Recording yourself (ugh)
So my teacher suggested I record myself playing to help with intonation issues. This made sense, so I found a recording app and tried it. I am working on the second Bach partita, first movement.
:-( :-( :-( It was horrible. I basically wanted to quit right then and there. Not really because of intonation -- I knew where I was having issues and there were no surprises there. But it just sounded awful. The tone was terrible.
Is it true that I sound that bad? Because it doesn't sound like that to my ears when I am playing. Are these apps just crap? Are there better ones? Or do I really suck that much and I just can't hear it when I play?
After this little exercise, I went from practicing pretty consistently an hour a day to barely touching the thing for weeks. Before I looked forward to playing. Now I have to force myself. This just not seem like a positive development.
As a reminder, I returned to playing in May after being off for 38 years. So I have minimal ambitions and mostly just want to enjoy playing. Which I no longer am. I do want to improve, but this does not seem to me to be the way.
It will sound very bad I’d you record with a cell phone, that’s for sure.
Yes, it's really hard to record a violin. That could be part of it. I have a Zoom (I forgot the number, 3 or 4?) that records the sound pretty accurately.
It'll only get better :)
If you can, it helps to at least play farther away from the microphone.
My phone is far from fancy. I don't think it has filters. . . I just got a free recording app. I recorded Hilary Hahn as a test and she sounds pretty crappy on it too, so. . .
I record myself all the time. You learn to ignore the feeling of "oh my god, that sounds like trash" and to start thinking "what did I do wrong and how do I fix it?".
As a returner, I went through the same thing. Newer smart phones actually have fairly good audio capabilities for recording. I typically put the phone a fair distance away so the sound is a bit rounder. Also, play back through good quality headphones.
I'm working on this same problem right now. Can anyone recommend a basic recording app? I don't want or need anything like GarageBand, and my iPhone is too old now to use the current state of the art software that current GarageBand requires anyway.
Another vote for recording to push yourself to improve. Keep at it.
Oh yes, playback matters too. When I record on my phone, it always sounds awful when played back on my phone, but it sounds significantly better when I play it back on a computer. Even a laptop computer's built-in speakers, while far from ideal, are a big improvement from any phone.
Just to mention it: I don't like my voice either when it is recorded. And I know for a fact that this is true for basically everybody. So this should also put things in perspective just a little bit.
Don't take it too personally: I'm actually a pretty decent player but I consistently sound bad in recordings unless I throw in some extras like reverb.
"ugh" should be one's proper response to hearing one's first recording!
Elizabeth - I went through exactly the same process and maybe your's is similar to mine. At least for me it was more than just a bad recording (see below) but maybe this can be helpful.
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