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#43: How Tight Is Tight Enough?

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Organic, Natural Feel VS Distracting Mistakes

The second most important thing (after the song itself and the arrangement) is the performance. The timing, intonation and vibe have to be spot on to create the perfect feel for the song. 

And “Spot on” doesn’t necessarily mean “perfect”. But what does it mean? Many people seem to struggle with deciding whether something is good enough or maybe already “too perfect”.

And it's a really good question! Here's why this matters:
As artists, we want to evoke emotions, we want our music to connect and resonate with people. This happens through the quality of the performance more than through the sound quality. Yep, it's true.

Tune in as we explain how to actually find out whether your takes are good enough or not and what to do to improve your performances, as well as the ability to properly assess them.


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

People Mentioned In The Podcast:

Marcus Manhas (Drummer)

Related Episodes:


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 043 - How Tight Is Tight Enough

[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] How tight is actually tight enough. So how good does the performance have to be? How good should the final takes be so that it could be turned into a professional production. This is the self recording band podcast. The show where we help you make exciting records on your own. Wherever you are. DIY style, let's go

low and welcome. To the self recording band podcast. I am your host, Benedick tine, and I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen flood. How are you, Malcolm? 

Malcom: [00:00:37] Hello? I'm great. Thank you very much. How are you today? 

Benedikt: [00:00:41] And great as well. Thank you on doing better. There's a little sick over the weekend, but not too bad.

Feeling better? Um, 

Malcom: [00:00:49] yeah. Glad to hear it. Yeah. I mean, getting sick as a weird thing right now, it's like so stressful when you hear somebody sick, it's like, are they going to die? Nope, they're fine. Yep. [00:01:00] Totally. You know what I'm, I'm just, as we started recording this, I opened up my calendar because I wanted to see when we actually recorded our first episode, we got to be really close to a year.

Don't we? 

Benedikt: [00:01:11] Um, I think we started in January. 

Malcom: [00:01:14] Yeah. I think you're right. We're almost there almost there looking forward to that. Almost there. It'll be fun to do a recap once we hit that point. 

Benedikt: [00:01:21] I mean, it should be easy to find it. Yeah, because I mean the year has 52 weeks. We haven't missed a week so far, so we are episode 43 right now.

So still 10 weeks ago, 

Malcom: [00:01:33] there we go. But we launched with a few episodes, right? 

Benedikt: [00:01:38] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. That's right. We launched with three episodes. So seven weeks 

Malcom: [00:01:42] ago. Oh, pockets episodes one slash two. Okay. So January 20th. Yeah, that was our first recorded podcast day. 

Benedikt: [00:01:52] Cool. 

Malcom: [00:01:53] Yeah, it's just over a month away. 

Benedikt: [00:01:55] Yeah.

It's like, I still feel like we just, we just started 

[00:02:00] Malcom: [00:02:00] and it's like, 

Benedikt: [00:02:00] yeah. But, uh, at the same time, it's pretty cool that we actually got almost a whole year done without missing a single Wednesday. 

Malcom: [00:02:06] Yeah. It's a, it's nice having like a routine like this. Yeah, absolutely. We get out of bed sometimes. It's perfect.

Benedikt: [00:02:15] Yeah. Uh, yeah, those who are not aware, uh, I'm in Germany, Europe and Malcolm is in Canada. So what time is it? I always forget it. 

Malcom: [00:02:26] We're normally recording at 7:00 AM for me. 

Benedikt: [00:02:30] So it's 4:00 PM here, days over after we record this on my side, but, uh, McCombs just getting started 

Malcom: [00:02:36] Jessica and stairs, two cups, two cups of coffee in already.

We're good. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:02:42] All right. Uh, so today's episode is actually inspired by the Facebook community. If you're not part of that, it's a free Facebook group. Let's just call it the self recording band community on Facebook, you can search it or you can go to the self recording, band.com/community, and, [00:03:00] um, that were forwarded to the group.

And when people join this group, I asked them one question and that is what is your, what is the number one thing you struggle with when it comes to recording your music? And, uh, it's very interesting to see the answers to these questions. And I asked that because that enables me to help people, um, best.

So I really want to know what the pain points are, what the struggles are. And last week I had a couple of people join the group and they all answered that their number one struggle was finding out when, um, or if their takes are good enough and how tight is actually tight enough. So how good does the performance have to be?

