Is recording in sections cheating?

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
jake39
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by jake39 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:55 pm

I've been wondering about this since I just started recording. Once I start nearing the end of a piece I begin to lose focus because I'm becoming too aware of making a mistake and having to start again from the beginning,which causes me to make the mistake(Self fulfilling prophesy). I know multi cam adds interest in a video but is it also being used to hide splices? that sounds like the way to go for me.
Last edited by jake39 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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David Belcher
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by David Belcher » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:06 pm

Glassy,

First, yes, most all professional recordings that I know of use multiple sections (not just multiple takes). For a great example of a pro who can clearly play his pieces just fine in one take, see the Ricardo Gallén video of him playing Bach with Norbert Kraft at the console. Kraft is clearly "punching in" to particular sections deep into the prelude to BWV1006 in one section of the video, so recording in sections. But this is still not "cheating." It is an industry standard and it is not just to remove mistakes, but to maintain dynamics or continuity, etc., as the engineer/producer has a better ear for what's being recorded than the player. So, yes, Segovia and Williams and Bream did it this way too.

So, I think along with others here, if you're recording to share your music with others, there is nothing wrong with recording in sections at all. However, I will push back slightly on that notion under one particular circumstance. If you're using recording to practice performance, obviously recording in sections will only be of benefit for the section you're working on—in other words, if it's done prior to your being ready to perform the whole piece. But obviously recording for performance practice you eventually want to be able to play the whole piece in one take, just as you'll have to do in a performance setting. So, I think recording in sections can be a great way of practicing to really nail down particular sections, but once you get ready to bring the piece up to performance-status I think you can set yourself back by doing so (because you're actually practicing the mental attitude of giving yourself another take when facing mistakes)—although it will certainly help tell you *whether* the piece is performance ready or not. The question for me then becomes about how we learn and prepare pieces. Recording is undoubtedly a great tool to have in your practice regimen while preparing a piece, but eventually it has to be set aside—though you definitely can and should come back to it after you have learned the piece in other ways and can play it in a performance setting without the mental illusion that you can have a do-over, thus creating the situation in which mistakes will happen. As I said, Gallén could obviously play Bach's lute suites just fine in a performance setting before he recorded them. In fact, it was his being able to play them so well as a whole that allowed him to play them in sections so dang sublimely—and gave us such a wonderful recording.

My take.
"In music I think it's very, very dangerous if you start to compare and say, 'This is good, this is not good, this is only one possibility' . . . there are so many possibilities, but what is important is to be open to that." - Pavel Steidl

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David Belcher
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by David Belcher » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:08 pm

(Come to think of it, I can think of at least two "behind-the-scenes" videos showing Bream doing section recording as well.)
"In music I think it's very, very dangerous if you start to compare and say, 'This is good, this is not good, this is only one possibility' . . . there are so many possibilities, but what is important is to be open to that." - Pavel Steidl

AndreiKrylov

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:03 pm

Nice explanation, David!
Couple of more points from me:
1. Recording is intended for our ears
2. Yet performing is focused not on ears of audience only, but on their eyes too. We watch youtube videos, not just listen it.

Competition is main part of human culture and behaviour and performance is integral part of competition culture in general, even if we do not take part in particular competition at the moment of performance.
But when we just listen we could disassociate themselves from performance, look, fashion, time, and get deep into sound images, audio itself. This way we could be only in Music itself, without interruptions like sexy look of performer, precise movements of his/her hands, beautiful look of guitar etc.

Therefore - yes if Music is sport' like performance - then sure, recording in sections cheating!
But if Music is Art like Painting - then this question is absurd...
Sure we live real world and do both things, but seems to me that sport like performance is still more important than anything else...
Interesting that it is more than linguistic or even semantic question - people really understand what is Music itself in different ways...

Will95
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Will95 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:39 pm

Just something interesting I found as I was listening to John Williams play the prelude to the 1006a lute suite from his Seville concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPfZVflJdp0

If you listen closely at 3:30 you can hear another take being spliced in. So even the best are not above multiple takes!

jake39
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by jake39 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:52 am

Will95 wrote:Just something interesting I found as I was listening to John Williams play the prelude to the 1006a lute suite from his Seville concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPfZVflJdp0

If you listen closely at 3:30 you can hear another take being spliced in. So even the best are not above multiple takes!
I think that was just the video it was recorded on. There are other clips of that performance on YouTube that don't jump like that. But that concert was released as a recording so I'm sure there was plenty of section recording and editing going on.

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muirtan
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by muirtan » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:03 am

For me it would depend on what I was using a recording for. I mainly use it to improve my playing ie record a piece in full and then listen and make notes of where to improve. If I get a take I am really pleased with I may decide to share it with a couple of people.

