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 Post subject: Video Chopin Mazurka
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:27 am 
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Since I never have seen a video of my own piano playing I just recorded myself.
During a piano lesson some weeks ago (after a gap of 25 years...) my teacher told me that I am sitting much too far away from piano (almost Brahms-like). I did not believe - after seeing myself in the video I have to agree.

So I like to know what you experts think what anything else can be improved. RH pinky is mostly not curved, and I sometimes make strange grimace (did not realize that while playing). I like also to say that I don't have a serious illness what one could think because of no hairs - it is an hair illness I have from youth on, so I lost bit by bit the hairs, but nothing more.

The recording of that Mazurka 7-2 was done in the way that I recorded parallel the video with a video recorder and the audio with my usual equipment (one of both mics are visible), and replaced the terrible audio part of the video with the better mp3 quality recording. Maybe if my piano is tuned some weeks later I will record the audio part again as candidate for the site, hopefully with less unnecessary flaws.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:35 am 
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I can't download mpg at work, so it'll have to wait until tonight.

You will have to tell me how to mix audio with video, as this is what I need to do if I ever want to produce a "video" (have never seen myself play either, and I know I grimace as well, and have my terrible gaze locked on the notes). I have only a cheap digital camera without sound, allowing for some minutes of grainy video, and the Edirol.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:57 am 
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techneut wrote:
You will have to tell me how to mix audio with video, as this is what I need to do if I ever want to produce a "video" (have never seen myself play either, and I know I grimace as well, and have my terrible gaze locked on the notes). I have only a cheap digital camera without sound, allowing for some minutes of grainy video, and the Edirol.


That is something I am new to it too. I used PVAStrumento to demultiplex the video and audio stream from the camera, Mpeg2Schnitt for cutting and replacing the audio stream (with trial and error method until both parts were halfways synchronized) and Super by eRightSoft for shrinking the 80MByte mpg file downto somewhat more acceptable 18MByte. I am no expert in this, it took hours and help of collegues to get it to run.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:34 am 
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Olaf, I have been sitting here waiting to view your video, but it has been five minutes and nothing is coming up. Windows Media Player says it is 'connecting'. Is it my computer? or is there something wrong with the link? Maybe I'll go to my sons computer and try.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:32 pm 
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Well, I went to my one son's computer which is a newer computer, and it did not work, so I went to my other son's computer which is brand new and it also didn't work.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:33 pm 
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I tried it out with downloading the file as *.mpg file to the PC and starting then, and it worked. But it took some minutes for downloading (18MByte).
Unfortunately, I have from now on until Sunday evening no internet access, so hopefully you can save the file to PC, otherwise I could put it on my homepage for downloading, later.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:36 pm 
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So there's a way to change where you open this up? I click on 'download' and it just goes to windows media player. I'll go push some buttons around here and see anything different happens.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:06 pm 
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You could try what happened if you do a right-click on the download and click on "Save as" - then the download dialog should appear so that you can store the file on the hard drive first. In my case it has however the name download.php - I need to rename it in e.g. download.mpg so that I can click on that file that the MediaPlayer pops up. Hopefully that helps, and thanks for your trials!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Yea! I did it! I think I killed my son's computer in the process - he always has things running and I accidentally deleted a bunch of stuff and then his computer froze up and now I can't turn it off. Oh well, my other sons computer worked. And he has a huge, flat screen dlc or ldc or cdl(?) monitor but the video plays in only a two-inch square. I have to put my reading glasses on to see better.

Okay, I'm so glad you did this. It is so great to see in addition to hear! Your piano sounds really nice. The whole sound quality is good. As far as where you sit- you do not look too far away to me. But I'm not sure how outstretched our arms are supposed to be. My teacher said that I too sat too far back and I have since gotten used to sitting closer. But in addition to that there are height issues. You look like you are tall so you can't sit too close, right? Maybe I'm wrong about that. I am only 5' 2" and now my teacher has be experimenting with sitting at different heights depending on the piece I am playing. And your wrists looked very relaxed and moving correctly. Bravo for that!

As to the Mazurka - This sounds very nice and definitely ready to put up. I'm curious about the chord in the 8th measure, LH. You play an E maj chord, I have no g-sharp, therefore an e-minor chord.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:37 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Yea! I did it! I think I killed my son's computer in the process -

A small price to pay :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Chopin
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:32 pm 
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Olaf,

Very nicely done! Your dynamics and rubato were good.

I don't think you sit too far frow the keyboard. I'm sure I sit just as far away as you or perhaps even more.

One problem for me. The recording is incomplete when I play it. It goes about three quarters of the way through and disappears.

I wish I had the technical "knowhow" to record like you did. It was well done except for the missing ending.

John


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:58 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
It's interesting to see how you look, because it is not what I pictured you to be. Honestly, you do not look German to me :roll:


You do sit "far" from the keys. But if that's what it takes for you to comfortably fit, than it works. I am not too tall 6'2" (~187cm) and when I play real pianos my legs are wedged between the seat and the keyboard (even if the seat is put down all the way).

