AngelCityOutlaw

Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

123 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I don't think that's well-supported given the talented remixers with large fanbases who have still expressed disdain at a lack of interest in their original work.

It's like Metallica's Black Album. I know plenty of people who love that style of Metallica, even your grandma loves Enter Sandman, and absolutely hate their "thrash metal" albums before it, but a lot of original fans from the "Kill 'em All" day hated it and accused the band of being "sellouts". I don't think there's ever been a band that hasn't run into this kind of thing.

I'm not saying there won't be people who don't like everything you do, because of course there will.  I'm saying that the people who don't care for your original work but DO like your remixes weren't going to be drawn to your original work anyway, so it's not a "loss" in terms of your audience.

On the flip side, there are people who WILL like both who will have only heard of you because of your remixes.  Being sour about someone liking one thing you do and not everything you do is stupid and a waste of energy imo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Phonetic Hero said:

I'm saying that the people who don't care for your original work but DO like your remixes weren't going to be drawn to your original work anyway, so it's not a "loss" in terms of your audience

I disagree that such is an inevitable conclusion and again, there can be debate about whether or not your audience for remixes is actually your audience at all.

The issue is not that they prefer one or the other, it's that they have little to no interest in so much as listening to an original track from someone primarily doing remixes. Logically, it also doesn't follow that if someone didn't like your original music, that they'd bother listening to your arrangements of other's music.

I guarantee you there is a difference in audience skepticism when Metallica covers "Whiskey In The Jar" vs when a Metallica cover band says "Okay folks, we're gonna play you an original now"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I still try to ReMix... not as much anymore, but not because I lost interest. I'm in grad school, 3rd year, so by that time I just have a lot on my plate. (Officially became a Ph.D. candidate starting May.)

I finished 1 recently, which I think I started in May, combining Chrono Cross and Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, and I still found a lot of enjoyment in the process of doing it. I don't have all my supplies with me in WSU, but it forces me to be more particular about harmonic and melodic cooperation instead of production and sound design, and instead I fix up the production on holiday breaks and such.

Either way, I still ReMix, it's still as fun as it used to be, and I do so BECAUSE it's fun, not because I feel any obligation to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2018 at 10:52 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I disagree that such is an inevitable conclusion and again, there can be debate about whether or not your audience for remixes is actually your audience at all.

The issue is not that they prefer one or the other, it's that they have little to no interest in so much as listening to an original track from someone primarily doing remixes. Logically, it also doesn't follow that if someone didn't like your original music, that they'd bother listening to your arrangements of other's music.

I guarantee you there is a difference in audience skepticism when Metallica covers "Whiskey In The Jar" vs when a Metallica cover band says "Okay folks, we're gonna play you an original now"

I started to gain a following because of my Dark Souls remixes. It wasn't just because people liked the music from the games and therefore were specifically only interested because I remixed the music, it's because the games developed a community which shared a love for the game in all its aspects. And that community was very grateful that I wanted to keep remixing the music in ways that weren't just musically appealing but also made them engage with the love of the games. Did I ever get as much attention from that same audience for my other remixes and original music? For the most part no, but it very much felt like my audience because of the appreciation I was given for contributing to a series we all enjoyed. I'm part of that audience too so I completely understand that. I also understand that I was lucky to be part of a very dedicated and positive community. 

Music is a tricky medium to get a dedicated following especially if you don't play live or gig around and stuff. Remixing and covers are really good ways to get attention from existing audiences. The difference between the two for me is that the cover is usually a faithful version of the original where as a remix can be a heightened experience with artistic influence. So of course people who want to see a cover or cover band don't want anything else from that, with remixing you can at least draw an audience based on your style that you inject into the song.

Pretty much everything is about doing something that gets the attention of existing audiences. Usually music needs to be a part of something for people to take interest these days. People's love for video game soundtracks for the most part are for the love of the game and what the music brought to that, I'm sure there are several composers we think are great from games and indies that wouldn't get a lick of notice if wasn't for the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've never crafted a videogame arrangement that wasn't also an "original"

sure, fans of my videogame work don't typically enjoy my other original material... but fans of that stuff don't typically enjoy my videogame work, neither.

also, i like music? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zircon's fanbase started when he made ocremixes and pretty healthily transferred it into a fanbase for his original electronic music.

