A long while ago, when cassettes still ruled our world, Dalton made me a copy of a project he did that he called Shreds. The idea came he said from some of the Frank Zappa albums where they collected his solos and made a whole album of it.

Dalton took his favorite bits of songs and strung them together in a 24 minute concatenation of sound. He did this with 2 tape decks mind you, a seriously time intensive job that he claimed offhandedly only took him a couple days.

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Side A was an album by Bongwater. Double thanks.

He brought it over and played it for me, watching my face with delight as each snippet came to me and I tried to guess it. That was our game. Some I got, some I had no idea on. It was cool. He did a good job considering the equipment at his disposal back then.

Wanna take a listen?

Fast forward to a couple years ago, when I started working with Audacity to digitize some cassettes. I worked on any tapes that I wanted to preserve and I came across the tape that had Shreds on it. I digitized it and then listened to it again. It occurred to me that it would be pretty easy to do the same thing, but with Audacity and digital files, more accurately, and more importantly faster and with less hassle. So I gave it a shot.

I spent about 3 hours putting together an 18 minute mix. I suddenly had a LOT of respect for what Dalton did with 2 tape decks. Mine was a bit more smooth on the transitions, but the software helped with that. I expanded the snippets and sliced off the end in minute pieces until the perfect snippet was completed. I tried to throw in some more recognizable stuff along with some more obscure pieces, this was after all our game. Guess the snippets. We did it with mystery songs in the car and when playing song mixes for each other. This was just an extension of that, miniaturized. I think it turned out good.

I took it a step further and created a spreadsheet for guessing the tracks, with a marker snippet to give you an idea where you were

Shreds Worksheet

and an answer sheet for when you gave up on some and had to find out what they were.

Shreds Answers

I sat at my dining room table and played it for Dalton one afternoon. I watched his face for the hint of recognition in his eyes when each snippet played. He got almost every one.

Of course he was a music junkie like me.

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