Here I present the first composition made for the series on learning how to play the piano, which I introduced in the first Piano Compositions post.
This is primarily so I can start exploring ways of presenting my content. This is a journey – it’s not about perfection, but about publishing stuff removing old stuff from my consciousness. Right now the plan is to present the composition in all it’s imperfection, and tell you a bit about the journey!

Eating porridge, drinking coffee, playing piano and realizing that bikini season is over, is my favorite way of waking up in the morning

First I was experiencing seriously terrible sound quality. It sounded like the piano was placed under a duvet. I used two Shure SM57’s in a stereo setup, I was told by a sound technician from Nordic, that this was not the way to go (but I didn’t listen)!

Here you can see the test setup. I made one recording that sounded decent. Also I don’t recommend using a super noisy computer such as the one shown in this picture.
So I brougth the setup to a great piano, and a great laptop! Played all evening. The end result was horrendous.
This is a terrible version, but even worse is the sound quality (only version I could find using this setup). Notice the sound of a duvet dragged over the mic’s. (This is not one of the Steinway recordings). And this is actually wave-format, what a waste of megabytes.

I called the guys at Thomann.de, and they suggested, that I could spend billion on a new cardioid condenser microphone, which I of course went right away and did, so I use two of those now. It shouldn’t be necessary to go for very expensive mics at first, so I got the Audio Technica AT 2020’s. Then they recommended upgrading my audio interface to one with good amplifiers, so I updraded my old Steingberg CI1 to a UR-RT2.
Fired it up and used the software, that came with it (Cubase LE) and it sounded amazing. Then from one day to the other, Cubase stopped working.



I spend a ton of time fixing Cubase, and the E-licenser, and picking the right sound device, and driver, and stuff. I went back to Tracktion’s Waveform 11, which I had used earlier – it worked perfectly, but it sounded terrible, the whole Duvet situation again, so back and fix Cubase. Fixed Cubase, sound was now better (so maybe it was actually Tracktion that just sounded shitty, and I could have fixed everything with better software (I later tried this, it wasn’t the software’s fault! Use a good audio interface! (Many people will recommend Focusrite Scarlett series, but these guys just spend to much time on youtube, getting exposed to their great social media marketing)))

Started recording, and every single time I made mistakes. I was either playing to fast, to slow, rushing, dragging (though primarily rushing), getting a phone call, or the software fucked up, or I simply made errors.

Instead of hiding my imperfection (especially since this is the easiest piece I’ve made, but also the one, that I’ve played the least recently) I will show you my imperfection and maybe flaws are beautiful or maybe they’re hideous, but ugly stuff can also be interesting.

Pay attention to the sound quality and please let me know, if you have any recommendations (besides tuning the piano, putting on new strings – there’s a lot missing it’s 149 years old after all – some keys hardly trigger), and also I noticed that the highest 3 octaves should be louder.

Here’s 20 minutes of me recording only incorrect versions of the song, that will be the first composition presented in the series on learning how to play the piano (I will upload a better version, for the blog post containing the tutorial). The best take is the last one, but there’s a clip in the sound for some reason.

And a minor detail – Composition 1 doesn’t have a name yet. I thought of “The Lady with a bag”, but could aswell just be “A Lady Smokes a Fag”, “That Lady is a Hag” or “That Duck Just Made A Quack” – so far that is up to you. There’s an interpretation of the song, which will probably be written somewhere at some point.  

 

Go to 18:00 for the least bad version

1 thought on “Composition #1

Comments are closed.