AngelCityOutlaw

Do You Still ReMix — Why Or Why Not?

123 posts in this topic

On 10/3/2018 at 5:04 PM, avaris said:

...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.

this is a good way to say it. i got a few degrees in music that essentially nailed the coffin on ever doing it professionally simply because i hated it so much by the time i was done - the in-culture, the requirement to network constantly, and the number of good gigs going to someone because they knew a guy that knew a guy instead of going to the best choice (not that i ever was that) really was a turn-off. the actual music was fun, but doing it for a job was maybe 10% of that.

then we had some kids, and my hours changed, and my priorities changed. success for me was providing for my family no matter the circumstances, and finding a way to pursue more than just one interest both from a financial and time standpoint. i think i've accomplished that pretty comfortably. it looks way different than what i thought it'd be in my early 20s, and that's probably for the better now that i know more about who i am and who i am not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the whole "Music As A Profession Killed My Passion For It" thing, it's been my observation over the last ~5 years that it ostensibly has to in order to be successful at it. Hear me out:

I've met a lot of professional artists of various trades over the last half-decade or so. Musicians, writers, animators, painters, etc. and most recently I took some courses for film crew work where my teacher was an award-winning make up artist and the most noticeable thing I can say about all of these people is they were stone-cold stoics. I recall during the classes that at one point, she rolled her eyes saying in a mocking tone "We're making art!...Nope, it's a business". 

What all of these people have in common is that they've shed any romantic notions about their craft and business and have come to see it as just that: a craft and business. They know and have developed the skills of their trade to the point that it's no different than waking up and working 9-5 anywhere else. You know how if you take your car to a good detailer and you get it back and it's like "Holy shit, this car is stupid clean, shiny and smells like it's brand new!"? Yeah, the detailers aren't especially proud of it or anything, they see it as just doing their job. That's how most of these composers, animators, make-up artists, etc. see it too.

1 hour ago, prophetik music said:

and the number of good gigs going to someone because they knew a guy that knew a guy instead of going to the best choice (not that i ever was that) really was a turn-off.

Nepotism runs high in basically every line of work.

It's just a lot more prevalent in the entertainment industry because it's a whole lot smaller.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/10/2018 at 8:24 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

But they aren't though.

Like, not to sound patronizing here, but I'm surprised people have even been debating this. To be honest, it's a bit worrying.

If you try to sell (or even if you don't) a remix without getting the necessary licensing, royalties etc. the original composer (or other rights holder) can take legal action against you. Like how Vanilla Ice failed to convince the court that him using Queen's bassline was totally fine because it was a transformative work; still got sued. Why? Because it's not his/yours.

You can never have complete creative ownership on something that deliberately contains a melody someone before you created, and you will legally never have claim to it unless the rights are signed over to you.

 

Well... I'm actually gonna come in and say my 2c on this in specific: Yes, you don't own it, but you own a lot of the information gained from it. You can put original melodies or sections in a ReMix/Cover/Arrangement/Potato/etc and still use them; I recently did a Barbershop arrangement for Materia (Yet to come out... soon) and while I can't, say, use that, I can still use the knowledge I've learned which would have definitely been more difficult to acquire if I just decided "I'm going to make a barbershop original" 

I speak from the perspective of "I am going for owning my own indie game company one day"

Share this post


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

I think we've exhausted the topic of people disputing the ownership tbh

yeah to be honest, it was really just one aspect of the original point that didn't need to be extrapolated upon nearly as much as it ended up being...

but hey, even vgm nerds like to argue lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get that much; I just wanted to weigh in my 2c on it. Honestly, interesting thread. Got me thinking.

(also, tbh, I didn't read the whole thread because I do enough reading in graduate school. was going to. whoops.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I think I can consider myself as still Remixing/rearrange... I try to make time for it-as it is very educational when dissecting pieces from established composers. I've done remixes/rearrangements and originals for a while... and in my experience, I have learned much more doing arrangements and remixes than originals. Especially submitting remixes to the judges or to the community. Which would be my #1 drive to make remixes. 

The feedback that the judges give is so valuable-and it is FREE. Judges who have a good idea of what they are doing, spending their time critiquing what they are hearing... 

As for what you said here:

On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 1:20 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Nintendo owns the melodies from Metroid. As such, the Metroid ReMixes Timaeus and I have done are more Nintendo's property than anyone else's. It's a derivative work from material we do not own the rights too, nor did we have permission to make. No matter how many unique ideas we stuff into it, the fact remains that we have little in the way of claim to the whole track. If Nintendo cared enough to strike an unauthorized arrangement down, they have every right to do so.

