My previous post produced this question:
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the quality of recordings...what
things you listen for, if overly compressed recordings go right in the
waste bin, how much the sound quality itself affects your ability to
judge a recording, etc. This is a topic that I feel pretty hazy about
when giving advice to young singers. What do people who cast hear in
recordings? What should young singers avoid? How much is too much to
This is an excellent question.
First, yes, overly compressed recordings are not a good idea.
Second, the sound quality plays a HUGE part. If volume, distortion levels, etc. are bad, you will have undoubtedly hurt your chances.
Third, make sure that each selection presents you as you are now. Acoustics, recording quality, when the recording was made all make a difference.
Fourth, having a recording with orchestra is not an advantage, and it becomes a disadvantage if the recording quality is not good.
Fifth, I don't know what all people hear, or listen for, but I would say that I am listening for a great sounding instrument, for excitement to come through the recording, and also, for all the mundane things, like diction, musical accuracy, etc.
Sixth, avoid anything that will not give the first impression that you want to make!