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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Audio myths
      #804726 - 18/01/10 07:03 PM
Saw this referenced on another forum. I know we've discussed some of Ethan's views before, but thought this video has some interested stuff in it and this topic is worth revisiting maybe?

Audio Myths.


I've lost count of the number of times I've compared equipment or plug-ins on high-end headphones and really can't hear a difference in quality. Put it down to me not having golden ears, but maybe not....

Aside from strong psychological influences on perceived quality and factors like moving your head a bit during playback (why I mentioned headphones) I'm convinced other factors such as the mood you are in and how tired your ears are, are also way more significant than tiny differences in quality.

Now I do believe things like control design and layout can influence end results - and I'm not saying there isn't a difference in quality between products, just that the difference is frequently so minor we probably can't hear it. So whilst there are exceptions, in general we'd be far better off concentrating way more on technique that can make far more of a difference than being so obsessed with the latest gear (yes I'm as guilty as the next man here).


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Ted Kendall
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #804784 - 18/01/10 10:29 PM
Not that there's anything new in this - forty years ago, a columnist in Tape Recorder wrote "I suspect that most tape men are toy-men; what interests them is what a machine can do rather than doing what it will do." Further on, he referred in complimentary terms to "those for whom tape is a tool, not a god."

I don't deny that I derive pleasure from the use of a Studer or a Nagra, but it helps to keep a sense of perspective...


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johnny h



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Ted Kendall]
      #804786 - 18/01/10 10:38 PM
Quote Ted Kendall:

Not that there's anything new in this - forty years ago, a columnist in Tape Recorder wrote "I suspect that most tape men are toy-men; what interests them is what a machine can do rather than doing what it will do." Further on, he referred in complimentary terms to "those for whom tape is a tool, not a god."




Very wise man...


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hollowsun



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #804808 - 19/01/10 12:18 AM
Quote HugoL:

So whilst there are exceptions, in general we'd be far better off concentrating way more on technique that can make far more of a difference than being so obsessed with the latest gear





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MadManDan



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #804816 - 19/01/10 01:32 AM
How do they get 58:43 on a You tube clip?

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MarkOne



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: MadManDan]
      #804863 - 19/01/10 09:36 AM
Quote MadManDan:

How do they get 58:43 on a You tube clip?




I suspect money is involved.

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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #804890 - 19/01/10 11:14 AM
it's both.

Mood? Has very little to do with my daily work - especially on a "quality"
issue. The thing I find with {most} decent and high end gear is things become effortless. Stick a VM1 up infront of just about anything and it sounds "finished". Maybe not the right texture for what you want, but even with a poor sound source it sounds "complete and in the zone ". I have NEVER come across the same thing with cheap gear.

Golden ears? No. Experience is all you need. And unfortunately professional experience rather than just doing it a lot - the pressure of pleasing those at the high end with discerning tastes and ears ultimately develops your own sense of quality. It's not just a blind listening game - it's a listening game with the risk of losing it all if you fek it up !! heheh....

Is it hearable? Ethan has some unusual notions of what "sound quality" is. He is right in his measurement of difference - if you can't measure a difference then there isn't one!! But he also applies this same maxim to absolutes - so rather than measuring the differences between his beloved Soundblaster and a Prism unit, he often just cites the values and measurements of the Soundblaster card. Measurement with no comparison is not such a dependable scientific device.

I use high end gear on a daily basis - in fact got a nice Neve console sat here that absolutely and undeniably makes all those sub £10k consoles sound like toys. i know because we've still got several of them around!!. I also have a few other bits and bobs lying around from the old days - you really have to work cheap gear to get results from it.

Does mic position and performance blow all this out of the water? I know you'd all like me to say that it does - and it certainly goes someway towards it but ultimately....Well no it doesn't. I take it as a given that I'm going to be working with/on well performed, arranged pieces in acoustically suitable environments. We're dealing in sound quality in this discussion - the song, performance, instruments etc should be right. If this isn't the case then you're letting a weak link in. Yes - I understand in the hobbyist/talented amateur bracket that much of what was said in that video carries dramatic value. But it carries very little value in the product oriented and professional world simply because most in the professional world demand performance tools to give high quality results.


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #804893 - 19/01/10 11:18 AM
Quote HugoL:

So whilst there are exceptions, in general we'd be far better off concentrating way more on technique that can make far more of a difference than being so obsessed with the latest gear (yes I'm as guilty as the next man here).




And whilst this is absolutely correct - once you have excellent technique - the gear becomes paramount. So agin - everything Ethan says has a great deal of credibility to the layman and/or hobbyist. To encapsulate - not much high end product is recorded in a bedroom with four bass traps.


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Shambolic Charm



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #804910 - 19/01/10 12:02 PM
Very interesting and a great antidote for G.A.S.!

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aim



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #804928 - 19/01/10 01:04 PM
I always like those workshops and sessions, to bad I couldn't have been in ny last year

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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #805128 - 19/01/10 10:36 PM
Quote narcoman:


Mood? Has very little to do with my daily work - especially on a "quality"
issue.




Well I was talking about listening to music here, critically or just for pleasure. I absolutely find sometimes the same track on exactly the same exact setup can sound great, I'm hearing loads of detail and the quality and balance sounds great. Other times it's just not happening.

Maybe you don't get this, maybe it's just me I don't know. Mood, how well I slept, how clear my head is (headaches etc), the weather, what I've eaten for breakfast, whether I've had some coffee or not. I don't know, but I find this. I think it's a similar effect to listening to music after those first couple of beers compared to when you haven't. You appreciate it more and everything about it sounds different and better.

I'm not just talking about how you perceive things on different days, I find things can change after say an hour. A bit like ear fatigue. Carry on listening to something in one session and you can perceive it differently to when you've taken a break, gone for a walk and returned a while later. Surely it's not just me?

Quote narcoman:


The thing I find with {most} decent and high end gear is things become effortless. Stick a VM1 up infront of just about anything and it sounds "finished". Maybe not the right texture for what you want, but even with a poor sound source it sounds "complete and in the zone ". I have NEVER come across the same thing with cheap gear.





Well I'm sure there is a difference between kit and I'm not saying quality can't be and isn't a factor. The question is how significant are other factors, such as the layout of the controls, the sensitivity of the controls, how much you paid, the fact you think it's top quality unit etc etc?



Quote narcoman:


I use high end gear on a daily basis - in fact got a nice Neve console sat here that absolutely and undeniably makes all those sub £10k consoles sound like toys. i know because we've still got several of them around!!. I also have a few other bits and bobs lying around from the old days - you really have to work cheap gear to get results from it.





Ok, but is this down to quality or say the way you interact with the Neve console? I have to really doubt there is anything wrong with the audio "quality" of those other consoles, unless they're very low end or very badly designed. Is the Neve adding something pleasing (transformers etc), has a very musical EQ, etc etc? Extremely likely, quality as such though?

Maybe people just use the word quality to mean different things? Like boutique mic pre-amps, it's not just about having clean accurate linear amplification, which isn't that challenging to design or build surely, it's about what else it does to the signal, right?

Also I completely agree that you want to use quality kit that's reliable, you know extremely well and for whatever reasons gets you there quickly and I'm not necessarily in complete agreement with absolutely everything Ethan says, but I think there's an awful lot of truth in it. More than most of us like to admit.

People rely on their ears far too often as a super accurate tool, and not that you can't train yourself to improve and really focus on particular details, but overall there are a lot of other factors coming into play.


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #805140 - 19/01/10 11:09 PM
Quote narcoman:


And whilst this is absolutely correct - once you have excellent technique - the gear becomes paramount. So agin - everything Ethan says has a great deal of credibility to the layman and/or hobbyist. To encapsulate - not much high end product is recorded in a bedroom with four bass traps.




Well of course people want to work in a great environment and use great toys

Anyway no arguments whatsoever regarding the importance of acoustics. But I will go back to the audio quality argument again - I think once you get to a certain level it's frequently not about "quality" in the traditional sense - it's about the audio behaviour of the kit (assuming you can actually hear it that is), speed of working etc.


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Dynamic Mike



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #805155 - 20/01/10 12:15 AM
Quote HugoL:

Aside from strong psychological influences on perceived quality and factors like moving your head a bit during playback (why I mentioned headphones) I'm convinced other factors such as the mood you are in and how tired your ears are, are also way more significant than tiny differences in quality.




You create the ultimate guitar tone, declare a total exclusion zone around the amp, put up 'don't even think about touching that dial' warning notices & spend all day shouting 'step away from the amp & nobody gets hurt' through a megaphone.

Then you plug in, same guitar, same fingers, same leads & you think 'I'm sure it sounded better than this last night!' And the only things that can have changed are your attitude & your perception.

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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #805212 - 20/01/10 08:07 AM
Quote Dynamic Mike:


You create the ultimate guitar tone, declare a total exclusion zone around the amp, put up 'don't even think about touching that dial' warning notices & spend all day shouting 'step away from the amp & nobody gets hurt' through a megaphone.

Then you plug in, same guitar, same fingers, same leads & you think 'I'm sure it sounded better than this last night!' And the only things that can have changed are your attitude & your perception.




Yep that's the sort of thing I'm talking about. It's pretty obvious our perception of music is linked to pleasure in the brain. When it sounded good last night you were possibly on some sort of natural endorphin buzz, maybe you were just tired yet relaxed. In the morning your expectations were high instead and you were left disappointed.


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #805215 - 20/01/10 08:18 AM
By the way Narcoman as much as I respect your opinion I have to clarify a few things. I never said gear wasn't important and that there can't be massive and consistently audible differences.

The problem is though where do you draw the line? You work in top studios and you expect to use certain gear. I'm absolutely sure there is a psychological factor there somewhere along with familiarity, build quality, reliability, speed of working and the need to use the kit that customers expect. And of course for some things - speakers, mics etc there are definitely huge audible differences. This stuff is measurable and well within the sensitivity of our hearing.

Then there's the flip-side. We all laugh at audiophiles for example with their ridiculous cables and the like. They really do buy things because they believe it makes a difference. I do see a lot of parallels in the pro-audio world and this is where Ethan does have a point.


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onesecondglance



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #805230 - 20/01/10 09:21 AM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote HugoL:

Aside from strong psychological influences on perceived quality and factors like moving your head a bit during playback (why I mentioned headphones) I'm convinced other factors such as the mood you are in and how tired your ears are, are also way more significant than tiny differences in quality.




You create the ultimate guitar tone, declare a total exclusion zone around the amp, put up 'don't even think about touching that dial' warning notices & spend all day shouting 'step away from the amp & nobody gets hurt' through a megaphone.

Then you plug in, same guitar, same fingers, same leads & you think 'I'm sure it sounded better than this last night!' And the only things that can have changed are your attitude & your perception.




yes, but imagine it took you hours and hours to create that tone. and your were getting pretty tired by the end of it. you might actually be coming back to it with fresh ears and renewed enthusiam, hearing it as it actually is.

then imagine you could dial that tone in a matter of minutes. you're more likely to still be focused and able to get to the heart of the sound straight off if the equipment allows you.

so i agree with Narco to a large extent - better gear is not only about providing incrementally improved audio quality over budget stuff. it's about getting to the "right" sound quickly and easily.

