Is recording in sections cheating?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
glassynails
Posts: 5616
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by glassynails » Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:09 pm

I think that it's "cheating" to record in sections and have never done it with any of my YT video recordings. I was thinking though today that it would be less stressful to record that way (section by section) instead of getting nervous about making a "live recording" or a "one take recording".

The thing obviously that makes me nervous about doing one take type recordings is that if you mess up somewhere, you have to record the whole thing over again and this can get frustrating and tedious. Am I correct though in that most of the "polished" studio recordings that Segovia, Williams, etc did or do are NOT one take, but rather sections that are recorded are put together somehow?

If I was to record this way, how would you match up the sections so that it sounded like one take rather than have noticable gaps here and there? Could Audacity (which is what I normally use to make my mp3/wavs) do this?

I still favor the idea behind a complete live recording, but I think that it's a nice idea and puts less stress on you when you know that if you mess up somewhere during recording that you can go back and "correct" that part and then insert that section.

Is this normal practice in the classical guitar recording world? Am I being hard on myself for always trying to record in one take? Obviously though, most of your YT videos with video of a guitar recording are done in one take, although many times I've noticed on Cesar Amaro's live videos that there are some gappy jumps that indicate that they were edited, so I'm assuming that in these places he may have re-recorded the phrase or whatever.
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

User avatar
bergmann
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:22 pm
Location: Kalundborg, Denmark

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by bergmann » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:44 pm

Recordings and live performances are two different things. In a studio where you do recordings it is normal to patch the final result from different takes. So that is what you do making recordings. But I guess you will end up spending a lot of time editing instead of playing. Audacity should have the power to do the job.

User avatar
bergmann
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:22 pm
Location: Kalundborg, Denmark

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by bergmann » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:45 pm

Recordings and live performances are two different things. In a studio where you do recordings it is normal to patch the final result from different takes. So that is what you do making recordings. But I guess you will end up spending a lot of time editing instead of playing. Audacity should have the power to do the job.

User avatar
Alain Cloutier
Posts: 489
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:42 pm
Location: Manawan Canada

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Alain Cloutier » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:58 pm

I used to do all my recordings in one take. I even pushed it a little further and recorded a whole Weiss sonata in less than half an hour. I realize lately that it just stresses me out for nothing. I play just for fun and I then decided to try to record a Weiss Presto in five sections with two cameras. Less stress and more fun! :D

That piece has over a thousand notes so the idea of messing up close to the end was just too much for me. It would have killed the fun of doing it!

Here it is:

[media]https://youtu.be/oDdJ8WqIvdw[/media]

User avatar
rojarosguitar
Posts: 4661
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:24 pm
Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by rojarosguitar » Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:39 pm

If recording in sections was cheating then everybody would be cheating these days; I know what I'm talking about because I did quite a bit of recording professionally.

It all depends on what you expect from recording. If you expect a live recording and get a studio recording recorded in sections with a bit of live atmo on top of it, this would be cheating (though this happens too: so live recording as a basis and then overdubbed with corrections from the studio. Not so difficult to do these days with digital audio) . If it doesn't say 'recorded live' you shouldn't expect recording in one go.
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...
My Youtube Channel is: TheMusicalEvents

glassynails
Posts: 5616
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:20 am
Location: Westbrook, Maine

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by glassynails » Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:56 pm

Yes, all of my videos on YT were recorded in "one take", but really I only ever "mess up" in a couple places and then start again, which of course is really frustrating. I'm thinking of doing it "one take" and then IF I screw up somewhere, then starting over at that point and pasting it together somehow. I always thought there would be a noticable gap at the pasted section, but I guess that's where editing skill comes in.

I'm still really against over editing. I'd rather hear how someone plays a piece live for the most part. I don't care if they mess up somewhere and start from there again, but compressing, adding artificial reverb, etc in my opinion is cheating. Although, like someone said it all depends on what you're going for. If you want the music to sound good and be pleasing atmospherically, I guess all those things are ok .... but then why not just have a computer program do all your playing for you??
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

User avatar
tormodg
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 11:13 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by tormodg » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:00 pm

I favor recording in sections for just about any purpose, if you have the time. I love to work with audio, so for me it's more than just the recording. It's also the prepping, the wiring of microphones and other equipment, and afterwards the mixing and mastering.

