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First in, or last laugh?

posted on #1
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I love hearing old tracks brought back with new adds. It seems that players digging in the archives looking for inspiration will find a thread and then go through and find the best players/performance, then add to that. How does this mesh with templates that are jumped on immediately by those who want to be the first to add?

Kudos to those fluent and talented players who can hear a track then record and edit it almost immediately. But they seem like the exception with the rest of us needing to at least give a little space between recording and editing to let our egos settle down and hear what we've recorded with objective ears.

Often I hear tracks that come from players who I know can play, but it seems that they have rushed to be first or very early in uploading an add. Why? Looked at from a distance (as those who are going back and finding older tracks do) it's obvious that the fastest adds are not necessairly the best. It's the best adds that get noticed and added to in the long run. Are good players sacrificing their playing and editing abilities in order to just be first?

Hopefully this doesn't make some players uncomfortable but gives some pause. The tracks we lay down here are like those “challenging/revealing" pictures some people have posted on the internet, but later find that they are embarrassed and can't take back what's been posted. I've certainly posted a few tracks that make me cringe when I hear them now...and that was even after letting them sit in the "to be edited" file for a while.

Would love to hear what motivates and drives our players to add, and if they sometimes wish they had given it a bit more time and musical consideration.
Edited by Wade on October 26 2017 15:21
posted on #2
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Joined: 27.09.14
Yes, I noticed it too - I guess if you are first on guitar, then you have a good chance that someone will put up a bass track on it. Once a bass player has played on a template, he will probably not play the same song again for a different guitar, so you lost one potential remixer. Basically when a template is new, and if the template maker(s) is a popular looper, there are more people looking at it generally, and the chances of adds from people who are not watching you are higher. Once you pick up an old thread the only people who will see it are those that follow you and the template makers plus a few people who listen to the "latest 25" radio station, and maybe a few who click on it on the home page. So this is one of the reasons. Another reason is just the excitement of a new thing - I can relate to that. I got sucked into that a few times before, however as you mentioned I did learn that for me it is better to wait and practice a bit. I am slow and always behind the beat anyway :D . I go for the planning and practicing. Having said that, I heard so many "fast" uploads here which were really good and on the spot, if I may mention Ernie the bass player, I think he must be the fastes deadliest bass shooter out there - serial fast uploader and I never heard a bad note from him... :)
Edited by TeeGee on October 26 2017 09:16
posted on #3
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Wow. Another thought-provoking thread from Wade! Very interesting points and, as a previously serial 'first-time' uploader, I can see both sides. My reasoning is (as usual) complex.

I have no real concept of 'being first'. I have turned many templates round quickly but that was more to do with the fact that I listened, inspiration hit, and I've jumped on there and then. But, in my experience so far, getting drums on early in a stem is one of the biggest 'foot ups' you can give to a track. Numerous times has a template languished until someone adds drums then the stems come to life. Drums do appear to really help people get going, I guess because they can dictate the overall feel and pace of a track. They help people get into the mindset of the track as much as they can make or break a track. I do it to help the track along, not a selfish sense of achievement.

Many times have I also seen comments from people saying they'll wait for drums or wait for bass...

With regard to the quality of tracks suffering through lack of time and planning, I agree. I've uploaded many clunkers and I just will have to live with it. But, for me, it's not about a lack of taking the time to do things 'properly'. I'm fortunate enough that I can jump on and get something done quickly but I hate the fact that I often do have to both record and edit quickly - I'm not going into those reasons here. Sorry.

I'm trying to take a more measured, quality-led approach to my uploads. And I always wish I had more time to do them to the very best of my ability but that's another story which isn't for a public forum.
Edited by mpointon on October 26 2017 10:55
posted on #4
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I'm guilty of all of the above :D Sometimes i just want to do a fast recording and upload (first), quality can be OK, but probably would have been better if i worked more on the tracks ;)

I sometimes end up redoing my tracks or do another bass line on a different branch. Then other times i dig up something from the archives and try to do a bit different approach than the previous up-loaders :)

Wikiloops is a full time job! :D If i am going to be as involved as i am, and jam with "all of my friends" i sometimes have to let quality pass a bit for productivity ;)

