Author Topic: Recording Accessories Query  (Read 150 times)

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Recording Accessories Query
« on: December 04, 2017, 11:38:45 AM »
Greetings to Everyone here, the year is about to end.
Well I have a query regarding a budget recording setup for my PSR E453. I am planning to upload my Keys cover on social media (no vocals, only instrumental). I expect a good audio quality, in stereo that captures all effects applied to the voices. Right now I have nothing except my Android smartphone and the instrument itself. What else can I do, please suggest ? e.g. which cables are required, do I need to buy some soundcard, external mic or if a ZOOM H1 Recorder is enough for recording ? Can I record my instrument audio directly to my Android, if yes then how should I do that ? Please reply in details.
Anupam
PSR-E453
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Recording Accessories Query
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 01:09:25 PM »
I've never tried to record digital audio to a smartphone, so I'm not sure if it can be done.  However, I have an Amazon Kindle Fire, which uses an operating system similar to Android, and I believe I have seen recording software available for it, so it may very well be possible.  However, if so, I don't know how good the quality would be.  I imagine that since everything is just being done in the digital realm with the E453 having a built in USB-to-audio feature that already converts the sound to a stream of data, the sound quality would not be an issue since the phone would just be recording a data stream of numbers.

So, if this is possible, you'll first need an app capable of recording the stereo digital audio stream through the phone's USB port, if there isn't already one on your phone.  And, you'll need to figure out how you're going to do the recording to determine which app you'll need.  If you plan to just simply record whatever is on the keyboard in one shot and be done with it, a basic stereo recorder should be fine.  If you plan to "lay down" additional tracks of music directly on the phone, then the app will need this capability to record individual tracks of music while you listen to previously recorded tracks of the song to allow you to build up more complex recordings.

If you do the multi-track recording, you'll have to make sure there is a way for you to hear what you've already recorded so you can play along with it while recording new tracks.  I imagine this would be possible through the built in speaker or headphone jack on the phone, but you'd have to check to make sure.  You also want to make sure that the new track will contain only the new material you are playing and recording for it, and not also re-record the music you're listening to and playing along with.

Also, if you do multi-track recording on the smartphone, it may be necessary to correct the timing of the tracks after you record them due to something called "latency".  Latency is essentially the time delay between you recording your playing on a new track while listening to the previously-recorded material on the smartphone, and the app's processing of your recording of the new data for the new track.  This can result in your new track sounding off beat compared to the original track you played along with.  The multi-track recording app should have a feature to correct this.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: If you can get this software, check any necessary settings in the app and on the phone and make sure they are set to record in STEREO and not mono.  I have been recording on a PC, and for over 3 years, I had been recording in mono and never realized it until earlier this year due to the settings on my computer.  Making that correction has made a world of difference in sound quality.

Also, as most smartphones do not have a standard-sized USB port, you'll need a cable that goes from the standard sized port on the E453 to whatever type of port is on your smartphone.

Alternately, if what you need is not available for your smartphone, you can get a low-cost laptop computer -- mine cost about $150 US -- and use that for your recording.  Just make sure it has enough memory and storage for your needs.  I have a Windows 10 computer, and I use a free recording program called Audacity for the recording, which is available on the internet.  All of the other tips above about stereo settings, multi-track recording, and latency also apply when using a laptop.
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 
The following users thanked this post: SeaGtGruff

Re: Recording Accessories Query
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 05:19:33 PM »
Right now I have very less idea of how the recording works, so I will most probably stick to live play and record, like a basic piano cover; untill I get used to this task, multitrack recording won't be possible for me. So getting into the post, I need :
1. A USB type B to type A cable
2. USB OTG cable for Android
3. A voice recording compatible app
Otherwise
A laptop with Audacity app installed.

If you do the multi-track recording, you'll have to make sure there is a way for you to hear what you've already recorded so you can play along with it while recording new tracks.  I imagine this would be possible through the built in speaker or headphone jack on the phone, but you'd have to check to make sure.  You also want to make sure that the new track will contain only the new material you are playing and recording for it, and not also re-record the music you're listening to and playing along with.
Does it mean that the onboard speakers of the instrument stops working while it is connected to any device through USB to Host port ?
If yes, then how could an app record and play audio at the same time, is that possible ? Because I want to do live playing, so it is mandatory for me to listen to the stuff I would be playing.
Anupam
PSR-E453
 

Offline SciNote

Re: Recording Accessories Query
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 08:02:34 PM »
Right now I have very less idea of how the recording works, so I will most probably stick to live play and record, like a basic piano cover; untill I get used to this task, multitrack recording won't be possible for me. So getting into the post, I need :
1. A USB type B to type A cable
2. USB OTG cable for Android
3. A voice recording compatible app
Otherwise
A laptop with Audacity app installed.
Does it mean that the onboard speakers of the instrument stops working while it is connected to any device through USB to Host port ?
If yes, then how could an app record and play audio at the same time, is that possible ? Because I want to do live playing, so it is mandatory for me to listen to the stuff I would be playing.

