[FP] Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

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[FP] Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:34 pm

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Warezio - Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

My attempt at an end-of-the-year mashup. The instrumentals are from 1987 and the acapellas are from 2017.

1987 sources:
Bruce Hornsby and the Range - The Way It Is (album version)
Debbie Gibson - Only In My Dreams (extended mix)
The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian (stems)
The Breakfast Club - Right On Track (extended mix)
Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again (stems)
Cutting Crew - I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight (stems)
Duran Duran - Notorious (extended mix)
Madonna - Into The Groove (1987 extended mix)
Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer (stems)

Some of these were originally released in 1986 but charted in 1987. Good enough for me.

2017 sources are too numerous to list, but it's all mainstream stuff so you'll recognize it. I ran out of time and energy before I ran out of sources. The ending reflects this to some degree. :1tongue:

I still want to improve the Depeche Mode NLMD instrumental (it comes mono out of the box), but I wanted to get the feedback cycle going. Update: improved this in version 2.

Version 4: (SotT mute @ 5:12; pitch ramp @ 6:44; ending tweak @ 10:00)

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Version 3: (spot pitching; transition; vocal levels)

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Version 2: ("B" the One fix @1:57; NLMD instrumental clarity @4:23)

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Version 1: (happier cat)

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Version 0: (warning: 10 minutes long)

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Version 4 download link
Last edited by warezio on Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:03 am

Cool stuff Warezio. Pretty ambitious mix here. I like how it transfers from one song to the next causing me many delightful double takes. :1cool:

Unfortunately, about 30% of the vocals are out of key so I won't be able to recommend this version. :1cry:

  • Be the One, Now or Never, the song the plays briefly at 4:26, Sing of the Times, Fetish, It Ain't Me and Malibu are out of key.
  • 4:27 Instrumental feels a little low quality, I can't get any clarity in the instruments. If you can't find a cleaner version of the instrumental or you are time compressing or pitching it I would recommend cutting that section.
  • Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer sounds like it was pitch with out time correction.
  • Despacito drifts a little time wise.

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:19 pm

Happy Cat Disco wrote:Unfortunately, about 30% of the vocals are out of key so I won't be able to recommend this version.

Awesome feedback. Here's what I did.

  • Be the One (1:57 - 2:30): Sure enough, I entered a shift of (-1 => A) instead of (+1 => B). However, when WLE goes to E5 in the pre-chorus (-1 => A) sounded better, so I kept (-1) there.
  • Now or Never (3:48 - 4:03): No sneaking a 5th past the HCD. (-5) destroys the acapella, but +2 mostly aligned with the C#m chord of ROT and ended on C#.
  • Perfect (4:23 - 4:28): Nice one! NLMD is (+1) to D#dorian so I was using F# for the acapellas but the opening chord is G# so I left Perfect unshifted it works better.
  • Sign of the Times (5:12 - 5:55): I double checked, DIYAT is shifted to Dm and SooT is F. The SooT background vocals from 5:36-5:55 sound great to me. The part from 5:12-5:32 isn't the best but isn't crazy: DIYAT is sustaining a D (bass) and playing E/F/C and E/F/C/D/A (guitar), while SooT is E/D/E/D/E/D/D/C. left alone
  • Fetish (6:51 - 7:05): I bent the most clashy note (G# -> A#) to match the D# minor chord of Notorious.
  • It Ain't Me (7:29 - 7:39): I assume the objectionable part is when Notorious jumps 5. I couldn't make it work so I used another acapella there (Pink).
  • Malibu (8:31-8:42): While technically not in key, I think I can borrow the melody. LOAP(+1) is sustaining an F minor chord here. Miley says "A#/C/C/C/C/C/C/G#/C#/C#/C/C/C" which is pretty reasonable. left alone
  • NLMD instrumental (4:27 - 4:59): The instrumental needs some love, the stems I have are mono. I'm gonna noodle on that some more. (Worst case: I can always varispeed the 101 instrumental which is stereo and then absorb the tempo change, and use the stems for the transition). not yet fixed
  • LOAP instrumental (8:26 - 10:01): I have ogg stems, I had shifted the instrumental tracks +1 but I had left the drums alone. This time I hit the drum tracks with exciter to pump it up a bit. While I was there I noticed the Everyday timing was off @ 9:44, so I fixed that.
  • Despacito (7:54 - 8:07): I adjusted the timing at the end, hopefully better now.