But if people PM me about something that they want to work seriously on i am down with that :)
posted on #5
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Interest post Wade. Well, I'm relatively new here, and there was a week where I was adding twice a day, but I was on holiday and spent most of it doing music, but now I'm levelling out. My inspiration if you like, is about a few things. Firstly I never ever rush a piece of music, because my ethic is always to (try to) do justice to someone else's template. If someone has taken the time to produce a quality guitar track for example, who wants to hear a rushed drum track over it? and I think you can tell who has rushed a piece, either because they want to be the first in, or haven't really given enough thought to the piece, or had too many beers! ha ha ha.. Nothing really wrong with that at all, but that's just how I choose to work. Secondly, I like to find tracks that have been overlooked or neglected, (I have personal reasons for this) I've found a lot of stuff that hasn't really had any attention which has baffled me, and so I'm inspired by great pieces such as this. And thirdly, I will usually listen to other adds, and see what things (drummers) have played and if I feel I can offer something different I will, but I'm not really too fussed about doing a track if my idea is similar, after all "if it aint broke don't fix it". I've heard drum tracks and thought "great, oh well good stuff, not much point me adding here, right next track...search" Obviously I'm still learning here, and perhaps some of my tracks have sounded a bit duff here and there, but its not because I've rushed, as I always put in a lot of thought, some tracks come together very quickly, some can take hours, or I will leave and come back in a few days. I'd rather do 50 adds that I've taken time over than be a looper whos done 1200 adds and not!
Edited by pconey on October 26 2017 13:54
posted on #6
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Joined: 06.04.16
Thanks for the topic, Wade!!! Something that has haunted me quite a bit. I'm a serial procrastinator (i don't know if some of you have heard about this ;) ) so if I put a jam down, I don't know if I will ever come back to it... this is why I tend to write the lyrics and melody and then record it all. occasionally, the whole process takes 1 - 2 hours but usually many more. the editing process occurs throughout this period.

i guess that there is a critical moment when i hear a song and decide to jam with it. i know what it may entail, a good chunk of hours. i know myself, that i don't like to give up once i start and follow several avenues before deciding it may not work. or i may become so engrossed in completing it that i will sacrifice the sleep needed for the next day. so if i decide to jam, it is never a quick bing bang boom type of deal. Wikiloops gives me the opportunity to jam in a thought-out, compositional way?

I do wish to capture the "in the moment" energy that a jam in real-time can have. My perfectionist self hates the shit out that and sometimes it takes me getting to the 55th take of one consonant before I snap out of it and leave the "studio." This is when I realize I've had to pee for the past 45 minutes. Never record when you have to pee, that's my rule... So I come back with an empty bladder, fresh(er) ears and resolve to only do a few more takes and call it a day. Maybe my voice is shot, oh well. Maybe I sound nasal as shit because I have a cold... Get over it! Completion is important to me in breaking the pattern: being a fabulous starter and an abysmal finisher!

Woops, got off topic there. As far as being first, I don't really think about that. I've definitely thought about being the second or third individual adding vocals, a fear of comparison. But every vocalist has their unique sound and I find it admirable when anyone steps out in that vulnerability, to sing. The old-tape says, "you can't do it as good." so I choose to replace that with the belief that "There is no competition, only to do the best that I can at any given time"

End rant, jam on! :D

disclaimer: this is what works for me, take what ya like and leave the rest! ;)
Love and blessings to you on your path!
posted on #7
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Joined: 21.11.15
Another great thread from Wade! I think Teegee nails it for why there's an incentive to get in early for a 'foundation' instrument. I'm usually too slow off the mark to get in before the rush though I'll admit to having made a conscious effort on a couple of occasions. Were the results worse or just 'different'? Hard for me to say, but in some ways it was a refreshing change not to have time to go through my usual ritual of fiddling with my tone/effects for 2.5 hours (only to end up with the one I started with!) before recording dozens of 'practice' takes (only to wish I'd kept the first one after all!).

In general though I prefer to avoid 'active' tunes. There plenty of uploads you see where you just know they are going to have a dozen remixes within 24 hours of being posted. With the best will in the world, I can't see the point in being the 5th or 6th bassist to add something. As Paul says, I'd much rather go looking through the archives to find something which has been neglected and to which I can add something a bit different. (I also very much like the idea of bring a smile to the original poster when they see a remix from a tune they may well have forgotten all about!)

None of which is to criticise those who do try to 'get in early'. Everyone's reasons for being here are different (sometimes on different days of the week) and I can certainly understand why you'd hear a newly posted tune and be excited to put something together quickly and share it with others. :)
Edited by GrooveEnth on October 27 2017 15:21
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