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Randy's Etude in C backing

randulo

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So, getting the editing time down! Oddly enough, this sounds vaguely South American to me, even though there's no such characteristic tonality, and I can't explain why I hear that. Or maybe the wild west, men on horseback, the wind in their hair, camp fires behind them. And men don't do Etudes! Or do they? :clapping:
 
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Wade Cornell

Wade Cornell

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So, getting the editing time down! Oddly enough, this sounds vaguely South American to me, even though there's no such characteristic tonality, and I can't explain why I hear that. Or maybe the wild west, men on horseback, the wind in their hair, camp fires behind them. And men don't do Etudes! Or do they? :clapping:
Editing time isn't really down. It was only one take, and it's short, so there was very little to do. 95% as played.

Thanks once again for your challenging templates. Other to come (when I have time).
 

randulo

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What are you editing? You mean using more than one take? That should be easy. (I know your standard reply to this). :)
 
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Wade Cornell

Wade Cornell

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What are you editing? You mean using more than one take? That should be easy. (I know your standard reply to this). :)
I'm an improviser...that's all. I take a template and often only have heard it once before downloading. That's then taken on a stick to my music room. At some time in the next few days to months I'll then bring it up and hit record. Sometimes it comes out OK on the first try, sometimes it doesn't so I'll need to give it another try. Often it's only the beginning that's off, so I keep both tracks and merge the best from both. That takes a lot of listening and editing. I'm also continually adjusting volume levels as I use a lot of dynamics which can be exaggerated in the recording process. I also play way too much with the intent of cutting a lot out and letting the music "breathe". It's different to playing live where you need to break the flow and let other instruments and elements come through. When recording I play over everything so that there is a continual flow and I'm constantly following the changes instead of a stop/start. It's then edited down to what it should be. Just easier to keep the flow if I play over everything initially.

I don't know if everybody else does the same thing when recording, but this is what works for me. It generally takes a lot of editing time, but takes much less if the first take is good enough. As a rule I don't do more than 3 takes as it then gets stale. I might keep the template and delete all the failed takes then give it another bash with it seeming fresh again after I've forgotten it in a month or more.
 

randulo

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For the SOTM/BOTM I mostly do the same, mix two takes and sometimes adjust the volume of notes are too loud or soft. Also mess with EQ where I feel the sound can be improved. Because I use Logic, I can do a number of takes and then swap in and out of them in a process that's called NDE, non-destructive editing. It would be harder and take longer, but Audacity can do this, too.
 
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Wade Cornell

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For the SOTM/BOTM I mostly do the same, mix two takes and sometimes adjust the volume of notes are too loud or soft. Also mess with EQ where I feel the sound can be improved. Because I use Logic, I can do a number of takes and then swap in and out of them in a process that's called NDE, non-destructive editing. It would be harder and take longer, but Audacity can do this, too.
Yes I can undo on Audacity, but generally need to listen closely to hear what can be swapped around or changed. I don't tend to need to "undo" much that's been edited because I go through the track a number of times. Each time I'm performing a specific task:

1. Listening to each take and hearing what works and doesn't work noting the time code and comparing to the other takes to see what's swap-able.
2. Do the details of cutting from one to the other and make adjustments for smooth transitions, differences in volume, etc. and merge.
3. Remove the parts of my track that don't add to the music. .
4. Adjust volume of merged track to fit better with template.
5. Adjust any timing necessary
6. Adjust EQ (if necessary)
7. Add reverb, delay, or other as required to fit with the template.
8. Add stereo affect if it sounds better (usually does).
9. Mix with template
10. Check finished track and go back if anything isn't OK

Points 1 and 2 take the most time. If I can get away with a single take it's much faster.
 

randulo

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Pretty complicated! You sure that's improvisation? I think with more evolved software all could be done in 10 minutes max.
 
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Wade Cornell

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Pretty complicated! You sure that's improvisation? I think with more evolved software all could be done in 10 minutes max.
More evolved software? Ha! I can hardly deal with this level of confusion! I've tried to use other editing/recording programs and found them way to confusing or just some nerd's devilish nightmare. It may be that programs get better, but I've yet to see them become simpler.

I can assure you that what I play is improvised. Beyond that it's a matter of serving the music and trying to make it sound the best possible. That means that I don't leave a track sounding poorly just because that's how I recorded it. I try to make it sound the best I can within my limitations (and those are extensive!).

