I love the play-on-words hidden in the phrase, "sound engineer."
Hearing recordings of myself play the violin is torture. Anyone who has read "1984" will remember that Winston's particular paranoia has to do with rats, and so he is tortured accordingly. If I were a character in the book, I'd be locked in a chamber, listening to recordings of myself.
For many people, performing in public is their greatest fear--in fact, we've probably all heard that statistic that more people are afraid of public speaking than death. I actually love performing. As a somewhat shy and reserved individual, it surprises some people when they find out how much I love the stage. There are several explanations, but one is that I have a lot of experience performing, and so, naturally, I've grown comfortable with the setting.
With that in mind, I've been thinking that if I gain experience recording myself, perhaps I will grow comfortable with the process, like I have with live performances. While I try to overcome this fear, I am also learning just a little about how much detail goes into sound engineering and editing. We're talking a very little--my set-up consists of a portable digital recorder, the software that came with it, and one microphone--although it has been said my equipment is better than what the Beatles had to work with back when they were making records.
Obviously, the quality of my recordings don't match those of professional sound engineers, but as part of overcoming my phobia, I have also taken the risk of posting recordings here on this blog over the past couple of years, and most recently on trebellepianotrio.com. My goal is that someday, what I hear recorded will sound as good as what I hear when I'm performing live, although I don't think I will ever love recording as much as I do playing for a live audience.