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:03 am

Everything needs to be in key to get my recommend. I'm hearing harmonic dissonance in the parts I mentioned, including the C# in Malibu. Unfortunately, new Pink section is out of key as well. :1cry:

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:06 am

Version 2 posted.
  • Be the One (1:57 - 2:30): Although the published key is Bb, she spends most of her time singing over an F, which is why -1 sounds so good over the E5. I couldn't make the B5 parts work so I substituted another acapella (Dusk Till Dawn).
  • NLMD instrumental (4:27 - 4:59). I cleaned this up a bit, in particular I think the keys are more audible now.

Happy Cat Disco wrote:Everything needs to be in key to get my recommend. I'm hearing harmonic dissonance in the parts I mentioned, including the C# in Malibu. Unfortunately, new Pink section is out of key as well. :1cry:

Fair enough. I do appreciate the feedback, listening to a 10 minute piece multiple times and helping to improve it should get you mod of the year.

Having said that, Pink is doing "G#/A#/A#/C/C#/C/C#/C/A#/A#/G#/A#/C" while Notorious is doing 3 A# chords and then a G# chord, which sounded reasonable to me.

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:34 am

Notorious is Ebm then there is a Cmaj stab several times in a row while Pink is Abmaj. Bottom line is, unless your scoring a soundtrack where the hero is about to lose grip and their friend falls to their death in the scene, there are definatly harmony issues when playing a Cmaj under a Abmaj.


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All of the other spots I mentioned have the similar issues. I don't have time to break them all down. All I can say is trust me, they are out of key and I'm not gonna let you release this wonderful concept until you fix them. :1wink:

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:42 am

Just listened on my commute today. Cool concept, Warezio. I have some thoughts to share but I'm short on time. I agree with HCD about most of the harmony issues except for the P!nk one...that may actually be one of my favorite parts :1tongue: It's a great tension and release and adds a lot to the track despite it being theoretically non-traditional. I don't know that I'll be able to convince him otherwise, though. I'll dig in later and see if there is a more conservative solution I can suggest.

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:40 pm

MashGyver wrote:It's a great tension and release and adds a lot to the track despite it being theoretically non-traditional. I don't know that I'll be able to convince him otherwise, though. I'll dig in later and see if there is a more conservative solution I can suggest.
Creatively you have to ask yourself. "Does it fit the concept." If every thing else is in key and then a tense dissonance occurs, is that helping or hurting the overall song? Mashgyver, do you have an example of this Pink progression/harmony combo done successfully in modern pop music?

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:52 pm

So, I’m a bit conflicted here, warezio. I like your choice of instrumentals and I love the unique concept of mashing two separate years 30 years apart (seems like it’d be a fun mash-off theme too), and I’m always a fan of something this ambitious. But, I feel like in order to fully represent 1987, you crammed too many instrumentals into one piece of music, and there is a lack of unifying identity to the “movements” other than the year they were released/popular.

The length of the track isn’t an issue, but the length of the clips is for me. In my personal opinion, 2 or 3 instrumentals at 2-3 minutes a piece would seem more purposeful than nine 1-minute clips. The Hornsby intro is so great, but so short-lived, I felt like I needed a Hornsby reprise/finale to wrap it up. I think 3 tracks bookended by Hornsby would be stellar, for whatever my opinion is worth…Or even a 22-minute or 2 or 3 part version of this (a Back To The Future trilogy, if you will!)

OR, and probably much more ambitious, incorporating/integrating bits of stems from all the instrumentals throughout to overlap or bring some of the instrumentals together. Most basically, even a unifying drum beat and uniform tempo would really help. The transitions you’ve done aren’t bad, though I did find a few slightly jarring, (maybe you need some "water noises" :1laugh: ), but it could also be because the clips were too short for my taste and I wasn’t ready for a change yet. But it’s your mashup and...