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Jez (mahoobley)
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #805288 - 20/01/10 12:15 PM
Just to add my 2 pence - I think many of us home and/or budget recordists who believe that all this really expensive stuff doesn't really make that much of a difference does - may not have actually used any of this stuff. I had an image of engineers like trainspotters sitting around in a studio listening to different compressors going "ooh yessss this one has a definite subtle presence in the high end that the other one doesn't" without realising someone messed up the patching and they are listening to the same thing over and over

However a few years ago I visited one of our esteemed members studio and had a listen to a couple of things put through some high-end gear. The difference wasn't subtle - it was extraordinary and it was amazing!

I record with some cheapo stuff at home, and some mid-ranking stuff at work, because they are 'good enough' for my purposes, but if I ever won the lottery or whatnot and decided to set up my dream studio in London to record experimental weirdo bands, I'd certainly be forking out for the good stuff because I've begun to have an understanding of the not subtle, but HUGE difference it can make.

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Studio Support Gnome
Not so Miserable Git


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Jez (mahoobley)]
      #805323 - 20/01/10 02:15 PM
as to the incremental aspect.... relating to the entire recording asnd production process consider that there may be as many as 100 steps in the path from composers brain to listeners ear...

from Plectrum type, String type, state of finger tips, Instrument type, manufacturer, set up, pickup, control setting, signal lead, pedal, lead , pre-amp , lead, fx unit, lead, power amp, speaker cable , speakers, mic type, mic pattern, room position, , mic position, room acoustic, mic cable, mic pre-amp, dynamics, EQ, converters, file format , DAW used, mix techniques like eq, compression, fx, , and so on.... right along till you get to the mastering engineer's ear fatigue levels....

if the item , option, or technique, used at each step sounds just 2% better than the alternative .... even as a straight parallel addition , that's 300% end result improvement . if you choose to quantify it sequentially, it's much much more.... (about 724% i think offhand)


now extend the idea over an entire recording, with maybe 50 or 60 tracks... and it very quickly becomes noticeable, obvious even..... definitely a different ball park standard...


start talking about bigger projects and it's not even the same planet....

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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Jez (mahoobley)]
      #805348 - 20/01/10 04:25 PM
Quote Mahoobley:

Just to add my 2 pence - I think many of us home and/or budget recordists who believe that all this really expensive stuff doesn't really make that much of a difference does - may not have actually used any of this stuff.




That wasn't quite what this thread was about though, although it seems several people have taken it that way.

I'm not for a minute saying there aren't differences between pieces of equipment. Just equally in many cases the perceived differences are FAR greater than the actual differences which can be minute.

Equally I was quite specific to say "quality". In many cases people like gear for other reasons, such as the sonic signature imparted when a unit is pushed hard. I just see "quality" thrown around a lot to describe equipment, whereas maybe "character" would be a far better word in these circumstances (where there really is a tangible and obvious difference that is )

Edited by HugoL (20/01/10 04:54 PM)


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Jez (mahoobley)]
      #805351 - 20/01/10 04:30 PM
Quote Mahoobley:


However a few years ago I visited one of our esteemed members studio and had a listen to a couple of things put through some high-end gear. The difference wasn't subtle - it was extraordinary and it was amazing!





Ok, but give specifics! What are you referring to exactly?

If you listened through fantastic speakers in a great room I'm sure everything was sounding lovely for example. Anyway again this isn't what this thread is about.


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Studio Support Gnome]
      #805356 - 20/01/10 04:46 PM
Quote Max!:


if the item , option, or technique, used at each step sounds just 2% better than the alternative .... even as a straight parallel addition , that's 300% end result improvement . if you choose to quantify it sequentially, it's much much more.... (about 724% i think offhand)





Not sure I agree with the logic here. If an individual track sounds "better" on its own does this really mean the overall track will sound better as a whole?

Don't you actually want many things to sound "worse" so that they gel better in the mix? Also for all these variables that you mention what happens when you tweak some dials a few degrees, you change things way more than many of these subtle variables surely? (Just playing devil's advocate, but you get my point).

Edited by HugoL (20/01/10 04:50 PM)


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #805397 - 20/01/10 07:14 PM
Quote HugoL:


Don't you actually want many things to sound "worse" so that they gel better in the mix? Also for all these variables that you mention what happens when you tweak some dials a few degrees, you change things way more than many of these subtle variables surely? (Just playing devil's advocate, but you get my point).





it's entirely case dependent, but generally no.... you don't want lots of things to sound worse.. you want everything to sound "right" whatever that "right" may be...

on the whole it's quite difficult to get the concept across on paper without sounding like a blow hard elitist... as Hoobs described earlier, until you've actually experienced the difference first hand... you simply cannot easily understand quite what it means....


now then here's an attempt at an analogy that may be easier to grasp...

if you try and describe blue to a blind man.... you can give quite precise measurements of the wavelengths that we perceive as blue... in absolute terms the difference in numbers is quite small compared to the total EM spectrum... , but the perceived effect of the colour tone is huge...

especially when you place it against another colour.... or a reference of white/black


now apply that to an entire complex landscape picture... and every shade of colour in it.

then it becomes not just about the specific frequency of each colour, but also about the texture of the image.. how "matte" "grainy" or "glossy" it is,

at which point, more than just the specific wavelength of a specific shade of blue becomes quite important...


so having got the context , we can begin to start to see why people use words like transparent, and coloured, and fuzzy, glossy, sheen, and such like when describing audio... they all relate to something that is entirely easier to point to and illustrate.

now then... in the terms of "quality" I would say that it is the ability of a device to sound like a real image ,.. like being there, or maybe a kind of hD holographic projection....




as to the tweaking changing more than any of these variables.... no, utterly not the case...

I used 2% as a nominal low-ish figure that could be accepted as being a realistic average.... perhaps... but there are some things in the chain that will vary the result by orders of magnitude more than that.... the difference in age of otherwise similar String materials on an instrument would make far more difference than say adjusting the compression threshold by 0.1db for example...

every guitarist on the planet can hear a new set of strings instantly......

I have the greatest of respect for some of Ethan's ideas and missions... but i have to say that we do not always see eye to eye.... on all sorts of subjects...


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desmond



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #805407 - 20/01/10 07:51 PM
Get the songs right, and get the arrangement right, and get the performances right, and the engineery stuff gets less important...

We all talk about gear, and we are passionate about our tools and our process, but the bottom line is the final quality of our work starts *way* before the gear kicks in. If we have good knowledge of our tools, good judgement and experience, and work hard, imo the exact nature of the tools is less important.

I would rather have great people and mediocre gear, than mediocre people and great gear.

Tools *are* important, but sometimes I feel they are less important than we think. Obviously, there's a base level of competence and quality you need to get over, and there is no doubt that some tools are particular good at certain things, or make certain things easier, but bottom line is I don't feel that the end product is going to connect emotionally with the listener in a fundamentally different way because I used a Sonnox EQ plugin on the mix rather than a Massive Passive.

Others will no doubt disagree, but...


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #805417 - 20/01/10 08:57 PM
Quote idris y draig:


it's entirely case dependent, but generally no.... you don't want lots of things to sound worse.. you want everything to sound "right" whatever that "right" may be...





Well of course that's what I meant, I was making a point. For example if you cut frequencies to make something sound thinner that could be classed as worse and of course "right" at the same time.

Quote idris y draig:


...
then it becomes not just about the specific frequency of each colour, but also about the texture of the image.. how "matte" "grainy" or "glossy" it is,

at which point, more than just the specific wavelength of a specific shade of blue becomes quite important...
...

so having got the context , we can begin to start to see why people use words like transparent, and coloured, and fuzzy, glossy, sheen, and such like when describing audio... they all relate to something that is entirely easier to point to and illustrate.





I get it, honestly I do and I like gear as much as the next guy. I'm just making some points for the benefit of this forum discussion.

However I would teasingly point out that audiophiles are fond of describing the latest upgrade to their system using terms such as this.

Quote idris y draig:


as to the tweaking changing more than any of these variables.... no, utterly not the case...





You're misquoting me. Seems a few of the pro's keep doing this or misinterpreting what I'm writing in this thread for some reason, no offence. I specifically said "may change things more than many of these subtle variables". Of course many of the variables aren't subtle, but some surely are - and a lot were listed!

By the way I wasn't thinking 0.1dB difference on a compressor as I would class that as inaudible, more like say 1dB on an EQ, add a bit of reverb send etc etc. I was deliberately trying to be vague, my bad phrasing though maybe.

Quote idris y draig:


I have the greatest of respect for some of Ethan's ideas and missions... but i have to say that we do not always see eye to eye.... on all sorts of subjects...




It's an interesting topic though and thanks for your contribution. I do sense some passionate disagreement to his ideas on here, which is hardly surprising.


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: desmond]
      #805418 - 20/01/10 09:02 PM
Quote desmond:

Get the songs right, and get the arrangement right, and get the performances right, and the engineery stuff gets less important...

We all talk about gear, and we are passionate about our tools and our process, but the bottom line is the final quality of our work starts *way* before the gear kicks in. If we have good knowledge of our tools, good judgement and experience, and work hard, imo the exact nature of the tools is less important.

I would rather have great people and mediocre gear, than mediocre people and great gear.

Tools *are* important, but sometimes I feel they are less important than we think. Obviously, there's a base level of competence and quality you need to get over, and there is no doubt that some tools are particular good at certain things, or make certain things easier, but bottom line is I don't feel that the end product is going to connect emotionally with the listener in a fundamentally different way because I used a Sonnox EQ plugin on the mix rather than a Massive Passive.

Others will no doubt disagree, but...




Yep this is what I'm talking about. Tools are nice and you need a decent toolbox for sure, but skill and experience count for more than chasing ever diminishing returns.

There's just so much emotion attached to gear! But hey this is keeping the economy ticking over, people in jobs and Sound on Sound in advertising revenue so not such a bad thing.


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #805475 - 21/01/10 01:25 AM
Quote HugoL:

Quote desmond:

Get the songs right, and get the arrangement right, and get the performances right, and the engineery stuff gets less important...

We all talk about gear, and we are passionate about our tools and our process, but the bottom line is the final quality of our work starts *way* before the gear kicks in. If we have good knowledge of our tools, good judgement and experience, and work hard, imo the exact nature of the tools is less important.

I would rather have great people and mediocre gear, than mediocre people and great gear.

Tools *are* important, but sometimes I feel they are less important than we think. Obviously, there's a base level of competence and quality you need to get over, and there is no doubt that some tools are particular good at certain things, or make certain things easier, but bottom line is I don't feel that the end product is going to connect emotionally with the listener in a fundamentally different way because I used a Sonnox EQ plugin on the mix rather than a Massive Passive.

Others will no doubt disagree, but...




Yep this is what I'm talking about. Tools are nice and you need a decent toolbox for sure, but skill and experience count for more than chasing ever diminishing returns.

There's just so much emotion attached to gear! But hey this is keeping the economy ticking over, people in jobs and Sound on Sound in advertising revenue so not such a bad thing.




yes and no. One shouldnt be using high end tools until you understand the whole "musical" side. You just don't get the use out of the tools until everything else is in place. Anyone chasing great sound without addressing the other stuff first is - well -wasting their time.

Another side - sometimes the textures one creates are down to the ger. Put a stat into a Marshall valve state and record it with all the best technique in the world via a behringer pre and mic and there is no way on earth you will be able to get a Jack White guitar sound. Nearly all the budget gear is very limited in what it can do... getting certain thick and silky tones is often right at the feet of gear.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #805507 - 21/01/10 08:40 AM
Quote narcoman:


Another side - sometimes the textures one creates are down to the ger. Put a stat into a Marshall valve state and record it with all the best technique in the world via a behringer pre and mic and there is no way on earth you will be able to get a Jack White guitar sound. Nearly all the budget gear is very limited in what it can do... getting certain thick and silky tones is often right at the feet of gear.