Hopefully new software can help others who are more technically inclined. At this stage in my life I'm just trying to keep it together with what I've got. E.g. what did I have for breakfast? What the name of my wife's sister's husband, etc. Not quite Alzheimer's but certainly "old timer's". Playing and life are challenging enough!

When playing live there is no safety net or corrections to be made. But there is the added dimension of communicating with an audience which lifts you and gives a buzz. I tend to play better live with probably fewer mistakes. When it's live the mistakes are gone in a flash. When recording it should (IMHO) always be made as good as possible using the tools that are available...and in my case easy enough to understand/use. A mistake or crap sound in a recording doesn't go away and will be there to be heard over and over again.
 
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randulo

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As you know, I'm not far behind you in age. You didn't mention searching for words in your own language, unless you don't have that problem. There's a TV show for us, starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. It's called The Kominsky Method.

It is unfortunate that you can't take advantage of better software, but you're doing fine, it's the hours of editing you mentioned that would bother me. Of course, if you're releasing something for worldwide public distribution, the hours are no doubt with it.
 
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Wade Cornell

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It is unfortunate that you can't take advantage of better software, but you're doing fine, it's the hours of editing you mentioned that would bother me. Of course, if you're releasing something for worldwide public distribution, the hours are no doubt with it.
My personal rule of thumb: If I wouldn't want to hear it (because of poor quality or mistakes) then why should I be asking anyone else to listen to it? It's understood that a site like this is also a teaching vehicle, so less experience players are (or should be) encouraged to post and get some assistance, or at least encouragement. As an older experienced player I'm not requiring encouragement, although it's welcomed. But honest critique is also welcomed as it's most important for whatever I play to "reach" the listener. If the listener isn't entertained, then I've failed, and it may be that an honest critique could help me see from a different perspective.

We still have our goals as players and our own ears in terms of the style, tone, phrasing, editing etc. So it may be that others don't understand those goals, and that's OK. I certainly don't understand why anyone playing sax today would want to sound like they are from the 1950s, but that's their thing.
 
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randulo

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Interesting concept, sound like. On the surface, it may mean imitate, but I'd like to be able to get the sound of the 60's without necessarily the licks of that era. I tried to do it several months ago with one guy's song, but he wanted a Clarence growl that I still can't quite do. I can make a growl, but I can't sustain it long. As it is not #1 on my list, I haven't worked much on it. This gets back to a signature sound, yet again.
 

randulo

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If I wouldn't want to hear it (because of poor quality or mistakes)
My brother, who is an accomplished pianist, reminded me that the bad things you hear will often not be apparent to others, even musicians. It's very hard to listen to yourself with out judging, we're our own worst critic, usually. If I play what I know is a clinker, I stop, but if I play a note that may work, I keep going and make the decision after listening. There's another aspect too, which is why recording video is hard. One of my goals is to have recording be representative of what I sound like live. This was a big problem with two studio albums I recorded. I had a bunch of musicians, usually 5, then when I played live in a trio, obviously, I couldn't get that sound. It was a mistake I won't make again, unless I have no intention of playing the music live. This may well be the case for instrumentals, because there's a lot of streaming, but not so much live performance of unknowns.
 
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Wade Cornell

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Rock and roll band?

But I think you mean jazz playing style?
It's a matter of entertainment. I'm OK playing with DJs and the dancers seem to get a kick out of someone playing live and adding a top line to what's otherwise often just rhythm. Rock music (although very crude in the 1950s) was also popular and mostly dance music. Everybody had fun. Jazz was "serious" although people like Cannonball, Brubeck, and Dizzy could make it fun, they were the exceptions. It was sit and listen music, but novel at that time. It's still sit and listen music, but with very little fun and certainly not novel 60 years later. It's not very entertaining for most people to watch a technical display based on "standards" that very few members of the public have heard...which also means that people can't recognize that your doing variations on a tune that they are supposed to know, but unless they are over 70 (like me) they don't.

I get that there are tricks of technique that Randy or others may wish to pick up, but there's unfortunately a tendency to get the whole package. Look around this or other sax sites. I certainly don't see or hear much other than an old style of jazz. There are lots of other styles of music where an individual can make their mark without it being an unwanted transplant from a very old donor.
 
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