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What's your opinion on crossfading?
I love it! 20%  20%  [ 3 ]
I think it's annoying 27%  27%  [ 4 ]
Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's annoying 40%  40%  [ 6 ]
Don't care either way 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 15
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 Post subject: About crossfades...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:44 pm 
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I feel odd starting a somewhat critical thread, especially since I've posted so little here thus far. Please understand, the last thing I'd want to do is sound ungrateful for every dream fulfilled by Intrada and other soundtrack-centric companies. This is just something I have to get off my chest, and I'd love input from others who either feel the same way, or have a valid argument against my point. I'll admit, I barely know anything about the art of making CDs, so feel free to correct me if my ignorance is showing.

I'll cut to the chase now: It bothers me a ton when music cues are overlapped on soundtracks. I like my music separated, and whenever I transfer a CD to my iPod, I'll often take the time to separate the cues myself if they're part of a suite, instead of stand-alone tracks. When we're given a second or two of breathing room ("dead air", whatever it's officially called) between each cue, separating them is easy enough to do. But when the cues overlap, i.e. one cue will start up before the last one has even finished its fade-out (causing the fade-out to be audible beneath the first few seconds of the next cue), there's no possible way to get a clean rip, and that, well, gets on my nerves. I can sympathize with the idea that sometimes you have to scrunch these cues closer together to keep a disc within the 78-minute limit, so that you don't have to add another disc to the set; but to me, overlapping cues is the greater crime.

Another thing I have trouble understanding is, if CDs can hold up to 99 tracks, then how come, say, a 35-cue score will be lumped together into some 20 suite tracks on the CD? Is it that the general public doesn't have the patience to flip through several dozen tracks to get to the one they want (although I can't imagine why they'd prefer waiting two or three minutes through a track over that), or will some CD players refuse to read discs that go over a certain amount of tracks, whether or not they even approach the official 99 limit?

Please, enlighten me!

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Last edited by kenisu3000 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:09 pm 
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I don't believe there is an actual amount of tracks a CD-R/CD is limited to. As long as their cumulated total is 80 minutes, they could all be five to ten seconds a piece (some burning programs, however, won't recognize very short tracks).

Well, from what I've read here, the overlapping, or crossfades, are nothing more in the majority of cases, the personal creative choice of the folks at Intrada. It seems they have a low tolerance for those who really hate them and wish they'd go away (Intrada isn't the only label to do this; for example, the Varese "Ghostbusters" had terrible crossfade of the final cue and end credits).

I personally fall into the camp that really dislikes crossfades. It's particularly terrible when it's a beautiful cue that would have a lovely ending, but suddenly is shortened a split second or more, and crossfaded with another, unnaturally ending the piece and forcing it to move along into another.
It also leaves a person unable to have a proper version for a compilation (exercising, various types of score styles compilations, etc.) 'cause now you have to edit it, and faded it out early so it sounds unnatural, otherwise you have an abrupt ending.
I can't think immediately of an instance Intrada has done this next one, for example, but while I'm speaking of crossfades and combining, might as well cover it: it's extremely annoying when a bunch of tiny cues are forced into a longer track. It's annoying, and mind you, while it may work in certain instances, most times it doesn't, but at least if it's not crossfaded, you can seperate it, but then that means you can't just pop in the CD you paid for.
I mean, you start reaching personal opinions when you combine tracks. For example, Intrada made a combo decision I agree with, while others may have wanted it seperated: on ST:IV, they combined the Challenger dedication and the main titles (thankfully not crossfaded). But ALSO on ST:IV, I might have switched around some film tracks with their album counter parts, and maybe even moved around two or three cues (for a better listening experience), so it's easy to understand how they might feel.


I think it was LLLR that staed (I can't recall the exact minute) the pressing plants can't gurantee CD's over 78 minutes will play on all players, so they try to keep it at or under that amount. I'm positive Roger or Doug can vouch for that.

As to why some rare CD's combined music into one long suites rather than seperating the music, even with jump points that mark different tracks while still not interrupting the music, beats me. I don't think I've ever read a good reason, aside from classical music, where some people just prefer one uninterrupted listen if they can get it.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Okay... I'm going to chime in on this... I can think of only ONE instance where this practice - for lack of a better word - pissed me off, and, I'm sorry to say, it is an Intrada release. I don't remember the track title, but on Players there's that gorgeous variation on the love theme that should've been a stand-alone cue, but right at the end, while I'm numb with joy from the beauty of this piece....DIXIELAND CRAP STARTS PLAYING, totally destroying the absolute bliss I was feeling the second before! Glad I held on to the (cough!), so I can have that piece unspoiled!
Please know that I mean absolutely NO disrespect to anyone at Intrada.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:17 pm 
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Hey Davenport! Back to the Goldsmith messageboard where you belong! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:44 pm 
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It all comes down to personal preference. We look at music as an art form and strive for a musical presentation. We don't just roll out all the cues, unassembled like a string of bottlecaps. This is a preference among composers as well. You must hate many of Michael Kamen's albums, like Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I think it's brilliantly produced, and yet nearly all the cues are crossfaded together! Maurice Jarre and Hans Zimmer often take many cues and assemble into longer suites. I find the musical journey is much more rewarding that way, rather than just an assortment of short cues.

I'm not trying to sell you on our point of view, you're entitled to your view. But this is our philosophy, so my best guidance is to let go and just go with the music for the music's sake and not get hooked on how it's assembled. You'll just drive yourself crazy.


