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Topic: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

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  1. #1

    Unhappy Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    This issue has been bugging me forever and it has recently reared it's head again. I was just hired by a company to do 3D design and multimedia. I have written music for a variety of projects over the years. Now when I use the word written I mean I play the notes on a keyboard and on a guitar. I am holding the instruments and, although I am not the most musically scholared dude on the planet, I can tell you what notes I am playing. I use Cubase and play each piece in line by line building a song from the ground up. The only loops I use are Stylus RMX for some funky rhthyms. I am a drummer by trade so I don't really consider this cheating.

    One of the senior creative directors here mentioned he wrote music as well. Ah competition? He asked me to visit Myspace to check out his "soundtrack like" compostitions. I asked him what tools he used and he mentioned Acid, Garageband, Reason and Absynth. I listened and thought that some of it was good but it really sounded like a bunch of loops pasted together. I asked how he input his notes and he mentioned one note at a time using the virtual keyboard. I assume he cannot play a keyboard.

    I am not a purest but have always had a hard time with this type of composing. Is this musicianship? Being honest with myself I feel that I am threatened by this type of composition. I have spent countless hours learning to play drums, guitar and keyboards. Now someone can paste a few loops together and call themselves a composer?

    I know that great music, like great art, can come from a tortured soul with bleeding hands on a paintbrush or a 5 year old with an etch-a-sketch. Should I make my next purchase to be Acid instead of Vienna? Do any of you guys and girls feel the same. Am I getting old? Will there come a day when you cannot make a living from selling music (my dream) as any monkey with a thumb can whack on a mouse button and auto-compose with Acid, Smartsound, garageband, etc.

    Please share your thoughts. I hope I am not alone...

    All the very best,

    Darren
    www.darrenpasdernick.com
    "Every time you play a wrong note God kills a kitten."

  2. #2
    New Member
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    May 2007
    Location
    Sunny Rochester, NY
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    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    I too feel your pain! I call it the MacDonald's effect. If all anyone ever eats are hamburgers from fast food joints, it is hard to convince folks that a gourmet meal is a MUCH better experience.

    I can't stand rap and music created in ACID and Garageband that is just a bunch of loops thrown together (fast food). But what can you do? It is here to stay and we just need to educate folks. Just my 2 cents, and I hope that I don't offend any Rap and loop artists!

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    I too feel your pain! The same is here in Germany... .

    I think I can wirite big books about this theme, but..., for what?

    In Germany, the DJ`s are now the big stars, not the musican who recorded the music whish the DJ`s are playing..... . Any more questions?

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  4. #4
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    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    I noticed a trend at the Winter NAMM this year that was a bummer. Many of the companies pushing DJ equipment that were in the past mostly synth and music software developers. They had live demos for these new products and were drawing bigger crowds than most of the music software and synth hardware demos. The people were acting like the DJ's were big stars! I had a very hard time accepting this. If this is what people like, then future times might not bode well for live musicians who have spent years perfecting their craft.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn
    I noticed a trend at the Winter NAMM this year that was a bummer. Many of the companies pushing DJ equipment that were in the past mostly synth and music software developers. They had live demos for these new products and were drawing bigger crowds than most of the music software and synth hardware demos. The people were acting like the DJ's were big stars! I had a very hard time accepting this. If this is what people like, then future times might not bode well for live musicians who have spent years perfecting their craft.

    Jim
    Oh yes, I saw it at the last german Musikmesse in Frankfurt too. .... How poor!

    But, OK, the industrie is only looking for money, that is our system... . Not always the best!
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  6. #6

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpasdernick
    Is this musicianship?
    No, it is not!
    There is just no name for this kind of creating noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpasdernick
    I hope I am not alone...
    You are not!
    I hate these guys, assembling some loops and call it a "composition"

    Its the same with DJs. I can't understand how people celebrate a guy how plays a record or CD, looks very concentrated with his headphones on
    and pretends to do anything creative with his buttons.

    Why don't we start finding a name for these kind of making music.
    Then the real "composers" could be separated from the, I make the first suggestion: "assemblers"

    We found so many names for Garys new instrument, why not for these guys.
    ;-)

    Chris Hein
    Chris Hein - Horns / Chris Hein - Guitars / Chris Hein - Bass
    http://www.chrishein.net

  7. #7

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    BAH!

    Started with a huge post, but deleted it all.

    I know lots of music, and I'm doing a PhD in music.

    While I do see that loops could be annoying to someone who's spend all their lives studying, I don't see the point in feeling bad. On the contrary I see a new area to learn from.

    If jobs will be lost because computers will be composing, is another issue, which I don't think will happen anytime soon (it's actually already happening, with a couple of software out there), but I don't think that ART can be made with computers. A loop certainly can be made, but ART is a different issue.



    EDIT: in reply to Chris Heins post:

    Then why is rock/pop/whatever music? All these 4/4 beats, all these non uniqyue arrangements with guitars+drums+bass+keyboards... Nothing too serious, nothing too bad, nothing to awful. I don't think it's composition! No! Not even most film music. What? The 2 minor chords going up and down? OPr the C / Em change from Elfman in scissorhands? Is this composition? I hardly think so!

    It's not compaired to the masterpieces of classical music, or the amazing stuff that Ligeti, Boulez, etc wrote in the past.

    All else is not composition!




    Of course the Edit is satirical all the way, right?

    It's just that at some point we need to understand that it's not the process that matters, but the ending result! Why is it bad, if it's easy, or if it's premade? Why do we have to name it, and bash it? Why not listen to it and like it/dislike it?

  8. #8

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    The people were acting like the DJ's were big stars!
    lol........I'm laughing even though i should be crying.

    Well at least you guys know where the market is heading. Now stop whining go make some loops and sell them... Who knows maybe you will become a star.

  9. #9

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hein

    Why don't we start finding a name for these kind of making music.
    Then the real "composers" could be separated from the, I make the first suggestion: "assemblers"

    We found so many names for Garys new instrument, why not for these guys.
    ;-)

    Chris Hein
    A very good idea, Chris! You are speaking out of my heart!

    Perhaps we call them: The Jambabigbrotherblender?
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  10. #10

    Re: Soap Box Time: Is this Music?

    Well, these days music doesn't have to be played in real time anymore.
    I've heard some seriously impressive compositions by guys who "just enter notes in the piano roll". Are they good performers? NO, not even close. Some of them can hardly play "ipsy tipsy spider".
    Can they create complex, emotional etc. music? You bet.
    One guy I know have done some demos for East west. Another guy using Acid have done some of the most impressive synth music I've heard....but I know that sort of music is not that valued around here so I'll spare you for the link

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