How good should the final takes be? So that it could be turned into a professional production in the end. Uh, and I found that to be an interesting question and also one that is kind of hard to answer, because it depends on a couple of things, but I definitely thought it would be worth making an episode on this because ultimately the [00:04:00] performance is the most important thing right after the song itself.

I think it's much more important than the Sonics. And, um, yeah, so it just makes sense that people think about this. And yeah. So today's episode is about how tight is tight enough. 

Malcom: [00:04:16] We can talk about why it's hard to, to figure this out. Um, because I think a lot of it comes down to confidence. There it's something you're not familiar with doing, and you haven't really had a lot of opportunity to record, uh, Well, if you're recording yourself, you might not have any experience recording somebody else.

So you don't know how, when you play something, how it sounds compared to when somebody else plays something. Um, so one of the advantage of being advantages of being a recording engineer like Benny or myself, is that we record a lot of people and every once in a while, Uh, especially at the beginning of a career, you get like a pro in and they set a new bar for what?

[00:05:00] Um, like if you get like a real session,  it changes everything for how you imagine drum recording should go. Um, and when you're first starting out, you're also maybe recording a lot of new bands that are just doing it for the first time. And things are, are quite a bit looser than, than if you bring in the season fro kind of thing.

So what happens though is by recording all these different skill levels at different musicians, you do develop a kind of internal compass for what. Like, what, what is it within your power? Um, both the fixed later, which we're going to talk about at some point, uh, but also just in the ability of the musician as well.

Um, like how much more can you squeeze out of the musician and also that then sets like a secondary compass for how, what is their ability and what you're capturing, or maybe your ability and what you're laying down, uh, represent the song you're working out. Because that's another conversation [00:06:00] altogether.

Maybe the drummer can play it. Absolutely perfect. But you actually need it to be a little more swung and kind of like quote unquote less on the grid. Um, that is again like a hard decision to make. And for people that are like bending on myself in court, a lot of the bands we've just learned to make those decisions, but I think starting out.

It's kind of challenging because you just don't have like any, anything to reference, like any decisions you've made in the past to look at it and be like, I made the right decision when I didn't like go super tight here or I made the right decision when I just like worked on it for another month until I could play it the way I wanted and then recorded it.

So number one, confidence, confidence in your design. 

Benedikt: [00:06:44] Yeah. Confidence in your decisions, but at the same time, Openness for, or being open for criticism and like the ability to just be honest with yourself and like take criticism and improve. Because I think [00:07:00] some people are, or many people are not confident in the decisions.

That's true, but also a lot of people are just completely overestimating their ability as musicians. As hard as this sounds, but it's like, it's the truth. And I'm, I was kind of the same. I thought when I, I mean, we all can, I think relate to that. So when, when I started out playing the guitar or the bass, and when I learned to play a certain song that I just covered, or just that I just learned to, to play, I thought I could.

Played just as well as like the original, like I didn't, you know, I didn't hear the difference in my performance compared to the legendary performance that I was like trying to pull off, you know? So I just thought I'd play the right notes. I played with the right, the right timing or strumming pattern or whatever.

So that must be the same thing. But it's not because it's the details. It's the feeling it's like, the timing was certainly not the same. The way I hit the strings was not the [00:08:00] same. Like my performance was clearly not the same, then the ones that I was trying to, to mimic to copy, but I didn't hear that in the beginning.

It's it's it takes practice to be, and like, you need to be, yeah. I mean, open and you need to, to be willing to improve and to constantly learn, um, to, yeah. In order to, to be able to. To pull that off and to learn how to, what the difference actually is. I don't know. It's a, again, a weird thing to explain, but, um, I think this is something that only comes with time and experience.

And if you are refusing to take criticism or if you are like, if your ego gets in the way, or if you just don't want to hear people telling you that you're playing could be improved, then you probably won't ever get there. Like. That's just, that's just the way it is. So 

Malcom: [00:08:53] yes. 

Benedikt: [00:08:54] Yeah. Confidence, but also being humble enough and willing to learn.

Malcom: [00:08:58] Yeah. Yeah. [00:09:00] I kind of wonder if this is the same for you, Betty, but when I was getting started with this and struggling with the same question, um, And, and, you know, I was recording my own music in these situations as well. So this is totally, I think, in line with what the audience was going through and probably the same for you.

