I had originally downloaded GarageBand, but it took up a lot of space on my phone and I was having a hard time figuring it out. Instead, I used Auxy. This was still challenging at first to figure out how to use, but with the tutorials I managed. I decided I wanted to do something different than my usual club-ish loop projects. While Auxy still uses the loop function, it doesn’t have built in loops like GarageBand, so I had to create my own. The sounds and instruments reminded me of one of my favorite jams as a little girl: Popcorn by Hot Butter. After a long time figuring out how to use the app in the best way I could, I started getting frustrated both with time and quality. It wasn’t that the app wasn’t capable of producing good quality songs, I was simply having a difficult time doing so. I decided instead of recreating the entire song, I would simply repeat the main theme using a different instrument sound and then skip to the ending to create one cohesive song.
I chose to remix my first song: Brooklyn Nights. Being as this was my first project using GarageBand, I figured this would be the best place to take what I’ve learned so far in class and apply it.
Unlike my peer remix project, I didn’t add or take away any of the original tracks. The only time I altered with the actual placement of loops was in the “breakdown” section, if you will. Instead of just having the cut up loops of the Digging Deep Synth and the Moving On Bell Lead, I also cut up some of the Sharp Dressed Bass loop to give it a little more edge.
Aside from this, all of my other alterations dealt with mixing. I rose the volume for almost all of my drum/beat loops and slightly lowered some of the melodic loops. I also altered some of the crescendos and decrescendos to create smoother and more exciting transitions. So while the song is pretty much the same exact thing as it was before, I made a few mixing tweaks to make it sound a little more balanced and cohesive.
I do not believe sampling without permission is morally acceptable if the person doing so is trying to make money off of it. If sampling is used for the personal and/or educational purposes, I believe it is fine. Realistically, I know it’s not as black and white as that. Especially with the rise of social media and streaming sites/apps such as SoundCloud and YouTube, many people could upload their music for personal reasons, not intending to make any money off of it, yet still gain a lot of credit or fame and still possibly harm the sales of the original song and artist.
I realize there are also gray areas when it comes to what parts are sampled. As we discussed in class, if there was a problem with bass lines being sampled, we would be in quite a pinch, as there are not many different bass lines out there (at least for the type of music we’d be using it for). But for certain melodic guitar riffs or vocals or lyrics, it becomes much more obvious.
I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable if someone used my music without permission. It’s not so much a matter of if I would say yes or no (I would probably be all for letting them use my music), but the matter of respect. Granted, things might change were I to become rich and famous; perhaps I wouldn’t worry so much if I were already established and well off. But when it all comes down to it, if the music were going to be exposed to the public (and not for educational purposes), I do not think sampling without permission is morally acceptable.
I used Alex Lemma’s Oboe in the Jungle for my remix project. Being as this was a song from our first project, not only did I like the way it sounded when I first heard it, but I had some ideas of my own as well. Plus, Alex being a good friend of mine, it was easy to communicate back and forth if I had any questions or comments.
Unfortunately, because I have little space on my Mac, I didn’t have all of the loops Alex used in his song, so I wasn’t able to alter individual tracks. So instead, I downloaded the full song from SoundCloud and just cut sections and altered dynamics the best I could where I desired. I also added four more loops to give it the extra kick I think it needed to complete that “jungle” effect.
I first used an 80s Classic Lead Synth with the beginning of his song to fill out the percussion section a bit more. I completely left the drop alone, as it’s possibly my favorite part of the entire song. But after a few measures of the unaltered song playing, I added a Big Snare Roll Topper loop gradually getting louder underneath to propel the music forward a bit and lead up to another mini drop. This mini drop introduced the last two loops: Altered State Beat and Heavy Kicker Beat. I remember Professor Hein saying he expected an obnoxious beat underneath a certain part in the song and I completed agreed. Despite my limited loop library, Heavy Kicker Beat seemed to fill out the song well. From there on out, I simply cut up certain sections and combined different tracks in an attempt to give it a hectic jungle feel.