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Help me with some Audio filters
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Zergrinch
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 11:36 AM Local time: Jun 22, 2009, 12:36 AM #1 of 8
Help me with some Audio filters

It's a toss-up between putting this in Help Desk or here. But since this forum is dedicated towards all things audio, I thought I'd try here.

I'm basically trying to improve a keyboard recording, and I want it to sound less 'electronic' and more like a piano. The ideal situation is to grab hold of the MIDI files and apply suitable soundfonts, but it seems the raw source is WAV.

So, here is my question.

What is the best combination of filters I can use (in Audacity) to improve this kind of file? My goal is to make it sound more like a piano than an electronic keyboard.

Get the Flash Player to play this audio file: Download file

Thanks in advance!

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packrat
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 12:28 PM 1 #2 of 8
I've been down this road before, and it is virtually impossible to make changes to raw audio to make an electronic piano sound more like a real one. Especially if you are limiting yourself to Audacity.
I find that the most significant contributor to making something like this sound electronic is the attack portion of the sample. Most electronic piano sounds have a rather limited range of samples for different velocities (say, 4 samples per key distributed among a range of 127 velocity values for that key).
For a more realistic sound, you would literally have to vary the characteristics of just about every recorded note.

Additionally, real pianos exhibit sympathetic resonance, something which most electronic pianos do not model well, if at all. I'm sure if you were devoted enough, you could probably write your own audacity effect plug-in that would model sympathetic resonance, but that's probably a lot of work.

Alternatively, you could try and midify that recording and plug it into Native Instruments' Akoustik Piano. I've been really impressed with the quality of their samples.

There's nowhere I can't reach.

Zergrinch
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Old Jun 21, 2009, 07:56 PM Local time: Jun 22, 2009, 08:56 AM #3 of 8
Well, can't say I'm not disappointed that it's nigh near impossible. But I appreciate your feedback.

Assuming I ditch Audacity and declare that the sky's the limit, what's the best way I can modify this recording?

This thing is sticky, and I don't like it. I don't appreciate it.
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lightsandmusic
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 09:18 PM Local time: Jun 24, 2009, 09:18 PM 1 #4 of 8
i have the same problem...
this helped though.
thanks

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Crash "Long-Winded Wrong Answer" Landon
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 09:20 PM #5 of 8
So where will your last two posts ever be?

I wonder?

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packrat
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 10:04 PM 1 #6 of 8
Assuming I ditch Audacity and declare that the sky's the limit, what's the best way I can modify this recording?
Celemony has a fantastic line of high end audio manipulation products. Currently they're working on software that will enable you to manually manipulate the details of any specific note in a recording. (perhaps even replace one sound with another) Sadly, I don't think its out yet.

Nonetheless, they have an audio-to-MIDI feature in their Melodyne line that should be pretty top notch, especially for something as simple as solo piano. Coupling that with my previous suggestion of NI's Akoustik Piano and some custom manipulation of the MIDI data, you can probably achieve what you want.
If you can't find a torrent for NI's AP, I have it, but its also ~20 GB for the full installation pack.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?

Zergrinch
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 10:46 PM Local time: Jun 25, 2009, 11:46 AM #7 of 8
So it all goes back to MIDI. Oh well.

I'm not too keen on having audio-to-MIDI conversion, packrat, since my sibling is the performer. So, why bother converting when all we need is an appropriate electronic keyboard that outputs to MIDI instead of WAV

Thanks for your inputs, anyhow. I'll try a low-pass filter to remove the high electronic frequencies and hope the resulting muddy sound will pass for a piano =O

(Also, who are you lightsandmusic?)

How ya doing, buddy?
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Petrovich
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Old Jun 24, 2009, 11:53 PM Local time: Jun 24, 2009, 11:53 PM #8 of 8
I would try using a reverb filter and setting it on a small room like a bathroom. This should help make the bass notes sound less muddy and give you a clearer rounder sound. You could then mix this with the original track and adjust various frequencies on your original track with your eq until you get a satisfactory result (I would cut the bass and boost the higher notes a bit on the original track). Once you have the mix where you want it just mix the two tracks down into one track and throw on another reverb filter, set to a large room or hall, and you should have a fairly decent sounding recording.

I've added a great deal of realism to similar recordings in the past just by using reverb and eq.

You could also try using a compressor, if you have one, to give the notes more of a punch/attack as well. Using a plugin that adds a bit of noise, like grungelizer for Cubase, helps to add some realism as well. If you have a decent sound library or synthesizer you could also try adding in several pedal or key noises here and there, you will be surprised by how subtle additions like this really add to the realism.

If you are really venturesome you could also try mimicking the sympathetic vibrations either by using a plug-in or by inputting the notes manually. This would really help add realism to the pedaled notes.

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