Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘recording

Don’t Miss

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If you are a fan of popular music and the art of multi-track recording, don’t miss this documentary currently showing on PBS!

soundbreaking

aboutsoundbreakingWe stumbled upon the second episode last night and became instantly entranced. I always marvel over seeing that someone made the effort to record video —and subsequently save for later discovery— of surprisingly authentic moments of activity, like musicians working on a song.

Who thought to record video of these bands before they knew the group would turn out to be worth the effort?

This show renews my appreciation for the amount of creative manipulation behind all the recorded music we get to hear. It’s something that is too easy to take for granted.

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Written by johnwhays

November 16, 2016 at 7:00 am

Being Recorded

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I had an opportunity last night to have one of my songs recorded by a friend with some very nice equipment and all the know-how to go with it. The experience triggered a few things that intrigue me. Whenever I try to record a song, I am made painfully aware of how impressive professional recording artists really are. Just hearing a song on the radio on the way home, any song, after having listened to my own, over and over again for the previous several hours, has me marveling over their ability to produce an outcome so free of flaw. It is a supreme exercise for me, given my tendency for perfection, to allow myself to be recorded.

For me, just getting a first cut recorded with few enough flaws to make it worth saving is a significant milestone. Any thought of doing it all over again reveals an equal risk of just introducing additional goofs. Best to leave well enough alone and take a shot at polishing the bad spots. Sometimes we can cover them up, other times, we are able to cut them out. But every step takes time and you can consume minutes in what feels like seconds. Time flies by incredibly fast during the recording process. For my purposes, I am able to let an awful lot of the imperfections remain, and for the sake of time, I try to minimize the post-production noodling. But the outcome does end up having a fair amount of “character” that separates it from the artists who record for a living.

It amazes me to consider the number of musicians and performers who go through the work of producing a recording, and have the chops to do it at a very high quality, yet remain in the tier just below a level that brings wide recognition and a comfortable level of income. There really are a very limited number of people who work at the top level of success, and the majority of accomplished artists that perform for a living are doing so in relative obscurity. Trying to record one of my own songs brings me heaps of new respect for those who do it for a living.

Another thing that fascinates me is the recording software and the amazing number of features available to manipulate audio tracks. I pretty much understand a microphone and a way to record the signal, but only rudimentary details beyond that; and I went to school to learn recording technology, …a lot of years ago now. Watching someone who knows the software, glide through the menus and coax all sorts of creative results from the clicks and drags, is mind boggling for me, partly because I know some of what is happening and how beyond me it would be to accomplish the task on my own.

I am lucky to have the friend and his resources. Now to synchronize my song with my slide show… It is less than a week from my chance to premier it to its target audience.

Written by johnwhays

August 7, 2009 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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