Any other non-perfectionists out there?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by naveed211, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ll admit, I don’t usually have the patience (or skill or confidence?) to get a part like nailed perfectly. It doesn’t stop me from posting music or videos of myself, but there are flubs in pretty much everything I do, sometimes subtle sometimes noticeable.

    I don’t post anything that I consider played so terribly it’d be unlistenable, but I also don’t keep mistakes in for “vibe” or “keeping it real/authentic/earthy,” either. Just don’t care to do a million takes of anything.

    I’m definitely not a perfectionist outside of guitar playing, either. Like I know if something is not perfect, but if it’s functional then I feel good...enough. You don’t want me working on your house or your appliances....

    Anyone else not super anal about their recordings being perfect?
     
  2. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am more concerned with the overall vibe and mojo of a performance—recorded, live or otherwise—than I am with attaining “perfection.”

    Some of the greatest recordings and performances of all time have errors, mistakes and muffs in them...rarely do they detract, and often they add to the finished product.

    Many/most of my favorite artists are perfectly imperfect in their technique and style.
     
  3. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    For sure. Sometimes I try to correct a single clam using audio warp or pitch shift but that can be frustrating in and of itself. It's become less of an issue as my playing got a bit more solid, and perhaps more importantly, I don't try to record things that are at the edge of what I can actually do.
     
  4. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I am with you 100%. Just play, and enjoy playing. My favorite recordings are from bands that feel this way: like the Rolling Stones, for example.
     
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  5. Buell

    Buell Tele-Meister

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    That's me to a T.
    I am so sick of hearing over-produced, perfect bullcrap. I want raw, energetic, punk, garage-sound rock-n-roll! I want my recordings to sound professional, but I've stopped myself from turning them into fluffy cake!
     
  6. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Definitely, close enough is close enough. It is too tedious to follow along to a tab, and frankly why would I want to try to duplicate something a famous artist does? I don't play like them, I don't think like them, I don't hear what they hear. Just have fun with the instrument.
     
  7. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    In a live performance the clams just go by and are forgotten. But in a recording every time you hear that clam it can really grate on the nerves. So if I play a completely wrong note in a recording I definitely go back in and overdub it. Takes just a couple of minutes. I'm not seeking perfection, and definitely want to capture the live energy of what is 99.9% a one-take recording, but if there is something that really sticks out as a clashing note or flub then I go ahead and fix it.
     
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  8. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    If I try to be a perfectionist, I would never finish a recording. I'm simply not good enough to play the stuff I write perfectly. I do spend a lot of time trying to get as close as I can. Almost perfect has to be good enough for me.
     
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  9. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    Oh, yeah. To paraphrase the Stones, my approach to recording is "Let It Bleed."

    If you listen critically to '60s and '70s rock (you know, the stuff that everyone agrees is the best music EVER), there are mistakes all over those records that would give today's recordists a coronary. We still revere those songs/albums though, because the performances resonate with us and a few technical boo-boos don't get in the way.

    Listen to the solo on Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker"- no one would even consider keeping that take today, but in 1969 Page realized it worked and there was no point going further. I remember hearing that song for the first time in the '80s when the shredwank movement was in full swing and thinking "man, this guy sucks!" But then, I realized it had some quality to it that the clinical, warp speed buzzsaw guitar playing of the day lacked, and I wanted to hear more.

    You can extrapolate that to recording in general. A guy who had been a recording engineer in the '80s once said he thought that his gated reverb '80s drum sounds were so much better than those dead, dry drum sounds of the '60s and '70s until he quit doing blow, then he realized how great those old Stones and Zeppelin records really sounded, and how thin and 1-dimensional the '80s production sound was.

    Don't get me started on the analog/digital thing, but I think the real disadvantage to modern recording is that it puts the focus on technical nitpicking and exercising an unnecessary degree of granular control over the process, and away from the music. Once people started lining drums up to a grid, we were all doomed.

     
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  10. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    Sometimes good enough is good enough. We recorded a demo before the plague and I reminded the band, "Focus on what we're trying to accomplish - a demo that let's a club owner decide if he wants to hire us or not. We're not putting out a recording for the ages."
     
