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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. Sergej November 6, 2020 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Jacob,
    what pre­set of Gar­ri­tan CFX Con­cert Grand do you use? if you more than one, what pre­set do you use in your video “10 Pieces by Ludovico Einaudi ” ?

    • Jacob's Piano December 18, 2020 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Hi there,

      In a few weeks I will launch an online course on this web­site to share all my secrets regard­ing my piano pro­duc­tions :) Keep an eye on the page. /​Jacob

  2. Tejas October 21, 2020 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Jacob, which video edit­ing soft­ware do you use for your videos? Please let me know.

    • Jacob's Piano October 21, 2020 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Hi Tejas,

      I use Final Cut Pro from Apple :)

  3. nick January 1, 2020 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Jacob and happy new year! I have a ques­tion on your scores. What soft­ware do you use to write the scores and what is the eas­i­est and best way to do it? Love your channel!!

    • Jacob's Piano February 13, 2020 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Nick! Thanks for post­ing here. I am using Sibelius to write sheet music. I use Logic to record and pro­duce. Cheers, Jacob.

  4. KAUSHIK GUHA October 2, 2019 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jacob. By putting copy­righted music on Youtube (bar­ring your own com­po­si­tions), don’t you run into any copy­right issues from the orig­i­nal com­poser? Or do you exclu­sively get per­mis­sion before posting?

  5. KAUSHIK GUHA September 25, 2019 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Hi Jacob,
    Also, do you record an entire piece in one go, or do you record parts of it and stitch it together in Logic? Some of your pieces are quite long and if it is shot at one go, that is very impres­sive! My respect!

    • Jacob's Piano September 27, 2019 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Hi Kaushik. I usu­ally record in one take as you can see on my videos. How­ever, I do have some videos record at dif­fer­ent angles where I have also stitched together the record. How­ever, record­ing using MIDI has the advan­tage that I can remove minor mis­takes that may hap­pen which is very much pre­ferred to record every­thing all over again :)

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