Last time, I was talking about how implicitly I feel I trust my recording engineer, and how important that is for all of us who are involved in any recording process. At the heart of it all of course, is the source…your music, and your performances. I have always felt that looking back, there are a lot of performances I have on my recordings that I should not have simply “settled” for. I guess that in those days, as now, I was so committed to my “first take” kind of approach, and the “live” sound I have always gone for as well. This all results in a kind of “do we dare change it?’ kind of attitude, and lately, even though I still go for spontaneity, I have become quite a bit more of a perfectionist when it comes to which takes to keep.
Of course, with the advent of digital recording these days, you needn’t worry about using too much tape, or too many tracks, as you can pretty much keep all the work you’ve done. This means you can now explore all the possibilities, and really work towards giving your best effort. I know I have now given myself a chance to try more takes, more sounds, tone, approaches you name it. In fact, on working on this new cd, I discovered that one of my performances, which is all solo acoustic guitar, just wasn’t up to the quality of the rest of the performances on the cd. So, I’ve decided to absolutely go for an entirely new recording of this one particular song, and to try for a much more compelling approach to the song. Only then will I be truly happy with my performances on this record.
Too many times in my past I have settled for less, and suffered the consequences of always having to listen (not very often!) to tracks that I know I wasn’t that happy with to begin with, and then they seem to get worse as the years go on! Nothing worse than being permanently dissatisfied with work you’ve committed to something as permanent as a recording. Just remember to keep a level head about it all…as we know, we can certainly also fall into the trap of getting too “picky” about our work, and we can lose sight of what is good and what is not. When that starts to happen, it’s better to take a break from it all, refresh your ears, and get back to your work when it feels right!