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Topic: Anyone care to comment on this?

  1. #1

    Anyone care to comment on this?



    Not sure if and when orchestral loops will be added to the mix, but one can see it coming.

    Eclectic and world styles would be similarly possible, if not passable.

    Granted, the included demo is pretty lame, but it wouldn\'t take much to see this technology growing into something more pro.

  2. #2

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    I brought this up when it was first announced with Final Cut 4 a few months back. While I think it\'s sort of scary concept, I don\'t really think it\'s going to put composers out of business. I think that any producer that is lucky enough to sell a show, is going to want to have original music if they can afford it. I think Soundtrack will get alot of use by amatuers and home type people, but I can\'t imagine too many real projects using it exclusively. I mean, there are so many music libraries now and I\'m sure many shows can use them exclusively yet they still use composers of original stuff. So I think it may get a little bit of use in low budget TV stuff and I don\'t really see any feature films using stock orchestral cues.

    But I can be totally wrong, of course. Just my humble opinion.


  3. #3

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Of course i havent heard it but my guts telling me it`s gonna be cheesy.Which is good cause it`ll keep the creative in business.Long live convienence!!! Rich

  4. #4

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Well here is what someone I know (a professional composer) said in regard to \"automated music\" ....

    The day a computer can empathise with a frazzled film director, by him a drink, read his mind and make him go all tearful when he hears your music....then we\'re in trouble [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]


  5. #5

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Y\'know, I really try not to complain... and since I got this as a part of an update, I really _shouldn\'t_ complain... and there really are very few things capable of triggering my BS Alarm Response System...

    But unfortunately, Soundtrack set it off Big Time about a week ago. I wasn\'t going to say anything - and now that Apple intends to market this thing as a standalone, I can\'t hold back any longer...

    (Please remember that the following RANT comes from a long-time Mac user, and a long-time Final Cut user - no need to flame me for not understanding the platform [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] - now, having said that...)

    Anybody remember \"needle-drop\" music libraries? There used to be hundreds of them, several decades ago, marketed to anybody and everybody; ready-made Muzak, remarkably lackluster and devoid of passion, they showed up in lots of ghastly locally-produced television spots and a wide variety of porn films.

    Needless to say, they really didn\'t hurt original work - these libraries were aimed at markets that no musician wanted to produce for anyway.

    Soundtrack is simply the new digital equivalent; the user has raw loops to work from and build upon instead of completely finished tracks - but invariably, the result will be the same.

    But that\'s not what really gets me peeved about Soundtrack...

    What really gets my goat about Soundtrack is that it\'s the start of the cannibalization process of Logic - basically swiping out most of Logic\'s plugs and plopping them into the system... as well as the introduction of \"Apple Loops, the powerful and rich new file format for looping audio and sound effects.\" Grrrreaat. Just what we need - another incompatable format thrust upon Mac-users in Apple\'s mad rush to manufacture arbitrary new standards as a method to muscle out competition on their platform.

    To the point: Soundtrack is simply pure Apple Hype for the uninitiated. Oh - and as a standalone, it comes with a nasty non-discountable pricetag. Overpriced is being kind.

    Everything Soundtrack does, Live does 200% better - and as a standalone, Live costs much less.

    As for the library of loops, they\'re remarkable - in how amazingly unremarkable they are. I am _way_ not impressed.

    Now there\'s nothing wrong with looped-based composition, mind you - I use loops as well as samples and original instruments on a daily basis - but loops - especially _these_ loops - used to entirely score a project? Let\'s not even go there. Grrr.

    And I can say all of the above as someone who has this slug installed on one of my harddrives (as a part of FCP4), where it chews up an inordinate amount of disc space, doing absolutely nothing - and no amount of quotes from BT, Charlie Clouser or Lynda Weinman is ever going to convince me that this idiot bastard son of a code-kludge is actually a revolutionary program that will forever change how films are scored.

    Filmmakers who actually use this - and trust me, in the indie world, there will be more than a few (and they _will_ run it into the ground) - will succeed in quickly dating their films. When you hear a soundtrack produced by Soundtrack, you _will_ know it; just think of all those 80\'s songs that were punctuated by the Fairlight symphonic \"hit,\" and you\'ll get the idea.