Even if I only record with my Zoom H1 I still record multiple takes. The first take will usually be a complete play-through, then I'll do each section until I'm happy enough to move on.

The upside is that I get a recording I'm really happy with, and I don't get as nervous as I tend to be if I only do one take. The downside is that it can take a lot of time. :)
2017 Yngvar Thomassen spruce
1994 Alhambra 6P (cedar, battered, broken and repaired)
+ various steel string and electric guitars

Sold: 2014 Alhambra Linea Profesional (spruce)

ronjazz
Posts: 764
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:10 pm

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by ronjazz » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:34 pm

A recording is a big lie, and that's always been the case. Even "live" recordings are doctored. Since a recording is a 2-dimensional thing, one must "cheat" to make it interesting on the 10th listen.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

Scot Tremblay
Luthier
Posts: 4217
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:18 pm
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Scot Tremblay » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:44 pm

Speaking of recording and fakes, I cannot wait for the first "finger syncing" scandal to hit the classical guitar world....shades of Milli Vanilli and Beyonce... :shock:
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

mc1

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by mc1 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:07 pm

yes, it's cheating. however, you have to remember i have a very large list of things that qualify as cheating:
nails
nylon strings
frets
looking at the fretboard
sheet music
sitting comfortably
footstand/support device
and many, many others.

mc1

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by mc1 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:12 pm

Alain Cloutier wrote:I used to do all my recordings in one take. I even pushed it a little further and recorded a whole Weiss sonata in less than half an hour. I realize lately that it just stresses me out for nothing. I play just for fun and I then decided to try to record a Weiss Presto in five sections with two cameras. Less stress and more fun! :D

That piece has over a thousand notes so the idea of messing up close to the end was just too much for me. It would have killed the fun of doing it!

Here it is:

[media]https://youtu.be/oDdJ8WqIvdw[/media]
i really enjoyed that. neat instrument you have. :)

RichardUno
Posts: 637
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Land of Fruits and Nuts

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by RichardUno » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:21 pm

Speaking of splicing video recordings, I love this one:


[media]https://youtu.be/5jQP2zf18EM[/media]

User avatar
Alain Cloutier
Posts: 489
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:42 pm
Location: Manawan Canada

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Alain Cloutier » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:44 pm

mc1 wrote:
Alain Cloutier wrote:I used to do all my recordings in one take. I even pushed it a little further and recorded a whole Weiss sonata in less than half an hour. I realize lately that it just stresses me out for nothing. I play just for fun and I then decided to try to record a Weiss Presto in five sections with two cameras. Less stress and more fun! :D

That piece has over a thousand notes so the idea of messing up close to the end was just too much for me. It would have killed the fun of doing it!

Here it is:

[media]https://youtu.be/oDdJ8WqIvdw[/media]
i really enjoyed that. neat instrument you have. :)
Thanks mc1! I'm glad you enjoyed it despite my little cheating! :bye:

Will95
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 5:27 pm
Location: Leeds, UK

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Will95 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:18 pm

As soon as you record a piece of guitar music, you are effectively substituting the time, expertise, subtle reverberations etc that went into making the wooden instrument for a (inevitably poorer) substitute in the form of a digital recording. With that in mind, I think it's absolutely fine and often necessary to splice together multiple takes to form one recording- the mere act of recording reduces the instrument to an mp3, so you might as well remove any mistakes while you're there.

AndreiKrylov

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:42 pm

What is recording in general? Is it just a memento of your performance, which reflects the best in your physical and emotional, mental reproduction of certain piece in certain day. frozen in time? Is it like you take part in some kind of competition with others showing that you did reproduce it with minimum or no mistakes at all? That you did not "cheat" on this "exam" or "competition" and did honestly according to your shape, state and age? In other words is it really something very similar to sport performance? Then maybe a music itself is a sport... like heavy lifting or running, jumping etc. and then, sure if you are younger and healthier you could achieve much more result that anyone old and unhealthy...
But... maybe Music is not a Sport, but Art!? And as a piece of Art you could take as much time and "takes" as it necessary to fulfill your conception, finish your structures and details, put colors and nuances, create soundworlds, atmosphere, draw your musical painting using as many technical means as you could in a way in which your listener could relive your experiences and inspiration, to fill your emotions and ideas to share poetry, despair or happiness, love or indifference...
So...is it Sport? or Art?

Return to “Classical guitar recording and amplification”