Recently I have started composing to accompany my son's poetry and have decided I need to record in sections, trying to read poetry and play didn't work!

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sun May 10, 2015 4:48 am

David Belcher wrote:(Come to think of it, I can think of at least two "behind-the-scenes" videos showing Bream doing section recording as well.)
Really? I don't recall those, can you remember what they were from? I was under the impression that Bream recorded a piece numerous times until he got a good take, but I may be wrong (although some of his recordings do have small mistakes in them, which presumably would have been edited out if he did record in sections). I have seen "behind the scenes" videos of him, but I did not perceive them as being "section" recordings, or even final recordings, but more just trying to get the balances right and/or choosing among different takes for the best of the bunch (and, they were being filmed for documentaries, so one wonders if they were just for show, to some extent). He doesn't seem to me like the kind of artist who would record in sections, but I may be idealizing him.

Whiteagle
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Whiteagle » Sun May 10, 2015 6:57 am

Is recording cheating? No I don't think recording in sections is cheating. Is editing a recording cheating? I think it is up to the person recording to approach things however they wish.

Nick Payne
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Nick Payne » Sun May 10, 2015 7:15 am

So-called "live" recordings vary from artist to artist and label to label in their "liveness". For instance, the Filomena Moretti Bach recordings I have specifically state in the liner notes that they are a recording of a live concert with a "touch-up" session recorded in the same venue immediately after the concert. OTOH, I have numerous Sviatoslav Richter live concert recordings which are very obviously the uncorrected concert recordings, mistakes and fluffed notes and audience coughs and all.

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by Denian Arcoleo » Sun May 10, 2015 9:01 am

Lovemyguitar wrote: Really? I don't recall those, can you remember what they were from? I was under the impression that Bream recorded a piece numerous times until he got a good take, but I may be wrong
Yes, Bream edited too. If you listen on headphones to some of the classic recordings he made (I use Spotify) you will hear some very clunky edits indeed. Doesn't stop those recordings from being wonderful listening experiences.

leyenda

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by leyenda » Sun May 10, 2015 10:03 am

I think it depends on the individual recording. If I saw or heard a recording of some great playing and then paid to see the performer in concert and it was rubbish - I'd feel slightly cheated.
What's the difference in you recording a piece ten times to get the 'perfect' performance and someone editing ten times in a recording?

AndreiKrylov

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun May 10, 2015 12:08 pm

Sure leyenda, it is disappointing sometimes -if you have some expectations and they did not come true...
But...
Performer is a person... and could get sick, could have trauma, could be in different mood,could be depressed, could be tired and overworked...
Sometimes you have to fly 10 hours and then drive 7 hours and then to play concert right away... and you could be so tired... but nobody cares - they expect perfect performance... and that what it is... a performance...
And you have to perform... even with such a real pain that you could not stand, but you have to perform, otherwise you gonna be judged like you are "cheater" , "not worthy"...
And then you are getting old, but still - everybody expect all the same from you - absolute perfection!
Nothing else, and you are with your arthritic fingers, ulcer, with pain in your back, tired like hell from travelling, should deliver power, speed, precision, happy emotions, perfection to audience... and if you can't - then you are "cheater"...?
Mad mad mad world!!!
And when horses can't run - they Shoot Horses, Don't They?

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David Belcher
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Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by David Belcher » Sun May 10, 2015 12:23 pm

Lovemyguitar,

I'll have to look back over my DVD, but I seem to remember two occasions: one when he's recording the Django-style jazz song, though I agree that is likely more for entertainment purposes—"staged"—and another while recording the Villa-Lobos album...though I can't remember which one that one is on. But like Denian said you can hear the cuts in many of his albums, and some of them aren't all that artful edits! :)
"In music I think it's very, very dangerous if you start to compare and say, 'This is good, this is not good, this is only one possibility' . . . there are so many possibilities, but what is important is to be open to that." - Pavel Steidl

AndreiKrylov

Re: Is recording in sections cheating?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sun May 10, 2015 12:24 pm

Recording is more like painting... you could step away, look from another angle, different light, think... and make it as you see it inside of you...And you do it for yourself and as you see yourself only.

Performing is performing.. it is the same as sport. You are the sportsman. You play for audience.
You can't stop and say that you do not feel like you don't want to play this piece today.
You can't stop and say it is too humid here - fingers stick to neck, or it is too cold and my fingers frozen, or that you do not like sound picture in this hall, or that you feel that your guitar did not like travel, or that you have a flu, fever, etc etc
Nobody cares about all that. They wait! - you have to deliver!...
You do not deliver? -they will despise you... they will say that you are cheater...
Therefore you have to be a very good sportsman, very hard and emotionless, someone who would overcome all pain and inconvenience and deliver. Someone with character of steel.
So, if you are not this person, then change your occupation till it is not too late...

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