How I make my videos…


In this post I will go very briefly through how I make my videos (as of June 2017). I will link to other posts that go more in depth with some of the stuff.

My setup

Below you can see my lit­tle setup con­sist­ing of a Roland RD-800 key­board, an Avid Mbox audio-inter­face and a pow­er­ful com­puter. This is basi­cally what you need to start mak­ing some piano record­ings — and you don’t have to throw away all your money on expen­sive stuff like I have been stu­pid enough to do 😉

Audio — The Piano

When pro­duc­ing the audio there are gen­er­ally two approaches. The audio can be pro­duced directly on the com­puter using MIDI along with a soft­ware piano (VST) or the actual sound of the key­board can be recorded. I always pro­duce using MIDI and this is the method I highly rec­om­mend. In order to do that I con­nect my key­board to my com­puter using an audio-inter­face. In Logic Pro X I record the MIDI file and then I pro­duce the sound with soft­ware instru­ments.

If you have no idea what I’m talk­ing about and what MIDI is then I sug­gest you read this arti­cle — “What is MIDI?”. Fur­ther, you can read this note about soft­ware instru­ments.

I use the soft­ware pianos from Syn­th­ogy called IVORY II. More specif­i­cally I use the Amer­i­can Con­cert D (Stein­way), Ital­ian Grand (Fazi­oli) and the three other grand pianos in Synthogy’s grand piano pack­age.

The pianos men­tioned above sounds beau­ti­fully alone, how­ever, I add exter­nal reverb to get an even richer sound. Here I use the PCM Reverb bun­dle from Lex­i­con which is great. This really affects the sound more than you would believe.

I also use equal­izer and other pro­cess­ing tools in order to improve the over­all sound qual­ity. I do not have any other expe­ri­ence in the pro­duc­tion of music than my works on YT but I feel that I have already learned a lot and keeps get­ting bet­ter.

Audio — Backing tracks

I often use back­ing tracks for my pieces (pri­mar­ily strings). I have a lot of soft­ware instru­ments but I pri­mar­ily use a VST called Cin­e­matic Strings and some­times also the Emo­tional Cello from Har­monic Subtones. After the record­ing of the piano track I pro­duce the strings track and add it to the final mix.

Video

The video pro­duc­tion is sim­ple. I have a Canon EOS 550D cam­era (hop­ing to upgrade soon) with a 50–200mm Canon lens. I place my key­board in the mid­dle of my room and add some light sources — voila! While record­ing the video I record the MIDI file in Logic. Then I edit the audio and add it to the video file after­wards. I edit the video in Final Cut Pro.

If you have any ques­tions leave a reply below! /​Jacob

 

23 Comments

  1. But how much time do you spend work­ing out your hands and fore­arms to make them look so per­fect for the record­ings?

    Love all the great con­tent of yours — keep inspire 🙂

    BR

    • Hello Logan.

      The descrip­tion above describes how I am cur­rently mak­ing my videos. When I made the Inter­stel­lar video I was sim­ply record­ing the audio from my old key­board. The audio from the key­board was a layer with a piano sound and a pad sound. Fur­ther, I recorded a strings track on the key­board after­wards and added it to the final mix.

      Jacob

  2. Bon­jour , j’aimerais savoir tout sim­ple­ment com­ment vous fesez vous les effets sonore quand vous nous emporté avec inter­stel­lar j’ai l’impression que vous jouer avec trois pédales , et quel pro­gramme aussi sur l’écran , je vous pose la ques­tion parce que je vais inve­stire dans ce fameux juno stage , je suis débu­tant mais ça com­mence a venir sèrieuse­ment
    Pou­vez vous me répon­dre à ce sujet la ?
    En tout cas bravo Jacobs Cdt a vous enten­dre.
    ( essaye de me répon­dre en français )

  3. Hi, great post :)) … how do you get the falling notes (i guess Syn­the­sia) into your video. Do you record the screen? Thanks!