Yes agreed, I said this myself a couple of times previously in this thread. But these are scenarios where there is a tangible, easily explained and obvious difference.

I'll throw another one in though. I just don't get hi-fi nerds' obsession with power amplifiers. Obviously there are measurable things about amplifiers, but once we've got a selection of similar high quality circuits is there really always an audible difference. Once we get past THD, cross-over distortion, slew rates etc providing there's enough power to deal with the transients properly, and impedances are matched I don't think so. NB: We aren't talking about amps where the designers have specifically gone for character.

Audiophiles swear amps almost always sound completely different, but I've been for demos of very high end kit and not heard it... and I love reading about blind tests between very expensive monoblocks and cheapo amps with a room full of audiophiles and no-one could tell. Speakers on the other hand.....


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EnlightenedHand



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #805895 - 22/01/10 03:32 PM
In terms of being able to identify differences in controlled double blind testing I have found that much of the often revered, so called "high-end" gear isn't all that much different from average gear these days in useful sound quality. That being said I think that nobody absolutely needs "high-end" gear to get wonderful sounding results.

The problem that I see is that many "high-end" afficionados refuse to accept that as true even to the point of proclaiming proper double blind testing as practically useless. I think that's a sign of a need to justify such reverence for their tools.

I like well made gear that does what I need it to do. I never need it to do tricks or impart a euphoric sound (at least as far as input gear is concerned). The source can provide that. If I do my job to capture the source adequately then I'll have everything I need. When I mix I then have the options of in-the-box, analog or both to make a cleanly recorded raw track sound virtually any way I want. There is really little need to quibble about whether or not there is a difference between this or that expensive or "cheap" type of gear or which is "better". For me it's all about hearing things and tweaking them to taste with whichever tools I have at my disposal. If it's tracked cleanly this is never a problem.

I suspect most of the arguments and myths stem from a basic misunderstanding of what really matters. It's not the gear nearly as much as the technique.

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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #805951 - 22/01/10 06:04 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

I think that nobody absolutely needs "high-end" gear to get wonderful sounding results.

The problem that I see is that many "high-end" afficionados refuse to accept that as true even to the point of proclaiming proper double blind testing as practically useless. I think that's a sign of a need to justify such reverence for their tools.




Well said Liz!

By the way, did you mean euporic (exaggerated feeling of well-being) or euphonic (pleasing and harmonious)


Martin

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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #805955 - 22/01/10 06:13 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

In terms of being able to identify differences in controlled double blind testing I have found that much of the often revered, so called "high-end" gear isn't all that much different from average gear these days in useful sound quality. That being said I think that nobody absolutely needs "high-end" gear to get wonderful sounding results.

The problem that I see is that many "high-end" afficionados refuse to accept that as true even to the point of proclaiming proper double blind testing as practically useless. I think that's a sign of a need to justify such reverence for their tools.

I like well made gear that does what I need it to do. I never need it to do tricks or impart a euphoric sound (at least as far as input gear is concerned). The source can provide that. If I do my job to capture the source adequately then I'll have everything I need. When I mix I then have the options of in-the-box, analog or both to make a cleanly recorded raw track sound virtually any way I want. There is really little need to quibble about whether or not there is a difference between this or that expensive or "cheap" type of gear or which is "better". For me it's all about hearing things and tweaking them to taste with whichever tools I have at my disposal. If it's tracked cleanly this is never a problem.

I suspect most of the arguments and myths stem from a basic misunderstanding of what really matters. It's not the gear nearly as much as the technique.




Most of that is true in basic premise. But what your missing is that there is a HUGE technical and hearable difference [in professional terms - they layman doesn't often hear the differences in individual "solo'd" recordings] between low end gear and high end gear. There is no way on earth that any RME converter, for example, sounds anywhere near as "true" as a set of Prism ADAs. I've examples of both and the difference, from a technical and professional perspective, is staggering. Stick a stereo wav through - marginal difference. Start to work with subsequent regeneration of files in stem mixing for , say, film content - the two are not comparable. The same goes for low end EQ units against high end ones.....

there is not need, i agree, to justify on the basis of ownership. But I'm ten years past doing that kind of thing - it's more about getting a job done right for the clients you have - and THAT is realy the pertinent point. It is never about persuading the man on the street to think what you have is acceptable - it's about pleasing the client you have. In my business most of my clients are music supervisors on multimillion dollar projects - and believe me..... those folks REALLY have discerning ears... for better or worse !!

If it's about recording a band? Yup technique matters a lot. The most in fact. But no amount of great technique will allow you to make a record of great sonic integrity as, say, a Joe Baressi recording unless you use that gear. I alluded to this in my above example of Marshall Valvestate etc etc. You must always temper your gear with your own ideals and abilities - the problem being, it takes a lifetime to fully learn to even hear the "right stuff". A GML EQ will be just as pointless in the hands of a rank amateur as a cheap Behringer EQ.


But specific intent and design in the mindset of a seasoned professional , and one who is good at what they do, absolutely and unequivocally needs those more esoteric and expensive tools. Not necessarily to impart any sonic effects {you point this out actually} but often to do the job without hassle and invisibly. Great listening acoustics is one example. Quality speakers and amplifier is another.

My job - since transferring over to decent conversion - has become even easier. Same with when I got a decent console. And speakers. Yes - it has to do with experience and ability too - but these differences came to me in landmark moments - in other words the day after!!

Yes - never assume good gear will improve your musical aspirations - but once one learns to discern the musical errata from your technical notions then the ONLY thing that improves those matters is correct use of better equipment. You change over once you've mastered the prime principles as the equipment then becomes the limiting factor !!

It's the same thing with fast cars - young boy racers in their little 1.6 litre Astras barely able to maintain control of them. But a professional rally driver in a factory fitted version isn't going to be able to do his job on the rally circuit!!


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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806008 - 22/01/10 11:25 PM
No need to add to what narcoman ha already said, save to mention budgets: good gear saves time, and for a paying client that's added value. Tweak a knob or two on a great analogue desk or compressor or whatever and suddenly the sound just sits right.

You might get to the same place with plugins or cheaper stuff, but you might spend a hell of a lot of time getting there. Once your client is paying hundreds an hour for the privilege of watching you try to get there, this may not be acceptable!

But in a project studio, working on your own stuff around other things in your life, it may be a damn site more acceptable than blowing £5,000 on an outboard EQ box.

--------------------
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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806010 - 22/01/10 11:46 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:


The problem that I see is that many "high-end" afficionados refuse to accept that as true even to the point of proclaiming proper double blind testing as practically useless. I think that's a sign of a need to justify such reverence for their tools.





There we go, this is basically the point of this thread. I'm sure people can train their ears to a extent to pick up on differences that the average Joe will miss, but if it's that subtle and often subjective does it really matter so much?

I'm convinced there is a lot of psychology involved with kit whether people like to admit it or not. Pro audio isn't as removed from audiophile land as some would like to think. Our ears just aren't that sensitive IMO.

Yes the right gear can make a difference, but an obsession with gear over technique is unhealthy. Then again if I was running a pro-studio I'd certainly want the right kit that the punters expect - and I completely accept all the speed of working arguments although some of this surely boils down to familiarity and expectations.

Hey at the end of the day everything is about balance isn't it - and the answer is inevitably somewhere in the middle. Thanks for all the contributions so far, been a good thread.


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hugol



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #806013 - 22/01/10 11:55 PM
Quote Steve Hill:


But in a project studio, working on your own stuff around other things in your life, it may be a damn site more acceptable than blowing £5,000 on an outboard EQ box.




Yes agreed, just we're bombarded with adverts, opinions and cheap equipment (virtual or not) nowadays. It's easy to get sucked in.


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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806018 - 23/01/10 12:38 AM
So i blew a few euros on an SM Pro TC02 Twin Channel Valve input - cheap - so what? I like it. I like it a lot.

What would we do without adverts? i cant imagine. No SOS!! No new kit!! o my gad.

--------------------
.. is this thing on?


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806032 - 23/01/10 02:02 AM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

The problem that I see is that many "high-end" afficionados refuse to accept that as true even to the point of proclaiming proper double blind testing as practically useless. I think that's a sign of a need to justify such reverence for their tools.




Confession Time: Many years ago & totally new to recording effects, I ordered a Yamaha REX50 multi effects unit. I excitedly rushed home from work, dragged it out the box & plugged it in between a Strat and (I think a Charvel) amp. I tried out the first half dozen reverb presets, & whilst the hall & room settings were difficult to distinguish between, both my wife & myself thought the plate presets made a big difference.

Then, after casually flipping though the manual, my wife leaned over & switched the bypass off! To this day, every time I try to justify a studio purchase, I have to listen to an account of that day. 'But will it make as much difference as an REX50 on bypass...' However it proves the point that not only can you hear what you want to hear, with enough conviction you can actually convince somebody else they can hear it too!

Is this the first example of Double Deaf testing?

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806057 - 23/01/10 06:07 AM
I think it is worth mentioning that I'm not arguing that one shouldn't use well made and respectably specified gear in a professional setting. I certainly think one should. Because reliability is a worthwhile investment. However, sound quality is much less of a distinctly superior thing with many examples of so called "high-end" gear in comparison with today's average gear.

I have Prism converters for example. I also have a few average converters and while the Prism Sound conversion is indeed truer to the source, it's not so much better that I find average converters inadequate. It's kind of like the difference between a very good standard definition television and a cutting edge high definition television. If I spend the day using the best stuff then the initial moments of using the average stuff is a bit jarring to my senses, but after a short while it's really not a problem at all. The most important point though is that the end listener doesn't know and doesn't care in the vast majority of cases. So for me to behave as though I simply must use the most cutting edge gear I can get my hands on is essentially an exercise in superfluity.

Also, I have found that many artists don't really know that much about gear either (though many think that they do). So long as you capture what they're laying down cleanly and you make the mix kick ass then nobody cares what you've used. The artists that fancy caring about gear (in my experience) are usually not all that educated about why certain pieces might matter and why others don't. In my opinion it's the responsibility of the engineer to put the artist at ease by showing them the end result. Once the artist trusts that you can make it happen then nobody gives a thought about what you use to get it there.

Bottom line for me; use what works well and what you can comfortably afford. Don't get caught up in the hype of big name gear and magic fairy dust. Treat the tools like tools. Provided they work at all they are only as useful as you make them. If you've got the ears and the talent to track and mix well then you can get it done with average gear with no problem and nobody, including professionals will know the difference by listening to your end product.

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onesecondglance



Joined: 02/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806073 - 23/01/10 09:50 AM
perhaps not the best analogy there, Liz - i can see a world of difference between a good SD TV and a good HD TV.

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hourglass | random thoughts | doubledotdash!? collective


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806114 - 23/01/10 01:21 PM
The thrust of Ethan's argument simply appears to be that for MOST people in MOST situations playing/recording MOST music in MOST studio, MOST prosumer gear is perfectly adequate and people shouldn't sweat so much over tiny, pedantic details of specmanship (that's maybe sprinkled, perhaps, with a liberal dollop of snake oil) because MOST people (especially yer average listener on a typical hi-fi set up) ain't gonna hear it. A record's never been a flop because it was recorded with a Soundblaster rather than an Apogee (and some really badly recorded records have been hugely successful!).

