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Old 08-31-2016, 11:01 AM
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Default Fade vs abrupt endings?

I know that this is kind of a project by project thing, but in general do you guys fade to black or end a song on an abrupt ending? Lots of bluegrass folks tend to have an abrupt ending.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:18 PM
RodB RodB is offline
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My own view (for a solo acoustic guitar) is that I never fade out. I like a natural ending - whether it is to let the last note of a coda sustain till it's virtually gone, or end it with a clean 'damped' chord - as sort of flourish, depending on the piece. In other words, my intent is to end it in the same way as a live performance could end.
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Old 08-31-2016, 12:21 PM
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As a recording engineer/producer I do whatever works. Back in the analog manual mixing days when I started they used to say, "You can tell an engineer's skill level by the quality of his fades." Automation ended that. These days I only do maybe one in twenty or thirty songs as a fade out but it's been more songs than that this time. But I think the last time I executed an ensemble fade out on a song was on a soundtrack piece I did over a year ago.

Looking back over my writing history, I can say that, for some reason or another that I can't put a finger on, I've never once written a song with a fade out. Funny. Maybe I ought to do it just for the experience.

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Old 08-31-2016, 12:31 PM
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Occasionally - depends on tune.

I have used it in a couple of my recordings:

"In The Mists Of Time" I wanted the mood I set up to fade out rather than come to an abrupt stop.
http://dcoombsguitar.com/Guitar%20Music/MistsOfTime.mp3

"Hannah And Her Chickens" represented (in my mind) a lovely lass (with dreams in her heart) feeding the family chickens. It fades away with the chickens continuing to do their chicken thing.
http://dcoombsguitar.com/Guitar%20Music/Hannah.mp3

Most of the time at the concluding part of the song I slow the timing a bit and end on a chord that either lasts a few beats or ends abruptly.
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Old 08-31-2016, 04:06 PM
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I really only record stuff that could just as easily be performed live, so fades are just a matter of massaging the natural process a bit to streamline the end of the track. If I'm recording an ensemble they know that I want them to do 75% of the ending on their own. This might mean the guitar player partially palm mutes or an upright bass lets the end note sustain to it's maximum. It's easy enough the select a fade point that seems natural and do an exponential fade to the end of the track. The bottom line for me is to make it sound natural.

Actual long "fades" always seemed so contrived to me that it sometimes ruined an otherwise perfectly good song, and isn't much different than tracks that fade in. All that stuff comes in and goes out of style, but I prefer "Au Natural".

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Old 08-31-2016, 04:53 PM
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Depends entirely on the song , But I actually use a fade or abrupt ending only very sparingly either live or recorded
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Old 08-31-2016, 11:23 PM
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IMHO fade outs should be used extremely sparingly. If you use one, there better be a well thought out reason why that is the only appropriate ending that fits into the song musically, as well as fits the meaning of the song. When in doubt end it clean

-Mike
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:00 AM
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Don't like fade-outs - a hangover from the limitations of the single 78 or 45 and/or the needle time restrictions on radio programmes.

To me it is like saying , "we couldn't be bothered with an arrangement that features a good intro and outro".

Ever tried doing one live ? Verrry difficult, and unsatisfactory.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Don't like fade-outs - a hangover from the limitations of the single 78 or 45 and/or the needle time restrictions on radio programmes.

To me it is like saying , "we couldn't be bothered with an arrangement that features a good intro and outro".

Ever tried doing one live ? Verrry difficult, and unsatisfactory.
Yep every time I play live I do one , not that hard and quite satisfactory.
Different strokes
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:38 PM
craigj craigj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Don't like fade-outs - a hangover from the limitations of the single 78 or 45 and/or the needle time restrictions on radio programmes.

To me it is like saying , "we couldn't be bothered with an arrangement that features a good intro and outro".

Ever tried doing one live ? Verrry difficult, and unsatisfactory.
Yep, fades are so the DJ can start talking as the song is ending.
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:04 PM
Cameron_Talley Cameron_Talley is offline
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I don't like fades. I don't like abrupt endings, either. I prefer songs that end conclusively, at the right moment. Sometimes that is very quickly. Sometimes that's holding a note until the note dies. Whatever suits the piece. But songs should have an ending.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:57 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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It all depends on the song! Some lend themselves to a defined ending, others don't.
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:31 AM
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Again, it depends. I might end an acoustic song with a chord that decays on its own (natural fade), or in a band situation we end on the same note that decays (another natural fade).

When playing live solo, I usually let the last chord ring and end (decay naturally), or I'll play the last chord and dampen it with my hand after a suitable time. Never abrupt, like strum the chord and dampen immediately.

Maybe I'll end with a finger roll or pick strum of each note in the chord, and let those ring and decay on their own.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
It all depends on the song! Some lend themselves to a defined ending, others don't.
This is the reality based objective answer. On this subject there is no such objective thing as never. Sometimes an abrupt ending is totally right for the song, sometimes a slow fade to silence is just the right feeling , sometimes a chord to decay, sometimes a note riff. It is totally dependent on what you think fits the particular song..
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Last edited by KevWind; 10-02-2016 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 10-03-2016, 02:01 PM
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I like an ending, but it doesn't have to be an abrupt ending. Just a closing statement as jaybone suggests. A fade is like a rolling stop at a signal. I keep waiting for the little jerk of the brakes to let me know that we have indeed stopped. Dance bands can keep the same song going on forever, long as people are dancing. On the radio, this gets pretty boring, and its often a relief for the announcer to start talking over the songs that's gone on too long.
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