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Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

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Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

Postby karimeid » Wed May 20, 2020 4:39 am

Hey!

I am currently working on an EP, 5 Tracks long.

I am done with the mixes, and now i went on and combined the 5 final mixes into one project file, and wanted to create seamless transitions from one song to the other, whether with a sound snippet or with melodic information.

I bounced then at the exact point where i wanted them, played the EP back on iTunes to see the result, and it didn‘t work out at all.

Does someone have any experience with this form of work?

References are „Jaden - B, L, U, E“

Thanks in advance,

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Re: Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed May 20, 2020 1:39 pm

Welcome!

Could you explain what you wanted and what you got? Why didn't it 'work out at all'?
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Re: Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed May 20, 2020 5:13 pm

I'm pretty sure you're after something called 'gapless playback'. This is not supported on all playback systems, and in iTunes it was an option (and maybe still is) but I've seen mention of that feature not working in recent years or being harder to set up for users than it used to be. I don't use iTunes myself so I'm not sure of the current status on that.

Other players may or may not support it. Even some CD players don't support it, although for the ones that do and with the right material it is (to my ears) much preferable to gaps between tracks. Mike Oldfield used it to great effect on 'The Songs Of Distant Earth' but he was also quite clever in that he made it sound good on systems that don't support it.

My advice is to be pragmatic. If you are looking to distribute your stuff on iTunes then avoid gapless playback unless you can make it sound good with the gaps in, as some people will always hear it with those gaps.

One alternative is to release the work as one long track rather than several shorter ones that join together, although I realise that comes with its own drawbacks.
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Re: Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

Postby Martin Walker » Wed May 20, 2020 5:35 pm

In the olden days of CDs, some burning software would only allow tracks to be recorded individually, with an audio gap between them. To allow seamless transitions needed more sophisticated burning software (I forget the technical term - was it 'track at once'?) I used this a lot on my own music CDs, to hopefully provide seamless listening experience.

Nowadays with streaming services, there will almost inevitably be a tiny gap between the end of one track and the next, simply because they are stored as separate files online, and each needs to be buffered before starting to avoid glitches once the track is actually playing.

Because of these technical limitations, it's best to abandon seamless transitions for online music, as Eddy has mentioned.


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Re: Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Wed May 20, 2020 7:31 pm

Hi Martin,

That's not completely correct. I'm not certain about ALL streaming services, but definitely Spotify can do gapless, without any buffering issues. What is strange is that playback without gaps seems to be the default, I couldn't find anywhere to change that in preferences.

I have seamless transitions in all my recent releases. It's even a "feature" of one album Transitions. You can hear it in action:
https://open.spotify.com/album/7c2lJZTj ... H8t8h40XHA

To the OP:
I do it by first building in transitional material into all the tracks. Often, it's just a long reverb decay or an echo. Sometimes I write an actual transition piece, or use sound effects like birds, weather or voice samples if thematically appropriate. Then I put each mix on its own track in the DAW, then moving them to where I want them to blend. I also do any mastering in this DAW session and check the LUFS. Now here's the tricky part: you need to be able to mark where you want the beginning and end of each track, and then render that. So now the transitions are built in to each track.
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Re: Fading Songs Into Each Other/Consecutive EP

Postby James Perrett » Wed May 20, 2020 7:37 pm

I must admit I've not investigated how download and streaming services handle this but for CD masters it is important to place the track markers at frame boundaries so that, when creating a CD, the tracks aren't padded with zeros which will create a blip. Most of the work I do still ends up on CD as well as download so I'll normally create a single long sequence of tracks in the DAW and place track markers where I want each track to start. I'll then create a DDP master for the CD and then create the individual track files from the DDP master (which also helps me check that the DDP is correct).
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