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How I make my videos…

June 2nd, 2017|Various|38 Comments

This post is not up to date and I will update it soon.

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.

38 Comments

  1. Ken Monroe July 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    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.

  2. Roy July 30, 2018 at 9:36 am - Reply

    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.

  3. Mattia June 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    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?

    • Jacob's Piano June 15, 2018 at 1:37 pm - Reply

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

  4. Bill O June 4, 2018 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    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???

    • Jacob's Piano June 15, 2018 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      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

  5. Robert Mendez March 6, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Jacob's Piano March 6, 2018 at 8:44 pm - Reply

      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 :)

      • Robert Mendez March 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm - Reply

        Awe­some, thank you so much for your reply :)

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