Happy Cat Disco wrote:Creatively you have to ask yourself. "Does it fit the concept." If every thing else is in key and then a tense dissonance occurs, is that helping or hurting the overall song?
This is an excellent point and I couldnt agree more. I’ve heard some big name dudes in Year-End mashups do some things that weren't harmonically perfect, but they made it pretty clear throughout that they would be flirting with the “rules.” Most of them, however, stick to the traditional pop stuff and there’s nothing wrong with either approach. HCD has made dozens more megamashes than I have (I’m sitting right around zero currently) and has found a vision that works for him, so his insight is very valuable here, and his body of work speaks for itself.
Happy Cat Disco wrote:Mashgyver, do you have an example of this Pink progression/harmony combo done successfully in modern pop music?
I don’t, mostly because there isn’t a lot of modern pop in Dorian mode as this instrumental is. It seems like it is something that might come up in a bridge from a pop song from a few decades ago, but nothing specifically comes to mind. It’s something I could imagine Stevie Wonder or Queen doing, or in a Prog Rock song or Disney musical, but that’s neither here nor there. It still comes down to warezio’s creative vision…

Warezio, if you were to remove all the modal instrumentals (OIMD, WLAE, NLMDA, Notorious) you’d have something more homogenous and exponentially easier to work with, albeit less interesting IMHO. The whole “Notorious” section is really great to me (despite including the abomination that is “Bodak Yellow” :1tongue: ) but it may not be for everyone. It’s probably best not to just let one internet weirdo persuade you to do things one way or another because of his eclectic taste in music. :1grin:

All that said, you only have 2 weeks before it’s 2018, so a total overhaul may not be the way to go either. I mean, you could always put out a “retrospective” a few weeks into January if you needed the extra time. :1undecided: If you want to stick with what you’re doing, but stick to more traditional pop harmony I think you’ll get plenty of support here at mashstix.

Sorry for the wall…hope some it helps.

Anyone else wanna chime in on this one?

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Re: Back to the Future 2017 (1987 vs. 2017)

Post Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:37 pm

While an FP is always nice, I'd be ok with just fixing whatever are the most egregious issues here and getting this out before the end of the year, so focused feedback to that effect would be greatly appreciated. It's my first mega so it's not surprising that it has some fundamental issues.

MashGyver wrote:So, I’m a bit conflicted here, warezio. I like your choice of instrumentals and I love the unique concept of mashing two separate years 30 years apart (seems like it’d be a fun mash-off theme too), and I’m always a fan of something this ambitious. But, I feel like in order to fully represent 1987, you crammed too many instrumentals into one piece of music, and there is a lack of unifying identity to the “movements” other than the year they were released/popular.
...
incorporating/integrating bits of stems from all the instrumentals throughout to overlap or bring some of the instrumentals together ...

Yes I only had this idea about two weeks ago. Next year I'll start earlier. The only actual thing the instrumentals have in common is 1) I really liked them when they came out and 2) I could find an acceptable source.

MashGyver wrote:The length of the track isn’t an issue, but the length of the clips is for me. In my personal opinion, 2 or 3 instrumentals at 2-3 minutes a piece would seem more purposeful than nine 1-minute clips. The Hornsby intro is so great, but so short-lived, I felt like I needed a Hornsby reprise/finale to wrap it up. I think 3 tracks bookended by Hornsby would be stellar, for whatever my opinion is worth…Or even a 22-minute or 2 or 3 part version of this (a Back To The Future trilogy, if you will!)

The trilogy would hopefully be 2018/1988 and 2019/1989. I entered high school in 1987 so it's all my favorite stuff.

The megamash genre is a bit weird for me in that you get into a groove and then you have to abandon it to keep things moving, unlike an A/B. The point seems to be "no motifs ... if you like it, listen to the whole thing again."

MashGyver wrote:Most basically, even a unifying drum beat and uniform tempo would really help. The transitions you’ve done aren’t bad, though I did find a few slightly jarring, (maybe you need some "water noises" :1laugh: ), but it could also be because the clips were too short for my taste and I wasn’t ready for a change yet.

I get that, I'm not super happy with all the transitions. But next year you might like it less: with some advanced planning I want to be way more aggressive in the use of 1988 instrumentals / stems. It seems unfair to use >40 modern sources and only 9 old ones.

MashGyver wrote:
Happy Cat Disco wrote:Creatively you have to ask yourself. "Does it fit the concept." If every thing else is in key and then a tense dissonance occurs, is that helping or hurting the overall song?
This is an excellent point and I couldnt agree more. I’ve heard some big name dudes in Year-End mashups do some things that weren't harmonically perfect, but they made it pretty clear throughout that they would be flirting with the “rules.”

Well I'll admit that I don't really have a theme. To flirt with the rules you have to really understand them first, which I don't. Mostly this is just me thinking "oh that sounds cool", and I think Katy Perry sounds good over Alice In Chains, so here we are.

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