April 16, 2005 7:07 AM   Subscribe

Trent Reznor (fan site) has just released his latest single as a GarageBand file so that his fans might "create remixes, experiment, embellish or destroy what's there." I loved the Grey Album and hope to see more of this. [Jay-Z and Dangermouse previously discussed.]
posted by jmgorman (25 comments total)
Am I cynical in thinking that Apple probably paid Reznor to do this? (visions of the U2-themed ipod dancing in my head)

I do like the idea of musicians supporting remixing... how hard is it to convert a regular mp3 into a GarageBand file?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:39 AM on April 16, 2005

If by "convert a regular mp3 into a GarageBand file" you mean break it down into individual tracks of drums, guitars, bass, etc, so you can remix it - impossible. If you just mean import it into GarageBand as one track, so you can cut it into segments and rearrange them - pretty straightforward...
posted by benzo8 at 7:45 AM on April 16, 2005

Am I cynical in thinking that Apple probably paid Reznor to do this?

That's a possibility, but I doubt it. Trent's been a very vocal Apple supporter for most of the later stages of his career; this seems like something he'd do. I wish some agile-minded young NIN fan would convert this to something that PC users could use. I'd love to fire up Acid Pro and mess around with this.
posted by kryptondog at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2005

Pardon my being the voice of ignorance, but what's to stop you from editing raw audio on a Mac and PC? I'm not familiar with GarageBand's formats...
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:54 AM on April 16, 2005

It seems that the impetus behind releasing it as a GarageBand file was that he could convert some of it into the "AppleLoop" format:
"... This is the entire thing bounced over from the actual Pro Tools session we recorded it into. I imported and converted the tracks into AppleLoop format so the size would be reasonable and the tempo flexible." (via the download's README, by way of boingboing)
posted by davey_darling at 8:04 AM on April 16, 2005

This is great.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:11 AM on April 16, 2005

"Tempo flexible" is the main point - AppleLoops contain information to allow GarageBand (and Logic 7) to alter the tempo of the audio loop (within reason) without affecting it's quality. (Otherwise, conventional time/pitch alteration techniques tend to leave artifacts.) As kryptondog suggests - Acid Pro on the PC can do the same thing (with "Acidised" loops, which you can also load directly into Cubase/Nuendo), and Sonar has its "Groove Clips" which do the same also. Oh, and REX files enable you to do the same in Reason or a REX player.

But, as you're probably guessing by now - none of these formats are cross-compatible, so the AppleLoops made available for GarageBand can't directly be used (with their time stretching abilities) in other sequencers.

I guess you could just load the loops in as audio files though, and discard the tempo data...
posted by benzo8 at 8:11 AM on April 16, 2005

Just y'all wait.
posted by foot at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2005

First, a couple of warnings: make sure you read the license before agreeing to it. Also, make sure you have the latest version of GarageBand (seems there are a lot of errors popping up if you don't)

That said, I'm impressed to see this happening. NIN and Trent Reznor have been big geeks for a while but it's nice to see them testing the waters. The other thing I thought was cool was how much deeper of an understanding you get of the work that goes into producing such track. seeing it all laid out there, I found new instruments that I was previously unaware of.

I wish he had released it under a creative commons license but hey, nothing's perfect ;)
posted by TNLNYC at 8:58 AM on April 16, 2005

oh lordy. another self-link. But if you like this you might also like noodle heaven
posted by silence at 9:14 AM on April 16, 2005

I haven't felt compelled to update to iLife '05 yet, but I just opened it in Garage Band 1.1. Works there too, although might not be as manipulable. Still cool, though, because you can solo the different tracks.
posted by fungible at 9:25 AM on April 16, 2005

Am I the only one who was really disappointed by the new single? I've been a fan of NIN for about 10 years (even made a point of collecting every "halo"), and it seems that the creativity is going steadily downhill.
posted by knave at 9:28 AM on April 16, 2005

I vaugely recall beck releasing a track in a Sonic Foundry Acid format years ago

Am I the only one who was really disappointed by the new single?

I don't care for it, but for a lot of people (including me) his albums have that "dissapointing on first listen" aspect to them. I listened to The Fragile recently and liked it way more than I did at first. The new album has been leaked and it's like "okay" so far. I really wish he'd just abandon all song structure and do a total idm or glitch album, sorta like track 12, "Beside you in time". I know he sorta does this on the remixes but I'd like him pull a Kid A.

