recording a keyboard

I wanted to record myself playing on the keyboard and singing, using a microphone. But the recording was very bad. I tried just playing the keyboard (piano) and the sound was weird. When I just sing into the mircophone it sounds all right. But, as I said, when I play the keyboard, it’s not working. Help!

I presume that you mean that you are recording both your voice with the microphone and your keyboard with the microphone?
Are you trying to do both at the same time with one microphone, or do you have two microphones, or are you recording one thing at a time?

What sort of keyboard?
What sort of microphone?
What sort of sound card?
Where is the microphone positioned relative to the keyboard?

Thanks for the prompt answer.

I am starting by trying just to play a song on my keyboard and record it. Later I intend to add my voice to it. But when I try to record the piano song I’m playing through the microphone, it just doesn’t sound right. Is there a limit to the number of tones audacity can record at once?

The poor sound is probably a combination of factors. For a good quality recording you need to use a good microphone, reasonable sound card, and the microphone needs to be positioned appropriately to pick up the sound of the keyboard. You will not get a high quality recording from the built in microphone in a laptop computer.

I undertand what you’re saying, steve, but it wasn’t just poor quality. The chords would suddenly be cut off or fade off sounding tinny. Then I’d play a melody tone and it would sound all right; then I’d play the accompiment and it would sound tinny again and cut off. It was doing funny things. I tried adjusting the output and stuff like that but nothing helped. I’ll experiment with it some more. Since you didn’t address my question about audacity not recording multiple tones, I take it that’s not an issue. Thanks again for your response.

Windows computers come with “Enhanced Services” which try to configure your voice for Skype. If you don’t happen to be using Skype, this service can make your music into trash.


I think I’m going to have to switch to a midi program for the piano. Thanks again.

No, that is not an issue. Audacity can record the sound of an entire Wagnerian orchestra and massed choir, providing that you make appropriate use of the right sort of microphones, microphone placement and so on.

Recording a piano, or an orchestra, with a built in laptop microphone will sound rubbish. That’s not a limitation of Audacity, the same rubbish result will occur with any recording software. The limitation in this case is the recording hardware - laptop microphones are designed for little more than telephone quality “Skype” type applications, not for high quality music recording.