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 Post subject: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:06 am 
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Hello members of Piano Society,
My name is Jonathan Lowe, I am 19 years old and have played the piano since the age of 5. I love playing a variety of pieces and enjoy sight-reading immensely. Unfortunately my ambition is almost always well ahead of my technique, which doesn't normally end well, but recently I have taken more pleasure in playing less complex works well, rather than always trying something harder than the last piece! Despite my lacking technique I managed to scrape a pass in the DipABRSM (which is apparently equivalent to first year of a bachelors degree). My recital programme was:
Beethoven Sonata in C Minor Op. 10 No. 1
Scarlatti Sonata K380
Debussy Sarabande from Pour le Piano
Schumman Novelette Op. 21 No. 1

I like finding and playing works by lesser known composers, and therefore it'd be nice to contribute to this website if at all possible :)

Here is my work-in-progress of Chopin's 20th Prelude, I just wanted to test out recording and get some feedback on how it sounds from you guys!
Thanks


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File comment: Chopin Prelude Op. 28, No. 20
chopin-28-20-lowe.mp3 [5.42 MiB]
Downloaded 87 times
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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
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Hello again, Jonathan. :)
Well, this recording sure is not by a lesser-known composer... :wink:
First of all, your compression rate of 320 is way too high. It makes the file too large. Your playing of this piece is pretty nice, though, except for the E-flat :wink:. A tad slow, IMHO. What kind of piano is this? Almost sounds digital, but I'm not sure because of the pedaling. A couple spots were muddied.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:35 am
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
pianolady wrote:
Your playing of this piece is pretty nice, though, except for the E-flat :wink:.

Don't listen to her, the E-flat is beautiful. :lol:

My only real criticism of this would be that in the forte bits, the melody is subordinate to the lower registers.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:09 pm 
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Thanks. As you noticed it is a digital piano, hence my interest in what you think of the sound. I think the muddiness is just due to over-pedalling in sections. Very useful that you pointed out the E flat, hadn't noticed it :oops: Perhaps not the first time that mistake has been made without realising it...
And thanks for the input Terez, I also think that's true the bass dominates a little, now that you've pointed it out.

What is the recommended compression rate, 192kb?


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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:38 pm 
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hahaha...Terez! :lol:

Jonathan - it's not really a mistake. In the 3rd bar, the top note of the last chord in the RH, it's either an E-natural or an E-flat depending on which edition you use. We've had this debate here for years, but basically it comes down to what you grew up on. I grew up on E-natural....the right way... 8)

Yes, 192 compression rate.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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


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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:26 pm 
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It sounds pretty good, well played if much too slow for my taste. Do keep playing the E-flat, is is the only way and the best :D

Is it a digital instrument ? The sound is really impressive to start with but suddenly gets very muffled in some spots. Are you using the una corda pedal ?
I don't think that sounds very nice (but I'm no great lover of it even on an acoustic instrument).

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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:59 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
hahaha...Terez! :lol:

Jonathan - it's not really a mistake. In the 3rd bar, the top note of the last chord in the RH, it's either an E-natural or an E-flat depending on which edition you use. We've had this debate here for years, but basically it comes down to what you grew up on. I grew up on E-natural....the right way... 8)

Yes, 192 compression rate.

Haha, well it was a mistake in the sense that my edition is E-natural and I hadn't even noticed it :lol: But, I'm much more used to the sound of the E-flat (having always played it that way)

Yes it is a digital instrument Chris, and I was using the una corda for the pianissimo but perhaps it is a little muffled. Again I'm not so sure whether this is due to the piano sound, or just my sustain pedalling.


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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:32 pm 
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jontyl wrote:
Yes it is a digital instrument Chris, and I was using the una corda for the pianissimo but perhaps it is a little muffled. Again I'm not so sure whether this is due to the piano sound, or just my sustain pedalling.
Not the sustain pedaling for sure. The sound very suddenly gets completely different, muffled and woolly where just before it was full and clear. IMO this piano's software does a lousy job of simulating u.c. I'd stay clear of it if I were you. Just my opinion of course ! I'd never have thought this was a digital except for the u.c.

The playing is commendable, good firm touch producing nice rounded chords.

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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:07 pm 
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techneut wrote:
jontyl wrote:
Yes it is a digital instrument Chris, and I was using the una corda for the pianissimo but perhaps it is a little muffled. Again I'm not so sure whether this is due to the piano sound, or just my sustain pedalling.
Not the sustain pedaling for sure. The sound very suddenly gets completely different, muffled and woolly where just before it was full and clear. IMO this piano's software does a lousy job of simulating u.c. I'd stay clear of it if I were you. Just my opinion of course ! I'd never have thought this was a digital except for the u.c.

The playing is commendable, good firm touch producing nice rounded chords.

Right

I just worked out that my piano software doesn't even support una-corda, so while I was using it, it wasn't actually causing this effect. It is simply that the piano is based off recorded 'samples' hence it sounding quite good, but unfortunately there is a definite change in tone between the standard touch and the much softer touch, which is a little annoying.
So if I play the same note repeatedly with increasing velocity, there is a 'cut-off' point where the tone changes dramatically...

This sample has the same 'issue' but personally I don't mind the quiet sound. To me it is a nice warm tone, rather than a muddy one. The unfortunate thing is the way it switches between the two..

I may try a different piece of software


Attachments:
File comment: Stephen Heller, Op. 81, No. 6
heller-81-6-lowe.mp3 [3.13 MiB]
Downloaded 80 times
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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:59 am 
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So I've tried a different piano.
Personally I think the quiet bit sounds better, but the fortissimo opening doesn't quite have the same effect. Also it does sound more digital.

Let me know what you think!


Attachments:
chopin-28-20-steinway.mp3 [3.25 MiB]
Downloaded 95 times
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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:50 am 
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I think that sounds MUCH better even if maybe (as you say, I did not notice it much) the bass is marginally less opulent. I hated that muffled sound. Now it's gone :D Personally I would stick to this sound.

Not sure how much I like the sound of the Heller piece. Nice and clear in places, woolly in others. A nice Schumannesque piece it is though, and well played.

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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:33 pm 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
jontyl wrote:
So I've tried a different piano.
Personally I think the quiet bit sounds better, but the fortissimo opening doesn't quite have the same effect. Also it does sound more digital.

I agree, there's more distortion, particularly in the forte bits.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:49 pm 
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I definitely prefer the second Chopin sample. The first sounded like you were playing two different instruments: one when it was loud and another when it was quiet. Watch the recording levels though, the second seems perilously close to clipping/distortion.


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 Post subject: Re: Testing recording - and an introduction
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:53 am
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andrew wrote:
I definitely prefer the second Chopin sample. The first sounded like you were playing two different instruments: one when it was loud and another when it was quiet. Watch the recording levels though, the second seems perilously close to clipping/distortion.

Yes it was, and that was just carelessness on my part.. Good to have another opinion on the sounds


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