Nice recording as well. It seems to me that you have a professional-style setup with microphones and all the bells and whistles.

Don't ask to see me play in video format. It'd send people running to the hills! :lol:

-JG

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:25 pm 
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Thank you all very much for taking time to watch and comment and sorry for the trouble - especially the crash of the PC of Monica's son!

pianolady wrote:
As far as where you sit- you do not look too far away to me. But I'm not sure how outstretched our arms are supposed to be. My teacher said that I too sat too far back and I have since gotten used to sitting closer. But in addition to that there are height issues. You look like you are tall so you can't sit too close, right? Maybe I'm wrong about that. I am only 5' 2" and now my teacher has be experimenting with sitting at different heights depending on the piece I am playing.


I am 1.91m long, that seems to be 6,27 feet (transformation may be wrong), so rather long. The piano stool is on the lowest position, but I can't have my knees upright below the piano, so they are before. After seeing the video myself, I think I should come closer to the piano so that the upper arm can hang more loosely down. Hand wrists really feel relaxed, but not so the upper arm area. I am thinking about putting some centimeters wood pieces below the piano feets to raise the piano.

pianolady wrote:
As to the Mazurka - This sounds very nice and definitely ready to put up. I'm curious about the chord in the 8th measure, LH. You play an E maj chord, I have no g-sharp, therefore an e-minor chord.


Thank you for your comments. Some trioles sound a bit sloppy, so I will rerecord it anytime if I have something else to record. Interesting with that E maj chord. My Henle Urtext score indicates E maj but in the critical remarks it is stated that some editions have e-minor together with no f-sharp in the LH in the bar before. The Urtext follows the French first edition, but both kinds seem possible according to the different sources.

John Robson wrote:
One problem for me. The recording is incomplete when I play it. It goes about three quarters of the way through and disappears.


It seemed to work completely for the others? Don't know why this happened.

juufa72 wrote:
Don't ask to see me play in video format. It'd send people running to the hills!


From my experience, seeing myself the first time in a video playing piano, it is foremost helpfull. I did not believe that I am sitting very far away from the piano. Now I have to agree, and I swear I will change that habbit, because the upper arms can hang down more relaxed if they can hang down more freely.

So I am sure you will find benefit in watching yourself playing too. And the comments from others will be very helpful too, so just do it!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:31 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
It seemed to work completely for the others? Don't know why this happened.

It doesn't work for me. I never have trouble with video's but with this one. Windows Media Player sez it needs a codec (doesn't say which one, that would be too easy) and QuickTime just says it is not a movie file. I've downloaded it 3 times now but it's the same every time. Hmmmm ! :?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
The thing is, 95% of you have good jobs or kids with technology. I can't afford a nifty video camera.

...come to think of it, I could ask my old piano teacher for me to have a copy of the last recital I was in (about 3 years ago). And how I slaughtered Chopin's prelude #15. :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:42 am 
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techneut wrote:
It doesn't work for me. I never have trouble with video's but with this one. Windows Media Player sez it needs a codec (doesn't say which one, that would be too easy) and QuickTime just says it is not a movie file. I've downloaded it 3 times now but it's the same every time. Hmmmm ! :?


I am no expert in video generation, unfortunately. Maybe I should try to convert it lossfree (at least soundwise) into an avi format? I don't know which codec is required. I used Microsoft MediaPlayer V9.0 and WinDvD. If anyone has an idea what to do? I really would be very interested in your opinion, both audio and video wise.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:02 am 
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Not to worry, I could play it at the office where I have a new Media Player. I could have sworn last week when I tried this, the firewall said 'access forbidden'... but seems like on some days they forget to switch that on :D

Very good performance, very clean and relaxed though you get just a little stressed in the middle. Nice elegant style too. Indeed you seem to be quite far from the piano but what the heck, if you arms are as long as your legs :wink: You got a bit of a nervous twitch now and then, but I guess we all have our funny habits. I suppose you will be submitting this Mazurka real soon now ?

I must see if I can borrow a camcorder or some other device to make a video too.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:27 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Indeed you seem to be quite far from the piano but what the heck, if you arms are as long as your legs :wink: You got a bit of a nervous twitch now and then, but I guess we all have our funny habits. I suppose you will be submitting this Mazurka real soon now ?


Thank you for your comments. It seems that also the organ playing enhanced the habbit to move away from the keyboard. If the upper arms can't hang loosely down, there is the danger of additional tension, but I really think one should play as relaxed as possible. That I do some strange grimaces did surprise me too, but don't know whether I can or even should control that.

Submitting the Mazurka... To be honest, it is almost not worth the effort for this little piece to put all that recording stuff on, so I wait a bit that at least another piece comes additional to that.

techneut wrote:
I must see if I can borrow a camcorder or some other device to make a video too.