I see people dribbling over 25GB sampled pianos recorded at 192kHz/24-bit with 1,024 velocity layers ... and they're going to vamp out some joanna chords that are going to be buried in the mix!! A lot of people now judge sample library on its SIZE these days ... and yet the most successful sample-based keyboard ever had just 4MB of RAM (and people are STILL after those sounds).

I did some sample editing for a manufacturer a few years ago. All the samples were recorded 24-bit and I had to top and tail and loop them. Did all that, submitted them, happy bunnies all round - very satisfied with the results and I was paid. I continued to receive compliments on the standard of my work from those involved who were so wildly pleased with how good they sounded.

A few months later, abject panic! Someone noticed (because Kontakt displays this kind of thing if you look carefully) that all the samples had been truncated to 16-bit. My fault - the default setting for my editor's Save As is 16-bit and I didn't spot it. And suddenly the perception was that these samples didn't sound good and they had to be redone at 24-bit. So I had to redo them all over again.

And about a year ago, someone posted here that recorded a track ... sounded fab, everyone loved it, etc.... and then noticed it had all be done at 44/16 instead of 48/24 ...

So he re-recorded the whole thing again.

People post here asking how to record at 192/24....

In their home studios with mics that don't extend beyond 17kHz to be played back on monitoring that won't play much above 20kHz in an untreated room that probably has (at best) a 15-bit dynamic range ... not that dynamic range is that vital coz everything will be compressed to hell and back and then (ahem) 'mastered' and released as an MP3 on MySpace.

In that context, I agree with what Ethan and HugoL are saying. The most important thing surely is the content - if that's shite, what gear is used is irrelevant!

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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806115 - 23/01/10 01:22 PM
Quote HugoL:



There we go, this is basically the point of this thread. I'm sure people can train their ears to a extent to pick up on differences that the average Joe will miss, but if it's that subtle and often subjective does it really matter so much?





Yes it matters. It's why, without any doubt, the biggest pieces of music, or film or whatever - are generally not done on the cheap. The discerning individuals are on the production end - and their pride in "doing it right" is paramount in maintaining high standards. The man on the street can and does hear "the better end". Most consumer optimized recordings {my new fave words !!} - from RnB to orchestral recital are recorded with excellent professionals and excellent gear.

I agree that the pursuit of gear for gears sake is just silly. Really silly.

Why does it matter? It matters in exactly the same way as fine craftsmanship. And why a fine craftsman will buy excellent and quality tools instead of a 10 quid drill from B&Q.

Doing it to the quality that you intend - and this absolutely does not apply to the budget conscious - costs. Yes - the song is the most important facet.

But like all things - minor tweaks? No one will notice will they? Yeah - dont bother tweaking those lyrics because man in the street wont care. Ah let's not bother with that subtle vibrato on the vocal - man in street doesn't care. I mean , heck - Avatar could have been made for $50million - just cut a few corners. No one would notice !! heh


See what I mean? Doing the job as a means of high end artistic expression is important in all areas. From composition to final mastering and packaging. It all matters - but as you rightly say; temper it with financial restraint.


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806120 - 23/01/10 01:34 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:



Bottom line for me; use what works well and what you can comfortably afford. Don't get caught up in the hype of big name gear and magic fairy dust. Treat the tools like tools. Provided they work at all they are only as useful as you make them. If you've got the ears and the talent to track and mix well then you can get it done with average gear with no problem and nobody, including professionals will know the difference by listening to your end product.




Absolutely - but recognize that there are certain things you can't do with certain tools.

What you're talking about is making the best of what you have got. And I absolutely agree - get the absolute best out of what you have, but be under no illusions that you will be able to design the mix from the ground up in the recording stage - which is precisely what a professional product maker does.

It DOES go both ways too; You can't get the cheap Premier/Olympic Drum kit sound used on things like "song 2" by using a top end Pork Pie drum kit. You absolutely cannot stack up a load of SM57s in Abbey Road into a set of RMEs and hope to get "the movie sound". No way on Earth.

You can't get gritty rap vocal a la hand held sm58 with a VM1.

But you wanna get the "Songs for the Deaf " drum sound ? You will absolutely need a set of VM1s and high end valve pres. No other way to do it. Tried it every way you can think !!

I was at Steve Hills studio the other week - took a Josephson 700 because there was a specific texture I wanted. I knew it was in this mic - a unique piece if ever there was one. Took the recording back to my place and, low and behold, no surprises at all. It sounded as I had intended. Even choosing Steve's studio over mine was an important thing. Steve has a better live room than my place. Gear? I've got gear coming out of my ears but I don't have the mic's that Steve has and I don't have the room {or Steve's tenacity and patience !!}

I totally support NOT chasing gear to solve your woes. But I also strongly oppose the position that using the right gear is folly. It, as mentioned above, is about experience and balance.

Gear choice matters - SOME of it costs.


right - i'm off to hire a clan Gordon kilt.


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Tui
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806166 - 23/01/10 04:54 PM
Quote narcoman:

Stick a VM1 up infront of just about anything and it sounds "finished".




Ahhhhhh, yes, the VM1. High-end stuff indeed.





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dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806206 - 23/01/10 08:22 PM
A slightly different take on this:

I mainly play in the live sound game, and have some reasonably good gear available (Nexo Alpha E rig in a good room), but recently had occasion to mix a pub band on a pub stage with decidedly low/mid line gear, the difference was probably not massive to the audience (Modulo the dammed guitar being too loud for the room!), but it took me about 3 times longer to get the result.

Now, the alpha E rig was probably £40,000 more expensive then the pub rig was, but if you have a situation where you routinely have expensive talent, then that saving in time very quickly adds up to make the more expensive kit a bargain.

Even things like having kit that I KNOW I can just plug in and it will not hum (stupid as it sounds) means that I am not holding things up while I dicker about with wiring and means that promoters and artists are not getting stressed.

In terms of sound quality, Ethan is mostly right, you can get 90% of the way there even on budget kit (and if everything else is right, that is closer then most released records get), but it will cost you time compared to doing it with the right tools.

IMHO the places where it really shows (and where you generally cannot easily work around spending money) are the room, the mics and the speakers, everywhere else it is generally more about workflow then audio quality differences (or at least you can mostly work around the limitations at the cost of time).

Regards, Dan.

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Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


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EnlightenedHand



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806213 - 23/01/10 08:39 PM
I disagree with the notion that you can't take a clean recording and make it sound as low-fi as you wish. You most certainly can. But I do agree that there is a certain threshold of quality in equipment that allows it to be useful. But what I'm arguing is that threshold isn't in the sole territory of so-called "high-end" equipment. Today's average equipment is fully capable of producing professional results. That's all I'm saying.

I don't think it's practical to go and use the cheapest equipment you can find to make a recording any more than I think it's practical to use the most expensive equipment you can find. But you can certainly get the job done with average tools and if you do a good job there will be nothing that any end listener could point to and say; "That had to be done with x piece of budget gear". The argument behind such a statement is completely unfounded as is the refusal for some folks to accept that it's not even remotely as much about the gear as it is the users of the gear.

Besides all of that, a lot of the so called "high-end" gear isn't so well specified in the first place, in terms of faithful sonic representation. It just happens to be well liked for it's quirks and unique sound. That's entirely subjective stuff. Hate to break it to some folks but some of the most beloved names in preamplification for example (API, Neve, etc) aren't all that great for tracking things as cleanly and faithfully as possible. In fact things can get comparatively a bit muddy from time to time using too much of that stuff. There's some average gear that tracks much cleaner. But it's almost sacrilege to say such things in certain audio production circles. I think that kind of attitude is just stupid and it shows the basic lack of understanding that many professional engineers have about how to capture and manipulate sound. But then again, nobody every said one had to actually fully understand what they are doing to become commercially successful doing it.

Most of the older professional engineers I know have a method of working or a "thing" that they do and know well and that's about all there is to it. They tend to surround themselves with tools that fit their "thing" and they work in the way that fits their "thing". But that doesn't meant that their way is the only or even the most practical way to approach the issue. I think that ultimately this entire business of recording and mixing music comes down to understanding how to interpret and manipulate sound, using our ears. If you can hear how a sound comes to have the specific characteristics that it does then you can apply several methods to achieve a credible reproduction of that characteristic. It doesn't necessarily rely on specific pieces of gear or a specific work method. That's one of the reasons why I don't let myself get sidetracked listening to analog die hards rave on about how plug-in emulations don't sound exactly the same. So what if they don't (and for the record I happen to think they are damn close if not identical in many cases)? Use your ears and different methods to get it where you need it to be. It's not like it simply MUST be done the way you've always done it. But nevertheless that's the attitude that prevails.

I suppose the biggest audio myth of all is the one that says: "You can't get excellent results without the "best" gear". That's just totally false. The "best" gear is a luxury, not a necessity.

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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806223 - 23/01/10 09:11 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:




as is - the refusal for some folks to accept that it's not even remotely as much about the gear as it is the users of the gear.
-

Treat the tools like tools. Provided they work at all they are only as useful as you make them. If you've got the ears and the talent to track and mix well then you can get it done with average gear with no problem and nobody, including professionals will know the difference by listening to your end product.


.




Very wise words - i nicked these two separate responses from EnlightenedHand because they are sucient to the issue - 'high end' stuff.

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Edited by Stan (23/01/10 09:12 PM)


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CPU toast



Joined: 29/03/08
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Loc: Oregon
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806288 - 24/01/10 05:56 AM
Over my many years I have run the recording gamut from bouncing tracks
on portable 1970's-era cassette recorders designed for the spoken word - as in reccrding one recorder into the other while I overdubbed a live track - to Cubase 100%-in-the-box VSTI-wankery. Emotionally, I'll never forget the chugging mud guitar sound I got from those garbagy cassette recorders on a Come Together cover, stuff that today would sound oh-so-cool in a lo-fi hipster context (attitude is the best ADA converter, especially if you have low-jitter neurons).
My Cubase virtual stuff however, sounds so clinically antiseptic that there is no soul. I've gone back to tracking real guitars and vocals into Cubase. Humanity needs dirt in its signal chain. Music needs to have a smell.
In the future, a computer program designed by an accountant will be able to take any dismal wave file and interpolate/resynthesize/upsample it into any "high-end" equipment posture you want to emulate. Just click on pretentious, and from the drag-down menu select Neve or API or whatever.
100,000$ consoles will be in the same junk museum as those Space Shuttle parts NASA is trying to peddle on Ebay.
I love gear as much as the next head, but there is no brand that can deliver Artistic Brilliance. Thank Goddess for that.


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4416
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806290 - 24/01/10 06:56 AM
There's no doubt in my mind that some very fine pieces of equipment get us where we want to go quickly. But by that token those designs are often of the 'does one thing really well' variety. As Liz said, if you want clean and pristine then a 1073 isn't going to provide that however much it costs. Equally your Grace and Crookwoods of this world won't provide much in the way of fat harmonic distortion. So where does this leave those people without the cash for one of each? Well nowhere particularly bad, because sonics to the nth degree are not what sells records at the end of the day. You can get fantastic sounds with relatively modest gear. At least good enough for the number one slot. After which you can have what you like. But there is a caveat to all this: while some of the more affordable gear is capable of great results you need to record stuff that sounds amazing. Sometimes this is going to cost money. Not every room sounds good. A lot of amps are awful. A real piano is expensive. If you need a session player they cost money. If you're going to spend money, buying one really great amp to suit your genre, a couple of excellent snares, good cymbals, a great tele or les paul, not to mention studio time when you need it, will make far more difference than one amazing compressor. I'm talking from the perspective of someone who records bands of course, and I appreciate that not everyone works in this way.