I'm really not sure why there's so much emphasis on reasoning it out with logic. Just look at actual real life examples to see what happens or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PRYZM said:

Zircon's fanbase started when he made ocremixes and pretty healthily transferred it into a fanbase for his original electronic music.

I'm really not sure why there's so much emphasis on reasoning it out with logic. Just look at actual real life examples to see what happens or not.

Ehhh... Whether or not it happens with one person really doesn't say whether or not it's something that will happen with everyone. Zircon is a talented guy, and he's really made a name for himself outside of OCR with his music and business (which is a pretty awesome feat, by the way), but for every Zircon out there there's plenty of people who have Willrock's experience of virtually no audience transfer. I'm sure having an audience for your arrangements doesn't hurt your chances as a popular musician and/or accomplished composer elsewhere, but there's evidence (at least in this thread, anyway) that it can be a pretty insignificant boon for your other endeavors.

A combination of how good you are at marketing and networking is more likely going to give you better luck in having a large audience for your original work than having a large audience for your arrangements, I suspect, which Zircon also has quite a knack for. I understand that it can seem fruitless to logically discuss something like whether or not audiences transfer from one person's composition styles or not, but let's be honest - that's a pretty relevant thing for a lot of arrangers who want to make a living off their music in the future. Whether or not the audiences transfer from your free releases to your work that you profit off of could easily impact whether you're willing to arrange video game music, in the first place (which is how this topic cropped up in here).

If someone could crack that nut and figure out how to effectively transfer their audience, that'd be a very useful thing to know. It's at least an interesting and relevant topic to discuss, imo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2018 at 1:03 AM, Gario said:

A combination of how good you are at marketing and networking is more likely going to give you better luck in having a large audience for your original work than having a large audience for your arrangements, I suspect, which Zircon also has quite a knack for.

I wanna quote this for emphasis - Marketing is the name of the game and while I know that, I don't pretend to know what i'm doing, (I don't have a clue lol), so naturally my music doesn't reach as wide an audience.

Zircon - he might even deny it and say he was "lucky" I dunno, but he seems to have a pretty good amount of success with a lot of things he does, be it music, plug-in creation or game development and I can only assume that he has some business knowledge others simply lack, or (just as likely or perhaps not exclusively) he just has the right mindset to figure out how the world works which allows him to more effectively navigate his way around the industry. I remember talking to Tee Lopes about it - he told me luck had VERY little to do with it - that he just seemed to see oppertunity where others didn't and went through doors others just couldn't see themselves. I'm not saying luck doesn't play a part but you have to put yourself in the position to be lucky in the first place.

DJ Cutman - everyone says "he's a business man who worked hard to get where he is" and sure but many don't know his secrets and how he got there, just that he did. I'm sure there are some factors at play that help these things and assuming its just luck is stupid. That said, not everyone is DJ Cutman, not everyone is Zircon and we have to manage our own expectations based on our previous experiences. Just because one person can pull it off doesn't mean everyone can, otherwise we'd all manage to get there. Sadly, a small amount succeed and leave the rest of us in the dust. Thats just the way these things work :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2018 at 5:32 PM, WillRock said:

Zircon - he might even deny it and say he was "lucky" I dunno, but he seems to have a pretty good amount of success with a lot of things he does, be it music, plug-in creation or game development and I can only assume that he has some business knowledge others simply lack...

To be fair, I do think Zircon has a degree specifically in music business and production, so he does in fact have a solid foundation in that area. I doubt he'd say that has nothing to do with his level of success. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's time to change the name of this thread. It was "why you still do or not", but now "what for or who/how get success".

