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Topic: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

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  1. #1

    How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    I've got this friend who is a music lover, and several years ago, he discovered Acid loops and sampled loops CD libraries, and since then, he's been making music. However, he has never progressed beyond using only loops, and I've tried to explain to him that using loops only isn't really "making music" in the strict sense of the meaning we universally think of composers and musicians. I tried to explain to him that outside of loops is the "real" world of music-making--of composers and instrumentalists and performers, or even electronica knob tweakers. But he seems too comfortable with loops that are professionally produced to be in key, on time, easily matched..etc. Everytime he tells me he just made a new song, I'd have to fight the urge to preach to him once again what I've already said before.

    I used to try to explain to one of my bandmates that learning even very basic music theory can open up so many more possibilities in his sonic vocabulary (he only knew that there are white keys and black keys, and knew absolutely nothing about scales, chords, harmony, melody, meter..etc). He basically just said he couldn't care less, and that knowing music theory will destroy his street credibility as an industrial musician--that it'll kill his originality and he'll sound just like everyone else.

    There is a lot of that same mentality on KVR as well, especially from people who make ambient noise/soundscape/experimental noise stuff. Truth is, most of those people couldn't compose a line of worthwhile melody, harmony, or anything that resembled melodic music to save their lives, so they're pretty much limited to the kind of stuff they make. I got branded an "elitist scum" and "close-minded" and "snotty" when I tried to explain that knowing music theory will only free you, while not knowing it will only limit you.

    Maybe I should just stop trying and mind my own business. Afterall, they are doing it because they enjoy it. Who am I to dictate how anyone should enjoy what they do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    I agree with your point of view 100%. However, after trying very hard for a long time to preach the same gospel to many friends (thoroughly answering theory-related questions, lending out books etc.), I've come to the conclusion that a truly interested musician will seek out these answers for him/herself, and that it's a waste of your time and hair to give a !#@$. Why work so hard to crowd the industry with competitors? This kind of knowlege gives you an edge, and their lack of it means you don't have to worry about them getting your next gig. These days I leave it at that, and I leave it unsaid. Except for now, i guess.

    Belbin

  3. #3

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    I'd just leave them alone. I don't think there's anything to be gained from getting into it with these "ignorant and proud of it" people, snotty elitist scum that I am.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  4. #4
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    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    He basically just said he couldn't care less, and that knowing music theory will destroy his street credibility as an industrial musician--that it'll kill his originality and he'll sound just like everyone else.
    He's basically right. There are good and bad purveyors of every type and style. There's good writers of looped style action/game scoring and bad. Just as there are are writers, who write for large and small orchestral combos. A lot of orchestral writing is simply orchestral trickery - but can be equally effective as orchestral writing that is full of melody and harmony. How many times, when watching a film, do you hear the swell of horn sections - or the low tremelo strings - and not really much else?

    Everyone to their own style that they're comfortable with I say. Take a look at 100 different golf swings - all different, but generally get the ball on the green eventually. Well, I used to anyway.


  5. #5

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    What's happened to music over the past 10 years?

    One of the leading music writers in Minneapolis listed what he thought was the best song of the year so far, by the band Eels.

    I listened to it. It was 4 minutes of the exact same 2 or 3 minor guitar chords progression being limply strummed, and the "singer" speaking/whining some non-rhyming, non-metered lines that sounded EXACTLY like something you write in your personal diary at age 16.

    There was no interesting insight about life. Just stuff about being shy around people, and his Dad being the same way.

    An excerpt:

    I go to bed real early. Everybody thinks it's strange.
    I get up early in the morning.
    No matter how disappointed i was with the day before, it feels new

    I don't leave the house much. I don't like being around people.
    Makes me nervous and weird.
    I don't like going to shows either. It's better for me to stay home
    Some might think it means i hate people,
    But that's not quite right.

    -------------

    Written out it looks more like poetry than it really is. It's just a kid talking. Basically the singer says: "I'm really shy, and so was my Dad, but my heart's in the right place and I'm OK".

    Alright. That's nice. But is it a SONG?

    Clearly, the music critic LOVES this, and gets a real emotional and intellectual exhilaration from it.

    But it doesn't take any special talent to do this sort of thing. It's like high school-grade free verse poetry. Millions of kids do this stuff in those teenage years. It all stays in their diary, where they read it 25 years later and smile sheepishly about it and remember what being a teen is like.

    Loops. So easy to be a "musician". At least sound like what's on the radio!

    Where is this headed?


    --- Glenn

  6. #6

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    What's happened to music over the past 10 years?

