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If you could edit your performances...?
#3065796 01/06/21 07:48 AM
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I know this can be a question for the digital piano forum but I can guess what the answers there will be and why.

Which is why I prefer seeing the opinions of acoustic pianists, despite the question being related (in parts) to digital technology.

Imagine you would like to record a piece which you can’t play without at least a few mistakes. (Let’s ignore the apparent fact that maybe through a lot of practice that can be improved).

Would you:

- Record as many full length takes as needed until you are satisfied and leave any eventual mistakes.

- Record many takes, not necessarily full-length, with interrupts for re-performing problematic parts and then merge audio parts from different takes to create one that is coherent and without mistakes (what they do in studios AFAIK).

- (Provided you use a digital piano) record as many full takes as needed until you get one that is satisfactory, without bothering much about mistakes, and then pinpoint-edit some wrong notes through MIDI and re-render.

——

I’ve personally decided to go with option one so far and just live with the mistakes, although I’m using a digital hybrid piano and can edit notes or audio.

But reached a point when I would like to record a Scriabin Waltz and simply can’t play it without too many mistakes. I’ll probably still stick to my abstinence from digital manipulation but flirted with the other two ideas and think full takes are much more coherent in feel, and also fixing the wrong notes won’t affect anything.

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/06/21 07:51 AM.

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Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3065810 01/06/21 08:34 AM
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For me the issue is rather simple. It is all a matter of pride. Most people who dont want to edit is because they want to be able to say that they can play the piece end to end, thus they are at the level of that piece. I think the cohesiveness of one single take is not really a rationale.

I usually record pieces that are within a reasonable reach. In that case, the mistakes are small and dont really matter that much, so option 1 is the simpliest. I dont bother with option 3, it is too much time which isnt worth it. Unless one knows the piece well those type of mistake are hardly noticeable or if noticeable dont really affect the overall result. But honestly, if i want a near perfect result i do not mind going option 2 and if somebody would ask, i would openly say that i edited. In that case the editing just allows one to improve the quality in a few overall spots but really does not affect the overall interpretation. I think thats what pros are doing in studios, it sort of make sense since the product will be sold. For those that dont like studio versions, they can always buy a live recording.

If i decide to play a piece significantly more difficult for whatever reason, i would not bother recording it if i cant reach at least a certain level of quality which would bring me back to the previous case. What would be the point of editing a piece which one cant play well ?

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3065815 01/06/21 08:56 AM
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For the Soloist instrumental home crowd, recording the digital piano seems more practical. The DP sound itself is a recording, done professionally in a scientific fashion with professional equipment in a professional sound stage.

Whereas if we ghetto ass do something on our own, the room is typically not treated, we have fewer mics, our piano hasn't been regulated for a long time, and the tuning has changed because it rained yesterday. So you put all this together, assuming there is such a thing as an objectively better setup, it's incredibly difficult if not impossible to meet it at home.

If you were recording Jazz, which benefits from some off color noise, then anything goes, heck do it on a rainy day to capture nature's melancholy for free.

Last edited by jeffcat; 01/06/21 08:56 AM.
Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3065841 01/06/21 10:33 AM
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I'd never record a performance on my digital......partly because I don't know how to 'get it out' into a form I could upload (or is that 'download'?) into my laptop or whatever, so I wouldn't be able to edit anything anyway..

The way I've recorded some pieces is simply by playing the same piece a few times on an acoustic, and using the best take. They were all pieces I could play completely accurately at least nine times out of ten: if I couldn't play a piece without any mistakes, I wouldn't bother to record my own playing.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3065936 01/06/21 03:17 PM
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I've used something like your second technique for some recordings I've posted here in the (somewhat distant) past. I think I always was open about doing that.

The way I did it was to stop when I made a mistake, leave the recorder going, and simply back up a short distance to a good break point, and try again. If I made it past the mistake, I'd just keep going. And so forth, to the end. Then I'd go into the recording software, and simply delete the extraneous stuff where I'd backed up, and end up with a complete, seamless performance. Of course, much care had to be taken to match and smooth over the joins perfectly.

Philosophically, I didn't really feel the need to tear much hair over it, because I didn't deliberately try to make people think the recordings were unedited. To me, the recording effort was about the music, and not about my ability to perform it. I felt what I did in was in service of that end.

In an ABF recital coming up soon, I understand that I shouldn't do any editing, though, because of the intent. So I won't. If I can't get a recording in a single take that is acceptable to me, I just won't upload anything.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3066775 01/08/21 03:51 PM
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I haven't really been following this thread but I watched this video sometime ago and it came to mind when I saw the title here.

I hope you find it thought provoking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-8EbHkc8tc

BTW, Rick does seem to have edited this video heavily!

Last edited by slipperykeys; 01/08/21 03:54 PM.
Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3066968 01/09/21 09:08 AM
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The most common method in the classical recording world is to record takes and then splice them. Sometimes it's only sections or phrases.

When using a digital piano you can correct wrong notes, so it's probably the easiest thing to do. It's difficult to do the same with acoustic piano recordings, as it tends to sound weird.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3067965 01/11/21 01:44 PM
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This is a difficult piece, that I have long wanted to play. But every time I dabble with it, I get discouraged and decide that it's beyond me...or at any rate, that it would take way too much time, to the exclusion of too many other things. If I were to really take it on, I would definitely approach it like a multi-movement work and record it in sections of two to three pages each. I would probably break it first at the "Piacevole, carezzando," and then again just before the [apparent] most difficult middle section at measure 154, and then again just after that section at the full-measure rest at measure 214.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3067997 01/11/21 02:47 PM
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Doesn't have to be midi. I recorded something rather long on oboe a few months back using Audacity. I did one bum note which I fixed using their edit tools.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
scriabinfanatic #3068030 01/11/21 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
This is a difficult piece, that I have long wanted to play. But every time I dabble with it, I get discouraged and decide that it's beyond me...or at any rate, that it would take way too much time, to the exclusion of too many other things. If I were to really take it on, I would definitely approach it like a multi-movement work and record it in sections of two to three pages each. I would probably break it first at the "Piacevole, carezzando," and then again just before the [apparent] most difficult middle section at measure 154, and then again just after that section at the full-measure rest at measure 214.