I'm not sure what an OTG cable is.  What is that?

I do not think the speakers will stop playing when you're using the E453's audio-USB recording, but I am not sure because I've never tried it.  I have a PSR-E433, which does not have built-in audio-USB.  So, I use an external device that converts analog audio to USB data, and then hook that to the computer.  The analog audio is coming from my keyboard's headphone jack, so when that is in use, yes, the speakers on my keyboard stop playing.  However, the audio-USB device I'm using has an audio output so that I can hear what is being played from the computer and keyboard while I record additional tracks.  If I just hook that audio output to an independent, dedicated amp and speaker system, then that is fine.  But if it is routed through the same mixer/amp set-up that also is part of the audio chain providing the audio to the computer, then any tracks that I previously recorded get mixed in with the new track that I would now be recording, along with my keyboard playing for the new track, which I do not want to have happen.

Most DAW (digital audio workstation) apps can, indeed, record and play at the same time.  That is the idea of "laying down tracks."  You record one track, such as a bass line.  Then, you go back and play the bass line track on the DAW, so that while you're listening to the bass line track you recorded, the app also allows you to record a new track of music, such as a piano melody track, to go long with the bass line.  This allows you to build up a song with multiple parts of music that you do not have to play yourself at the same time, so that by the time you are done, it sounds like a whole band or orchestra is playing.

Your E453 has this capability built in, with its 6-track sequencer, and that is a great tool to get a multi-track song started.  But it has limitations, such as the fact that if you make a mistake while playing, you have to re-record the entire track, not just the measure with the mistake.  And the sequencer on the keyboard is not recording actual audio -- it is only recording the data for the notes you play, to tell the keyboard what notes and sounds to play when the song is played back (like a super-high-tech player piano).  So, if your recording gets too complex, you can run out of polyphony and not all the notes will play back.  But when the audio is sent to a DAW on the phone or computer, then the polyphony is not an issue, because now you're doing the recording on the DAW, not the keyboard's sequencer.

Since you said you just want to play "live" for now and not do multi-track recording, this will not be a concern for you initially.  But over time, you may want to experiment with multi-track recording.

When you say a "voice recording compatible app", I assume you are talking about the app that would record music from the keyboard.  I just point this out because, I imagine there are some very simple "voice recording" apps that would just simply record your voice through the phone's microphone (for recording voice memos, for example), and of course, you need something more capable than that.  You need something that will record stereo audio through the USB port of your phone or computer.

If you use a laptop, keep in mind there are a variety of choices for DAW software, but yes, I use Audacity.  I have not tried any other programs, however.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 08:18:52 PM by SciNote »
Bob
Yamaha PSR-E433
Yamaha PSR-520
 

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Recording Accessories Query
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 12:02:04 AM »
OTG = On The Go. It refers to USB connectivity, and is a standard or specification or technology (I'm a bit fuzzy on it, myself) that allows a device-- in this case, an Android phone or tablet-- to act as either a USB device or host. (I hope I said that right!) If I understand correctly, mobile devices with older versions of Android didn't usually have USB host capability built in, so if you wanted to connect a USB device (such as a keyboard) to it then you'd not only need the right kind of connector but also an app that added USB OTG to the mobile device. I think newer versions of Android have USB OTG capability already built in, so you don't need to install an app for it, but you still need the right kind of connector.

This hasn't been an issue with iOS mobile devices, at least not beyond the need for the right kind of connector (Camera Connection Kit or USB-to-Lightning adapter), because the ability to act as a USB host has been in iOS all along, or if not from the beginning then at least from a very early version.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 12:30:07 AM by SeaGtGruff »
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443
 
The following users thanked this post: AnupamEnosh

Offline SeaGtGruff

Re: Recording Accessories Query
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 03:31:22 AM »
I just found out that the n-Track DAW has a version for Android (n-Track Studio 8 Music DAW, available in the Google Play Store), so you might want to install it and check it out. I don't have an OTG cable for my Nook HD+, but I can boot it up in Android 4.4.2, and I should be able to connect it to my keyboards via Wi-Fi (keyboards connected to Windows computer via USB, and rtpMIDI running in Windows). If I can get that up and running, I might conceivably be able to help you learn the basics of making simple multi-track recordings in n-Track.

Edit: Actually, there might be some simpler and less expensive apps. Let me see if I can get things connected and I'll try out some of them.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 04:01:54 AM by SeaGtGruff »
Michael Rideout
YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443