Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd recommend self recording to anyone. it's the best teacher there is for timing, tone, breathing and many other aspects of playing.

An even better teacher is self recording multiple parts, duets, trios and so on.

I've recently started playing baritone after several years on tenor, and I'm currently self recording my way through a great little duet book on the bari. The book's not really geared to bari and doesn't bring the bari bottom end in much, but it's still a great way to learn about your playing. When you finish the first part you think you've played it really well.......until you come to play the second part with your first part in your headphones, then you realise that maybe your timing, breathing and articulation on the first part were not quite as good as you thought!!

Here's a picture of my self recording set up: Mid-side using a Red 5 Audio RV6 LDC carioid mid and a Samson LDC multi pattern set to figure 8 for the side, these through an Alesis iO2 interface to a PC running the Reaper DAW. I don't use a mid side decoder plug in, I prefer to decode manually using the duplicate/invert side method. It all works a really well.
 

Attachments

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
3,641 Posts
Absolutely agree! I record most of my gigs and it's a great tool to really objectively critique your own performance. I've also done a lot of multi-part videos (on my YouTube channel) and agree again about the phrasing, breathing, intonation, etc. It can be a real eye-opener at first!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was horrified the very first time I listened to myself. Self recording has helped me massively to understand my weaknesses and it's really pleasing to hear yourself playing better as you to do something about them.
 

·
Forum Contributor 2012, SOTW Saxophone Whisperer,
Joined
·
3,224 Posts
Self recording is indeed an incredible useful tool, but as far as learning new aspects of saxophone playing, you may need an actual 2nd person with new and different knowledge to help show you the way. I.e. - If you have a degree in music and wanted to go further - recording yourself is an awesome way to learn. If you have never played sax before and want to pick it up and learn - not so much. Just saying that your statement is both true and false. I just don't want it to be misleading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, I absolutely agree, and there's no way I want to mislead new sax players. I should have put this in my OP.

Self recording comes good only when you've done the basics, hopefully with a qualified teacher, worked through your theroy and practical grades maybe to Grade 3, 4 or 5 and you are just starting to look for a playing 'personality'. Listening to youself play at this stage is a great character builder. In my case listening to myself initially nearly made me give up, but I hung in there with encouragement from others and now enjoy playing with two local concert bands and with a SATB quartet.

Thanks for making this very important point.
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,100 Posts
Thumbs up for the MS, I love that configuration. However in that room it could be a double edged sword as ribbons will pick up a load of room and if the room is not professionally designed then any issues (which we all get) could be compounded. I would check this by also trying with a standardish setup, e.g condenser cardioid (not hyper) just for a benchmark comparison.

But again, I'm glad to find other appreciators of MS matrixes, we may be a dying breed!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thumbs up for the MS, I love that configuration. However in that room it could be a double edged sword as ribbons will pick up a load of room and if the room is not professionally designed then any issues (which we all get) could be compounded. I would check this by also trying with a standardish setup, e.g condenser cardioid (not hyper) just for a benchmark comparison.

But again, I'm glad to find other appreciators of MS matrixes, we may be a dying breed!
They're not ribbons Pete, they're large diaphragm condensers, but your point still applies because my little music den is not ideal. I'd love to line it with egg boxes but I think my wife would have something to say about that!! I love mid-side recording. My mates came over the other day with a couple of 6 packs and did a jam session on guitars and I recorded them with the same MS setup. It turned out great, and I love playing with the stereo width and pan in the final mix.

Some day I'll save up my pennies and buy a proper mid side mic pair, but for now my budget mics do the job OK..!
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
8,275 Posts
Without a doubt it is the fastest way to improve. Hard to listen to sometimes but thank goodness we are our own worst critics. If you can ever play anything that you're pleased with, put it on a record because it would be great to everyone else!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,117 Posts
I use a simple Zoom recorder. But I agree, recording, and analysing afterwards, is very useful. And humbling ;)
 

·
Moderator
Grafton + TH & C alto || Naked Lady 10M || TT soprano || Martin Comm III
Joined
·
30,100 Posts
They're not ribbons Pete, they're large diaphragm condensers, but your point still applies because my little music den is not ideal. !
Ah OK, but the same still applies to any figure of 8, which will always be picky about the room.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,515 Posts
And not just for pros or advanced players. One quickly hears repeated scooping, intonation quirks, biting issues and areas of weak tone. Im no expert on teaching but Id be inclined to have students start recording quite early in development. It takes a long time for a person to hear themselves.

its a lot like proofreading. Often we believe we have said something when we actually have not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
725 Posts
Recording and listening back is certainly humbling and informative for both practices and performances. I also find simply wearing headphones and monitoring (backing track and microphone inputs) my playing to be a good way to pick up and accentuate aspects of my playing that I don't hear when playing out into a room without headphones. And it can be done with something as simple as a Zoom H5 or H6.

Also, don't be tempted by egg crates on the walls for acoustic treatments. Careful placement of appropriate thickness Owens Corning 703 or open cell acoustic foam panels will be much more effective. recently had one of my nature photographs printed on acoustic grill cloth (50.00 online for a 48x24) to cover such panels and the results were surprisingly good. So, please your wife's sense of esthetics and get better acoustic results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,627 Posts
I record a lot of my practice sessions. Most of the time I either use a clip-on AKG or an SM57 with no room treatment. With the mic very close to the bell there isn't much room interaction. You can absolutely break yourself of some bad habits once you hear yourself on playback. One thing that I'm doing that is helpful to me is that I'm not monitoring my sax through the mix while recording. I don't hear any reverb but I do avoid any latency and it makes me not use the verb as a crutch. I add the verb to the sax track once I'm done.
Peter, do you have any sound clips online? I'd love to hear you play on that setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
Don't worry about egg boxes, they will not do more than make your room look ugly and collect dust. :) Search on youtube how to make your own absorbers out of insulation sheets (rockwool or similar).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I agree with author, you say simple and very right things. For me i have 1 reason for not doing it too often. I play sax much time every day, and when i record myself playing i listen to myself much time every day :D But seriously when you listen to records of yourself playing often you loose that very delighted 6-th sense. It's like when you are using Photoshop for 8 hours in a row, and than can't distinguish an original photo from a final version) For me, of course)
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top