...but is it cheating?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BrianT, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    If I were a guitarist, no one would bat an eyelid if I plugged into a fridge-sized rack of effects to transform the sound beyond all recognition.

    But if I record my trumpet into the computer at half tempo I can then double the tempo and the pitch = instant screamy screamy. ...but is it cheating?
  2. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Only if you are in a competition I suppose:dunno

    I noticed in the Favourite Guitar thread you were singing the praises of Mike Oldfield. He was well known for doing this when he added non-guitar instrumentation that he wasn't an expert in. In my opinion it doesn't detract at all from the finished product. His albumns were still pretty good.
  3. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I guess it depends on what it is for. If, as BigHorn says, it is for a competition, or a recording where you are marketing it as an "unplugged" performance then yes, you are cheating the audience. But if it is for a recording or performance where you are exploring the possibilites for the instrument then not only is it not cheating but it should be encouraged to show innovation and what can be done.
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I'd go along with what has already been said: some of the effects achieved by composers such as George Crumb by sampling instrumental sounds are quite spectacular, achieving sounds and in particular articulation that would never have been achievable in real life, with whole new sonorities becoming available.

    To do so in an attempt to deceive would, of course, be not on, unless you happen to be two young Czechs masquerading as singing pigs:

    Attached Files:

  5. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    Not just guitars...

    Guitars too, I think. On Tubular Bells he plays "Double Speed Guitar" - and I reckon (by listening and by minutely inspecting the picture on the cover of Five Miles Out, which has a 24-track planning sheet all nicely coloured in) that the solo on Family Man is also-double speeded. Just listen to how fast his vibrato is.

    The example of taking an instrument up an octave was an extreme example, but what about the idea of comping, where the "best bits" of several performances are pasted into one flawless whole. Is that cheating? There used to be a vogue for "Direct To Disk" LPs, where there was no editing at all. That seems to have gone out the window since digital came along and you can make inaudible edits.

    I've even heard of brass band soloists being run through a pitch corrector before they end up on CD (a more subtle version of Cher's favourite gadget).
  6. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    I think as long as the listener is 'aware' that the end product has been modified in some sort of way, then it is not a problem?

    Its only cheating if you're competing, otherwise its just experimentation ;)
  7. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    IME the number of completely 'flawless' recordings is limited, as the amount of time you spend in post production may be limited by budgets (certainly those available from the Brass Band market). Even the big guns release recordings that have split notes in them...if they're intrusive you can try and fix them either by putting in a take without the split (not always possible again due to contraints on the session) or by other, more devious means ;)

    Editing can eventually become a law of dimisinshing returns - you can spend a great deal of time trying to fix a solitary split when, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference to the performance (and in some instances can be detrimental to the music which is really what it's all about). This is all part of the management of expectation I've written about extensively elsewhere.

    In terms of autotune or it's equivalent, it will only work if you achieve sufficient isolation on the soloist...it may have been used as an effect or correctively...at the end of the day it's a tool that enables the end user to get the quality of product they're expecting. That said, you've got to bear in mind the budgets we generally work within and exactly who it is you're listening to and be realistic with your expecations.