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Author Topic: BOOKOFF Smile  (Read 1357 times)
FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« on: April 13, 2023, 07:53:08 PM »

In the summer of 2018 I traveled to Japan. On this trip, I discovered the wonders of the many "recycling shops" dotting the busy streets. These stores contain a number of exciting, almost random items that no longer have a loving home. A popular chain of these shops uses the "OFF" moniker, as in BOOKOFF.
 
On that fateful summer day, I slid a pink record sleeve out of a neatly packed shelf of vinyl records. Looking down at my prize, I was presented with a Native American glancing at the bicycle parked on the shore. The OBI strip simply ready: The Beach Boys Smile"
 
Now, as a long time fan... I found myself immediately taken aback. What was this mysterious record? Where did it come from? I didn't even have a turntable handy until I very careful brought this music back to the place it had been recorded. When the needle hit the disc, I discovered something utterly shocking. A seemingly complete, clean, stereo mix of the Beach Boys' unreleased opus.
 
...
 
Or not! That's just a story! But after all, in some universe that must be true.

BOOKOFF SMILE


My ultimate Smile mix! Fully stereo, cleaned up mixes, and tons of new AI vocals!!

Plenty more to read in my liner notes here: https://pastebin.com/U1ScQczE

But beyond that, take a listen and let me know what you think!
https://vimeo.com/817502458

Download Link (FLAC) : aHR0cHM6Ly9tZWdhLm56L2ZvbGRlci9hUW9tR1JTUSMtTVdnaVE0bnVuNWNnb1RLa2RJclFB
Please use Base64 Decryption on the above to access the MEGA link Smiley

I'll be updating this thread with a release of the Brian ai model, a tutorial, and the isolated stems for the new vocals this weekend!

Love and Mercy! --Mike
« Last Edit: April 14, 2023, 05:57:55 AM by FatherOfTheMan Sr101 » Logged

pixletwin
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2023, 08:45:30 PM »

Spectacular!

Any chances for an audio download link?
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FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2023, 08:54:35 PM »

Thanks so much! I'll make sure to get the flac and mp3 files out this weekend alongside the stems and other downloads!

Thanks for listening!
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2023, 05:47:11 AM »

It sounds great! It was fantastic to finally hear I'm in Great Shape with the vocal that it was more than likely meant to have in 1966. And the vocal over the Water Chant was surprisingly effective - to me, it always sounded like a circa-2004 Brian decision, but it actually ends up sounding like something that could have been recorded in the late sixties by the band. Thank you for that.

I do have a thought, but this is something you could dismiss because it's something that I am sure would take a lot more work, but I wonder if you could train AI to do other voices of the band. To me, for example, Barnyard would sound great with a Mike lead. I wouldn't want to pile on extra work for what is obviously already a massive undertaking, and one for which you have already done a great job, but it is something that I thought I'd put out there.
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FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2023, 06:13:54 AM »

First off, thank you for the kind words and feedback!!  Cheesy I wasn't sure about the Water Chant either! It was actually the last thing I added, and I am glad I did.
As for the other band members, I completely agree. I was a bit sad that I didn't have them ready for, say, Love to Say Dada where I really feel they could come to good use. That said, it's definitely possible and in the cards in the future!

I added a base64 download link to the OP with flac files of the mix! Just google base64 decode and paste that link, you'll be golden. Smiley

Enjoy everyone! Smiley
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Aomdiddlywalla
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2023, 11:49:02 AM »

Where is song for children and on a holiday?  Did I miss something?
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FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2023, 12:30:47 PM »

Hello! Those were not intended as a part of this mix, I just felt that they did not fit into my vision of the finished album.
That said, I plan to take a swing at them after a short break. Smiley

I hope you enjoyed all the rest of the mix, though!
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pixletwin
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2023, 04:23:24 PM »

I really love it. What a fresh experience. Thank you for sharing!
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FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2023, 06:47:50 PM »

Thank you so much! For someone on this forum to say listening to Smile can still be a fresh experience, that's a huge complement!  LOL
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2023, 02:44:58 AM »

Mike,

I'm halfway into the mix and had to stop to collect my thoughts - your outro on 'Surf's Up' is one of the most powerful/beautiful moments of music I've ever heard. When that deep piano step-down mixes from the left to center (and how you mixed the bass with it), that alongside the mixing of the harmonies - I'm utterly blown away.

