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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:30 pm 
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michaelrose55 wrote:
It sounds like you really have no idea what's out there.

Thank goodness not. And we'll be quite happy to leave it like that, and instead go and tickle the old ivories of our archaic wooden hammer boxes.

michaelrose55 wrote:
But if you want to restrict yourself to acoustic pianos that's fine with me. I uploaded this because I thought it would be fun to become a member here but as it looks like I stepped on everybody's toes I would ask you to delete my account.

It shall be done.

michaelrose55 wrote:
Yes, I use modern technology to record my music. That includes playing an expensive high end digital instrument, recording on a high end digital hardware and software platform, editing and cleaning up on studio level production software.

Somehow this does not jibe with your initial post, where you said you play piano, after a long hiatus, just for the fun of it. Your fun is evidently in something else, which I can well understand in someone who is so inclined. I just do not understand what the point is, and what you expect people to make of it. Did you expect people to acclaim that at long last, Alkan has been done right in a musically and technically superior, unique definitive rendition ? The result is so lifeless, mechanical, and doctored that music lover would applaude it. Did you expect people to marvel at your computer skills ? Quite possible in a geek community but this is not one of those. Did you expect us simple pianists to gawp at your expensive gadgets ? Did you expect us to marvel at your piano playing skills, by presenting something that is impossible to play like this ? Did you expect us to want this on the site, for people around the world to enjoy ? Honestly, what did you expect ?

michaelrose55 wrote:
If that leaves too clean a piece of music that's at least debatable and you should let people have their own opinion. Unfortunately to me it looks like you don't want to allow this kind of thing and that's fine, that's your choice. But to me it's like fighting over whether a photographer these days is allow to use photoshop to improve his results.

Sure, to each his own opinion. We shall agree to disagree and go our separate ways. No hard feelings, only puzzlement.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Surely the real distinction one wishes to make is not what kind of instrument (acoustic or digital) has been used, but whether a performance has been played live or generated by computer (even if it's just "manipulation" of data the input of which involved using a keyboard played more or less in real time, but not necessarily at the right speed). The latter allows the production of "perfect" performances, bypassing the need to master the technical pianistic skills which would otherwise be required. Because much of the hard work is avoided this way, we consider it to be cheating. Our goal is not the production of a high quality recording, but the production of a reasonably high quality live performance, of which a record is then made.

Of course some latitude must be allowed when deciding what "live" really means. We don't (and shouldn't) require a recording to consist of one perfect take from start to finish. Post-performance edits are OK for the purpose of eliminating page-turn noises and correcting mistakes, and some processing to reduce hiss, adjust levels, perhaps tinker with dynamics, and so on, and even though in some sense that too could be considered to be another kind of "artificial perfection", this is acceptable provided that all the material from which the final recording is spliced together does actually come from live takes.

But that is no reason to reject digital pianos altogether, provided they are used in live mode. I think it would be wrong to make special exceptions for existing members, because it is unfair to would-be newcomers whose intentions are every bit as genuine as those of existing members, but who for whatever reasons (probably for the same reasons as those which apply to existing members) don't have access to a real instrument or to acoustic recording equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote:
tinker with dynamics


This is the only slight detail in what you said that I would take issue with. I think this borders on doctoring and artificially enhancing the actual elements of performance.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:38 pm 
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jlr43 wrote:
Quote:
tinker with dynamics
This is the only slight detail in what you said that I would take issue with. I think this borders on doctoring and artificially enhancing the actual elements of performance.
I don't disagree with you here, particularly as "borders on" leaves room for latitude.

The question of which side of the border one is judged to be on might be answered by the motivation for the tinkering. If it is to add dynamics to a performance which contained none, that should be frowned upon. If it is merely to exaggerate dynamic contrasts which are actually there in the performance, but which the recording does not reproduce well, it could be excused.


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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:13 pm 
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rainer wrote:
Of course some latitude must be allowed when deciding what "live" really means. We don't (and shouldn't) require a recording to consist of one perfect take from start to finish. Post-performance edits are OK for the purpose of eliminating page-turn noises and correcting mistakes, and some processing to reduce hiss, adjust levels, perhaps tinker with dynamics, and so on, and even though in some sense that too could be considered to be another kind of "artificial perfection", this is acceptable provided that all the material from which the final recording is spliced together does actually come from live takes.

This particular patch of ground has been covered many times already. Actually I find it a bit OT here. There is a world of difference between a little cosmetic post-processing of one's recording, which I think most of us do here, and heavily manipulating some material of doubtful origin to create something grand and supposedly unique (and then not saying so upfront).

But while on the subject, I agree with Joe that tinkering with dynamics seems to be on the wrong side of the fence. Though I plead guilty of occasionally decreasing the volume of a closing note that came out too loud despite my best efforts at playing it ppp or pppp.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:59 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Yes, all other things being equal, acoustic is preferable to digital. But realistically I don't think it's fair to make a stipulation that digital recordings should be rejected. Ultimately what that does is to punish perfectly genuine performances because of the sins of the few. Digital pianos are far more practical for many people nowadays, living in apartment blocks, or moving regularly between accommodation to due to pressures of work or education.

