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I've had a Yamaha P-515 for a month now and I was just wondering how do you go about recording yourself playing? I've not tried any yet but can see there are a few options.

- Just via camera, easy but not going to be great quality sound.
- Via USB
- Via Aux out into computer.

Is the Aux out into computer going to give the best quality, or the same as the USB? I will probably try USB first, if I can figure out how its done. All I've done so far is turn the Piano on and play it, I haven't touched any of the settings etc yet.

The manual also says you can record MIDI or AUDIO to usb, this part is confusing, I'm not sure it means.

Last edited by marklcfc; 09/30/21 11:10 AM.
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Hi Mark, you'll probably want to post this in the digital section.

I just use my cell phone to record. It's the easiest for me and takes the least amount of time. Too many things to do!


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I think you can export the pure audio, however that's done, from your digital piano - then sync this audio with the video of your performance, using video editing software. So you have video + perfect audio (but no ambient noise, if that's not an issue?)


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I'll be that the P-515 can record audio on a thumb drive (="USB drive") plugged into a USB socket somewhere on the piano.

That's the most direct, probably highest-quality, method to record a performance, or practice session.

. . . Read the manual, carefully.

There are other ways, but they're all more complicated, or more costly. And many of them sacrifice audio quality.


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Today's smartphone actually make really good video and audio recordings. A lot of the musician videos on YouTube are make with a cell phone or a iPad. I come from the Jazz world and some of the pianist will just set their phone on the end of there piano at gigs and livestream the set. So cool to watch their hands and hear basically what they are hearing on the gig.

If using smartphone for recording your practice or taking online lesson real good and only thing I would suggest is buy a stand to hold the phone or tablet you're using. I have a stand for my iPad and it holds it up so I can get a good view of my keyboard for lessons.

Now one of my best tools I got many years ago and I still use it almost daily is a good USB microphone. I got it when guitar was my only instrument. I just plug the USB mic into my laptop or computer and use recording software that came with the computer and get great audio. Plus it gets me good audio for Zoom or Skype sessions just have to select it in my Input settings. I leave it plugged into computer all the time so alway ready to record ideas or anything else. USB mic's are a great tool for a musician.

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I'm learning a piece on my Yamaha P-125. Right now I'm not doing very much video until I learn all the notes practice the piece to a performance level.

The simplest is to plug in a stereo cable to my PC. The computer doesn't have a audio line-in so I use an USB microphone adapter and plug the stereo cable from the back of the keyboard (line-out) to the computer. On my computer I'd use a sound recording program like Audacity of WavePad to capture the sound and save it to a .wav file.

If I need a video version, most cameras do a good job recording HD videos at 1920x1080 or 1280x720 resolution if you need to upload a performance to YouTube. For practice reference my Canon camera has a VGA 640x480 setting. The audio quality is the same just that the video takes up less space to store.

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After more thought:

Check the P-515 manual, p. 61 -- "Audio Recording to the USB flash drive".

Use that method to get an audio recording onto a USB flash drive (="thumb drive", to me). That will give you a ".WAV" file (16-bit, CD-quality sound).

You may want to process that recording with Audacity, to "normalize" the whole recording by increasing its volume. You may want to use Audacity to "export" the recording in a compressed format -- MP3, or some others -- to reduce its size.

If you want to synchronize that recording with a video recording, I know there's software that will let you do it, but I leave the process to others to explain.


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If you just want the audio recording, it’s probably easiest to record onto a USB flash drive. But my experience has been that when I try to sync this with a video recorded on my iPhone, it doesn’t stay in sync (this tends to be more obvious for longer pieces; video and audio will be off by a couple seconds toward the end). From what I could glean, the issue seems to be that the iPhone does not record video at a constant frame rate. I believe there are ways to get around this, but it involves further manipulating the video file, and I’m not all that interested in video editing. Or getting a better camera, which doesn’t make sense for my purposes (just reviewing my playing).
Short version: if you just want an audio file, recording directly on your piano to a usb drive is the easiest way to go and will give you a great quality sound recording. If you want a video, it is much more straightforward to record both video and audio with your phone, although the sound quality won’t be as good.

The midi vs audio describes the type of file generated. The audio file gives you a .wav file. The midi file will allow you to do audio editing but the wav file will give you a sound file that you can readily play back. I hope this helps.

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Originally Posted by Sgisela
. But my experience has been that when I try to sync this with a video recorded on my iPhone, it doesn’t stay in sync (this tends to be more obvious for longer pieces; video and audio will be off by a couple seconds toward the end).

I use iMovie, and it is very easy to adjust the length of the audio just the tiniest bit, so the video is in sync again.


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Originally Posted by marklcfc
how do you go about recording yourself playing?

Depends what it's for.

If I want a quick view of what I'm doing, identify bad habits, laugh at myself (we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously, right?), or see an alternate perspective, share it for fun or to bring a point across, basically trivial things then yes a smart phone on a stand works fine for me. I usually don't need to keep it, or quality is irrelevant since the purpose is something trivial.
For sound only, (no video) it doesn't sound like you have a need for anything more resilient, or accurate, so yes a USB drive capturing your playing that renders a WAV / MP3 file might work for you for the same reasons. USB drive, USB cable, stereo in / out, Aux what does it matter really since you're not really going to do anything with it?

Not a Yamaha fan, but a quick Google tells me you have a USB connection, use that to connect it to a computer.
Or, you also have MIDI in/out, get a MIDI to USB cable (Amazon), use that to connect it to a computer.
Going via USB will help ease a lot of the connectivity magic for you.
Get a computer, who doesn't have one these days?
Get a DAW. Logic Pro is my recommendation.
Get a book (Amazon) and learn the basics of the DAW you decide on.

Play, using MIDI record and end up with a sequenced recording, at whatever quality your system allows, plus notation (music notes) of what you played, plus weird sounds / instruments, more than you could imagine existed, and learn a ton of fun stuff along the way.

At this point you'll likely realize you love it, or that you really didn't want to do music at all and your itch will have been scratched.
Either way is a win for you.

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It seems to me you are missing the basics, ok then allow me:

Sound is a vibration of the air. When you deal with recording and computers and smartphones etc you have many ways to represent that:

1. Just the sound itself, the vibration of the air. When you record with a hand recorder or smartphone you do that. The recorder, the microphone in it, captures the vibration. Depending on the gear you use this is low to medium quality.

2. An electric analog signal that represents the sound. If you record via the aux that's what you do. You record an analog signal before it gets into the air (how does it get there it's another story, I don't want to over complicate things). In any case the quality here is good

2. A digital representation of the sound. A sample, actually many samples, technically speaking. This is the normal internal representation of the sound in all digital equipment including a PC or your digital piano. When you record via USB this is the kind of data you transmit and record. Normally high quality.

4. MIDI. Another story. MIDI is not a sound nor a representation of it. MIDI is a COMMAND to be interpreted by an electronic instruments to play a sound. It's like you say "piano, please play the note C1". This is normally high quality. The beauty of MIDI is that it is flexible, you can go in there and change the notes that you maybe played wrong in a very easy way.

In your case I would go the easiest route with good quality: AUX out of the piano into the computer audio in. You would need some kind of recording software though

USB requires a bit of configuration, nothing too fancy but still.

The absolutely easiest one is using a smartphone or a hand held recorder but also yields the lowest quality.

Did I manage to confuse you enough ?

Enjoy !

M.


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