Listening to Old Recordings of yourself...

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Peter Rarebit, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Peter Rarebit

    Peter Rarebit Tele-Meister

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    I listen to my own recordings as a way to learn/improve. Around 1986 my friend had a cassette tape 4 track that we used, and then I did reel-to-reel in college, from 1988-1994 or so- mastered to cassette. None of that stuff survived. Nothing I did that was on cassette still exists.

    Starting around 2004 I got my own digital 4-track and started putting out MP3s. In 2012 or so I switched to Garageband for iPad. I still have all of this stuff. Now I put a lot of stuff on Soundcloud.

    Anyhow, the point is- I listen to my old stuff and sometimes I go, "man, that was terrible- I could do way better now. I could have/should have panned/Eq'd/got more volume, tuned my guitar.. etc"

    This is true even for recordings I was proud of just a few months ago.

    And then sometimes I'll listen to an even older recording and go "wow! How'd I do THAT!"

    I had a break in playing- from about 1994-2001 I didn't even own any instruments. I was in the military, and it just seemed like I didn't have room in my life for it. I sold off a Gibson Corvus during that time too, which I am still regretting.
     
  2. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yup, frustrating to hear something later on and regret descisions made at the time that were wrong or the right ones executed poorly... Sound Cloud can be a virtual hall of shame sometimes..
    Then, there are those happy accidents that there is no way you could repeat in a million years... on the same recordings...
    I've seen many guys here actually re-record years old songs because they advance to a level that they want to take another swing at it...
     
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  3. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a fair bit of 'how did I do that?', both 'wow, I could play that?' and 'oh, god, what was I thinking'. It's instructive to hear the phrasing, the tone and the musicality get better and worse. It's painful, and it's happy - memories flood back. And sometimes they don't.
     
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  4. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    I always have mixed emotions ... "wow, I can't believe I attempted that!" vs "dang, wish I'd known what clipping was back then!" and so forth. It's funny to listen to some of my old Tascam stuff through headphones — you can hear punch-ins popping like a string of firecrackers! But it didn't bother me to take chances creatively because I knew I'd never achieve pro-caliber production; I was just trying to make real what I heard in my head. Since jumping aboard the digital train about eight years ago, I've remade probably a dozen of those projects with good results.
     
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  5. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I found some old cassettes of me playing back in the 80s.

    It's kind of like watching a kid run around the neighborhood without really knowing the neighborhood.
     
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  6. Gunerius

    Gunerius Tele-Holic

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    I listen to old tapes and recordings once in a while. And more often than not I find something interesting that I use in some sort of way. Like for instance I recorded an original gospel blues tune on my 1/4 inch reel to reel mono recorder while I was preparing for this art exhibition and I found it some time later but it was playing in a higher speed and also very very wobbly, and I remember thinking, that sounds like Daniel Johnson singing the song he inspired me to write! I only took the title and a lyrical vampire reference but it felt like it was full circle.
    I also tens to record short pieces on my phone and really dig the lo fi quality of those recordings. I like to use them as interludes on albums.
    I don't know where I am going with this but I often get inspired by younger me even if he's only a year younger sometimes.

    Also, there are lots of times I think omg what happened there?! Why did I overdub 3 vocals out of tune or play that poor poor saxophone solo?! But I move away from the wrong notes and flips and glitches and take away something useful.
     
  7. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been meaning to pick up an old Tascam or other cassette 4 track for years to listen back to a box of tapes up in the closet that I did back in the 90's to early 2000's. Mostly just because I forgot a lot of music that I know I recorded and would like to bring some of the decent ones into the catalog, and maybe rework some of the crappier ones. Hopefully all the music hasn't fallen off of the tapes yet. Lol.
     
  8. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

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    Going back and watching 10 year old live video of myself has been interesting.

    I stay sober and keep my shirt on alot more these days.
     
  9. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I have tapes of gigs dating back to 1972. I wish I had the fluidity that I had then. Also, I am surprised when I incorporate a reference to another artist who I can't believe I was aware of back then. For example, at the start of my friend Allen's guitar solo, I could hear my voice saying, "Ahhhh, Allen!" I never owned many records, so I must have paid close attention to things that sort of popped out, such as those Bob Wills "Ahhh, Leon" moments.
     
