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Topic: Can we do this yet?

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  1. #1

    Can we do this yet?

    If you have the right samplers, if you are a talented composer,arranger and engineer. Are we at the point yet that we can produce pieces that cannot be distinguished from live accoustical instruments and actual live orchestras?

  2. #2

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Hopefully not

  3. #3

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Hey Simon, why do you say that?

  4. #4

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Originally posted by Joanne Babunovic:
    If you have the right samplers, if you are a talented composer,arranger and engineer. Are we at the point yet that we can produce pieces that cannot be distinguished from live accoustical instruments and actual live orchestras?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">No.

  5. #5

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    I beg to differ with the previous opinions. I think it all depends on the context and the style (or arrangement).

    In some instances, it can be extremely difficult to distinguish between the real thing and samples. Take some of the TV shows that are out, when you add sound fx, dialogue, and the music mixed fairly low it becomes extremely difficult for pros to distinguish the real thing or not, and the average viewer is much more easily fooled.

    Slow movements with long sustains are very easily emulated, fast passages with lots of runs, stabs and powerful brass and horns are still hard to achieve.

  6. #6

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Hi Midphase,

    Yes, that makes sense. I never thought about it that way. I think the other responses are assuming a focused, dedicated listening to stand-alone works.

  7. #7

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    I frequently play GS files posted by TJ, Simon, Maarten and others to musicians and folks at large, just to illustrate what can be done with GS.

    Sometimes I\'ll tell them up front it\'s all GS, sometimes I\'ll tell them that some pieces are live and others synthesized, sometimes just not say anything. This is usually done on my auto CD player, which has only low-mid level sound quality. I tell those who are somewhat technically inclined that these are MP3, converted to WAV to burn the CD, so the audio quality is a bit degraded.

    Those who are told up front it\'s Giga are shocked by the accuracy. Those who are not told anything, with VERY few exceptions don\'t even question. One local flautist almost instantly identifies the source as electronic (but he knows I play synth, and we\'ve had this \'contest\' for years.)

    But the ones who are told that these are some live and some GS tracks have the most interesting reactions. The results from this decidedly non-scientific \'survey\' are pretty revealing. I usually tell them these are tracks from film score students all over the world.

    Many of the rock/jazz/pop folks who hear the John-Williams-like scores are enamoured but unable to determine real from GS. The orchestral musicians may spot something in their own instrument (an oboist acquaintance of mine asked if the oboe were \'fake\' and the rest real...)

    If you work with GS, you know the sound of a particular library, you know its limits and artifacts, and can spot GS tracks right away, but it appears that if you are not forewarned, it is readily possible to be convinced the tracks are from a live orchestra (and why not? What reason would you have to think otherwise if the piece is well produced-especially in a film/TV/background context?)

    I play night clubs/hotels. etc. a lot. I get compliments every night on how good our \'orchestra\' sounds, and its currently just a Roland SC88 GM module! What will a really good sample library in GS do? The general public aren\'t musicians, all they know is if it grooves, and sounds \'good\' (to them.)

    You can\'t fool all the people all the time, but Britney Spears proves you don\'t HAVE to! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Dasher

  8. #8

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Originally posted by Joanne Babunovic:
    If you have the right samplers, if you are a talented composer,arranger and engineer. Are we at the point yet that we can produce pieces that cannot be distinguished from live accoustical instruments and actual live orchestras?
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I have to agree with Simon... Of course, the sound we can get out of samplers is incredible, but it doesn´t, and propably never will fool other composers and/or people who are familiar with the same technology.
    But it can fool general audience pretty well [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Dasher\'s unofficial surveys findings seem to support what everyone is saying - type of music, setup to the listening experience, and audience all matter.

    -Depends if your listening audience are professional musicians that know his/her particular instrument.
    -Depends if listeners are pre-dispositioned to the possibility a piece is supported by samplers.
    -Depends if listening medium is already inherently degraded. I.e. your warning that quality may be degraded, which lessens expectations and clouds the picture somewhat.
    -Depends on why those are listening and the setup. I.e. if you say, listen to the compositions of these students, listeners are focusing more on composition than recording and instrument quality.
    -Depends on type of music.

    So maybe the test dummy and listening conditions should be narrowed:

    -Non midi sampler savy everyday listener who does not play an instrument (at least professionally).
    -Listening medium is a cd, same cd player , same headphones, dedicated focused listening with no video or other vocal/talk over distractions.
    -Type of music is orchestral – film music sort of stuff.
    -No mention is made of “is this live, or is this electronic”, simply, “how do you like this music”

    I guess this thread becomes a moot subject if I’m understanding Dasher\'s Britney Spears comment –
    What’s the point exploring such relatively insignificant issues of real verses midi (at least outside our community of midi composer, musicians etc.) when the pubic at large seems to be satisfied with the broad-brushed mediocre.

  10. #10

    Re: Can we do this yet?

    Joanne, those who work with midi orchestration will be able to smell anything that\'s sequenced in a miles distance.

    The typical example of the mockup flagship is the Gladiator Waltz from \"More music from Gladiator\" by Hans Zimmer and his Mediaventures crew.
    Many people consider this the best orchestral mockup to date.
    If you play this to the typical uneducated listening audience and they\'re not fooled by it, I guess you could say we have reached the point where things are getting so hard to distinguish that there\'s no longer need for orchestral recordings if the final medium is a production for the typical ignorant listener.

    Personally I don\'t think we\'ll ever reach the point where you have 100% freedom with your compositional ideas and can make your mockup sound like the real thing. There are many factors that come into play here and many of them will never be possible to emulate.

    Besides, in addition to being a proficient orchestrator, arranger, composer, engineer and keyboardist, you also have to be 100 musicians. You have to know how all the instruments in the orchestra would play a typical passage, and you have to record each part with the expression of a professional musician. I think this is more than one could expect to master in a life-time.

    Thomas

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