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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Going through old material: To fix or not to fix?
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orczy



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 1:07 am    Post subject: Going through old material: To fix or not to fix? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've started this here in composition, but if there is a more appropriate place, maybe one of our helpful moderators will move it.
Ok.
I am currently going through some of my early material, for a planned archival release series. The work that I am currently mulling over is in fact my very first pieces, dating from 1991.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the works, but unfortuantely, they were mixed by an inexperienced 19 year old. In releasing this material for the first time, I want it to be at it's best, but there is a hankering in the back of my mind that I should leave them well alone, put them out as they are.
The alterations I have in mind are simple: pretty much just changing entries and exits of different instruments. I am not planning on adding anything, or moving anything around.
The way I see it, the equipment I had at the time was pretty poor, and the four track a new tool for me. I didn't really know much about mixing. I feel I can make the pieces better, without taking anything away from the original.
To add to this, my opinion on works that have been made available publicly is a bit stricter. Once it is out there, it should be left alone. (Froese comes to mind here)
I am very interested in your opinions on this.
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gravehill



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If it's previously unreleased material I don't see any problem in refining it as the listeners won't have anything to compare it to.

Even in the Froese case I'm not exactly sure about the justification of some comments against the new versions. As a composer it's your right to do any alternative versions you like. If someone doesn't like them, there are still the original ones to listen to.

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egw
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Go for it, if you like the results better.
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seraph
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I usually do not like to go back to an old piece but once in a while it happens. if the piece is a old midi thing usually I do not have those synths anymore and that makes things not easy to resurrect unless I play everything again on my gear of the moment instead of trying to use an old midi track. it depends also on how accurate are my notes about that piece, if I am going to spend too much time recreating it I prefer to go for something new. midi is not a good way to save data for the future once you have sold those old synths.
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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just keep backups so you can track your development.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's your music to mangle as you please. Bob Dlyan and John Lennon never played their music the same way twice. Lennon was notorious in the studio because he was unable to sing doubling tracks to thicken up the sound.

Still, if you leave them as they are, they will have a unique quality and charm. More importantly, you'll have more time to work on new stuff.

Threat the 19 year old boy with due respect and compassion. I bet these recording are pretty fine as they are. Otherwise, by the time you become my age, you'll spend all your time reworking all those pieces you did in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. For someone who produces as much music as you do, it could be a big job. Laughing

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astroid power-up!



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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

remixes are fun. it's nice to take new tools and techniques and make your old pieces sound better. just try to remember what you were going for in the first place.
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orczy



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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Threat the 19 year old boy with due respect and compassion


That is really the guts of the issue for me. I remember doing them and being so proud, because I had finally got something done. Wiser and more experienced (?) now, I can see some areas for improvement, and knowing how I thought then, I am sure I wouldn't have minded. They are simple fade in and outs. The quality (?) and quirk (!) will remain. It brings up an interesting point, which I am sure we could all discuss.
Where is the progression over the years. By listening to this earliest of stuff, I can hear elements of my current work. The work has improved, but I think that is terms of form, structure etc. My melodies are essentially the same, albeit a little smoother. I know my harmony is more advanced, but the feel is pretty much the same. I find this very interesting. Has anyone else had the same experience?
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seraph
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mustel wrote:
Has anyone else had the same experience?

listening to old tapes I notice a freer attitude toward creating music. it was a necessity because I did not know much about "rules" etc. but somehow I miss those moments where I used to turn the light off and randomly play my piano. I was more forgiving to myself then, now I am more pensive toward composing, more structured, older maybe Question Cool

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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Stanley Pain



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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i only have 2 rules when composing, in the broadest sense of the word.

1. turn on the computer

2. save everthing.

there are many subrules for those 2, but essentially, have a quick save key or combination of keys and save to a neat file system that is easy to back up.

insofar as reworking old material, why the hell not? if it's so precious keep it and work on it as a new copy.

i often find that when working on a composition that was a dead end a week ago or ten years ago, i am often pleasantly surprised by the quality and spend much of my time thinking "how the hell did i do that" or "how did i come up with that". i often find it inspiring enough to take the project to completion.

i often find that i either totally rework the production OR totally rework the melodic and rhythmic structure of the composition. very occasionally i do both and end up with something that scarcely resembles the original project. but ain't that fun and exciting?

it's a fine balance being sentimental about your own work and keeping yourself moving fowards, creatively and practically.
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seraph
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Stanley Pain wrote:
"how the hell did i do that" or "how did i come up with that.

