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uploading a track for vocalists

permalink   Thu, Jan 7, 2010 @ 8:41 AM
and why cant i upload tracks for vocalists to sing to?
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permalink   turkdirty Thu, Jan 7, 2010 @ 11:17 AM
Quote: colaband why cant i upload tracks for vocalists to sing to?
Well, I think the key is to make sure other people can use it. The more complete a mix is, the more it restricts other people.

If you upload a fully mixed instrumental, and take the additional step of providing stems, then I think you’re quite OK.

But to your question, other people have done it - for example this upload has been used in a few remixes.

i was thinking more, take their vocals and mix it into the track after. but i can see how that’d just spawn everyone putting up mixed tracks for ‘remixing’ ;D
Admiral Bob
permalink   Fri, Jan 8, 2010 @ 9:22 AM
In a lot of music sites, you will see Hip Hop producers selling beats that a rapper can then rap to.

In some ways this offers a really simple path for a rapper who wants to create tracks in an easy a way as possible. But I think it limits the quality of the final output in some important ways.

First of all, pre-produced beats often hog some of the frequencies that would be needed by the vocal, since they cannot possibly anticipate the sonic needs of the vocal (we all speak and sing at different frequencies.)

Second of all, the arrangement may not be a perfect fit for what a rapper or singer wants to do with the vocal.

Only providing the source tracks/stems offers up the possibility of making that perfect fit between beat and vocal happen. You can create the space for the vocal by using the power of remixing. Space that would otherwise not be there.
permalink   Tue, Jan 12, 2010 @ 4:46 PM
I think we need to move on and stop fearing some degree of change on CCMixter all these `rules ’ are wearing me down. As this site has proved time and time again and was commented on by Victor recently people are taking music beds and writing new works to them CCMixter has already evolved whether you like it or not.So why not improve the process.

Why would this work : Well I know one girl singer who cant play a note so she writes to existing recorded songs. She creates brand new melodies on top and often ignores the chords just uses the form to work with and shes great at doing it.

She does it coz she has no one to write with and cant find blank music beds to try her ideas out on.

Also In `old ’ remix terms producers had nothing but the full tracks to work with, no access to the parts. Something i still do today and is still happening widely in R&B.

And remember whatever happens , anything uploaded even a full music mix enters into the commons and so an uploader would have to accept that.

But for vocalists and writers a full track might just be the springboard to a great song. Forget whether it all works arrangement wise and about the final mix quality there is nothing to say that it would not be good and it just might attract some new vocalists and writers to the site plus a wealth of new pellas.

Full music beds could easily be controlled in a writers tab and upload port in the same way pellas and samples are and offered for collaboration or inclusion into a remix. Everyone wins.

And before people start saying Acidplanet or similar it should be remembered this is a Creative Commons site, if you dont know the meaning of that then go look. That fact makes it different from the outset its not built on old copyright formats . We get to play with anything uploaded. You cant do that anywhere else.

So nothing would break or change.

Nice if it were possible but so what if nothing is used from the site. Mixers would get the track and the hopefully the vocal.

And like i said there are tons of uploaded music beds already on the site and the only thing that has made them legitimate is the offering of the vocal pella alongside them.

So in effect its already happening.
permalink   MC Jack in the Box Tue, Jan 12, 2010 @ 8:31 PM
I totally agree with what you said, but here comes the hard part….how do you define a “bed”.

as you describe it, it would be a fully mixed instrumental track. i’m saying this to clarify from say a fully mixed “song”, which would have vocals around a predetermined arrangement.

