Overcoming emotional barriers to recording yourselfgreenspun.com : LUSENET : To Hear Ourselves As Others Hear Us : One Thread
Here's a snippet of a conversation that James Boyk and I were having, that he asked me to post here.
The interesting thing in my experience, is that there's an > "emotional/physchological" peice you have to get over in using recording > gear. There is such an expectation of perfection around recorded music due > to all the splicing done for commercial releases, that people feel they have > to be perfect to record. > > I found I had to just turn the recorder on, and just practice. The gear > doesn't know whether you are good or bad, but somehow there's a perception > that it expects perfection. In reality of course, the point is to hear, > listen, and work for an improvement toward the music. If you step back and > think about it, its pretty silly, but I think the phenomenon is real for a > lot of musicians. > > At first we can be almost intimidated, but with a little repetition, the > mics/gear are just as ordinary as a piano bench, or a cello tuning peg. We > use them, but aren't consciously aware of them - they become just tools to > get the job done. > > - Nathanael
-- Nathanael Iversen (email@example.com), July 13, 2002
Very wise remarks, if I may say so. I wish I could get all musicians to share your understanding!
-- James Boyk (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 04, 2002.
----"There is such an expectation of perfection around recorded music due to all the splicing done for commercial releases, that people feel they have to be perfect to record. I found I had to just turn the recorder on, and just practice. The gear doesn't know whether you are good or bad, but somehow there's a perception that it expects perfection. In reality of course, the point is to hear, listen, and work for an improvement toward the music."
But it's obvious to me that it's not the gear that is bothering musicians who use it, but the musicians' own ears! And minds.
It's the musician who expects 'perfection' (immediately). Instead of accepting the problems that will result and then working to improve them, it's difficult emotionally to actually hear the problems coming from the musicians them/ourselves.
One reason? The emphasis on (mechanical) 'performance' rather than on the music itself. Instead of concentrating on what the music may be saying (in our interpretation of it), we will concentrate on trying to do it "perfectly." And the resulting sound is exactly a reflection of that effort.
I tried to do a status recording the other day of a piece I have been learning. After several starts that produced some horror in me as to the problems I heard in everything I was doing, I decided to just play it, problems and all, accepting them, and deciding, after identifying them even more after hearing the results, to work on improving the execution so that I might actually get what I heard in my mind (rather than what i am able to produce currently).
It's not the gear. It's our own unreal expectations and even dislike when we hear things not exactly to a standard we may hold today but which can change tomorrow. But more, it's attention to 'performance' (needed as we go along) rather than to the music itself (and the sounding of it0. It can't be done all at once, but too often we expect a sort of perfection at the beginning of our travels. It tends to be about us rather than about the music.
-- Andrys Basten (email@example.com), June 13, 2004.