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Old 07-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #31 (permalink)
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So going by your argument if I spend 5 minutes learning how to play a couple of chords that makes me more musically adept then Brian Eno.





























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Old 07-17-2008, 02:00 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Yeah, but at least they played their instruments, and spurred on literally millons of others to do the same.

While I agree the computer can be an amazing tool, it's still soulless, emotionless and bland when used as an "Instrument", and probably always will be.

Ask any aspiring musician who their influences are, and I'll guarantee 98 - 99 % of them will be REAL musicians,who play REAL instruments, not "programmers" or "assemblers" .
And what about music composed without the aid of any instrument at all OR a computer? Joe Satriani did that with midnight and had to learn to adapt to a completely new style of playing in order to record it.

Or music composed for instruments other than the composers? Yoko Kanno for example composes piece for everything from synths to orchestras, yet she plays the piano.

I'm not saying that playing an instrument isn't a worthwhile pursuit or skill, I'm saying that you are COMPLETELY missing the point of computer synthesis. The aim is NOT to reproduce sounds exactly, the aim is to make any sound possible given due care and attention. Although it can certainly be harnessed for such purpose, and programs such as Symphonic orchestra gold are, in listening tests, almost indistinguishable from the actual thing, a great advantage for those of us who want to add an extra facet to a song without having to hire a concert hall, mics, mixers, players, and then write the music on top of all that!

You treat sequenced music as if it all sounds like midi beeps and nes chips. It seems to me that rather than giving it a chance, you've let a presupposition completely dictate your attitude to something. Or, worse, you've let your original opinion on sequenced or synthesized sounds remain constant while the world has moved on and improved those technologies and invested more time and effort into them for any number of purposes.

In short, I think you're just being foolish and trying to treat music as if it should bend to your whims. Music has always evolved through technology, be it the movement from harpsichord to piano, nylon strings to steel, etc. None of that makes what came before any less valid but to dismiss a technology completely that is, with due time and effort, capable of reproducing ANY SOUND AUDIBLE TO THE HUMAN EAR, is lunacy in my opinion.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:38 AM   #33 (permalink)
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And what about music composed without the aid of any instrument at all OR a computer? Joe Satriani did that with midnight and had to learn to adapt to a completely new style of playing in order to record it.

Or music composed for instruments other than the composers? Yoko Kanno for example composes piece for everything from synths to orchestras, yet she plays the piano...That's just showing off! Both of them are supremely talented musicians, both technically, (on their instruments), and in composing, NO ONE could deny that.

I'm not saying that playing an instrument isn't a worthwhile pursuit or skill, I'm saying that you are COMPLETELY missing the point of computer synthesis. The aim is NOT to reproduce sounds exactly, the aim is to make any sound possible given due care and attention. Although it can certainly be harnessed for such purpose, and programs such as Symphonic orchestra gold are, in listening tests, almost indistinguishable from the actual thing, a great advantage for those of us who want to add an extra facet to a song without having to hire a concert hall, mics, mixers, players, and then write the music on top of all that!
Having heard that programme in a studio, I think the word "Almost" is the one to consider, though I thoroughly agree your second point.

You treat sequenced music as if it all sounds like midi beeps and nes chips. It seems to me that rather than giving it a chance, you've let a presupposition completely dictate your attitude to something. Or, worse, you've let your original opinion on sequenced or synthesized sounds remain constant while the world has moved on and improved those technologies and invested more time and effort into them for any number of purposes.
I've played a number of sessions with the most up-to-date synths and sequencing, and still remain unconvinced.
As a classically- trained violinist and keyboard player, and a bass player and guitarist by preference, playing many different styles and genres of music, I'd hardly call myself blinkered to any kind of music - sure, like everyone, I have my likes and dislikes, but I think I can appreciate anything for what it is.


