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Topic: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

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  1. #1

    OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    Well, I just had a guitar player come by the home studio and lay down some demo tracks so I could compare them with my guitar samples. The real guitar was going through the same effects as my samples. The guitar player wasn\'t that good, but he could play chords, mutes, strums, etc. The bottom line, you seriously could not tell the difference between the two tones. The only thing that I could notice that makes the \"real\" guitar sound \"more real\" is the fret noise as the hand moves up and down the neck. Otherwise, the \"tone\" was frickin identical. WOW! To be continued....

  2. #2

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    The oceans could not contain the nuances of a single note produced by the rasp of steel on the fretboard, the cutting of fleshly fingertips and the pitch modulations of an artist of the guitar. Our job as sample users is to create a psycho-acoustic illusion of reality that evokes the emotions and musical idioms we wish to express. There is no comparison between a real guitarist, cellist or saxophonist and a sampled recreation. But we use the latter to meet our commercial and personal goals.

    Peace,

    leadbelly

  3. #3

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Munsie:
    The only thing that I could notice that makes the \"real\" guitar sound \"more real\" is the fret noise as the hand moves up and down the neck. Otherwise, the \"tone\" was frickin identical. WOW! To be continued....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hee, hee. You wouldn\'t believe the gyrations I\'ve seen classical guitarists go through to try to cut down the beloved \'fret noise\' and \'squeaks\' that we now purchase to introduce \'realism\' into the samples.

    Twenty years ago, if you had owned a \'non-squeak\' guitar, I\'d have built a shrine to you (if you\'ve ever played in a church with wonderful acoustics - classical guitar-wise - and listened to the racket that those shiney new strings could make at the most inopportune of moments, you\'d maybe decide that sometimes the \'squeaks\' are a bit of a pain. I can\'t think of a single classical guitar piece that calls for a quiet passage with maximum squeak (although, of course, it does often add \'character\' in some contexts, and is an integral part of many other styles).

    I\'m still waiting for Worra to fulfil his threat of a classical guitar library so that I can choose exactly if and when I want those squeaky little buggars to wake up the old geezer at the back of the hall.

  4. #4

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    Leadbelly said: [quote] Our job as sample users is to create a psycho-acoustic illusion of reality that evokes the emotions and musical idioms we wish to express. There is no comparison between a real guitarist, cellist or saxophonist and a sampled recreation. [\\quote]

    I understand what you mean, but I can\'t agree. Our job as sample users is EXACTLY the same as it is as guitar/trumpet/piano etc. players - to play the very finest music we are capable of. Period. It DOESN\'T MATTER what your instrument is, what matters is the evocation and performance-the life and soul of the music.

    I guarantee that a moderately skilled violinist on a Stradavarius will never sound half as good as a Heifitz or Wilkomirska on a Lark student violin. The power of the music is in the musicia, not the instrument.

    Classical Hindusthani vocalist Pandit Pran Nath gave a concert in Berkeley back in the seventies. I had not heard him before, but even as someone very familiar with Hindusthani male vocalists, my first impression was, \"This guy sounds like he\'s projectile vomiting!\" Timbrally, sounded like \"Bleagggghhhhhhh...\" But after about ten seconds, I realized the purpose of this was to create a thick timbral bed that he could twist to his needs. What he did with this (initially ugly) sound was absolutely divine! One of my favorite live recordings ever.

    Dasher

  5. #5

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    Munsie, what guitar libraries are you using? Did you ever get the QL56 Strat? I\'m still thinking about getting it. What kind of tracks did the guitar player lay down? Rhythm or lead, or both?

    I\'m a real hack on the guitar but I\'ve been practicing a lot lately and getting better. I\'m at the point now where I\'m trying to decide if I want to spend money on guitar libries and spend time trying to get the sound I\'m looking for out of them or just spend the time getting better playing the guitar.

    Mike

  6. #6

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    I agree with thesoundsmith. I\'ve gone rathered tired of the \"it doesn\'t sound like a real guitar\" arguments. As long as it sounds good I could care less if it\'s a real instrument or not. Maybe the fact that you can play it with all your fingers on a keyboard opens creative possibilities that can\'t be matched on a real guitar?