  4. Ques­tion, hope you can respond. While I record MIDI with my piano, some­times the notes I play will con­tinue to sus­tain even after I let go of the sus­tain pedal. Not sure what is caus­ing this but it’s some­what frus­trat­ing as it doesn’t sound too pleas­ing while some notes con­tinue to sus­tain when they shouldn’t. Any idea as to what might be caus­ing this? I’m using a Yamaha YDP163 Piano and I am also record­ing in Logic Pro X on my Mac­Book Pro. Thanks!

    • Hi Robert! I have expe­ri­enced that, but only one or two times… I hon­estly have no idea what is caus­ing it 🙁 It may have some­thing with your keyboard/​MIDI con­troller. When I was record­ing with my old key­board each MIDI notes was dupli­cated — that issue dis­ap­peared when I bought a new key­board. So I’m pretty sure the issue is in your MIDI con­troller and not in Logic 🙂

  5. Hi Jacob. We have a Disklavier Enspire series. When I play­back most of your MIDI files, I’m hear­ing some live piano mixed with speaker piano. I may be a bit crazy but is there any­thing I can do to have all live piano to your knowl­edge? I can con­trol speaker piano using Ensem­ble TG Vol­ume in speaker set­ting within the Enspire con­troller.

    I hear piano only on A Breath­tak­ing Piano Piece, Light of the Seven and Hymn to the Sea. Every­thing else is mixed between speaker and piano???

    • Hi Bill. Unfor­tu­nately I hon­estly don’t know any­thing about these player pianos. So I can really give you any guid­ance. How­ever, it does really sound like an issue that can be fixed so keep search­ing for an answer 🙂 /​Jacob

  6. Hi Jacob, first of all com­pli­ments for your beau­ti­ful chan­nel, you are amaz­ing. I have a ques­tion for you. Where do you take the strings on divenire of ludovico ein­audi?

    • Hi Mat­tia! Thank you so much 🙂 I pro­duced the track myself — but I did that using the orig­i­nal arrange­ment. /​Jacob

  7. Hi Jacob thank you for cre­at­ing your chan­nel I’m learn­ing piano from your videos . I would like you to try some famous Indian tracks like Tum hi ho, channa mereya or some leg­endary tracks of Rabindranath Tagore , Indian clas­si­cal it will really be great with your style.

  8. So why do you use a “piano” key­board as opposed to a straight MIDI con­troller? Is it because of the feel of a piano vs con­troller? I’m ask­ing because I’m try­ing to decide on a key­board to use with a com­bi­na­tion of VST instru­ments (NI Una Corda) yet still have built-in sounds.

    Love your per­for­mances and you’ve been a big inspi­ra­tion to me to jump back in to key­boards after hav­ing been away for a while.

  9. Hola solo me gus­taria saber como con­sigues ese sonido, llevo tiempo bus­cando y .… no me sale ni de cerca, mesa de mez­clas… no lo tengo conec­tado porque.… no se hac­erlo.
    tengo un rd 600 i un fp 90

    Muchas gra­cias y me encanta tu musica
    Att Frank Duch

  10. Hello Jacob’s! I would like to know how I can sell my sheet music, do I need to copy­right them? or what do I need to do ? how you did? Thanks!

    • Hi Daniel. Well if it is your orig­i­nal com­po­si­tion then you auto­mat­i­cally owns the copy­right for it. There’s no such thing as “get­ting the copy­right”, it auto­mat­i­cally exists once you have cre­ated some­thing. Mean­ing that you can just go ahead and sell it 🙂

  11. Hi Jacob, thank you for shar­ing your music(sheets) with us. I also like to use a DAW and a Midi-Key­board to play around. After using sev­eral VST pianos, I finally found the
    Raven­scroft 275 sold by VI Labs. Take a look, may be this is some­thing for you.
    (I am not con­nected to VI Labs in any way)
    Burkhard

  12. Hi Jacob

    I would love to buy a piano to pro­duce my own songs.
    The sound of yours is great, there­fore I would like to know which one do you have.

    KR from Switzer­land 🙂
    Mimi

  13. Hi Jacob

    I would love to buy a piano to pro­duce my own songs.
    The sound of yours is great, there­fore I would like to know which one do you have.

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