Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Recording: The “Selfie” of Music

(How to record on a Clavinova with 1 button)

In this age of individuals chronicling every moment of their day by posting pictures of themselves, it does make one wonder why we don’t do the same with music. Recording a quick tune that you’ve practiced, or even better – composed - can satisfy the need to archive a happy moment just as much as posting what you had for dinner. We do it with pictures, video, and social media - why not music?

Maybe we’ve forgotten just how easy it is, especially on the Clavinova. Since its inception, and through all its changes, the Clavinova has always maintained the ability to record your performance with the press of one button. (“Performance” may be a bit intimidating. Let’s call it a moment of inspiration – mistakes and all.) This means that just like taking a picture, you can create that musical “selfie” to share with your friends and family with the push of a button, giving them a melodic snapshot of your life.

When you’re ready to capture that moment, it works just like any other device – you simply press the record button. The Clavinova will wait until you play your first note, then record everything after that point until you press stop.

But this is where the Clavinova has a big advantage over other recording devices: What you just created is a MIDI recording, not an audio recording. How is it different? MIDI recordings are made up of musical data, and essentially use your instrument’s internal sounds to play back your performance. It’s as if your instrument remembers exactly what you just performed and repeats it back to you, including not only the notes you played, but the pedal movements as well, and even the buttons you press on the panel. So if you are pressing tempo buttons or changing instrument sounds during the recording, the Clavinova will remember those changes and repeat them during playback.

You can also change other aspects of the recording after the fact, including tempo and key. It’s just like picking your filter and adjusting your contrast or brightness in an image. You can record a piece at a slow tempo, and play it back at a faster tempo using the tempo buttons. You can also record in one key, and play it back in another using the transpose buttons. Again, things that aren’t as easy with just audio.
Creating a selfie on your Clavinova is easy
Creating a "selfie" on your Clavinova is easy!
That’s just the beginning of what you’re Clavinova can do with recording. Stay tuned for more features next month, and make that musical “selfie” today!

Share your musical “selfie” with us on SoundCloud, Twitter, Vine, or Instagram using the hashtag #ClavinovaSelfie. Then share this article to teach your friends how to record their own.

Jason Nyberg
Yamaha MusicSoft