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Recording Keyboard Advice

Discussion in 'Recording' started by JoeJoeMan, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest

    I'd sure welcome any advice on recording a keyboard. It's all new to me, I just have a modest humble home setup, trying to do the best with what I've got.
    I've got a Casio Wk3200, I take a line-out of its stereo headphone jack and record direct to my recorder.
    I'vd been experimenting recording piano, organ and horn parts, the casio does have some nice sounds but I don't quite seem to be capturing them to well yet, I've been trying eq'ing etc, and it sounds ok, but I'm thinking I can get it better.
    So any tips/advice, like certain eq bands to boost/cut, add compresion, etc, panning, any good literature online anywhere to read ?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    How different does the recording sound from the way the keyboard sounds when you listen to it directly?

    Technically, they should be the same. But your recording path isn't really the best. Recording from a headphone output into your "recorder". I don't know if this is your computer or some other device. If it's your computer I'm guessing you are just using the standard audio card which is not really designed for the highest of fidelity.

    If you are recording into some other device let us know what it is. Also, what are you listening to the recorded sound through? Headphones, computer speakers, etc?

    In reality what you have is a personal keyboard designed for easy playability and instant gratification. It's not really a great device for recording.

    There are no magical EQ settings that anyone could recommend because each sound could quite possibly require different equalization. Compression most likely is not necessary at all. If you were mixing this with something else, then perhaps but I seriously doubt that it will help you get any character out of that keyboards sounds. Panning should be Right to right and Left to left. if you are summing the stereo output of the headphones into a single channel, that definitely could be adversely affecting the sound.
  3. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest


    I'm recording into a Zoom MRS16, and I monitor with some JBL studio monitors. It's not the best gear I know, that's why I'm posting here in the Home Recording and Budget Gear section. I'm a professional musician but an amature recorder. I've record acoustic guitar parts that are pretty detailed in sound quality when compared to other records, so it ain't the best I know, but I'm thinking I can get a better sound (keyboard) then I've gotten so far.

    The keyboard recordings I've done to date sound a bit dull, I've tried to eq some brightness to them, but not quite getting it. That's why I was thinking in terms of eq for the keyboard, or something to give it more clearity and definition in the mix.

    The casio wk3200 I'm using, actually for a piece of cheap gear sounds remarkably well, if I could capture what I hear from it.....I actually have some very expensive fine instuments old and new and find it amusing that some cheap piece junk can put out such a convincing sound, it's just not right, but I'm digressing...................
    I have a couple things to try, like playing thru an amp and mic'ing the amp, I also have an Art Pro Channel to experiment with.
    One thing that I did try which seemed to help some what was that I recorded my left hand part to a channel on on take, then went back and record another take on another channel of my right hand part, that gave me more freedom to balance, pan and mix them.
    Tell me if I'm wrong but it seems like a keyboard can take over a mix so to say, it's easy for it to be to busy in the arrangement and also start hogging the freq bands from the other insturments......yes/no ?
    So I'm still experimenting and looking for tips.
  4. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    Here's a few ideas:

    Turn off the effects in the Casio and use plug-ins for 'verb, etc.

    Record the parts in mono. They're probably mono sounds anyway with the chorus providing the stereo effect.

    For a more brightness sound try something like the BBE or Aphex plug-ins.

    When EQing reduce frequencies instead of hyping them.

    When doing horns use individual sounds (trumpet, 'bone, alto, tenor and bari sax) instead of or mix them with a brass section patch. Same with strings.

    Over compress and pull it WAY back.
  5. JoeJoeMan

    JoeJoeMan Guest


    thanks unclebob,
    I'll try what you mentioned. I have been avoiding the Casio effects like you say. I had to really boost the eq to get some brightness, but I'll experimenting more reducing eq, that should also make it sit back in the mix better.
    Thanks for the advice, I'll put it to use

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