It\'s hard when I tell people about how I make my music. \"It\'s a sample library...\" I tell them. And not a nano-second after the word \'sample\' comes out of my mouth, they picture Puff Daddy and the Beastie Boys.
I try to explain that it\'s single note - not loop, or phrase, or needle-drop based.
Everytime I want to show someone a new piece, I hesitate because it will take longer to explain what GPO or GigaStudio does than it would to listen to the song. And I can\'t go with the whole, \'is it a live orchestra or is it memorex, if you can\'t tell, why should we\' thing... because my friends and relatives know the nearest orchestra is 65 miles away and lightyears beyond my budget...
Even after showing my friends and relatives GPO; playing it for them note-by-note, showing them that I am both writting and playing the violin line myself, they still seem to look as though they believe I am somehow letting GPO do it for me, that the music is somehow lessened...
I guess this stems from the Prince thread... I guess us virtual conductors just get no respect... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
How do you explain your music to those that have not \'sampled\' our little GPO world here?
I\'ve encountered the same reaction from \"listeners\".
When I was in gradeschool, I was having problems with long division, so I asked my dad, who is an aeronautical engineer, for help. Four hours later I completely understood the dynamics of vertical takeoff and landing and I learned how to draw in three dimensions, but I had no idea how to do long division.
What does this story have to do with anything? Maybe nothing. I tell people I use \"synthesizers\" and they understand and leave me alone about it. Save the sampling discussion for those who really want to know. They\'ll be more open-minded and excited about the technology, and they\'ll give your music the credit that it deserves.
We are moving into an era where artistic ability and technical prowess are a skill set that is required to entertain the masses and/or make money doing it.
Who cares what people think anyway? Well, I do and so does almost everybody else, but I digress. If anybody has any tips on long division, by the way, speak up.
Alan, I’m glad you started this thread. I’ve been thinking about starting it for quite a while now and when the Prince thing came up I wrote a blurb there. Just in case there are those who hate Prince and didn’t read that thread, here it is again.
Most of the time I’m not sure if I’m thinking clearly or even at all. I have no idea what Prince said, but I run into this quite often when someone to whom I play something that was created in GPO or other software based music products says, something like oh the computer did that? Then dismisses it as something less than musical. It’s usually said by someone who wouldn’t know a violin from a serpent (see another nearby thread). [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
So what do you tell these people without getting angry? I’ve said things like, Oh yeah, I just sing into this mic some melody, and it comes out the speakers as a full orchestra. The worst part is that sometimes they believe me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
If they seem at least interested in what’s going on, I sometimes use the word processor analogy (most people know what that is). “You see it’s kind of like a word processor, many great books have been written on one but if someone with few writing skills, uses it the result will probably be mediocre. There are other tactics that I’ve tried with little success, like, asking them how they like the music on some TV show or movie, and astonishing them that in all probability, what they were hearing were sampled sounds.
“Well, you know the Philadelphia Orchestra wanted to play my piece, next season, but I just don’t have time for them what with my busy schedule making this phonycomputer music.” [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Then, the one I like the most is when they ask me, “Is that you playing the guitar, oris it a fake too?” I know people in general are clueless when it comes to most things musical, and I really don’t say much of what I wrote above, but how do you guys handle this kind of awkward situation? Or maybe there really isn’t much validity in what we’re doing. See I told you I wasn’t thinking clearly
P.S. Oh yeah, the guitar in my avitar is a fake. It\'s just a pillow. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Two years ago I used midi for all the music for a musical. After each performance people would stroll up to me and say \"you have it easy, all you have to do is press a few buttons on the CD player\". I came to the conclusion that no mater what I did and how long it took me to do it, it didn\'t matter to the general public as long as it was there.
This year is no different. I have a choreographer that always has something brainless to say about the songs \"that\'s not what I have on my CD\"! No clue as to what it takes for one person to orchestrate 15 pages of one song with timed dialogue breaks, repeats, vamps or what have you. I don\'t bother anymore to explain. I just do what is needed for the show, smile and it\'s over before you know it.
\"Put a coin in the jukebox and play a song\".
Guys, there\'s this really neat thing we have for times like these. It\'s located on the back of our palm. In fact, it IS the back of our palm. Just slap them. I hate ignorance.
