On Thu, 16 Mar 2006, steven c wrote:

> Well, I can give you my take...from a fairly odd perspective. I have
> had a couple of opportunities to be a "recording artist" (popular
> music, not classical) and I have found that as soon as musicians
> find out the opportunity for "changes via edit" exists, they
> immediately discover a near-infinite number of "flaws" in their
> solos which need to be corrected!

Having been on both sides of the microphone as well, I have found an odd
transformation takes place. You hear things you never heard before...of
course you can't hear them while you are playing, you are usually too busy
making the notes instead of listening to them as a audience would.

> It also seems to me that the best method of recording, if you want
> records which really represent the sound of the artist/band/group,
> is what is called "live off the floor"...simply play the music with
> the recording device running, and no second takes unless there is a
> major error in the playing or recording. Even more than two takes
> of a number will produce a noticeable loss of spontaneity, becoming
> "going through the motions!"

Many years ago the conductor Erich Leinsdorf wrote a wonderful article on
that very subject. I agree completely that the spontaneity is usually lost
in the process of making a studio recording and that a studio recording
says less about true performance practice...and for making,
than the "live" recording. As I type this I am reminded of those old
recordings of live television drama. For me, there was so much more
humanity there...similarly, we can look at a retouched photo of our
favorite celebrity and then when we see them in person, warts and all, we are
disappointed...yet, I wonder if we have lost the ability to appreciate
their humanity, warts and all...I guess I find the warts with the good to
make for more interesting listening...and with most early recording being
a single take...making early recordings in general, more exciting to
hear...even with the added warts of the surface noise.