By Maciej Lenartowicz
Over the past decades, musicians experienced an unprecedented increase in availability of home recording equipment. Recording studios of the 1980s based on cassette tapes redefined the way how music is created, spawning such masterpieces as Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” - intimate, dark, emotional and most important – created mostly outside of professional recording studio. In the digital age, there’s no need to rewind and erase – there’s plenty of recording space for hours of high-quality audio on your hard disk. Thanks to this pivotal change the difference between studio and rehearsal space becomes more and more insignificant.
There are very different ways of rehearsing – from a tightly organized practice of previously composed pieces to “chaotic” jam sessions. It doesn’t really matter how your rehearsal looks like – every single one of them is worth recording.
If you’re passionate about something that you do, it is very likely that you will want to do it better. Recording rehearsals let you (and other band/project members) review your progress on a certain piece of music. Some errors may go unnoticed while playing, especially when you are focused on your part and less concentrated on the piece as a whole. If your session is recorded everybody has a chance to take their time, re-think and highlight the most troublesome parts of a song. If rehearsals are recorded there’s no worry that somebody will forget their astonishing idea that came spontaneously. You can also record different versions of a song and then chose the best afterward, with a clear mind.
This type of exercise is a good way to introduce a new member of your band/project to already existing songs. She/he can learn all the songs prior to rehearsals without involving other band members and thus save their precious time.
Musicians, producers, and engineers strive to deliver perfect recordings to listeners. This may be achieved at professional studios, consuming a lot of energy, time and money. Pursuing perfection can also kill the spirit of the song, especially when you’re recording every track separately many times. While being imperfect, rehearsal recordings may capture the essence of your song to a greater extent than polished studio recordings. Moreover, recording rehearsals will make you accustomed to recording in general – say goodbye to shaky hands or voice.
If you’re recording music you’ll probably want to share it with other people. Recording rehearsals with a simple multi track device like ZYLIA Portable Recording Studio is a quick way to create quality recordings that can be used in multiple ways. If you’re just starting out and don’t have any professional studio material yet these recordings are a great way to show your songs to other people, acquire feedback (important before heading to the recording studio) and enlarge your fan base. Since those recordings are live they’re also a good example of your live playing skills and can be helpful for getting gigs.
To conclude, I think that in this case, it’s acceptable to answer a question with a question. Why shouldn't we record our rehearsals? Due to aforementioned advantages. enormous storage space for recordings and simplicity of making them I strongly believe that there’s no reason not to.