    One of the leading music writers in Minneapolis listed what he thought was the best song of the year so far, by the band Eels.

    I listened to it. It was 4 minutes of the exact same 2 or 3 minor guitar chords progression being limply strummed, and the "singer" speaking/whining some non-rhyming, non-metered lines that sounded EXACTLY like something you write in your personal diary at age 16.

    There was no interesting insight about life. Just stuff about being shy around people, and his Dad being the same way.

    An excerpt:

    I go to bed real early. Everybody thinks it's strange.
    I get up early in the morning.
    No matter how disappointed i was with the day before, it feels new

    I don't leave the house much. I don't like being around people.
    Makes me nervous and weird.
    I don't like going to shows either. It's better for me to stay home
    Some might think it means i hate people,
    But that's not quite right.

    -------------

    Written out it looks more like poetry than it really is. It's just a kid talking. Basically the singer says: "I'm really shy, and so was my Dad, but my heart's in the right place and I'm OK".

    Alright. That's nice. But is it a SONG?

    Clearly, the music critic LOVES this, and gets a real emotional and intellectual exhilaration from it.

    But it doesn't take any special talent to do this sort of thing. It's like high school-grade free verse poetry. Millions of kids do this stuff in those teenage years. It all stays in their diary, where they read it 25 years later and smile sheepishly about it and remember what being a teen is like.

    Loops. So easy to be a "musician". At least sound like what's on the radio!

    Where is this headed?


    --- Glenn
    Congradulations! You've just been introduced to the latest fad in rock music, and it's called "Emo," short for emotional. Emo bands all sing about being shy and wounded and hurt and unpopular and getting rejected. They're all ultra-sensitive romantic nice guys that gets dumped on by others.

    Of course, compare emo to the 80's big hair bubble gum hardrock bands that wear makeup and women's clothing, I much, much prefer emo.

  7. #7

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    Congradulations! You've just been introduced to the latest fad in rock music, and it's called "Emo," short for emotional. Emo bands all sing about being shy and wounded and hurt and unpopular and getting rejected. They're all ultra-sensitive romantic nice guys that gets dumped on by others.
    Well, that's interesting.

    I've been a professional singer-songwriter for years. I know styles and tastes change. My Dad, raised in the 30s and 40s, loved Big Band music, and did not enjoy psychedelic rock music!

    I love the Beatles, but get nothing out of Gangsta Rap.


    I have come to the conclusion that you just compose what gives YOU a thrill to hear, and work at getting your music in front of your audience... meaning the people who also get a thrill from your style.

    That's pretty much it.

    Loops? Well, since most anybody can do it, I think it will be VERY difficult to stand out among the competition. Anybody who relies on the computer to automatically "do it" for them will be a mere blip in the millions of others doing it.

    That goes for synthesized sounds and ambience soundtracks as well.

    --- Glenn

  8. #8

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    Of course, compare emo to the 80's big hair bubble gum hardrock bands that wear makeup and women's clothing, I much, much prefer emo.
    At least hair metal bands and schlocky 80's pop bands didn't pretend to be something they weren't. They were what they were. They were manufactured like most things in the music biz, but they weren't manufactured to be something else. I mean, how angst-ridden could an upper middle class 19 year old kid from Toledo possibly be? Give him a throwback 70's mop haircut, a pair of corduroys, a "street racer" tee, and teach him a few minor chords and you got yourself an instant gold record by today's standards. Boring.

    These conversations usually involve Kurt Cobain at some point. Let me first say that I am not a Nirvana fan. In fact I hated them, mainly because I see them as a progenitor of so much badness on the radio today. But that's my opinion. Now Kurt Cobain was a certified screwed up dude. And he wrote about it, for the most part, and he lived it, etc. Do we really need 1000 faux copies of Kurt Cobain? Well, it just so happens that the Kurt Cobain look, and the sound, and the angst in and of itself sells discs, so we end up with 1000 faux copies.

    I'll take the genuine circus freakshow of a Van Halen, AC/DC, Flock of Seagulls, The Cure, etc., etc., any day over the contrived, hackneyed, derivative melancholy of today. Really, it's been done before... and when it was done before it was better than it's being done today.

  9. #9

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    Often with loops you can tell those who know about music and those that don't know anything about music.
    They do come in handy.

    Don't let it ruin your day because someone else uses loops and don't fell superior because you don't.

  10. #10

    Re: How do you get someone to go beyond using loops?

    Side note:
    The Eels were around long before the Emo movement, and are not considered Emo. They are considered post-grunge/alternative rock.

    The Eels on AllMusicGuide
    Sam Hulick
    Composer
    http://www.samhulick.com/

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