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IS this cheating or not cheating???

Discussion in 'Technique' started by johnmar78, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hey....EVERY ONE.

    I just got a new computer and comes with all BS wave pad and other music editing programs.
    So I play around with it. I noticed in "wave Pad" you can alter the pitch . speed, reverb, hiss noise...all that high tec stuff. I know I am a bit slow in this area. You know I am a purist in music forms and I DO NOT edit my files.

    So I want to see whats sounds like on a op66 after increase the speed by 20%......so its sounds still ok. But when gets to 50% plus its sounds too artificial???


    I was wondering what if IF ANY ONE ALREADY DONE IT, play the all music scores(any) by 1/2 speed or less and EDIT the final version by increase its speed to "normal tempo" speed, would not that be nice???? or its so called deceiving customers? I personally think that editing sound recording has an art in itself but DO YOU think that's cheating??? eg like generic engineering.....

    I would like to hear the general opnion????

    Ps, I would not edit the files even the "hiss sound" if the recording is done in a proper studio in the first place.


    Thanks
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    when I use to rely on my friend to do the recording on his keyboard and computer program (to which we made no progress)...I played pieces half speed because I was still practing them...then I asked him to increase the speed a bit just to see how it sounded. Nice little feature to learn off of but not to use as a substitution, especially if you are a purist!

    -JG
     
  3. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    thank Pal, I would to get a mp40 myself for collection. I wouldnot mind to see yours.
     
  4. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's not cheating as long as you identify exactly how you edited your sumissions. It would be interesting to hear your 10/1 at an artificially doubled tempo (perhaps comical too, as the decay rate would also double) not viable as an archived submission, but interesting as a pedagogical and motivational tool. It's a glimpse into your potential, IMO. I think the place for these fabrications would be the 'general' section.

    I defer to the admins.

    GO SAINTS!

    PJF
     
  5. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    haaaa, so i do one for fun, add more bass and trenble and double the speed and NO SLIPS at all. All done in slow motion and carefully ARTICULATED........I will see......

    By adding more bass and trenble and its MAY sounds like an expensive big grand.
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a good and useful topic, and it would be great if all people were honest about how exactly they postprocess their recordings. Myself I have so far been guilty of following:

    1) Splicing together diferent takes. I did that only twice though. In a Mozart Adagio that would not come off clean in one take and I got bored with repeating, and in a Szymanowski mazurka because I kept botching up the closing bars, so I recorded these separately a few times and tacked on the one with the fewest misses.

    2) Cutting out a flub (like a wrong note that I immediately corrected) if it was possible to do so. More often than not it only makes things sound worse so I end up leaving it as is. But sometimes it can work wonders.

    3) In a recently I decreased the volume of a lone chord that for some reason I had hit far too loud. I feel a bit rotten about that and won't do it again - the result was not even very satisfactory.

    4) Cutting out an audible page turn if it was possible to do without disturbing the music.

    5) Boosting the volume level with 3 Db

    6) Adding "Light Concert Hall" reverb

    I consider 1-3 a bit cheaty, but not very much so as they are rare exceptions and I honestly work hard on avoiding this (and often can't be bothered to do it). I do not think anybody will have a problem with 4-6. And of course one should cut out hiss, hum, recording plops, and intrusive noice as long as it does not affect the music.

    But really cheating are IMO:

    - adding or changing notes
    - record slowly, then increase the tempo
    - bar-by-bar or note-by-note recording

    So johnmar, I am not in favour of your proposed trick with the Chopin 10.1. I doubt that it will sound any good anyway.
     
  7. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    #4...ha! I remember that one

    #6...agree with you that this is not cheating. Don't the professional recording studios add in reverb after the recording?


    Wouldn't you consider the submission of the WTC by J.L. Grant as "cutting a corner"? Also Claudio Colombo's website of http://www.claudiocolombo.net look at his vast amount of recordings all perfectly played (but a somewhat less than perfect keyboard/piano).

    Just a thought.

    -JG
     
  8. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Haaaaaaa, Chris, I am doing this just for fun see what outcome I will get. again i am still beleive a good pianist should rely on its touch. I allowed to cut the hiss or add some reverb. Otherwise, its against my natural???perhaps, money is not important or less business like???

    My op10/1 is beteer and better after Petes advice.................
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I know of course. But you did ask whether this would be cheating. IMO it is, big time.
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    No. This is a purely synthetic rendefring, using Bosendorfer sampled tones in different volumes. It is positioned study object rather than a performance, and John is very open and clear about it. It lays open the contrapunt of the WTC like no 'real' pianist could do. But we happen to know John is a very accomplished pianist even though his fame rests on these WTC recordings.

    I don't find this believable either. It is too much and too perfect and too digital. I do not believe any 'real' pianist would confine himself to playing tons of stuff on a digital.
     