    Pipe organs were originally built to try to emulate flutes and oboes and other instruments. They did a pretty poor job of that but became an important instrument in their own right. The Hammond was built to emulate a pipe organ and likewise did a pretty poor job of it but gained a niche of its own.

    - David

  7. #7

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    Soundsmith:

    Your observations are true in the sense that the instrument itself is secondary - it is the spirit and passion of the artist that ultimately defines the \"worth\" of the musical piece. But my point was that sampled instruments should not be viewed as replicas but rather as \"approximations\" of real instruments. I produce beautiful, passionate, evocative music using my synthesizers, samplers, acoustic instruments and assorted ambient noises, but one should not delude oneself into the idea that sampled instruments (at present) even approach the expressive potential of an acoustic string or reed instrument, or of the human voice. It is up to us as samplists to create the best music we can while accepting the inherent limitations that exist in today\'s sampling technology. Perhaps one day we will be unfettered by technological constraints and enter into a realm of expressivity and nuance that truly rivals acoustic instruments.

    Peace,

    leadbelly

  8. #8

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    One more point to illustrate my idea:

    Listen to the instrumental version of Jimi Hendrix\'s \"Little Wing\" on a quiet afternoon.

    Try to replicate that sound, feel and spontaneity with a sampled guitar library and you will be humbled by the power of the artist. Can you make a great solo electric guitar piece with samples? Sure! But not something so flowing and expressive as Jimi did.

    Leadbelly

  9. #9
    PatS
    Guest

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    leadbelly writes: \"But my point was that sampled instruments should not be viewed as replicas but rather as \"approximations\" of real instruments.\"

    This reminds me of Rene Magritte\'s This is not a pipe painting. The literalist would say that you don\'t see a pipe but rather an image resembling or representing a pipe. The non-literalist probably sees an elephant.

    Pat


    [This message has been edited by PatS (edited 04-12-2002).]

  10. #10

    Re: OT: FYI - Real Guitar v.s. Samples

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by leadbelly:
    Can you make a great solo electric guitar piece with samples? Sure! But not something so flowing and expressive as Jimi did.

    Leadbelly
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But each new sample or set of samples plus all of the equipment plus the player becomes a new \'instrument\'.

    There were people who said that electric guitar could never be as expressive as acoustic guitar (and no, I don\'t know any personally). Jimi Hendrix incorporated many of the \'artifacts\' that had previously been considered as \'problems\' i.e. feedback, to create his music (just as many acoustic guitarists employ the \'squeaks\' or other \'byproducts\' as part of the music).

    No one will ever do what Hendrix did, but no one will ever do what any great artist did. That\'s why they\'re great artists.

    Sampled guitar only appears limited if that\'s how you want to perceive it.

    I find the guitar limited (for my purposes); that\'s why I want samples. I want to use my guitar technique to play other instruments because it\'s fun. I\'ll never produce a work of art, but I have my moments.

    All instruments are \'limited\'. A trombone is not a piano. A sampler is not an analogue synth.

    But surely it bears no relation to the music that someone might produce and you or I might enjoy.

    Each instrument is \'expressive\' within its own world, and each player manipulates his instrument and its \'limitations\' according to his own limitations.

    Count Basie is one of the greatest jazz players who ever lived, but I doubt that much of his best work could be described as anything other than just \'right\'. He could play one note and somehow explain everything with it - just one note. Would using Michiel\'s new sampled piano have made his \'note\' sound wrong? I doubt it.

    We don\'t know what Hendrix might have done with samples, but there is every reason to assume that were he alive today (and he felt like it) that he might produce music for a younger generation that might have said: \"Jimi did some OK stuff in the sixties, but he really didn\'t produce his best work until he started sampling.\" We will never know, of course, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility (given that he hadn\'t choked himself with heroin).

    Acoustic instruments may \'seem\' more expressive; just as a Stardivarious \'seems\' more capable of expression than a cheapo violin (cue Pat?), but I remember reading a letter Liszt wrote where he admitted to being dumbfounded as to how on earth every gypsy violinist playing on an orange box was a virtuoso.

    It is within limitations where the musican and the music exist. It is the \'limitations\' that define all of it.

    A sampled guitar will never be a guitar. But a guitar will never be a sampled guitar either. It\'s what you do with it that counts (as the actress said to the Bishop).

    (You might have noticed that my boss is on holiday today :-)


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