I grew up in the 80's and one of the traditions built up, at least in my life time, was when you had a favourite song you went out and bought the extended version on a 12 inch. Or cassingle. More playable in your car. ;-)
They are one of my favourite things of the 80's and beyond. And hearing an extended mix for the first time was almost as exciting as that first kiss. If not more. :-D
In any case, this has got me wondering, for a while now, how did they remix the songs? What I mean is on what equipment?
Even if an extended version or extended remix may be viewed as simplistic or primitive by todays standards. They featured an impressive range of effects for their day, considering this was before common computers were usable for doing so and before digital mixing took over in the main stream. I mean, you've got instrumental isolation, looping and note repeats, reverbs, delays, reversing, overdubs galore and completely rearranged tracks if not more on the list. That's no mean feat! Even doing the same on a modern DAW with a computer would be no walk in the park.
I'm not aware of there being a music super computer that the expensive studios would have had access to for remixing and mixing in general that would have been akin to the Quantel Paintbox used in TV studios. But I can't imagine doing all these effects on tape machines back then. Even advanced ones. My grandfather had a reel to reel tape machine that was fun to play with back then.
I've looked up info on the net and I can find history of remixes but that's all really. I want the technical info. So, who knows how it was done? Thanks. :-)
Thanks for the links Discofreak. The first didn't really supply any information other than what I read. And the second gave a clue but still lacked how it would be done in a full sound studio with proper multi-tracks.
I can't imagine cutting and splicing on tape like this to edit a mix together. I've done it to cassette when I needed to repair it. I also made my own remixes by recording from vinyl direct to tape and cutting it live. And with perfected timing it sounded quite good. But not too professional since I lacked multi tracks and loops like that always sound fake. As evidenced by fake remixes you can find on the internet.
Well I'll see if my thread invites more discussionn. This only touches the surface really. There are other factors involved like varying BPM of real songs and how these were marked and edited.
Splicing and slicing would account for actual editing. Even though from personal experience it's easier to press pause and record on master tape while recording from external sources track. But that wouldn't account for echo effects or time stretching which would need to be over laid into the dry cut
They would have their original tape, and multiple other tapes, sometimes master tapes, sometimes just specific parts of the song.
Their tape that they're making the extended version on it what they record to, so they press play on the other tape(s) and start recording to it. once they reach the part they need to start the extension to they stop and go back on the other tapes to where they need to start recording again. Most of the time they use an instrumental version they found. They then start recording the extension. Then, using similar drums, or something else they would record their own track if they needed it to end with a drum outro.
However there were lots of different ways to do it back then. Each person/studio had their own method.
Thank you burntscarr for your effort. Sounds like a lot of tapes were involved! :-)
I do wonder if they played by ear when they made the cut. I mean on computer its easy. But when you are doing it by hand that way the timing has to be perfect and from past listening experience the timing has been impeccable if they simply did it by ear and hand with no electronic assistance. Hard to imagine them using the same technique as a teenage me on his home lounge room stereo. :-)
I once made this custom extended version of Kylie's Got to be certain from the 7" single which had the instrumental on the back. I had a friend over who thought he would do some cooking while I did a remix. Somehow, I managed to get it clocked it at 9 minutes. So I told my friend how it ended up and he asks me, "Is it a nine inch mix?" LOL! :-D
I had this portable Sanyo I did the cuts with. Perfect pause button. Low latency if any at all. Just had to hook the turntable to it from the big Pioneer stereo we had. Then one day something happened to it and it broke apart. Very disappointed. The Pioneer had electronically controlled tape heads with internal mechanism from a touch button. But the latency was about half a second from pause. Shocking. My remixing days were over. Sadly cut short. :-(
Well, on a higher note, all I need now is the nitty gritty. Did they have some sort of flowchart or extended score they drew up to follow? Did they overdub effects from separate tapes? What are the models used for the equipment used so I can look them up? ;-)
I need not say any more. I said enough in my first post. Think I need to find some sort of retro 80's music museum where I find all this stuff out. :-)