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Calgary radio station cuts songs in half to appeal to short attention spans

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by audiokid, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Can you believe this, they say the youth, their audience wants more variety so they are chopping the songs to a minute thirty to fit the beat of their spin. Is radio turning into a night club DJ with ads? They use a third party chopper to trim the songs. The artist still gets paid (counted) but you are pro rated lol!

    Its just getting worse. Or easier? .. I dunno..
    I bet the new radio stations are going to be mixing songs on Ableton Live and we can kiss our artists goodbye. They are going to start taking creative control.So, I guess we write songs for it to fit into a beat, incomplete per-say. A completely new direction to what it once was. A 4 min song may never be played in full soon. Don't bore us, get to the chorus.

    I don't know if I can keep hanging onto this bazaar industry anymore. Or, should I just start writing hooks. Seems easy enough.
    Pretty soon there will be Grammy awards for the best loops mixed together. Maybe there is already?

  2. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    That's fine, only idiots will listen. If a radio station's demographic is that kind of listener who actually accepts they are music numpties, good luck to them. One day they may grow into proper humans. The advertisers will decide, after all.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Radio doesn't need to worry about losing me (and most of my peer group), because they already lost us - 15 years ago when they started programming to a regimented playlist that was put together by some suit wearing jag-off in an office building 400 miles away.

    The final straw was the "automated DJ"... A computerized robotic voice telling the listener what and who they had just heard being played.

    When I was younger, radio was cool. The local DJ's could pretty much play anything they wanted to play, without some corporation breathing down their necks ordering them to play from a list. The jocks had personality, certain things that defined them, and we looked forward to particular times of day when certain DJ's were on the air.

    All of that is gone now. These days, even the classic rock stations are controlled by corporations like IHeart, Clearchannel, Malrite, etc. and you can hear the exact same songs at the exact same times of day, one day after the next.

    So, while what Chris mentioned does disturb me, it doesn't surprise me. Radio has eaten itself. There is no more radio.

    IMHO of course,

  4. philter1

    philter1 Active Member

    Happens on all the pop stations over here (UK) and, considering the standard of composition, I feel blessed :D Look at it in depth and it's quite horrific, music is supposed to be an art form. Dunno where all this is gonna lead but it's not good for music :(
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    The more I hear, the more apparent it becomes to me that there's not much "real" music anymore... very little there to grab hold of to begin with, so I think it's more of a testament to the music being released, than it is the attention span of the listener.

    With a few exceptions, most everything current that I hear these days is so repetitive - lacking any real true musicianship and artistry, no dynamics, and not as much recorded as it is cut-copied-pasted-looped and put together by an editor - rather than by an engineer or producer who also have a sense of artistry, those that can capture the magic of true musicianship, and through their skills as both technicians and artists themselves, present the song as something that listeners can feel - songs that people want to hear played all the way through.

    In short...the record companies and the recording artists need to give the public something worth listening to all the way through to begin with.

    IMHO of course.

  6. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    dont take that to heart audiokid.
    audiences of real musical talent are out there, i know this because i see it at the shows i go to.

    consider the genre "post rock". if youre unfamiliar, typically: a rock based setup (drums guitar bass keyboard), usually vocal-less, average song times can easily break 10 or even 20 minutes, and an over simplification would be to imagine a heavy rock band playing in a classical musical form. lots of dynamic shifts from quiet to loud, swells... stuff like that.

    the last show i went to was nin/soundgarden 2 weeks ago, so not a good example. however Mogwai, widely accepted as a founding father of post rock played to a packed house in may at st andrews in detroit. i encourage you to check them out...

    then previous to that was russian circles at the blind pig in ann arbor. another jam packed incredibly high energy performance. band came right down after to mingle with us leftovers. another band worth checking out.

