Video recording a keyboard

There are a variety of ways to make a video recording of someone playing a keyboard.  Different equipment, different positions, different software, different lighting.  Each variation of approach has a cost / benefit tradeoff.

Initial Approach

My first approach to recording worked reasonably well and I explained it in this video from December 2014. It involved using:

  • Microphone boom stand
  • Manfrotto 035RL Super Clamp with 2908 Standard Stud
  • Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT 2-Section Single Articulated Arm with Camera Bracket
  • Audiobox audio interface
  • Ableton Live on a Windows laptop

A key constraint I had to overcome was that the keyboard was located flush against a wall. This meant that in order to position the camera directly overhead, I needed a boom arm from the side of the keyboard.  So, I used a microphone boom stand. This worked but it was very unstable and took a lot of small adjustments to balance the weight of all the hardware on the end of a lever arm which was designed for something much lighter (a microphone).

Current approach

I reoriented my keyboard so that the back faces the open room. This allowed me to replace the microphone boom stand with an actual camera tripod. The tripod provides a stable platform for mounting the Manfrotto clamp and arm, and adjusting the camera to the exact position I want is straight-forward.

For audio recording the voice-over, I use a lapel mic connected to the audio in of my Casio PX-560. This combines the voice-over with the PX-560’s tones via audio out through the audio interface to Ableton Live.