Overall, I didn't get the subject of the first post/thread. Was it just a question or simple "disscussion for disscussion" to provide some movement. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talking about success and how to get successful still falls in line and relevance with why one remixes or not. So many trai... err, former remixers who no longer come here do so because their remixing skillz now pay billz, while others still look to find out how to become successful with their own remixes. Both of those things would easily answer why someone would or would not choose to continue remixing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eh

frankly, shoehorning "success" (as a function of any external metric) into why anyone does anything is part of why new artists are often so utterly confused when trying to find their own voice and why so many promising musicians end up boring cookie cutter clones. whether anyone listens to your remixes or thinks you're good at it or if it "propels" your "career" as a "musician" are ultimately very arbitrary points. furthermore, i'd wager that if the audience isn't appreciating that it's you making the music, then you're probably either doing something wrong or that was your intent all along. in other words, it isn't intrinsic that your arrangement won't be deliciously unique; it's either a choice or a failure.

as for other measures of "success"... it's great that it works out for some people to where music gets to be their actual livelihood... but more often than not, i've found that particular life to be difficult to attain and, once it is, quite stressful... unless of course you're stupidly talented at it (which i am not), in which case, it's blissful... but in the majority of cases, the sheer saturation of the field drowns out even the fairly talented ones and that life just isn't very easy... unless you really do love hustling and grinding gigs and contracts as much as you love creating. right on but no thanks. and look if it's really about doing what you love... well, i do what i love and, shit, i feel i'm pretty damn successful at it too lol seeing as how i very rarely do not achieve what i set out to do (stupid fucking uber-shitty CEO track that sucks pokeballs is an example of a time i didn't haha)... and from where i'm standing, that's the best measure of "success." 

furthermore... i think part of why there has been such a mixed reaction to the OP is because of the second point that was made. ie: "A remix can never really be your own. It's like fanart or cosplay: You're ultimately (where OCR is concerned) just giving free promotion to what is, at the end of the day, a consumer product."

LOL SHOTS FIRED - dude, that is abysmally pessimistic. it's your truth, perhaps... but it's hardly anything beyond that. as i cheekily alluded to in my previous (shit)post, nearly every remix i've ever made pretty much cannot be confused with anyone or anything else and certainly neither its source nor its creator lolllll perhaps that's because my originality, even in a remix context, is entirely my own and is my truth; that the original notes of any given remix of mine were first conceived by someone else does not mean my vision was, nor my interpretation nor my performance of it... and thus neither was the resulting "remix." at risk of sounding like a dick, the alternative is a very limited way of looking at art seeing as how a vast majority of contemporary music is fundamentally derived (a very long conversation topic for another thread no doubt) making this whole notion of "originality" something that ought to be measured OFF the sheet and not on it.

ie. nakamura-sama may have composed "oil ocean" from sonic 2... but zyko wrote "the long war" and it's kinda hard to confuse the two

another example: "Strange Island Eggplant" off the Bad Dudes' "Jingle All the Way" EP takes a short 15 or so second ditty from Adventure Island 2 and turns it into a fully fleshed out song fitted with lyrics. how is that not my song? :shrug:

=====

tl;dr (because #zykorants)

any artform, derived or not, can absolutely be "yours" (since nothing in existence actually is) if you seek it to be and learning how to do that is the real trick ;)

IMMA BOUT TO GET BBQ'D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, zykO said:

LOL SHOTS FIRED - dude, that is abysmally pessimistic. it's your truth, perhaps... but it's hardly anything beyond that. as i cheekily alluded to in my previous (shit)post, nearly every remix i've ever made pretty much cannot be confused with anyone or anything else

It's not about whether or not it can be confused for someone else: It's about the inescapable reality that it deliberately uses someone else's work as its foundations. Not influence, not imitation, etc. Just straight up revision. That is why I will not hear an argument otherwise.

There's nothing pessimistic about this — it's simply an honest assessment of what an arrangement is.

If you want to be a creator, then it simply makes sense to value your own work more than revisionist ones. This is a perfectly sensible stance as to why someone like myself can lose their appetite for remixing. 

I created this thread to see what individual reasons are and how they differ, not to pass judgement on their reason, but have now spent three pages basically saying: "I'd just rather write my own stuff because it's uniquely mine and no one else has any part in its creation". A position I feel I've adequately justified and defended, and see no need to do so further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

It's not about whether or not it can be confused for someone else: It's about the inescapable reality that it deliberately uses someone else's idea as its foundations. Not influence, not imitation, etc. Just straight up revision. That is why I will not hear an argument otherwise.

There's nothing pessimistic about this — it's simply an honest assessment of what an arrangement is.

If you want to be a creator, then it simply makes sense to value your own work more than revisionist ones. This is a perfectly sensible stance as to why someone like myself can lose their appetite for remixing. 

