Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
Dylan
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by Dylan » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:00 pm

I'm just of the persuasion that recordings are NEVER as good as the true sound of the instrument. Hearing it in person allows you to take in all the nuances of the sound reverberating in the room around you. A prime example in my life is the harpsichord. I have never heard a recording of a harpsichord I have liked, but hearing it in person is a whole other story - it is truly remarkable to hear and recording cannot capture it.

robinfw
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by robinfw » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:37 am

I agree.
Here is an example.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KHP3t8yRUY

Ida Presti Rumores de la Caleta
Compare this with any of the other Rumores on YT.
And also Serenata Española.
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robinfw
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by robinfw » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:21 am

Apologies for

But maybe these are better examples.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbyWf692Kig

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6i2KXR ... 225.109977

Somehow yes I do feel something is lacking in
our present day recordings.

PeteJ
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by PeteJ » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:29 pm

Recording at high bitrates makes sense for the sake of the processing but the jury seems to be out on whether the 16-24 format is good enough for the listener. The debate goes on. It is difficult to show that the listener would be able to hear a difference at a higher bitrate but I'm suspicious of CD's regardless. In particular its the encoded non-musical signals above 20kHz that are worrying. I was told by a an audio pro that tests reveal that although we don't consciously hear these signals they annoy us subliminally. This may be nonsense but it is slightly plausible, and might explain why some listeners dislike CDs.

The biggest difference between old and new recording will probably be the the mics. Then it may be the chain of processing, reverbs, compressors etc, and using vsts rather than hardware. There are so many variables it's hard to know what makes a difference. Oddly, I suspect that the lack of hiss on digital systems may be part of the problem, since it can create a rather clinical and unnatural sound.

These discussions go round and round and it seems impossible to pin down the issues.

celestemcc
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by celestemcc » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:42 pm

Speaking non-technically: recording can capture the guitar's beautiful sound, but not necessarily authentically. To put it another way, I can appreciate wonderful playing from recordings, but I'd probably never buy a guitar just from hearing a recording. I'd have to hear it live.

Guitarist Ed Gerhard (not a classical guitarist) made a record playing blues on "authentic" instruments; that is, the same kind of (and sometimes same instrument) guitars that original acoustic blues artists played for their own recordings (20s, 30s, 40s and beyond). Old, cheap, needing a set-up, not-necessarily-great steel string guitars. By and large they sound terrific on the recording! Much of this is Gerhard's own skill, and some has to be the recording environment.
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ronjazz
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by ronjazz » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:38 pm

I find that well-produced classical guitar recordings sound a lot better than live concerts, but live concerts are 3-dimensional, thus fuller experiences. Unless the room really is unfriendly. I saw Jorge Caballero, a great player, in a dead room last year, and it was a struggle for him and the audience, in fact, he was so discouraged he never came out to greet the audience afterwards, something he always relishes. Segovia in a 2500-seat hall was basically a guy playing a little box full of matches. Williams, Bream, Barrueco in an 800-1000-seat hall is a real experience.
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janepaints
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by janepaints » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:38 pm

i came to the conclusion many years ago that NO form of recording truly/accurately captures the sound of acoustic instruments (electric instruments, MAYBE, tho I'm not certain about that either)

my conclusion came not from listening to classical guitarists, but from hearing really good old-time and bluegrass musicians, totally unamplifed, playing in the camping areas at music festivals....the sound was totally omnidirectional, full of OOMPH!, it was 'round'...hit you in your gut as well as your ears/brain...such GREAT SOUND

around the same time i played in a duet with a great old-time fiddler...i played guitar and banjo to accompany him...we NEVER used any form of amplification....we thought "what did people do, playing this stuff, before recording, radio and electricity?

so that's what we did...and it was GREAT....we got tons of gigs, and one of the things people liked was that it WASNT amplified...we did regular friday & saturday gigs at a local restaurant, in warm months, (about 100 nights a year!) outside in the picnic table dining area--where i noticed that those who really enjoyed the music would move CLOSER to us! (and those who were just there for the food weren't annoyed by too-loud)...and we got regular invites for other gigs at parties/weddings/picnics etc.

since that experience, whenever possible, i MUCH prefer playing 100% unamplified....while just 'putting up with' the sound of recordings and amplified live music....just ask yerself: "what did musicians do for tons of years before electricity?" and do what they did!

janepaints
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by janepaints » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:40 pm

Dylan wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:00 pm
I'm just of the persuasion that recordings are NEVER as good as the true sound of the instrument. Hearing it in person allows you to take in all the nuances of the sound reverberating in the room around you. A prime example in my life is the harpsichord. I have never heard a recording of a harpsichord I have liked, but hearing it in person is a whole other story - it is truly remarkable to hear and recording cannot capture it.
THIS!

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Lawler
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by Lawler » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm

Whether you hear the true beauty of the sound of the instrument or not depends on your playback system as much as the quality of the recording. And no, you don't need a high end audiophile system. But don't expect high quality sound on desktop computer speakers or earbuds.

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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by Steve Kutzer » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:25 pm

It depends on the venue. I've seen Jason Vieaux and Ana Vidovic and a few others in the small parlor of the mansion of Strathmore Hall in Virginia.Being 7 feet away from a world class player on a world-class instrument is going to be hard to beat.

And too, involving sight helps the overall experience. Opera on a stereo? No thanks.

And finally, yes, I can imagine compression does a lot of harm. But then again, post processing can probably make a lot of playing sound better than it was.
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:01 pm

In my opinion a live concert is the real thing: an artist (re)creating music on the spot. His/her music will never sound the same, even the sound of the guitar differs (humidity, nails, etc). Recordings are reproductions, they sound like the originals but always sound the same.

Imagine going to the Louvre Museum to watch the collection of paintings and buying the catalogue afterwards. The pictures in the catalogue remind you of the originals but do they impress you as much as the originals?

Live concerts: buying a ticket, going to the venue, the excitement before the concert, the smell of the hall, the lighting, the presence of the artist on stage. No recording can match that.
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Kent
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by Kent » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:30 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:01 pm
In my opinion a live concert is the real thing: an artist (re)creating music on the spot. His/her music will never sound the same, even the sound of the guitar differs (humidity, nails, etc). Recordings are reproductions, they sound like the originals but always sound the same.

Imagine going to the Louvre Museum to watch the collection of paintings and buying the catalogue afterwards. The pictures in the catalogue remind you of the originals but do they impress you as much as the originals?

Live concerts: buying a ticket, going to the venue, the excitement before the concert, the smell of the hall, the lighting, the presence of the artist on stage. No recording can match that.
“ I think that to go into a hall, but, we hope, comfortable, and see the stage with an empty chair and a little footstool, and just to concentrate on that as an audience for ten minutes before a concert.
I think that in itself is unusual and wonderful. Then the artist comes on, settles himself down and begins to create sound. I think the whole thing is rather a wonderful affair.”

Julian Bream

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robin loops
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Re: Does recorded Classical Guitar music miss the true beauty of the sound of the instrument?

Post by robin loops » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:12 am

Of course it does. All recorded music in any genre looses some of the magic. That's why we still love live performances. But studio magic such as 100 percent error free performances has its place too.
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