Issues with recording my piano

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lucy, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. Lucy

    Lucy Active Member

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    Jul 1, 2019
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    I'm a guitar player and recently got into piano. I got a Yamaha P-45 and, since I record instrumental tracks with guitar and bass, I tried to record my piano, but I ran into some issues. First I tried connecting my piano to my guitar amp which with my guitar cable and was able to record it (obviously the sound wasn't great as it's a guitar amp and not meant for any other instruments).

    So then I tried to record the piano without it going through my amp. I had to get a jack reduction and then plugged a male 3.5mm jack to male 3.5mm jack into it as well as into the microphone slot on my PC. I was able to record it, but there was a significant delay that was preventing me from staying on beat since the only way for me to hear what I was playing was through playback. I tried solving the problem by getting a splitter that I plugged into the reduction on the piano, plugged the jack into the microphone slot and then regular headphones into the headphone slot so that I could hear myself while playing. For some reason, though, whenever I plug both of those things into the splitter there's this extremely loud buzzing that I can't get rid of. If I unplug the jack that goes into my PC from the splitter the buzzing goes away and the sound's pretty good in my headphones, but the second I plug it in it's back. I didn't try to save money on cables, so the problem shouldn't be there. Anyone got any ideas as to how to solve this?
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    Hi Lucy,

    Recording anything other than a lavalier-type microphone using the microphone input of a PC is very prone to problems. Most PCs output a d.c. voltage of about 5V to power this type of microphone, and other equipment can rebel at having to deal with this voltage.

    The usual way of recording a guitar, keyboard or professional microphone is through an audio interface. A two-channel audio interface can be quite low cost, and have inputs that would handle the outputs of microphone and guitar at the same time, and then stereo keyboard at another time. In addition, most audio interfaces have headphone outputs than you can balance to hear exactly what you are recording (no delay) against what you are playing back.

    What make and model is your keyboard? Is the headphone output mono or stereo? To create a buzz like that, it's possible that there is a clash between the stereo keyboard output when driving headphones and the mono input of the guitar amplifier.

    Once we know the keyboard model we should be able to help further.
     
  3. miyaru

    miyaru Active Member

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    Mar 17, 2016
    Location:
    Zaanstad, The Netherlands
    Recording without Audio Interface and/or DI is tricky Lucy. A normal mic input for PC is not for this sort of tasks unfortunally. But for under € 200,= you have a decent enough audio interface which is up the task. Think here of a Focusrite Scarlett or a Presonus. Both have good drivers. Also these have 48volt Phantompower supply in case you go the route of an Condenser mic in the future.
     
  4. Lucy

    Lucy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2019
    Location:
    Czech Republic

    Hi! Thanks for replying to my post. My keyboard is a Yamaha P-45 and as for the output, I think it's mono although when I recorded the piano through the microphone jack the recordings were stereo (which could be the recording software's (Audacity) doing). Also I'm not sure how clear it was from my previous message, but I'm not attempting to record my keyboard through my guitar amp (although that works perfectly fine, the audio it's great (since it's not a keyboard amplifier after all)), I'm trying to record it through my PC. If I turn the volume on my keyboard down enough the buzzing gets to a somewhat bearable level, but the audio in my headphones is so low I can't hear what I'm playing again. Hope that helps, thanks!
     
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

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    The Yamaha P-45 Owner's Manual is very cagey about the headphone output, but it does say that the tone generation is "AWM Stereo Sampling", and talks about plugging in stereo headphones.

    It's probably annoying for us to keep repeating this, but the solution to these problems is to get an external audio interface. Suitable ones could be the Focusrite 2i2 or the Presonus Audiobox USB96. These regularly come up on Ebay, but I would advise going for the 2nd generation of the Focusrite 2i2 rather than the original - it's worth the difference.
     
  6. miyaru

    miyaru Active Member

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    Mar 17, 2016
    Location:
    Zaanstad, The Netherlands
    +1 on Boswell........
     
  7. Lucy

    Lucy Active Member

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    Jul 1, 2019
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    Czech Republic
    Alright, I don't exactly have the budget for that since I spent way too much money on guitars, but thanks for the advice!
     
  8. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

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    If you have no money, then use the working guitar system and plug in the piano, the Yamaha isn't a great sounding piano for realism anyway, but it works for most things on stage. Yamaha never seem to give their kit recording outputs for this reason I suspect. If you want to progress in recording you MUST get an interface. No point buying nice guitars you can't record?
     

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