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#481718 - 03/10/07 03:50 PM Frustrated with sound!  
Joined: Jan 2007
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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New Jersey
Hi everyone, I've been playing with recording a basic piano/vocals just for critiques and am getting frustrated with the sound -

My question - I'm just doing this to have people critique the song and not the production - so am I being too picky (and hard on myself) about the sound? The vocals are clear and fine it's just the live piano that I can't get to sound great.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
Maureen

#481730 - 03/10/07 04:34 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Mike Dunbar  Offline
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Nashville Tennessee
Hi Maureen,

Well, to answer the first part, if they're just for people to critique, the sound quality might not be a big issue...as long as the people who critique can hear past it.

Live piano's tough.

How are you recording it?

Here's some info on how pros do it:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may99/articles/recpiano.htm

A simple observation is that I've been playing and recording music professionallly for many years and I'm frustrated with my sound too, but it's been getting better all along. Frustration can be good if you don't let it stop you.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#481732 - 03/10/07 04:36 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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New Jersey
Thanks Mike, I don't have keyboards but maybe that's the way to go.
I will check out the link you put up. I've been put the mic at the opening (I have an upright) of the piano and it just sounds kind of muddy -

Thanks again.
maureen

#481759 - 03/10/07 06:57 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Maureen,

Live Piano... The first major selection is the Mic..
I personally use two AKG 414's and Mix them together.

The 414 is an extremely transparent mic and a great mic on acoustic insturments. Another way is a Transducer laying on the sound board I have seen quite a few mic'ed this way.

However I prefer letting the sound develop first.

To get around these issues entirely use a great keyboard like a Yamaha Motif ES8 which I own that sounds nothing short of incrediable with triple strike sampling and has the same weighted 88 key keyboard from thier high end grand piano.

It's about trade offs.. two 414's will cost close to a ES8 so it's all about decisions hope this helps. Personally I feel the ES8 is the better way to go it also contains some fo the best sampled sounds anywhere. However if you also need a great Vocal mic for recording the 414 can handle this as well.

so again it's all about choices.. before making a decision go to you local music emporium and play with both.


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#481811 - 03/10/07 09:49 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Larry Read]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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Thanks Larry, I will look into those options .

#483698 - 03/17/07 12:41 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Very few people use acoustic pianos nowadays. To mic up an upright piano properly would cost more than a low piced electronic keyboard. To transport it to gigs is a no no. I would invest in a low priced electronic keyboard if you are serious about music. There are many to choose from. Preferably one with MIDI input/output. They all have several piano sounds plus a whole orchestra at your fingertips and a MIDI interface will let you record straight into your PC. You can then edit and arrange to your liking. It will open up a whole new world.

#484020 - 03/18/07 02:04 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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Thanks Jim, I think that is what I'll have to do. Larry suggested the Yamaha Motif ES8 and it looks like I can get it used for a little under $2000.00.
Thanks for your input, the more I ask the more Iearn and I appreciate everyones time.

Maureen
www.myspace.com/maureenfichten

#484131 - 03/18/07 08:02 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Hey Maureen,
Go for it and all the best. Just one little bit of advice dont buy the first keyboard you see. Try it out. Get a good demo and overview first. Get the one that suits your budget and you like playing the best. Dont just try Yamaha. Roland, Korg etc do a very good range also. Our keyboard player with over thirty years experience does not like Yams he plays Roland and Korgs. He has several of each and also has a Yam for certain sounds but never plays it on stage. Remember get one that will play and store Midifiles THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT. Perhaps someone on the Keyboard Message Board might give better advice.

#484156 - 03/18/07 09:54 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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New Jersey
Thanksfor the advice Jim!

#484248 - 03/19/07 04:40 AM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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I agree with Jim on this try them all.

The reason I even recommended the Yamaha ES8 is because it has it all. It's nothing short of an awsome piano plus a whole lot more. Including future expandabilty. A HUGE library of useful the key word here being (useful) sampled sounds. The Motif's sounds are in such demand they are offered as optional puchased plug ins for computer based recording software.

It's a Real Time Sampler, and It has as Jim recommends a full on Midi Mutitrack Midi recorder built in. So it can play back or record any standard midi file with totally assignable perameters.
and it can record REAL audio as well such as a Mic or Guitar.

It also offers Computer USB support as well. The keyboard feels exactly as a real piano does since its the same one borrowed from thier high end Grand. So thats my input. based on my needs

But again as Jim states... it is just one of many keys made.

I only gave you my choice based on my ears and needs.

I did what you should do....I spent 2 days trying them all side by side comparing sound and features and for my hard earned money the choice was clear.

