recording a yamaha U3

Discussion in 'Acoustic Keyboards' started by pete, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. pete

    pete Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2020
    Location:
    georgia
    I have no gear. I know nothing of any music software.

    for my purposes here:

    I have a u3 and would like to record it

    I would like to get a keyboard and make noises with objects and experiment with those noises on keyboard and recording software

    what kind of mic and recording equipment would I need to do this?

    thanks!
     
    audiokid likes this.
  2. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Lowestoft - UK
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    I'm still very confused. I assume you have the standard U3 and not the silent version with MIDI? What kind of 'noises' do you have in your head? When you say keyboard, are we talking about a cheap Casio toy like thing or a serious keyboard? I'm not sure you quite understand this whole recording thing yet?

    To record the acoustic sound of your piano probably needs for a newcomer, a pair of modest costing microphones, and audio interface for your computer and then some software - which as I mentioned in the other topic, which has the ability to generate sounds from a MIDI keyboard, or synth or something? So much depends on what you want and can afford - but with your piano there is another thing to consider. The room and the placement of the piano. Yamaha uprights are not the easiest thing to record, but the U3 is quite a big upright so has nicer tone - but capturing it is quite tricky. Quite a complex process. We can suggest all sorts - and many of us have preferences. Mine is for Cubase - and the cut down versions are quite decent and come with some quite nice sounds and reverbs and stuff. Have you a budget in mind? No point suggesting a grand if you only have a few hundred?

    If money is tight - you need to pick recording your piano, or making noises with objects. I'd just like to know what you mean by noises? Are we talking Stockhaussen or Cage, or dance music noises? The other thing is quality. Are you a concert pianist wanting to recreate a concert hall type sound, or somebody bashing a few chords out for fun?
     
  3. pete

    pete Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2020
    Location:
    georgia
    yes I have a regular acoustic u3.

    the keyboard i mentioned... I was talking about a serious keyboard

    you are absolutely correct. i don't understand any of the recording stuff. i just started looking into it a few days ago.

    what i mean by noises... sounds of water, glass, metal, ambient noises, etc. just sounds I like

    cost? I want to spend what I need to spend to be happy with what I buy. i want to buy quality equipment. i figured good recording equipment for the u3 might be a little expensive because of a piano's range. i don't need to spend top dollar to get the absolute best. going into it, I suppose I expected to spend between $500 and $1000 to record the u3 (the other keyboard I mentioned is not included in this estimate) but if I need to spend a little more to get the desired results, that's fine. if i need to spend significantly more to get what I desire, I guess I'll sleep on it.

    i wasn't sure if I could record the "noises" I described with the same recording equipment I got for the u3. so I didn't know if I'd need to consider spending more money on recording equipment better suited for that. i was just hoping I could do both with the gear I bought for the u3. recording the u3 is priority above everything else I described

    i am not a concert pianist. i started playing piano about 5 years ago. started on a spinnet. after I stuck with it a year, I decided to buy a u3. i've been taking lessons for those 5 years. i've worked hard to get to playing classical music. my teacher has been teaching me theory along the way. "so what's the composer doing here, brad?". i don't really have solid goals beyond wanting to play difficult piano compositions and writing my own. i just thought recording would be something new and fun to experiment with
     
  4. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Location:
    Lowestoft - UK
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    Right then - the good thing is that the noises you fancy will be happy recorded by decent piano mics. The thing that might be a hurdle is that uprights are far more difficult to record than grands simply because the mechanism covers up the nicest sounding part of the instrument, so when you get the pics in the right acoustical location for tone, the damn hammers and dampers clack about. The solution is to move the mics away, but this will include more of the sound of your room. So if you live in a small chapel, it's probably good. If you live in a room with heavy velvet curtains and loads of soft furniture then the acoustic will be deader and you can add reverberation to make it sound more natural. If you live in a normal room, and the piano is pushed against a wall - as most are, then the sound of your room might not be a positive one.

    Computer wise? Good modern fastish one with bags of memory and loads of disk space? Or a battered old laptop that constantly runs out of space?

    We can certainly help you pick a pair of good mics that won't break your budget, hopefully some monitor speakers, or last resort, headphones (speakers are so much better here). Stands and cables and then a suitable interface to get quality sound in and out of the computer. Software is OK too. The snag is that the favourites tend to be very personal. I love Cubase - started on it in 1994. Others prefer different ways of working - I use score edit quite a bit for music on a stave - others have no use for this. The best ones can have things like we mentioned - samplers, like the Kontakt one.

    I won't pretend they are easy to use, but you can buy or download hundreds of pre-edited sounds and play them from a keyboard, through the computer. Ironically some will sound better than your Yamaha. My concert pianist friend has a C3, but works on a master MIDI keyboard that feels like a proper piano, but the sounds come from the computer - and everyone thinks it's his Yamaha! The reason being that you can edit, repair and be really, really good - things that only endless and often fruitless practice would do on the real thing!

    Kontakt can also take recordings of your odd noises and map them to the keyboard - so you can do amazing things.

    The bad news is that most people become good by investing time and serious effort into learning how this works themselves. Youtube videos are plentiful, but most are totally useless. OK when you get stuck, but nobody ever has an identical setup - so they often don't help.

    Before you spend a fortune, I'd suggest a more modest investment - two condenser mics, a basic level interface, some monitor speakers, headphones, a limited feature DAW for your computer as first software. If you have time - download some of the trial versions and see if you like or hate them. My tip is download them and without reading the manual, see if you can record and replay. Some are so odd you need the manual, others will just work how YOU expect them to. My favourite you could hate.

    Even without Kontakt, you can record noises and snip them up and move them about on the timeline, and change there pitch and do odd things with them. It's a huge new hobby. It is NOT simple, or easy, and you need patience. If it fits you - it's a great hobby and potential money earner as you are a pianist already.
     
  5. pete

    pete Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2020
    Location:
    georgia
    the piano is in a room with furniture and carpet, but it is a pretty big room with tall ceilings. and you called it. the piano is against the wall too. I think it sounds good in here, but I've only had this piano in this location so I have no comparison. i sorta expected recording this piano to be sort of a pain, but that's okay. I don't mind taking the time to figure out how I can make it work.

    I have a solid computer with plenty of space and a few externals too. space isn't a problem. cubase was recommended by someone else that I talked to too.

    sound from my pc goes through a receiver into good speakers.

    a modest investment is what I'm looking at. I don't even know if it's something I'll really get into but it seems like something I could enjoy so I wanna try it out. I want to buy decent gear so that it's not just a shitty experience. i don't want to decide I don't like it based on shitty gear. just trying to start on it like I did piano. I started on an old spinnet and decided to upgrade to a u3 after i saw I was sticking with it. the u3 was definitely a good upgrade from the spinnet

    i just want some quality beginner gear!
     

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