I mix lots of genres of music for contras. The only track I’ve ever called 
without mixing was the first release of Mika’s “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” 
on Cartoon Motion. It goes 7x through so it was a real short dance but a nice 
filler with a no-walkthrough dance. 

Everything else needs work. I only pick tracks that have clear 8-beat phrasing 
most of the time. If I can I move the parts with indistinguishable phrases 
towards the end of the mix once the dancers know the dance well. Alternatively 
I add a beat track to enhance the beats and phrasing. I rarely mix by simple 
copy and paste, which allows me to do creative stuff to ensure phrases are spot 
on. (“This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas was true to its 
name, a nightmare with a few slipped phrases of 9 or 7 beats, but I *made* it 
to work.)

So it’s being selective, doing often heavy editing, and many other bits n bobs 
that are in my secret sauce. I rarely try for AABB squaring since that can 
wreck the original music too much. One still must count (I cheat: I perform 
from my mixing app which has the phrase markings for me.)


> On Mar 29, 2019, at 11:58, jim saxe via Callers 
> <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> On Mar 28, 2019, at 2:39 PM, Bob via Callers 
>> <callers@lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:
>> ...
>> Live or mixed recordings? If live then it should be perfectly square AABB. 
>> If mixed, the only thing you can count on is 8-beat phrases. ...
> Can you even count on 8-beat phrases if someone, such as a caller or a 
> knowledgeable DJ, hasn't vetted the tracks?
> I know practically nothing about techno music, but recordings in other genres 
> that aren't made for phrased dancing will not necessarily follow strict 
> 8-beat phrasing.  For instance ...
> It's pretty common for a folk singers accompanying themselves to play a few 
> bars of guitar strums--and not always the same number--while trying to 
> remember the first line of the next verse.  While I haven't gone looking for 
> examples, I'd be surprised if such variable inter-verse vamping didn't 
> sometimes appear even on studio recordings.
> In some fiddle traditions, such as southern and Quebecois, besides straight 
> tunes and wildly crooked tunes, there are also tunes that are mostly straight 
> but have an occasional odd phrase.  Even medleys of straight tunes can 
> sometimes have some extra beats at the transitions between tunes, as heard 
> around 0:59 in this video:
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLUyg173n_M
>     Yo-Yo Ma - Fiddle Medley ft. Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile
> Line dances are mostly choreographed to music that's in multiples of 8 beats, 
> but exceptions are hardly unusual.  Also, in order to fit recordings that 
> were made for listening and not specifically for dance routines, line-dance 
> step sheets may prescribe various irregularities in the routines.  Here are 
> just a few of the examples a little searching turned up:
> https://www.learn2dance4fun.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Boot-Scootin-Boogie.pdf
>     Boot Scootin’ Boogie
>     38 count, 4 wall, beginner line dance
> https://www.copperknob.co.uk/stepsheets/every-little-honky-tonk-ID132260.aspx
>     Every Little Honky Tonk
>     32-count, 4 wall line dance with 12-count tag after wall 2
>     http://tinalinedancers.com/data/documents/Came-Here-To-Forget.pdf
>     Came Here To Forget
>     Description: Line Dance - 2 Wall (24ct.) - Intermediate 1 Restart, 2 Tags
>     Sequence: 24, 24, Tag 1, 14cts- Restart, 24, 24, Tag 2 (6cts.), 24, 24...
> For some other examples of music that's largely, *but not entirely*, in 
> chunks of 8 beats (or eight bars of triple meter), try listening to any of 
> these while tapping your foot or fingers and counting along:
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg0kfd7kow4
>     Paul McCartney - When I'm 64
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33o32C0ogVM
>     Julie Andrews - My Favorite Things
>     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbyAZQ45uww
>     Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made for Walkin'
> So here's my question, for those of you who are more familiar with techno 
> music than I am:  If you play a random track not already "vetted" for 
> phrasing, if you find a place where there's sufficiently discernible phrasing 
> to establish a starting point for your "mental metronome of 8 counts" (to 
> quote Donna Hunt), if you use that mental metronome to carry you through a 
> part where phrasing is less evident, and if you then get to another part with 
> findable phrasing, how reliably (or not) can you expect that the phrases will 
> still line up with your mental eight-counts?
> --Jim
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