    View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QsMhWpmOJpI

    what im saying is that there are real music fans out there. theyre everywhere. get to a show brother. not some bloated famous bastards, someone small.. so you can get right up front and watch the drummer smash and the guitarist ^#$%ing wail man! all the people around you loving it just as much as you are. have a drink with the band... theyre just "kids" man!! lol.
    that makes me envious of all you that get to be involved in making music as a job.
    ignore the dumb $*^t like radio stations ruining music even more than they already do. thats not art, and it doesnt exist in my world. dont feed it any more attention. real art is out there. find it and hold on..
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'm not that much surprised. In fact the beatles made a lot of short songs specialy for radio requirement at the time.
    What bothers me is that some radio station only play a certain selection of songs. after a few months you switch station and you get the surprise that they were playing other songs all that time.. lol.

    If they go 1min30 but play more diverse list, I'd be happy. After all, you could consider radio as teasers and expect people to buy more music to hear the complete song. no ?

    I'm a dreamer am I not !! ;)
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Here is what I hear happening. Many radio stations today that have an "Oldies" format, are not even playing the artists who originally recorded the songs. These have been remanufactured, rerecorded, redone, by others at Sirius XM. They are not of the original artists. And they have been truncating many songs. They're not chopping the originals. They're chopping the imitations, emulations. It's flooding restaurants, truckstops and the airwaves. It almost sounds like the real artists but it's not. I don't know how they get away with it? It's a ripoff. They're just paying the musical publishing royalties. "Music by the Beatles" but not recordings by the Beatles. And everyone else. So all that glitters, is not gold. It's fools gold. All you have to do is listen carefully. It ain't Bob Dylan. It ain't Boston. It ain't Queen. It's only impersonators. People are being sold a bill of goods that aren't the original artists nor recordings.

    It's criminal I tell ya. Criminal.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Remy, are you kidding? I'm not hearing this at all. I do hear remakes, which may or may not include parts of original songs remade that are also sampled bars with or without original parts but I'm not hearing entire songs redone in a way that it's not really obvious.

    Are you sure you aren't confusing remakes done really well?
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    "...Many radio stations today that have an "Oldies" format, are not even playing the artists who originally recorded the songs. These have been remanufactured, rerecorded, redone, by others at Sirius XM..."

    It's possible that in some cases, what you are hearing is in fact the original artist, but the song has been re-recorded by the original artist, and mixed in facilities that are more modern, so the songs sound as if they have been recorded by someone else using newer technology.

    iTunes is now flooded with many of those old classic rock and R&B songs that are done by the original artists - but have been re-recorded in the last few years; so that they can get some royalties, or collect a few bucks from selling new copies of the songs.

    Back when many of those original one-hit wonder songs were originally recorded and released, many artists didn't know - (and some knew but didn't care) - about the value of publishing royalties. The ones who didn't know eventually came to realize just how much money they had signed away, and they did so just to be famous and to have a hit record. The ones who did know also wanted to be famous, and willingly signed and gave up their share of publishing royalties, after being lulled into placation by the labels on the "promise" that their future releases would net them much more money after their continued success.
    However, so many of them never ended up having any followup hits, so the contract was pretty much moot, and the money promised turned out to simply be worthless numbers... or, "hypothetical" revenue.

    I've heard many re-releases in the last few years, and at first, some did sound as if someone else was covering the song... but upon closer listening, I've heard many of these that actually were the original artists - and are re-recording and re-releasing their old hits in attempt to gain some revenue from songs that they originally never got paid much on, under the terms of their original contracts.

    I've recently heard songs like Lady by Styx, Me and You( and A Dog Named Boo) by Lobo, Indiana Wants Me by R. Dean Taylor, and even Carpet Crawlers by Genesis. The arrangements remain true - for the most part - although in most cases the "magic" of the original release is gone, as people have heard the original versions so many times over the years that even though it's a new version, it's still just a well-worn, tired old song wrapped up in new paper.

    ... the artists themselves have grown much older since as well, so they don't sound quite the same singing these songs now at 50, 60, even 70 years old, as they did when they were younger and singing the original versions. In some cases, even the key sigs have been dropped a few steps to accommodate those artists who simply can't hit those original notes anymore.


