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Overdub Tampering Comittee
January 12, 2008 2:49 PM   Subscribe

The Overdub Tampering Comittee Manifesto. What if there was a network of musicians who got a hold of albums right as they leaked, added subtle yet very much additional overdubs all over the album, and then re-leaked it to the internet? ... We set out to make that specific bewildering, annoyance a possibility.

Some more coverage: Idolator, torrentfreak, the Stranger. Personally, I'm dubious about the truth of this on purely logistical grounds, but it's an interesting idea.
posted by whir (42 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I didn't see any mention of which albums were (supposedly) tampered with?
posted by unmake at 3:08 PM on January 12, 2008


Almost certainly a joke/hoax, but a funny concept anyhow.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:10 PM on January 12, 2008


I loved your work on the Beatles' White Album, McCartney's griping notwithstanding. You should call your work the Firewall of Sound.
posted by bigskyguy at 3:13 PM on January 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


The best part is how you intentionally misspelled committee to make it even more annoying.
posted by Pants! at 3:17 PM on January 12, 2008


Even as a hoax, I like how this makes you listen differently after you read it. It turns you into a paranoid music detective.
posted by umbú at 3:18 PM on January 12, 2008


Okaaay...

There is a major problem with this idea, however, and that's leaked music is also a form of marketing. If leaked music sounds bad, it won't turn people of piracy, but it could turn people off of the musician who's music was tampered with.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 PM on January 12, 2008


I don't know enough about the technical aspect, but wouldn't it be fairly easy (or at least possible) to use some audio software to compare tracks from bought albums to downloaded tracks? If this is a trivial procedure, someone should download songs they already own and run the test.
posted by desjardins at 3:19 PM on January 12, 2008


The best part is how you intentionally misspelled committee to make it even more annoying.

Uh... yeah. Yeah, you totally found me out.
posted by whir at 3:27 PM on January 12, 2008


I call bullshit. Anything they do would be a transcode, which is fairly easy to spot.
posted by aaronetc at 3:28 PM on January 12, 2008


I saw this on Torrent Freak a couple days ago and could smell the bullshit coming off of it then. It's pretty safe to chalk this up to either completely fake or attention whore wankery.
posted by puke & cry at 3:29 PM on January 12, 2008


THEY HAS TROLLED TEH INTARWEB!
posted by klangklangston at 3:32 PM on January 12, 2008


Ah, I just noticed the under the cut torrent freak link. Nevermind then. Still bullshit though.
posted by puke & cry at 3:32 PM on January 12, 2008


I don't know enough about the technical aspect, but wouldn't it be fairly easy (or at least possible) to use some audio software to compare tracks from bought albums to downloaded tracks?

I don't think that would tell you anything as you wouldn't necessarily know what encoder they used. In any case, it would be unnecessary since you could just use your ears to hear the additional instruments they supposedly overdubbed.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:33 PM on January 12, 2008


Well, the idea behind this is that you'd download something and jam to it and never hear the different version. That could work, only in a very small subset of people.
posted by puke & cry at 3:39 PM on January 12, 2008


I adore this idea. Total hoax, though.
posted by empath at 3:55 PM on January 12, 2008


I agree that it's probably just a huge hoax from the lack of examples, but I'd love to see someone actually do this.
posted by flatluigi at 4:13 PM on January 12, 2008


Didn't Madonna put a file out there named as if it were some Madonna song, but instead it just contained a recording of Madonna belittling the listener for trying to steal from her, or something like that?
posted by Flunkie at 4:17 PM on January 12, 2008


Seems like some have taken the idea to its illogical conclusion though.
posted by punilux at 4:30 PM on January 12, 2008


I considered that Daft Punk might have added some irritating synthetic burps on the tracks when their "Human After All" album leaked, but it turned out that the music wasn't tampered with -- it was just really shitty to begin with.
posted by Down10 at 4:32 PM on January 12, 2008


re Flunkie: Madonna did indeed do such a thing, but it somewhat backfired as file traders simply began to label the untampered leaked tracks as [real], and the bogus tracks were treated to a nice underground remix project.
posted by Down10 at 4:41 PM on January 12, 2008


Perhaps Duclod Man acquired Pro Tools.
posted by Tube at 4:44 PM on January 12, 2008


I enjoy the idea of griefing the P2P scene.

