Multi-Track-Multi-Collaborator Challenge

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Inspired by the FAWM (and now 50/90) analog Four Track challenge and discussions in the Slack and Tuesday night Zoom chats. Except instead of being exclusively analog this one allows participation by those of us who do not have an analog multitrack tape recorder. Depending on input, maybe analog is a separate thread or has signups here. When a group fills and another shows interest then more groups can be added. The main idea is for multiple people to create a song with four and up individual tracks where the tracks are created in some sort of sequence as described below.

Feel free to ask questions, discuss, share ideas, or sign up for a multi-track-multi-collaboration (MTMC) in this thread. Or start a MTMC group of your own choosing rather than from a sign-up sheet. Tag it #mtmc (for multi-track-multi-collaborator) and whether the group formed in this thread or separately feel free to post a link to the finished MTMC song in this thread.

Here are some initial ideas (some borrowed from past four tracks) for signups and hopefully there may be other variations that may be suggested.

Sequential one-instrument limit MTMC (Eight tracks maximum)
Most similar to the FAWM Four Track approach where the first person records track one and sends to the mixer/producer and also sends to person two. Person two does not change track one, records track two and sends their track to the mixer/producer, and sends both tracks to person three, etc. This is a multitrack collaboration with participant submitting one clean track with only a vocal or one instrument played. A participant may submit lyrics, either with recorded vocals or without adding music. It is suggested that the mixer/producer be someone who will be around for the duration of 50/90 and coordinates the finished song and posting.

No limits MTMC (Four to eight participants max)
Similar to sequential except each participant can have up to four (?) tracks. Above four participants the mixer/producer might need to have a powerful DAW and computer.

Blind MTMC (Eight participants maximum?)
The first participant records their track (ideally some type of rhythm track(s) with distinct song sections) and sends it to the mixer/producer and all other participants. All other participants record a vocal or one instrument based on the first track and do not hear any of the other tracks. Depending on the number of tracks, it could be a train wreck or it could be fun.

Sequential 1 MTMC (one-instrument limit, eight tracks maximum)
1. @metalfoot
2. @cola
3. @nate.gerry
4. @yam655
5. @elesimo
6. @lowhum
7. @pipewrench67
8. @cblack Music 2 (mixer/producer) Good *52434

No Limits 1 MTMC
1. @wacha Good
2. @nate.gerry Good
3. @elesimo
4. @Mt.Mélodie
5. @AndyGetch
6. @dzd Music 2 (mixer/producer)

No Limits 2 MTMC
1. @pipewrench67
2. @simpleiscomplex
3. @sph Music 2 (mixer/producer) Good *51520

Blind 1 MTMC
1. Rhythm track(s) @wacha
2. @yam655
3. @dzd
4. @JamKar
5. @cblack
6. @Fuzzy
7. @elesimo
8. @tcelliott Music 2 (mixer/producer) Good *52412

Blind 2 MTMC
1. @AndyGetch Rhythm track(s)
2. @Mt.Mélodie
3. @lowhum
4. @pipewrench67
5. @sph
6. @dzd
8. @Fuzzy Music 2 mixer/producer

Placeholder for sign-ups etc

I'm down for this. Particularly, the "Sequential one-instrument limit MTMC" or the "Blind MTMC".

I've got a two week commitment to a Game Jam, but otherwise I should be around for the whole thing.

Wonderful @yam655 I added you to the list!

dzd's picture

I'd be up for this as well, most especially the blind one, just not in spot number 1 Wink

I would like to do a track on blind. But not #1.

I'm in, put me in where you want. Thanks!

Thanks @dzd @JamKar @wacha I have added you! If anyone has a preference, would like to be the mixer/producer of their group, or has different ideas then let me know Smile .

This sounds like fun! You can count me in for the Sequential one-instrument limit group (but not in spot 1 please!)

Umm, any group as a vocalist/lyricist. Don't have to be the only vocalist, mind. I'd offer being the producer, but I don't think I have enough experience for that.

Thanks @cola and @cblack I have added you. Also more than one vocal track is definitely a possibility (texturing, fills, harmonies, counter melody, response lyrics, etc.). As to being producer, not a lot of (or any really) experience required here, just willingness Wink and upon reflection for this challenge the task is more about mixing of the multiple tracks than producing. Therefore I have changed my producer references in this thread to mixer/producer. How better to learn Smile

Okay, I might try mixing a track then. So could I be a vocalist in 1 group (preferably after 1 rhythm and 1 melody) and a mixer in another group?

Thanks. Smile

Splendid @cblack I added the mixer/producer moniker and moved you further down in the Sequential 1 MTMC.

Based on the response so far nine days before song posting opening, I anticipate enough people may sign up to have a Blind 2 and a Sequential 2 so I have added.

