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Old 10-02-2019, 11:07 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Default losing the motivation to record

Hi guys,

I pretty much have zero motivation to record anymore. I took a long break and I'm trying to get back into it without much success. I should note that I'm generally happy with the sound of my recordings. The Zoom is easy and quick and the recordings sound "good enough" for my purposes. It's not like I'm recording an album for sale here. I'm just dissatisfied with my performances. Right now I'm focusing on recording tunes I've been playing for years but I feel the performances are substandard. I find I'm stressed out and I pretty much kill myself trying to get one good take. But when I listen to it I find that "one good take" pretty much stinks.

Is anybody else feel demotivated by the quality of your performances when recording? Maybe it's just time to accept things as they are and throw in the towel. It's not like this is the first time I've arrived at this conclusion, that's for sure.
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Last edited by J-Doug; 10-02-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:19 AM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Well, I just listened to Pig Meat Strut and thought you did some terrific playing! The recording sounded real fine. I'd be proud if that was my track.

I think you're being too hard on yourself. Many of us are our own worst critics, so you're not alone, but don't let that inner critic stop you from being creative and making music.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:45 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Recorded a bunch a few years ago and compiling compositions for a few CDs.
Was fun learning how to record, buying gear, and distributing music (mainly CDBaby). Have not recorded much the last few years.

With digital streaming taking over physical CDs are mostly passŤ. I'm pretty particular about my recording sound (which can be aggravating) and compositional quality and those are time consuming. It's a niche market with minimum feedback.
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Old 10-02-2019, 11:45 AM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Doug, I've recorded tunes that I composed and the day I recorded them they sounded great. Two weeks later I'll listen to them again and say to myself "this is terrible."

So, I'm going to keep playing in the hope of getting better and keep listening critically to my recordings and try to get the sound I want.

Stopping doesn't change anything for the better.

Btw, your Pigmeat Strut was the best imo that I've heard you post. Maybe with quicker tunes you forget that you're recording and get your head into the tune more.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:50 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I'm sorry but I don't listen to the recordings on AGF. I don't doubt there are many here that play so well I'd want to quit trying to play guitar. I backed away from recording some years ago. Because of the time involved it kept me from enjoying just playing the guitar. I missed that. Once I focused on playing what I enjoyed playing the material I wanted to play changed. Now I'm not a technical player. I like to improvise at will at times. I have to wonder if the goal for some is to make music or recreate music that someone else has made. The best music is about the performance. That seems really difficult to do if the focus leans in the technical direction and not so much on the performance. I'm suggesting that the focus of recording yourself be more about capturing the music you make and not about anything else.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:04 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
I'm sorry but I don't listen to the recordings on AGF.
No need to apologize. I'm pretty sure nobody else listens to more than the first fifteen seconds of anything. To test this theory I posted a song where, about a minute in, I edited in a dirty joke from a Flip Wilson "party record" and nobody noticed.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:22 PM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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It's pretty hard not to be a little hyper-critical of our own performances in home recordings. There are almost too many things conspiring to keep it from turning out well, not the least of which is the mentioned/alluded to distraction of having a bunch of "hats" on (producer, recording engineer/mixer, maybe videographer) when you should really be thinking about just the performance, if that's what you really want to capture.

For me, it comes and goes, and it's usually when I'm trying to learn something, either a song, or the qualities of a specific mic, a camera feature, whatever, so the "performance" is somewhere down the list. If you really want to focus entirely on the performance, it might be worth trying to find someone else that can do the recording - maybe you record them, they record you, or something like that.

I suspect our attention spans are being diminished by the information overloaded, digital, instant-gratification kind of world we live in, but there's a reason that top-40 radio was focused on under 3min songs, too, even back then. I know when I post videos, whether it's me, or anyone, good or bad, classical, country, r&r, whatever, 2, 5, 10 minutes - the average *viewing* time is just bumping up against 2 minutes. Post an audio track, you're lucky if anyone will even click on it anymore. (Thank you MTV!)