  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I have always been cutting edge. I've been sampling and looping professionally since 1980. I was already into this technology, playing in dance clubs 16 years before most even saw it coming. When I got Pro Tools in 1998, it looked and operated like a cheap attempt to what the big digital workstation where already doing for me 16 years back.
    Emu, New England Digital, Fairlight, Akai, Roger Linn, Roland, Yamaha etc. Everyone was racing towards memory and function. The way around this was learning how to optimize the sampler, storage and access to it via system exclusive dumps, cards, tape dumps etc. We learned to conserve space, utilize samples and loop well. The idea of using one sample to do a lot of sounds and function separated the boys from the men.
    Digi took the past and brought it into the computer which have become a turn key system called Pro Tools. Its easy and simple to setup compared to what we all had back in the early days.
    When I bought Avid, I didn't even need the manual. It was all old news to me.

    Okay, My point here.

    The future belongs to those who see it coming. I saw it coming a few times already, and see it again. Its like its happening all over again, but this time DJ's are looping us and making creative decisions! I'm not sure I'm so comfortable with this .
    But, if I am interested in the business side, got to keep working and if I am at least able to make a living musically, I guess I will keep trying right...

    Think about this,

    Did you all know you were putting the big studios out of business? I started RECORDING.ORG back in 1998 because I saw this coming. Now look, everyone has a DAW and you are all recording like pro's.

    I just spent a month trying to emulate my killer hybrid rig costing over $150,000.00 and I have to say, I'm pretty certain I can do it better ITB for under $20,000 now.
    I trust digital technology is leading us. If you aren't ITB, you are going backwards.
    What we do with it however, is up to us but if I want to make a living, I know I got to keep my eye on the ball.

    Kurt, is a prime example of what happened. Kurt, maybe you want to elaborate. You had a great studio in the Bay area, then this $*^t happened. This same $*^t is starting again. When I say, Pro Tools is done, I know it is. Why, because the new generation is looping their way into this business. And where ever business can cut a corner, they will. Its getting stupid, I know. but that doesn't change where its going.

    The business is looping the past, present and future. Its not highlighting the few gifted, its taking the gifted and exploiting them without paying as much to get a piece of you.. Its engaging and getting money from the mass. Replacing and emulating is popular and there is a bigger market for that. Anyone with a computer can do it.
    What I see happening isn't good for those wanting commercial success the old way.
    I'm seeing this as a marketing direction to engage the EM generation/ culture and apps, facebook etc.. This is a growing trend. I mean, our iphones and computers all have some ability to record, sample and loop. When we understand something, and can do it enough to share it with a friend, how perfect to support radio programming that does this just a bit better than you.

    This is going to change everything.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    This is just friken irritating today.

    Okay, is a chorus or hook worth more money? See what I mean? If all they are using is one tenth of my song , over and over to create their own playlist, are we getting paid by the time or a small piece. So, they could loop 2 bars a chorus for 1 min 30 and we get paid how? This is going to get ugly and really weird.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    we have an oldies station down here and they play original recordings but what they are doing that really bugs me is every song has a drop out somewhere. not sure why they are doing it but it's defiantly happening.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    A month back, our local radio station played about an hour of what sounded like vinyl right off the disc, live. It damn near brought me to tears. It was what I needed.
    Crappy sound on the radio makes me negative. I start thinking its time to stop wasting time in this business. Then, that night I heard music they way it was when I got inspired back when I was young.

    I bet something when down on the MP3 rotation so they pulled out the vinyl backup to cover it. It was good. :whistle:
  15. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    From time to time, I'll pull the TT out of storage and grab my LP's - stored in milk crates, which are the perfect size for album storage, btw...

    Not too long ago, I decided to repair a bunch of cables that I had thrown into a box - I had been putting it off for awhile, and on this particular rainy Sunday afternoon, I finally decided to tackle the job...

    So I warmed up the soldering iron, got all my various tools together.... and decided to get the TT out of the closet.

    I put on Rubber Soul, Atlanta Rhythm Section's Champagne Jam, and Alan Parson's I Robot. I listened to these great albums while fixing the cables, and several times I would stop, raise my head, listen, and remember just why I used to love LP's. Perhaps it was simple nostalgia, a throw-back to a time when I used to listen to records with my friends, but... I loved the sound. That afternoon reminded me that technology, while fantastic in what it enables us to do, can at times present itself as somewhat sterile and lacking the magic of those older recordings. ;)

    IMHO of course.

