Recording Keyboards

More often than not the keyboards are DI’d and like guitarists we normally set up in the control room. This is to make communication and monitoring easier. Talk to the producer/engineer about the sounds you will be using. If you’re not entirely happy with your existing sound we can probably help as we have a wide range of virtual instruments and samples available, both organic and synthesised. When editing your sounds for the studio please try and keep effects like reverb to a minimum. We can always add more later but we can’t take it off.

Bek keys2We will usually record MIDI either on its own or in addition to the audio. What we can then do is repair any small mistakes in the MIDI, quantise where appropriate, then play it back into the keyboard and print the audio. If there’s a specific fade or other controller-based effect you need to use let us know before recording, so we can check the relevant controllers are unfiltered and ensure drop-ins are done in appropriate places. If not, turn your volume up full and don’t move it once you start recording. Some volume controls respond to MIDI and some don’t, so you may end up with spontaneous volume changes if you’re not careful.

If you are recording MIDI at home to bring in please make a note of the instruments, and DO NOT QUANTISE! Many instruments, especially piano, sound more natural when not fully quantised. Also an incorrect quantise (e.g. of a triplet or glissando) is easy to do but very difficult to correct later.

Drop-ins when recording keyboards with sustain pedal are always problematic. At some point you will probably end up playing with sustain on when you didn’t want it. There is no real-time way around this so try and ignore it and keep playing. Rest assured we will repair it before printing any audio. If you are overdubbing onto an existing part (e.g. playing left and right hand separately) it would be helpful if you don’t play sustain at all when recording the overdub.

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