[Dixielandjazz] "Patching" recordings

Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis larrys.bands at charter.net
Thu Nov 1 09:38:58 PDT 2007

The technology is good enough to fool the ear but if you are doing cut and 
splice it's almost impossible to make a 100% clean cut.  If you go into the 
software and enlarge the areas you can see the splice even though you can't 
hear it.  I'm sure with more sophisticated equipment than I have the cut and 
paste can be made even more obvious.  It wouldn't be a good idea to 
introduce altered sound in court for that reason.  Then again it might just 
depend on how good the person doing the splice was.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Russ Guarino" <russg at redshift.com>
To: "Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis" <larrys.bands at charter.net>
Cc: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 11:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] "Patching" recordings

> Larry's story  reminds me of a studio afternoon I spent with an engineer 
> who had the latest, at that time, computer software.
> I had recorded  four telephone conversations with clients who had used my 
> band, and, with their permission I wanted to put their
> comments on my demo tapes.  However there was a lot of misc. conversation 
> that needed to be cut out so that just the pertinent comments
> would be brief and to the point.
> We cut out the immaterial talk and pasted the rest together, being 
> cognizant of  voice modulations and making modulation matches, high
> & low, for a proper fit.  The software showed the voice as a "earthquake 
> jiggle" and it was possible to make matches of different
> sections of the original recordings so that there was a smooth connect 
> from place to place.
> When finished, I was shocked at how perfect the "cut & paste" worked.  You 
> could not tell that what was heard was a conversation
> consisting of voice "pieces" without any breaks.
> I realized that it would be possible to alter just about any recorded 
> voice conversation and present it as an original, and by
> selection of pieces,  change the meaning of the conversation to just about 
> anything you could want.  You could "prove" just about
> anything your devious mind could desire.  Shutter !!!!   Conclusion: 
> recorded voices should never be used in a court of law.
> Russ Guarino
> However
> "Larry Walton Entertainment - St. Louis" wrote:
>> I think the original point of this thread was making a "silk purse out of
>> sow's ear".  Taking musicians and singers who are not very good and 
>> making
>> them something they are not.
>> It looks like it's the degree that is objectionable since everyone seems 
>> to
>> do it using the technology available today.  If this technology had been
>> available years ago I'm sure that they would have used it.
>> About 40 years ago I was at Missouri School for the Blind and we had a 20 
>> pc
>> band.  We were recording a march and try as we might the second half just
>> never came off very well.  Finally we got a good recording of the second
>> half but the first half was bad sooooooo..... I took out my trusty 
>> scissors
>> and tape and presto we had a good performance.  We have come a long way
>> since then.
>> I think you have to understand that true one take perfection is pretty
>> difficult to come by and live recordings may have some glitches.
>> Sometimes performances are memorable because of their glitches.  Some 
>> years
>> ago a high school friend who was a percussionist with the St. Louis 
>> Symphony
>> was doing the theme from 2001, Thus Spake Zarathustra.  They were using a
>> synthasizer which was a new gadget at the time and my friend was front 
>> and
>> center with an enormus drum set.  Now drum set wasn't his suit.  The
>> performance promptly got more and more out of sync but he bravely 
>> hammered
>> away.  No engineer could have fixed that.
>> I recorded a recent concert and one of the cuts was pretty good except 
>> the
>> singer forgot her words and got lost in one small segment.  Since the
>> section repeated I was able to cut out that part without any seam.  You
>> can't tell where the cut was made and no one except a real enthusiast or
>> someone with a score would ever know.  IMO this saved a pretty good tune. 
>> I
>> see that as more or less like skipping a chorus or taking a cut from A to 
>> B
>> to shorten a tune.  I would have no problem lopping off a bad note out in
>> front of a tune.
>> Larry
>> StL
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