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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:34 pm 
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It's not that terrible and if I listen on low volume on my computer, I don't hear it at all unless the house is dead quite. Ear phones is another thing, there you hear it for sure but it is not worse than putting on an old vinyl recording.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:40 pm 
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By the way, what do you mean by hiss? What I hear is a volume and sound constant noise throughout the entire recording. Do you refer to the same or do you hear something else?

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:56 pm 
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Robert,

I listened to your re-recording, and I think your playing sounds even more dynamically varied than your first, more color in the melody, it sounded nice.

About the audio quality of the recording I agree to what you say, that I don't hear hiss when I listen back on my desktop speakers, but on headphones, the hiss is quite noticeable. I was recording a piece last summer and the signal-to-noise of the recorder was so loud someone thought the hiss was a vacuum cleaner in the background. :lol: Anyways I don't usually listen to the piano recordings with my headphones, only when I'm editing and I want to hear the music in detail, so I still am able to enjoy it with the speakers.

Riley

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:34 pm 
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I mostly listen on headphones, and they're much better than what I used so far so I hear hiss more often. I also hear it in my own recordings but in this particular one it seems much louder than necessary - actually quite distracting although I can clearly hear the piano, too :P Did you adjust the input level to the maximum value that just avoids clipping at full fortissimo ? That is the value to use.

Edit - As Riley suggests, you might also want to check the signal-to-noise ratio of your recorder. Could also be you have the Gain setting set to Low ?

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:32 am 
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I listen to most music with my earphones on either my computer, my cell phone, my ipod, or my Kindle. So I listened to this again tonight on my home computer with my good speakers and decent earphones and still I hear a lot of hiss. And yes, to me it is about equal to the sound of the piano. To answer your question about what I hear, or what is hiss - it's the white noise that runs constantly in the background (sometimes foreground) and almost sounds like a heavy rain storm. It's not as noticeable without earphones, but I can hear varying degrees of it in my own home if I transfer a recording of mine onto a CD and then play that CD on different stereos. It's something that drives me nuts, as I don't like it and try to eliminate it the best I can. But it's tricky because you run the risk of altering the sound of the piano if you use too high of a setting on the hiss-reduction functions in editing programs.

Well, what we really need here is Didier to come to the rescue! :wink: And I probably should not comment anymore about sound issues. I'm trying to help, but maybe I hear things differently than everybody else and my chiming in never seems to go over very well. I hope you can find a good recording setup/solution, Robert. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:47 am 
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Very nice piece Robert. Scarlatti has so many gems like this; an under-rated composer. I like the warm tone of the piano. The hard part is having a good piano - no worries there. I do agree with the others that you can improve the sound in terms of noise - that's the easy part.

If you're concerned about hiss, here are some tips:
1. If the hiss you're hearing is for the first time, then it's probably an inadvertent setting on the mic gain.
2. Are you using internal mics? if so, they're notoriously noisy and there's not much you can do about it short of altering the beautiful tone of the piano though the use of EQ.
3. The type of mic can cause noise too - back electret mics are noisy.
3. If you're using an external mic, then check the 3.5mm mic jacks - can form oxides and produce noise. Clean them with 70% alcohol and a Q-tip.
4. Check your mic, and cables, batteries in the mics, etc.
5. As far as swooshing/pumping sounds in the recording - turn off the Auto Gain switch. Set your levels manually according to the loudest passage.
6. Don't use Audicity for editing software because the moment you start editing, adding GVerb, EQ, etc. it introduces artifacts. I only use it to download it into the computer, then export it to another editing program like WaveLab, SoundtrackPro, Sonar, etc. The least expensive software offering full edit capability is the Adobe Audition.
7. Record in .wav if possible - less audible digital artifacts and higher fidelity of high frequencies.

As far as mechanical noises from the instrument is concerned, keep the mics raised in the air 5-6ft high, and about 3-5ft away from the strings as a starting point. Try to keep the mics away from walls as nearby reflections will compete with the direct sound of the instrument.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:21 am 
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pianolady wrote:
I listen to most music with my earphones on either my computer, my cell phone, my ipod, or my Kindle. So I listened to this again tonight on my home computer with my good speakers and decent earphones and still I hear a lot of hiss. And yes, to me it is about equal to the sound of the piano. To answer your question about what I hear, or what is hiss - it's the white noise that runs constantly in the background (sometimes foreground) and almost sounds like a heavy rain storm. It's not as noticeable without earphones, but I can hear varying degrees of it in my own home if I transfer a recording of mine onto a CD and then play that CD on different stereos. It's something that drives me nuts, as I don't like it and try to eliminate it the best I can. But it's tricky because you run the risk of altering the sound of the piano if you use too high of a setting on the hiss-reduction functions in editing programs.

Well, what we really need here is Didier to come to the rescue! :wink: And I probably should not comment anymore about sound issues. I'm trying to help, but maybe I hear things differently than everybody else and my chiming in never seems to go over very well. I hope you can find a good recording setup/solution, Robert. :)

It sounds like a heavy rain storm but unless you listen to it in a really loud volume (I never do), you must have another setting in your ears than I have. As soon as the music starts, I forget about the hiss.

