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Common tools that never get used?

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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby GilesAnt » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:42 am

Arpangel wrote:The piano also has a cheat pedal, sustain!

That is the easiest sign to spot of someone who can't play the piano. The sustain pedal is far from a cheat pedal unless you want to sound truly awful. Skilled use of the pedal allows the piano to become an expressive instrument - not just hit a key and forget.

And a skillful player can get 'inbetween' the notes too. Partly through use of the pedal, partly through crushed notes, and partly through clever chord voicings.

If you want to hear some of true possibilities of the piano try listening to Debussy or Ravel. They take the piano to places you can hardly imagine.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:17 pm

The cello is a lovely instrument, and exquisitely expressive. And it has its own set of limitations too.

Every instrument is different, with its own unique characteristics and challenges.

All I'm saying is that keyboard instruments -- piano, harpsichord, organ, synth, etc -- are far from easy to play well. Yes, they might be easier to create an initial sound than, say, a cello or trumpet or clarinet... But to play them to a high standard is bloody difficult. I've been trying for 50 years and still can't approach the talent and skill of my musical inspirations!
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby CS70 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 3:14 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:All I'm saying is that keyboard instruments -- piano, harpsichord, organ, synth, etc -- are far from easy to play well.

For what's worth, I'm always in awe of people able to fly their fingers on the piano keyboard and make it look natural.

Indeed, any minimally complex instrument requires lots of training to really play well.

Even if it has one string.. check what these guys can do with one or two string violins. Not to mention a violin which has a keyboard! :D : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjnHTHQBzk
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:43 pm

Deleted - didn't realise the conversation had gone on 5 pages from where I'd got to.

:blush:
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:14 pm

Any instrument is difficult to master, which is why so few people do. For what it's worth though, I think the guitar and piano are probably the easiest to make initial progress on, partly because of how much simple music is written for them.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:44 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The cello is a lovely instrument, and exquisitely expressive. And it has its own set of limitations too.

Every instrument is different, with its own unique characteristics and challenges.

All I'm saying is that keyboard instruments -- piano, harpsichord, organ, synth, etc -- are far from easy to play well. Yes, they might be easier to create an initial sound than, say, a cello or trumpet or clarinet... But to play them to a high standard is bloody difficult. I've been trying for 50 years and still can't approach the talent and skill of my musical inspirations!

I knew I didn't have have what it takes to be a virtuoso pianist in a classical sense from a very early age, so I created my own little corner, where I do my thing, and I regard that as being no more or less important than what Satie or Beethoven did. You have to think like that, if you don't, no one else will.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Folderol » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:43 am

To me, it's a matter of 'whatever works'. You can get bogged down with trying to completely master an instrument, and forget that the idea is to make enjoyable music.

These days, it's sometimes better to just play something - no matter how badly - then make minor adjustments afterwards. On top of that, there have been quite a few times for me where a happy accident has taken something in a new and interesting direction :bouncy:
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:13 am

Folderol wrote:To me, it's a matter of 'whatever works'. You can get bogged down with trying to completely master an instrument, and forget that the idea is to make enjoyable music.

These days, it's sometimes better to just play something - no matter how badly - then make minor adjustments afterwards. On top of that, there have been quite a few times for me where a happy accident has taken something in a new and interesting direction :bouncy:

Similar to what I do sometimes, but I tend to disguise mistakes, if a make a bum note when improvising, or should I say an unintentional note, I'll do it again a few times, to make you think it was intentional.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby The Elf » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:22 am

Arpangel wrote:if a make a bum note when improvising, or should I say an unintentional note, I'll do it again a few times, to make you think it was intentional.
As a guitarist friend of mine often tells me: "Jazz mean never having to say you're sorry"! :lol:
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Sam Inglis » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:26 am

To return to the original point of the thread for a minute, it's quite interesting to listen to very old recordings made by artists from a time when there was no compression or EQ, and everything was tracked either acoustically or on a single omni microphone. You realise how different performance and arrangement styles were and in particular how skilled the performers were at maintaining a consistent level.

A random example I came across, from 1928: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbw0uJkRrhE

I've tried quite a few times to make single-mic recordings of modern bands and what invariably makes them go wrong is that the singers are far too dynamic, so no matter where you put the mic, the vocals swing between inaudible and completely dominating the mix. I would imagine this isn't an issue with trained classical singers hence the reason why classical recording engineers don't need compression.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Ariosto » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:06 am

Sam Inglis wrote:To return to the original point of the thread for a minute, it's quite interesting to listen to very old recordings made by artists from a time when there was no compression or EQ, and everything was tracked either acoustically or on a single omni microphone. You realise how different performance and arrangement styles were and in particular how skilled the performers were at maintaining a consistent level.

A random example I came across, from 1928: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbw0uJkRrhE

I've tried quite a few times to make single-mic recordings of modern bands and what invariably makes them go wrong is that the singers are far too dynamic, so no matter where you put the mic, the vocals swing between inaudible and completely dominating the mix. I would imagine this isn't an issue with trained classical singers hence the reason why classical recording engineers don't need compression.
There are wonderful recordings of Ella Fitzgerald made in the late 1950's and early 1960's which were probably made using a couple of ribbon mics, which also rely on the expertise of the artists. These may have been edited on tape though originally. I have two discs one of which has some out-takes at the end.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:41 am

ManFromGlass wrote:If somebody or a bunch of somebodies create some music that I like I don’t care how they got there or what they call themselves.

Hear, hear MFG!
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:12 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:If somebody or a bunch of somebodies create some music that I like I don’t care how they got there...

True. For the purpose of listening and enjoying, we dont need to know or care. But in producing that music, somebody(ies) had to care and know … how to get it to that point where others will like it.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:00 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:
...I've tried quite a few times to make single-mic recordings of modern bands and what invariably makes them go wrong is that the singers are far too dynamic, so no matter where you put the mic, the vocals swing between inaudible and completely dominating the mix. I would imagine this isn't an issue with trained classical singers hence the reason why classical recording engineers don't need compression.
My take is that noise masking happens regardless of the genre. Classical music isn't exempt. In a way it's worse because classical soloists often have a larger range of notes to cover than say pop music. Inevitably they can't sing their lower range with the same power as the higher. Ive heard bass soloists in "Why do the nations" (Messiah), struggle to be even heard on their lower notes. It seems the same for other voices as well. To sing all notes at comparable volume can be an impossible task.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby CS70 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:56 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:I've tried quite a few times to make single-mic recordings of modern bands and what invariably makes them go wrong is that the singers are far too dynamic

I think that's more a style issue than a skills one. We've gotten used to a much dynamic delivery over the last few decades, and part of the reason is because we can. :)

And mostly imho it's a good thing-- some of these oldies are good material, and good performances given the expectations and limitations of the time (including the one mic), but they wouldn't really work nowadays. Just like Metropolis can be a great movie, but wouldn't work with most people today..
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