Enhancing The MIDI Piano Sound

In Logic Pro, you can either create a real audio track or a software instrument track.  Sometimes, I prefer recording my piano tunes by connecting my Casio digital piano to my computer with a USB cable and using it as a MIDI controller.  I’m able to achieve clarity of sound without having to spend the extra time figuring out optimum microphone placement for an acoustic piano.  I wouldn’t use this method to record a Chopin etude, but it works fine for composing at home.

Recording into Logic Pro through USB doesn’t record any actual audio.  Digital signals are converted into MIDI notes and events that are interpreted by the settings of the software instrument that you select in Logic.  I’ve found that certain nuances of sound, style and phrasing are lost in the digital translation which is why I tweak the settings in order to try and create a more natural sound.  The recordings below show how the sound of a software instrument can be enhanced to sound more like a real acoustic performance.

Song Before Enhancements:


      OverTheRainbow - Audrey Williams

Everyone has their personal taste when it comes to what they feel sounds good.  Below is what I don’t like about the ‘before’ file:

-Some of the note placements are slightly off and sound stilted

-Some notes sound brash and tinny

-A few of the pedal events didn’t translate properly

-The overall resonance and volume levels are low

Song After Enhancements:


      After - OverTheRainbow - Audrey Williams

There’s always something that could be done differently or much better than what I’ve done here.  Below are the fixes that I experimented with to change the sound for the purposes of this brief demonstration:

-Quantized the software instrument track to eighth notes (1/8 note setting)

-Modified the preset software instrument channel EQ settings

  • Cut 1 – 2 kHz to reduce tinny sound
  • Cut 300 Hz to reduce muddiness
  • Boosted 5 kHz to increase presence
  • Boosted 100 Hz to round out the bottom end

-Converted the instrument track to an audio track so that I could use the ‘Normalize’ function to increase the volume.

-Added a multipressor with the ‘Final Pop Compressor’ pre-configured setting

-Added a Linear phase EQ and reduced 20Hz, boosted 2 kHz, boosted 10 kHz

-Added an Adaptive Limiter using the default setting

 

 

 


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