Anybody qualifies to submit SD and DD-files. All you need is a sequencing programme like Cubase / Nuendo, Logic, Sonar or Pro Tools (or some other way of synchronising your recording with someone else’s recording), an instrument and a way to record it.
Expression is more important than sound quality, and I am happy to accept a loose definition of what music is. All you have to do is to find an FD, SD or DD-piece that inspires you, then download it and play freely along with it whilst recording yourself. Convert it mp3 and send it to me (see How to Submit
), and after a not-very-strict quality-control, it will be uploaded on this website so that others
can respond to you
. My good friend Glenn Myklebust will help with this process.
I would like to ask all SD-musicians not to worry too much about how your own file and the file being responded to sound when mixed. There should obviously be some kind of musical relevance but neither clashes of style nor "disrespect" for the other musician should be feared or avoided.
Please ensure that the beginning of your file corresponds exactly to the beginning of the file you are responding to. If not, use the “sync point convention” in the file name. Whether the end of your file corresponds to the end of the file you are accompanying does not matter to the same extent.
Use DD when you think you are onto something good which you want to develop beyond the end of the file you are accompanying. Please try to make the transition between response and development continuous, smooth and organic. The sudden introduction of something that bears no relevance to what has preceded it is not musically invalid, but it will compromise the effectiveness of the GMC. Also, try to keep the development fairly short, as the file size cannot exceed the maximum attachment size of emails.
Please bear these points in mind:
- Only respond to one file at a time. But there is no limit to the amount of files you may submit.
- Your contribution must be an original composition, and you must have the power to transfer the copyright and publishing rights of the recording to Otherwise Records. (By submitting a file, you accept these facts.) If not, we will end up with legal problems. Read the plain English legal info!
- Keep it simple. A full orchestra with a choir and ten electric guitars in one file might be very overpowering and difficult to mix with other files. Stick to an instrument or two (or a small band), and don’t forget the unity of the whole project. But again, I will not limit your freedom to do whatever you want. If you want to make a complex, multi-layered piece, please divide the tracks into multiple SD-files in order to aid the mixing process. Don't worry about losing the sense of unity of your composition, please state your feelings in an email and I will make sure these are passed on to the rest of the musicians / mixing engineers.
- "Accompanying" does not necessarily mean "supporting". Your piece is as important as the piece you are responding to and your piece can radically alter the other piece when mixed. You can make it sound as if the other piece is "supporting" you. There is no need to be too "respectful" of the other musician as long as there is some kind of musical relevance between the two pieces.
- You CANNOT alter or edit other files that you respond to in any way to make them fit what you want to do. This will bring your “response thread” out of sync and out of tune. Wait until Phase Two.
- Do NOT mix your file with the file you are responding to, even if your file sounds “empty” on its own. It will all make sense in the end! This means that you must monitor the piece you are responding to on headphones.
- Ok, please ALSO mix your file with the source file... Two files in the same email, one solo'ed and one mixed, will make it very easy for me to do a little quality control. I may also add the mixed file to the Mixes page.
- If your instrument is your voice, feel free to use this website and the forum as inspiration for lyrics.
- Please don’t be too “clever”… complete silence is for example a valid musical expression, but it would make this project fall apart when someone else responds to your silence!
- Please keep your recording fairly dry - it's probably better to let the mixing engineers decide on levels of reverb and other effects. Make it sound natural but not much more.
This diagram should make it clear how SD and DD work (in this example there are three different people called John Smith – the second adds an “A” to his name and the third one uses the initial “J” of his middle name to give themselves “unique usernames”):
Don't worry too much about this diagram, if you have problems understanding whether your file is an SD or a DD or what it should be called, just tell me and I'll deal with it for you. All I need to know is the sync point of your file compared to the source file.
I will also submit SD-files that have been recorded on the road, and I may even convert an FD to a DD if I for any reason decide that a recording that was meant to be in the “linear FD-chain” does not quite work.