Can someone fill me in on the supposed logistical problems? It seems easy enough to do with some good music software. And yes, if it's subtle (subliminal) enough, scores of people would never even think to question it.
posted by naju at 4:56 PM on January 12, 2008


If it's so subtle that listeners can't tell it's there at all, what's the point to it?
posted by ardgedee at 5:35 PM on January 12, 2008


Well, they say themselves it would go unnoticed unless they wrote about it, hence the manifesto. And the reason they cite is to raise the specter of compromised integrity. To quote them: "You Do Not Know That Someone Hasn't Fucked With Your Favorite Band's Album."
posted by naju at 5:48 PM on January 12, 2008


Boy this thing reads like the RIAA tried to get a viral campaign on the cheap.

We discarded the leaked files and waited patiently for the actual release where upon we bought it in a store. [....] We guessed that if this could become a widespread phenomenon it would really highlight one of the biggest flaws with the “illegal downloading” method of obtaining music, i.e You Do Not Know That Someone Hasn't Fucked With Your Favorite Band's Album.

Doesn't it just have that guy-who-comes-to-your-middle-school-pretending-to-be-hip-and-famous-and-just-happens-to-bring-up-a-precautionary-tale-about-chewing-tobacco sort of tone?
posted by fleacircus at 5:50 PM on January 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


..."additional overdubs..."

This message brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

"...very much additional overdubs..."

This message brought to you by the Department of Emphasized Redundancy Department.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:53 PM on January 12, 2008


fleacircus nails it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:54 PM on January 12, 2008


What do I care if someone's fucked with my favourite band's album so long as I'm enjoying it?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:48 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can someone fill me in on the supposed logistical problems?

There aren't any, really. It's not hard to overdub tracks on something. You'd have to have the right equipment and know-how and instruments to make it sound at all inconspicuous, though.

..."additional overdubs..."

This message brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.


Wha? That's not redundant.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:58 PM on January 12, 2008


ludwig: overdubs are additions to the music, ergo saying 'additional overdub' is comparable to 'fatal murder' or 'annoying telemarketer.'
posted by flatluigi at 7:28 PM on January 12, 2008


What does "additions to the music" mean? Overdubs are tracks recorded after other tracks have been recorded. The only way to record with no overdubs is to record everything simultaneously, which is rare for studio-produced music. Lead vocals are usually overdubbed, and I don't know what sense those could be thought of as "additional."

In any case, you can do overdubs, and then you can do additional overdubs. There's nothing redundant about saying that.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:34 PM on January 12, 2008


I'm willing to believe this, just because I love the paranoia it induces and really like considering the altered tracks to be another kind of fan remix.
posted by limnrix at 7:50 PM on January 12, 2008


You mean my copy of Loveless isn't supposed to sound like this??
posted by applemeat at 8:32 PM on January 12, 2008


flatluigi ^ In any case, you can do overdubs, and then you can do additional overdubs.

Reminds me of the joke I usually attribuite to Kurt Vonnegut:

Q: What's the white stuff in bird shit?

A: It's bird shit, too.

(If overdubs by nature are additional, then "additional overdubs" are just more overdubs.)
posted by not_on_display at 8:57 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I got overdubs on top of my overdubs! And you know what's on top of those?




More overdubs!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:26 PM on January 12, 2008


Once upon a time, a chimpanzee downloaded a Cake album that contained a song "enhanced" by a fan of Captain Beefheart. She lived happily ever after.

The End.
posted by bonobo at 9:41 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


In another decade, we'll be doing it to movies, too. Personally, I look forward to media teeming with hoards of weird cameos and "Hi, mom!s."

(or should that be: ... and "Hi, mom!"s. ... ?)
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:35 AM on January 13, 2008


We guessed that if this could become a widespread phenomenon it would really highlight one of the biggest flaws with the “illegal downloading” method of obtaining music, i.e You Do Not Know That Someone Hasn't Fucked With Your Favorite Band's Album.

I seriously doubt that it was My Favorite Band's intention to have a Sony insert a rootkit on their albums. It seems legally obtaining music has its downsides too.
posted by kableh at 8:40 AM on January 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


"I remixed a remix, and it was back to normal" - Mitch Hedberg
posted by porn in the woods at 8:41 AM on January 13, 2008


Yeah, this was funny the first time I heard about it...like years ago, when Bansky did it to the Paris Hilton album in the UK.
posted by troybob at 8:43 AM on January 13, 2008


It's overdubs all the way down!
posted by drezdn at 9:24 AM on January 13, 2008


In 2001, Steven Shane McDonald, the bassist from Redd Kross, added himself playing bass to the White Stripes' album 'White Blood Cells' - titling it 'Redd Blood Cells' - and put the resulting mp3s up for download via his website.

Wikipedia says over 60,000 people downloaded the new version of the album before the White Stripes' label made him take it down.
posted by tapeguy at 11:37 AM on January 13, 2008


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