There's often quite a bit of confusion, in production music, about the meaning of different types of edits, or mixes. One reason is that probably there's no fixed standard, so it's just a matter of the most common convention used by producers. Anyway, here's our take on the subject.
VOCAL EDIT: pretty self-explanatory. It's the version of a track that contains a melody in the form of a singing human voice. All right, that was simple enough ...
INSTRUMENTAL: here at White Cat Music by "instrumental" we mean a track with one or more instruments playing a leading melody, usually similar, or identical, to the melody sang by the singer in the vocal edit (if available, of course: not all tracks have necessarily a a vocal version)
NO LEAD or BED: it's the version of a track without any leading melody. So, it's just the background music, without leading instruments or vocals. It could also be called "NO MELODY", but the use of this term is much less common.
NO "INSTRUMENT": sometimes mixes are provided without a specific instrument that is present in the full version. For example, it could be a "NO STRINGS" version, or a "NO DRUMS" version, etc. Pretty self-explanatory.
LOOP: this is a version in which the track loops seamlessly between end and beginning. The lenght may vary, you can find pretty short loops and quite long ones. It is not always easy to make sure that a full track, with all the instruments, loops really seamlessly, without any obvious artifact when the end and the beginning are joint together. Good music producers will only provide "loop" edits that are actually seamless. Here at White Cat Music we take pride in doing just that.
60 SECONDS and 30 SECONDS: these are edits that include all the main sections of a track, but are edited so that they last 60 or 30 seconds. It is a very useful edit for commercials. The length has to be as precise as possible, and the final "ringing" should be not too long or too short - it has to sound as natural as possible.
BUMPER and STINGER: these are terms that come from video production, and usually refer to very short segments of video, 15 seconds or less. Some producers treat them as synonimous. Here at White Cat Music we prefer to differentiate. We call BUMPER a longer edit, usually between 10 and 15 seconds, and a STINGER a shorter one, usually between 5 and 10 seconds.
There are of course other types edits that sometimes can be found. It is not too rare to find 15 or 45 SECONDS edits, similar to the 60 seconds, just shorter. Sometimes a DRUM & BASS version is also provided by some producers, which includes only the rhythmic section of the tracks.
Anyway, every producer may use different terms, but these are the most common, and it's the terminology that we use here at White Cat Music for out catalog.
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