One of the most hard things for me now when doing more music related to real instruments, guitar et rest, is that I got so used to precision based music when dealing mostly in the electronic world. With this I mean all the quantization and other tools one could use, arpeggiators et rest, that produce precision timing concerning playing music. Even if I do play the keyboard parts using all my five or ten fingers, it was always so handy to adjust and fix obvious mistakes. With a swing factor it even sounded human.
Not so when dealing with electric guitars and bass guitars. You need to really play well. Now, there are indeed tools to fix that, as well, such as going in and do precision edits inside Logic to move wave sections around. I suspect that’s what most sound engineers in the studio are doing all day long, cheaper than asking a musician to do retakes over and over. Not that really, really good studio musicians could nail down tracks in one take — especially those in Nashville.
But it is also the issue of sounding natural, precision-edited guitars get to a point where they sound artificial, sampled-triggered and so forth. There’s a balance in all this.
The other big factor for me is that I’m so used to hearing precision-based performances from the electronic world, so it means hearing less precise work is tough. I think I should hear more DeerHoof to get rid of that feeling. It’s extremely tough to sound super-precise when recording guitars. Maybe for four beats and you copy this all over, but then it sounds artificial, as well… There’s something neat about playing a track from beginning to end — in one take.
What do you think? Is it Ok to really do extensive edits to make natural instruments fit the pocket 100%? Or is this just another form of cheating, hard to replicate this on stage if the chops are missing? Do the consumers even care anymore?