gee...that happens to me all the time and sometimes I even enjoy my own compositions Very Happy

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
I was more forgiving to myself then, now I am more pensive toward composing, more structured, older maybe Question Cool


Go the extra mile and be forgiving to yourself, then you'll be kinder to the rest of us... Wink

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seraph
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
then you'll be kinder to the rest of us... Wink

gee...I thought to be kind already Laughing

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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opg



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't choose to "fix or not fix." Just frequently go back to them, listen, learn, and extract. Or if it's just an issue of sound quality (god knows I've been through that), just fix up the sounds using the processes you use today, and see what it gives you.

http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-1158-50.html
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orczy



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Re: Going through old material: To fix or not to fix? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

orczy wrote:

The alterations I have in mind are simple: pretty much just changing entries and exits of different instruments. I am not planning on adding anything, or moving anything around.
The way I see it, the equipment I had at the time was pretty poor, and the four track a new tool for me. I didn't really know much about mixing. I feel I can make the pieces better, without taking anything away from the original.


Hiya everyone. I wrote that 6 months ago.

My, my how my opinion has changed.

I have (after much procrastination) decided that the pieces are best left as I originally mixed the, No changes at all.

I did a few versions of some of them, and they just didn't sound right. It seems you can't unlearn new techniques.

So, all I have done is basically hum and hiss removal. I have just given the original stereo masters a clean.

And now, I don't feel like I am robbing my 19 year old self of any credit!
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:16 am    Post subject: Re: Going through old material: To fix or not to fix? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

orczy wrote:
It seems you can't unlearn new techniques

that's very true
orczy wrote:
And now, I don't feel like I am robbing my 19 year old self of any credit!

your inner child deserves that Very Happy

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; the motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. - W. Shakespeare
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I was scared to say so because I didn't want to rain on your parade, but that's exactly the conclusion I came to. Hiss and pop removal, master in a healing kind of way and then sit back every now and then and listen to the way we were.
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orczy



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Going through old material: To fix or not to fix? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:

orczy wrote:
And now, I don't feel like I am robbing my 19 year old self of any credit!

your inner child deserves that Very Happy


Haha!
I've been accused of being New Age, but this is ridiculous!
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rbedgar



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject: Original recordings/pieces
Subject description: a musing...
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After just leaving a lengthy post here on playing with south Indians over the last few years, yesterday I was giving Purna's son Venu a guiar lesson, and he asked about the differences among western musical traditions.

Part of my answer focused on the difference between scored and improvised performances. I think it relates also to original recordings, and wanting to improve them.

Science is based on repeatability. One must be able to validate a theory in order to bring it within the realm of science. I liken this to a score, and the wish to have others duplicate the piece from the score in order to be able to isolate the "composition" from the recording or performance.

But what about those aspects of the world that don't repeat? If we can't speak of phenomena that don't repeat, are we blind to much of existence?

(In order to keep this interesting, we have to differentiate between technology, which absolutely requires repetition, and science, which attempts to describe "what is the case").

History has this unrepeatable aspect to it, as do cultures. And when one of us composes expecially an electronic music piece, we're very much caught in the web of the state of the technology, and are playing the state of compositional strategy against that. A decade or two later, the game is so obviously different. And our ears are so obviously different.

I usually vote to archive my originals as best I can (I have 1/2" reel-to-reel videos and 1/4" audio tapes stacked here with me in my garage/studio, and 16mm film that's turning blue, etc.). Speaking for myself, to revisit the older pieces I'd need to sample them as historical artifacts and bring them out within a new piece. So I'd agree with most of you on this, and this is why.

-Robert

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Scott013



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

As a 17 year old who hasn't been at this for very long, I hope that my older self will improve some of the stuff I do today.

It is a very relieving thought for me, that once I finish a song, it doesn't need to be completely set in stone. There will always be that oppurtunity to improve it. If I didn't think like that, it would probably take me half a year to finish anything, for fear the song hadn't "reached its full potential".

I'm still very slow at composing, but thinking this way has helped speed me up.
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Orczy,
I reckon that blurry picture of you looks alot like the lead singer from Thirsty Merc.

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orczy



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus wrote:
Hey Orczy,
I reckon that blurry picture of you looks alot like the lead singer from Thirsty Merc.


I hope that is a compliment!!!! Very Happy

Who are Thirsty Merc??
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh, they're some relatively new band that played at the Australia Day celebrations down in Sydney. I don't actually know any of their music, and I don't know whether that was a compliment or not, I just think you look like him.
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