Instrument credits for both release and recording

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Many releases have instrument credits for the whole album AND on track level. Those specified for particular tracks should be added to the recordings and those not (mostly main artists playing several instruments appearing anywhere on the album) should be release credits, I suppose.

But release credits have disadvantages:

  1. they appear only on the release where they were entered (possibly 1 of 20) and there’s no chance to copy them, isn’t it?
  2. Picard adds them to every track anyway (or none, if you decide to loose all main artists)
  3. If I do not add them to the other releases, I risk that they will be added to the recordings as well (by someone who tries to improve his release) and then I got them doubled.

I try to avoid release credits whenever possible. I think, in case of a live album from one concert with only one instrument per artist credited, it’s reasonable to relate them to all recordings. But that’s a rare case.

In reality I have one artist playing 2 instruments (trumpet and flugelhorn) and it’s taken from 4 shows, but I still use the recording relationship. Is it acceptable to do so?

I wonder what’s best for the database. I don’t like to add the release credits to more than one or two further releases. (dependent on the number of instruments)

On one release I tried to figure out, which instrument was used on which track. It was a simple case. …looked simple, but it was the hell. I will not do this again, even if otherwise a whole big band is playing a piano solo on one track :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I will often add specific credits at recording level by ear, when I am confident I can identify them correctly. Eric Dolphy played alto saxophone, flute, and bass clarinet; those are readily distinguishable by listening.

For a case like “trumpet and flugelhorn”, one option is to use the more generic “brass” credited as “trumpet, flugelhorn”. That lets you get accurate data at the recording level, at the expense of precision.

I think this is where @jesus2099 usually puts in a plug for the ticket that would allow relationships applied to a set of tracks/recordings. I’ll take a turn this time:


Unluckily I’m not very talented in doing so. I’m unable to distinguish between instruments much more different than trumpet and flugelhorn. And if I fall back to brass more detailed information is lost. :pensive:

Would be great too, but I would need a tool to add release relationships to a set of releases. This would not help for tagging files, but at least it would be correct in the database.

STYLE-273 would fit in nicely here IMO.


Probably not available soon. :neutral_face:

Now I’ve got a release with both type of credits, but only the per track credits appear on the original release and the release wide credits sum up all those track specific credits (mostly).

I noticed it, when I added the release credits to the first (original) release and then the per track credits to the recordings as well. For example, Erich Zawinul (Joe Zawinul’s son) plays percussion on track 2-5 (original credits) and it’s not very likely, the he took part at the whole show. He was a kid then.
But he credited for playing percussion on the whole album. Same with Jaco Pastorius who plays bass and probably only on one track he plays drums.

The problem is - there are complete credits for some tracks (1-6 and 2-4 to 2-7) but none at all for the others. If I tag my files (+relationships) most of the specific credits vanish underneath the overall credits…
Maybe it’s not a good thing to add instrument release credits at all :worried:

Original credits (image) can be found on this Discogs release:

I had a similar question about style recently. Especially with there being no good way to copy credits from one release to another, it makes entering them at the release level really laborious, imprecise and without much payoff. However, this is how a lot of records actually credit instead of liner notes that detail each song. I feel like this is one of the more glaring holes in the MB database structure right now.

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The idea of the “trackset” enhancement is that you would add the relationships to the trackset, and any release that included that same set of tracks would inherit them. On a release that included bonus tracks, only the original trackset would inherit the relationships.

So I’m not clear why you would still need to add release relationships to a set of releases.


That’s true. I haven’t got the idea at once.

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I didn’t think of that aspect, good point about these inter-release aspect of track sets.
I only thought within a release, intra-release.

But then what happens when another release contains all but 1 or 2 tracks of a track set?

Could it be a track set extract that shows the relationships? Or would it have to be a new, more little, track set?

I’ll add to this that a lot of Bandcamp reissues of compilations have additional tracks inserted throughout the track list and not merely at the end.


I would think that the same relationships apply. A track set level relationship is something like “on tracks 1-6, person X performs some combination of guitar, keyboards, and saxophone, but we don’t know which of those on which track.” If tracks 1-3 from that set apply on another release, that’s still the most granular information we have about person X’s contribution.