    Josh Conley likes this.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    There is an increasing trend towards this. Its the start of a hybrid looping trend. I didn't really notice it was going into radio until now. I thought it was just for ads and trailers per-say.

    I went to a movie last night and heard 4 songs, all the hooks of those songs in the trailer's bedtrack. The background was original but they used 4 songs from the 70's to make the who thing sound new. It was very effective, I loved it. I'm seeing where this is going now.I'm not saying I support it, but I did like what I heard.

    Its like creating a new song from memories.
  17. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    When I was a teenage musician, I hated classical music, despite actually starting out playing the cello! Now kids start on their music, and hate mine, like I hated classical. Here in the UK, the bbc have 4 main radio stations. Radio one is for the kids, then they AND the DJs move to radio 2. Radio 3 is only classical music, and not just the popular stuff. Radio 4 is still plays and speech. We have a huge, well maybe not huge, furore at the moment because radio 1 refused to put madonna on the playlist because she is my age! I cannot listen to Radio 1 at all, it simply makes me angry, but their listeners live it. The nearest city to me is holding the annual radio 1 music festival and it is sold out, yet I've never heard of a single band. Radio 2 will play new stuff, but also stuff from the 60s if it is good, and that is the key. Good music to their audience's wide age range which is probably 25 to 60. Virtually all our commercial stations play radio 2 type music, but the very limited range selected by the computer, not even a suit! The system they all seem to use programmes an advertiser friendly pap list. Designed to simply keep people from switching stations. If you drive from north to south, maybe a HUGE distance (for us) of 500 miles you may pass through five or six commercial radio areas, and you hear the same tracks over and over again. The kids station also has inane presenters padding out the playlist, which stops the kids from switching to spotify!
  18. philter1

    philter1 Active Member

    I actually wrote to 2 stations (Capital and Key 103) about their inane playlist and asked them what their demographic was. "You play music during the daytime for kids, but the kids are at school, how can they hear what you're playing? What's the point? I know you receive money from record companies (Payola) but it's unfair on new bands, new singers, you know, talented people?" All I got in reply was put on their mailing list :LOL:
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's pretty much the same thing here, Paul.

    We have stations programmed to particular demographics. We don't refer to them as "Radio 1", or Radio 3".... here they have call signs, station identification letters followed by the number on the dial.

    For example, our classic rock station here in Cleveland is WNCX 98.5 - and those who live in the area know that this station plays only classic rock. We have another "classic rock" station as well - WMJI 105.7 - but they play more "bubblegum" classic pop. So, if you want to hear Zep or Floyd, you listen to 98.5 - and if you want to hear Petula Clark or Billy Joel, you listen to 105.7

    There are other stations, some that are targeted towards the 12 to 21 year old demographic, and that's where you'll hear all the current stuff.

    Fans of classical/orchestral music generally tune to one of the University stations that are almost always affiliated with NPR, which is National Public Radio, a national network aimed at 40 -80 year old Liberals.

    Then we have conservative stations, where you can tune in to listen to ultra-conservatives like Rash Limburger ( Rush Limbaugh) or Sean Calamity (Sean Hannity) and this is where you tend to go if you are politically conservative.

    The styles and formats are all over the place, Classic Rock, Hardcore Metal, Rap, Modern Pop, Old Country, New Country, Sports, Political, Classical, etc.

    But the premise is the same, each is targeted towards a particular demographic, which includes age groups, income, and socio-political leanings. Somehow, someone has determined that these things have everything to do with the type of music that the various demo's want to hear - but ALL of that is meant to serve one master - advertising.

    For example, advertisers know that they are much more likely to sell a hybrid car to a liberal radio demographic listening to classical music, than they are to a group of people who listen to country music and drive pickup trucks.

  20. freightgod

    freightgod Active Member

    What is this radio of which you speak?

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