 

"straight up revision" 

yeah you're still kind of missing the point. there is very rarely a truly unique creator and your definition of what that is seems irrevocably rooted in logic and there is no logic when it comes to art and how it is passed from one "creator" to another. i understand what you're saying... obviously if you're remixing Zelda's Lullaby, that's Zelda's Lullaby as composed by Koji Kondo, not Waleed Hawatky. that part is self-explanatory...

but otherwise, what you're suggesting is that then the entirety of "classical" music save a composer or two and the entirety of jazz save a writer or two would be utterly "unoriginal" and/or "revisionist" and that seems both exceedingly harsh and tone deaf to the fact that music is almost never played the same way twice unless it's recorded. i call bullshit on the "makes sense to value your own work more than revisionist ones" because i make this argument having written just as much original music as i have arrangements, currently releasing my 12th original album and frankly i don't see much difference between where my "original" work is derived from and where my arrangements are. in the end, the process feels just about the same... with the exception of one critical feature:

MELODY.

i feel like where we're having a fundamental disagreement is on the effect of melody because melody has the unique feature of being a specific combination of notes and meter that make it particular and thus why we recognize music and sing along with them in the first place and why when either of us goes and remixes a videogame song, it's immediately recognizable. were i to arrange a popular game tune and outright ditch the melody and offer up my own (as i just did for an unreleased Xenogears track), then most casual listeners wouldn't know either way. even some musicians wouldn't know unless they knew the context (ie on a game music album or site, etc). my new Xenogears song is practically an original tune... and in truth is a lot more a result of my originality than mitsuda-sama's and, like with the Adventure Island tune, your argument doesn't hold any water in regards to it. it would if, say, it was a note for note cover but that's not the only kind of game remixing out there so making your blanket statement is still not the play here...

take specific forms, even. any waltz in videogame history isn't going to be immediately accused of being derivative (although it most definitely is) and is given the benefit of the doubt that it is original. same with the blues. just because the original game source was a blues song doesn't mean that piece is any more original than one derivative further. you choose where to set the point of the revision based on the fact it is the immediate source... but a vast majority of game music is not original so when an artist takes it upon themselves to make it a point to arrange something in a completely new concept, calling it a "promotion for a commercial product" is offensively disingenuous

your assessment isn't wrong (it is quite logical albeit sterile) and of course neither is your reason for losing your appetite and i'm certainly not criticizing that you felt that way. i'm just offering the opposite perspective because i feel it's just as valid and also just as correct. saying you "won't hear an argument otherwise" in regards to the matter, however, makes you look a lot more wrong than you are.

now... if we were talking about this from a purely practical business perspective (in other words, content attribution and sales), then yes, you're right: you could never pass an arrangement utilizing the original source's melody as an original composition and if you did, you'd get sued so hard, you'll open up like an azalea

and that's like something that pretty much everybody in the scene, whether here or anywhere else, is already perfectly aware of.

4 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I created this thread to see what individual reasons are and how they differ, not to pass judgement on their reason, but have now spent three pages basically saying: "I'd just rather write my own stuff because it's uniquely mine and no one else has any part in its creation". A position I feel I've adequately justified and defended, and see no need to do so further.

an individual's reasoning for wanting to do something or not do something cannot be on trial so i apologize if somehow i came across that way. it was never the intent

at the same time, your initial post presented itself kind of trolly... seeing as how OCRemix is a site dedicated to the very thing you essentially shit on in two bullett'd points lol nobody is going to sit you down and force you to remix videogame music or blast you for wanting to write your own music. in fact, i'd be the first person to encourage it seeing as how i take my original work considerably more seriously.

the problem is you came out guns ablazing albeit passive aggressively talking shit about remixing as essentially "cos play" disregarding the artistry involved on the part of thousands upon thousands of very talented artists who have spent lots of time pouring their souls into this shit and then spend three pages defending that. not your preference but the unnecessary cutdown of the form on quite literally the first site to embrace and promote the shit lolllll

soooooo..... yeah, i see no need to do so further either.