What I think is to be condemned is when someone attempts to pass off a digitally rendered performance which has not even been played in the traditional sense. There are plenty midi files of various pieces out there and there is no guarantee that some of these performances are even the original work of the "artist" (sic). There's pretty close to no reasonable excuse nowadays for being unable to produce a video of a work on demand, assuming the capability to play it: the camera on my mobile/cell phone is significantly better in terms of video specification than my camcorder!


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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:50 am 
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Posts: 1958
Location: U.S.A.
Hi andrew,

Quote:
There's pretty close to no reasonable excuse nowadays for being unable to produce a video of a work on demand


I'll probably be called a Luddite opposing the Ugly March of Progress. :lol: But the truth is I have no cell phone. (I prefer a land line and don't want a cell phone intruding into my life when I'm away. Also I have no patience for "Can you hear me now?" Plus they have potential health hazards.) I don't have an iPod (prefer to listen to music at home on piano sites, CDs, FM broadcasts or better yet to play the piano and make the music myself.) No Kindle either (I like the feel of a real book in my hands, not a piece of plastic). No laptop (with an excellent Dell Inspiron PC, don't need one as computer stuff can wait until I return home). No iPad (see reasons above). Recently our daughter gave me a Garman navigator. That I like because my wife too often suggests that I make wrong turns. So now I can say "I told you so." Even if I were a techie, the piano and PC are at opposite ends of the house.

Anyway, I definitely fall into the "pretty close" category. :lol:

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:46 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Ha, I knew there would be an exception. :wink: I'm only one step behind you on the Luddite spectrum. However, my phone does play music, video, perform satnav, and makes a pretty decent attempt at being a laptop.


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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:05 pm 
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Posts: 67
Location: East Yorkshire, England
For me, standalone digital pianos are fine and (dare I say it) even some MIDI keyboard based pianos could be fine in some cases as long as the sample set and keyboard are good enough.

A digital piano and a MIDI keyboard based instrument aren't much different - they both use a velocity sensitive electronic keyboard (glorified switches with a velocity sensor), some sort of processor (PC based for MIDI, embedded for digital piano) and a set of audio samples to produce the sound. The digital piano has some more specific processing perhaps for polyphony and pedalling but not much more.

But, I think, what is important is that what is submitted to this site is a true representation of someones performance including dynamics, tempo and execution of the notes. If the recording is of a good enough quality as well then that should be sufficient for an "Audition".

To take any recording and "tinker with dynamics" (on any piano) or edit a MIDI file to alter speeds and change notes, or indeed, create the MIDI file from scratch shouldn't be acceptable on this site (at least in the Audtion Room) - there are plenty of sites for MIDI enthusiasts.

I'm not sure there is any need to ask for a video as it is quite clear from some recent submissions that PS members can spot the suspect recordings very easily.

But, I do think that some guidance as to what is acceptable might be useful for the future to avoid potential arguments.

Ideas anyone ? (!)

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:50 am 
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Thanks for your thoughts everybody. We'll take them all into consideration when formulating updated rules.
For now, I have removed the OP from the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:33 pm 
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You should write:

"In priciple only acoustic pianos are acceptable for submission. Recordings on digital pianos will only be accepted under special conditions and at the discretion of the board. MIDI files are only accepted on the forum for illustrative purposes and no other."

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Last edited by richard66 on Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Thanks Richard, I'll take that into account too.

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 Post subject: Re: My first upload: Alkan Allegro Barbaro
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:13 pm
Posts: 192
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
I guessed this would pop up again.

The OP was honest in that as soon as he realized this is not the right place he asked to be removed. This suggests the problem is information. Sure we can post rules but there will always be a grey area, and many newbees will post without reading all the rules and without lurking to find out what goes.

I suggest that we enforce the principle that whenever someone posts a recording it is mandatory to provide detailed information about how it was done, and with what editing. This goes for all of us. If it is a single take just say so. If someone posts a recording without this an admin can summarily lock the thread, asking the poster to re-post with this info. Based on this information the admins can decide if the recording is acceptable. This procedure also highlights that in this forum we really care about this.

Granted, this will not protect against deliberately dishonest posts but I think those are much rarer than honest mistakes. I think this would have stalled the OP in this case, and even the infamous Guy. He is well known in his area, so had he really wanted to be dishonest he wouldn't have used is real name. He had the very misguided idea to try us out as an experiment, not understanding that this is not a done thing here.

There still remains the issue of actually defining admissible production and editing procedures. I suggest we err on the liberal side. After all, if all information is immediately available, those not interested can simply stop reading the post. In particular I would be sad to see a ban on DPs. Granted, they do not sound as good as a good grand, but they can be better than many physical out of tune pianos. I respect those who have an aversion to DPs, but perhaps their misery is mitigated if they know this is the case from the start so they don't have to listen.

I don't believe in partitioning people in "trusted" and "suspect" categories, with different rules. This will make this forum a kind of closed club and may reduce good submissions. We want (I hope) to welcome all new people to submit.

Joachim


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