Also moved @wacha to kick off No Limit 1 because I have a good feeling about that.

dzd's picture

I'll give the No Limit one a shot as well, and I could mix that if nobody else wants to. I think that one having so many tracks could be very intriguing even hearing multiple mixes of. It could really change the whole feel of things completely, but just spitballing ideas out loud.......well in type Wink

You can stick me into group Sequential 1 MTMC

Thanks @dzd ooooh I like the idea of multiple mixes on the No Limit MTMC and thanks for offering to be the mixer/producer on No Limit 1. Also am wondering if multiple mixes may lead to interesting outcomes on the Blind MTMC idea. @metalfoot I have added you to Sequential 1 in the lead-off role.

While there is room for more participants and adding groups, I am encouraged by the overall response so far to this new type of challenge. We already have enough participants for at least one of each of the MTMC types. To ensure that each group has a mixer/producer, I have tentatively tagged myself on the Blind 1 MTMC. Happy to yield to someone with a desire to mix/produce there.

Re: Blind - is the rhythm track drums or is it like a guitar or bass? Makes more sense to have a rhythm guitar or bass track (or something similar) to start for everyone to build on.

Also, I can mix/produce if you don't want to, Andy.

@tcelliott Thanks have plugged you in as mixer/producer for Blind 1 MTMC. My thought, and I am totally open to other ideas, for the first participant was to develop a rhythm track that builds a foundation. Could be drums/percussion. Could be a bass line. Could be a chord progression on guitar or piano/keyboards/MIDI. Maybe a combination. For Blind 1 MTMC I have total faith in @wacha. Following participants are certainly free to add to the rhythm.

@ustaknow thanks and let me know in September :).

I think @tcelliott may be right about the Blind track. If bass or rhythm guitar are the first track, there would be a known key and chord structure to work from. If it is just drums, we could get everybody in different keys. If you just needed to deal with conflicting chords it would be one thing, but we're likely to get a bunch of people defaulting to A Minor, and one oddball sending in a G Major track. (I say as someone who generally likes major keys.)

@yam655 Excellent point that it would be helpful if the first participant in a Blind MTMC established guardrails, so to speak, for the music. I am open to ideas and have no idea where the MTMC might go. Perhaps this can be a topic for further discussion in the next Tuesday night Zoom?

Yes, melody and rhythm are both needed for the first blind track. I agree.

Sign me up for a "Blind" one.
Should be fun!
(Preferably not first, though; rhythm is not my thing! Smile )

Sounds like fun! Sign me up Smile

@nate.gerry do you have a preference between Sequential, No Limits, or Blind?

@AndyGetch anyplace is good!

Question ahead of time: How much is the mixer allowed to do?

Mix, obviously, and chuck on effects like EQ and reverb, play with the timing of various bits... But what else? Could the mixer add another element, such as a synth? Extra vocal line?

Like, where do we draw the line between mixer and contributor?

@nate.gerry thanks I will add you to Sequential 1 and No Limits 1!

@cblack My thought is that the mixer/producer has the option to add a musical track, or simply do the mixing as you described. Thanks for the question in advance Smile

cts's picture

Unfortunately my 4 track is out of commission. I'll be on the lookout for all the sonic goodness that comes from this collaboration.

I'm down for this! I can take any empty spots that need someone.

I have added you @elesimo thanks!

@cts let us know if you would like to join in with the digital fun.

Blind 1 MTMC is now full. There is one slot left in Sequential 1, and 1-3 slots left in No Limits 1. Looks like enough interest to start a second group for each. Thanks everyone!

I’d like to join blind 2 and the no limits one if possible

I'm in for the sequential where you can put me and for any of the blind ones!

I can also mix/produce the second blind if needed.

Super important that every track has the same starting point to make it easier for the ones mixing down the final track. @AndyGetch what file format should people use? Wav 16/24bit 44.1? mp3?

@Mt.Mélodie probably up the mixer/producer, which would you prefer for Blind 2?

@AndyGetch, it doesn’t matter for me personally, but my DAW of choice handles different formats without problems. Just a question/issue others might wonder about.
As long every track has the same starting point I’m satisfied.

I'll play blind

sph's picture

Sounds fun. I also like to be part of a blind collab.

Why not throw me on a sequential and a no limit (I have several 4 track cassette machines however none are functional, so I am strictly DIgital)

So @AndyGetch I'm assuming on the no limits I should start off rhythmic.

It seems I forgot how to tag someone here #@AndyGetch

@pipewrench67 yes [@username] to tag. There was discussion above for the first person for Blind to definitely provide some type of rhythm, melody, and key signature indication since up to seven others will be adding somethings without knowing what the other six may be contributing. However, the initial track of No Limits can be what the first conttributor wants to do.

Sounds good[@AndyGetch] thanks for the reminder on how to tag, I forget every year.

Can I join in on No Limits?

Thanks @simpleiscomplex I have added you.

Is anyone interested in being mixer/producer on Sequential 2 and No Limits 2?

sph's picture

Hi @AndyGetch, you can add me to No Limits 2 as participant as well as mixer/producer

Got my starter done for no limits 2 just waiting to hear back from @simpleiscomplex on how it should be transferred.

Hey @AndyGetch can I be added to one of the threads as a mixer/producer?