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. Who wants the foundations of their legacy to be the work of someone else

I also see your point about derivative original music as apples to oranges. The original tunes rely on musical devices that have become cliche, while the arrangements directly take from an existing work. It's the difference between painting in the style of Bob Ross, or John Williams ripping romantic-era cliches, versus copying a drawing and making some changes along the way. Influence vs copy.

If we want to sound like "cultured" art snobs, I'd side with those who'd say there is more artistic worth in the former, and historically, these are the works that have stood the test of time.

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.

 

Haha, you make fan art/fan fiction sound like low tier creative endeavors. Originals can be exactly the same-maybe not monetary-wise, but creative-wise definitely. 

There are rearrangements of videogame music that I consider significantly higher tier than original music that is super duper cliché to a genre. In fact, I hardly see a creative difference between "fan art" and someone who makes skrillex-like-dubstep that is "original."

There are plenty of originals that are actually "fan art" types. And there are plenty of "fan art" types that over time became "originals." 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Majeles said:

In fact, I hardly see a creative difference between "fan art" and someone who makes skrillex-like-dubstep that is "original."

 

this is what i unsuccessfully tried to express before

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Majeles said:

There are rearrangements of videogame music that I consider significantly higher tier than original music that is super duper cliché to a genre. In fact, I hardly see a creative difference between "fan art" and someone who makes skrillex-like-dubstep that is "original."

I don't really give a shit.

What point do you hope I concede to, exactly? That because some original works are highly-cliche and plenty of fan art or arrangements are of high quality, possibly even better than the original work, that deliberately piggybacking on existing works therefore has just as much artistic merit as making your own creations? Because it's not going to happen. 

Marvel and DC have made all the good superheroes and anyone I could come up with would likely be similar to one that already exists: Guess I better just say to hell with it and just draw Spiderman then, right? Drawing someone else stuff is just as worth my time as drawing from imagination! 

The fact is: No matter how much you spin it, you cannot claim creative ownership over a remix and that is precisely because it only exists thanks to a work before it. If you want to be a composer, artist, writer, etc. It makes no sense to place equal value on fan works — it really isn't any more nuanced than that.

 

Share this post


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

...you cannot claim creative ownership over a remix and that is precisely because it only exists thanks to a work before it

 

So does literally every piece of music ever

Share this post


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

So does literally every piece of music ever

there's no point. we've resorted to "i don't really give a shit"

of course, AngelCityOutlaw isn't at all wrong that a fan work is never actually yours and never can be as it is a) legally someone else's and b) is pronouncedly more derivative; the contentious point is the mere fact that he equates that with creative originality and, well, who really gives a shit :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is no such thing as a universal truth or a baseline to any interpretation of aesthetic but here we are anyway, thousands of years into this shit, quibbling over it like paleolithic DJ's at a burning man festival

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah it can all boil down to the impostor syndrome we all have, it's ok to express yourself openly to someone else's music cuz it means something to you, but when making your own music your expression has to be limited to something that's impossibly not derivative or biased? makes no sense to me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Phonetic Hero said:

So does literally every piece of music ever

This isn't an argument against the point and you know it isn't. You're literally expecting me to believe you don't see, however immaterial, a difference between copy and pasting a completed idea from someone else as the basis for your own work, from one that you just sat down a created yourself via long-standing techniques and musical devices. The fact that resulting pieces can still sound derivative, is really irrelevant to the philosophy here.

You know the difference, you just feel threatened by any standpoint that would deem covers "inferior" on some level.

Like I said, if someone prefers remixing or doing straight covers, power to them. I've come to prefer coming up with my own tunes, and I explained why.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like doing all three, and understanding that all three are derivative. The only "originality" we can achieve these days is in interpretation, and even then we're just combining influences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On ‎10‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 10:18 PM, AngelCityOutlaw said:

I don't really give a shit.

What point do you hope I concede to, exactly? That because some original works are highly-cliche and plenty of fan art or arrangements are of high quality, possibly even better than the original work, that deliberately piggybacking on existing works therefore has just as much artistic merit as making your own creations? Because it's not going to happen. 

Marvel and DC have made all the good superheroes and anyone I could come up with would likely be similar to one that already exists: Guess I better just say to hell with it and just draw Spiderman then, right? Drawing someone else stuff is just as worth my time as drawing from imagination! 

