homw.

I say the use of a USB microphone, as there is little adjustment required, and the sound is purer, as it is all in the digital domain, and not analogue, going throu a sound card conversion, and so on.

It just works, for the non technically minded people.

See for yourself...

All the best

Posted by: l123z

Re: [PW-MRCP] Recording Techniques and MP3/AIFF/WAV Resources - 11/17/11 06:05 PM

Hi Martin,

Thank you for your post. I am thinking about buying the AT2020USB Mic.
Since you posted this over a year ago, are there any new produces came out?