    Hopefully, the fad in Indies will pass quickly. (Note that I said \"hopefully.\")

    As for Soundtrack\'s lasting market effect - I have no doubt it will cut some composers out of smaller market work, but those poor souls are already suffering: I\'ve actually seen a commercial recently that used the tutorial loop that comes with Recycle. I kid you not. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    As much as I love working on my Macs, and as much as I really want a 2nd or 3rd generation G5 machine - sheeesh... these latest marketing-driven program kludges are making it really hard for me to remain happily among the Apple faithful.

    Phew. Okay. I feel better. Rare rant over. Thank you. I\'ll shut back up now. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Hi Runyon,

    I had no idea such a product exsisted, and appreciate the post. My (very old) Korg i2 keyboard has lots of pre-created tracks, bacground chords, percussion etc., to aid composition with the on-board sequencer. Rather than being a replacement for my composition, it acts more as a catalyst and idea generator. Sometimes when I have an instrumental and can\'t seem to find the right percussion approach, I push a couple of buttons on the Korg to get some ideas. So my guess is the Apple product may be a very helpful tool for novice composers like me to help keep the ideas flowing or provide some generic fill when you simply don\'t have the energy to create track from scratch.

    Whats most interesting about this product though; will the Apple Product take the everyday non-musical Joe who likes to make videos or graphic projects into the world of composing? After all, composing, per se, is really not that hard is it? Get a percussion track and a bass,string harmony track on top of that - all of which the Apple product will readily provide. Hit the horn or guitar sound and play a few little original notes on top of the accompanyment and Voila...original song!

    So....i think this product may produce more members on NS who want to step beyond the apple product once they find composing (I didn\'t say GOOD composing [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] ) isn\'t that hard.

    Just can\'t see this impacting professionally very high end paid projects though.

    Thank you again Runyon for the link.

  7. #7

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Anybody remember \"needle-drop\" music libraries? There used to be hundreds of them, several decades ago, marketed to anybody and everybody; ready-made Muzak, remarkably lackluster and devoid of passion, they showed up in lots of ghastly locally-produced television spots and a wide variety of porn films.

    Needless to say, they really didn\'t hurt original work - these libraries were aimed at markets that no musician wanted to produce for anyway
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Excuuuuse me? Anybody around here awake or are your heads for far down your own proverbial asses to even realize how much more business there was for composers about 20 years ago before the advent of music llibraries? Yeah, and I suppose session drummers have not been hurt by drum machines and loops either....yeah!

    Wake up people, although I realize that some of you fall into one of the following categories:

    A. You are a successful composer working at a high enough level to where you really don\'t give a crap.....hello Hans!

    B. You have your faithful clientele that has been using you for the past 50 years...the woul never use some of these darn libraries....they are only for the crazy kids!

    C. You have big dreams and aspirations, you\'re fresh out of school or still in school , have no idea how vicious this business really is, and totally buy in the BS that you hear from guys that are more successful than you\'ll ever be!

    Now, for the 99% rest of us, the reality is that tools like Soundtrack as well as really great librariers like Who Did That Music, Killer Tracks and Opus are taking more and more of our livelyhood away.

    Do you really think that your average 20something fresh out of cool college video producer that is now in charge of everything will really know or care about the difference between a cheesy Soundtrack loop and some great original music? Really? Keep dreaming!

    Corporations now more than ever care only about their bottom line (hence the incredible widespread of reality shows which are dirt cheap to make). If a pricey composer can be easily replaced by a minimum wage Full Sail grad who can make some sense out of Soundtrack and edit together a reasonably passable music bed, they will use Soundtrack.

    Sorry to sound so pessimistic (if you remember, I raised some alarms on this very topic months ago) but we all have to realize that the business is not what it used to be and these tools are taking income away from all of us in one form or another.

    If you don\'t see it now, you will see it in a few years....take my point of view for what it\'s worth!

  8. #8

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Okay - I\'ve had lunch, a dark beer, and have cooled down a bit. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Besides, my major contention with Soundtrack is that it\'s a kludge of a program that has been hyped into the stratosphere, when in fact it\'s just an Acid/Live hybrid interfaced with Quicktime & proprietary (claiming to be open-source) format loops that\'s purporting to be The Next Great Killer App. Not bloodly likely.

    The three previous posts, however, each have very solid points. IMO Sharmy is dead on. Apple will not be investing money in future loops; heck, just listen to the loops already there - it doesn\'t sound like they invested any money to begin with. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Joanne is also spot-on - with one minor caveat: there\'s no place in Soundtrack to place an original note (no MIDI either). And while it may encourage others to compose (a good thing), it won\'t encourage any original thinking... but then again, original thinking and the film biz haven\'t been on speaking terms for some time... [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Which leads to Midphase\'s comments... which are sadly valid concerns.

