When you record, do you go for "feel" or "no mistakes"?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kesslari, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Feel. If the feel is awesome, minor mistakes aren't a big deal.

    107 vote(s)
  2. No mistakes! None! Editing and overdubs are critical.

    34 vote(s)
  3. I'll overdub to fix flubs, but good enough is good enough.

    63 vote(s)
  4. I repurpose vintage phonographs to record on carrot cylinders.

    11 vote(s)
  5. Other (please comment)

    22 vote(s)
  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    What's your approach to recording (for release)? Does the finished song need to be mistake-free? Do you quantize and move notes to get "perfection"? Do you record a take that sounds and feels good and say "yep, that's it"? Or somewhere in between?

    I ask because I'm typically a "somewhere in between" leaning toward "if it's a good take with good energy and groove, don't mess with it". But I've worked with producers who would go through each beat and nudge the kick drum (or other parts) measure by measure if it wasn't exactly where they wanted it (and this was for a drummer with good groove). And I thought the final product sounded kind of sterile.

    So I'm curious about others' practices and leanings.
    The Owl, oldtech, chaak and 5 others like this.
  2. heatheroo1


    Dec 14, 2009
    Ephrata, PA
    Avigdor, gelinas666, Drzejzi and 31 others like this.
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I'm all for keeping the most natural feel of the music. For the music I've recorded so far, each of the layered tracks is basically one ~15 minute take. If there's a single bum note in there, I'll fix it, but otherwise, I won't do anything to it, no quantizing, no pitch correction.

    I see no point in it if the band is to ever see the stage - either they can play, or they can't. If they can, no need to fix the recording. If not, they have no business being in the studio.
    joebar, The Owl, Dgl44 and 9 others like this.
  4. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    I have never recorded anything but I'd go for both, anyways I find in some genres imperfection is even beneficial and I think the feel is more important.
    Huw Phillips likes this.
  5. Paulabass


    Sep 18, 2017
    I grew up in analog, where fixing a mistake seamlessly was a last resort. I prefer everyone to get the beds perfect in a continuous take. That said, sometimes if the groove is perfect, let it be. EVERYONE knew both guitars were out of tune on Layla, but the groove and energy was 'once in a lifetime'.
  6. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    The only recording I've done with intent to release, was for original jazz fusion stuff. Very difficult music (but very musically rewarding). I always strive to not make mistakes, but when recording, I will tailor my lines to avoid problem areas when recording. Live, I'll be a little more aggressive - mistakes don't linger as much live, but on a recording they are there forever. Yeah a few punch ins here and there, but prefer a clean take - I do lot of our post production work, so am especially aware of how much effort punch ins add to the mastering process.
    Mastermold and RiffwRiter like this.
  7. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Richlands, NC
    Play it with feeling and attitude or it will sound as sterile as the way you performed it. Technology now allows you to erase a mistake on a recording without trashing the whole track.
    Rock on.
    Rezdog, Groove Doctor and Spidey2112 like this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    everyone goes for both, of course, but IME: you can fix a few mistakes. you can't correct what someone doesn't feel.

    in the days of analog: it was way more complicated than the cursor edits of today, but the best engineers were as good with a blade (and other editing skills) to effect the same results as we are used to now. analog actually has some advantages! today (digital) it's just easier --- and a lot quicker!
    Rezdog, Mastermold, 4dog and 8 others like this.
  9. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Mistakes and quantizing are totally different things. I had some serious fights with someone I was working with regarding that a while back. I posted some tracks here too (will again if I can find them)... funk stuff that got DESTROYED by this maniac quantizing all kicks, snares and bass lines. I want nothing to do with that nonsense, and it will never happen with any of my music. If someone is paying me, they can do whatever they want.

    Feel has also always been what's most important to me. There were a few times I messed up badly during a recording, and it sounded awesome so it stayed.
  10. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    In my 20's, I aimed for perfection...

    ... as I aged and got wiser, I soon learned not missing the toilet was an accomplishment in and of itself.
  11. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    Done it both ways depending on producer and engineer. I had guys make me and a drummer do 30 takes and then use the third one. Some people are cut and paste fanatics.
    murphy and Ggaa like this.
  12. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I believe it was Neil Young that said what you want is a good recording of a great performance. A great performance isn't necessarily mistake free. It probably doesn't have glaring mistakes, but a few things that point out that it's humans playing, and not robots, are OK. I'd rather punch in a note or two to fix obvious things in a great performance than play incessant takes, hoping one will be mistake free - inspiration fades pretty fast if you do that.

    If you're fixing things in every measure, you either have poor musicians, a control freak for an engineer, or both. Nothing good will come from that practice.
  13. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Both of course, but in the end ‘the feel’ is a priority.

    Just finished an album and the amount of nit picking edits gives it a canned feeling IMO. Couldn’t play it live, it’s jive.
  14. The "feel" of a song is what draws me to it in many cases. So to me that's number one for me. As many have said minor/small mistakes can be easily fixed in this day and age. But that doesn't mean not being prepared.
    Now on the other hand if you pee down your leg on the take...
    murphy, Huw Phillips and kesslari like this.
  15. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    When recording i try to don't loose the feel, but in the way to not mistake.
    4dog and kesslari like this.
  16. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    for clients and friends, perfection
    for the band or solo efforts, the occasional off-note just adds color and sonic 'sideways dog head'
    kesslari likes this.
  17. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Time=$$$ for the engineers/producers. Of course they want to spend as much time as possible to perfect their product to the detriment (possibly) of your music. I wonder how time they'd take if the producer/engineer was on a flat fee.

    As to my desires in recording my music, I will fix obviously bad stuff, but I want my music to breath and have a real life to it.
    1bassleft likes this.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Why do I have to choose?
  19. Robscott


    Mar 20, 2017
    Tonbridge UK
    Yep, quantizing will squeeze the life out of funk especially - shouldn't always sit right on the kick, we're not playing pop music here!
  20. ZonieBass

    ZonieBass Send Lawyers, Guns and Money... Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2013
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I've had the engineer replace a very noticeable bad note I hit in a slow ballad type song. But other than something glaring like that, let it ride.
    Jon McBass and Ewo like this.