Recording my playing

July 10, 2018, 5:26 PM · My teacher is going to be away performing during the summer and I won't be able to see him until August, so I want to record myself playing the piece (just audio, not video) I'm working on so I can send it to him and get some advice for improving. However, my current recorder is bad: it picks up lots of background noise, and the audio recorded from it gets scratchy and screechy when I play loudly, high notes, or aggressive passages like the triple stops in Bruch.

Any suggestions on what recorder I can use that has better recording quality?

Replies (7)

July 10, 2018, 6:14 PM · I use a Tascam DR05 and seems okay. You can spend a lot of dough on recording gear. There are microphones that cost $10,000.
July 10, 2018, 6:47 PM · Anthony, "the audio recorded from it gets scratchy and screechy when I play loudly, high notes, or aggressive passages like the triple stops in Bruch."

Have you tried listening to the audio output through headphones? You might be surprised at the difference in sound quality. Over-the-ears 'phones tend to give the best results, and they need not be an expensive buy for your purposes. I'd avoid in-the-ears 'phones, unless they're really upmarket, because the tonal balance probably won't be good, generally tending to emphasise the treble at the expense of the bass.

July 10, 2018, 7:03 PM · I listened with them with headphones in the first place.
July 10, 2018, 7:18 PM · I find my iPhone perfectly fine for practice/rehearsal purposes. I use Voice Record Pro for casual recording.
July 11, 2018, 10:57 AM · What kind of recorder are you using now?

Violins are especially prone to harsh sound when recorded on cheaper electret and condenser microphones. Electret/condenser mics are the most common in inexpensive recorders. Dynamics and ribbons are sought for violin recording.

If the recording level is up too high this will add lots of background noise.If the recorder is too close to the violin you will pick up every little blemish and overload the input creating distortion, especially if you play loud.

Try this: For simple scratch recordings move the recorder off at a distance of 10 ft. minimal. Maybe even place a blanket between you and the recorder.This might take some experimenting. You still won't have anything like a pro recording but at least you will have something he can listen to and judge playing by.

I'm like a kid in a candy shop looking at recording technology. I could give you a list of 100 different types of recorders and they would all be decent for basic practice recording. Maybe all you need is a few adjustments to how you are doing it though. That won't cost you anything.

July 11, 2018, 11:32 AM · I use the Tascam DR-05, same as Paul.
July 14, 2018, 10:44 PM · I like those personal recorders, like the Tascams mentioned. I personally use a Zoom H6. You can probably use whatever.

Getting your recordings to sound EXACTLY like what you hear is expensive. Only worth chasing if you compete or are working on a recording. You need a very neutral headphone. I use a AKG K812 headphone and an iFi iDSD black headphone amp.

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