You know, like we, we both started recording our own music, so we had to figure this out with our own bands, essentially. Yeah. Um, I started all the way to the left of. Not tight at all. That's what I first started recording. I didn't, I just like thought, okay, well you played it. That's, that's how it is. Um, and then try to keep stacking stuff on top of it and overdubbing, and it was just a giant mess of kick drums and bad scooped guitars by the end of it.

Um, and we're all out of tune and yeah, so just like a mess, right? Um, Like play the song once, start to finish, move on to the next thing. Obviously, as soon as I had [00:10:00] all the pieces together and trying to figure out why it sounded like shit, I decided like, okay, obviously the performance is the problem. And then what happened is the next learning phase in this area of development was going all the way to the right and started trying to make everything as tight as possible.

And that was like my default, no matter what I would always try and make it tighter, um, be that with editing or, or just. Playing it again, you know, and figuring out ways to make tracking easier little tricks, like muting strings on guitars. So they didn't have noises and all that stuff, you know, and like tuning, like really picky tuning and, and, you know, sometimes like maybe going too far with how drums are recorded as well.

Um, like piece by piece, you know, whatever needs to be done. Uh, To get it as tight as possible. And that actually proved to be way harder than I thought it was going to be. Um, I think I always had it in my head that like going like the quantized route was the simple way, but I think it's actually much harder than people think it is to get some things sounding [00:11:00] perfect.

Um, and actually like you can't do it without amazing musicians either. Uh, But, uh, I definitely went too far that way for awhile and kind of like to the point of not having, not leaving things that should have been left alone. Um, and, and then I had to once again, adjust and figure out okay. What, like, what should I be going after?

And then essentially I learned about it in a technical way. I think first by just being like, okay, this is messy. That is tight, tight is better, always kind of thing. And then I had to start thinking artistically, um, about the song instead. And that was it. It was like, honestly, a really slow learning curve for me with that.

Um, because you just, like, I think when I started going tight, I was doing music that did benefit from that. Um, and that's how I wanted things to sound. But yeah. When we're recording new songs at the time, you have to make those decisions based on the song. [00:12:00] Um, so again, it's kind of a trick, like, I don't want to keep saying that it comes down to experience, but as sure.

Benedikt: [00:12:08] Yeah. I mean, but it's, I think that's a very typical way, um, to let things go and like a very typical way to approach this. I mean, first at first you don't know that, like how. How tight things actually are. And you just think that what you hear on records is what people play. You know, and this is just captured and then put on a CD or whatever.

Then you learn that this is not the case you learn. First of all, you'll learn how exceptionally good these musicians are. Then you learn about editing and what you can do to the performances to make them even tighter. Then you try all those tricks and you go, as you said, the completely like perfect route.

And then you find your balance or you figure out what for like, what's the right thing to do for different genres and different songs. So I think that's perfectly normal [00:13:00] and, um, yeah. And absolutely a common way to do it and to learn and yes, without it, it always comes with experience. In this case, there is no other way.

I think that there's, there's really no other way, but we can help a little bit. And that's why we're doing this episode. So to get back to, um, to our little outline here, to our structure for this episode, that so. The first thing is that you need to know that it is actually important and that timing, intonation, vibe and stuff have to be perfect for the song you're trying to record.

Perfect. Doesn't mean perfect. So spot on for the song doesn't mean that technically perfect, but like the perfect full of the song, the writers kind of tight for the song and that's what it's, what's so hard to, to, to learn. Um, this is important because. Do you want your songs to connect with people? You want your music to resonate with people, and this [00:14:00] happens through the performance more than anything.

And now let's get like practical and show you how to actually do that to help you answer this question. So besides the, the experience thing that we've been talking about, so there's no way around that really, but besides that, there are some things that can maybe speed up the process a little bit. So. I think as always, you gotta be strategic and intentional about it, and then some things might be become clearer to you.

So the first thing I would think about is what is your genre? What is typical for your genre and what. They are, they're like Shawna conventions that give you like the ballpark that you want to be in. So could be, as Malcolm just said with some, Sean was like modern metal stuff. Um, there's not much room for like feel or, um, like a [00:15:00] loose timing or whatever.

