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  #76  
Old 07-20-2012, 08:21 PM
tstrahle tstrahle is offline
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Great thread. I was about to post a new thread re "why is it so difficult to play solo fingerstyle absolutely 100% flawlessly, in terms of articulation, execution and dynamics when recording, and how do the professionals like Bensusan and Renbourn manage it", when I came across this thread which seems to answer the question for me: they don't, and I'm setting the bar possibly too high.

When playing live, if you make a little mistake, like a bend which doesn't go high enough, or a beat which lasts slightly too long, there's always the good chance the punter didn't hear it, or even if they did, they can't rewind, and they don't know that what happened wasn't intentional anyway.

I've wasted so much time over the years sitting down to record one PERFECT instrumental, only for it to foul up in the final ten seconds, then doing another take, and another, in the end the performance is totally soulless and mechanical, before giving up in disgust at my lack of ability, and putting the microphones away for another six months, promising myself with more practice I'll get that perfect take. And it doesn't happen. I always thought if I edited the tracks I'd be cheating myself as I didn't think for one minute that the pro's did it.

This thread has inspired me to get that shure sm81 and the akg3000 back out, fire up the old laptop, plug in the emu0404....and just....chill. let it happen.

Thank you.
When you play live everything is in the air and gone, recordings not so much. I've done lot's of live recordings where everyone is dialing it down a notch so as not to blow it. No one wants to be the reason they stop rolling tape. Particularly difficult when improvising. If every note is written out it's easier, it all that cognitive part of your brain doing the work and you are less likely to brain fart. Of course I'm talking about the studio scene here.

That said, if you can't perform your fingerstyle piece all the way through without making a mistake, maybe you've written it too hard. I've written myself into many corners in the past.

If that's not the issue, try to make your recording experience as comfortable as possible. Good headphones, maybe some reverb and delay to make it sound sweeter, comfortable chair, etc. Now recreate that situation for all of your practicing time too, so the recording sessions don't feel foreign.

Just some thoughts here.
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  #77  
Old 07-20-2012, 08:45 PM
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I've wasted so much time over the years sitting down to record one PERFECT instrumental, only for it to foul up in the final ten seconds, then doing another take, and another, in the end the performance is totally soulless and mechanical,.

The beauty of being willing to edit is that it frees you up to take chances and risks when recording, potentially getting a really magical performance. You can take that one that felt great, that had the right groove, but where you totally screwed up in a small spot and fix it, keeping the magic. And sometimes just knowing that you can edit makes you relax and play better, so that you actually might get that elusive perfect take!
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  #78  
Old 07-23-2012, 01:09 AM
KenW KenW is offline
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Chet Atkins would edit pieces together all the time. And he did his edits on analog tape with a single-edged razor blade. Most edits done now are on a DAW, making them more accurate, and reversible. Bottom line: If it was good enough for the likes of Chet, it should be good enough for you.
Jerry Roberts once told me that if Chet had a glitch in his playing while recording, he would simply pause, back up a measure or 2, and resume playing. At the end, the glitch(es) edited out of a single take with a razor blade.
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  #79  
Old 07-23-2012, 08:44 AM
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Jerry Roberts once told me that if Chet had a glitch in his playing while recording, he would simply pause, back up a measure or 2, and resume playing. At the end, the glitch(es) edited out of a single take with a razor blade.
That's the way it was done back in the day.
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  #80  
Old 07-23-2012, 09:15 AM
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That's the way it was done back in the day.
Yes indeed razor blades and then technology came along and the electric democratized it. And now anybody, can shave anywhere in the house. No need to learn about a sink, a valve , hot water and stropping is a lost art.
And these young wiper snappers now with this 2 day stubble thats all the rage, have just ruined shaving it'll never be the same
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  #81  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:05 PM
mc1 mc1 is offline
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Default regarding chet

i do wonder why chet did that. i've watched a few clips of chet playing live and he played just fine. so why splice stuff together? was it early in his career, was studio time limited or expensive, was chet's patience limited, is it really that hard for someone like chet to get a 'good enough' take?

the idea of stopping and backing up a couple of seconds, then continuing on seems like a tough way to go, and would mess up the flow of the music. if someone was good (great?) enough to get right back into the flow and timing after stopping and restarting, they proabably could get a pretty good single take in a few tries.

