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Nemaara Offline OP
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Like the title says. I've been recording a bunch of stuff and it seems like it often takes me around 4-5 takes before I find one that I think is okay? I'm not sure what's common for studios to do, but I remember hearing that there's some people like John Ogden who just showed up and only took one take for any recording yeeeek.

Anyway just wondering what other people tend to do? Many takes, just one, something in between?

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There's not much point in comparing yourself to musical genius like John Ogdon. OTOH some great pianists have been known to take 10 or 20 takes for a recording.

The number of takes also depends on how fussy one is about the final recording. IOW there is no meaningful answer to your question. There are only individual responses from a handful of PW posters.

You need to take however many takes necessary to achieve your desired result. If the number seems very large, it may mean you should practice the piece more before trying to record it.

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Too many. grin

It's sometimes said that we might as well just do 2 takes, because the 2nd one is by far the one that most commonly gets used.
I think it's true for me.

And there's a logic to it.
The 1st take is sort of warm-up.
After the 2nd take, we might be sort of stale and going through motions.
(By the 10th take, it all feels kinda like nonsense syllables.) ha

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How many takes? As many as it takes!

Regards,


BruceD
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Originally Posted by BruceD
How many takes? As many as it takes!

Regards,
Exactly!

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Watch the first 90 seconds of this cool



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Looking wherever for guidance doesn't hurt, and it can help.

It has helped me.

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Originally Posted by JaneF
Watch the first 90 seconds of this cool


Fantastic share, thank you!

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Up to 5 a day on 1 piece. If you have too many issues, work on the piece before doing more recordings. Even after you finished the final take, you may find something you don't like.

And there are early recordings of a piece that you played to the best of your ability and later takes of the same piece when you know better ways of playing it. You may not be able to perform a piece at full tempo at first but a few months or years later managed to get it up to the ideal tempo. 😁

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Originally Posted by JaneF
Watch the first 90 seconds of this cool

Thanks for the vid it was pretty neat! cool


Originally Posted by Mark_C
Too many. grin

It's sometimes said that we might as well just do 2 takes, because the 2nd one is by far the one that most commonly gets used.
I think it's true for me.

And there's a logic to it.
The 1st take is sort of warm-up.
After the 2nd take, we might be sort of stale and going through motions.
(By the 10th take, it all feels kinda like nonsense syllables.) ha

Yes! I find myself taking the second take for most of the easier pieces, but occasionally for a hard one (ahem certain Chopin etudes...) one of the later ones turns out better eeek.

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What a great video! It really saddens me that we expect such perfection in recordings now that there might be hundreds of edits during the production. Not only does it put a lot of pressure on musicians, but it provides a false reality of the actual music.

I’m glad that the recordings provided here on Pianoworld are not spliced or edited. IMHO, even professional recordings should be a ‘moment in time’, but I realize that ship sailed a long time ago. 😿


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Originally Posted by BruceD
How many takes? As many as it takes!

Regards,


I totally agree with this. I have done hundreds for just one piece. Dogperson has a good point tho - it is really sad that we think we need a perfect recording. And many times when I go back and listen to some of the recordings I've rejected I end up liking some of them anyway....

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When I did a professional recording (audio + video) a few years ago for a piano website, I simply repeated the same piece a few times, then chose the best take. There was no splicing or editing of any sort - every take was a complete performance.

I don't think I repeated any piece more than three times.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Originally Posted by dogperson
What a great video! It really saddens me that we expect such perfection in recordings now that there might be hundreds of edits during the production. Not only does it put a lot of pressure on musicians, but it provides a false reality of the actual music.

I’m glad that the recordings provided here on Pianoworld are not spliced or edited. IMHO, even professional recordings should be a ‘moment in time’, but I realize that ship sailed a long time ago. 😿

Thanks for saying this, it's actually pretty encouraging! smile

Honestly I've been finding that I get kind of stiff/anxious when recording since I'm trying to play too "perfectly" rather than letting the music come more naturally even with mistakes. I guess that was my expectation listening to modern pro recordings but I guess that is kind of the state of things right now?

