The perfection dance

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The perfection dance

Musicians and, I suspect, creatives of all kind cringe at the idea of memorializing their mistakes.

Makes sense, right? Who wants that one sour note or off-beat rhythm to be shared by thousands of people over and over again? It's embarrassing—a blemish on their careers.

And so when we're making a studio recording at Octave Records we often have take after take after take to get it perfect.

This is in direct opposition to a live recording where what it is is what it is, warts and all.

More often than not, I notice that the first take in the studio is the best. Full of life and verve, there's an energy there that seems to dissipate and smooth out after each subsequent attempt at perfection.

What we wind up with a note-perfect track that's had some of the glory-bumps and innovative energy smoothed out of it. Homogenized.

The best recordings we've made were from musicians that were so damned good and sure of themselves that one take is all that's needed. Sure, these musicians too usually grind out another one or two takes, but inevitably, we go with take one or two as the best.

I believe that there's an intricate dance between perfection and spontaneity. Somewhere in the middle, perhaps even near the outer edges, lies beauty.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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