Safety Takes

Whenever you record live instruments, no matter if it is just a soloist or a whole orchestra, always go for “safety takes” if time allows. Those are takes that you do after the point where you are happy with a take.

It can and will happen that you don’t spot problems in some takes, like noises or intonation problems in an instrument that is too low in the monitor mix to catch it. In such cases, safety takes to fall back to are incredibly valuable. Of course you can always start to patch together a good take from your existing takes but particularly on cues where there are not many alternative takes safety takes can safe a cue that otherwise would need to be left compromised.

The more often you do live recordings the better you will get at developing a feeling whether you have covered every part of a cue properly and if another safety takes makes sense or whether it would just be wasted time or energy to do one more. Sometimes, it is simply quicker to do a safety take rathern than going through all the takes again to check whether everything is covered. The general rule of thumb should be: When in doubt – safety take.


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