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Recording a YouTube Piano Video with best sound quality


I am often asked about the audio quality of my videos on YouTube and how do I record them. This is a short and I hope helpfully explanation.

My equipment:
Piano: Yamaha Clavinova CLP270
Olympus Camera: mju 700 (true, no camcorder!)
PC: IBM T30

Software:
Anyone who gives you the chance to record from line-in input source.
Just google it and find a freeware software to download. I use "Audacity".

To have a good and pure sound a digital Piano is needed, there is no need instead of having brand new PC, camera and so on. My portable PC is about 10 years old and my camera is about 5 years old. Obviously if you have a camcorder the whole process will be easier but this is not a must.

Why do you need a digital Piano? Because with an acoustic Piano you have to record the sound with a microphone. A microphone records every sound, your breath, your nails on the keys, the cars on the streets etc.

So, the first thing to note is that the audio of my videos is not recorded with a microphone but with an aux cable. Here it is:
The white (sometimes black) and red jacks must be connected to the Piano rca aux output (left and right channel). The jack at the other end of the cable (same as an headphones jack) must be connected to the line-in input of your soundcard. Usually soundcards have 3 inputs: microphone, line-in and headphones. They have a different colour and/or a small mark.
If they have a different colour the blue input is yours. If not, to understand which input is the line-in see the marks near the inputs. It can't be the one with a little microphone printed or the one with a little headphones mark.

Now step by step the record process if you use a camera or a camcorder:
1) Start your PC and the audio software;
2) connect the digital Piano to the PC as explained above;
3) if possible put the camera on a tripod near your Piano;
4) start the audio recording from the PC (select "record from line-in source" or similar), start the video recording from your camera and then start playing;
5) when you're ready, stop the video recording and then stop the audio recording;
6) transfer the video file on your PC;
7) now you have 2 files on your PC: an audio file recorded from Piano via aux and a video (or maybe audio/video file) recorded with your camera. To synchronize audio and video, search again on google for a free software. If your camera records audio and video do not forget to mute the audio of your camera record (for your video you will use the audio file recorded via line-in input directly from the Piano);
8) your file is now ready to be uploaded wherever you want and the audio quality will be excellent.

This is what to do if you have a camcorder with AUX interface (this time you do not need the cable shown above but simply an aux-in / aux-out cable, with 2 red and white jacks at both cable's ends):
1) connect the digital Piano (aux-out) to the camcorder (aux-in);
3) put the camcorder on a tripod near your Piano;
4) start the audio/video recording on the camcorder and start playing;
5) when you're ready stop the audio/video recording;
6) transfer the file on your PC and upload it where you want, if you want. The audio quality will be excellent.

YouTube in Music EducationYouTube in Music Education Book. Softcover. 254 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.332856)
...more info

Music Law in the Digital AgeMusic Law in the Digital Age Berklee Press. Softcover. 176 pages. Published by Berklee Press (HL.50449586)
...more info
Recording a YouTube Piano Video with best sound quality Reviewed by Satin Beaus on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 Rating: 5

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the tutorial. Perhaps you could help a little further. I would like to post a video of me playing piano using a sound interface with has the OUT left and right. My cammcorder doesn't have the aux. connection, but it has a mic input connection on it. The other connections are USB and HDMI connectors and A/V, Component connections. Should I run a cable from OUT left and right on my sound interface to the mic input on the camcorder? Your suggestion/help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks once again - Max.

    ReplyDelete
  2. all this is useless since YouTube compression kills the sound quality...

    http://artlol.com/top-10-video-sharing-sites-for-highest-sound-quality

    ReplyDelete
  3. And what will then happen if the sound quality is already bad from the recording?

    So it is not useless to try to record with better sound quality...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I just read your article and found it very informative for those who are looking to record youtube videos with best sound quality. Well, there are two most important factors to consider while recording a video for youtube; first of all, you have to record a video with best video quality and secondly you need to record a video with best sound quality so that yours viewers will enjoy watching your video. Well, if someone is looking to make wonderful videos for youtube then it is recommended to buy the best camera. If you are looking to buy a camera for youtube then you should check this list of best video cameras for youtube. You will find the best one for your needs.

    ReplyDelete

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