From the Archive #1: It is art?

So it looks like concerns about truthiness and tape been with us a lot longer than all the press about Ke$ha’s recent beef with Britney’s lip-synching and Jay-Z’s self-declared (and apparently one-man) war against autotune. Here’s a tidbit from a 1955 Hi-Fi booklet. . .

Overediting of Tape

“As we have already noted, tape recording allows for considerable latitude in corrective re-recording and sound editing. This fact has been a godsend to many recording artists who cannot or will not present a competent beginning-to-end performance of a work of music for recording. Thus performances are often made in bits and pieces, and the artist decides which parts he wishes used.

It is interesting to note that the record companies are not usually to blame for this practice, except for the fact that they readily accede to the demands of their artists [ed:!?!?]. But one must wonder who is the real artist here, performer or tape editor?

The editor may receive instructions to use various passages from a number of different takes, to alter the pitch on this passage, to correct the dynamics on that, even to change the timbre overall. This results in a record which is possible better than any single public performance given by the artist. And it really is a synthetic performance. It may sound fine, but is it music? Is it art? Is it high fidelity?”

Let’s see what J-Hova has to say about that. . .


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  1. A Brief History of Auto-Tune | Sounding Out! - April 21, 2014

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