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creating a remix to join a session

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Creating a remix to join a session

If you like to join a session or post a response to a session template (that's a song with only one instrument), what needs to be done is to create a remix.
Important: It is your job to do the mixing! Please don't send in a track in which only your instrument is to be heard as a remix. Wikiloops plays back only one file at a time, so there better be all instruments in that sound file!

So this is how to go about:
First, you choose the session you'd like to jam along to and get your recording gear ready.
When recording, there are many ways of getting the jamtrack and your instrument into the mix. Here are three examples on how you might want to proceed:
Var I: using a multitrack recording software
If you are using a multitrack software like Cubase or one of the freeware products (some are recommended in the "Recording and mixing"-board), you may either simultaneously record your instrument on one track and the sound file on another stereo track. If your soundcard does not allow you to route your browsers sound signal to the multitracker, you may download the jamtrack first and import it into your multitrack arrangement from your harddrive and then start recording your instrument.
Var II: Using an analog mixer
Of course you can plug your computers line out into a mixing console and plug your instrument to another channel. By recording the mixer's output, you have a remix right away. Since you will not be able to alter the levels of jamtrack and instruments afterwards, you should take some time to adjust these prior to recording the final take. It doesn't matter whether you record your mixer's output with your computer, a digital recording device or a tapedeck - if you know how to convert your recording into a 128k-.mp3 file, no one cares.
Var III: The teenage way without any sound equipment
the most rudimentary way of creating a remix only requires you to
1. be able to hear the jamtrack coming from your browser
2. be able to record what's happening in your room with a single microphone (worst case: the mic of your cellular phone would do the job.)
In this scenario, the air in your living room will have to do the mixing job :-) Just place the microphone close to the speakers which play back the jamtrack and play along your instrument, so it will be heard in the recording, too. If you should try this with a marshall amp and your laptops built-in speakers, you will find it hard to get both signals heard on your recorder. Go by try and error to find out which levels to work on and where to best place the microphone. Don't expect the result to be of high quality, and please think twice before uploading a poor sounding remix in which the other instruments are lost in buzz or hardly recognizable...

Levelling notes:
Please make sure there is no clipping (meaning the level-meters should never hit the max position) when you record your jam. If you wish for other musicians to create a remix adding further instruments using your remix as the jamtrack, please make sure your instrument is not louder than those you jammed along to. The worst case would be if your instrument is quite loud while the backing is really mixed into the background - if the next user continues that way to be heard right up front, your instrument would be taken back a bit and those instruments you already mixed into the back would remain hardly audible. It takes some practise to find out how to level oneself into a band. A really good hint if you use a multitrack software and thus may adjust levels after recording is to lower the level of your instrument to the point where it falls back in the mix and then just increase it a very little bit to find the right position. In most cases you will end up much lower than you had set first, for most musicians like to hear themselves really loud while playing.
There is much to be learned about finding your place in a band in this tricky job, and your real life buddies will profit from your experiences here!

After recording:
now you proceed by converting your recording to 320k - .mp3 file format. Please make sure the file does not exceed 15 MB!
Then you're set to hit the "upload remix"-link given on the page where the session-template you used is played back. IMPORTANT: of course, this link is given on all public jams. If you have switched to another jamtrack in the meantime and proceed to the upload form from that page, wikiloops will expect to be your remix to be a response to the session you last heard. You will have to enter the right jamtrack's session ID in order to have your remix posted to the right session. There is a player in the upload form which will allow you to make sure that you have chosen the right session. Please take the few seconds to recheck, misplaced remixes would be a pain!

Some general hints:
Panorama: depending on the instrument you play, it might make sense to place it off-centre in the stereo panorama. This will make it easier for later remixers to find a spot where to place another instrument. Beats and bass should be placed in the centre, but this may vary from style to style.
Soloing: many musicians take the chance to solo to our jamtracks - since the band will not protest, even if you take three days to get your fingers straight, there's much potential to show everything you got. Like in real life, a session in which every millisecond is filled with sound can hardly be improved by an additional instrument, so if you want other users to work with your jam, leave them some space to breathe!
Song structure: Remember, users will see your session displayed as an available additional instrument when visiting the song you played to in the jam-view. They will click on lets say the saxophone icon and expect a saxophone to be heard playing along next. This will happen immediatly IF you have started playing your additional instrument from the beginning of your remix on! Otherwise, if you let the band play the intro and then set in, users will click "saxophone" and get thirty seconds of the same jam they heard before... It's easy to imagine some might get the impression that your session has been declared wrongly and will kick you from the band. Just keep that in mind!
Edited by Dick on 13-05-2014 09:12
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