Mistakes and takes

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Just wondering what people's approaches are towards small recording mistakes. 

I'm recording for fun and to improve myself as a musician. I have decided to never quantize or pitchcorrect so as I learn to sing and play tighter. I tend to record in sections with often a lot of takes but have wondered if some mistakes actually improve the sound. 

I'm not talking about a blatantly wrong chord sticking out, or a misfretted note in a melody section, but the odd enharmonic. blatant string noise or a slightly louder note within a riff. I've found myself leaving some of the warts in, even though I could put in a "better" take.

It's this an approach you share? Or is this the type of thing that you hate hearing? How do you balance the pressure for a "perfect" take and making things still sound and feel natural?
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  • JasonJason Frets: 305
    I like it real, there is a bum note in Howlin Wolf's Spoonful, it doesn't detract from the song at all for me, it makes it human, where as the Def Leppard approach leaves me cold, I guess it comes down to personal taste.
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  • IMC1980IMC1980 Frets: 16
    Leave the little errors in there, unless it affects something like a doubled guitar part (i don't do these myself, I am way to sloppy a player) and makes it sound weird, then they add character to a track, especially if that take has the right feel to it. I have in the past cut sections out that have contained pick noises etc. but then ended up undoing the cut and paste job because it lost something through the process. Have you got a link to your stuff? You ROTM entry last month was killer.

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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11568
    I never quantize or pitch-correct either - if it's not right, it gets played again.

    As for little errors...it really depends if they fit with the other parts. If it sounds messy, or out of time (especially in fast muted sections) then it gets played again.

    Fortunately, Reaper's bloody wonderful for managing multiple takes - just record "over" the original part several times, and pick the best bits if necessary.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • oafoaf Frets: 165
    It's really easy to spend hours editing and mucking about with things (and not get much done/down). Some days I force myself to go with every first take and it really helps progress. Obviously the better your technique the better this approach works(!) but having said that it can be surprising how what sounded rough one day sounds fine on another (and vice versa).

    You can always rerecord a part that's a bit rough but musically good, but if you never get your musical ideas down in the first place...
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 11568
    Probably worth noting that I'll always gravitate towards the last take, and just replace bits that are obviously massively out of place.
    "Mains is ouchy if you get it up you" - Sporky
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2581
    I never quantize and like to play all through a song for takes. I will however copy and paste afterwards in one or two places where there is a bum note. 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3535

    In the studio I used to spend way more time putting drums in time and vocals on pitch then I ever did actually tracking music. I wouldn't do it now, the end product was a soulless piece of music that the band couldn't reproduce live and it didn't really represent them or how they sounded. 
    I don't miss those days at all
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • fastonebazfastonebaz Frets: 148
    I find it takes me so many takes to get one I'm vaguely happy with that invariably there's never a perfect take and by that time I'm exhausted so i leave warts in.  I prefer to try to play my solos in one take as when i get rich and famous performing to thousands of screaming fans they'll expect me to play it all in one go live.  Lol
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 862
    Im a bit of a stickler for Bass and vocals being tight and accurate, guitars and rums Im not so fussy.  


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
    Presonus Studio One Pro.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1674
    The pleasure of musical performance is that the players constantly adjust and compensate. Both pitch and timing. So too in recording.

    IMO Glaring errors, which disturb the flow, need to be sorted. My preference is to play it again, rather than drop in notes.

    Quantizing and correcting pitch take soul out of the sound.
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 2581
    Just a random thought. Vocals aside (voice gets tired) I've often found the best takes are at the start when you have a great loose vibe, or at the end, when the parts need discipline and you've gradually found little solutions to make all the bridge sections flow and keep things tight. 
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6775
    edited March 16
    It’s all about the end aesthetic you want.  And everyone has their own ideal kind of aesthetic for their own music, so go with your own tastes.

    It's one of those things that really varies by genre and time period too.  You pretty much won't hear an out of tune vocal in EDM/modern pop, or hear an out of time drummer in a modern metal band.  But for more raw styles like blues or classic rock things being too tight and perfectly in tune doesn't generally sound right.  Even artists within the same genres will have their own kind of levels of what vibe they want from tightness/perfection vs raw/real.