  10. teleblueman

    teleblueman Tele-Meister

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    For me it's kind of bitter sweet.. When I was in a gigging band playing all originals back in the '80's we taped every show, and we also had a pretty big following. When I listen to those cassettes today I think...Wow, I sure squeezed a lot of mileage out of the minor pentatonic scale! Some shows were inspirational even to this day, and some shows were truly "cringeworthy". Once we got a gig to play a birthday party at a ski resort. When we got there we found out it was a birthday party for a 12 year old with a pony/ bouncy house, & clowns........Anyway, the bass player got drunk & disorderly, I wound up getting into a fistfight with him right on stage.
    Needless to say we got fired from that gig. But the memories are awesome.
    I learned a couple of years ago that the bass player died in a car accident in 2008, and our lead singer /songwriter died from sepsis in 1999.
    Anyway, what was the question??
     
  11. allen082

    allen082 Friend of Leo's

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    I think I'm in the same boat as you guys. Some of my first stuff from college, early 2000's, I can't listen to, but then there's also stuff I couldn't be more proud of.
     
  12. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Tele-Holic

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    I have tapes dating back to my first months playing back in 1976, I've converted the better ones to CDs and cleaned them up in the process.

    I'm amazed mainly at my older stuff, for the little bit of knowledge I had back then I really got my moneys worth out of it on the fret board.

    I have a tape of the day I brought home my new Twin Reverb and black Gibson Explorer back in 1977.

    With about a year of learning under my belt I tore the hell out of it on the Explorer and had the Twin peeling the paint off the walls.

    I ran a rhythm machine into the Twin for some accompaniment, and I just cut loose for 20 minutes.

    To this day that is one of those old sessions I can listen to and sit back and I just smile.....
     
  13. Peter Rarebit

    Peter Rarebit Tele-Meister

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    It just occurred to me that there *is* a recording of me at the very beginning of my musical career in 1986.. uhm, on youtube (no I won't provide a link, it's terrible). I just played it and realized I am still recycling a guitar riff to this day.
     
  14. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    my usual thought is why didn't I use a tuner !
     
  15. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I found a couple of cassettes of old night club recordings in my basement a few years ago, and popped them into a boom box. My playing sounded so band (and drunk) - I would bend notes and miss the target pitch, I kept repeating the same licks over and over, and would hit wrong notes. My tone sounded great though - it was a Les Paul Standard through a MESA/Boogie Studio Preamp straight to the board. I threw the tapes in the trash and forgot about them, until a bandmate passed away not long ago and his family was looking for recordings of him. I felt bad because I was the only one who had those tapes, but on the other hand, it would not have been the best way to remember him - playing with a lead guitarist that sucked. But yeah, I definitely see where I've improved over the years.
     
  16. woodman

    woodman Grand Wazoo @ The Woodshed Gold Supporter

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    Haha! Reminds me of 1974, when I invested the then-astronomical sum of $210 (about a grand in 2016 dollars) in a Conn Strobo-Tuner ... we immediately became the best band in town! People would come up and say, "wow, you guys must really be rehearsing, you're sounding great!"
     
  17. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm mostly surprised at how the arrangements of some songs have changed thru the years when I
    listen to old recordings of songs I still play now.
     
  18. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

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    That's my experience, too. Apart from some old band recordings that were justly condemned to oblivion, I usually record stuff to capture ideas on the fly. Months later, most of it doesn't even rank as terrible. And then sometimes I'll listen to something and be pleasantly surprised.

    At least I can hear a little progress.
     
  19. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    We would sometimes record our gigs on a stereo reel-to-reel, so I got used to hearing how we sounded. At one point, a friend's brother returned from Viet Nam with a 4-track recorder, and we recorded 5 of our best songs, including our rendition of this Larry Coryell tune:



    Over a long career, it is nice to be able to go back and listen to your best stuff, especially during those terrible moments of doubt, wondering if you have been fooling yourself all along.
     
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  20. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ha Woody ! My first tuner was an Ibanez or something like that , it cost about $100. I remember playing and saying to myself wow..there really is something to these things !

    The playing wasn't any better but at least it was closer to being in tune ! Kinda like now ! :)
     
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