So much of the stuff is like very perfect. And on the grid and some songs are just like, yeah, Edited perfectly to the grid without it like no, no push and pull moments and nothing like that. And that that's part of the sound part of the aesthetic. And that's, that was that's what makes the songs sound like they do.

And that's what makes these songs work. So. That's one extreme example. The opposite would be like a jazz or blues, um, record where like it's all about the, the, the performance that really happened in the room. Almost sure you want to correct mistakes and you want to learn how to play that way more than anything.

But, um, it's not that it's easy, but it's not about technical perfection there. So there's, there are definitely genre conventions, and that's the first thing you need to think of. I think. 

Malcom: [00:15:51] Yes. Yes. It's like things just do sound different when like, depending on the intention behind it and, [00:16:00] uh, spotting. That is the Mark of a great producer side note.

I think a lot of the times that I've been hired as a producer, it's a lot to do with just because of like my. Quality control. Like that's a, that's a big reason to hire a producer is just like that. They, they hopefully have like a very high standard for what's good enough. Um, and that's going to keep your project on track, but they also have to have enough like, uh, of a vision that they don't just always default to too tight.

Um, and, and that's what we're trying to, I guess, talk about. So you can develop that skill on your own, because we are trying to say, you can record yourself, but this is like, This is hugely important. Oh yeah. Um, it's, it's the, the main separation between a good producer and a bad one is, is like this ability.

Um, I think, and you got to learn that on your own, so it's tricky. 

Benedikt: [00:16:52] Absolutely. Absolutely. And the thing about the genre conventions, or what's like typical for your genre for [00:17:00] the type of sound you do, you, you try and make. It sounds trivial. And it's like, well, duh, you know, like of course, but the reason I'm saying it is I've had the situation a couple of times where some people like let's let's, um, let's take that, that metal example, that modern metal metal example.

Where the bank clearly wants to make a record. That sounds like modern metal record sound so perfect. Sample drums, everything on the grid. Um, no room for any like mistakes or like any push and pull moments. That's what they want. And that's the, that's what the reference is, sound like that they give me.

But then. There might be a person in the band or two that love to live there, who love to listen to old classic rock or whatever records. And they keep saying, we don't want editing because band XYZ in the seventies or eighties, they didn't edit. And it's so cool. And organic [00:18:00] and mistakes are what makes the music.

Come to life and whatnot, and they don't, they fail to separate their personal music tastes from what they're trying to do as a band. So that's why, I'm why I'm talking about this. It might, they might be right. And they might. The loose timing and all that, and the mistakes and stuff that they love in those old records, they have their place, but not in the record that they're trying to make with their band right now.

So that's why you need to be so clear about what you're trying to do. And you need to be able to separate that from other things that you like listen to, to listen to you. No, 

Malcom: [00:18:34] yes, yes. This, uh, essentially boils down to pre-production, which we've talked about in the past. It's a, this is the conversation that should happen in advance for sure.

Benedikt: [00:18:45] Yeah, totally. And the thing that goes hand in hand with this is like, Thinking about who's your audience and what they are used to. Um, it might be that you like. The certain tightness or like a [00:19:00] certain way of, of playing off of, um, a certain way that they're things sound, but it may be that the people you're trying to reach like certain things.

So you need to be clear who it is that you make this record for. Are you making it for yourself or are you trying to reach a certain group of people or you're trying to play, um, certain types of shows or get signed to certain labels or whatever. So. It's like always as always, it's worth thinking about who's your audience, what are they used to, and then listening to those types of bands that you want to maybe compete with or play shows with.

And that will give you a pretty clear idea usually of, um, how tight things sound in that world, you know? 

Malcom: [00:19:41] So, yeah, that's a great, uh, great ideas. Just like find some good, accurate references and, and consider what they've done. Um, Especially if they're finding success with it, right. It's probably a good clue.

Benedikt: [00:19:55] Um, yeah. All those things. What do you, as a band stand for? What's your vibe [00:20:00] and then what is that more important than the people you're trying to reach? Does, is there an overlap, so can you do, can you be authentic and do what you like and at the same time, reach your perfect audience, all these questions.

How do bands sound that you look up to and consider yourself similar to? It's basically all the same thing, but these are questions you need to go through. Yes. And then the next thing that could be pretty painful. And I'm um, I want to ask you, Mark, um, um, is that something you had to learn or was that, has it always been easy for you personally, like asking people for feedback and like really listen to listening to what they say and.