Yes, please do!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:35 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
It seems that also the organ playing enhanced the habbit to move away from the keyboard.

Yeah now that you mention it. I was just wondering the other day whether or not I had moved back too, though I did not connect that to the organ practice. Seems to make sense.

MindenBlues wrote:
Submitting the Mazurka... To be honest, it is almost not worth the effort for this little piece to put all that recording stuff on,

If you would say that, you'd pick on me... As if each Mazurka is not worth all the time in the world :P

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:19 pm 
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techneut wrote:
MindenBlues wrote:
Submitting the Mazurka... To be honest, it is almost not worth the effort for this little piece to put all that recording stuff on,

If you would say that, you'd pick on me... As if each Mazurka is not worth all the time in the world :P


You are right - but don't ask me how long I needed to practise for this little piece...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:33 pm 
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very dissapointing...can not open the file..waiting and waiting.........


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 Post subject: Re: Video Chopin Mazurka
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:36 pm 
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I sometimes make strange grimace (did not realize that while playing). I like also to say that I don't have a serious illness what one could think because of no hairs - it is an hair illness I have from youth on, so I lost bit by bit the hairs, but nothing more.

I can not open the file. Never mind....for a moment I thought you are some kind of skin head???? :lol: :lol: :lol: obviously you are not...


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 Post subject: Re: Video Chopin Mazurka
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:59 am 
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johnmar78 wrote:
I can not open the file.


Perhaps you should try to save it on hard disk and open with Windows MediaPlayer.Seems however not to work on some PCs, a codec missing (but I don't know which) :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:37 am 
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A really great video and from what I can see, you play with a lot touch and feel. Really good performance all the way through!

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 Post subject: Re: Video Chopin Mazurka
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:54 pm 
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MindenBlues wrote:
johnmar78 wrote:
I can not open the file.


Perhaps you should try to save it on hard disk and open with Windows MediaPlayer.Seems however not to work on some PCs, a codec missing (but I don't know which) :roll:


my come back. I saved it on my hard drive and give me few days, I will take it home using my own computer see if I can open your file.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:59 pm 
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bang it worked at works window. Perferct...Nice palying....I think the piano is too small for a giant. :lol: Your eye twitches, just as funy as my daughter compalins me when i some time openning my mouth with no reason. Obviously, you enjoyed what you played.

You have inspred us to use video camera......so I should get one /???sony???


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:23 am 
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Thank you all for the kind responses!

According to your comments, and also what I supposed already, I should change something regarding sitting height and sitting distance to the keyboard.
One possibility would be to saw off something from the piano bench feets to lower it (it was already in the lowest regular position).
The other possibility would be to put something below the piano feets to raise it.

After discussing with another tall piano player I probably raise the piano for some centimeters. So the knees can come below the keyboard and I can come closer to the keyboard, and the lower arms are more horizontal how they should be. Because since I am tall I don't sit really comfortable if I would lower the bench more and more because the upper legs should remain horizontal as well.
The only drawback I see is that it gets a bit more uncomfortable to hit the pedals as they are higher now. But that is also sometimes the situation for a concert piano or uprights elsewhere as they often have larger rolls.

To John: It was a Sony video camera I borrowed, with mini CD-RW so to play it back on PC. However it was really very tricky to get it converted to an MPEG format, and audio substitution (I needed help from friends). Maybe it is much easier to feed the camera directly with external mics with also acceptable results in order to easen the conversion trouble.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:34 am 
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Olaf, I'm confused (again)
With a digital camcorder, don't you just turn it on, record, and then plug it in to your tv or computer, or take out a disc and put in the computer? Isn't the sound already there?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:02 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Olaf, I'm confused (again)
With a digital camcorder, don't you just turn it on, record, and then plug it in to your tv or computer, or take out a disc and put in the computer? Isn't the sound already there?


Yes, it is there but in my case it sounded terrible. Because there was a clipping of the sound that eats all of the dynamics, it sounded metallic and crazy overdriven in my case. Maybe it would be helpful to plug in external mics, together with fixed audio recording volume level instead dynamic volume. Because of the terrible sound I decided to record parallel with my audio recording equipment and merged that together with the pure video signal. Got lots of trouble with conversions to get that to run.

But even the work is not done with taking out the disc and put it in the computer - that file format needs to be converted to mpg or avi with hopefully codecs used that it works everywhere... All I asked told me that video conversion on the PC is a wide large area with lots of trouble. Best thing is if your digital camcorder could put out already a compressed mpg file, and with external mics to have at least sufficient audio quality. And that one cut's out the part one likes to have at end already inside the camcorder instead afterwards on PC. So not to introduce error sources for conversions. Maybe there are video experts here who could give more usefull hints.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Thanks, Olaf, but everything you just said went right over my head.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:27 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Thanks, Olaf, but everything you just said went right over my head.

That was to be expected, as Olaf is a really tall guy and you are of average heigth :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:15 pm 
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Wise guy. :wink:

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