How to record piano and vocals at the same time? Is it better to record the piano and vocals separately? Let us find out what are the ways to record the piano and vocals simultaneously.
Equipment Needed For Recording
Every time you do a recording of yourself, whether you are practicing or performing, you will surely need recording equipment for you to be able to achieve your goal. This means that you will need the appropriate equipment to get the job done, and the first thing you need is a piano, of course. The second would be microphones. Hopefully, if you are serious about doing this, make sure that you are using a condenser mic, as they offer better results in this type of situation.
The next piece of equipment that you are going to need to successfully record yourself playing the piano while singing at the same time is an audio interface. So, what is an audio interface? It is an electronic device that can convert mic and instrument signals into a format that your installed digital audio workstation or known by many as DAW, can only recognize.
You will also need a laptop or computer that has an installed and working digital audio workstation in it so that you can edit and save the signals into an audio track format. Without a DAW, you won’t still be able to save your work and turn it into a recorded audio file.
An optional equipment to better the quality of your recording output, you can use an audio mixer, whether analog or digital, which gives more flexibility to shape the tone that is picked up by your microphones.
If you want to have a cheaper option but still be able to record, you can either use a voice recorder or a smartphone to record yourself singing while playing the piano at the same time. However, this would not be a good idea if you are aiming to have a high-quality recording output.
Recording Piano And Vocals At The Same Time
Is recording piano and vocals at the same time possible? These are some of the ways that you can do to solve this dilemma:
Setup No. 1:
To achieve the first setup, you will need one microphone and a piano. As we are only going to use one microphone in this setup, you should place the microphone in front of you and above the piano to maximize the result that will come out from the recording. It would be best if you use a high-class condenser microphone for this setup, as it is the ideal equipment to capture your voices and musical instrument sounds at a distance with minimal noise.
If you have an analog or digital audio mixer with you, connect your microphone cable and plug it into it. If you have an audio mixer, you can have the option to shape the microphone’s frequency response to your preference, which can also result in you having a better recording track output.
However, if you do not have one, you can directly plug the microphone cable into your audio interface and then connect it to your laptop or computer. You will need to have a digital audio workstation installed on your laptop so that you can be able to record your performance and save it as an audio file. Without the application, you won’t be able to record it.
Setup No. 2:
For the second setup, you must use two or more separate microphones for your piano and for your vocals. In this setup, you are going to place two or more microphones on top of the piano and one microphone as your vocal mic. As much as possible, you are going to use high-quality condenser microphones for better recording output.
It would be better if you are going to use a multi-channel mixer, whether analog or digital, as it will allow you to have more tone-shaping options for a better recording output. However, if you do not have an audio mixer, make sure that you have an audio interface, as this is the most important when it comes to recording. If you have an audio interface, connect it to your laptop or computer, and make sure that you have installed a digital audio workstation to be able to save your recordings into an audio file format.
This is the ideal setup for you to have if you really want to have a high-quality audio output, as you are able to isolate the sound that comes from your vocals and piano.
Setup No. 3:
For the third setup, this might be the cheapest of all your options if you really want to record yourself singing while playing the piano. However, it is not an ideal thing to do if you want to achieve a high-quality recording output.
To do this setup, you just need a piano and a smartphone or a voice recorder on you. Put your smartphone or voice recorder near you, and start singing while playing the piano. This will allow you to record what you are singing and playing on the piano but remember not to expect the best quality if you are going to do this setup.
Best Microphones For Recording Piano And Vocals At The Same Time
If you are looking for a microphone that will not only make you sound good but is also versatile, allowing you to use it for vocal or instrumental purposes, then the Audix SCX25A-PS might be a good option for you. It is a condenser mic with a cardioid polar pattern and a diaphragm size of 98 inches.
It has a frequency response of 20 Hz up to 20 kHz and a signal-to-noise ratio of 80 dB. Its output impedance is 200 ohms. It can deliver a natural and balanced sound, which is perfect for recording pianos. Its advantage is that it is also a good mic choice for recording vocals.
Another super-versatile microphone that you can use for recording yourself singing while playing the piano, the AKG C414, has been one of the most trusted microphones in the music industry since it was released in 1971. It is a condenser microphone with nine selectable polar patterns and three switchable bass-cut filters.
It has three attenuation levels for better optimal staging, and you have the option to adjust it to how loud the sound source is and how close the microphone is to you. It comes with a durable metal case, and its signal-to-noise ratio rate is highly impressive, as it gives you a natural and clear sound that only a few can match.
So, whether you are going to use this microphone for recording piano or vocals, or both at the same time, you will surely have no issue with the sound quality it can give you.
So, how to record piano and vocals at the same time? To achieve the best recording quality output you can have, use a separate microphone for singing and another microphone or two for the piano. Connect the microphones on an audio mixer or directly into an audio interface, and connect it to a laptop or computer that has an installed digital audio workstation so that you can save your work and turn it into an audio track file.