J

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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806521 - 25/01/10 02:48 AM
Quote Tui:

Quote narcoman:

Stick a VM1 up infront of just about anything and it sounds "finished".




Ahhhhhh, yes, the VM1. High-end stuff indeed.








silly beggar !!


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806522 - 25/01/10 02:52 AM
Quote EnlightenedHand:


I suppose the biggest audio myth of all is the one that says: "You can't get excellent results without the "best" gear". That's just totally false.





Absolutely right - but tempered with - you're limited to the circle of results a piece of gear will achive {same with high end as well}.

Quote EnlightenedHand:


The "best" gear is a luxury, not a necessity.



Absolutely false in terms of certain goals. See my comment about SM57s and Abbey Road for extreme examples.!! If you want a U47 tone - you gotta use a U47. Just might be , though, that other cheaper sought tones will work. But that isn't my argument.


As for Lo-fi working .... depends what you choose to accept. I've worked on a couple of high selling lo-fi projects.... always record as you want to sound.


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Tui
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806582 - 25/01/10 11:28 AM
Quote narcoman:

If you want a U47 tone - you gotta use a U47.




It's the same with all things in the recording chain, isn't it. If you want the sound of a Steinway, you have to record a Steinway. A Yamaha grand is not going to sound the same, no matter how hard you try.


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Ariosto



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806606 - 25/01/10 12:48 PM
In the end only one thing counts. The musician.

You can have a bad musician recorded on the best equipment. Still sounds terrible.

A great musician on poor equipment still sounds great ...


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EnlightenedHand



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806620 - 25/01/10 01:35 PM
What does a U47 sound like in a complete mix? What does a Steinway piano sound like? Which recordings of classical piano are using Steinways and which are using Yamaha or Kawai or Estonia or Schimmel or Baldwin or Mason and Hamlin or Bosendorfer? I happen to be a classical pianist and I cannot reliably tell what kind of piano is used in any recording at all. I can tell a piano by it's feel when I'm playing it. I can get a general idea of the type of piano by it's sound. But it's quite difficult to discern exactly which piano one is using in a recording because there are so many variables at play (the tracking situation, the mix decisions, etc). But the bottom line is that it really doesn't matter. What matters is getting the sound characteristic that fits the situation. That has nothing to do with specific models and makes of gear. It has everything to do with one of two approaches. Either you audition and use gear that has the general character of what you're looking for, and that could be from any manufacturer. Or you pick gear that leaves very little character and you tweak the sound through processing with your mix tools and they could be from any manufacturer so long as they function within the capacity that you need and you know how to use them to get what you want out of them.

So long as it's tracked cleanly you can take it anywhere. What I find a bothersome audio myth is the one that says "You can't get certain sounds without using this specific model and make of gear". That sounds reasonable, but it forsakes the argument of relevance. Who cares that you can't get the actual sound of a U47 without using a U47? Even thinking that way begs the questions: Which U47, in which room, with which placement and which singer tracked through which pramplifier and at what gain settings? There are so many variables that you can't get the exact sound of ANY microphone outside of it's specific tracking situation. But that doesn't really matter because ultimately the point is that you can get close enough that no end listener would know the difference. Furthermore, no end listener cares what gear you used. They just want the music to sound good. That has nothing to do with specific models and makes of gear.

The people that care about gear don't make or break record sales. But they do waste a lot of time and money fretting about tools that are no more special than the hands touching them.

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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806642 - 25/01/10 03:05 PM
sorry Liz but I know people who can reliably identify not only what brand ( and sometimes the specific model) of piano is being played, but often which venue it was recorded in....

this extends both to consumers of classical recorded music, and performers... Granted, their expected standards of product are far higher than the average rock n roll punter.... and their listening environments are often equally superior.... and believe me, i've been in enough of them to know.....

hell even I can tell the difference between a Yamaha , Steinway and Bosendorfer... both in the flesh and most recordings.... (assuming it's not completely buried under a zillion other things... )

as to who cares...


well perhaps the artiste??? it is after all their goal you are trying to achieve.... and it's your job as an engineer or producer to bring to fruition what they hear in their heads... and if that happens to be film score sound of certain type, then yes, the ONLY way to do it is using a given set of equipment in a given type of acoustic environment.


and yes, the listeners sometimes care..... or at least a proportion of them do ....

no they don't care about which mic, or cable, or compressor... but many DO care about the quality overall.... i've been discovering that while the iPod and MP3 phenomenon on the face of it appears to imply a lowering of standards, i've found that it enables people to consume more music than they have done for a while, and there appears to be a knock on effect... in that they are then choosing what they want to listen to and enjoy more seriously , based on enjoying the content previously in a less critical manner.

this isn't just audiophile classical music nuts either... even teens are at it...

my kids use iTunes... extensively, to listen to stuff.... then make their CD purchasing decisions based on what they downloaded...

i've actually heard my 18 yr old son say that he wasn't buying an album, "coz i downloaded it, and it sounded [ ****** ]"

and look at the furor about Death Magnetic, or assorted other albums ..... the furor about the sound quality, not the quality of the material itself...




ultimately as engineers and producers, we all owe it both to our clients, and the consumers to produce the best sounding product we are able to .

not the fastest.. not the cheapest, but the best sounding...


anything less is cheapening the art for the sake of accountants convenience.

which I for one take exception to.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806650 - 25/01/10 03:38 PM
Quote narcoman:

Quote HugoL:



There we go, this is basically the point of this thread. I'm sure people can train their ears to a extent to pick up on differences that the average Joe will miss, but if it's that subtle and often subjective does it really matter so much?





Yes it matters. It's why, without any doubt, the biggest pieces of music, or film or whatever - are generally not done on the cheap. The discerning individuals are on the production end - and their pride in "doing it right" is paramount in maintaining high standards. The man on the street can and does hear "the better end". Most consumer optimized recordings {my new fave words !!} - from RnB to orchestral recital are recorded with excellent professionals and excellent gear.

I agree that the pursuit of gear for gears sake is just silly. Really silly.




My statement was "if it's that subtle and often subjective". I'm saying if there's a tangible, justifiable difference then of course it makes sense to use specific kit.

Gear for gears sake is indeed silly and it's a safe bet there is a lot of this going on at all levels. Just look at the ridiculous obsession on certain other forums! Conversely other gear choices make a lot of sense.


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
Posts: 4461
Loc: The Orient, East London
Re: Audio myths new [Re: dmills]
      #806651 - 25/01/10 03:43 PM
Quote dmills:


In terms of sound quality, Ethan is mostly right, you can get 90% of the way there even on budget kit (and if everything else is right, that is closer then most released records get), but it will cost you time compared to doing it with the right tools.




+1. Ease of use and quality of recording. Time is money. Its sometimes better spending the money on good gear if in the long run you overspend on time.

ken

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I'm All Ears.


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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
Posts: 3468
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806659 - 25/01/10 04:04 PM
Had a very experienced producer round here the other day (44 number ones ... the man's a bona fide star) - I can't name him, but he did come out with some interesting stuff, including "you can cut, using the eqs on a Neve desk, but if you boost - you're [ ****** ], mate. The phase problems are just appalling." He loves his gear just as much as anybody, but when I asked him what was the most important part of the recording chain, his answer was ...

"The performance. followed by the performance, followed by the performance. There's [ ****** ] all that'll help you out if that isn't right. Preferably all the way through, one take. I'm [ ****** ] if I'm going to spend all night comping"

--------------------
http://anotherfineday.bandcamp.com/ http://anotherfineday.co.uk http://apollomusic.co.uk


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #806709 - 25/01/10 05:45 PM
What you have made is a very common claim by certain people. To that claim I propose a proper double blind test to see if you really can reliably identify the differences between different piano models and makes in a recording.

I honestly am willing to bet $10,000 that you can't.

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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806716 - 25/01/10 06:13 PM
Then tell me this. When i lived in Australia many years ago, i was based in a town about two hours out of Melbourne. And in that town there was a theatre, and in that theatre there was a Steinway Grand up on the stage.

For the majority of the time the hall was used for bingo, WI meetings, church activities and all the other usual messing about with amateur dramatics found in any other post industrial country town of about 20,000 people.

But every now and again, bands would travel the two hours from Melbourne or the eight hours from Sydney, and they would call up my old mate Joe (RIP) who had a very nice studio in town there, and they would book the hall and some gear from Joe's and they would go there and record on that Steinway, 'cos it was that good.

You'll hear it all over commercial records of the time, probably still do.

Now if there's no difference, why would they bother?

http://www.wangarattapac.com.au/www/590/1001127/displayarticle/1001442.htm l


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806723 - 25/01/10 06:30 PM
I never said there wasn't a difference. I'm saying that the end listeners that actually buy the music aren't going to know what gear you've used and they certainly won't care so long as the music sounds good, so it doesn't matter if you use a specific model or make of gear.

It's really very common for bands and professional production folks to indulge in things that straight up don't matter. If the song sounds good to the end listeners none of them are going to say: "That would have been better if only it had that Steinway from that theater in Australia". That's just plain ridiculous, though it's typical of the ridiculous things professional audio people worry about.

A piano, like any instrument, is a tool for expressing oneself through music. It ain't the piano any more than it's the compressor or the EQ that reaches the audience. Now I'll be the first to admit that I have a favorite piano. I know that piano well and I would go out of my way to use it. But I don't hold the illusion that I MUST use it to get a wonderful piano recording. It's a luxury and not a necessity.

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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806724 - 25/01/10 06:32 PM
But that piano was fantastic. Any pianist would play better on a piano like that. The sound from that piano was like love.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806725 - 25/01/10 06:37 PM
... And, if there's no difference then how can you bet someone 10k that they can't tell the difference?


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El Sid



Joined: 20/05/05
Posts: 276
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806726 - 25/01/10 06:38 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:


A piano, like any instrument, is a tool for expressing oneself through music. It ain't the piano any more than it's the compressor or the EQ that reaches the audience.




sorry Liz, but it is, or it could be given the artist (or engineer).

take Glenn Gould and that piano... or even that chair he sat on... it all made the difference to him and thank god it did so that we have all those amazing recordings...

Sid


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806727 - 25/01/10 06:40 PM
Sorry, i'm not trying to give you a hard time, Liz. In fact i restore most of my isnruments from junk shops and use home made stuff, and record on prosumer gear. But that's my kick these days.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806753 - 25/01/10 08:06 PM
I don't think you could say to a classical soloist or a jazz trio that having a decent piano doesn't matter.

I have a good grand piano here, since when I've never used a piano sample out of choice (one or twopso-so players like midi for correcting their mistakes!).

I've also lost work because in the eyes of some players it's not good enough for them!

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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EnlightenedHand



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #806778 - 25/01/10 10:04 PM
There needs to be a clear distinction made here about what I am and am not saying.

I am not saying that using a well made, good sounding instrument isn't important towards getting a high quality performance.

I AM saying that it's not necessary to use a specific model or make of piano, or any other instrument or piece of gear deemed "high-end" in order to have an instrument or tool that is well made and good sounding.

I am not saying that there isn't a unique sound to certain specific pieces of gear.

