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Virtual Mixing


Repeating small pieces of music (clips with interesting sounds) so that new rhythms are created is called a MULTIPLE EDIT.  A popular editing team “The Latin Rascals” used to edit remixes produced by Arthur Baker.  Other noteworthy editors included Chep Nunez.  Songs by pop artists were turned into dance music by editing together alternate mixes and incorporating short sections of rhythms made up of “multiples” that were surprising and fun.

We have already discussed how a bar (measure) of music can be broken up into even divisions based on 1, ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/16, etc.  By dividing a bar into divisions and then REPLACING some of the divisions it is possible to create new interesting rhythms.  This is a Multiple Edit.

With analog, we had to make physical markers to show the lengths of tape needed to create the rhythmic subdivisions of whole, half, quarter note, etc.  We made marks and then would line up our tape so that the tape piece would START with an interesting element (drum hit, vocal sound, etc) and then cut the tape so it was the exact length needed for the rhythmic note desired.

With digital it is much easier.  You just match your tempo with that of the song you are working on, set your tools to work only on rhythmic increments and then cut, copy, paste, drag, and do whatever you want.

Beware! Just because a client says a song is a certain tempo does not always mean they are right. Some systems may be a little fast or slow, or may simply drift. Teeny tiny tempo differences will be fine for a little while (which is why out-of-time drum loops work and can even be funky) but accumulated tempo variations will result in bad edits. Some programs let you fine tune tempos, or even automatically scan a sound file for tempo.