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Classical Guitar Video Recordings are misleading. If you think when listening to those videos you are listening to the actual sound of the guitar, in our opinion, forget it, you are not. This video explains why.
In classical guitar video recordings are you really listening to the actual sound of the guitar being recorded?
I am a skeptic.
Classical Guitar Video Recordings are misleading.
If you think when listening to those videos you are listening to the actual sound of the guitar, in my opinion, forget it, you are not.
Just try to get that guitar you listen to in that video with that amazing, wonderful sound and play it in your room. The experience is totally different. It has nothing to do with that recording you listened on internet.
why is that?
Because in the recordings what you mostly hear is the chain of electronic devices they are using for the recording. And the quality of them.
We are talking about the quality of the
microphone or microphones,
the quality of the mic preamp,
the quality of the sound card that passes that recording to digital so that you can hear it on your computer or mobile… and many other things
If the quality of all this is excellent, the guitar will sound wonderful, and if the quality is not very good, the sound of the guitar will be much worse.
But then there is the quality of the person who handles all these devices. The sound editing. These professional people can do wonders with sound.
And then there is the issue of the hardware and software used when you already have the guitar recording. You can change nowadays the sound almost as you want.
If the guitar is not balanced in bass and treble it doesn’t matter, you balance it through equalizers and compressors, which you can get in software that are not very expensive and you can even get them for free. These computer plugins are very easy to use.
It’s funny that sometimes classical guitar makers spend a lifetime to balance the guitar between bass and treble and in recordings in a few seconds with these softwares you can balance the sound perfectly.
But really nowadays you can do everything with sound. You can add harmonics to the sound to make the guitar sound richer, add saturation, you can add a reverb effect which makes the guitar sound like it has a nice, open sound…
It’s just that if you think about it, you can take a cheap 500 euros classical guitar and make it sound amazing on a recording. So where is the point in listening to one of these recordings to get to know what a guitar really sounds like? Not only do you not hear the real sound, but it is often misleading for the person interested in buying a classical guitar.
The colours of the classical guitar, the ability to create dynamics, to appreciate the bass and treble quality of the guitar, the correct overall tuning qualities through all registers of the classical guitar, the ability of sound projection, that the guitar sound reach far… none of this can be appreciated in a recording. Nor, of course, the most important thing which is the sound quality and the sensations that you have with that guitar when you hold it in your hands and play it.
Then someone can tell me: “But Alberto, You can see in the recordings if that guitar is easy to play”, I don’t think so, because a good classical guitarist can play for a few minutes a guitar that is difficult to play in such a way that you don’t even realize it is difficult to play. It’s another thing to play that classical guitar for hours with difficult pieces, but a few minutes? Perfectly. So another thing you don’t know.
There is something that I’m a bit more convinced about and that is when they tell you that the recording at least gives you an impression of the sound it has. Even if it’s very small but maybe it does give you a slight impression of the sound that the guitar actually has.
But to get that impression of the sound you don’t need to make a recording of such high quality. With a recording from a mobile phone or a not veru expensive recording device that you have, you can get that impression of the sound that you want.
In fact, I give much more confidence to a recording with a mobile phone than to one of those recordings where the guitar sounds amazing, because the recording with the mobile phone will not have so much manipulation and will be more reliable with the real sound of the guitar. It’s going to be a recording that the guitar is going to sound a bit bad because it’s a mobile phone recording, but to give you that impression of the sound… it’s correct.
So what can you do to know the actual sound of a guitar?
Either play it yourself, or listen to it live at a concert that the guitarist doesn’t use amplification. Because that’s another thing, people who use amplification… ok, it is fine if they like the result, but I also like to go to classical guitar concerts to appreciate and enjoy the sound of the guitar that the concert guitarist is using in the concert. And if I go and see that it is amplified…. Ufff… I can forget about listening to the actual sound of that guitar. What I hear is the microphone, the speakers and so on that this concert performer is using. So something is missing that for me I really enjoy but.. anyway I will enjoy the interpretation of the music I suppose.
So what happens when you can’t even play it yourself or hear the classical guitar you are interested in live concert?
Then you need to listen to a guitar dealer you trust talk about the guitar, someone you really trust who recommends that guitar to you because he knows the style of guitar you like. And who speaks highly of the guitar and its qualities.
Anyway so This is my opinion on this subject. And I hope it helped you to know more about it.