I won't go deep into why this means so much to me, other than to say I've been fairly distant from The Beach Boys' music the last few years, but this mix (and 'Surf's Up' in particular thus far) have helped me find that missing joy again. Now back to listening....

A few notes from my listen:

- I love how seamless your AI vocals are in DYLW. Obviously I know they're AI but at one point I had to remind myself "oh yeah, this isn't real"
- I can't believe how good Brian's Barnyard/Great Shape vocals are. Never heard them that crisp/clear before. Very surprised by that!
- The stereo in 'Wonderful' is so beautiful. I think I will always love BWPS version the most, but this mix is almost up there for me.
- Again, had to remind myself I was listening to AI when listening to CIFOTM. Yes, my brain knows it's AI but it's also fun to just lose yourself in an alternate reality where Brian did complete this.
- SO glad you kept Vega Tables mix in-tact from TSS/MIC. My favorite mix of that song.
- 'Love To Say DaDa' - fantastic work!!!!

"Months and months ago when I began this project I was pretty sure the community would be morally opposed to AI vocals."

I get why some don't like this stuff - either for ethical reasons or because it doesn't sound exactly like Brian - but I am beyond grateful that there's a market for this stuff. As in: I'm so glad there is a group of people willing to set aside reality so they can hear the magic of what could have been. I think it takes a certain amount of imagination/disbelief to get this type of thing, and I think for many of those obsessed with SMiLE (an album that is surrounded by unknowns, what-ifs, spirituality, and magic) this sort of tinkering and creativity are exactly why we love the album to begin with. So thank you for taking so much time to create this.
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!

"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

Ever want to hear some Beach Boys songs mashed up together like The Beatles' 'LOVE' album? Check out my mix!
FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2023, 07:28:51 AM »

I'm so so glad you enjoyed the mix!! In particular, I'm glad you could appreciate the mixing changes here. The AI vocals are really cool, but ultimately the effort was just as large to get these songs sounding their best!

Working on this has brought back my love of the Beach Boys as well, so I can relate! I had a lot of fun reading through your comments (and everyone else's!) about their experience listening. To think that an album we've heard so SO many times can still surprise us and create new, fun listening memories...

... Brian really was a goshdarn genus, wasn't he?  LOL LOL

Thanks again for listening and for the comments. It was my pleasure to create and share this with everyone!! Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2023, 02:21:13 PM »

Since English is not my first language, I rarely post, but now I just have to speak up! In all the years since I first heard about Smile as a small child, I have heard many Smile mixes. Some I can remember very clearly, some I have long forgotten. Purple Chick was probably the first mix I heard, along with Anne Wallace. It showed me (with the Good Vibrations box) how much original 1966/67 material existed. It was followed by a series of very experimental mixes that went by the kitchensink method that I probably won't listen to again, although I liked them at the time. Then there was the "November 1966 Conception Mix" by The Old Master Painter: For a while I was firmly convinced that this would be my go-to Smile mix. It sounded (and sounds) so authentic and tasteful. I have listened to Heroes and Villians over and over again in disbelief! And it was a lot of fun (an important element of Smile)! It was followed by the Alternate Smile Sessions by sydsutcliffe, which had so many great ideas (and was so much work)! Both The Old Master Painter and sydsutcliffe had a big influence on my first mix of my own.

Then recently the first attempts with AI appeared. Of course, they are not technically perfect and the technology can be abused. But the possibilities blew me away. I immediately had to think of Smile. And then, out of nowhere, you published your Smile mix, Mike!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've rarely heard such a tasteful mix that simply sounds great, not to mention the AI voices. There were so many mixes where fly-ins just sounded horrible. They may have been technically possible, but they made no sense musically. Just listen to Mike's mix of I'm In Great Shape in comparison! I can't praise you enough for the way you put the segments together to create a nostalgic mood. Great!

The Old Master Painter with vocals! It works! Do You Like Worms: (sort of) completed! Child and Da Da sound great too. The illusion works. For the first time the 1966/67 recordings really sound like a completed album.

I have some understanding for the fact that some purists reject your use of AI voices, but you have given me an incredible amount of joy. For days now, I've been sitting here again as I did when I was a teenager (and often after, of course), listening to Smile over and over again.