In short, I think you're just being foolish and trying to treat music as if it should bend to your whims.
Surely that's what every musician and composer does
Music has always evolved through technology, be it the movement from harpsichord to piano, nylon strings to steel, etc. None of that makes what came before any less valid but to dismiss a technology completely that is, with due time and effort, capable of reproducing ANY SOUND AUDIBLE TO THE HUMAN EAR,....(.."trying to treat music as if it should bend to your whims" ????)... is lunacy in my opinion.
Yes, it can produce any sound, as you say, but where's the feel and the emotion - that's the whole point.

.....
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:52 AM   #34 (permalink)
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So going by your argument if I spend 5 minutes learning how to play a couple of chords that makes me more musically adept then Brian Eno.

You could dream, but that's all it would be - a dream!





























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Old 07-18-2008, 09:24 AM   #35 (permalink)
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How can you measure 'feel' or emotion? Music is what conveys emotions, not the instruments used to make it.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:13 PM   #36 (permalink)
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.....
I will say I think you've missed the point I was trying to put across, and also, in my opinion composers make music for the purpose of either their own or their audiences pleasure. To try and tell other works what to be and apply that opinion to the world at large, rather than your own enjoyment of said works, in my opinion is far beyond the remit of 'composer' or 'music lover' and more into the merit-netherworld of the 'critic'.


And also, I believe your first reply illustrates the validity of synths and sequencing far better than you intended. Yoko Kanno cannot play any traditional orchestral instrument, nor a saxophone, nor double bass nor guitar nor many other instruments.

Yet despite that she has used the resources available to produce a sound she and more importantly a wide and varied audience finds pleasing, emotive, and satisfying. Whether she wrote for a live orchestra, a la the Escaflowne soundtrack, an acoustic guitar and vocals, a la tracks like Fado or Kingfisher Girl, or whether she sequenced and synth'd, a la GitS, has no bearing on her worth as a composer and never will! The talent and creative vision to sit down and write that music is what we as music lovers admire and the means of producing that sound should never encroach upon our enjoyment of it. (Barring of course mass human sacrifice or other such atrocity, obviously.)

To expand upon that point somewhat, think of this: A physical instrument has limitations and nuances all its own. Progress is always made, like the discovery of artifical harmonics with distortion, or two handed tapping by EVH. The problem with applying this train of thought to a synthesizer is that its not 'there' in front of you. Its incredibly difficult to apply the progressive thought patterns that produced those innovations, to something you can only interact with through controls or codes. But the fact is that same scope of development is there to be utilized as a creative force by anyone with the patience or plain ingenuity to apply a new model of thought to it.

An example that comes to mind of a creative form, is one of a certain OCRemix track I forget the name of. The track in question is fully synth'd, but with a creative approach in much the same vein as the 'unconventional approaches' that brought us feedback from hendrix and clapton, or flange from EVH. The remixer had a synth program that allowed importing of any file as a synth sound simply by renaming the file extension. After hours of trying various files the remixer discovered that a majority of the time the output was useless noise, but that with particular files you could obtain a usable pitch. He then took an established piece of music, rearranged it, and spent a not inconsiderable amount of time choosing which 'synths' should take which parts in the music and tweaking them extensively to obtain the resulting track, a somewhat chaotic maelstrom of distrotion and whirling sounds that obtains a musical effect IMPOSSIBLE to obtain without the harnessing of that technology.

While I am first to admit that without due care, understanding and attention, a digital facsimile of any instrument, real or fake; will sound terrible, the fact remains that it is well within the realms of possibility for digital technology to render any sound or combination of sounds possible. Indeed, for the vast majority of purposes, it is or can already be done well enough that a listener in a casual context will not know the difference unless it is demonstrated.

Of course, technology marches on and the lust for perfection continues, so, given the skyrocketing advance of the technology since the samplers of the 80s, or computer generated beeps of the manchester baby in the 60's, its logical to say that we may never attain true perfection, but we'll certainly get close enough to it that only those with the most golden of ears (Or a projecting aural ailment similar in nature to munchausens syndrome) will be able to claim they can tell the difference.

