My Own Story of Remix

Posted on November 23, 2015. Filed under: cheerleading, Eci832, Masters, remix |

I watched a couple different documentaries this week. One of them was RIP: A Remix Manifesto.

RIP : A Remix Manifesto from Laurent LaSalle on Vimeo.

It was such an interesting video that took a look at how intense our North American copyright laws are. It followed the story of the band/DJ/songwriter Girl Talk. Gregg Michael Gillis (Girl Talk) took music and remixed it to create new beats and songs. Technically, he is under a ton of copyright infringement because he is using other people’s original music. The documentary discussed the vast amount of money he would have to pay if he went through the right copyright avenues.  It also discussed that copyright infringement laws don’t benefit the artist who wrote the songs, but the companies that have signed the artists.

Speaking of companies. I was blown away when the documentary explained the media flow.  I had no idea it looked like this:

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.39.02 AM.png

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.38.35 AM

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 11.38.16 AM

Photo credit: Screen shot from RIP: A Remix Manifesto

Notice the 6 companies that own all media outlets.  Two words come to mind; power and control. That’s what these copyright laws are about.  When these 6 companies have control over the entire market, it’s no wonder they also control the government and have influence over the law and how strict it is here in Canada and the USA.

In the past 10 or so years, I too have been dabbling with remixing music… (Illegally I guess!) I have been involved with the cheerleading world, and when I was in high school, I learned how to cut cheer music for my team’s cheerleading routines. It’s similar to what I did with garage band for one of my last posts: Remixing Education A Report Card Rant. The only difference is that Garage Band allows you to do a lot more original creation because they just supply you the chord and beat options, and you put them together. With cheer music, I was literally using other artist’s songs, adding voice overs, sound effects (whips, dings etc.) and layering them over each other.

My goal with making Garage Band music was to create a piece of background music to compliment the words I was speaking.  With the music editing software program GoldWave, my goal is to create music that will enhance the cheer routine.  For example, when a stunt hits, it’s neat when there is a sound effect to go with it.

The oldest piece of music I can find that I have remixed is from 2009. Take a listen. I uploaded it from my computer to SoundCloud, and then embedded it in my post. You can hear how the sound effects still feel a little awkward at some points.

When I am making the music, this is what it looks like in the Goldwave music editor. This would be what the full song you just heard looks like.

screen shot gold wave

 

This next video is a cheer routine I choreographed using the above music.  The choreography starting at 1:45 goes along with the music you just heard. You can see how I tried to fit the music to the routine and vice versa.

As I have continued mixing music, I feel I have improved on the technical side. I’ve learned to zoom in, splice and edit tiny sections of music. I know my own musical background has helped me to know the counts/half counts and be able to “read the music.”  Typically when someone says “reading music,” it means looking at notes and knowing what pitch to play on an instrument:

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Photo Credit: Michael Summers

That isn’t actually what I meant when I said reading the music though.  Reading the music for me is this:

Grey cup routine

This is a zoomed in screen shot of one of my remixes. This pic only shows 10 seconds of the entire piece.  In fact, this screen shot isn’t just one song. It shows two pieces of music getting spliced together. The timing has to fit into the 8 count rhythm, and the little blip you see in the middle is where Kid Ink says “Kid Ink” in the song Delirious.

As I have been getting a little better at remixing, I have started to do bigger projects. While I was on the Rider Cheer Team, I edited and mixed their routine music for them. Here is a video of us at last year’s Grey Cup. (FYI I was able to download this video from my coach’s Facebook page using GetFbstuff.com’s instructions. Even though she is my FB friend, I wasn’t able to download it normally because her FB page is set to private.) Using this website, I was able to download it to my computer and then upload it to YouTube.

Surprise, surprise! While I was uploading this video to Youtube to show you all, I received two emails letting me know the audio in the video is infringing upon their copyright. They kindly muted it for me. 😐

nelly copyright

Youtube copyright

Well hopefully Vimeo doesn’t catch me as fast as YouTube. When my video lost sound on YouTube, I decided to sign up for Vimeo and try it there. Here it goes!

Rider Cheerleader Performance at Grey Cup 2014 in BC. from Danielle Maley on Vimeo.

Here is one more quick splice of video from the Grey Cup the year before. (You know, the year we won the Cup!) That year the coaches sent all of my spliced pieces of music to a DJ who edited them together.

Grey Cup 2013 Rider Cheer Performance from Danielle Maley on Vimeo.

Honestly, this post might just end up being a social experiment to see how many copyrighted materials I can put into this blog post before someone asks me to take it down. Wait- should I even be posting this?! Maybe I will be the next person to get a lawsuit summons at my door. Yikes!

I don’t want to take this post down because I, like the directors of the documentary want to show how “illegally remixing music” can be beneficial. I have done all my music editing on a volunteer basis for cheer teams.

ONE MORE STORY before I conclude this post. Speaking of POWER and CONTROL…I help my own school’s cheerleading team by mixing their cheer music for them. I had downloaded Goldwave’s free trial onto my teacher laptop and mixed the music from there.  BUT since my school division just got a technology refresh and we all got new teacher laptops, guess what happened? Our IT department wants complete power and control over what teachers are allowed to download on their laptop.  Goldwave does not fit into their approved program list. Apparently because it’s a trial version, and unlicensed, our board won’t let me download it.

Unlicensed version

They want me to use another program from their approved list. They don’t quite get that it has literally taken me about 13 years to learn and master the Goldwave program. This is super frustrating for me as I am using the program for the benefit of staff and students in their division, but it is just one more way that the copyright laws of Canada have everyone’s hands tied.

What about you? Any stories of copyright infringement?

This is a story of a wedding videographer who got sued for using copyrighted music in his weddings videos.

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One Response to “My Own Story of Remix”

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Your post really caught my eye with all of the pictures and videos that you incorporated into your post. I was a cheerleader for six years and enjoyed every aspect of the sport. My favourite part was seeing our routine come to life and getting to complete at competitions. Growing up I also danced for fifteen years so music and choreography still holds a very special place in my life. At dance and cheerleading competitions I loved watching everyone’s routines and seeing what songs they chose. Remixing music is a huge part of cheerleading as the songs change or it is layered over with different sound effects can change the look and feel of the routine completely. Growing up I never thought about copyright laws of music and copyright infringement. It actually scares me and that reason is why I do not want to share videos on You Tube. I can understand your frustrations about the refresh on your computer. In our school division we now have to request what apps we would like to have on our iPads and it must approved before we are able to download it. I do like how it automatically adds great apps now that other educators have found, but I can not just use an app tomorrow if I find one that would benefit my lesson. Now I have to make sure I get my request in right away so it can be approved. Thanks for sharing your experiences with re-mixing Danielle! It was a great post. You gave me a lot to think about! 🙂


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