Did he taking that seriously? Because that's another thing that will give you clue. And that will help you a lot is not only looking to other bands, but really asking other people, strangers or friends or whoever asking them for honest feedback, and then taking that feedback and implementing it. So maybe you think it's [00:21:00] perfect for your sound and your genre, but everyone tells you it's not.

Malcom: [00:21:04] Yes. Yeah. You know, I think we've mentioned before that. Like, if you really want to get like a, a lesson into this, consider hiring a producer for a song, uh, and going in and going in with like a ringer, like a pro and. Just soaking up, seeing what you soak up, because that, I think that was the most like ASCA King I ever got was working with other people that are like, Aw, man, play that again.

That was like, not like you're holding that cord really out of tune and was like holding it out of tune. Oh yeah. Okay. When you bend the strings wrong with your left hand, like it hadn't crossed my mind, honestly. Um, you know, stuff like that will really, really change your perspective. Um, but. And, and I did that, you know, worked with other people.

And I think, again, that was the biggest strides I made as far as understanding how to get things tight and what tight really was. Um, pretty much [00:22:00] I think it was always moving that way. Like what my idea of what tight was, was constantly getting pushed forward. Um, but as far as like asking for feedback and stuff, I think that was something I kind of had to like get better at, as I went.

Um, I used to do this stupid thing. I think when I started out where I was like only sharing the mix with people that I like thought was 

Benedikt: [00:22:19] yes, yes, totally 

Malcom: [00:22:21] positive feedback only. Yeah. Uh, but that's not a good, good move at all. Like. Instead of sharing it with your friend, who's like gonna love it no matter what, share it with like your recording mentor or something like that.

And he's going to be like, okay, I see where you're trying to do, but like, this doesn't sound good. This doesn't sound good. And like, okay. Right. I have to look at that. I was lucky. Cause I, I, if you've listened to, uh, the episodes of this podcast where you interviewed me about my background, I had a great internship coming up in the recording world.

So I always had this. This mentor, Zach, who was willing to tell me exactly what was sucking with what I was doing. 

Benedikt: [00:22:58] Yeah. Yeah. And [00:23:00] that's, so that's so valuable. And as you say, as you said, we all start by just wanting to hear the positive things. Um, but at some point we need to move on and we need to show our stuff to people who might not like it.

And that's actually a pretty good thing. It's scary, but it's a very, very good thing. And what's also good about it is. Not only do you get like the, the criticism and the feedback, but if you show it to people who are maybe not experts at this, the way they will tell you what they hear or what they think, it sounds like can be very helpful because they use a different language or they, they will not say for example, they probably like, if you're, so to that normal, like music, consumer, not an audio pro or musician, they probably won't say that.

The eighth notes on the guitars are not tight enough or whatever, but they will say maybe that maybe they can't really hear what's [00:24:00] going on in a certain part, or maybe they think it sounds confusing or they don't even, they don't even follow the song. Really. They get distracted, they stop listening. Like also watching people when, while they're listening to your music can give you clue, can tell you so much.

So if they kind of. Yeah. Not if you're not, if they are not able to really follow along and yeah, it's good. You just kind of need to watch them, but they will definitely use a different language and they will definitely tell it in a way that tells you something. And that's, that's super valuable. I think that's because that will show you the most important things, because all the details that we obsess about as professionals might not be as important, but the first thing that stand out to like amateurs or just people who like, like to listen to music, those are the things that really matter.

And to them, the S the performances and the songs themselves are much more important than the Sonics. So whenever they [00:25:00] think something is off, it's probably to do with the, with the performance. 

Malcom: [00:25:04] Yeah. I'm just picturing you sitting down with somebody to listen to something you've done and just glaring out though, to say something negative threatening glances.

Benedikt: [00:25:15] I mean, I think I told you, I told you before on the podcast, there's this weird phenomenon uglier. I show something to people. And before they even say something, I immediately hear it differently just because I kind of listened through their ears or whatever. Like it's, it's this weird thing that I always do with my wife.

I just put something on and before she even says something, I'm like, okay, I know, thank you.

Malcom: [00:25:41] Oh, that's funny. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so. I mean, just for some ideas it's tricky. Normally I I've always found that there's somebody in the band that has that ability. Um, so actually the co-host of my other podcast, Marcus, uh, Is is that [00:26:00] guy for me, he's like a drummer to a very, very high degree. He's one of the session guys that that is just a ringer.

