Author Topic: Recording is so hard  (Read 270 times)

February 28, 2020, 07:31:26 AM
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Recording is so hard
« on: February 28, 2020, 07:31:26 AM »
Its been a long time since I last recorded anything and recently I tried to record myself playing the other day, when as soon as the recording session started I was reminded of why I dont really record very often. Because recording is hard. I eventually got through it though it was not easy let me tell you...

I reckon Im quite good at playing the songs Ive learnt well and I have no trouble performing in front of a crowd or playing for other people. But when you record its like you sit down in front of the camera and you forget everything you ever knew about the song youre recording. All the while the only thought going on in my mind is trying to get to the end hoping to not mess up.

Something quite amusing is I went through all the failed recordings and on about half of them I dont notice what the crippling 'game over' mistake was in them that made me stop the recording and start again.

Am I the only one like this or do you get similar experiences? Id also like to know everyone else's experiences with recording performances, if youre keen to share!

February 28, 2020, 07:59:05 AM
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Re: Recording is so hard
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2020, 07:59:05 AM »
Yeah, I have to agree with you.  I've never really tried performing publicly, although I have played in the presence of family members, but I record a lot and the process is really annoying to me.

I think I overthink things too much and eventually get too caught up in the negative feelings I get from messing up constantly.  I do, however, notice the mistakes all too much despite people watching the videos saying they don't notice any.

I like to think I'm getting better at it but in reality I'll probably always be bad at it.  I've had 50 attempts at a piece before and even the final one isn't amazing.

February 28, 2020, 10:09:18 AM
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Re: Recording is so hard
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2020, 10:09:18 AM »
Oh my, this topic. Yes please, haha.

Even after recording covers (as a business, for that matter) for three years, I still get into the mode of trying to finish without messing up. Yes, I know every excruciating mistake that I make when I’m on a take. Yes, I go through the entire process of “is this mistake big enough or should I go on” in my mind when I should be focusing on the show. And yes upon yes, I record on jitters and with fear sometimes.

I think it’s useful to share—lots of my videos keep very major mistakes. For example, in my BW Ending, I basically botched the entire last 20 seconds with uneven runs and entirely missed sections, not to forget missed chords in the left hand:


In my ALttP Ending, I messed up every single take of the closing section, and even with editing (yes, I cheat my audio for the album tracks, no shame here hehe), I couldn’t hide this very obvious note-change which doesn’t make sense for the piano:


And honestly, in most of the more upbeat and rhythmic tracks I do, I rush. I know I rush, and it’s the only thing I hear when I’m editing.

But...having been in this business for a while, I trust that more people will be inspired by the show than those who go bonkers over small errors. After all, the whole purpose of music is to make a show, and the audience probably will not fixate on your mistakes as much as you do.

Which is why I think that, regardless of how badly you think you played, if you got the melody and bass notes right and about 70-80% of the rest of the notes, that qualifies as a good quality take. You can’t possibly be perfect, and the people who tell you that you can be totally in the zone while recording are spouting baloney.

I admit that I’ve been in the zone a few times. It does exist, but very rarely. It only comes when you have the perfect sheet and you’re feeling like a king in the moment of recording, but I’ve never shot an album in this mode before. I think the reality of recording is grindy snd anxious, but once you get your stuff out, you’ll honestly be surprised at how little people know, and how much you can brighten up their lives :)

So yes! Rambly post, but I hope it made the point. Please post your stuff anyway, don’t strive for perfection during the recording stage, and remember that enjoying your show comes before anything else. All the best! ^^
Always thankful for this community and all of you awesome people <3

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March 02, 2020, 10:03:50 AM
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Re: Recording is so hard
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2020, 10:03:50 AM »
ehhhh recording is nice if u have a lot of time - don't try recording when u have to do something in an hour

I think it took me 2 hours to record an ok version of undertale ruins, and that's a relatively simple piece
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March 08, 2020, 03:21:05 PM
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Re: Recording is so hard
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2020, 03:21:05 PM »
GOD YES recording always takes ages, doesn't matter how simple or complex the piece is, or how well you know it, and that nervousness and jitters plays a factor every single time. I'm glad to know we all struggle with it though; Daj I'll have to keep in mind what you said about getting most of it right, because I'm also an extreme perfectionist who struggles with the tiniest mistakes.

I also make things more difficult for myself by playing multiple instruments in a single video, and doing at least three takes for each of them--not to mention the covers that I put on a costume for. And then it takes the same amount of time, if not longer, to edit afterwards, particularly because during the entire process I keep thinking it's not good enough, it's not worth posting because I made XYZ mistake, no one's going to want to watch it, etc.... Low self-confidence is a killer.

For live performances I'm usually playing with a band, so in some ways it's less nerve-wracking because you have the support of the other musicians, although with live recording there's often more that's outside of your control. It's almost a whole different animal. I don't have anything elaborate though, just my camera which I try to position so that there's minimal risk of people standing in front of it or knocking it over (both of which have unfortunately happened).
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March 15, 2020, 09:24:42 PM
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Re: Recording is so hard
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 09:24:42 PM »
hehehe so as someone who gets to experience talking to a lot of musicians from various genres this is actually a really interesting phenomenon.

I too struggle with recording myself perform and find it extremely hard to get a take I'm happy with (maybe learning high level sheets in less than a week doesn't help but...) however I can sit down and perform the same piece in person to people without the same mental difficulties.

My friend (who's a drummer in an indie rock band, and a background in pop-punk) who's done a lot of studio recordings says he finds almost the opposite and says that in his experience, he finds that on stage he gets real nervous but in the studio he goes in fine, and more often than not, records a whole track in one take. He's worked with classically trained musicians before and says they are usually like us, nervous and over critical in the studio but fine to get up on stage and play in front of a crowd.

It's weird. It might help to actually record yourself with a live audience. Get yourself a few friends together, and then set up a mic and camera to record. This could help you? 

May 03, 2020, 07:47:08 PM
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Re: Recording is so hard
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2020, 07:47:08 PM »
I tried to record myself for the first time recently, and YES MY GOD it is surprinsigly stressful. However, I was able to understand my state pretty quickly and to overcome it by just focusing on the piece and on all I already felt when playing it before that moment.

But the point of my post is in the second paragraph. I want to point out Zek's idea to record with a live audience and tell an anecdote of mine. Back in the Halloween weekend, I went to London with some friends to go and buy some things to the Pokémon Center which was open back then. I was waiting with one of them at the train station to return home, and we found a piano. After playing a bit, my friend asked me if he could record me, and I totally said yes. And I had no problem with it. I mean, my interpretation was absolutely HORRIBLE, but it is because I didn't practice piano for like, a month or more at that time, not because of some recording stress whatsoever.
I don't know if it is really relevant, because it is quite different to "let your friend records you" and "asking your friend to record you", but yeah, thought I could share it anyway.