I had a neat idea as I was driving to a gig. I get really fed up with the recordings (stack of cd’s) in my car as I’ve listened to them so many times, and every time I listen to them, they are the same!
I thought, why not make a recording that sounds different every time you play it?
Sound crazy? Well, it’s really quite possible to do, and wouldn’t be very hard.
Usually when a band records a song, they might do multiple takes, say 4 or 5 takes. For certain sections of the song, such as an instrumental solo, it would be cool if it would sound different every time. The artist or recording engineer could “program” the song to play a different, random take for a certain section of the song, each time the recording is played, or combine together parts of any of the takes in a new or somewhat random way. A single solo section could be further broken down into segments, such as a certain number of bars, and each segment could be swapped in with a different take, as the music is played.
There are a bunch of extensions to this idea:
– if this is on a website, allow the user to save their particular performance that they heard, and share it with others (and rate them, etc)
– instead of a purely random choice of the takes, the user could give input into the choices such as “I’d like a really upbeat and lively version of this song”, or “I’d really like a version of this song with a longer sax solo and less Britney”.
-if the “intensity” of the performance was hooked up to a foot pedal (e.g. the recording would become more excited as the pedal is depressed lower, and more relaxed as the pedal is released) an actual live musician could play along with such a recording, while controlling the intensity of the background recording, and have the background music follow his/her performance.
Please – let me know what you think!! And please take this idea, expand on it, and develop something new, as I mostly have time to think these days and not implement something, even so cool as this!
Update, Sept. 11, 2010: I’ve created a player which implements this concept, and made it open source. Check it out at MultipathAudio.com. Includes an example song.