The new single is very "pop" sounding, but everyone's become so accustomed to the NIN sound that Pretty Hate Machine sounds very "pop" today, (back in '89 it was considered screeching death-techno, the label described it as "an abortion").
posted by bobo123 at 10:16 AM on April 16, 2005

bobo123, I agree, relistening is a must, and also, especially agree on this: I really wish he'd just abandon all song structure and do a total idm or glitch album, sorta like track 12, "Beside you in time". I know he sorta does this on the remixes but I'd like him pull a Kid A.
My new fav phrase..."pull a kid A."
posted by uni verse at 10:29 AM on April 16, 2005

Knave - I too used to collect every halo. I'm going to reserve judgement until I hear the whole new album, but I agree the new single seems more like a standard rock song and is a bit simple. The last 15 seconds or so turn into what we think of as a NIN song once he allows some more rage in his voice and funky distortions on the guitars in. But Trent likes to experiment with different styles, so we'll see.
posted by falconred at 10:36 AM on April 16, 2005

I've been a fan of NIN since The Fragile (and have since religiously collected all of the halos) and I liked it quite a bit. Definitely different, though... sort of lacks the bite of past songs.

I'd be disappointed if With Teeth were a collection of songs in the same vein, but from the live bootlegs I've heard, it seems like there'll be a good bit of variety. None of the lyrics are all that hot, but then again, that's never been Trent's strongpoint (effective lyrics? Usually. Good lyrics? Emmm..).

"Love Is Not Enough" is great. "Home" is, too, but it's not technically on the album.
posted by kryptondog at 11:05 AM on April 16, 2005

Am I the only one who was really disappointed by the new single?

I went to one of the club warm-up shows at The Astoria in London a couple of weeks ago and they played a few new tracks including the title track from With Teeth, which sounded amazing. (They also played Burn from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, which made my night). I was a bit nonplussed by the single at first, but repeated listens have improved it. Hopefully it'll be like all NIN albums (for me at least) in that they take a good few plays to really get into.
posted by TheDonF at 12:20 PM on April 16, 2005

I personally think that Trent is hitting the same creative brick wall that a couple of my other favorites have been hitting recently: As you age, it gets harder and harder to maintain the ANGRY.

Take another late-80s/early-90s techno/punk fusion band: Ministry. As soon as Clinton hit office and they started to make it on the mainstream scene, they go and release a selection of songs that would have made their earlier selves take a collective bullet rather than end up where they were. Sure, they regained a little of that with their last album, having reawakened some of their rage after the Iraqi war began -- but it was almost a tribute album to earlier days then it was anything fresh and new.

With The Fragile I hoped in vain that I might find something of the earlier, more disturbed Trent. That early guy wrestled with his inner demons right there on the vinyl. This guy we've got today seems to be wrestling with what color of Farah slacks he needs to wear to the golf course.

Someone go and sexually molest Maynard again before we lose him, too.
posted by thanotopsis at 12:35 PM on April 16, 2005

"...or destroy what's there."

This is a great idea. Somebody get on this pronto.

posted by koeselitz at 12:54 PM on April 16, 2005

visions of the U2-themed ipod dancing in my head

Except that U2 did the iPod commercial pro bono, as it were.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:29 PM on April 16, 2005

I didn't realize that the vocals are Apple Loops as well, so you can change the tempo of the singing. Cool.
posted by fungible at 6:47 PM on April 16, 2005

I have done some preliminary fiddling. Trent sounds surprisingly good backed by latin drums, banjo, and cowbell.
posted by ToasT at 9:10 PM on April 16, 2005

bobo123, i remember. beck released all the separate tracks of "mixed bizness" as standard .wav files, and had a remix contest. the winner, michael rosen's "latin shot" remix, was supposed to be featured on the single, but apparently vanished into oblivion and was never heard again.
the single did feature the very funky cornelius and les rythmes digitales mixes.
sorry, needed to get that off my chest. feel better now.
posted by Silky Slim at 4:08 AM on April 17, 2005

Well, at least Fred Durst is still the angst-ridden teenage mook he always was.
posted by acb at 4:37 AM on April 18, 2005

I'm not a big Trent fan in general, but this is a great idea, and I'll expect to see more of it in the future.

As long as we're giving props to interactive music visionaries, though, let's not forget Todd.
posted by soyjoy at 9:57 AM on April 18, 2005

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