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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Terry Cloth wrote:
Hey Davenport! Back to the Goldsmith messageboard where you belong! :wink:


"devenport"

FAIL. :-p

Wait, why back to JGOnline with me? I don't have anything to ad. I could make something up.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:45 pm 
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Oh, okay, so it's called crossfading. Gotcha.

Anyway, I'm guessing the reason a lot of soundtracks are produced with heavy crossfading is because a lot of people like to listen to these albums from beginning to end? I do that on occasion myself (when I'm in a "light" listening mood, not that everyone else would treat this practice as light listening), and I see crossfading as just fine for that particular habit; but most of the time I'm listening to the music not to immerse myself in the full tapestry, but for a reason I'm sure everyone here can relate to in one way or another. My favorite compositions are basically an outlet for emotional release that I don't get anywhere else: I just bring up a specific cue - not a whole album - that expresses whatever emotion I'm feeling, and voilà, instant stress relief.

So for me, part of the thrill of getting my hands on a film/TV soundtrack CD is not only getting the material without the voice and sound effects tracks cluttering it up, but also hearing those uncluttered cues start up cold.

Despite my use of strong words like "bothers me a ton" in the first post, I'm not attacking the opposite view at all. It's just that since I'm not a soundtrack producer, I can't put these things together the way I prefer them. I'm completely at the mercy of whoever produces this album or that box set I've been looking forward to, because it's their opinion that wins through; and when they have a different viewpoint than mine, I wind up feeling like the album could have been just that much more perfect (for me) if only the cues had been given breathing room.

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My Holy Grails: 1. DuckTales (Ron Jones/Tom Chase & Steve Rucker)
2. DragonBall Z (Shunsuke Kikuchi), 3. DragonBall GT (Akito Tokunaga), 4. Pocket Monsters (Shinji Miyazaki), 5. A Goofy Movie (Carter Burwell, reworked by Don Davis)


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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:12 am 
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There's a cue on "Star Trek: Insurrection", for example, that I'm hoping is crossfaded, and that when it get an complete release, it will be corrected. Of course, I'm probably grasping on to straws and it's not crossfaded. I think the cue was "New Sight", as I recall; there's the lovely building at the end, and then suddenly it goes into some subdued, though short, statement of the action material.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:51 am 
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There have been some crossfades that I'm not particularly fond of, but it is ultimately such a minute issue for me that I never complained. The way I see it is that focusing on such a small part of the whole is a waste of time when there is so much else in the presentation to fully enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:46 am 
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Since we're talking about personal preference and I don't think I've ever complained about this on the boards before, let me add my voice to the chorus against crossfades. They doesn't always annoy me, but they often do. The Players example is a good one that bothered me too. The Wind and the Lion combines True Feelings with Raisuli Attacks which makes no sense at all to me musically as the two cues couldn't be more different. (at least you can get them separately on the "original album" attachment). I was grateful to get Predator reissued without crossfades, but that is a rare case of a revisit, I think.

So if Intrada is up for considering the customers' wishes (and the Predator reissue indicates they're listening), I think there are a lot more customers really annoyed by crossfades than those that really like them (and the majority probably don't care I guess).

Yavar


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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:18 pm 
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I'll cast my "vote" in favor of the guys at Intrada who do this for a living. Never has a track transition caused me anything like the angst I'm reading from some of you guys! People like what they like, but I can't help wonder if some are missing the forest for the trees.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:53 pm 
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kipling71 wrote:
I'll cast my "vote" in favor of the guys at Intrada who do this for a living. Never has a track transition caused me anything like the angst I'm reading from some of you guys! People like what they like, but I can't help wonder if some are missing the forest for the trees.



I have a theory...that is if someone gets a CD that runs 78 minutes long and is unassmebled they might say "Eh, it's okay...probably won't play it that often." But if we released that same CD at 40 minutes fully assembled, they would be more likely to say, "That's a great album, what a great score. But I'm pissed that they left music off and they assembled cues together."


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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:03 pm 
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I think a poll could give us a better idea, since very few have voiced an opinion and surely more would cast a vote than type up what they think.

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Roger Feigelson wrote:
It all comes down to personal preference. We look at music as an art form and strive for a musical presentation. We don't just roll out all the cues, unassembled like a string of bottlecaps. This is a preference among composers as well. You must hate many of Michael Kamen's albums, like Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I think it's brilliantly produced, and yet nearly all the cues are crossfaded together! Maurice Jarre and Hans Zimmer often take many cues and assemble into longer suites. I find the musical journey is much more rewarding that way, rather than just an assortment of short cues.

I'm not trying to sell you on our point of view, you're entitled to your view. But this is our philosophy, so my best guidance is to let go and just go with the music for the music's sake and not get hooked on how it's assembled. You'll just drive yourself crazy.


Please, do not let the anti-cross-fade freaks change your philosophy.
Zimmer is a a great examaple of a composer who produces listenable albums.
Screw the 'every cue, every note' , fanatics!

have a nice day!
:)
bruce

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 Post subject: Re: About overlapping cues...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:37 pm 
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bruce marshall wrote:

Please, do not let the anti-cross-fade freaks change your philosophy.
Zimmer is a a great examaple of a composer who produces listenable albums.
Screw the 'every cue, every note' , fanatics!

have a nice day!
:)
bruce


agreed, it´s better to have a CD with a flow that is more listenable than having every minor cue out. Love when you can play a CD from beginning to end without thinking it is dul because it has 25-30 minor cues (and often repeated too).

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