The fact is: No matter how much you spin it, you cannot claim creative ownership over a remix and that is precisely because it only exists thanks to a work before it. If you want to be a composer, artist, writer, etc. It makes no sense to place equal value on fan works — it really isn't any more nuanced than that.

 

 

Yes, there is as much "piggybacking" in originals (which can also be derivative work) as say an artists doing "fan fiction." 

For example, the successful novel "Wicked" literally "piggyback" rid the Wizard of Oz novel series. Creatively wise, I consider it having no less artistic merit than, what you would consider an "original" The Lord of the Rings. Lord of the rings, maybe be "Original" … but is it really strictly speaking "Original?"

Another example, The House of the Rising Sun. Many renditions/covers etc... The Animals have made it their own. Even though Bob Dylans version was earlier and similar. Hear a bunch of versions and takes of The House of the Rising Sun, and you should appreciate how artistically well their creations are. In fact, one could say the Animals house of the rising sun is the definitive The House of the Rising Sun. 

And as for your spiderman scenario... Drawing fan art of spider man with your spin on it, can be exactly the same as trying to make your own "original" super hero that's in the genre of spider man. 

The capacity of imagination can be needed in these tribute art as much as "originals." And by the way, the level of originality in most "original art" can easily be challenged-be it music, film, etc.. Making what you would consider original, literally look like a fan art, but instead it would be considered a "rip off."

Disney has rightly claimed "creative ownership" on its remixed artistic endeavors. 

Astro Boy, Mega Man, Mighty Number 9, Mega Man X, Mega Man Zero.... What really are we taking about here?

Now, obviously, if we are taking about making money, and the legality of it, then that's a different story. I believe that if you are talented enough, and hard working, you can work with the current system and monetize any art-be it "remix" or "original."

And if it is all about money in regards of "claiming"... you maybe in the wrong business, as there are many other money making options that will guarantee better return and pay.

 

Edited by Majeles

Share this post


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

The Lord of the Rings. Lord of the rings, maybe be "Original" … but is it really strictly speaking "Original?"

This is a statement to which *hits blunt* would usually follow.

I've no more interest in this pedantry. 

By the logic being touted in this thread, studying a score to discover what composition techniques they used so that you might incorporate those techniques into your own work is on equal footing to just ripping that tune and changing some chords or phrasing and basically, you're entitled to that person's work because "nothing's reaaaally original anyway!" *insert Carl Sagan apple-pie quote here* — because that's the end result of this mentality. It did't hold up for Vanilla Ice, 90s Big Beat artists eventually stopped sampling so excessively or entirely, and their defenders too made the same arguments you make today.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dude, what's with the 'tude? lol

"*hits blunt*"..."pedantry"..."the logic being touted"... 

seriously bro? you keep making these ostensibly narrow-minded broad strokes about creativity and originality all the while lookin down your nose pretentiously at everyone offering a counter like you're the first person on these forums to write original music.

besides, there's plenty of logic in the premise being argued... that, barring legality and the most rigid of interpretations, there isn't a whole lot of difference between a piece of music that blatantly derives its tone, style, and phrasing from another and one that begins with the specific compositional structure but interprets it in an entirely unique and original approach. (i can tell you like examples as it ruffles your feathers somethin wicked so here's another:) a band that sounds exactly like System of a Down but writes songs System of a Down hasn't, isn't fooling anyone; they're not very original or unique. an artist who takes the epic orchestral Liberi Fatali and writes a killer four piece punk rock arrangement for their band is considerably more original no matter how hard you plunk on your keyboard trying to suggest otherwise. they're both derivative despite having different reasons for being so and yet can both be enjoyed for whatever element of them is original or refreshing without this unnervingly unnecessary debate. how is that not logical?

and no, dude, it isn't pedantic. for someone who supposedly takes great pride and care in "studying a score to discover what composition techniques," you sure have a fundamental misconception of how scrupulous and precise and overwrought with minutiae that writing music is. are you sure you actually do write any original music in the first place or are you just here to blow hot takes all over the thread? there's utterly nothing pedantic about a conversation on music, man. particularly on a music forum lollllllllll *insert Carl Sagan mind-blown gif here*

*hits blunt*
lol at this point, i'm not entirely shocked but even then, i'm still a bit perturbed that you'd dig up the ol' pot stigma card... blatantly undercutting Majeles' statement with the absurd suggestion that he must have been stoned to have said it, further denigrating any stance taken opposite yours. I can't quite figure out if you're 12 or 72. LIKE... BRUH HAVE YOU EVER HAD A FORUM DISAGREEMENT... ON WEEEEEED?????? 1998 called and wants its outdated weed dig back.