But the fun part is that I got to watch him become one of those. You know, we started a band before. I mean, he was a very, very fantastic drummer at that point, but he like really became just world-class like years and years after kind of thing as we recorded a bunch. Um, but anyways, he always had the ability just to be like that doesn't sound.

Like it's meant to, like, I'd be like working on these guitars that are quote unquote massive and you'd come in and be like, those are pretty thin sounding. Oh, okay. Or like, why do they, like, it's not tight? You know, he just like, can instantly be like, this doesn't sound pro, like this thing right here.

Isn't like, cause we're trying to make modern rock albums kind of thing with our band. So it was just like an immediate, like that's not up to snuff kind of thing. He would always have good language for it, which would just make me realize I'm like, okay, maybe I should put the Strat down because that doesn't sound [00:27:00] like a model.

Sweet that's more tone. But like, there was definitely timing situations too. Um, and I remember we did one song, uh, that didn't end up making our album, but unlike the rest, it needed to be super tight. And, and he was the one that was like, it's just not. Like how I played it isn't that way. Um, so he actually edited it, which was fun, but just graded it.

And it was like, okay, that's the, that's the style? This song's meant to be in. Um, and yeah, like I said, the song kind of sock, so it didn't make the album, but it was cool doing it like totally different than the rest of the songs on the album. 

Benedikt: [00:27:38] Yeah. Yeah, but that, yeah, that's also interesting. So it's not only about what the, your band is, sounds like or what you're trying to sound like as a band.

It could be that it's different from song to song. It could be. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally. And like, yeah. Um, So asking for feedback pre production, you already said it pre production and having [00:28:00] that one person in the band, maybe who is just an ear for that definitely helps. So doing, pre-production recording yourself, listening back, um, discussing the recordings is a crucial step here that that's basically the only way to really know what you're doing, because you will hear it differently then.

Uh, compared to like listening while you're playing. So there's no way around recording yourself and analyzing those demos. If you want to get better at this. And if you want to find out what's actually tight enough. And I think to give a clear answer to the question of what is tight enough, I think one thing is, and I thought about that while I was talking about the getting feedback thing is.

If you can listen through the whole song or have someone listen to the whole song without getting distracted, without thinking about the song and about the performance. And you're just enjoying the song, you're just following the rhythm, the melody and everything. And there's nothing that like really stands out or like suddenly like [00:29:00] throws you out of the song.

That's probably a pretty good sign. So that's, that's definitely an indicator. I always feel like when I record stuff or when I listen to demos, There are always these parts where I listened to the song and I enjoyed it. And then there comes this part and I'm like, Oh, here's something we need to fix. I immediately like that just jumps out to me as not finished.

And when that doesn't happen, when you can listen to it from beginning to end and it's just a song that's, that's pretty good if that happens. So, um, I mean, so nothing distracting should happen and then. I also think that in most modern music, I think as a rule of thumb, I think that the rhythm, the drums, and maybe the bass, but especially the drums or the combination of drums and bass and maybe rhythm guitars need to be pretty, pretty, pretty tight.

So there's not much room. So there could be a little bit of maybe if it's a good drummer, they could like play a little bit behind or ahead, but not [00:30:00] much there should be pretty spot on and everything else like melody instruments, leads, um, vocal sometimes depends, but like there's some stuff that can play sort of around that.

As soon as the core rhythm parts are really tight and locked in. So as I said, it's, it's Shaundra dependent, but. I think in most modern music, the rhythms need to be pretty tight to the groove and the rhythm. And then you have more or less room with all the other stuff around that. I feel like that's the case often.

Malcom: [00:30:34] It's like that foundation kind of gives you the freedom to then experiment with time and stuff on like other and other places. Yeah. Lead vocals are definitely the most forgiving. I think, um, you can a vocalist kind of set very head or very behind and it still sounds pretty natural. 

Benedikt: [00:30:49] Yeah, it kind of depends because sometimes when it's a really rhythmic vocal that, um, is supposed to do the same as the drum groove or whatever, then sometimes they need to be [00:31:00] very, very tight in order to work.