because i’ve long agreed with your position that more people might be inspired to participate if they didn’t have to overcome their shortcomings and could use the resources of the site to give back in the best and sometimes only way they know how. I’m sure there are any number of good singer/vocalists who would write new lyrics and pellas around “beds” but may not have the ability to formulate a full multi-track remix well. it makes more sense to enable to people’s strengths than disable them due to their weaknesses.
permalink   Snowflake Tue, Jan 12, 2010 @ 10:40 PM
you could say i did what you’re describing with my first two remixes on the site - both Persephone and Gloria were fully mixed instrumental tracks by DoKashiteru & Vidian that I built upon. they helped me make that frightening leap intro production. i didn’t think of them as beds, but full instrumental mixes.
permalink   MC Jack in the Box Tue, Jan 12, 2010 @ 11:37 PM
right, and i’m not trying to split hairs or semantics here, but it was a full instrumental mix until you repurposed it into a “bed” for your new “song” since you added vocals and lyrics to an otherwise instrumental. it stopped being an instrumental when you turned it into a song.

i think what Loveshadow is trying to say is that while one person’s full instrumental mix is another artist’s bed, to prevent them from being uploaded is not only counterproductive, it’s an unnecessary constraint which impedes creativity instead of inspiring it.

and as he said, it’s already being done all the time now. just with remixes instead of “full instrumental mixes”. or “beds” as loveshadow and I like to call them :)
permalink   Loveshadow Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 2:50 AM
That’s why i kept underlining Music Bed in other words uploaded with no vocals . I could give you a 100 of those right now.

But if someone had an idea for a melody or in fact a full song with lyrics they had written but no vocalist to do it, they could upload a guide and lyric alongside that mixed music track as long as they recognised that it was not prescriptive and someone could change melodies words to however they felt and that the creative freedom was maintained.

On this site the uploaded Remixes are full mixes with vocals. Yet i would say i could make a remix pack out of perhaps 70 percent of them that would not have vocal parts. Thats is Beats Music loops, introductions, ect in the way that i did with Omnis track where i actually made 26 usable loops and not a clear vocal part in any of them.

MC..you said of Snowflakes mix that

`it stopped being an instrumental when you turned it into a song.’

It didn’t stop do anything. It is both an instrumental and a song, that’s adding value. The `instrumental’ is still there for someone else to use.

Instrumentals are being turned into songs whether uploaders like it or not. This would just formalise the process and manage the upload stream onto the site. So people asking for a `song’ could be found and in turn encouraging a new stream of musical dialogue. That as i said is already happening anyway and not only by me. And in response to Admiral Bob’s quality doubts the `music bed’ here was that good that all i added was a few drums.



permalink   essesq Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 8:26 AM
The new category should be called a “song starter.” It can be anything at all. The point is the intention of the uploader. The uploader’s intent is to offer their work as something for others to build on.

I was, after reading this discussion trying to figure out what, if anything, should be excluded and why. The only thing that I could come up with is some artist coming along and uploading what is a finished “product” to peddle for free to the commons for exposure being a problem because the intent to donate for reworking seems to be absent. The only real objection I could see for rejecting such work is that it takes up bandwidth/storage space and doesn’t honor the intent of the site which is sharing for reworking.

The fact is that people upload instrumentals that can stand on their own all the time. There are people out there who sell records (ok so I’m dating myself) made entirely of solo piano pieces. Are they any more unfinished than an instrumental track containing 4 instruments? I say no.

The real issue here is that some on this site find separated parts more useful and would prefer to work with them. I liken this place to a supermarket. You can go into any modern supermarket and buy any stage of food preparation. You can buy a raw piece of unprocessed material, like an unpeeled carrot. You can buy the carrot peeled and chopped up for your convenience. You can buy the carrot squeezed into juice or blended into a smoothie. You can buy a completed beef stew with the carrot in it but that you won’t be able to extract the carrot from and put it into your salad. Meal starters containing cut up veggies and pasta with sauces where you just add meat or whatever are very popular now. Song starters could fill the same role. Just give them a name and a point of access and let them further feed the creativity of the site.
permalink   Admiral Bob Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 10:40 AM
Hmmm. Like the idea, but isn’t everything here a song starter? I think that is the usual intent of most submissions of more than 30 second duration.