Notwithstanding, people do tend to dismiss sample library composition as something \'anybody with a computer can do.\' The fact is, it is just as hard (if not HARDER) to make a sample library sound good, than it is to make an orchestra sound good. You can\'t take playing for granted, you have to tell every \'musician\' in your sampled library when to fade in, fade out, when to vibrato, which articulation to play, for precisely how long, where to sit. We have to physically draw their amplitude envelopes, control their attacks, legato. We come up with fancy CAL scripts to help us add \'humanism\' to our note-ons so it doesn\'t sound like a robot. Add to this the fact that we have MANY limitations as well and you\'ll begin to see who has it easier. We digi-composers lack the benefits of humanism that most INGRATES take for granted.
But try to explain it to them. The word processor analogy is a good one, I might use it.
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The fact is, it is just as hard (if not HARDER) to make a sample library sound good, than it is to make an orchestra sound good. You can\'t take playing for granted, you have to tell every \'musician\' in your sampled library when to fade in, fade out, when to vibrato, which articulation to play, for precisely how long, where to sit. We have to physically draw their amplitude envelopes, control their attacks, legato. We come up with fancy CAL scripts to help us add \'humanism\' to our note-ons so it doesn\'t sound like a robot. Add to this the fact that we have MANY limitations as well and you\'ll begin to see who has it easier. We digi-composers lack the benefits of humanism that most INGRATES take for granted.
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While I won\'t deny that the process of getting GPO (or any sampled sounds) to sound good is time-consuming, it can\'t even come close to the complexity of managing a \"real\" orchestra. For starters, as a GPO user, you are working alone and have total control over every parameter. Your \"orchestra\" is at your beck and call 24/7 and will do whatever you say without objection. Once you\'ve gotten every \"musician\" adjusted, \"he\" will play the same way whether you play it once or a dozen times. Create an original composition in MIDI and run it through GPO and it will play the same way every time until you start tweaking the parameters you mentioned.
Compare this to the problems involved in getting a real orchestra to learn and play this same composition the way you envision:
1. Getting the musicians to understand the overall purpose and scope of the piece.
2. Spending hours of time with each individual players and sections explaining timbre, tempo, and expression for every movement, every phrase, or every note.
3. Managing musicians\' egos (which are immense) and dealing with fatigue, boredom, miscomprehension, low motivation and the contempt they will naturally have for your compositional abilities.
4. Facing the limitations of rehearsal time and union breaks.
5. Dealing with human frailties that result in subpar performances.
6. Paying them!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Then, if by a miracle you do get the composition played the way you want, you now face the complexities of RECORDING the orchestra!
Hey Alan. Dont try to pull the wool over my eyes with this whole thing about it taking real talent to make music on one-a-dem-dare-comp-yuters. I seen how them there folks do with thier evil, devil-worshippin computer mumbo jumbo. Just click the mouse here, press that button there, and WALA....Devil music. No talent, just sellin thier souls for a bit of musical hoot-n-nanny. It takes real elbow grease to make anything good in this world and if we had finished off the rest of them there witches back in Salem, we wouldnt even have this problem! Ok but seriously, did that make any sense at all?
I have the same thing pop up day after day lately and what are ya gonna do? It is a small sect of society that understands what we do but a huge portion of society can enjoy the end result without question. Meanwhile, the rest of us are here to provide an ear that understands the tech-talk and actually enjoys it. I\'m 35 now and my mom still takes absolutly no interest in the fact that I am a musician let alone that I am coming up with my own songs etc etc.
Maybe instead of smacking people (the idea of which I think shouldnt be completely thrown by the wayside) you can just inflate your ego for a sec, stand tall, dim the lights, under-light yourself, have angel music played in the background, put on your Darth Vader voice through a canyon reverb and say \"I create all life including the small gnats that expel people like yourself in thier flatulence and to begin to explain the proccess would simply make your small pathetic fecies filled cranium explode\" and then leave the room quickly before anyone figures you out. THAT...might make them think. Whoa, major ramble mode.
How about just getting them to show up on time or at all? I’ll take dealing with Gary’s little virtual guys any time before trying to handle a bunch of egocentric musicians. That is until the time of performance. I remember the time I conducted my first piece oh so many years ago. They actually slowed down when I waved my baton slower, they got softer when I asked them to, and louder also. Oh the power, the power, that wonderful adrenalin rush. There is nothing like it. Wish only I had a chance to do it more often. It’s funny though how many of the same skills that make a good conductor make a good GPO conductor. Except making faces, leaning into the orchestra, using your shoulders to help interpret or throwing your baton at them doesn’t cut it with those GPO guys. They just don’t care. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]