I AM saying that it is possible to get close enough to the sound characteristics of a unique sounding instrument or piece of gear that within the context of a well rendered, finished mix the end listeners won't know which specific tools or instruments you've used with any statistically viable degree of reliability. They might be able to identify something here or there. But it's not at all obvious in the context of a quality mix. Besides that, only the music matters to the end listeners, not the instruments or tools used.

My overall point is that we as production professionals and recording artists worry about things that really don't matter to the end listeners most of the time. It ends up wasting time and money in many cases and I think it's unnecessary. We also develop myths to justify our veneration for certain prized tools. I think that's largely a waste of consideration. The tools are just tools. The instruments are just instruments. They only need to work well. They don't need to sound like the music of heaven. That's what we are supposed to bring to the table as musicians and performers. Perhaps that's a lesson that could be taken away from (if anything could be taken from) the now contrived and cliche act of smashing one's instruments to pieces at the end of a performance. It's not the machine. It's the person (so to speak).

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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806782 - 25/01/10 10:21 PM
Not sure I can go that far. A piano is not a sample set. A Hammond is a Hammond. A Les Paul is a Les Paul and a Tele is a Tele, and personally I can always tell whether a decent acoustic guitar (steel or nylon) has been used, and how well it's been recorded, and on a good day I could have a fair stab at telling you the make of the guitar. With other acoustic instruments, of anything the quality becomes more crucial.

Give me something decent to record and it mixes itself.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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EnlightenedHand



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #806804 - 25/01/10 11:23 PM
I guess we just disagree on that bit. Not a problem.

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Ian Savage



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #806807 - 25/01/10 11:33 PM
Quote idris y draig:

sorry Liz but I know people who can reliably identify not only what brand ( and sometimes the specific model) of piano is being played, but often which venue it was recorded in....




Really? I mean, REALLY? If they were double-blind tested, and played a mixture of equally well-recorded snippets of equally well-timbred and highly-tuned pianos in equally good-sounding spaces? This kind of cuts to the quick of what the whole video was about, how many people swear blind (pardon the pun) that they can hear the difference when little stones are placed in the corner of the room, or globs of crap are applied to the surfaces; as has been said, move one microphone by an inch and the whole high-end spectrum that's recorded changes, so I refuse to believe that anyone has such discerning ears that they could tell that 'that's a Steinway in Birmingham Symphony, and that's a Yamaha in the Albert Hall', far less tell the model. It's as daft as me claiming that I can tell a 1957 Les Paul from a 1962 one just by listening to recordings of them; there's far too many other variables at play.

Quote:


this isn't just audiophile classical music nuts either... even teens are at it...

my kids use iTunes... extensively, to listen to stuff.... then make their CD purchasing decisions based on what they downloaded...

i've actually heard my 18 yr old son say that he wasn't buying an album, "coz i downloaded it, and it sounded [ ****** ]"




So he's downloaded it via iTunes without buying it? How'd he get away with that?


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806830 - 26/01/10 12:52 AM
Quote Tui:

Quote narcoman:

If you want a U47 tone - you gotta use a U47.




It's the same with all things in the recording chain, isn't it. If you want the sound of a Steinway, you have to record a Steinway. A Yamaha grand is not going to sound the same, no matter how hard you try.




absolutely right. In fact so damn right I can't even type it hard enough.


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806832 - 26/01/10 12:53 AM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

I never said there wasn't a difference. I'm saying that the end listeners that actually buy the music aren't going to know what gear you've used and they certainly won't care so long as the music sounds good, so it doesn't matter if you use a specific model or make of gear.

It's really very common for bands and professional production folks to indulge in things that straight up don't matter. If the song sounds good to the end listeners none of them are going to say: "That would have been better if only it had that Steinway from that theater in Australia". That's just plain ridiculous, though it's typical of the ridiculous things professional audio people worry about.

A piano, like any instrument, is a tool for expressing oneself through music. It ain't the piano any more than it's the compressor or the EQ that reaches the audience. Now I'll be the first to admit that I have a favorite piano. I know that piano well and I would go out of my way to use it. But I don't hold the illusion that I MUST use it to get a wonderful piano recording. It's a luxury and not a necessity.




That's a very "that'll do" philosophy. Not sure I like it too much - it's certainly not the mindset that will get you through the doors of Fox..... they're mighty fussy !! I've worked for three of the highest paid composers in the film world on occasion. I can assure you - not putting quality high on the agenda would have got me fired!!!



Without exception I always use the absolute appropriate gear for the budget and pieces being recorded. If that is a cheap upright - then so be it. If it's a $40 trash drum kit then so be it. But if it's a Josephson 700 series with Furman pre amp - then also; so be it. OF COURSE one has to be budget conscious. So yes - it makes sense to not go re-mortgaging the house to by gear for an amateur or hobby project!!

No to "gear for gears sake". Yes to gear doing the job and fitting in with the production demands. It's my job to reject certain pieces of gear for others depending u[on production direction. I treat recording gear exactly the same way as I do recording venue and choice of players {more for orchestral stuff}.

I am most certainly not of the "yeah that'll do, nobody will be able to tell" but I agree one can compromise when the budget isn't there. Cutting corners is industry destructive. Ultimate quality costs because it can!! I'm most defo with idris y draig , Steve and a few others on this one !!....

Oh - and I prize no tools...... just that the good ones - generally - cost more.


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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806838 - 26/01/10 01:11 AM
It was a bit stupid to suggest that EnlightenedHand said, or inferred, that inferior instruments or gear made no difference. EnlightenedHand was writing about how you use the equipment. So much for this site of exchange of opinion and method!!
Steve normally reads the threads. I'm disappointed in mr hill on this occasion.
and now narco is on her back!!

--------------------
.. is this thing on?

Edited by Stan (26/01/10 01:19 AM)


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Tui
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Joined: 02/09/02
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806850 - 26/01/10 05:48 AM
Storm in a teacup. I should think everybody would agree that

a) You can make good sounding recordings with budget gear, if you know what you're doing. Alternatively, you might deliver a crap production, using premium gear, if you don't (done that, been there, got the T-shirt).

b) The performance matters more than the gear that was used for recording it.

However, if you're after a certain sound, you need to use the gear that makes that sound. An imitation will sound like an imitation.

There's certain gear that has such a distinctive sound that it simply can't be emulated by a cheap device that has the word "Pro" written on it. Certain mics have been mentioned, but I'm also thinking of FX boxes. If, for example, you're after "that" pitch-shifting sound, you need to hook up an Eventide, for otherwise you're not going to get it. You could spend your entire budget on software emulations or a truckload of Behringer gear, but the result would still not be in the same league.

Getting the "right" sound does not necessarily mean you'll have to spend a lot of money, it's more a question of knowing where to invest wisely to get the biggest bang for the buck. This knowledge grows with experience. Eventually, you'll figure out where you can cut corners without upsetting the big picture, or where you can't.

Think of it this way. If it was really possible to buy a PC at Walmart, download a copy of your favourite DAW and a couple of free plug-ins, and end up with a big movie sound, everybody would be doing it. SSL, Lexicon, TC, Neuman and the rest of them would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4416
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806860 - 26/01/10 07:57 AM
I'm sort of between the camps on this.

I think that far too many people get caught up reading threads online in which people (who they don't know) tell them that you can't think about recording a vocal without a choice of U47, C12 or <insert latest hyped mic>. These people then get fixated on a lack of these tools as the reason why their mixes don't sound the way they want. And I think what Liz is saying is that while those mics could, and probably would result in an incrimentally better sound, that's not the problem. I believe that gear is never responsible for a project working or not working. That would imply that the parts are more important than the whole. But of course it can yeild improvements and be the final factor separating the great from the best in terms of sonics.

I can also see Narcoman's point of view. If your client demands and is accustomed the best and is prepared to pay for it, then it's your responsibility to provide that. If you work for producers who track steinways with the finest mics in the most sympathetic spaces on the planet every day, they're going to notice straight away if you don't provide that. It doesn't matter that your average punter in a cinema won't notice, the producer will, and he'll fire you.

As for the pianos in the halls etc, I'm sure there are a handful of engineers who regularly track in the same handful of world class spaces with the same handful of instruments. And I'm sure they get to know them very well and can tell you which is which. There are other factors behind them being able to tell: they know the people behind all these recordings. Who likes what, who hires what from who, etc etc.

Long and the short, there are people and times for which gear really does matter. And those for which it really doesn't.

J

--------------------
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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #806861 - 26/01/10 08:07 AM
Quote Jack Ruston:

And those for which it really doesn't.




X-Factor winners, I grant you.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Stan]
      #806877 - 26/01/10 09:30 AM
Quote Stan:

It was a bit stupid to suggest that EnlightenedHand said, or inferred, that inferior instruments or gear made no difference. EnlightenedHand was writing about how you use the equipment. So much for this site of exchange of opinion and method!!
Steve normally reads the threads. I'm disappointed in mr hill on this occasion.
and now narco is on her back!!




nobody's is n her back!!! It's a discussion and certainly IS an exchange.....

E-Hand painted a nearly black n white picture and claimed you can do it all with a clean recording and sort it out at the end. It's just not true ..... you can do a great recording that way - but you can't do a designed recording, which is by far the most common way to work in the fee paying sector of the industry!! You listen to any Nice Cave recording - the vocals sound that way in the recording..... seldom mix tricks on the stuff. Same with yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, nearly all film work and many more besides. The only lot this doesn't really apply to is the Greg Wells school of thought - the Katy Perrys and pop music of the world.... and they're most certainly not the lions share of what's being worked on at any time.


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806878 - 26/01/10 09:31 AM
Quote Tui:

Storm in a teacup. I should think everybody would agree that

a) You can make good sounding recordings with budget gear, if you know what you're doing. Alternatively, you might deliver a crap production, using premium gear, if you don't (done that, been there, got the T-shirt).

b) The performance matters more than the gear that was used for recording it.

However, if you're after a certain sound, you need to use the gear that makes that sound. An imitation will sound like an imitation.

There's certain gear that has such a distinctive sound that it simply can't be emulated by a cheap device that has the word "Pro" written on it. Certain mics have been mentioned, but I'm also thinking of FX boxes. If, for example, you're after "that" pitch-shifting sound, you need to hook up an Eventide, for otherwise you're not going to get it. You could spend your entire budget on software emulations or a truckload of Behringer gear, but the result would still not be in the same league.

Getting the "right" sound does not necessarily mean you'll have to spend a lot of money, it's more a question of knowing where to invest wisely to get the biggest bang for the buck. This knowledge grows with experience. Eventually, you'll figure out where you can cut corners without upsetting the big picture, or where you can't.

Think of it this way. If it was really possible to buy a PC at Walmart, download a copy of your favourite DAW and a couple of free plug-ins, and end up with a big movie sound, everybody would be doing it. SSL, Lexicon, TC, Neuman and the rest of them would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.



supported!!


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Ariosto



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806883 - 26/01/10 10:00 AM
As a professional string player all I can add is that I would of course probably be able to tell if I was playing blindfolded on a Strad, Del Gesu, Amati, Guadanini, Panormo, Rocca, or whatever, but I could not always be absolutely certain. I reckon my ears are as good as most.

However, someone else playing on those instruments would make it more difficult for me to tell, because outstanding players have an individual sound. So you are adding colour and other things into the equation.

It gets even more difficult with recordings because mics, and recording gear change the equation again, and the date of the recording (i.e. 1960, 1975, 1990 etc) will also have an effect. Also any close/distant miking, any added reverb, the recording venue, all these things make it harder.

