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Is recording music in parts cheating?

Megadebt

Experienced
Instead of doing a play through all at once, like as in a live setting, you multi-track it in smaller sections, a section at a time.
 

Sebastian

Power User
I would not consider this cheating. It's kind of established practice and putting the possibilities of technology to use.
If you have section A with an acoustic guitar and section B with an electric guitar, would you consider it cheating if you record it one after another because you need time to switch instruments?

IMO, cheating begins when you record something in slices because you can't play it, but it sounds as if it was played in one take and you surely would have to play it like that on stage.
On the other hand, recording is an art by itself. There are no rules creating your piece of art.
 

Megadebt

Experienced
I feel like when playing for a recording, it makes me want to play the part very clean and precise, so perhaps it is a better way to go about it.
 

Megadebt

Experienced
It also helps me learn the recording software, and the techniques that can be applied. …and it's fun… so it's all good!
 

grandinq

Power User
Whatever gets you to the place where the song sounds like you want it to.

One could call recording itself cheating. Before recording music was only live performance so the idea that you could hear a song the exact same way more than once is pretty radical.

The book Perfecting Sound Forever is a great history of recorded music and hits on all these issues.

I think at some point we all draw out own lines.

Watching the Get Back documentary, the Beatles were committed to capturing a completely live take of every song. It’s interesting as a concept but I think it added to some of the oddness of that project. At the very end of the last episode as the credits as fading, you hear Paul saying something like “should we do one more?” because he always had this nagging thought they could do even better.
 
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