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  1.  (7495.1)
    I've an idea I'd like to get some feedback on. I have a certain affinity for cover songs. Listening to Fiona Apple do 'I Want You' with Costello on stage is a good example and sometimes the variation completely changes the dynamic of a song. I've also been playing a little bit with Ableton Live music software which as its name indicates allows you to arrange and manipulate loops as the name indicates; Live.

    My notion is doing the same thing but instead of off-the-cuff live playback with the loops, you apply it to a music player. Program in the basic hard-points for a particular song; tempo, key, basic song structure like verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/etc. These remain static. Create loops for verse, chorus, etc. The program then randomly chooses these loops and plays them within the hard-point parameters. You could listen to a song not sure you'll hear that guitar solo or the piano track instead. You could change parameters to keep the same vocalist for songs or have it choose different vocal tracks for each verse in playback. Exclude vocals altogether. Choose instrumentals instead.

    Does this sound interesting at all? Any other ideas that you'd add onto this? I'd like to hear them...
  2.  (7495.2)
    I had a somewhat similar unrealized so far idea called "Snip-Pets". The basic concept was to make 99 loops, one easily going into the other and put it on a mini-cd. The listener would just put the cd into the player and set it to random play, resulting in a different structure each time. The only thing tying the loop were going to be the overall tempo and the lenght, beyond that it was meant to jump from breakbeats to 4x4 to no beats at all, with sounds ranging from heavy guitars to ambients to rhythmic noise to classical instruments to... well, you get the idea.

    I never got around to making it (mostly because I wanted to do it after my 500 track boxset thingie, which I can't start working on until I have enough hd space to edit all these hours of sound).
    • CommentAuthorjonah
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2010
    This sounds very cool.

    I think I would use something like this to remix my own music. Sometimes if don't like where a song is heading I'll just chop it up randomly in a attempt to get something worthwhile. It works - not often, but it's more of a last ditch effort. You might want to check out Mixtkl. I like your concept of "covers" and "completely changes the dynamic" that sounds promising, because Mixtkl while fun and useful - I feel like it does too much "prettying up" and stops things from going horribly wrong - which if half the fun for me.

    How do you plan on building the program? Reaktor or Max/MSP might be programs to look into.
  3.  (7495.4)
    I'm more a musician than a programmer. Strike that. I'm a musician, not a programmer. :) However I do have several peeps who are programmers I could throw this at. The programming isn't the hard thing. It's a format that musicians would have to embrace to produce the bits needed to throw into songs, albeit a simple one. It's far easier to record and produce a single track than a song in its entirety. Part of the idea spawned from finding songs separated into tracks on Youtube...

    And of course I've only got the narrow field of vision of an idea. There's any other number of ways this could be perverted for the good of all.
  4.  (7495.5)
    I like the idea a lot, having a kind of random 'mood' or whatever applied to the song could be a really fun listening experience.

    I'd guess the only problem (just playing Devil's Advocate really) is that in order to keep things from being too jarring, absurd or 'novelty' you might have to keep every possible version within certain aesthetic parameters, leading you to err towards a kind of safe middle ground. I guess that could all be straightened out in the choices you make at the start though, but it would be a lot of work to cover every base.