But oftentimes you're totally right. Um, it's the most giving. Yeah, definitely. So, yeah. Um, I think one of the, uh, harder things here too, except is what you wrote down human coming. It's it's a lot harder. Then people think to sound perfect. So, yeah, and that, that's also something that we can relate to, especially when we're starting out.

We think we sound perfect when we recorded our first demos, but we're far from it, 

Malcom: [00:31:30] so. Yep. Yeah, totally. Um, yeah, I mean, you also, you need to experiment going too far and too loose to really. Gain that perception. Um, and I know in the next episode, Benny and I are going to be talking about, uh, editing and, and why you should probably be doing editing.

Um, but that's kind of like that's related to this because the learning that, um, and what you can do with editing. Will change your perception [00:32:00] of what's good enough in the performance aspect as well. Um, uh, and it's the same for like both time and editing and tuning editing. Um, you'll learn what's possible.

And what. Like sometimes you think something sounds awesome, but then you give it a little edit and, or tune or whatever it is. And you're like, wow, I didn't know. It could be this much better. I'm like this really got to where it needs to be and your ears going to get used to that. And you're going to start trying to achieve it without editing.

Um, just naturally you're going to be like, okay, it's still doesn't sound right. Like, I know this can sound better. And that again comes down to the experience. So there's like a whole lot of practice with your instrument. And a whole lot of learning your craft as a recording engineer. 

Benedikt: [00:32:48] Yes. 

Malcom: [00:32:48] Yes. And it will be constant company just by the way 

Benedikt: [00:32:52] is a combination of those things and, yeah, totally.

You're right. So what is, [00:33:00] um, W w when we wrap this up, what, like, is there a kind of a summary or like a thing that we can give people? Like what, like a definition of what tight enough is, 

Malcom: [00:33:12] as long as the song has emotion and you are not just drafted at any point by timing or pitch. I think it is tight enough.

Yes. Yes. 

Benedikt: [00:33:23] That's a good one. I think so. I think so too. I think tight enough is also probably tighter than you think it is. Yes. That more often than not, it will be tighter than what you already, what you currently have. So it's more likely that you're not tight enough. 

Malcom: [00:33:40] Yeah. I think a lot of bands could benefit from striving for what they think is perfection and it's going to be.

Quite a bit further than, than they're aware for what perfection can really be. 

Benedikt: [00:33:54] Yeah. Yeah. And I also think tight enough is when, what you've done has been [00:34:00] done with intention has been done intentionally whenever the movements that are still there, the mistakes or the timing, like, um, yeah. Um, Stuff. That's not super tight that the timing variances is if, if that stuff is not intentional, but just because you couldn't do any better, it's probably not tight enough if it's in there because you wanted it to be in there because you intentionally wanted it to be ahead or behind.

Or if you're just, if you've been lucky to capture perfect moment, that was just the way it is. It's just perfect. Then that's a different story. But if there is like, It's the timing varies. And if it's not like spot on, but you don't really know why or it wasn't intentional. It's probably not. 

Malcom: [00:34:44] Yeah. Yeah.

I'm with you. 

Benedikt: [00:34:47] Okay. I think that's good. That's actually a good point to just wrap it up here because, um, we basically said it it's a matter of practice and experience. It's a matter of asking yourself the right questions. It's a matter [00:35:00] of asking for feedback. It's a matter of like recording yourself, listening back, and then, um, yeah.

Making sure you do things intentional and making sure you don't get distracted while listening to your songs and yeah. Yeah. That's basically. Yeah. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:35:16] I think we're kind of like naturally starting to bridge into the editing conversation and that's why we need to stop. And in the next episode, uh, we'll, we'll, we'll talk about that because that's where there's like, I think a lot of illumination can happen for people.

Um, and, and we're trying to convey. That it probably should be tighter than, than you're getting. Um, and, and that's just a reality most of the time. Uh, like I said, Marcus was a great drummer when I started recording with him, but he became a lot better to get to the point where. Where I'm rarely editing now when he's my guy kind of thing.

Right. And that's like the rarest of circumstances to have somebody like that in [00:36:00] where you're like often just not touching the performance. That is very rare, very rare. Even at like the highest level. Um, yeah. So, uh, Let's. Yeah, we'll see you next week with that. 

Benedikt: [00:36:12] Exactly. Let's move on to editing the next episode.

Thank you for listening. Bye bye.

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