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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One song, arranged four ways

A good musical arrangement can make all the difference to the presentation of a song. Of course, it helps if it's a good song in the first place...

By David Mellor, Course Director of Audio Masterclass
Here's an interesting clip of audio. Take a listen...


It's taken from a TV commercial for the Kia Cee'd. It's a car, if you didn't know. In the commercial, French band Nouvelle Vague (which is French for 'New Wave') perform Ever Fallen In Love?, originally by The Buzzcocks.

In the commercial we hear the song first performed only with guitar accompaniment, then with shaker and tambourine mixed in, then with more guitars, and then the full gig arrangement.

As an illustration of the arrangement process, this is an excellent example. It shows how a good song can work in a variety of arrangements. It shows how skilled performers can make a song sound good even in a minimalistic arrangement. And it demonstrates, in the last example, that modern mastering techniques are completely inappropriate to New Wave music. Well, that's my opinion.

You might have heard an odd edit in the middle of the clip. This is where the visuals suddenly switch from an interior shot (inside the car) to an exterior, then back again. It doesn't work for audio-only, but it's fine in the correct context.

In summary, great song, good arrangements, polished performances, clever editing, fantastic car.

Er... we don't actually know about the car...

The commercial...

And a version by the original performers, The Buzzcocks...

Publication date: Tuesday July 03, 2012
Author: David Mellor, Course Director of Audio Masterclass

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