Let your ears and fingers make the decision after all your the one using it. You may or may not need all the features I wanted and they do they offer ones with less than 88 keys and even ones without weighted keys. I hope this helps...

Anyway go forth and explore


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#484396 - 03/19/07 09:29 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Larry Read]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Sound advice from Larry. I have to admit it sounds an awsome machine. It has lots more capabilities than the Roland our keyboard player has. Personally I quite like Yamahas I have a little-un myself. But am not much of a player I just use it for MIDI productions. The point is try them all out. We musicians have our own PERSONAL likes, dislikes and favourites and as I say "one mans meat is another mans poison."

#484406 - 03/19/07 09:53 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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Thanks again guys, yeah, I like weighted keys because I am so used to the piano, it just feels better to me - I'll let you know when I decide which to get-


Maureen
www/myspace.com/maureenfichten

#486435 - 03/26/07 04:31 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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Larry Williams Offline
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Another option is the Kurzweil SP88X for under $1000. You'll also need some way to monitor (speakers) the sound if you don't want to turn your recording system/monitors on when you write.

A slightly more upscale model is the Kurzweil PC1X which is a favorite of a couple of my keyboardist friends. They're around $1300-1400 or so.

The few times I've tried recording an upright piano (I own a Yamaha Spinet model), I've gotten the best sound by pulling it away from the wall and putting a mic near the soundboard. Mic placement is everything when recording an acoustic piano. I've also found the sound muddy when using a mic inside the cabinet of uprights. A 2nd mic near the hammers might work, though.

I like the AKG 414, but small diaphragm condensers will also do a nice job. You could pick up a couple of Audio Technica 4041s for about $600. I have a pair and they're pretty decent.





#489279 - 04/03/07 08:15 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Larry Williams]  
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pipelineaudio Offline
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pipelineaudio  Offline
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If you are computer tweaky, one of those dirt cheap keyboard controllers plus a free piano vst-i may do just fine.

#491812 - 04/11/07 02:37 AM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: pipelineaudio]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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Thanks -lwilliam, I'll try the soundboard and see how that goes
Pipeline- thanks!

#491826 - 04/11/07 03:44 AM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Linda Sings Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Very few people use acoustic pianos nowadays. To mic up an upright piano properly would cost more than a low piced electronic keyboard. To transport it to gigs is a no no.


Aw, shucks, Jim, I just was trying to figure out how to get my upright in the back of the Suburban. You mean I can't???
LOL
(It's tough to find an open mic with acoustic keys in the house, too. Rats!)

Seriously though, Maureen -- are you just working to post on Soundclick for the MP3 board? Most of us here will "hear past" whatever you're doing to critique the song itself. If it's for a professional demo, that's another story.

I bought a $75 Yamaha keyboard with touch sensitivity, and it sounds all right, has MIDI capacity and all that, but I am *not*--repeat NOT--used to playing it yet. It is like an organ, a totally different instrument than playing an upright or a grand.

If you want professional demos on an acoustic, the best shot (in my limited opinion) is still to find a studio with a wonderful grand piano that moves you to play it. They're out there, if you look. Out here in Seattle a good-quality studio with a real piano runs around $60/hr.

Linda

#492070 - 04/11/07 11:57 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Linda Sings]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Hi Linda
Wow I can hire a grand piano for 60bucks an hour to record on.
Or buy a Yam that does a lot more for around 75$ NOW DA.... LET ME SEE WHICH ONE SHOULD I GO FOR.
You know what people say "practice makes perfect."
Seriously though you are offering good advice. There are still a lot of folks who prefer acoustic. LOL jim

#492093 - 04/12/07 01:36 AM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Linda Sings]  
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Maureen Fichten Offline
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Maureen Fichten  Offline
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New Jersey
Thanks Linda, yeah it's really just for people here and for critiques not for demos. I eventually want to get a good keyboard (especially to start playing out) but I love my piano so for now I'll deal.

#506559 - 05/24/07 11:52 PM Re: Frustrated with sound! [Re: Maureen Fichten]  
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Dave Derbes Offline
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Dave Derbes  Offline
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Hi Maureen,
One of the things that you should consider when looking at lower end keyboards is that they cut cost by going with fewer notes of polyphony.... basically the number of sounds it can play at one time. the top of line keys can manage 128 notes. Some of them also have the piano ambience sound that you're used to hearing with a real piano. Maybe i should say the sympathetic vibrations of the instrument vibrating and making non-played strings sound when you use the piano.

I was playing with a yamaha s90 and korg triton....very nice kybds..but way out of my price range for now.

good luck
Dave

if you listen to my recordings, lol... i have an 80+ year old grand recorded with a simple one track recorder. volume and tone is adjusted by moving the recorder wink

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