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Topic: Recording yourself? [Bob asks]  (Read 3718 times)

Offline Bob

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Recording yourself? [Bob asks]
on: April 02, 2004, 01:08:43 AM
Does anyone record themself?  Professionally or just for yourself?

What setup do you use?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline bitus

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #1 on: April 02, 2004, 01:37:29 AM
very good topic, bob. I was close to asking the same questions. In adition, what do you recommend as the cheapest way to record yourself? I tried a voice recorder, but had regrets :)
The Bitus.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.

Offline Bob

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #2 on: April 02, 2004, 01:47:31 AM
The cheapest is the $30 tape recorder.  You can at least tell tempo with it and basic tone quality.

I've used a Mini-Disc with pretty good results.

I've also toyed around with MIDI which can give you almost too detailed results.

I was thinking of higher level recordings -- above MD's.  Microphone types?  Performance spaces?  Audio editting?


Also -- what do you listen for in your own personal recording of yourself?
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #3 on: April 02, 2004, 01:05:54 PM
I've been thinking about recording myself so I know how I sound like when I play.  I can't tell when I'm actually playing it...  Weird?

But!  When I close my eyes or look at something else besides the sheet music or the keys, it sounds like I"m listening to someone else play.  It sounds like I'm just listening to something and I can actually listen to it instead of just hearing the notes.

Offline Dave_2004_G

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #4 on: April 02, 2004, 02:04:46 PM
Recording yourself is a very important thing to do, because more often than not when you're playing you hear what you want to hear rather than what's actually coming out

Dave

Offline jr11

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #5 on: April 03, 2004, 02:26:24 AM
In the computer age, tape recorders are like a manual typewriter... they will work, but there are much better things. MIDI is ideal, with a good 88 note weighted-action keyboard. A nice feature of MIDI is you can print out a manuscript of what you've just played (provided your time is right on with the metronome). It will be an approximation, but quite revealing. I use Calkwalk for software, but there are lots of others. You don't need the fancy features if you are just recording a single MIDI track.

If you don't have a digital keyboard, you can still record using the same kind of software directly into your computer through the mic port. Get a good quality mic. I like to suspend the mic above the piano with the lid open, but you will get different results moving it around the room.

But in a pinch, use whatever you have easy access to. It is very important to listen to yourself... be your own teacher!

Xelles

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #6 on: April 03, 2004, 03:20:04 AM
I use a digital voice recorder that was a little over $160. The price is a bit steap but you will not regret the purchase, the sound quality just doesn't compare. Plus, there's the ability to be able to transfer your recordings from the voice recorder directly to your computer. With something as important as self recording, you can't settle for analog. (I.M.O ofcourse)

Offline trunks

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #7 on: April 10, 2004, 12:26:23 AM
An MD recorder is most likely the best device out there for recording for its sound quality, recording capacity, durability and sheer convenience. Forget the tape recorder, it's a pain.

Necessary? Definitely! 90% or more people don't listen to themselves during practice sessions or performances. Some are simply too busy with the hand/finger thing that they can't focus on the sound they produce.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Shagdac

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #8 on: April 11, 2004, 01:39:25 PM
I also agree with Dave, often when your playing you only hear what you want to hear, or hear differently than you really sound. I have a piano, but also a digital yamaha/midi 88-keyboard which I can record up to 2 different tracks. It has been an invaluable tool. Sometimes I'll think I finally have a piece down pat and think.."that sounded really good"...then I'll listen to the recording and think, man..that really sucked! I also notice if I change the tempo more when I am listening to a recording, rather than trying to listen for everything while playing. Other times, I can't put my finger on what's giving me trouble, but by listening to a recording, while following along with the score, it's easier for me to determine. Before I had the digital to record on, I used a regular old tape recorder, and that worked well also.

Offline L.K.

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #9 on: April 11, 2004, 11:49:39 PM
I hate recording myself. It reveals all the horrible mannerisms in my playing. But I guess it's very important. I have a digital piano, so I use a line in -cable from piano to computer. The sound is kind of "plasticky" though, because there's no natural reverb at all.  :(

Offline dj

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #10 on: April 12, 2004, 02:20:22 AM
hey since we're on the subject, let's say you've got a 5'6" grand and a PC with cakewalk home studio 9 and a soundblaster something-or-other sound card. what kind of mic would you suggest buying if you wanted to make CD's of yourself to give to family and friends?....o and prefferably as close to $50 (U.S.) as possible?
rach on!

Offline jr11

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #11 on: April 12, 2004, 08:01:45 AM
Grand piano: $30,000. Ten years of lessons and/or college: $20,000. Computer and music software: $2,000. Microphone: $50

?????

Spend $200-$700 on a good mic & stand setup. A large diaphram condenser is best for piano, as it picks up well through the whole dynamic range. If you have your piano in a good sounding room, there is no reason you can't make studio quality recordings. Record everything you play, save the greatest moments, and make a CD for your family or for sale! Recording is another skill, like performing, that one should incorporate into pursuit of becoming a total musician.

Offline dj

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #12 on: April 12, 2004, 11:21:04 PM
Quote
Grand piano: $30,000. Ten years of lessons and/or college: $20,000. Computer and music software: $2,000. Microphone: $50

?????

