After working for far too long on my last little editing project – Fixing the Apple – I thought it might be a fun idea to try another version of the same routine, but this time using Solomon Douglas‘ wonderful modern version of the Big Apple track. Since this is the track which is nearly always used these days for dancing Frankie’s Big Apple – with good reason, as it’s an excellent version – I thought it might be a fun project. As well as being a very useful thing to have as a teaching tool – to have the modern music accompanying the original routine would just make it that little bit easier to learn from.
Of course – the one small obstacle that was designed to make this just a touch harder was the fact that Solomon’s version is played at a fairly constant tempo – around the 215 BPM (beats per minute) mark. Whereas the original starts off around 205, and gradually speeds up throughout the routine – at the end, it’s going at about 230 BPM.
Enter the Reaper. These days, I do most of my editing on Reaper64, which is a stunning piece of software – and ideally suited to stretching songs in this way. The task became fiddly, but not all that difficult – but the biggest hurdle was, again, YouTube, where I’d upload a version which seemed perfect, play it on an iPad, and by the time it had played to half-way through, everyone was clapping on 1 and 3 again. These things are sent to try us.
Anyway – after a lot of tweaking, internet research, cursing, and various bits of experimentation (Joo-Lee now jokes that she’s recently become a Big Apple widow. At least – I think she’s joking…)
I’ve chosen to leave the original soundtrack much quieter, but still audible – the shouts and hand clapping that one can still hear helps anchor the sound to the action, so to me it sounds better when they’re still there. I have quietened down a couple of the louder solos to a much greater degree – you can hear them in the background still, but they’re very faint.
The end result isn’t quite perfect – there’s moments (for example) where I can hear the track seem to accelerate, which I never get from the original – some of the speed ramps aren’t quite smooth enough, in other words. I think it’ll do though.
So for your enjoyment, here’s the repainted Big Apple.