If you are looking for tips on how to record your digital piano, you must already be well educated about what a digital piano is. Hence, without much ado, I am going to jump right into the main topic. Let’s get started.
A digital piano can be recorded in two ways
- Audio recording: When you record the actual sound that the keyboard makes, it is audio recording. One or two of the audio outputs of the keyboard need to be routed to some sort of audio interface.
- MIDI recording: In this kind of recording, the notes that you play are recorded in a digital format. However, no audio information is recorded in this kind of recording. Once it is recorded, it can be played back using the same keyboard, and it will sound the same. But if you use a different playback device, it might sound a little different.
- You could also record using a microphone, but that is a way you do not want to use because it picks up a lot of other noises and distorted recording, therefore, is the result. A microphone is an option only when recording an acoustic piano.
What is the best way of recording a digital piano?
Let’s consider you have only a piano and a computer and you need to record what you play in your digital piano on your computer. You will need to buy a DAW which is an acronym for Digital Audio Workstation. All you need to do is get that sequencing software on to your computer.
Now coming to the line outputs. If you have a professional stage piano, the piano will have line outputs which will be labeled left and right. You need to get yourself a cable with a left and a right quarter(1/4”) inch plug that you are going to use in the line outputs and it’s going to convert it over to an 8-inch stereo mini plug.
You put that end into the mic output of your computer and there you have a connection now between your piano and computer. On establishing a connection, once you start using your recording software, you start recording.
This is the best way to record a digital piano.
How to Record a Digital Piano
This is a step by step guide to how to record your digital piano in just a few simple steps:
Step 1 – The first step is to find the line level outputs. It is usually labeled as ‘Aux Out’ or ‘Line out’. [L/L+R][R], or (MAIN) L/MONO, R: 1/4″ TRS Balanced, if you see anything like this, this is it, you have identified it right.
If yours is not a professional piano and only a practicing one, you might only have one output which is the headphone output. Fret not! That too will do the job.
Step 2 – Next is an Audio interface. It is what makes the sound from your keyboard, converts it to digital sound and transmits it to the computer. The audio interface is important to make a decent quality recording of your piano. The catch is there are so many available in the market and you will have to choose the right one for your purpose.
What you need to know is your interface will have to have 2x line level inputs. Another important thing to keep in mind is to check if the interface has at least one mic input, in case you would want to record vocals.
Step 3 – Step 3 is which cable to buy?
The answer is it largely depends on which cables will fit the OUTPUTS of your keyboard and INPUTS of your interface. The right cable will join the outputs and inputs together.
L and R 1/4″ outputs and L and R 1/4″ inputs, will need 2 x 1/4″ mono TS cables. BALANCED outputs and inputs will need 2 x 1/4″ mono TRS cables.
How will you know if they are balanced?
The manual will mention this.
You will need a splitter cable of the right size in case of an aux out that is a single stereo port or if it is a headphone out. This will split the stereo output of the keyboard into two mono channels( Left and right) on the interface.
Step 4 – This step is all about the recording software. Even though recording software is important, do not get too hung up on it. First, sort out your hardware fittings and then go for a recording software. There are free apps available online that you can use without any difficulty. AUDACITY is one such app which you can use either on a MAC or a Windows.
You can usually listen to your recordings back through the interface when you record through an audio interface. Plug your studio headphones or monitors into the headphone or audio outputs of the interface to listen to the recording. It would be an exception if you have a recording interface without outputs.
You can also watch this video that shares recording your digital keyword by using a computer.
This was, in a nutshell, to explain to you how to record a digital Piano. However, the homework you do is most important to get a better understanding of how it all works.
A high-quality piano gives you a lot of functionality that can be used to record it. There are some affordable weighted keyboards under 300 dollars available on the market that allows all the functions that you need.
Once, you lay your hands on the instrument and start working with the hardware and the software, it gets a lot easier. Good luck with your endeavor.