Only one thing I do not like about your mix: Now I have to fundamentally revise my own mix. Wink I like your mix of The Old Master Painer/I'm in Great Shape so much, but my H&V mix contains IIGH and Barnyard... This will give me a lot to ponder over the next few days.... Great!  Smiley

Thanks again. I bet there are many more silent readers (as I often was/am) who don't post, but who celebrate your Smile mix.

Look! Listen! Vibrate!  angel
« Last Edit: April 17, 2023, 02:25:43 PM by Radfahrer » Logged

Mistreating the English language since 2001. Mea culpa.
rab2591
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2023, 05:41:57 PM »

Since English is not my first language, I rarely post

Judging by your post I'd say you have a better grasp of the English language than 95% of Americans. So please post more!

I love your line "The illusion works" - it really does. I'm listening to this again tonight and I'm struck by how complete this feels...a complete album from start to finish with no awkard "this track was clearly supposed to have a vocal track" moments.

About 10 years ago (maybe more) I got burnt out on Smile mixes - I have saved all my favorite fan mixes on hard drives, but took them all out of my music library and have mostly just listened to BWPS the past decade. This is the first fan mix of SMiLE I have put in my music library in probably 10+ years. So huge props, Mike, for all your hard work.

Also I caught a glimpse of the YouTube video you uploaded today - huge thanks to you for not only sharing all your hard work but also setting some guidelines for people regarding this AI stuff. I can't even begin to imagine how hard you've been working on all this, but it has really paid off. Each track has all these big and little elements that clearly show the love/respect you've put into this.
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Bill Tobelman's SMiLE site

God must’ve smiled the day Brian Wilson was born!

"ragegasm" - /rāj • ga-zəm/ : a logical mental response produced when your favorite band becomes remotely associated with the bro-country genre.

Ever want to hear some Beach Boys songs mashed up together like The Beatles' 'LOVE' album? Check out my mix!
FatherOfTheMan Sr101
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2023, 04:22:33 PM »

I know I'm not going to be able to fully express how much all your comments mean to me, so I'll try to keep it simple...

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences listening to this, it really makes me very happy to see others finding joy in what I've created. To hear folks say that this may be their "go-to" Smile mix, well I just don't even know what to say!  LOL I put so much work into making sure this was something special and to see it appreciated makes it worth it one hundred times over.

I also really appreciate the comments about the mix being "tasteful" or about the "mood". Over the years I have made many albums, and I have tried to hone my abilities putting an album together. It's an art in and of itself to take completed songs and find a flow that creates a coherent work. Smile has been one of the things I always returned to when asking myself how many crazy, but still coherent, ways an album can be designed!

My goal for this mix was "imagine this as an actual product put on shelves, a finished package". Not so much in that each song had to be a hit, but rather that they had to make some sense as music pressed onto a commercial record. I believe I got pretty close with that goal, so those complements are specifically meaningful to me!

Finally, to hear that the "illusion works"... Rab is right, that is a fantastic line. Nothing I've heard since release has so completely summed up my hopes, and ultimately my relief, like that. When I first recorded the ai vocals, and got them slid into the tracks the way the belonged, I had a moment like many of you where I just had to listen and let my brain fill in the gaps. My fiancé probably thought I was a crazy person, laughing like a maniac... but I think Brian would be proud to know that his work continues to bring even LONG TIME FANS so much surprise and excitement a half century later.

Thanks so much for the kind words, and thank you for listening!  Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2023, 09:43:17 PM »

Story here.

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/beach-boys-smile-ai/
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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2023, 02:26:05 AM »

This is very interesting! Fascinating what can be done. Now, I don't know nothing about the technical aspect so forgive me if this is a stupid question, but did you have to isolate the vocals from Smile '04 and then the AI would recreate a "young" version based on the "old" Brian?

I strongly suspect that "In Blue Hawaii" - if finished in this form back in the 60s - would've sung by Mike. It just sounds like it would need a Mike vocal. Would it be possible to create a "Mike" sung version with AI when there's no model of him singing it at all?
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2023, 06:20:14 AM »

While I feel this whole AI phenomenon will end up raising some MAJOR ethical questions, I'd be lying if I said it isn't surreal to hear a "finished" version of SMiLE with totally convincing 1966-style vocals. Amazing job!

I anxiously await your take on "Song for Children" and "On A Holiday" as I'd LOVE to hear what the complete BWPS would sound like done in this style.
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