While I was still learning it, I spent quite some time with it and had a moment when I could play the entire piece with say 10 mistakes, although it wasn't my best interpretation. The problem is I always need some time for a piece I already can play pretty well technically, until it ripens so much that I also can play it well musically. And the other issue is I can rarely force myself to "maintain" a piece by playing it many times every day because, well, I'm just a hobbyist and am not preparing for a concert, but most importantly, I always have this fear with the pieces I love, that I will start to dislike them if I hammer them down too much frown And I love this (and every other work by Scriabin) so much! As a result I tend to play it once a day or even less often, spending time learning other pieces... And eventually I end up having a pretty good image in my mind about how the piece should sound, yet the curve of how technically well I play the piece, had been going slightly downwards. It's a paradox in itself smile

Last edited by CyberGene; 01/11/21 03:30 PM.

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Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3068059 01/11/21 04:32 PM
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In my experience, a complete take, or as close to it, gives more sense of a performance and of coherence. But, then there is the question, which cannot be truly answered- do you want your recording and your live performance to sound the same?

It's no win for me. Recording makes me inhibited. I kind of need the audience to make me lose the inhibition. The ideal for me would be if I didn't know I was being recorded. If I am setting out to do a recording, then it potentially takes ages because I am too self-conscious. It's a bit like trying to achieve with Photoshop what you have not got with the real-time photo.

So I suppose that the ideal for me would be a live recording, but have patches available.....maybe in rehearsal.

I was told that a reasonable industry standard is 1 hour of studio time for 1 minute of finished product.

Also it does not matter whether you use a digital or acoustic piano. An acoustic piano just means the editing is maybe more time-consuming....

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
Jill Crossland #3068070 01/11/21 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jill Crossland
I was told that a reasonable industry standard is 1 hour of studio time for 1 minute of finished product.

Wow, is that really true? I've seen so many live performances that are IMO perfect, not just in technical execution, but also as interpretation and it would be pretty odd if a pianist that can achieve that level, would need so much studio time to make a good recording. I can only explain it with probably the reasons you mention, like the idea of having to create a perfect recording spoiling the spontaneity.


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Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3068073 01/11/21 05:15 PM
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I have trouble staying focused, so clean takes are always very hard for me. As a result, I choose editing over frustration. That said, I make recordings to showcase art, not to prove that I can play it cleanly, so I see editing as refining my artwork instead of cheating.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3068795 01/13/21 03:27 PM
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I severely injured my RH forefinger in a stupid practicing stunt going into college back in the 70's. The injury never fully healed even after decades away from the piano. In 2005 I tried to make a comeback and made a few videos on YouTube but the incessant practice brought the injury back with a vengeance. The last few videos I did I had to edit so I used a 2-camera system front and side, recorded on both and then had a good editor friend of mine splice the best parts together. It's the only way I could get through pieces making at best mediocre performances of pieces that I formerly had no trouble playing.


Townley: Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor Op 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK1WR7oPY44
Re: If you could edit your performances...?
trigalg693 #3068825 01/13/21 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by trigalg693
I have trouble staying focused, so clean takes are always very hard for me. As a result, I choose editing over frustration. That said, I make recordings to showcase art, not to prove that I can play it cleanly, so I see editing as refining my artwork instead of cheating.

tsssss.. that's what all the cheaters say. hahahaha Just kidding.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3068843 01/13/21 05:49 PM
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Live recordings modified after the playing is completed should be labeled as such, and not promoted as a live recording.

Generally, I think the most artistic playing is possible with music over which one has technical command, and does not need to post-edit.


Not logging in very often, but I will receive PMs.
Re: If you could edit your performances...?
trigalg693 #3068881 01/13/21 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by trigalg693
I have trouble staying focused, so clean takes are always very hard for me. As a result, I choose editing over frustration. That said, I make recordings to showcase art, not to prove that I can play it cleanly, so I see editing as refining my artwork instead of cheating.

*raises hand in agreement*

Focus is my issue, too.

And knowing that makes it even worse because of COURSE my brain focuses on the fact that I have trouble focusing when I'm thrust into a situation where I know I really need to focus.

I'm a nightmare to record.

Re: If you could edit your performances...?
CyberGene #3068886 01/13/21 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberGene
- (Provided you use a digital piano) record as many full takes as needed until you get one that is satisfactory, without bothering much about mistakes, and then pinpoint-edit some wrong notes through MIDI and re-render.

For my ballet class recording projects, we are definitely using a digital piano (Kawai VPC1/Cubase/Synthogy Ivory II American Concert D) and doing this. We found it went much faster to focus on getting a reasonably good take, as long as phrasing and expression are on point. Wrong notes are extremely easy to fit, but fixing expression and phrasing is much more difficult. Once we let go of the need to have the take be note-perfect, and focus on expression and phrasing, things went very quickly. Of course, getting good phrasing and expression only comes when you know a piece well, so this isn't a stand-in for not knowing a piece, but not having to worry about the occasional miffed bass note is really liberating!


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