  11. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    great to see that ONLY few people replied this topic. I would like further stress that , this is not a confession room and IF you do use any of the editing function, YOU CAN HELP OTHERS by tell us YOUR LITTLE SECREAT. Because I got nothing to hide. There is no need to lose face than being an open diplomatic person :p
     
  12. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Last time we had this discussion (2 years ago), it became very infected eventuelly led to that Mei-Ting and Koji Attwood took off and founded Whitekeys (nowadays a pretty dead site). Lets not hope we end up there again ;).

    Regarding professional recordings, you can be very sure that many are modified unless they are live. But not in the case we discuss here. They are not digital rendations or midi modified (of course, I cannot talk for all) but likely copy/paste from different takes. Gould was the first to really make use of the technique but some other famous recordings as for example Pollini's Chopin etudes also used this technique (Pollini's is even bar-by-bar). I think this is the reason why video recordings get more and more popular.

    This raises another question. What is most important? That we have a musically good interpretations or that we know that the pianist is capable of playing it?
    For us who play the piano, it is rather frustrating that the general public hardly give a damn about who the pianist is. It is the composer and the music that is of highest rank. It is not until you are a frequent listener to classical piano music that you begin to care about different recordings of the same piece and pay attention to who is performing it. For me, it is a combination of the composer's music and the pianist's interpretation that makes the music interesting and I cannot help being a bit disappointed if I learn that a certain recording is bar-by-bar or a digital rendation. It pretty much came as a chock when I learned about Pollini's Chopin etüdes for example. I am always interested in the person behind the recording and his/her thought and ideas about it. This is pretty much what this site is about.

    Cheating, well I think it is a different matter from pianist to pianist and how open you are with what you are doing. I do not hide that I use different takes in some recordings to copy everything together into a single track and I did that a lot in some pieces in the Chopin preludes (8, 19 and 24 are the result of 7-10 takes) while most other recordings I have on the site are one take recordings. That is the reason why my output is low. I am a terrible score reader and must learn the piece by heart before I make a recording (that is usually the case). I have experimented a bit with editing programs but find the work utterly boring and I rather spend that time behind the piano keys than with computing programs. But I add a bit stereo effects with my recordings, use equalization and add reverb.

    The rules of PianoSociety is that midi rendations must be really something extra to fit on the site and clearly marked. However, it is in some cases very difficult to differ manipulated recordings from one-takes. Especially if you do not provide much information of yourself as a pianist. One cannot help being suspicious when pianists arrive uploading incredible recordings of difficult compositions with no formal piano education or references.
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think this is a healthy and necessary discussion and no need for anobody to get heated up about. The occasional cosmetic editing or splice should be no problem to anyone, but if it becomes structural, a means rather than an end, then it loses the link with reality and goes against the grain of this site. I prefer a person really playing, warts and all, to a doctored digitally perfect product of engineering any time.

    The term cheating should be reserved for cases where somebody is not open about it.

    Experiments like johnmar's of course are fine - though I am not sure they belong in the Audition Room as that is (or should be) reserved for 'serious' submissions. Perhaps the Technique section would be better if someone wants to experiment and/or monitor their progress ?

    I like your diplomatic last statement Robert :wink: I guess everybody knows whom it pertains to.
     
  14. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    [

    Cheating, well I think it is a different matter from pianist to pianist and how open you are with what you are doing. I do not hide that I use different takes in some recordings to copy everything together into a single track and I did that a lot in some pieces in the Chopin preludes (8, 19 and 24 are the result of 7-10 takes) while most other recordings I have on the site are one take recordings. That is the reason why my output is low. I am a terrible score reader and must learn the piece by heart before I make a recording (that is usually the case). I have experimented a bit with editing programs but find the work utterly boring and I rather spend that time behind the piano keys than with computing programs. But I add a bit stereo effects with my recordings, use equalization and add reverb.

    The rules of PianoSociety is that midi rendations must be really something extra to fit on the site and clearly marked. However, it is in some cases very difficult to differ manipulated recordings from one-takes. Especially if you do not provide much information of yourself as a pianist. One cannot help being suspicious when pianists arrive uploading incredible recordings of difficult compositions with no formal piano education or references.[/quote]

    woh...Rob, you are far advance in editing than me by miles. You able to edit your muscic(7-8 takes) into one final version. You must be a very patient person. Like mine op53, the amount of time I managed to do one final take is worth while than editing several takes into one. This is very much like a moving making.... :lol: Lat week for the first time after several"critique" sessions, i managed to do TWO takes of op53 with similar performance(perhaps after I had a small nap).

    Meanwhile, I stick to my own rule....back to the practice room, ready for more charity recitals---maily for the church function.

