POP Remix – Not Sure I’ve Got The Hang Of This EDM Lark

A combination of a POP Twitter header showing the five band members and the cover of the XTC single 'This Is Pop' which consists of the title made out of commonplace objects

Pretty Pretty Good (Muzik)

A bash at the POPsters mix kit as seen on Ototoy.

Most of their new album can be heard on Soundcloud hereabouts but the track in question is available in shortened video length form way over yonder.

I Had An Awful Lot Of Synths Left Over

Having stumbled across ‘Pretty Pretty Good’ via the pleasingly ludicrous video of this alternative Idol group hanging from a crane the appeal of mixing it came from the offer of complete unadorned tracks rather than the more common stems. Also the possible puns around the name were too numerous to refuse.

The world was saved from my usual airy fairy stretchy interpretation by it being obvious from a quick perusal of the recordings that there was a lot of good bass and guitar work going on behind the synthesizers dominant in the official release.

First order of the day was a bit of shifting rhythm guitars around to fill in the odd hole here and there as well as moving the piano to accompany the singing in the quieter parts. For good measure I did the digital equivalent of old fashioned splicing to extend a couple of sections, though to what end I wasn’t sure at the time.

Then came the leg work of equalization, compression and wot not together with whacking amp simulations on the initially clean and D.I.ed guitar sounds (Scuffham S-Gear for the aficionados).

I’m sure like myself you wondered how anyone could release a four to the floor stomper without tambourine and 80s drum machine hand-claps so they were added at strategic points and sound effects shuffled around for greatest effect.

Lacking something to provide a bit of a boost to the vocal in the last chorus I dragged out a guitar for some ersatz double tracking. It was at this point we drifted back to the 70s as echoing the final ‘cry away’ suggested the octave part on the prior instrumental section.

After much mucking around with effects automation and titivating levels the chance finally came for a bit of subtle stretching with a touch of he old ‘Johnny Remember Me‘ behind the late ba-didily-ba-bas.

Though a rather anachronistic reading of the text for the most part it perhaps allows a little more of the singers’ characters to come through.

Teach The POPtroversey

How the merry band of POP will fair now their leader, カミヤサキ, has been sidelined due to taking ‘action in breach of management’s instructions’ we shall see.

カミヤサキ, erstwhile leader of POP
カミヤサキ Photo: Billboard

Although I had little to no knowledge of the Idol industry before this it didn’t take a lot of effort to work out she was a something of a square peg. But that seemed to be what set her group apart.

It’s interesting from a cultural point of view that rather than storming the Bastille the fans on the whole appear to have reacted with, ‘that’s a rum do, hope you’re back soon’. Though a scan of a few pertinent search terms shows a bit more discontent away from the official feeds and streams. It may be that they’re aware it’s quite possibly a pre-planned publicity stunt.

Now I’ll have to find something else to distract me from what I’m meant to be doing.

The picture is based on the cover the of XTC single ‘This Is Pop‘ and the name of the mix from M’s ‘Pop Muzik‘.

A video with an edited version of the original.

POP「pretty pretty good」PV

An Aside – Too Loud Man

Interesting to me at least was that my master had a momentary peak of the same LUFS value as the average of the original which I feel could have been given a little more room to breathe. Or in layman’s terms, it had been squashed to buggery.

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As it’s a bit small the scale on the right is 7 to 16 LUFS for the original recording and 10 to 19 for the remix. Ignore the red other than to see the difference to my chosen target level.

The significant thing is the difference in peaks and troughs during the louder sections which shows how much limiting is being applied which results in distortion and is fatiguing to the ears. I’ve probably erred a bit on the safe side but didn’t like how forcing more volume changed the sound of the drums.

Things are slowly improving as new standards in broadcast and music players mean overly compressed music is reduced in level which shows up that it sounds worse and will hopefully persuade bands, producers, engineers and particularly management that a false impression of loudness is not the ultimate arbiter.