finally, i can't really accept the, 'if it's good enough for chet' argument. chet may not have preferred this recording arrangement, it may have been forced on him by circumstance. also, he may not have had the same approach throughout his recording career. plus i suspect there are other fine guitarists who prefer a more 'single take' approach.

just some thoughts...
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  #82  
Old 07-23-2012, 04:30 PM
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i do wonder why chet did that. i've watched a few clips of chet playing live and he played just fine. so why splice stuff together? was it early in his career, was studio time limited or expensive, was chet's patience limited, is it really that hard for someone like chet to get a 'good enough' take?
The better you are, usually, the pickier you are. That's partly how these guys got good :-) I've recorded many people who do multiple takes, any one of which, as a listener, I'd declare "perfect", yet they're not happy. They know some little part didn't come out the way they wanted it to.

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the idea of stopping and backing up a couple of seconds, then continuing on seems like a tough way to go, and would mess up the flow of the music.
Maybe. One advantage to this is that you're still in the same basic mental "space", you're playing at a certain tempo, with a certain feel, and it may be easier to maintain it than if you completely stop and restart. So in that sense, you may be able to keep the same flow going more easily than if you start over. Even mechanically, you won't have moved, so you don't have mic placement issues to deal with. And editing is pretty easy like this, just snip out the part in the middle. I used to try to do it this way, and it works well. More often these days, I do multiple takes, and combine them if necessary. Just a different work flow.
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  #83  
Old 07-23-2012, 05:12 PM
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...the idea of stopping and backing up a couple of seconds, then continuing on seems like a tough way to go, and would mess up the flow of the music.
Hi mc1...

When I operated an acoustic studio, different musicians responded quite differently, and that showed up in their workflow.

We usually recorded subsequent tracks to an original scratch track recorded by the performer in the tempo and style of the song as perfect as they could make it - till we had enough parts to turn it off.

Some people who came in to add tracks went all the way through then went back and made corrections, whereas others once a mistake was made needed to stop and fix it then or they would flub-up more.

I was flexible enough to go with what helped them be most musical.

Equally competent musicians really can be very different from each other.

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  #84  
Old 07-23-2012, 05:53 PM
mc1 mc1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
The better you are, usually, the pickier you are. That's partly how these guys got good :-) I've recorded many people who do multiple takes, any one of which, as a listener, I'd declare "perfect", yet they're not happy. They know some little part didn't come out the way they wanted it to.

Maybe. One advantage to this is that you're still in the same basic mental "space", you're playing at a certain tempo, with a certain feel, and it may be easier to maintain it than if you completely stop and restart. So in that sense, you may be able to keep the same flow going more easily than if you start over. Even mechanically, you won't have moved, so you don't have mic placement issues to deal with. And editing is pretty easy like this, just snip out the part in the middle. I used to try to do it this way, and it works well. More often these days, I do multiple takes, and combine them if necessary. Just a different work flow.
as i read your replies they made sense to me. i guess what's in one's head and what comes out of one's fingers continues to have a significant gap even at chet's level.

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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi mc1...

When I operated an acoustic studio, different musicians responded quite differently, and that showed up in their workflow.

We usually recorded subsequent tracks to an original scratch track recorded by the performer in the tempo and style of the song as perfect as they could make it - till we had enough parts to turn it off.

Some people who came in to add tracks went all the way through then went back and made corrections, whereas others once a mistake was made needed to stop and fix it then or they would flub-up more.

I was flexible enough to go with what helped them be most musical.

Equally competent musicians really can be very different from each other.
hi lj,

i get your point. i can think that my hurdles\obstacles\issues are universal, rather than common.

tell me about the guy who could get a reasonably good single take and leave it at that... i still wonder if that has any merit.
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  #85  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:59 PM
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...tell me about the guy who could get a reasonably good single take and leave it at that... i still wonder if that has any merit.
Hi mc1...

Sure that would be ideal. My experience is the better players are more prone to want another take just to see if anything can be perfected, and are far more critical about their work than I'd be.

I really have done very few recording sessions where we nailed it on the first take and didn't do at least a backup track...at the request of the artist. And the longer the track (in minutes and seconds) the less chance that single-take-and-we're-done is actually going to happen.

I have recorded a handful of players who can do simple straight forward recordings in only two or three takes. And these are people who perform a lot, and are comfortable in front of people or in front of recording gear.


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