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Standard User TLM
(legend) Sat 01-Oct-16 23:06:28
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Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


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I see this forum is pretty poorly frequented, as my last post of 18 months ago is still on the front page, and looks as if it's only been displaced from the third spot by something dredged up from 2011.

But here goes nothing...

Doing a basic online Music Theory course, that wants me to record myself playing a few very simple scales, chords etc.

The finished audio must be of sufficient quality for other students to hear and peer review it, and be uploaded to Youtube, Soundcloud or "another media platform".

Well, I have an electronic keyboard, so, in principle at least, have the bare essential - an instrument to play.

It has a MIDI output terminal, a phones jack, and L&R speaker jacks, but in practice, I've never tried connecting anything to any of them, and don't think I have suitable cables. I wouldn't know which cables and/or adaptors I need to buy.

As the exercises are only very trivial, and the whole course is not-for-credit anyway, an alternative is not to connect the two at all and just use the laptop's onboard mic to pick up ambient sound - which would be me playing the keyboard.

It would be ropey quality, but as I'm not supposed to be submitting a musical masterpiece - just evidence I can play a scale, I shouldn't be marked down if the sound quality is poor, as long as it's still recognisably a scale (it's music theory, not music production).

But even if I chose that fast and dirty method, which is probably all it's worth, I still don't know what software (preferably freeware) I would need to record sound files direct from the mic, or even if Windows 7 has something that does that already!

Any pointers please?
Standard User billford
(elder) Sat 01-Oct-16 23:14:09
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
This might be of interest:

http://midieditor.sourceforge.net/

You'd need a suitable cable of course, but there I'm out of my depth tongue

Bill
A level playing field is level in both directions.

_______________________________________Planes and Boats and ... ______________BQMs: IPv4 IPv6
Standard User TLM
(legend) Sat 01-Oct-16 23:31:37
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Bill, but that looks well out of my depth - and well in excess of the purpose, too.

I don't actually need to edit or manipulate MIDIs in any way. I just need to capture the sound (I appreciate it does that too, but I'm still a bit stuck if I don't know what cables I need) in any widely recognised file format.

I think my keyboard itself actually has the potential to edit MIDIs (don't laugh that I don't know) - because it is a synthesizer too, but I've never, ever got as far as exploring the synthesizer bit! I mostly don't even use the various voices, rhythms, and auto-accompaniment. Just stick it on piano and leave it.

I'm tempted to skip the assignments, because the technical demands of complying look disproportionate to the learning outcome - i.e. "Demonstrate you can play a scale". I know I can - not sure there's any added value in getting other students to confirm it.

I don't think they're even awarding marks for finesse, at this point. Just: "Did she or did she not manage to get a scale out of the thing?" Pretty hard to fail, even if you played it one-fingered! laugh


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Standard User billford
(elder) Sun 02-Oct-16 00:02:16
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TLM:
and well in excess of the purpose, too.
It probably is, but just ignore the facilities you don't need or understand. I've got a similar app on the Mac for recording from vinyl on to HDD, it can do all sorts of things but all I ever use are the Record and Stop buttons. Oh, and Save as tongue

Which brings us to file formats... anything that knows about MIDI will save or open .mid (or maybe .midi) files, that's a very old and widely established format and most unlikely to be a problem.

As for cables... I've done a bit of googling (I know virtually nothing about MIDI beyond what it stands for) and you don't need anything fancy- something like this should do the job.

MIDI on Wiki- more than you ever wanted to know tongue


eta:
I don't actually need to edit or manipulate MIDIs in any way.
True at the moment maybe, but you never know- you may discover an unsuspected musical talent and want to take it further. No harm in having a (free!) app that you can play with on the way to more advanced productions smile

Bill
A level playing field is level in both directions.

_______________________________________Planes and Boats and ... ______________BQMs: IPv4 IPv6

Edited by billford (Sun 02-Oct-16 00:28:32)

Standard User georgelnx
(regular) Sun 02-Oct-16 10:49:06
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
Just grab a cheap midi to USB convertor like https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zacro-Interface-Adapter%7F-... and some free software to record the results. A great list of free suitable software is at http://www.musictech.net/2015/10/the-5-best-freeware...

Standard User TLM
(legend) Sun 02-Oct-16 11:50:39
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: georgelnx] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the tips - will look into that! As you'll have gathered, I don't want to spend a great deal of money or effort, as the exercises are so trivial anyway, and I don't want or need the formal qualification.

A fiver and some freeware are about as far as I'm willing to go, so that looks ideal.

Although, as Bill has suggested, I may eventually have higher aspirations if I get good, but that's IF...
Standard User caffn8me
(knowledge is power) Wed 05-Oct-16 21:35:14
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Ignore MIDI, it's a red herring. You really don't need that complication at all.

Does your laptop have an audio input? Even if it only appears to have a headphone socket, this is frequently also an audio input.

If it does, all you need is a cable from the headphone output of the keyboard to the audio input of the computer and the built in Sound Recorder in Windoze 7 or software such as Audacity, which is open source and free.

This should be within the £5 plus freeware budget as 3.5mm cables aren't expensive.

PS - good luck with the course smile My mother did an OU Music degree

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs

Edited by caffn8me (Wed 05-Oct-16 21:44:49)

Standard User TinyMongomery
(knowledge is power) Sun 09-Oct-16 09:06:23
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
+1 for Audacity. Excellent software that will do just what you need.

You could just use speaker to microphone, but the headphone socket route will give much better quality, and be an easier setup to use, if you do have a line-in input on the computer.

===============================
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Standard User ionic
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 10-Oct-16 09:38:50
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Before you spend anything or install any other software, I suggest simply trying "Sound Recorder" that's a standard part of windows 7 with the on-board microphone on your laptop. You'll be able to judge straight away whether it's sufficient quality for your needs
Standard User longedge
(committed) Mon 10-Oct-16 14:55:54
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Re: Recording from Electronic (musical) Keyboard to Laptop


[re: ionic] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ionic:
Before you spend anything


43 pence from Maplins - and you won't be picking up all the coughs, sniffs and grunts 8^)
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