headoverbreakfast

Almost a year ago now, I got to see one of my favorite bands, Japanese Breakfast, live. Though I had listened to them since high school and liked the music, I can’t say that I was fully captivated by their music, until their release that year: Jubilee. While I liked all of their music, this album really stood out to me due to its energy. In addition, another artist I am a fan of, Alex G collaborated on my favorite single (though I love every song) on the album, Savage Good Boy giving it a unique flair:

While I was excited to see them, it was the first concert I had gone to post-pandemic. It was in July, which was a really weird month where there were basically 0 regulations whatsoever. Masks were not required if you were vaccinated, but there were literally zero regulations on this. Additionally, venues, including the one that I went to, did not check vaccine cards. Right after this, things got a lot stricter, but it was definitely a surreal moment in time. So because of this, there was probably only one person wearing a mask. Looking back, I probably would have too, but it seemed like everything was going in a positive direction at the time so there was no need. Either way, I had a really good experience and the concert was amazing.

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While I am admittedly a fan of plenty of 80s music, I can’t say that I am the biggest Tears for Fears fan. I love some synth-pop and new wave music, but they just don’t scratch that itch for me. Probably my first introduction to them, when I was younger, is the Gary Jules cover featured in Donnie Darko, a film that haunted me as a child, but I have grown to somewhat appreciate it.

Regardless of your opinion on them, it is undeniable that Tears for Fears still has an impact on music to this day. From memes, to being featured in media, and covers by other artists, they are definitely up there when it comes to influential groups from the 80s. I chose to mash up the instrumental from the original version of Head Over Heels with the vocals of the cover done by Michelle Zauner from Japanese Breakfast. While I don’t think that I have ever listened to a cover combination, I have heard countless mashups of two completely different songs, so I figured it could be easily accomplished with what is basically the same song.

Boy, was I wrong…

I will preface this by saying that I have little experience when it comes to music in audio programs. I have experience with physical instruments and editing spoken-word and video audio, but no multitrack music editing. I definitely overestimated my abilities, especially considering that it was the first assignment. So just a fair warning that this is possibly my worst creation for this class thus far. I had to upload this to YouTube as the instrumental was detected on SoundCloud as copywritten material and I could not post it there at all. Throwback to the days when you could basically listen to any music illegally uploaded on there.

Despite my difficulties, I will provide a tutorial as required. I first used this website (I highly recommend having AdBlock on) to download both tracks from YouTube:

Make sure you download them converted to an audio format. After this, I tried to follow a tutorial on how to remove vocals from tracks on Audacity. Unfortunately, I did not have good results from this, and instead found a free website that uses AI to separate the tracks. This was a lot better. You will want to download the vocal track of the version you want to use for vocals, and then for the version you are using as the background music, download both tracks.

Open all three files in Adobe Audition, (you can also use Audacity, I’m just not used to it and the UI reminds me of having to use it in my middle school foreign language class in the computer lab) and load them all into a new multitrack. You can mute the background for now as it is not important. Now, to your best ability, edit the vocal track that you want to use to match the vocals of the background music you are using. It really depends on the song, but in my case, the vocals I wanted to use were slower and drawn out, so I had to cut them down a lot. Once you feel everything is lined up the best it can be, remove the vocals you are using as a template and unmute the music track. All that is left now is to export it and upload it to your platform of choice.

this is how my Audition session looked at the end

There could honestly be a better way to do this because I didn’t do any research, just did what I thought made sense, so I might have made it harder for myself.

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