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Rubens Offline OP
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Who here loves recording sessions?
I can barely do it. My first take is usually my best, and then my playing loses all its freshness upon repeating. The expression becomes artificial, perhaps to compensate for the lack of inspiration. I would love to take full advantage of recording sessions by taking the best of multiple takes, but I feel the musical quality of my playing goes down very fast from one take to the next.

Those of you who can do it, what are some of the methods you are using? Do you just play the whole piece many times in a row? I know some people like to just turn on the recorder and then "practice" during the whole session, and then splice the parts together afterwards, but isn't that cheating? Many thanks for your help.


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I have never tried to splice together multiple sections of a piece to get a "better" recording than I can get at a single take. But, yes, I do do several takes before I can get a recording that satisfies me, and, in my case, it's not always the first one that is the best.

This may not help, but what I do (imagine) is to play not just to the recorder but to my audience - which is there only in my mind. Each recorded session, if it's not just for practice, is a performance that I try to communicate to those whom I imagine are listening.

That's not saying it's going to work for you, but it is an incentive to me. I try to think, not about the recording in process, but the audience for whom I am performing.

Regards,


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Rubens Offline OP
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Thanks Bruce.

I manage to get in that mode only for the first take of the day. After that, it's all about playing for the mic, and I can't help it. Is this something that can be practiced?
I find the art of recording so different to that of live performance. Many of the spontaneous things that happen on a first take would be acceptable and even enjoyable in live performances, but they become less enjoyable upon repeated playback (if recorded), which is why even pros record multiple takes in their studio recordings, until they can put together a version that will be enjoyable on repeated listening. I wish my former teachers could have helped me more in that respect, but it seems all of them had the simplistic view that if a pianist can give an excellent live performance of a piece, then they should automatically be able to make an excellent studio recording of the same piece just as easily. None of them viewed the two contexts as requiring very different skills.


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Rubens Offline OP
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Maybe some people here would argue that I am exaggerating the difference between the two contexts, but didn't Gould and Zimerman say that recording requires a completely different set of mind? I can't find the source of this now, but I'm quite certain I didn't invent it.


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Rubens - for me, the first recording is usually the worst as I am still distracted by the recording. So I have to work on deepening my concentration and usually have a much better time when I have forgotten about the recording part.

of course, if you have someone else engineering, it is much easier. When I played bass, I did a lot of studio recording and you just closed your eyes and played when cued.

Additionally, I find I have to get back to my image or story about the piece so that I can connect with the emotional content and forget about the rest.


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also, I think Gould is a special case. Most artists are inspired by the audience. Gould held disdain for the audience and reveled in the studio environment. He also did a ton of splicing so a very different process from playing live in front of audience. I guess in many ways, he was ahead of his time in the technical regard.


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Originally Posted by Rubens
Maybe some people here would argue that I am exaggerating the difference between the two contexts, but didn't Gould and Zimerman say that recording requires a completely different set of mind? I can't find the source of this now, but I'm quite certain I didn't invent it.

Not a quote, at least not a verbal one... but as for Zimerman, watch the first 45 seconds of this:



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Ok, I know this is getting off topic, but check out the new Hi Res Audiophile DSD recordings. These are by nature unprocessed live recordings because DSD is a bit by bit digital recording technique that mimics tape recording.


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Originally Posted by JaneF
Originally Posted by Rubens
Maybe some people here would argue that I am exaggerating the difference between the two contexts, but didn't Gould and Zimerman say that recording requires a completely different set of mind? I can't find the source of this now, but I'm quite certain I didn't invent it.

Not a quote, at least not a verbal one... but as for Zimerman, watch the first 45 seconds of this:


Yes I found out recently about this! But I doubt Zimerman really wants to hide that his recordings are edited. Recording is simply another art form than live performance.


Soli Chopin gloria

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