HOME STUDIO 101: HOW TO RECORD YOUR KEYBOARD OR PIANO AT HOME?

 In this article, we are specifically interested in the keyboard and the piano: how to simply record your keyboard at home?

Digital recording

We strongly recommend that you record digitally, that is to say by directly using the signal that comes out of your instrument (and not the ambient sound of the room).

The audio signal

With a digital piano, you just need to use the jack or xlr output (which you use to be amplified on a sound system) and connect it to your sound card. The volume of your keyboard will have repercussions on that of your recording, its effects too: you will get an audio signal that looks exactly like a recording of any other instrument, that is to say more or less like this: 

It may possibly be duplicated if your keyboard is output in stereo (2 cables must then be connected).

MIDI signal

Some keyboards, especially synths, also have a USB MIDI output.

With the corresponding cable, you can connect the keyboard directly via USB to your computer, and through audio processing software, apply the sound you want. This has the advantage of allowing you to record any melody and apply any instrument to it without having to re-record the track. You can also register notes or modify them. 

Each note has an intensity, a key and a duration which are modifiable; and above all she has no partner. Depending on the instrument you apply to it, the midi signal can become a violin, drums or even a trumpet. The possibilities are therefore very vast.

On the other hand, recording in MIDI can quickly heat up your computer if it is not very powerful, because the machine must apply the VSTs (the selected sounds) to it in real time, which requires a lot of resources.

Analog recording 

Analogue recording is still possible. Again, a Zoom (even the basic H1n ) placed about thirty centimeters from your speakers can be a good solution before investing in a sound card and it will represent the sound of the piano very well. Finally, if you have an acoustic piano, digital recording will not be possible at all! Open your piano and position your microphone (Zoom, Rode NT5 ) slightly above the piano (about 20cm) tilting it towards the high or low strings depending on the desired sound. Better, position two microphones (for example, one in front of the open piano, the other behind the piano, or further away).