Last night I laid down basslines while polishing off half a bottle of pinot noir. This is maybe the fifth or eighth time I've sat down and tried to start these remixes, and it's the furthest I've gotten. I had to
cheat a little approach it in a new way.
First I looped Mike's vocals in Live and browsed my mp3 collection... finding songs I pictured the remix sounding like, listening to how the vocals lay over the tracks, time stretching when needed. Once I found an appropriate song to guide the overall feel of the remix, I copied it into Live, then improvised complementary lines over it. Once I lay down enough tracks, I'll remove the mp3 and let the remix stand on its own.
Cheating? Sure. But with time stretching and the original songs' structures firmly embedded in my mind, I was having a near impossible time of hearing an idea that would work... and when I did, I lost it before I could successfully recapture it on tape.
Go is on the faster side, with bitter breakup lyrics (courtesy of Battery's NV). I slowed it down and reached straight for a song I've been wanting to
copy mimic for a while now that I thought might fit perfectly... and it does. I wasn't able to write a bassline as dangerous-yet-sensuous as the original, slow strip club music for the riveting drop-dead gorgeous feature dancer that no one can tear their eyes away from. Instead I went with something a bit more dancy and will try to recapture part of that sensuousness with a slightly edgy pad, the drums, and other rhythmic elements.
Add a little piano and a ton of guitar wanking and voila. A ton of editing and nitpicking later I'll be done.
Etched was by far the trickier of the two. At 87.5bpm it's in that tempo range where double- or half-timing the tempo results in either the music or vocals sounding too fast or too slow within the acceptable limits of time stretching.
I tried eight or so songs with it, stretching both the mp3 and vocals to try to reach some modicum of rhythmic compatibility. In the end I found it, in a newer song that's just fast enough to be an energetic dance hit. The current vocals don't quite line up, so I'll have to slice it up by phrase if not by word or even syllable.
The mp3 is a very sparse dance track. Not sure if I'll be able to stick to those guidelines or if I'll end up filling in the empty spaces.
All in all I'm glad to be working again. And this particular process is allowing me to intimately study and break down the composition of two [more] tracks that I'm a big fan of. Here's hoping I can finish one or both of these.