    Thanks
     
  15. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Referring to the list from Chris, I would declare points 2 and 3 as cheating. Point 1 - cutting together from different takes partly perhaps to, I did as well with a Chopin Waltz this way. But I think on professional recordings they do it as well. At least one was able to play it in the given quality once.

    That's why I value live recordings so much - one can expect to have no editing stuff here. And that's why I always be sceptic regarding digital keyboard recordings. There are some Chopin Etude recordings here, done on a digital keyboard. I doubt that they are all done without raising the speed artificial, to be honest. I doubt that if someone can play a Chopin etude at concert speed and worked months or years on that, that he/she would record on a digital keyboard. So if I listen to such a piece posted here in the recording section, played in the same fast speed as Pollini plays, without errors, but on a digital keyboard, I get iffy.
    It is sooooo easy on a digital keyboard to raise the speed - that is, recording as midi file, playing back with another speed. And edit some wrong notes with some mouse clicks in the midi file. That is INAUDIBLE and EASY, no transformation losses and quality issues like on audio wave file speed conversations.
    That comes to the old discussion what we had here already, whether to label a recording as done on a digital keyboard or not. I would prefer to have this label. The one who like to have clean record quality and perfect tuned recordings, can choose digital keyboard recordings. The other might prefer real piano recordings.
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes definitely. I plead guilty :oops:

    I will certainly not do 3) again, but I'll probably not be able to resist the temptation to cut out a really horrific wart if possible. Luckily these seem to happen less frequently (actually most of my recent recordings are unedited).
     
  17. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I assume that this post is directed to me as no other etude Chopin pianists are active in the forum ;). I have three recordings up which are 10/1, 10/2 and 10/6. 10/1 and 10/2 are very difficult and some voices were raised a couple of years ago so I made a video recording of me playing it 10/1. I actually made a little joke to the "speed daemon community" and made a video recording of the 2:nd with me wearing a mask :).
    None of these two are one takes and that is actually audible (especially in the second). I did not either play a couple of takes and then cut the best part together. I deliberately just made a passage until that was finished. Took a break (days apart as you get very tired playing these) and continued with the next etc. That could be named cheating but I do not really care. I know I played both these etudes inside and out and practised them daily in about 2 years before I made the recordings. I preferred to be sure that my recordings sounded well and put music in the first room and the performance in the second.
    BUT, I did NOT manipulate the tempo or edit notes (not in any other recordings either) and as one can hear, there are quite a few mistakes there, especially in 10/1. But I have experimented with midi (inspired by Mr. Grant) but was pretty desillusioned as in fact, it is extremly time consuming (it is NOT that easy at all), it often sounds bad and to me counterproductive as I lose the musical inspiration.
    Why I use my Yamaha CLP-170 before the Nylund & Son or my Schimmel in most of my recordings? It simply sounds that much better.

    So if the question was directed towards me, I guess the above is the answer 8).

    When it comes to the other recordings, I know for certain that Grant's is a midi rendation. All his recordings in the site are. About the other pianists, I don't know.

    The discussion started off from that there exist wav-editing audio tools with the possibility to very simple raise the tempo (much more advanced tools than in the example in the Audition Room). That makes the discussion regarding marking recordings made by digital keyboards more or less obsolete.

    Also, we have 1041 recordings on the site and have no possibility to know if the recording was made on a digital or acoustic piano, nor do I feel a need to put the power in to implement this as 1) We need to contact all 78 pianists (many of who we no longer have valid contact information to) 2) It is hell of a job which I prefer spend on other technical issues (we are about to move to a more reliable server, but I hope you never even notice the change but from future lack of down times) and in reality, not possible .
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    For sure, postprocessing and trying to cut out a slip is a hell of a tedious donkeywork, especially on a slow PC like mine. With my latest bunch of recordings I spent far more time on that than on the actual recording. Indeed I would just as soonl avoid that, cut down on the slips best as can and learn to live with the remaining mistakes. Just create a batch job for the amplify and reverb and be done with it.

    No point in trying to determine the status of existing recordings, I think so too. What we could do for new submissions is ask the pianist to provide any details they might want to share on their level of editing. Or would that be a bad idea and create a wrong atmosphere ? I guess this will always be a difficult subject (except for amateurs like us who have nothing to lose or gain :wink: )
     
  19. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I fully support your idea and it would be compulsory.
     
  20. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    For the record, any recordings submitted by me will not be edited in any way. Editing is overrated. It's like getting a bunch of cheat codes to fly through a new video game without daring to take any risks. That's boring, IMO. Mistakes can be exhilarating. I performed Chopin's etudes 10/1, 10/5 and 10/7 last week during recital hour. I went a little crazy with the tempo. The audience had a really strong reaction (positive) in spite of my note errors. A slow, sanitized performance would have been more comfortable, and as plain as unsalted oatmeal.

    Pete
     

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