Enhancing Piano recording sound

I record my piano directly from the piano using a USB. I’ve read people suggested to use reverb/echo in audacity. However, that produces 2 different sounds echoing in my piano recording. How can I make my piano sound a lot better?

I record my piano directly from the piano using a USB.

Is it MIDI or an actual digital sound connection? If it’s MIDI, you’re actually recording the piano sound generated by the MIDI interpretor in your computer, not the tone generator in the piano. You can get a different piano sound by using a different computer, interpretor, or sequencer.

I can send MIDI USB “songs” to my big Yamaha keyboard and then record the analog headphone output. I can select between all the different Yamaha pianos. Honky-Tonk, Upright, Electric Grand, Acoustic Grand, etc.

If the USB connection is an actual digital sound bitstream, then you have the effects in Audacity or any plugins that Audacity can use.

The last time I tried to use the reverb or echoes, the default settings weren’t very musical. They defaulted to a long “canyon” echo. There is another problem with digital echo. In a real room, there are thousands of echoes from each wall and surface. That’s what gives each room its distinctive sound. In general, digital can’t keep up with that, so you get a handful of echoes which can sound dry and not very musical. That’s why up until relatively recently, echoes were still made by machines, not digital.

Also see: digital drum set. Same problem.

Audacity Echo is one trip and you get to select the delay and the decay. Reverb is the one where you scan pick the room size, liveness, etc. The sound is entirely up to you. Too short and the piano can sound dry and flat, too long and the sound gets lost in the echoes. This effect is listening to somebody talking in a very live room. They’re loud enough, but you can’t understand what they’re saying.

Also there’s a combination effect. If your piano already has reverb (MIDI sequencer), you can create mud in a big hurry. This may be what’s happening to you.


There are LOTS of 3rd-party reverb plug-ins if you can’t get a sound you like with Audacity. But if you are using MIDI you’ll probably get better results if you start with a good virtual instrument, then possibly add reverb.

“Reverberation” is the sound naturally bouncing around in a concert hall/music hall. Reverb is from the room, not the instrument. In a “studio recording”, artificial reverb is usually added digitally or sometimes the microphones are placed to pick-up natural reverb from the room. The delay times are short and there are many reflections so you don’t hear the distinct echos. Reverb is stretching/smearing/sustain like “heeellllooo”.

The amount of reverb that sounds great in a concert hall usually sounds unnatural coming from a pair of speakers in your living room. Some people add reverb to the point where it’s noticeable, then back-off to the point where you don’t really notice it but “something’s missing” if you remove it altogether. …You’re the “producer” so that’s up to you!

Echo is "Hello… Hello… Hello… " It’s a “special effect” that’s NOT a natural part of music unless one instrument or voice echoes another.

Of course, when you have an electric/electronic instrument these effects (or other effects) can be a “natural” part of the music. :wink:

My piano records Midi but I can covert it to MP3 as well in the piano.

Also, how do you change the notes from Midi? I saw in my piano their is “song creator” where you edit the midi notes but it’s really confusing as to what notes are being played cause it sounds so different.

Another thing you could try is using an EQ. Maybe cut out some of the very low end and carefully boost some of the high end. If you start listening to professional piano recordings you’ll realize they have been EQ-ed quite drastically.

Hope this helps!

[Advertising is not permitted on this forum]