    As far as I'm concerned editing or not is a taste decision, not a moral decision.  A recording is different to a live performance, and well if a person is comping between multiple takes the recorded performance is edited anyway.

    However, in my opinion what sounds the best generally comes from a good take in the first place.  Anything beyond that depends on whether or not it is needed for the end result a person wants.

    My opinion, don't over think it and try to make your music sound the way you want it to.  If your goal is to use your recordings to improve yourself as a musician then leaving it raw will let you know where you're at with your technique at this moment, and you should see improvements over time.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 367
    It’s all about the end aesthetic you want.  And everyone has their own ideal kind of aesthetic for their own music, so go with your own tastes.

    My opinion, don't over think it and try to make your music sound the way you want it to.  If your goal is to use your recordings to improve yourself as a musician then leaving it raw will let you know where you're at with your technique at this moment, and you should see improvements over time.

    That makes a lot of sense. As does the other advice. I'm thinking I'll keep concentrating on getting the takes, trying to play longer sections as I get more experienced,  less time editing and not worrying too much about tiny mistakes.

    It's reassuring to hear that we've pretty much all got the same attitude even if approaches differ. This forum is a very useful place. 
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 367
    IMC1980 said:
    Leave the little errors in there, unless it affects something like a doubled guitar part (i don't do these myself, I am way to sloppy a player) and makes it sound weird, then they add character to a track, especially if that take has the right feel to it. I have in the past cut sections out that have contained pick noises etc. but then ended up undoing the cut and paste job because it lost something through the process. Have you got a link to your stuff? You ROTM entry last month was killer.
    Yeah. That's been my thought too.

    Do you only single track your guitar parts? Your ROTMs sound great. The last two have been belters. 

    And cheers. I've almost finished making a full song out of that riff. Will post a link when I'm done. There's not a huge amount of content on my soundcloud just now as I only started recording over the winter but it'll build up hopefully over time 
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  • IMC1980IMC1980 Frets: 16
    IMC1980 said:
    Leave the little errors in there, unless it affects something like a doubled guitar part (i don't do these myself, I am way to sloppy a player) and makes it sound weird, then they add character to a track, especially if that take has the right feel to it. I have in the past cut sections out that have contained pick noises etc. but then ended up undoing the cut and paste job because it lost something through the process. Have you got a link to your stuff? You ROTM entry last month was killer.
    Yeah. That's been my thought too.

    Do you only single track your guitar parts? Your ROTMs sound great. The last two have been belters. 

    And cheers. I've almost finished making a full song out of that riff. Will post a link when I'm done. There's not a huge amount of content on my soundcloud just now as I only started recording over the winter but it'll build up hopefully over time 
    Yeah, I do dual mic on my full songs with a 57 and a Rode NT2A, but it is only ever one take. The ROTM clips are always just a 57 and one track for each part. I was pleased with the sound of that last ROTM clip, it had a nice chunky feel to it.

    I'll look forward to hearing your stuff, the riff you put up sounding like you have been recording for much longer!

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 2781
    Plenty of famous recordings have glaring mistakes in them. These have been released regardless because the take with the clam had something about it that other takes lacked.

    For example, popular wordsmith, Robert Zimmerman, fluffs his own lyrics during "I Want You" on the album, Blonde On Blonde. No matter. The vibe is there. Maybe the session time was running out? I do not profess to know how many other takes were attempted. 
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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  • flying_pieflying_pie Frets: 367
    Plenty of famous recordings have glaring mistakes in them. These have been released regardless because the take with the clam had something about it that other takes lacked.

    For example, popular wordsmith, Robert Zimmerman, fluffs his own lyrics during "I Want You" on the album, Blonde On Blonde. No matter. The vibe is there. Maybe the session time was running out? I do not profess to know how many other takes were attempted. 
    On the subject of studio time, I recall a story that the producer for Number Of The Beast by Iron Maiden had Bruce Dickinson sing the intro i that song about 200 times without allowing him to do the scream at the end. The scream on the track is the first one that he was allowed to do.
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