LoungeTalk Column: The Art of the Hyperscore Remix

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PostPosted: Thursday March 30th, 2006 12:54 pm    Post subject: LoungeTalk Column: The Art of the Hyperscore Remix Reply with quote

by H-Lounge Columnist Heineman

The Art of the Hyperscore Remix

  • Remix -- an alternate version of a song different from the original version
  • Sampling -- the act of taking a portion of one sound recording, the sample, and reusing it as an instrument or element of a new recording.

Hyperscore makes it possible for non-musicians to make music that actually sounds good. The H-Lounge makes it possible for the community of Hyperscore users to interact and create better music than otherwise a single artist could do. The techniques of sampling and remixing have long been associated with the music industry and I have witnessed many instances of remixing and sampling over the past few months on the H-Lounge . In this column, I would like to share the sampling and remixing that exists on the H-Lounge and encourage more artists to participate.

In this article I cover the ways in which one can sample and remix music pieces based on the following categories

  • score adjustments (tempo, instrument, volume)
  • Modifying melody windows (adding, removing, or replacing)

The recent Iron Artist competition (February 17-26th 2006) is an example of community-sanctioned sampling and remixing. I look forward to seeing more competitions of this variety in the future.

Score Adjustments
or Portrait of the Music as a Young Piece

Valley Of The Bells by

[tempo = 51%, 3 melodies, 1 percussion]

Some of the best remixing occurs when an artist revisits her own song to enrich it with additional melodies and complexities. The initial
Valley Of The Bells piece (above) has a near-exact medium tempo which offers a stately processional pace to the piece. The piece is structured with melodies of eight bars, and a new voice is introduced after each melody, resulting in a layering of sounds. Each melody composes with prior melodies by staying within the eight-bar structure (when the melody windows are lined up, for example, you see that the major notes fall on the "down-beat", giving a distinctive 2/4 rhythm). Valley Of The Bells is an evocative study in minimalist design.

Windchime Spirits by

[tempo = 100%, 10 melodies, 1 percussion]

Windchime Spirits slows the pace all the way down (tempo is at its slowest!) and ModularBlues has reused while reducing the eight-bar melody into a four-bar melody, and reducing each note in half. If you select and play just these three colored strokes in the sketch window, you will hear the first 24 bars of the original song. The instruments have changed from a classical trio (celesta, orchestral harp, pizzicato strings) to a more modern FX-7 (echoes), FX-1 (rain), Electric Guitar (Jazz). ModularBlues then adds an introduction which lifts the first two bars from the original melody and introduces some counterpoint melodies in pizzicato strings ( . The original two-sound percussion is replaced with a richer set of seven drum instruments hat plays throughout the piece.

The evolution of Valley Of The Bells to Windchime Spirits is composed so surely, one can no longer hear the original piece without expecting it to transmutate into its (now inevitable) conclusion.

Her Hidden Smile by

[tempo = 48%, 8 melodies]

Is it possible to change emotion simply with timing? Just consider how an actor like Christopher Walken can take a line ("You have to get, inside their minds...you have to know what they want, need, you have to think, like a mouse") and make it his own (Soundbite) The only difference between Her Hidden Smile and Her Hidden Smile (fast) is the tempo, yet the emotional connection is marvelously different.

Her Hidden Smile reminds me of the music that played on the original Zelda video game when the hero entered an underground cavern. Her Hidden Smile (fast) does more than simply speed up the music. The (fast) version raises the hair on the back of your neck! Where the original version sought to overwhelm you with lengthy, moody sequences with distinctive 6/6 timing, the (fast) version drives a fast 2/2 pattern and you wonder if the orchestra can keep up with the tempo set by the frantic conductor.

All artists should play these two pieces to determine their own response to the question "which tempo is the right one for the song". If you've ever heard the speed by which different conductors interpret classical music, then you will understand that selecting the tempo is very important and should not just be left to chance.

There are numerous alternatives regarding alternate scoring. Check out the following:

Annotated Remix
or How Things Work

One motivation for this column came from my experience in remixing LoveSong. After reflecting on comments from the H-Lounge, I decided to remix the piece and took notes during the process. The following steps cover the changes that resulted in LoveSongRemix.

  • jazz up Electric Guitar (jazz) ; keep basic structure, just alter beat patterns.

  • add more Synth Strings 1 notes in the middle to build song. Go for counter melodies and use of extended string to hold note against regular melody.
  • Copy guitar bass and move to upper register. Build counterpoint track in higher register to match existing one in lower register. Note how new track plays notes either in the empty spaces of the original track or perfectly lined up with existing notes

While it may actually be harder to remix your own music (because it sounds just right to you!) I recommend taking the opportunity to try altering your own music to discover new melodies and inspirations.

Modifying Melody Windows
or Better to Light a Candle than Curse the Darkness


[tempo = 51%, 7 melodies, 2 percussion]

There have been impromptu challenges by H-Lounge members to come up with different variations of songs. The IronArtist competition of February 17-26 2006 is the culmination of such an event. One of the earliest was instigated by heineman upon hearing Just a Piano Groove by Richard. Heineman posted Piano Groove With Sax and Richard initiated the contest. Each entry was restricted to simply replacing the solo track (). The images below show the different tracks created in response to the challenge, with the original one posted by Richard first.

XOLODUEL by XT [] has the following track with Flute instrument (tied for the contest)

What is remarkable about XT's piece is the scoring of this within the sketch itself. Note how she creates a "fork" pattern where the solo starts out with two voices, then one soars up four full notes and the other dips down four full notes (for a full octave split). This exhibits subtle scoring.

Solo Duel Response by ModularBlues [] has the following track with Recorder instrument (tied for contest)

As with the Flute version above, this Recorder solo is organic and sounds surprisingly like a live recording with the flourishes and counterpoint.

Solo Duel Deux by Vidpat [] has the following track with a Trumpet instrument.

Reflecting on these variations, one can see the choice of instrument plays an essential role in the way that different melodies compose together. The artists above instinctively chose note patterns for the melodies that "fit" the instrument being played. The human ear can detect note sequences that are simply unplayable on a given instrument; seek the natural and you will find beauty.

I look forward to seeing your original musical creations (and remixes) on the H-Lounge!
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Joined: January 17, 2006
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PostPosted: Friday March 31st, 2006 2:13 pm    Post subject: Fascinating analyses :-) Reply with quote

Oh wow, you mentioned a few points I haven't even realized... very cool Cool
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Joined: February 16, 2006
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PostPosted: Saturday April 1st, 2006 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So thorough...
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Joined: February 21, 2006
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PostPosted: Friday August 11th, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my music is featured in a post! yay! haha...
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