You can always claim that the ideas of 'doing anything' are far too free and airy to be applied in any form of musical context, even if it IS possible (It is, technically)but then again, without things like serialism the world would have never embraced chromaticism, so the unpleasant beginnings can ALWAYS and normally DO lead to fantastic things and increase the variance in music, rather than leaving us stranded in some nostalgic netherworld of ridiculous preconceptions and fear of change.




I'll end this now, as, to quote Captain Jean Luc Picard: This is becoming a speech.


Edit: Actually, one last thing:

You said: Yes, it can produce any sound, as you say, but where's the feel and the emotion - that's the whole point.

The feel and emotion can always be put in place with due effort, technology, or just plain time. the human element of music is irreplaceable but NOT inimitable. However the human feeling is in reality just a different way of saying 'minor imperfections'. Things like accidental dynamics or playing ahead of the beat to set a certain groove. These aren't things laid down in the music score itself, but things introduced by the player themselves to give what is at least intended to be positive effect. However consider the nightmare recording session, where your technically fantastic full of human feeling drummer thinks the piece should have more viv and flair at a certain sections, whereas your fantastic human feeling flute player thinks it needs more tact and finesse.

Those are at odds with each other. Its detrimental, what if the piece was composed to be a dreary yet driving slog through misery? Then the players are BOTH giving a wrong input. With synth technology and a good enough understanding of how all hat works, you can take that possibility out of the equation. You can suddenly program a drummer and a flute player who are far more in sync with the actual intentions of the composer than any real musician could EVER be. We're a long way off from something that complex at the moment (unless someone wants to spend about a year solid tweaking midi parameters and foregoing all sunlight) but it is possible, and things like that are just an extension of current possibilities in the more sane realms of simple timbre and other suchlike.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:39 PM   #37 (permalink)
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God, that was long winded!
You've made a lot of valid points there which you'll be surprised I totally agree with!

The two handed tapping thing was done 10 years before EVH by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, who openly admits it came from old bluesmen, some of which may have heard Pagannini - Nothing's truly new in music, only adapted and progressed.
Same thing with synths and programming, I guess - a follow on and progression of some things that went before.

Must admit I love playing Devil's Advocate and "stirring the pot", but that only works when someone else is truly passionate about a subject, which you, my friend, obviously are.
Just a shame more folks didn't join in to take the whole subject to a new dimension.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:54 PM   #38 (permalink)
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God, that was long winded!
You've made a lot of valid points there which you'll be surprised I totally agree with!

The two handed tapping thing was done 10 years before EVH by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, who openly admits it came from old bluesmen, some of which may have heard Pagannini - Nothing's truly new in music, only adapted and progressed.
Same thing with synths and programming, I guess - a follow on and progression of some things that went before.

Must admit I love playing Devil's Advocate and "stirring the pot", but that only works when someone else is truly passionate about a subject, which you, my friend, obviously are.
Just a shame more folks didn't join in to take the whole subject to a new dimension.
Well I was mostly using EVH as an example that was easy to identify with to be perfectly honest. I knew he wasnt the 'original' as it were, didnt know who it really was though. The thought did cross my mind as I was writing it, but explaining would have made an already long winded post even longer

The more surprising thing is that every foray I've ever made into the black magic of synth and sequencing has been an utter failure because the programs are so much more complex than I can be bothered learning
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:20 PM   #39 (permalink)
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just a little guitar nerd tidbit.

EVH has stated in interviews that he got the two hand tapping idea from seeing jimmy page in concert - he obviously took it to his own ends though. there's also footage of hendrix fooling around in the studio during the recording of electric ladyland where you can clearly see him doing some slow two hand tapping. mostly just hitting the note 12 frets higher on the neck to get a nicer tone.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:05 AM   #40 (permalink)
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So going by your argument if I spend 5 minutes learning how to play a couple of chords that makes me more musically adept then Brian Eno.


Brian Eno did consider himself a non-musician, but I think composition is as much a musical talent as knowing how to play an instrument. Besides, the boundary between Eno's electronic non-music and "real" music has nowadays been completely blurred and confused, even inverted.
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