There again on a bad day a certain performer may make a different sound, or on a good day a different sound again.

So even though I can tell if it's Kreisler on a Del Jesu, or Menuhin on a Strad, or whatever, I maybe can't even then always be certain. (Of course, if I know the recording well other things will give it away).

Blind tests of instruments (even with the same player), Hi-Fi equipment, mics or whatever, have led to some embarrassing results for those concerned.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806892 - 26/01/10 10:26 AM
This is a great thread. I see that the contributors' very artistic integrity is at stake with every carefully crafted opinion.

Oh to be a watercolour artist; they have it easy. You don't see them travelling to the foothills of the himalayas to collect the purest water of the first thaw (only availble on the sacred day of the spring equinox) to mix their paints.

Or a writer, afloat upon a raft in the indian ocean, waiting for the Squid migration, waiting to harpoon one of the elder Squiddies for it's sacred ink to fill a quill plucked from the tail of the fearsome Battling Peacocks of the African Congo.

They have it easy...

Not us though, oh no. We must seek out the purest sounds, the richest timbres. Chopping down trees that have perhaps grown for a thousand years in undisturbed rain forest to craft the finest instruments. And record those aged beauties on microphones made in Germany to the most exacting standards, matched by eunuchs kept in dark silent rooms to protect their hearing. Our performances engineered by the white robed disciples of the audio temples of the ancient and mystical town of Guildford. Our recordings pondered over by professors of music in their Oxbridge apartments on the finest speakers aligned with lasers and perched on titanium stands filled with concrete!

And why do we do this?

Well, in the words of the great JFK "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard!"

It's our responsibility to do these things!

When a writer writes, what do they do? They listen to music. When a painter paints, what do the do? When a dancer dances? Well, you get the idea there. Yes, music is the mother of all art forms, the earliest and most ancient, the highest discipline of all art.

So don't come round here, to the virtual 'church' of audio, claiming to to be an audio professional or any other kind of artist and give us this, "oh it don't really matter, just sling something together and they won't be able to tell the difference!" bollocks.

I cried myslef to sleep last night after reading some of the comments on this thread. And tbh, i'm bloody glad i did, because at least i know that I still have a soul.


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Ariosto



Joined: 04/05/08
Posts: 303
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806895 - 26/01/10 10:33 AM
Quote:

Chopping down trees that have perhaps grown for a thousand years in undisturbed rain forest to craft the finest instruments.




Just to get the facts right the trees used to make violins, violas, cellos etc., are not from rainforests! BUT, the wood for bows does come from there, so I suppose you made a good point!!


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806901 - 26/01/10 11:03 AM
Quote:

This is a great thread. I see that the contributors' very artistic integrity is at stake with every carefully crafted opinion.

Oh to be a watercolour artist; they have it easy. You don't see them travelling to the foothills of the himalayas to collect the purest water of the first thaw (only availble on the sacred day of the spring equinox) to mix their paints.

Or a writer, afloat upon a raft in the indian ocean, waiting for the Squid migration, waiting to harpoon one of the elder Squiddies for it's sacred ink to fill a quill plucked from the tail of the fearsome Battling Peacocks of the African Congo.

They have it easy...

Not us though, oh no. We must seek out the purest sounds, the richest timbres. Chopping down trees that have perhaps grown for a thousand years in undisturbed rain forest to craft the finest instruments. And record those aged beauties on microphones made in Germany to the most exacting standards, matched by eunuchs kept in dark silent rooms to protect their hearing. Our performances engineered by the white robed disciples of the audio temples of the ancient and mystical town of Guildford. Our recordings pondered over by professors of music in their Oxbridge apartments on the finest speakers aligned with lasers and perched on titanium stands filled with concrete!

And why do we do this?

Well, in the words of the great JFK "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard!"

It's our responsibility to do these things!

When a writer writes, what do they do? They listen to music. When a painter paints, what do the do? When a dancer dances? Well, you get the idea there. Yes, music is the mother of all art forms, the earliest and most ancient, the highest discipline of all art.

So don't come round here, to the virtual 'church' of audio, claiming to to be an audio professional or any other kind of artist and give us this, "oh it don't really matter, just sling something together and they won't be able to tell the difference!" bollocks.

I cried myslef to sleep last night after reading some of the comments on this thread. And tbh, i'm bloody glad i did, because at least i know that I still have a soul.







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Pangloss
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Ariosto]
      #806916 - 26/01/10 11:30 AM
Out of interest, Ariosto, which of those fiddles would you consider to be your favourite?

I only ask because, more often than not, when I've heard someone playing a Guarneri Del Gesu (and when I've been aware of the fact - expectation bias here we come!) I have been struck by how unusually sonorous it has been.

The player, however, being by far the most influencial factor on the tone though....

--------------------
'These are my principles and if you don't like them...well, I have others' (Groucho Marx) www.ownlittleworld.net/tunes.html


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806930 - 26/01/10 12:35 PM
Quote Tui:

Think of it this way. If it was really possible to buy a PC at Walmart, download a copy of your favourite DAW and a couple of free plug-ins, and end up with a big movie sound, everybody would be doing it. SSL, Lexicon, TC, Neuman and the rest of them would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.




If your example related to Electronic Dance Music I'd say it's absolutely possible to compete with a Walmart PC and some free software provided you have the skills. Need some ok monitoring you're very familiar with of course.

Whether most people would want to do this is a different matter.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806934 - 26/01/10 12:44 PM
But electronic dance music isn't really 'music' in the true sense of the word, it is audio -> out, but not audio <- in - It's more of a sound construction exercise, a pastiche of sounds already recorded or sounds designed inside the machine. It's not proper music as performed by humans using proper instruments.

--------------------
Yeah!


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Pangloss
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806937 - 26/01/10 12:58 PM
Incoming!!

--------------------
'These are my principles and if you don't like them...well, I have others' (Groucho Marx) www.ownlittleworld.net/tunes.html


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806940 - 26/01/10 01:00 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

sounds designed inside the machine. It's not proper music as performed by humans using proper instruments.




So if I program a lead sound on my Jp8080 and play the main rift off it and record it to disk in protools then it's a performance using a proper instrument.

But if I build the same patch in superwave and then play it in cubase using a midi controller and record and edit it's no longer music performed using a proper instrument?



--------------------
Check out our currently running, audio creation competition with a huge selection of prizes @ Scan Velocity 2014


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Wizard Moon Chopper



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806944 - 26/01/10 01:10 PM
Correct.

--------------------
Yeah!


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806947 - 26/01/10 01:16 PM
errr despite my protestations about many other things i think i take some exception to the assertion that electronica produced in the box is not proper music...

i may not like much of it, but it is still a recording of the composition and performance of music....


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806949 - 26/01/10 01:19 PM
Unlike you, i like a good lot of that sort of stuff. The differemce however is that music programmed in ITB is then 'performed' by the machine as opposed to being 'performed' by a person. Machines aren't musicians, to be a musician you have to be a human.


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onesecondglance



Joined: 02/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806954 - 26/01/10 01:32 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Correct.




i call trolling!

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hourglass | random thoughts | doubledotdash!? collective


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Here be Dragons


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806956 - 26/01/10 01:34 PM
errr

you stated above in response to peter kaine, that a performance using a midi controller, and soft synth was not music...

despite it's being the same as a performance on a midi equipped hardware synth... which according to yuor earlier statement, IS music..


and composing done in the traditional manner.... is simply doing with pen and ink what you imply that doing with a computer makes it not music....

i'm not trying to be difficult.... i just think i don't quite see it the same way you do... composition is composition ,just like writing is writing, whether you use pencil and paper, or a word processor... it's simply using a different language.

is a modern novel any less a book because they used computers in it's creation? (jeffrey Archer "novels" notwithstanding )

where is would agree would be if you were to apply your argument to the use of loop based systems , such as assorted trakkers, or some applications of garage band , where the operator is not composing music, but assembling audio lego blocks....

then we'd be in agreement i think...

not that this is all that relevant perhaps to the original thrust of this thread... but do you see what i mean?

Edited by idris y draig (26/01/10 01:36 PM)


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #806958 - 26/01/10 01:39 PM
i'll add that the lego block assembly process is what i'm getting at, NOT simply the use of such software, much of which can still be used in a more creatively valid manner , for proper composition... rather than compositing.


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806961 - 26/01/10 01:39 PM
Not to get too off topic here, but I happen to think that music in it's most broad definition is simply sound and silence organized in time. I don't think it matters how it came to be or who or what performs it.

But back to the discussion...

I happen to think that yes indeed one could take a capable PC from the store and download a bunch of freeware plug-ins and a comprehensive sequencer, combine those with an average interface and some average microphones, some respectable average monitors and come up with a wonderful recording. This is of course provided that the tracking location sounds good and the players sound good and the way the performances are captured is appropriate for the task. I think the main reason why most professionals don't take this approach is clear.

First of all, it's not as convenient or easy. There is enough to worry about with the process of tracking and mixing things well that nobody wants to deal with working through the limitations of certain average equipment when they don't have to. Also the added convenience of using top notch gear can be a time saver.

The second main reason professionals don't default to average gear is simply because they don't have to. We use what we like because we can. Often times it sounds great straightaway and that's fine by anyone so long as they have the budget to acquire the gear. That still doesn't make it a necessity. That makes it a choice out of convenience and personal preference.

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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806962 - 26/01/10 01:39 PM
Well yeah, you can compose music with pen and ink if you really want to, but unless it's a top of the range Mont Blanc pen and hand made vellum smoothed on a Cuban virgin's thigh it'll still sound sh1t.

Or something.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806967 - 26/01/10 01:48 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

But electronic dance music isn't really 'music' in the true sense of the word, it is audio -> out, but not audio <- in - It's more of a sound construction exercise, a pastiche of sounds already recorded or sounds designed inside the machine. It's not proper music as performed by humans using proper instruments.




Despite your deliberately provocative wording, you do have a point here.

The sounds are in the machine, and often taken from a recording which has been done on very professional equipment, mixed and eq'd by high quality boxes already.

You are well off with the "pastiche" thing though, that makes no sense. Good electronic music is not about the past, its about surpassing and moving past the stale limitations of acoustic instruments.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #806971 - 26/01/10 01:56 PM
Quote idris y draig:

errr




Yeah alright.

Quote:

not that this is all that relevant perhaps to the original thrust of this thread... but do you see what i mean?




I do, but i feel passionately about this, and so would like the opportunity to answer.


Quote:

you stated above in response to peter kaine, that a performance using a midi controller, and soft synth was not music...

despite it's being the same as a performance on a midi equipped hardware synth... which according to yuor earlier statement, IS music..




What he said was this.

So if I program a lead sound on my Jp8080 and play the main rift off it and record it to disk in protools then it's a performance using a proper instrument.

But if I build the same patch in superwave and then play it in cubase using a midi controller and record and edit it's no longer music performed using a proper instrument?


Now what i take that to mean is that in the first instance he takes his synth, programmes a patch and plays in into his recorder.

But in the second example he goes to the machine, programmes a patch, uses the midi facilities to capture some on/off messages and as he states 'edits' it.

So to me in the first example a person sitting in his room would hear his performance whether it was recorded or not, because he's pleaying the synth. In the second example the finished performance can only be heard once the machine plays it back.

Quote:

and composing done in the traditional manner.... is simply doing with pen and ink what you imply that doing with a computer makes it not music....