 

(by the way, in case it isn't already clear, this is not at all personal and i aint at all mad at ya :) this is all just music nerd talk)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zykO said:

the problem is you came out guns ablazing albeit passive aggressively talking shit about remixing as essentially "cos play" disregarding the artistry involved on the part of thousands upon thousands of very talented artists who have spent lots of time pouring their souls into this shit and then spend three pages defending that. not your preference but the unnecessary cutdown of the form on quite literally the first site to embrace and promote the shit lolllll

Well, I specifically said there's nothing wrong with things like cosplay if that's what you want to do, but I likened the creative ownership of it as being the same as remixing. :-)

On 9/9/2018 at 4:20 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I see it as no different than fanart, cosplay, or fanfiction. The poses and stuff might be different, but at the end of the day, someone else's imagination is responsible for its very existence and they do have legal power over it.

On 9/9/2018 at 4:20 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

So I don't have any problem with people who'd just rather remix if that's what they want to do, but isn't fulfilling for me anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Well, I specifically said there's nothing wrong with things like cosplay if that's what you want to do, but I likened the creative ownership of it as being the same as remixing. :-)

yes, you did which is why the only thing i really tried to interject in my initial post was to step away from the technicality of a remix being unoriginal which is already infallible as you've pointed out... but rather focus on how an artist can inject a great deal of originality into the project making it very much "their own" without it being technically or legally their own. 

like a really creative cosplayer
https://technabob.com/blog/2016/02/04/super-mario-bros-x-fallout-cosplay/

there is still quite a bit of originality, artistry and vision here and as a result it is very much unique, i've never seen anything like that before... that's all i'm saying :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year and half I've been "ReMixing" again to try new things with my style and explore different types of melodies. I'll probably always do that a little bit.

Going back to originals for a little bit though (even though they *are* inspired by other works of fiction oftentimes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I were doing more remixing right now. I'm feeling some nostalgia for it right now---weird because I think nostalgia was the reason most of us started it in the first place. So I'm in a weird meta-nostalgia place right now.

But I'm not a fast remixer. I'm slow and obsessive and it doesn't fit into my busy schedule these days.

I do hold arranging in high regard, as far as its creative merits go. I think it's a very strong relationship between the arranger and the listener. You're working with something that's usually already baked into the listener's memory, so you're starting with a strong common core of experience with the audience. You've already bonded with the listener over your love of the tune, but more importantly your creative decisions to alter the original material stand out strongly. The listener has greater vision into your creative process than if they were listening to your original material. Furthermore, the listener has an equally enhanced relationship to other listeners, given the shared histories listeners probably have with the tunes.

Of course, original material has different strengths. But I do think arranging has objectively unique strengths too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/15/2018 at 9:32 PM, WillRock said:

Marketing is the name of the game and while I know that, I don't pretend to know what i'm doing, (I don't have a clue lol), so naturally my music doesn't reach as wide an audience.

Zircon recommended this book a while back. It's a little dated by now in a technological sense, But I hope it helps you develop the business mindset you need.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I basically stopped remixing from 2004 to 2015 while I was more useful to people for the other stuff I do, but I'm back now and have been concentrating on proper orchestral arrangements for this concert (which I'm responsible for): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-45677787 - I hope some of you will come to this! (website is http://www.8-bit-symphony.com)

One thing we're not using in the concert is this cover of Ghouls and Ghosts... (the C64 version with Tim Follin's messing) which you can download from here if you want: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gvkz9y1zgaabcuu/07. Ghouls and Ghosts.mp3?dl=0 This is before it's been cleaned up and otherwise messed with by the orchestrator who makes sure the scores are as playable by humans as I think they are!

Done mostly with Orchestral Tools and recorded straight out of Sibelius Ultimate.

Er, cheers :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still nice to see this place chugging along, just went through and listened to a few songs on here and Dwelling of Duels, can't believe my account is still on here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still work on remixes, but very sloooowly. Like others I do it for fun. I am 32 now and life has more to it. Wife, kid, house, full-time work, and a part-time PhD. Half way done with the PhD. I still run a small sound design company to make some extra spending money. Selling original synth patches and doing factory soundbanks for companies on occasion.

Musically I am super happy and feel fullfilled. I am glad I do not rely of music for a living. I do it for fun and make some extra money. I realized years ago I am much happier with a consistent paycheck at a low stress job. For me, relying on music for income killed my passion for it.

Success is a deeply personal and subjective thing. You just need to find out what it means for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now