I suppose it is easier to say that about a mixed backing track (or “beats” as Hip Hop producers call ‘em), but then I’ve seen entire songs built on top of one of my three minute mandolin meanderings. :)
permalink   essesq Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 10:45 AM
Agreed. Just trying to get around the full mix/done deal mentality.
permalink   Loveshadow Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 11:59 AM
No everything is not a song starter. 10 seconds of ambient synth sound might but generally speaking probably wont get someone to a three minute pop song.

Take my friend how can she find a selection of three minute backing tracks here to listen to that might inspire her to write a song and give us back an acapella, without wading thru thousands of loseley tagged samples intended for remixing.

The other bar to entry of course is the site is saying no to mixed tracks as they were tried once and it didnt work. But that was tracks with vocals.

The irony is that once any work includes even the flimsiest passing nod and inclusion of creative commons sample its deemed a be to a `remix’ and so eligible for the site.

But yes in effect a song form could be 2 mins of just guitar strumming and chords. The difference would be classifying it as a potential writing tool rather than just a sample
permalink   Admiral Bob Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 2:00 PM
Quote: Loveshadow
But yes in effect a song form could be 2 mins of just guitar strumming and chords. The difference would be classifying it as a potential writing tool rather than just a sample

That could actually start immediately, if there was a good standard tag for it.
permalink   Snowflake Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 11:29 AM
‘minus tracks’ or ‘bed tracks’ are instrumental mixes (sometimes include backing vocals) with a separate lead vocal mix. a ‘song demo’ is a slight variation (vocal is usually a sketch instead of a polished performance/recording). a demo vocal can serve as a melodic/lyrical guide for other implementation.

i feel we already accommodate such an interpretation of contributing to the community…as either a remix if the mix uses community source (where stems could include bed or minus track mixes) or just call it a sample pack and include all the stems (bed/minus track).

it seems to me the tags and description could inform the community the contributor’s intent, but of course, someone could take an instrumental and chop it into bits and completely ignore the suggested lyric/melody. including a ‘minus track’ or ‘bed track’ tag could be sufficient to help folks find if searching.

Loveshadow sort of demonstrates this model with a mix of my song/pella, ‘I’ll Wait’ - he ended up creating a remix where he sang a variation on my lyric and melody http://ccmixter.org/files/L... - i loved it btw.

this is just another idea on how contributed source at ccM can be utilized.
permalink   essesq Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 12:38 PM
This site should be about lifting barriers to collaboration. It doesn’t matter what these instrumental pieces are/were called, they were effectively banned from the site because they were not “remixes” and not “samples”. That’s a barrier. Requiring that stems be included is a barrier as well because someone could record the piece using basic equipment and may not have access to the separate tracks. Similarly requiring that a separate vocal pella be included is also a barrier.

The key is to lift the barriers to inclusion of some work and point potential users to things that may be of use to them for their particular application if it exists on the site already. All this semantic nonsense is not helpful. If this is something that is in the best interests of the community and it can be achieved with reasonable technical efforts I think it’s time to stop yammering about it and just let it come to be. Those are big ifs though and I’m not assuming that either answer is yes.

btw…nice link Snowflake…one of my favs :-)…
permalink   Loveshadow Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 12:52 PM
At the risk of being enigmatic there is only one way to show how well this can work and thats by creating something.

MC jack in the Box said in a post recently that a lot of the fully mixed tracks were remnants where people had removed orginal samples so they looked like there were no sources and hence a fullmix . Rather than proove other wise i let it go as in many instances thats true. However there are nearly 1000 tracks on this site that are finished mixes and about 400 are the type of material i am decribing. You just need to know where to look. :-)

But for a singer engaging with the site especially a newcomer they would a have a hard time finding them.
permalink   spinmeister Wed, Jan 13, 2010 @ 5:58 PM
To me it’s more important to maintain a distinction between “sample” and “remix”, than to argue about max allowable sample length or what defines a “full mix”.

