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I have a Roland RD-300SX digital piano and it is connected with the Roland quad-capture interface. I connected it with a 1/4" jack. I want to use the sound of the piano itself.

The problem is that the quality of the output coming from the interface (either monitors or headphones) is lower than the quality I get when I connect the headphones directly on the piano. It is lower not in terms of noise and scratches etc., but it's just a poorer piano sound; not so deep, not so natural.

It is really upsetting me cause the audio piano sound of Roland is so good. How can I improve the sound coming from the interface?

  • I can't give a definite answer, but there can be multiple sources of the problem: Bad level setup, low quality cables, some effects added to the signal in the sound card, slow computer etc. I'm afraid that there are too many unknowns or possible issues that no definite answer can be given :-( – yo' Aug 3 '15 at 8:35
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“connected it with a 1/4" jack”

“not so deep, not so natural”

Well, it seems you're not recording in stereo. A proper stereo width is quite crucial to a good piano recording. The correct way to record a stereo line source is with two balanced-mono TRS cables, from the two line-outs.

  • Hey, thanks for your suggestion! I think thats it! I ve tried it and their a big difference compare to the 1 jack! It's the same and if not almost the same to the piano sound directly from the source :) I use TRS cables, not sure if they are balanced though... How can I figure that out? Thanks again looks like the problem is solved! – Kostas Mitsopoulos Aug 4 '15 at 19:45
  • They're balanced if they're TRS (i.e. 3 contacts like on a headphone plug, not just two like on a guitar cable). – leftaroundabout Aug 4 '15 at 19:49
  • Yes this is the case indeed, i used them so far to connect my monitors to the interface, but it seems that i need to buy another pair to connect the piano... – Kostas Mitsopoulos Aug 4 '15 at 19:54
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First make sure you are hearing the sound from the interface not from your DAW. To listen to the sound as the interface set the mix all the way to 'input.' I'm not sure if your particular interface is doing any processing on the signal if you are listening to input (as opposed to playback) but if it sounds different the interface could be the problem.

Also make sure that you are using the proper output from the piano. If you are using a single TR/TRS cable it should be plugged into the L/mono jack on the piano. (Make sure the low-z switch is off on the interface.)

One other consideration is the headphone jack on the piano is a different signal than the output jacks. It is at least providing a stereo sound. There may be some kind of spread processing and or bass boosting in the piano just for the headphone jack.

  • Hi Greg, thanks so much for your useful suggestion. The first thing you mention I can exclude, cause i can even get the sound when i dont have any DAW on, so it cannot be it... The second one I have checked it, its through the L/mono jack and the z switch is off The last possibility you mention seems that it could be it, but i cannot really know... The thing is it seems like the interface doesn't have enough 'power' to produce the quality i listen when plugging the headphones directly to the piano. – Kostas Mitsopoulos Aug 4 '15 at 19:14
  • Maybe there is a problem with the interface. I have bought it second hand, so maybe the sold me a faulty one... cannot think of something else Any other suggestions? – Kostas Mitsopoulos Aug 4 '15 at 19:14

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