Spend $200-$700 on a good mic & stand setup. A large diaphram condenser is best for piano, as it picks up well through the whole dynamic range. If you have your piano in a good sounding room, there is no reason you can't make studio quality recordings. Record everything you play, save the greatest moments, and make a CD for your family or for sale! Recording is another skill, like performing, that one should incorporate into pursuit of becoming a total musician.



very true....however i don't have $200-$700 just sitting around, and as im gonna b a college student in the near future, i don't really anticipate having that much money for some years now  ???
rach on!

Offline jr11

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #13 on: April 13, 2004, 07:18:14 PM
Quote



very true....however i don't have $200-$700 just sitting around, and as im gonna b a college student in the near future, i don't really anticipate having that much money for some years now  ???



Ah, the life of the student... it's been a long time for me, but I should remember. As others have stated, if all you want to do is recorded yourself so you alone can analyze your work, there are economic ways to do it. Making CD quality tracks is another matter. For recording, the mic is where the sound begins, and a $50 mic is like a $500 piano... probably fine for a plunker, but pretty useless for a serious musician.

There is hope... as many musicians are terminally broke, check the pawn shops. Be cautious of condenser mics though, as they are fragile... make sure they work right before buying. I would not buy off the internet.

I have found recording makes one a MUCH better musician, and I would say it's essential. It is brutally honest, and every error shines through (particularly with a good mic), which actually provides great incentive for you to strive for perfection. If you make a recording that has the slightest mistake, every time you hear it will irk you. Conversely, we have all had magic moments when we make it through a piece flawlessly. Wouldn't it be wonderful to preserve those times?  :)

Offline edouard

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #14 on: April 13, 2004, 10:29:48 PM
Hi people!
In my opinion, recording is essential for a pianist, because it enables you to get a degree of objectivity in relation to your performance and you can detect much better your mannerisms or faults. + its a great present if it sounds good.

My setup is relatively cheap (i have always opted for the best brands but not the top range product), but keep in mind that if you want to do things properly you will have to invest at least a certain amount !

I use a shure sm57 and a rode NT4 up quite close, which feed into a Mackie 1202, this goes live into a Tascam CDRW700 (CD recorder). Which means i get a CD directly. Then i put the tracks on my computer and use audio software to add requisite reverb, but you can also use hardware for that (i have Lexicon mpx100 unit). In fact very small quantities are required.
The sound is very good.

Another solution i used in the past is to record directly into Cubase (or any other software), via mics and mixing table. THe general problem is that computers dont work :) (+you need a good sound card), so I prefer using a CD-recorder, then you have the result directly on CD.

Also, my thinking is that when i can record a piece and be happy about it, then only i can play it to an audience.

best regards,

edouard




Offline edouard

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #15 on: April 13, 2004, 10:31:52 PM
Oh, yes and I did some professional recording at Royal College of Music studios and they used:
Neuman 149 x2 mics
Protools system
and a huge quantity of preamps and enigmatic machines !
cheers, e-

Offline drooxy

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #16 on: May 30, 2004, 08:00:01 PM
Hi all,

I am waiting for a sequencer Yamaha MDF3 that I recently ordered... I also hope it will help me improve my playing by giving me the opportunity to listen to how I sound away from my piano !

In addition, I think - but I might be wrong - that recording oneself might help for performing if you decide that it is a bit like playing for people. It makes things a bit more "official": you decide to play a piece and record it entirely and so you cannot make mistakes !!

At least, it is a second hope I put in that sequencer... Not sure that is what will happen after some time using it but no doubt that it will be a plus in anyway !

Cheers.
Drooxy

Offline newsgroupeuan

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #17 on: May 30, 2004, 09:06:16 PM
I got a $30 microphone which I plug into my tape recorder - sound is pretty good,  as I use the noise reduction button on the tape player.

Offline willcowskitz

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #18 on: May 31, 2004, 12:02:53 AM
I use the computer to record, and of course it comes with a lot of buzzing and other unwelcome sounds when I record with a microphone (which I have inside my piano). But its good, at least for myself, to listen to. I noticed I increase tempo irrationally (I have no sense of rhythm) and sometimes there are huge differences in tempo and I don't even notice it when I play, when "in the moment" I make the music, every little change that takes place in my mood will alter this music (I have not much discipline) and apparently it comes out as something that would sound unprofessional - I must have some kind of brain damage or something.  ;D

Oh well, practice makes perfect.

What comes to MIDI recording, it really ruins the whole point of recording yourself. When you play in MIDI it only listens to the rhythm and velocity of the keys, it doesn't even come close to playing on a real piano. So its not the most accurate way of listening to your "musicality". Even if the recording quality is relatively poor with a microphone and the background sounds, I'd still prefer it to MIDI when trying to perfect one's playing.

Spatula

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #19 on: May 31, 2004, 02:21:42 AM
With an MD Player/Recorder, remember to use a good mircrophone as well or else the sound quality is terrible.  Use those professional microphones, not the cheap computer mics.   :P

Offline Derek

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Re: Recording yourself?
Reply #20 on: June 02, 2004, 03:16:00 AM
Recording is also a great way to help one's own improvisational voice evolve. The reason is that when one just starts out in improvisation, its hard to know what you like and what you don't like, because you're too occupied with building a vocabulary. By recording yourself, you can get a good idea of what you like and what you don't like, and some ideas might "catch on" and develop further during an improvisation session. I highly doubt I'd have the vocabulary I do had I not recorded myself often and listened to those recordings and sorted out what I really liked and what I found commonplace.
 

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