    If you watch Apple\'s quick tour, in fact, it\'s highly insulting to musicians, actually claiming that since \"creative editors are so creative\" that they don\'t need to understand the complexities of music and audio production to turn out a great soundtrack - and then it shows that all you really need to know is how to use is a panpot. (This Quicktime movie might truly be the most incredibly bogus presentation I\'ve seen in some time - well, at least since the WWDC G5 Cubase vs. Logic Bakeoff - but I\'m digressing...)

    (I also think that the \"creative editor\" comment was made to ego-boost the would-be editors who use iMovie and FC Express - and as someone who is also an editor as well as a musician, it\'s a bit condescending toward editors and therefore the writing manages to insult them as well. Hard to kill two birds with one stone, but Apple does it marvelously. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] )

    So, just going from Apple\'s own promo, Mid\'s pessimistic thoughts aren\'t so pessimistic after all - just sadly realistic. I keep thinking about a line from The Player: \"Now if we could only do something about the actors, we\'d really have something...\" (Not an accurate quote - it\'s been a while since I watched the film.)

    Finally, Soundtrack\'s quality is barely scratch-track level, despite Apple\'s spouting to the contrary - which is why I believe Joanne\'s comment about pro-application is equally valid... although I think you\'ll have to sit through about a year\'s worth of bad Soundtrack soundtracks before it will prove itself to be true. Fad sounds always drop off the chart quickly - and that\'s all Soundtrack provides. (The synth sounds are just plain embarrassing, BTW.)

    All in all - just as in the current crop of creatively bereft films - I honestly believe this represents a small temporary bump in the road for creatives; perhaps technology is actually dumbing-down the audience into accepting lower quality stuff - but that just sets up the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction.

    Modern technology can almost turn excrement into Shinola - but almost is the operative word there. Once a starved audience gets a taste of the real thing, they\'ll expect that same quality in what they pay to see and hear - and the execs will then go scrambling off in the other direction in an attempt to get the edge on their competitors. (First rule of production: Do it as cheap as you can. Second rule of production: Think before you apply the First Rule, beacuse you can only cheap things out so far before it bites you in the behind.)

    Just keep doing your best stuff. Pay attention to what\'s happening around you, but don\'t let the noise pull you off track. No cheap-*** set of inexpressive loops will ever make a listener feel emotion as deeply as a well-composed work.

    Hmmm. That was a good beer - think I\'ll have another and go back to making music.

  9. #9

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Agreed midphase.

    My thinking is that while soundtrack currently does sound cheesy, it is not too much of a stretch to imagine it getting better and better. Even some AI added to the process, and voila....you want \"mysterious\"?....let me generate a mysterious cue for you. Don\'t like that one? Push some command button and I\'ll generate another one.

    Think of an emotion and we\'ll generate a cue that fits.

    This goes way beyond needle drop in terms of ease and convenience. And yes, music libraries are all over television as it is.

    Folks around here debate constantly about \"Sampled Orchestral Libraries are almost as good as the real thing!!\"

    Well, guess what? Won\'t be long when video people will be having the same debate about virtual composing software.

    Won\'t be long until composers will feel the heat of the drummer a few decades ago.

    As far as a \"dated\" sound. The loops and tools can be constantly updated to use new material that reflects changing tastes.

    I could foresee an entire collection of Celtic Loops, and Mid-Eastern loops, and world music in any form.

    How about cool jazz licks and grooves? Want some retro Motown style?.....no problem.

    Our business as composers and arrangers may come down to creating the source material for others to use.

    This is entirely something new, albeit based on an old idea. I have held the belief that most modern flesh and blood film composers simply regurgitate the same musical language of the past. Soundtrack isn\'t all that different in concept.

  10. #10

    Re: Anyone care to comment on this?

    Just to put a slight positive spin on this whole thing....I believe that new jobs will be created...or perhaps expanded. I suspect that music editors will become more in demand than actual composers in the upcoming years.

    To a certain degree, we are all music editors in one form or another. If you really think about it, using samples (especially the looped phrases kind) to assemble new music together is not much different than the job of a good music editor.

    So, in one form or another we will all be able to diversify into the next evolution of composition, it probably won\'t be as much fun as creating music from scratch, but then again music as an art in one form or another will survive.

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