honestly, if you're so irritated with (by, at this point, SEVERAL...) people calling bullshit on your assertion that there is no creative or original value in the hard work of talented, creative, and original artists when working on video game arrangements... then why do you keep responding? especially if the only way you're going to do so is by being a colossal douche? like maybe some of us actually prefer to express their unique voice through videogame remixes. i personally don't; that's why i have an original music career. makes utterly no difference to me... but you know... it might to others and that's perfectly ok! i can recognize the artistry and abilities of any musician without having to pinky finger a point about how much better it is to write "original" music, suggesting those who disagree with you are "threatened" by the "inferiority" of the form... 

nahhhh, i'm pretty sure you're just being an asshole at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not a difficult concept to understand.

You're all focused on the term "originality" and whatever imaginary threshold one has to cross to be truly "original". It's irrelevant. Nobody outside of the OCR bubble is going to consider your remixes yours: They'll see it as composer's X's song and you just arranged it — because that's the truth. Green Hill Zone isn't partly your song just because you remixed it; it doesn't make you a co-composer, but perhaps a good arranger.

If that's all you wanna do, that's fine, but I see it as a poor foundation for the legacy of anyone who'd want to call themselves a composer. I'll let WillRock rexplain one last time.

On 9/9/2018 at 3:05 PM, WillRock said:

This idea that you think of "all artistic creation as a collaboration" - its a nice idea but to me, thats not the way it works.

 

Share this post


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

This is a statement to which *hits blunt* would usually follow.

I've no more interest in this pedantry. 

By the logic being touted in this thread, studying a score to discover what composition techniques they used so that you might incorporate those techniques into your own work is on equal footing to just ripping that tune and changing some chords or phrasing and basically, you're entitled to that person's work because "nothing's reaaaally original anyway!" *insert Carl Sagan apple-pie quote here* — because that's the end result of this mentality. It did't hold up for Vanilla Ice, 90s Big Beat artists eventually stopped sampling so excessively or entirely, and their defenders too made the same arguments you make today.

 

 

I think you got the logic progression all wrong. I'm not saying a remixer can artistically claim, or is entitled to the original composers work. I'm challenging these points you have made:

Quote

1. I'd simply rather spend the time and energy on something of my own. Now, if I hear an existing song, and I like it...I just leave it at that.

2. 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. 

Depending on how creative you are, a remix/rearrangement CAN be your own.

The House of the Rising Sun, by The Animals... Based on your logic that I understand... That song as we know and experience it, is not theirs. Did I follow your logic correctly?

If The Animals had your kind of limited mind set, we wouldn't have such a great piece of music. Because of this, I find your reasons unconvincing or having little weight so far. Because I believe that song is The Animals claim. It is their song. 

Same thing with the book/broadway/musical Wicked. By your standard, the writers and poets can not "claim" it "their own." Which I believe they can.

If you disagree with this, and discussing the thread which you started still entertains you, then let me know what point I'm missing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol just because it's WillRock's opinion also doesn't mean it's any more or less anything

peace out dude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not trying to say you're silly/dumb for caring about the topic and having strong feelings, Chris, but why can't you do it WITHOUT the needless hostility to everyone who disagrees with you on this? It's a subjective conversation by its nature.

Share this post


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

Not trying to say you're silly/dumb for caring about the topic and having strong feelings, Chris, but why can't you do it WITHOUT the needless hostility to everyone who disagrees with you on this? It's a subjective conversation by its nature.

I actually don't feel that strongly about it, tbh, Larry.

It's just that, it gets difficult to keep my eccentric demons of condescending, jaded sarcasm and smartass wit in their cages after pages and pages of trying to explain in various ways that "If that tune wasn't actually crafted by you in the first place, it's not really your tune now just because you added some seasoning of your own." Which I'm surprised there was resistance to all, as I'm pretty sure even the law and the public at large accepts that as fact.

Then, as an argument against it, people keep resurrecting it with "Yeah but like...a lot of original works are highly derivative and samey-sounding"

giphy.webp 

There's a world of difference between using a similar triplet rhythm in the winds like the "Hook" score, to actually copying the theme.

So the point's always been about who actually made that particular thing to begin with.

200.gif

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...that would be because " just because you added some seasoning of your own" is a wildly gross understatement of what actually goes on in arrangement or any measure of creative interpretation

but we've already beaten the living death out of this horse and it's clearly gone nowhere but south so..... i'll take your cue and let this inane argument go to pasture

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