Options for Recording Digital Piano

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by cpogge, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. cpogge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    #1
    I have a Roland FP-7F. I sing and play piano (think Piano Man) and want to start recording. I have a MacBook Pro as well as a Focusrite audio interface. My mic is all set up with the interface so no issues there.

    My question concerns the best option for recording my piano sound into GarageBand (through the audio interface). The back of my Roland has the MIDI connection options. But I read elsewhere on here that using MIDI cables diminishes the quality of the sound my rather fancy Roland has to offer. I've never used MIDI and never recorded piano so I don't know. What I want to do is record piano audio tracks on GarageBand, then layer my voice over it on separate tracks. Would it be better then, to connect my Roland to the audio interface using a 1/4 inch audio cord? If so, what should be on the other end? That is, is it (a) just a M-M audio cord; (b) a M audio to MIDI cord; or (c) some other cord?

    I suppose another option is just to connect my Roland directly to my MacBook Pro with a USB cable or something, but then I'm not going through the audio interface.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Alimar macrumors 6502a

    Alimar

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Location:
    New York State
    #2
    To record the actual piano sound sample from your Roland, you should take the line out and go directly into the 1/4" line input of the interface. Using a MIDI or USB connection makes the keyboard act as a controller for GarageBand software sounds.
     
  3. cpogge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2014
    #3
    Thanks Alimar!

    My FP-7F has a "R" and "L/MONO" audio output jacks. Dumb question, but do you know if I should use 2 separate 1/4" TS cords and plug them into both of these, or should I just use the L/MONO? Similarly, if I am supposed to use 2 cords for both the L and the R jacks, do I plug both into my audio interface as well? Thanks again...
     
  4. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #4
    If you want a really good piano recording, eventually you might want to use the Roland as a midi controller and invest in a nice sampled piano library. I really like my Kawai MP7 but it just can't compete sound wise with my soft pianos for recording.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    Yes, if you want a stereo recording then you need both left and right. If you want to record in Mono then you only the left side.

    There is also the option of recording MIDI. MIDI data is just key presses. There is not sound. It is just what you did with your fingers. Then the computer can generate the sound. MIDI is also easy to edit so you can remove mistakes. You can even changed the key after it is recorded.
     
  6. hasumedic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    #6
    Which software is best for using those VST's?
     
  7. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #7
    Anything will work with those VSTs so its really personal preference. If your going to start doing more and more recording it might be worth buying Logic X, i personally use Pro Tools, but i appreciate that it is silly expensive, and not that user friendly to start out with (although, there is a new version of Pro Tools coming out which will be free soonish).

    Other VSTS to look at are the Native Instruments one, I use Giant by NI a lot, and i think it sounds great.
     
  8. hasumedic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    #8
    Thanks for the tips!
     
  9. jblongz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
  10. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #10
    The modeled pianos do have their strengths and weaknesses when compared to sampled pianos. You're not having to call up a recorded sample like with a sampled piano so you're going to get better playing response, agility and clear digital presence but they do lack the warmth and complexity a sampled piano provides.

    I've noticed the same sort of thing with other modeled instrument libraies such as the wind instruments collection from Sampled Modeling which are really nicely done.

    A combination of the strengths of the two approaches would be a step up for VI instruments but I suspect that will require more advanced computing hardware.
     
  11. jblongz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Have you experienced this lack with Pianoteq v5? They are not just modeling the piano, but also the mics, and allow custom convolution reverb samples. As an owner of the studio bundle, I'd say the result is up to the user.

    There is no perfect sampled or modeled library, I hope the OP finds the best option.
     

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