I think the spirit of a remix is to give a meaningful amount of musical props or “tribute” to a source. If the source isn’t recognizable, there’s little tribute being given.

Or to look at it more from a community and copyright angle: CC is fundamentally based on the concept of copyright. It’s a benevolent licensing system, which makes it convenient for content creators to give away some, but not all, rights. The argument could be made, that if the entire copyright to a work you upload is external to ccMixter (and officially related sites like Magnatune), it’s not a remix in the spirit of this particular community. But it sure can be a sample. Quite possibly a great sample, or even the best audio file on the entire site.

And since copyright can only be enforced if something is somewhat recognizable, it leads you down a similar path as the less formal “paying tribute” to another community member’s work.

Subject to very practical space/time/cost considerations I’d argue almost any sound file could be deemed ok to upload as a sample (as long as it’s copyright clean). And samples can be honored via the “featured” tag.

But I would argue for something to be uploaded and honored as a “remix”, it should meet the higher threshold of giving meaningful and recognizable musical props to another source from this community or designated external sources (Magnatune, freesound et al).

One tricky spot is, that a remix is generally considered to be different than a remake or cover version. A remix would have to use some audio from an external source, while a remake typically just uses significant parts of the publishing copyright (the song writing).

I’m not sure, if that particular distinction is needed for a site like ccM. Historically probably yes, but from an artistic, copyright and community building perspective, maybe less so. Personally I would feel at least as honored if someone made a remake of one of my songs (with the typical attributions) as if they used a little synth part to create a new song.

But I would only want such a remake on ccM, if the song writing source was uploaded to ccM in some way.
permalink   Loveshadow Thu, Jan 14, 2010 @ 2:54 AM
Spin sorry but i cant fully understand what you are saying here. ` `tribute’ to the source.

All i am saying is imagine you made a full backing track of Santiago without any vocals and uploaded into an area of the site called say ` The Writers Lounge’

And then asked for someone to work with that backing to build a song. They then work with that and upload their acapella and `song’ back to the site. All of it remains accessible to the remix community.

When the site first started it had 100s of mixed `originals ’ with vocals ala MYspace and that was not in the spirit of CC. So mixed pieces were stopped. But at the same time the backing track , music bed , call it whatever `with out vocals’ vanished aswell.

I make the distinction to instrumental because often that features a lead instrument in place of a vocal. What i am imagining is a 3 minute work,from guitar strumming only to a mixed Drums, bass, chords piece that a person can write a tune to.

With all the same attribution, tags, and protocols that there are now.

How it gets organised on the site is best left to the powers that be. All i am saying that its happening right now under the radar once a remix using stuff on here has happened but you cant do it as straight forward upload.
permalink   spinmeister Thu, Jan 14, 2010 @ 12:19 PM
I think I agree with you that it would be ok to have a ton of leeway for uploading something as “sample” (or as pell for audio files with only vocal components).

So as far as I’m concerned this could include full instrumental mixes including backing tracks. I’ve done that twice for the cc0 pool here (full backing track plus most instruments as separate tracks - except for those tracks where uploading an individual instrumental track might have violated the license of a commercial library or software).

And I’ve uploaded those as samples - and just used the tag “songstarter” and one of those ended up being used as a full bed by a singer/songwriter.

As far as I recall the frowning on fully mixed tracks in the past was related as much to space and hosting costs as it was about just cluttering up the sample pool by people who really had no intentions of participating in the ccMixter community. This is where some judgement may have to come in. i.e. if a regular community member who has a track record of participation uploads a full track from their archives where they don’t have access to the individual tracks, I think that can be quite ok - even if it has some vocals already on it. But I would really think that should be uploaded as a “sample” not as a remix.

If there should be a separate upload category for that is debatable. For simplicity sake, I would just call everything that’s not a remix (according to the criteria mentioned in my grand parent post) a sample or a cappella. And then make good use of tags like for example a tag called “songstarter”.