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 ;)

My home studio from 2016 to 2021.

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.

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About Jacob's Piano

I am Jacob Ladegaard also known as Jacob's Piano. I am a pianist and composer located in Copenhagen, Denmark. On this site I invite you in to my musical world. You can purchase sheet music or MIDI files for my original work or find the help you are looking for in my blog posts.

38 thoughts on “How I make my videos…

  1. Ken Monroe says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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?

    1. Jacob's Piano says:

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

  4. Bill O says:

    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???

    1. Jacob's Piano says:

      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 says:

    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!

    1. Jacob's Piano says:

      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 :)

      1. Robert Mendez says:

        Awesome, thank you so much for your reply :)

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