Don't you ever listen to old recordings from Glenn Gould or Horowitz (from 40th 50th)? And if so, how on earth do you survive that if that's the case? The hiss there is 10 times the hiss in my recording but still, the music is so wonderful that it's a must to listen to. Take this recording for instance:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-KyL2gMxV8

It's the best of Bach's BWV1052, concerto in D minor recording ever!

But I will try out new settings so that the noise it less from the beginning. I have the mic gain on high but cannot remember the input level right now. About 12-14 I think.

Here is a fixed recording where I have eliminated the hiss, made some EQ and added som reverb. Unfortunately, the noise reduction deforms the sound and I hate that more than the hiss. Do you think it is better?


Attachments:
example1.mp3 [3.36 MiB]
Downloaded 181 times

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:24 am 
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88man wrote:
Very nice piece Robert. Scarlatti has so many gems like this; an under-rated composer. I like the warm tone of the piano. The hard part is having a good piano - no worries there. I do agree with the others that you can improve the sound in terms of noise - that's the easy part.

If you're concerned about hiss, here are some tips:
1. If the hiss you're hearing is for the first time, then it's probably an inadvertent setting on the mic gain.
2. Are you using internal mics? if so, they're notoriously noisy and there's not much you can do about it short of altering the beautiful tone of the piano though the use of EQ.
3. The type of mic can cause noise too - back electret mics are noisy.
3. If you're using an external mic, then check the 3.5mm mic jacks - can form oxides and produce noise. Clean them with 70% alcohol and a Q-tip.
4. Check your mic, and cables, batteries in the mics, etc.
5. As far as swooshing/pumping sounds in the recording - turn off the Auto Gain switch. Set your levels manually according to the loudest passage.
6. Don't use Audicity for editing software because the moment you start editing, adding GVerb, EQ, etc. it introduces artifacts. I only use it to download it into the computer, then export it to another editing program like WaveLab, SoundtrackPro, Sonar, etc. The least expensive software offering full edit capability is the Adobe Audition.
7. Record in .wav if possible - less audible digital artifacts and higher fidelity of high frequencies.

As far as mechanical noises from the instrument is concerned, keep the mics raised in the air 5-6ft high, and about 3-5ft away from the strings as a starting point. Try to keep the mics away from walls as nearby reflections will compete with the direct sound of the instrument.

Thanks for the tips.

I used a everything in one recorder and that is probably part of the problem.

Long time ago, I used microphones and a mixer and recorded it back to a computer but it was always a hassle to get everything ready for a recording, but the sound quality was much much better. I'll check in the basement to see what I have.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:36 am 
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robert wrote:
I used a everything in one recorder and that is probably part of the problem.

In modern portable mp3 recorders the mics are of decent quality, if not comparable to good externals of course.
They do produce some hiss (you can hear it in my recordings too) but it should never be as much as in this recording.
Or is yours a very old recording device ? Then invest in a modern one like the Tascam DR-D1, Edirol R9, or Zoom H4.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:41 am 
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robert wrote:
Here is a fixed recording where I have eliminated the hiss, made some EQ and added som reverb. Unfortunately, the noise reduction deforms the sound and I hate that more than the hiss. Do you think it is better?

No :!: This is positively awful... Wobbly, recessed sound and strange distortion.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:26 pm 
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techneut wrote:
robert wrote:
Here is a fixed recording where I have eliminated the hiss, made some EQ and added som reverb. Unfortunately, the noise reduction deforms the sound and I hate that more than the hiss. Do you think it is better?

No :!: This is positively awful... Wobbly, recessed sound and strange distortion.

I thought so too.

My recorder is an Edirol R-09 and no matter how I place, record levels I chose, there is this constant noise in the background. If I set the input volume to a lot higher, meaning that piano gets much closer to the amplitude peak value, then the noise is lower in comparison to the music...in this piece. Most other pieces have a lot higher amplitude meaning that the input level I could chose for this piece would not be the same as for something else.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:32 pm 
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robert wrote:
My recorder is an Edirol R-09 and no matter how I place, record levels I chose, there is this constant noise in the background.
That makes me think there is something wrong with it. Not even my old Edirol R-1 generated THAT much noise. Maybe you should contact Roland support, or the shop where you bought it.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Yeah maybe there is something wrong with it...bought it like 5 years ago though. You used a Tascam right?

Anyway, I made a new recording and set the input level up as much as possible. Got a bit better right (see the initial link to the recording on the site)?

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:25 pm 
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Yes that is better. I'd be happy to take this as a compromise though the hiss is still louder than what is normally acceptable.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:19 pm 
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Maybe this version is better?

Special version ;).


Attachments:
scarlatti-example3.mp3 [3.24 MiB]
Downloaded 196 times

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:42 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Well now, there you go! I hear NO hiss at all! But I'm thinking that this is you playing on your digital piano?

It is when I switch on to silent mode and take the signal from the headphone connector. So yes, it is digital.
But I ran it through EQ first and added a bit reverb. Maybe it is better to have it like this until I have bought myself new recording equipment.

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Why does previous post look like it is Monica writing it while it's in fact me?!?!

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:35 pm 
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robert wrote:
Why does previous post look like it is Monica writing it while it's in fact me?!?!

Because... you clicked the 'Edit' button instead of the 'Reply' button. I do that sometimes too. Goes with being an admin :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:31 pm 
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That's funny! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlatti - Sonata, K.32
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:58 pm 
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:mrgreen:

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