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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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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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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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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
posted on #8
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Three years later, and this is still a good and relevant topic.

I see people jumping on tracks, and I did it myself sometimes (and will probably do so again). But I also think that a much better approach - for me at least - is to download something I like, or to at least put it into my collab watch list, and let it ripe there, so to say.

What moves me today about a track is sometimes not the same as I feel when listening half a year later. Plus my own journey might be at another point then.

But that said, some tracks here are time- and priceless works of art, and these get me every time. I'm a member now since 2 years and 4 days, and I'm still discovering so many gems. And, to use someone else's words, sometimes I think that "stars twinkle in this one" :) Not all of these tracks need me tho, but that was another one of your topics :)
Edited by wjl on February 18 2020 11:03
posted on #9
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I love to jam but I probably spend the most time writing stuff. I have lots and lots of unfinished pieces laying around. I always hope to return to them.

For adding to tracks I depend heavily on what pops up in the latest tracks news feed as opposed to searching the archives or searching out particular players.
If I hear something that appeals at the moment, then I download it and save for later.
Occasionally one pops up that I want to try to add something to immediately, time permitting.
I really don't care if the track is new or has been around for awhile.

I wish I had more time to browse the archives because whenever I do that I find a gem.
To sum it all up with one word: "Time" Wish I had more of it.
posted on #10
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I love the archives. I don't look at it as a graveyard of old tracks but rather an exciting treasure trove of music I have not heard.

I don't look for any particular style when I go into the archives, just tracks that grab me. Sometimes I find a track that has a ton of adds to it but from names long gone or rarely posting these days and I will add to the original track just to bring it back into the light of day to be heard again.

Some really talented musicians have passed through here, some leaving a very few tracks that are amazing and always fun to find.

When I feel the need to hear a lot original music without drums it is off to the archives I go, this is what wikiloops is all about to me, the mountains of gold that are being built daily.

I just wish there was a way to look at the archives through a search of track #'s Like search for a block from #100 to #600, that would be cool.
posted on #11
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Not quite how I see it. Mentioned many times, since we are human, we all don't act alike. Some put templates away to work on later, some play on the first remixes that cross their paths.

"Different strokes for different folks":DB)
posted on #12
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...guilty as charged!
im a "jammer" and often i feel the need to just get on board and play/mix. its just how my head works. if i dont get the ideas there and then. and act on them....it probably aint gonna happen. so i move on.
Dunno quite why wade thinks "ego" is involved, for me its simply a case of joining in with something i like, and knowing that the first take or maybe the second will be about as spontanious as it can get. once i start to disect too much, things get stale.......so yeah, ive put up loads of "clunckers", and not many works of art, but ive had the most FUN doing it.
in an ideal world (to paraphrase mr henri macintosh) one should be either having fun or earning a living in order to have fun...ideally both at once. but if its neither...... dont do it!

i think he actually said "a thing should either be beautiful or useful, ideally both, but if neither, get rid of it".
he who works with his hands, is a labourer
he who works with his hands and his head, is a craftsman
he who works with his hands, his head, and his heart, is an artist.....(I just dont work)
posted on #13
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We are human beings and unfortunately we tend to have to tell the others what to do and how to do it, who they resemble, how to record something and how the style, if there is one, has to sound like it. I often think my god are poor, what is wrong with them, that they no longer trust others to do their own or have problems with uploading too often. If I hear a track and it grabs me, it's my turn. I am not interested in who played before me or what he did, and I can do nothing for a lack of imagination or creativity. When the work is done, you can talk about everything again. I try to be enriching wherever I can. It's completely clear that it sometimes goes wrong, not bad. I take and I give. Those who think they are the Super Mugger, in the negative sense, I tell them that you are nothing when you are alone, because music is the intersection of experienced and skillful use in the piece. Put your energy into music and don't get upset about how others make mistakes or your thing. Everyone thinks differently, I like to have you done on Wikiloops but you have to do me and yourself, then wonderful things can arise here on Wikiloop. I also like to listen to things from the archives, not to be the first again haha ​​but because I discover great things here that are made for me and if it works I can always return a piece. So let's enjoy the music and smile at the bad pieces that have been posted. I love you mugger even if you think too much sometimes. So now back to the music if you can !!! See you !!!

Wir sind Menschen und neigen leider dazu den anderen sagen zu müssen was sie und wie sie es machen sollen, wem sie ähnelen, wie sie etwas recorden sollen und wie der Stil, wenn es einen gibt, sich anhören muss.Jetzt mal tacheles also ehrlich, ich denke mir oft, mein Gott sind die arm, was ist mit denen los, dass sie anderen nicht mehr zutrauen eigenes zu machen oder Probleme haben mit zu häufigem upload.Wenn ich einen track höre und er packt mich, bin ich dran. Mich interessiert weder , wer vor mir gespielt hat, noch was er gemacht hat und für fehlende Phantasie oder Kreativität kann ich nichts.Ich würde mir den Künstlerischen Boden unter den Füssen wegreissen, wenn ich so ticken würde, wie es andere vielleicht schön finden würden.Wenn das Werk getan ist, dann kann man wieder über alles reden. Ich versuche, wo ich kann eine Bereicherung zu sein. Ist doch völlig klar, das das auch mal in die Hose geht, nicht schlimm. Ich nehme und ich gebe. Die, die meinen, sie seien die Super Mugger, im negativen Sinne, denen sage ich, ihr seid nichts, wenn ihr allein seid, denn Musik ist die Schnittmenge von erlebten und vom gekonnten Einsatz im Stück. Setzt eure Energie in Musik um und regt euch nicht auf, wie anderte Fehler machen oder ihr Ding.Jeder denkt anders, ich mag euch auf Wikiloops aber machen lassen müsst ihr mich und euch selbst, dann können wunderbare Dinge entstehen hier auf Wikiloop. Ich höre mir auch gern Sachen aus den Archiven an, nicht wieder der erste zu sein haha sondern weil ich hier tolle Sachen entdecke, die für mich wie gemacht sind und wenn es klappt kann ich immer ein Stück zurückgeben. Also lasst uns die Musik geniessen und über die schlimmen Stücke, die man gepostet hat schmunzeln. Ich hab euch lieb ihr Mugger auch wenn ihr manchmal zu viel grübelt. So jetzt wieder an die Musik, wenn ihr könnt!!! Bis denne!!!
posted on #14
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This one is for Wade and Fish...

Why spend so much money on wind instruments when you can build your own with what you are at home. Good time now to experiment new things... :D <3
posted on #15
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Oups, the post did not work. Try again...
posted on #16
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posted on #17
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ROBJOL wrote:
Oups, the post did not work. Try again...

I'm very familiar with Lindsy and his vegetable instruments. I also used to make instruments out of simple things. I've made and sold hundreds of wax flutes, which actually sounded pretty good! Bamboo is also a favorite, but I'm afraid carrots and such you've got to make each time and the tuning can be a bit...rough. Maybe I'll make a wax flute again sometime and record something. It will take me a while to figure out the holes to give it proper intonation, but since they can be re-melted is not like there's any loss. I guess you can also eat the carrot when you're done playing it!
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