Anyway, my usual book - you have to have a *reason* for recording I think, and then focus on that one thing to evaluate the result. If you can't think of a reason, then don't push the red button.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:24 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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Same story here, it comes and goes. at the end of the day, I think most of the time, I'd rather just "play"....
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:38 PM
SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Recording is a great tool for self improvement if you are not too hypercritical on yourself. If you look at it that way and your first priority is not recording for others, it should be relatively stress free.
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:55 PM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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I need to spend serious time thinking about why I am recording and what my goals are. I feel it boils down to asking myself "who am I making these recordings for, me or others?"

Thanks for your input and kind words guys.
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Old 10-02-2019, 02:56 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Hi Doug,

I have not felt much like recording lately either. I'm not worried about it, the public hasn't noticed As long as I still feel like playing it's all good!
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:07 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post
I need to spend serious time thinking about why I am recording and what my goals are. I feel it boils down to asking myself "who am I making these recordings for, me or others?"

Thanks for your input and kind words guys.
My guess is that you've been making them for others.

Because there's very little to no financial gain these days and probably, most importantly, that most others don't pay the kind of attention we, who compose and record, put into it, unless we're doing it only for the joy it brings us, the result will be "what's the use".
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:08 PM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Doug View Post
Hi guys,

I pretty much have zero motivation to record anymore. I took a long break and I'm trying to get back into it without much success. I should note that I'm generally happy with the sound of my recordings. The Zoom is easy and quick and the recordings sound "good enough" for my purposes. It's not like I'm recording an album for sale here. I'm just dissatisfied with my performances. Right now I'm focusing on recording tunes I've been playing for years but I feel the performances are substandard. I find I'm stressed out and I pretty much kill myself trying to get one good take. But when I listen to it I find that "one good take" pretty much stinks.

Is anybody else feel demotivated by the quality of your performances when recording? Maybe it's just time to accept things as they are and throw in the towel. It's not like this is the first time I've arrived at this conclusion, that's for sure.
After watching the voice ive decided.never to sing again... And i was already unhappy with my recordings, so the voice was icing on the cake,
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:09 PM
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islandguitar islandguitar is offline
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Hey Doug!!
I think this aspect of acoustic guitar "ebbs & flows" and what you have to do is realize which part of the tidal flow you're riding here! I don't feel any need to record during some parts of the year......the equipment is literally stored away.
But, as I gather material I tend (at least these days) to begin to focus on "getting that one down".......and then another. It could be the concept of an entire project (CD or other), or a single tune........but often with the idea of sharing with friends/family (or AGF!), or simply for "posterity".......realizing none of us will be here forever and it would be good to have that song in the portfolio of work/accomplishments that came calling at one time or another in your musical journey.
My guess is that taking a break will yield some thoughts and energy to do some recording in future months/years. I think it takes time to build to that place where you WANT to put out the energy when the tide is really incoming and things are flowing. It can't be that way all the time.......but it's bound to shift and change with time and reflection.
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  #15  
Old 10-02-2019, 03:53 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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It really depends on your purpose for recording. Is it just for you, to capture the moment? Is it something you are going to share? How widely?

Finally, does it have to be done in one take?

I was recently collaborating on a project and just. couldn't. nail. the. part. I was frustrated. There was always something I didn't like. But finally, I realized, I can do it over as many times as I need. In as small a chunk as I need. Digital recording is great that way. So, I went back and pieced it together. Sometimes I would punch in to fix just one or two notes at a time. Other times, I would grab a good section of take, and just fly it in (copy/paste) to wherever else it needed to go that wasn't quite as good. Comping it together in the end took some work, but I had a "perfect take" when I was finished. Something I could share and be satisfied with. No one but me needed to know it was pieced together.

Recently here there was a thread noting that even in the old tape days, with amazing artists and recordings we have all heard, they did it that way. So no need for me to feel bad, if that's what the pros do.

You might feel differently (and if it's for video, you have fewer options and maybe have to learn to settle with certain mistakes), but it works for me.
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