I've been playing piano for about 6 years and I enjoy playing in front of an audience. Their are tons of youtuber's that put their music online and I would also like to. I just dont know what cords I need and the equipment I need to start. I know I'll need a camera to record the piano playing, and then 2 cords with those 4 holes prongs, and then a DAW. I bought a midi cord that connected to my piano, but when I replayed it, it sounded like the Synesthesia programs where its just sound and not the piano tone. I would like to shed some light on this topic. A crisp and clear piano recording accompanied by the video of me playing the piano would be the ideal goal. Links or videos would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    I answered a similar question on Stack Exchange a year ago. Rather than repeat it as an answer here - just click on this link (music.stackexchange.com/a/30301/16897) to read about recording a digital piano to accompany a video of you playing it for YouTube. It explains the advantage of simultaneous recording of the output of your piano with your camera's video recorder and the direct output of your piano to your computer through an audio interface to facilitate merging the video with perfectly synchronized audio free of background noise. Dec 30, 2016 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


Let's clear up a few things first.

You can record a digital piano in two ways:

  1. Audio recording. This records the actual sound that the keyboard makes. To do this, you'll need to route one or two of the audio outputs of the keyboard to some sort of audio interface.

  2. MIDI recording. This records the notes that you play in a digital format. It does not record any audio information. You can play it back using the same keyboard, and it will sound the same. But you could use a different playback device, and it will sound quite different.

So, to address your question, I think you want to use audio recording, but you are currently just recording MIDI. The good news is that audio recording is usually pretty simple to play around with.

First, you don't need MIDI cables (the round plugs with four prongs, technically called DIN connectors. You need some audio cables. Usually that will be a 1/4 inch jack, mono or stereo.

Then, you need an audio interface. You can buy a specialised one, but I'd recommend playing around with the microphone input on your computer. It might be a bit noisy, but you should try it out first. It'll help you get an idea of how this all works. You'll need a 1/4 inch to 1/8 adaptor or two.

Once it's plugged in, you'll need to record it. I'd recommend playing around with Audacity to start out with. It's free, simple, and will give you an idea of how this all works.

Once you've got a taste, you can spend some more cash to get some better equipment. But I'd recommend trying all this out on a cheap/free basis first.

As a variation, you could try and record the keyboard using the camera itself. Often a camera will have a microphone input. You could try using that.

If you want to record other audio simultaneously (you speaking, or something like that), this might not work. The microphone input will often disable the internal microphone.

  • Present laptops (mine being one) don't have an aux in or mic in. So, does it mean one has to use the USB o/p of the interface and connect to the USB port of laptop? Will that be an audio or midi signal?
    – Subir Nag
    Jul 10, 2018 at 3:40

If I were in your place, I wouldn't prefer using MIDI as suggested by @endorph because you might not get suitable plugins to satisfactorily replace your piano's sound. However, that's my issue. You can record the sound of a digital piano in any of the following ways:

  1. Using a high quality microphone: All you need is a high quality condenser/dynamic microphone and an audio interface. A condenser microphone is ideal for use in a sound proof environment whereas a dynamic mic would be the preferred tool in case you're recording in your bedroom. Both types of mics have their pros and cons. You can do some research and listen to recording samples to decide which one is the best for you. Should you choose to record with a mic, make sure that you have high quality output from your digital piano. You could also buy a separate speaker system/amplifier that will serve the purpose.

  2. Connecting your digital piano directly to an audio interface: Your digital piano has an audio output (stereo I bet) line, doesn't it? You can simply connect the output channels to your audio interface to record the sound into the computer and then mixing and exporting it. This is suitable if the bare output you hear isn't good enough to be caught by a mic.

No matter which of the above ways you choose, you need an audio interface. Make sure to get a 2 channel USB audio interface. To name some would be:

     ♦ Presonus Audio box USB 2x2 interface
     ♦ Focusrite scarlett 2i2 interface

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