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  11. FortyEight

    FortyEight Tele-Meister

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    I'm so glad I'm not alone. I'm in the camp that it's not my goal to have a perfect take. Just one that works. Sometimes mistakes make something a bit interesting. No doubt some mistakes I don't live with and will try again.

    I did some recording of a bass line yesterday and did 5 takes. I don't really like to go much longer than that. If so I may need to try a different day. I do practice my lines before hand but I don't even always practice them to death. Every once in a while I fly by the seat of my pants and something will be very new and still work out. I figure that's just God helping me out and then it feels really special. But for sure it's not always that easy.

    But yeah, I personally think that when music is made to the point of perfection, it loses some humility and relatability. Because it's like if you have to do a bunch of takes to get it right, then is it even real? LOL. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure there are dudes out there that have a knack for getting stuff really good and right the first few times.

    I feel I can pull this off at times but not typically. I usually am like this with vocals cuz to me getting my voice to do what I want is easier than getting my hands to do what I want. For me it's more natural. The problems come in the fact that I'm susceptible to allergies and my voice can take a hit these times of the year and then I might be flat and crackly. Grrrrrrrr.....

    Lemon water, ginger and even peppermint chewing gum can help. But I prefer to just not have those issues but I am really susceptible to this and it's annoying. Middle of summer and winter I struggle much less with a messed up voice and I'm like wooooohoooooo!!!!
     
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  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It honestly depends on the mood I'm in and what my particular goals are at the time. Sometimes I'm mainly concerned with getting the basic ideas in my head down before I forget them, and other times I start my session with the game plan of going deep and spending the whole day chasing perfection.

    When I'm in "Chasing Perfection Mode," it's usually because I'm stressed out from work and need something to focus all of my attention on for an extended period in order to hit the old mental reset button. I can easily spend four hours working on a drum track and enjoy every moment of it.
     
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  13. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I obsessively redo and redo, but my limited skills keep me from perfection. That repetition can suck the life out of the recording, but for me the alternative would simply be embarrassing. You need to be really tight with your playing skills in order to play loose, if that makes any sense. A loose feel can be affected with the addition of live percussion, and I always use live drums, so that gives it an organic base that provides a certain degree of looseness. But, otherwise, I reserve my looseness for the scratch track. At the moment, I'm contemplating recording repeated scratch tracks for a song and comping the vocal for the final mix, because I think I'll sing it better as I play guitar.
     
  14. stormsedge

    stormsedge Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I once worked for a guy who was fond of saying "good enough is the enemy of perfect"...to which I'd answer "yes sir, and in two hours it will be three days late". Do it, move on.
     
  15. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I wish I could get it done in five takes. With bass and lead guitar, I do take after take of each section, deleting takes I don't like and redoing them. It's not unusual to have 30 saved takes. It's also my practice, because I'm unlikely to be playing bass or lead guitar unless I'm recording. With bass, I'll make sure the waveform lines up with the drum hits and move them if they don't.
     
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  16. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like, "It's better than good -- it's finished!"
     
  17. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Absolutely agree with this. Unfortunately, you're often competing with bands that have done just that. Personally, I'd much rather give the club a demo that lets them know exactly what to expect. But I've heard many demos that clearly were done more as a release than a demo.
     
  18. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Great video from Rick (as usual). Click tracks are great for tightening things up, and for practice. But in the studio, they serve the process more than they serve the song.
     
  19. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I almost always lay down a scratch bass track with the keyboard (using a plug-in virtual bass), which seems to more often than not wind up being the track I use anyway. It's much easier to snap it to the grid in the piano roll (as a MIDI track) than it is to muck about aligning a waveform. That's one area where I do always want perfection-the bass and kick need to be tight.
     
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  20. Skully

    Skully Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm sure you're a much better keyboardist (and bassist) than I am. I really don't like working with MIDI. Traditionally, I've used it for synth and drum loops for recording scratch guitar and vocals, but these days I'm just as likely to use live drums for a scratch loop, because it's so much easier to hit on the beat, with a degree of nuance and character. It's much, much easier for me to edit waveforms. I can read them, cut them, reduce or raise the volume of notes or sections very easily. MIDI notes tend to get squirelly on me.
     
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