Last edited by Nemaara; 01/26/22 06:15 PM.
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Originally Posted by Nemaara
Originally Posted by dogperson
What a great video! It really saddens me that we expect such perfection in recordings now that there might be hundreds of edits during the production. Not only does it put a lot of pressure on musicians, but it provides a false reality of the actual music.

I’m glad that the recordings provided here on Pianoworld are not spliced or edited. IMHO, even professional recordings should be a ‘moment in time’, but I realize that ship sailed a long time ago. 😿

Thanks for saying this, it's actually pretty encouraging! smile

Honestly I've been finding that I get kind of stiff/anxious when recording since I'm trying to play too "perfectly" rather than letting the music come more naturally even with mistakes. I guess that was my expectation listening to modern pro recordings but I guess that is kind of the state of things right now?


Haven’t you ever rejected your own recording before playing it back, snd then when you listen to it, you can’t even hear all of the note errors you thought you had? Whether a recording or a performance, normal listeners are not listening for errors, but listening for the overall effect of the music. My advice: Concentrate on the actual musicality and not the note accurate.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Note errors are definitely part of it, I'm still trying to make my brain not nitpick those as much. But there's the other aspect where when I'm knowingly playing on record, it feels like I hyperfocus on controlling each phrase a bunch and I feel like that often makes me lose the "bigger picture" of the piece (I guess you could say it sounds a bit manufactured?). There's a couple times my mom secretly recorded me on her phone without telling me and audio quality aside, I thought the playing was a lot more natural. Just can't seem to do that when I knowingly make a setup to record. Not sure if anyone else has this as well?

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Originally Posted by Nemaara
Note errors are definitely part of it, I'm still trying to make my brain not nitpick those as much. But there's the other aspect where when I'm knowingly playing on record, it feels like I hyperfocus on controlling each phrase a bunch and I feel like that often makes me lose the "bigger picture" of the piece (I guess you could say it sounds a bit manufactured?). There's a couple times my mom secretly recorded me on her phone without telling me and audio quality aside, I thought the playing was a lot more natural. Just can't seem to do that when I knowingly make a setup to record. Not sure if anyone else has this as well?

This is really common--over on the Adult Beginners forum they call it 'red dot syndrome,' which induces constrained playing as well as errors. It's a form of performance anxiety.


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Why do you record?

If it's as a snapshot of a moment's feeling, that's one thing. If it's as a sanity check on your skill/progress, that's one thing. If it's a competitive test to see how skillfully you can play for X minutes without error, that's one thing.

If it's to create something of beauty to the best of your current aesthetics, what's wrong with edits?

I recall reading that audiences in Japan were startled in the years after The War when Western artists started doing live concerts there. They were so accustomed to the perfection of recordings that actually hearing a Famous One hit a wrong note was shocking.

A live concert recording also memorializes one given moment/experience. (Although even Horowitz's "live unedited" recordings were supposedly edited. https://www.artsjournal.com/uq/2015/10/the-real-vladimir-horowitz.html)

I can see why people may want something that will be listened to over and over to be much more sanitized.

As always, YMMV.


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Originally Posted by JaneF
A live concert recording also memorializes one given moment/experience.
I've been studying Jan Ekier's Introduction to the Polish National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin - Part 2 - Performance Issues and was surprised to read this in a section on Chopin's (legendary, "utterly original," reputedly "impossible to imitate") rubato:

Quote
[O]ur conception of Chopin’s rubato is hindered by our awareness of the well-known fact, confirmed many times by listeners to his playing, that Chopin never performed one of his works the same way twice, even if he played it several times in a row[.]

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Classical recordings have been heavily edited since tape took over in the 1940s. It's just the way things are done.

Heavily edited live recordings raise a few questions, as there is an implication that no editing has taken place. I have an old Richter live recording where some notes go out of tune, and then correct themselves before the piece is over. Richter also played some of his studio performances straight through once and then left the studio.

In the Zimerman video I remember seeing a second bench appear in the background.

Last edited by johnstaf; 01/27/22 08:43 PM.
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