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Old July 27th, 2010, 08:24 AM   #1
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Songs running at different speed by DJ

Editing the First Dance, you take the original CD of the song and expect to sync it up with the recorded audio of the same song from the night - allowing the live audio to be brought in and out at will, and of course the dance moves to be accurate.

However I have noticed a few times recently that songs played during the First Dance are often at a different speed to the retail CD versions. Often, the DJ seems to have played the music faster on the night.

Note that the pitch remains the same. Sometimes the differences are only a second or two by the end of the song - other times it can be as much as 15 seconds as ocurred recently.

Anyone else noticed this?
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Old July 27th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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I worked in radio for 15 years and as a wedding dance DJ for 12 years. Speeding up songs is very common, especially in radio. It helps in two ways - first, it gives the subliminal perception that you are more lively and exciting, and it allows you to play more songs. Although, the amount the songs are changed really only gives you an extra few minutes at the end of the night, so you might only get one or two more songs in.

Apparently it also has a third benefit: it frustrates the video guy. ;)

The speed control on the CD player and/or the software the DJ uses changes the speed and the pitch, so you wouldn't consciously perceive it unless you were comparing it to the original (which you're doing in the edit bay.)
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Old July 27th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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As a night club DJ for many years, changing the pitch also allows you to blend songs together smoothly when they are not running at the same beats per minute (BPM). If one song runs at 114 BPM and the next one you want to play at 118, the first is pitched up slightly, the second down slightly so that they move in concert with each other. This was the essence of learning to mix live to a crowd, and usually separated radio jocks who talked over their transitions, with club jocks who had to keep the dancefloor moving in time with the music. I"ve done radio too, so understand the needs and techniques are somewhat different.

But, don't EVER expect a song from an experienced DJ to run with the retail version. When we did weddings, we have versions of songs you couldn't buy at retail. So you'd never match them up. And we intercut songs all the time making custom mixes on the fly.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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My only experience similar to this was the DJ company had their own abbreviated version which was used for the Father/daughter dance. I found this out when I emailed my buddy who manages the company, inquiring to what the name of the song was, to do exactly what you do, mix the CD into the video. He was kind enough to give me the heads up, and then provide me an mp3 they use. I can only imagine the swearing I would have done, had I not known this as I began to edit.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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We've never experienced this problem since we shoot as much of the dance as we can and then edit it as a highlight using a CD version of the song playing :)

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Old July 27th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
My only experience similar to this was the DJ company had their own abbreviated version which was used for the Father/daughter dance.
Now there's a kind soul! My daughter chose "Butterfly Kisses" for our father/daughter dance (bet you've seen that more than a few times...) Lovely song, although it's like four and a half minutes! I love my daughter, but that's a long time to be the only people on the dance floor while everyone watches...
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Old July 28th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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"We've never experienced this problem since we shoot as much of the dance as we can and then edit it as a highlight using a CD version of the song playing"


Yes but when the version of the song played on the night is running faster than the retail CD version, then synching up dance moves becomes necessary and time consuming. Also, if I want 'live' sound at any point during the song (beginning, middle or end) then I need to 'find' that part and sync it up manually (and with restrictions on how long the 'live' song can be heard on the video soundtrack before it's different speed becomes apparent...).

It makes sense that some DJs choose to increase the tempo a little (though I have not encountered a different pitch to the retail CDs... yet) to beef up the song and their own performance on the night.

Next time I'll have a word and see if the DJ will play the First Dance song at normal speed, which will save quite some time in the First Dance edit.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Davis View Post
Now there's a kind soul! My daughter chose "Butterfly Kisses" for our father/daughter dance (bet you've seen that more than a few times...) Lovely song, although it's like four and a half minutes! I love my daughter, but that's a long time to be the only people on the dance floor while everyone watches...
I chose my Mother-Son song for the single reason that it was 5:30 long. My mom kept joking with me that I'll be tired of all the eyes on me by the time my wedding is done so I told her I was going to make her experience it too. She started out saying "I HATE YOU I HATE YOU" and laughing but actually turned out to be a great moment.

More on topic:

I'm a DJ as well and often speed or slow music. Sometimes I even do it just to make a song "danceable" because there certainly is a speed that is too slow.

You can always download a freeware program called "Audacity" if you want to slow or speed a song up on your own. Bring the song in, time how long the song is on your video, then make the song match in audacity, export, then import into your timeline. Problem solved.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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I could stretch or narrow songs without affecting pitch in my sound editor, but again this is time consuming not to mention the possibility of quality loss.

I'm going to have a word with the next DJ and see how they feel about not speeding up the First Dance track if it was their intention. If it's going to wreck their plans of mixing into the next track perhaps they could just start speeding it up near the end. Many DJs just let the First Dance song play out and wait for applause and announcement before starting the next track.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 08:21 PM   #10
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It's very possible that variations in playback speed are caused by the DJ's computer processor being clocked slightly differently than your camera/playback system. Also, DJ's can now control speed/pitch independently and it's very possible they did play it at a faster speed without changing pitch.

I ran up against some of these issues lately - I just had to time-correct each song as best I could in edit.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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Doesn't it seem that there is always something unexpected to deal with? After a while things would get pretty boring if our work always went like clockwork, without a hitch. I for one would really miss the feelings that come from successfully overcoming obstacles. The greater the difficulty, the greater the satisfaction from overcoming the difficulty. While I haven't experienced problems from DJ's playback, I have run into unexpected synch issues recording musical performances. The first time it was a relief finally figuring out how to overcome the sync problems. The second time was actually fun, applying what I'd learned the first time.

As it is, the few times everything goes as planned are so pleasant. They give a welcome break, something to look forward to, but not to expect.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; July 29th, 2010 at 09:29 AM. Reason: added a comment
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