Recording session as new entity in MB

For any discography of artist the notion of recording session is very important, if not determinant, look at there or there.

Recording sessions are just the base, the frame of any artist’s discography.

A recording session, a live concert, a TV/Radio/Video appearance group (include) several recordings made by artist at the same location/studio, in the same date, with the same staff: musicians, recording engineer, producer. (So far we should add these relationships separately for each recording from a session/concert.)

Sometimes a release includes just a recording session (or some sessions) or, very often, a live concert or several appearances. So, the Release Group can have a relationship “Includes session” with the Session.

But so far this very important concept is absent in MB.
I suggest to introduce the “session/concert/appearance” notion in MB as “Session”.


If this was added it would probably be as a new type of event rather than as a new entity, see STYLE-383 - Add event type ‘session’. It’s something I’d like to see one day.


I’m not agree with session as type of event.
For any collector a recording session of an artist is not simply an event, but a range of different takes of recordings. The collectors find always some takes from some sessions, and not an event.
An Event includes nothing, whereas a Session, similarly to Release, should include the Recordings.
A studio session is not a public event, it is always an internal act of label, so any studio session, such as release, should be attached to a label directly in its description.

Why do you say an Event includes nothing? Anyway, an Event can be linked to Recordings just fine:


Sorry, but “can be linked to” and “includes” are very different things.

A session as entity is (and, IMHO, should be presented as) a range of recordings, such as a release.
More than this, a session is always a natural range of recordings, whereas most releases are an artificial sets of them.

From a conceptual point of view, the core entity in MB database is not a release, as in another known database, but namely a recording. It is to the recording, and not to the release, that most other important entities, for example, works, are tied. It is the recording, in contrast to the release, which always have its performer (and not “various artists”). It is the recording, not the release, which always belongs to the artist, and not to any company. It is recordings we are looking for and listening to when we acquire a particular release. True, there are also those who buy, for example, vinyl records simply as collectibles, with different colors of labels or with errors in the text printed on them, sometimes even without opening the factory packaging. But just for such collectors, many other discographical databases have been created. Our database, as it can be seen from its name, puts music at the forefront, and not a black label on vinyl instead of red…
Thus, if we recognize recording as the king of our database, then recording session as the nearest to this king is simply bound to find its place here.

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For me it’s the same as links can be ordered if we want.
I don’t see the nuance… :thinking:
The relationship (link) text can be « … includes … » :slight_smile:

Still you don’t get a simple playlist either with sessions as you can keep each track as a separate recording (drums, piano, bass, etc.), not only the full mix.

I would be in favour of adding missing session related data to existing events.
For me, a recording session is an event in a studio.
Event even already have time, not only date, and can be linked to studios (we can already even add sub‐studio if we want to specify in which room it was held).


You and me, we talk about different sessions and maybe about different things.
The traditional sessions of 20s-30s-40-50s don’t contain separate recordings (tracks) for each instrument. Them contain a range of different recordings (takes) of a song or of some songs.
So, I don’t understand your phrase…

Then why the Release has not a relationships with its tracks, but simply includes them?
Why the Release Group has not a relationships with its Releases, but simply includes them?

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We have to cover all types of sessions.
Both full mix takes and also tracks (that can be used in later remixes, etc.).
The second type is used to overdub live recordings or to swap musicians, etc.

Thanks to the discussion, I just understood the analogy between the session and the release.
The release contains the tracks.
The session contains the recordings.
The track is an implementation of the recording in this particular release. That is, one recording is represented by a large number (sometimes hundreds) of tracks.
And the session contains unique recordings. There is no other session for this particular recording.
In other words, a session is the same container for the recordings it contains as a release for the tracks it contains.
The session will be also a sole possible container for standalone and never-released recordings (that are known to have been made).
Thus, the session and the release are non-overlapping entities.
This confirms the need for the introduction of the “session” as entity.

But what exactly is my proposal hindering this?

I think it’s more accurate to say that recording sessions contain performances. Most recordings as they exist in Musicbrainz will likely not have been finalized at the recording session, but at a later mixing session. And there may be many MBz recordings (mixes) produced from the one performance.

How about this:
A release contains recordings (represented as tracks).
An event contains performances.

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So, you suggest to introduce in MB one more new entity called “performance”?
I’m afraid, our two proposals have not a chance to be accepted together…

And, for be serious:

Any recording session produces always the recordings. Them can be issued as them are, or not as them are (then these new recordings become edits or remixes of original one), or never issued. In all cases them still recordings. And you say about remixes. Any remix can’t “annihilate” original recording, which remains always.

I was more just trying to demonstrate why ‘recording session’ makes more sense as a type of event, than as a new entity.

Excuse me, but your attempt at a demonstration seems be against Style Guidelines (look at Remixes). If a remix or many remixes exist, this does not deprive the original recording of its status and does not turn it into a “performance”.

I liked @Kid_Devine’s explanation but I think it can be improved. Here’s my version:

  • A recording session produces a performance. A performance is raw in a way that it only consists of what the microphones captured.
  • An issued performance becomes a recording (in MB sense). MB recording is a final product and may or may not have been edited or mixed.
  • A release is a group of recordings in an order. Lone recordings may be singles or standalone recordings (MB guidelines define where the line is).

An event can contain all MB recordings which contain a part of a performance.

Late edit: I don’t mean to create any new entities to MB. There is no need. The term performance is used here to illustrate the relationship between a recording session and a MB recording.

First of all, almost all the recordings issued in the first half of 20th century did consist of “what the microphones captured”.
And most of all, until there is a new entity called “performance” in the database, I will argue that the session is generating recordings, and not unknown “performances”.
So, please, we will return to this conversation at this happy time. But for now I can not consider this as an argument against my proposal.

Sorry I should not have used the term tracks, it’s misleading.

  • Releases contain tracks linked to recordings.
  • Session events/series/collections contain or are linked to recordings

Session recording can be just the piano take 2, for instance.
Session recording can be a rough mix of that song, for instance.

Release commercial recordings are indeed more refined but still no need to have another entity like performance IMO, we can reuse recordings for those as we can reuse either events or series for recording sessions.

Sorry, I see nothing in common between “recording session”, on the one hand, and “series” or “collection” (of releases?), on the other hand. This is like comparing green with soft.

For me, what you want is a session containing recordings, so the session could be one of (in my favourite order):

  • Event
  • Series of recordings not good
  • Collection of recordings sucks