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The Power Of Performance

I’m convinced. Studio musicians have a superpower. It’s called performance.

If you’ve never seen a group of top-notch A-team session musicians lay down some tracks, you might not know what I’m talking about. These guys walk into the room, listen to the song once, walk into the live room, play a perfect track, then listen back once more to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

And the results are incredible. When they play, it sounds like a record. No hours of editing in a dark room with a bottle of Mountain Dew and bag of Doritos.

Even though we mere mortals may not have this superpower, there is something we can do to get better at our performances. We’ll just call it a “power.”

The reasons why you should aim to put down great tracks are pretty self explanatory. Nobody likes pouring over their computers fixing mistakes in post. Plus, there is a certain energy that a real, natural performance has that editing can quickly destroy if not done carefully. For this reason, we must figure out the best way to get a better performance.

And that way is to simply do it twice. We home studio pros don’t have the superpowers that the professional session musicians have, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it well. We have the power of performance, even if it takes us an extra take or two.

What I mean by doing it twice means that – even after you’ve gotten the perfect take – you do it again. A lot of times the first take may be a little shaky, maybe not quite as tight as it should be. Even if all the notes are there, the emotion and perfection might be lacking. That’s why you should make yourself do it twice.

The benefits are definitely worth the extra time it takes to track it twice. You’ll be much happier with your recording overall.

There are few exceptions to this rule, but sometimes you just nail it the first time. In that case, feel free to use your best judgement. Still record it twice, but keep the first just in case.

You know what they say – anything worth doing is worth doing over! 🙂

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