Once again, the finished composition is performed by a person, a musician. With the ITB composition, the performance is by the machine, unless the score is given to a player who interprets it.

Quote:

...composition is composition




I'm not talking about the composition, i'm talking about the performance of music and the recording of those performances.


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806977 - 26/01/10 01:59 PM
Any moment now we're going to get someone saying that DJs are musicians!

Seriously, I think this thread has gone off the assertions that Ethan was making, which was not about character bits and bobs used in the making and recording of music. He was talking about conversion, dither, distortion and so forth. Oddly, I got his first two examples of dither/no dither, even over the net, turned out I liked the dithered ones. Must go to his site and see if I can do it with his proper examples.

The example of using really good mixers is another matter entirely, though interesting. As are lovely as opposed to 'just OK' mic-pres. Or really great mics. DAmn fine gear will make a difference, just as damn fine performances, instruments and rooms do.

Personally, I know that 'OK' pres and 'OK' converters are just that ... 'OK'. I know I get a certain flatness/boringness when using some combos of merely 'OK' stuff ... So I guess I disagree with Ethan... but then maybe not... Must look at his movie again! They certainly make some valid and interesting points in that movie, probably only certain points I'd take issue with.

Now, where did I put my cables soaked in Himalayan dewdrops?

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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806985 - 26/01/10 02:10 PM
One of the biggest myths in modern music is the idea that someone sitting at a piano which has a piano roll going round in front of him while he waves his arms around and smiles is a pianist!

It may be music to some drunk holding up the bar singing "roll out the barrel" but it's not music to me!


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806996 - 26/01/10 02:59 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

One of the biggest myths in modern music is the idea that someone sitting at a piano which has a piano roll going round in front of him while he waves his arms around and smiles is a pianist!

It may be music to some drunk holding up the bar singing "roll out the barrel" but it's not music to me!



Don't go to cockney pubs then if it pains you so greatly.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807004 - 26/01/10 03:29 PM
You know what, you're right, why should i bother?

The rate at which studios are closing, the quality of the music i might hear with a quick tune in to Radio1, the dwindling record sales and the virtual destruction of the music business by people who don't care, 'cos it doesn't really matter. The damage to our cultural wealth.

None of it matters, fling another dodgy autotuned model/dancer up the charts shaking their arse to a loop, and sink all the available cash into wide eyed sure things because it really doesn't matter does it?

If people are so into their art that they would travel from Sydney to some dust town eight hours away to record a piano part just because it sends shivers down your spine when you hear it, and people would queue up outside record shops to buy an artists new album because they knew it would sound fantastic and be ground breaking and perfectly recorded, and take it home and swim in the music.

The myth is that none of that matters, that cheap and cheerful will do.


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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
Posts: 3468
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807012 - 26/01/10 03:45 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:


None of it matters, fling another dodgy autotuned model/dancer up the charts shaking their arse to a loop, and sink all the available cash into wide eyed sure things because it really doesn't matter does it?





To some extent - actually, no it doesn't, not as it used to, today. The cultural impact of music is far less than it used to be, for most of today's youth. While they do enjoy it, immensely, what seems to be the biggest thrill for them is not the music itself, but the communality of the experience - the recorded music seems to be just a kind of 'marker', the 'real' experience being the big gig at a festival, and the 'sharing' of the music via facebook and all the other social networking stuff.

It's the sense of being part of a community that has the big kick, and the recorded music is just part of that, not the big thing it was for us older fans (you know ... the reverent placing of the (expensive) vinyl work on the deck, the exact placement of the arse on a cushion in the sweet spot, the drawing of the curtains, and, often, the firing up of a fat one ... to then listen in total concentration to the recorded meisterwork)

That just doesn't seem to be 'the thing' these days, most of the recordings being heard through earbuds in noisy conditions. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't bother to use good gear to record it (it'll still sound better if you do) but paying a huge amount of attention to the purely hi-fi qualities of what we're about probably really 'doesn't matter' as much as it used to. It still matters to us, but it doesn't matter for them - not like it did for us.

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johnny h



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: tomafd]
      #807021 - 26/01/10 04:01 PM
Quote tomafd:

Quote The Southern Baptist:


None of it matters, fling another dodgy autotuned model/dancer up the charts shaking their arse to a loop, and sink all the available cash into wide eyed sure things because it really doesn't matter does it?





To some extent - actually, no it doesn't, not as it used to, today. The cultural impact of music is far less than it used to be, for most of today's youth. While they do enjoy it, immensely, what seems to be the biggest thrill for them is not the music itself, but the communality of the experience - the recorded music seems to be just a kind of 'marker', the 'real' experience being the big gig at a festival, and the 'sharing' of the music via facebook and all the other social networking stuff.

It's the sense of being part of a community that has the big kick, and the recorded music is just part of that, not the big thing it was for us older fans (you know ... the reverent placing of the (expensive) vinyl work on the deck, the exact placement of the arse on a cushion in the sweet spot, the drawing of the curtains, and, often, the firing up of a fat one ... to then listen in total concentration to the recorded meisterwork)

That just doesn't seem to be 'the thing' these days, most of the recordings being heard through earbuds in noisy conditions. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't bother to use good gear to record it (it'll still sound better if you do) but paying a huge amount of attention to the purely hi-fi qualities of what we're about probably really 'doesn't matter' as much as it used to. It still matters to us, but it doesn't matter for them - not like it did for us.




Music constantly evolves. If you are old you might not understand the point of polyrhythmic house or dubstep, it probably sounds like a load of noise. If you are even older maybe you don't even understand true geniuses like aphex twin.

So the big studios are falling, standards are falling.. for that kind of old fashioned music. The band format is rather stale right now so I would argue that not too much cultural value is being lost there.

If you look for evidence of decline and misery, you will find it. If you look for evidence of new talent and innovation, you will find that too. There's a whole world out there, and what you see of it says more about you than anything else.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807025 - 26/01/10 04:09 PM
Well as i've already stated, you are right, and i'd like to thank you for opening my eyes to my errors of judgement. It's one of the most refreshing things about this board, that old people like me can get a fresh look at things through more youthful eyes. Thanks again.


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #807033 - 26/01/10 04:17 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:


The second main reason professionals don't default to average gear is simply because they don't have to. We use what we like because we can. Often times it sounds great straightaway and that's fine by anyone so long as they have the budget to acquire the gear. That still doesn't make it a necessity. That makes it a choice out of convenience and personal preference.




Again, all down to time and clients. Most of my clients will have a basic set up at home. They will expect me to turn something around rather quickly. Quality is a given. Why spend hours faffing with average gear and DSP when you can get that sound straight from the source? That is, after all, the most important part of the signal chain.

ken

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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807038 - 26/01/10 04:36 PM
Quote johnny h:

...If you are even older maybe you don't even understand true geniuses like aphex twin.




I wonder if you could help me out? In order to broaden my horizons i've just been to youtube and listened to 'windowlicker' and 'donkey rhubarb'

Is there some other tracks i should try that might give me a better insight into their genius?

Or is it the videos that are the genius, the whole package? Putting his face onto different bodies is a bit of a trademark style, yeah?


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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
Posts: 3468
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807039 - 26/01/10 04:39 PM
Quote johnny h:



If you look for evidence of decline and misery, you will find it. If you look for evidence of new talent and innovation, you will find that too. There's a whole world out there, and what you see of it says more about you than anything else.




I'm actually not one who thinks that today's comparative lack of attention to the hi-fi quality of music, rather than other aspects, is necessarily a bad thing, or 'evidence of decline and misery'. I was just musing on changes rather than deploring them- and I'm a big fan of dubstep. (It's 4 on the floor house that bores the crap out of me, and always has done!)

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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807040 - 26/01/10 04:39 PM
An example to clear up what I was getting at before:

I've got a couple of friends who play and record locally to me. The's two sides to what they do with one being acustic folky sort of stuff and the other side more glitchy electronica.

Some tracks are based around pre-recorded loops where they manipulate and play about with them in real time maybe playing melodys and other bits over the top.

The other stuff is pick up your guitar and sing along sort of stuff. They do sets where they merge both angles of this and swing between them being fully acustic and fully electronic all the way through.

I don't personally feel that either approach is "not a musical performance". Different skills are required for sure but it's still a performance and it's still music.

I hold any performer who can create music in front of a crowd in the highest regard. Be it a sax player or someone creating a 2 hour set out of a bunch of loops in real time in ableton. Both different skills but surely it's how you respond and react to the crowd that is the beauty of the performance rather than any technical aspect?

Of course I'm not saying it should be done in the cheapest most generic way posible. It should be done because you believe in what your creating. The's horrible generic music in all genres where the performance doesn't matter and the passion is lacking.

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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: ken long]
      #807045 - 26/01/10 05:05 PM
Quote ken long:

Quote EnlightenedHand:


The second main reason professionals don't default to average gear is simply because they don't have to. We use what we like because we can. Often times it sounds great straightaway and that's fine by anyone so long as they have the budget to acquire the gear. That still doesn't make it a necessity. That makes it a choice out of convenience and personal preference.




Again, all down to time and clients. Most of my clients will have a basic set up at home. They will expect me to turn something around rather quickly. Quality is a given. Why spend hours faffing with average gear and DSP when you can get that sound straight from the source? That is, after all, the most important part of the signal chain.

ken



The paragraph that I wrote just above the one that you've quoted addresses this. I'm quite aware of the efficiency benefits of high quality gear. I agree that in a professional setting this is important. Which is exactly why I wrote what I did in the bit that you didn't quote.

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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807047 - 26/01/10 05:09 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote johnny h:

...If you are even older maybe you don't even understand true geniuses like aphex twin.




I wonder if you could help me out? In order to broaden my horizons i've just been to youtube and listened to 'windowlicker' and 'donkey rhubarb'

Is there some other tracks i should try that might give me a better insight into their genius?




The Selected Ambient Works collection might make more sense but even then i'm not sure if it's fully relevent. I wouldn't say he's a genius performer (and i've seen him a fair few times) but as an arranger and producer he's certainly pushed the envolope over the years. Along those lines if someone who stands out performance wise is Squarepusher. I've seen him and his midi'd up 6 string (running into a p.c. with kontakt) bouncing round stage scaring people a few times and been both astounded and entertained in equal measure.

Quote:


Or is it the videos that are the genius, the whole package? Putting his face onto different bodies is a bit of a trademark style, yeah?




Nah that's Chris Cunningham. An amazing video artist in his own right according to those who keep informing me of such things.

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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807048 - 26/01/10 05:11 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

You know what, you're right, why should i bother?

The rate at which studios are closing, the quality of the music i might hear with a quick tune in to Radio1, the dwindling record sales and the virtual destruction of the music business by people who don't care, 'cos it doesn't really matter. The damage to our cultural wealth.

None of it matters, fling another dodgy autotuned model/dancer up the charts shaking their arse to a loop, and sink all the available cash into wide eyed sure things because it really doesn't matter does it?

If people are so into their art that they would travel from Sydney to some dust town eight hours away to record a piano part just because it sends shivers down your spine when you hear it, and people would queue up outside record shops to buy an artists new album because they knew it would sound fantastic and be ground breaking and perfectly recorded, and take it home and swim in the music.

The myth is that none of that matters, that cheap and cheerful will do.




The bottom line is that esoteric instruments deemed "high-end" do not make records sell. Great songwriting and performances do. A recording's purpose is to preserve a great performance. What you're arguing seems to me like you're saying that it's not possible to get a wonderful performance unless one uses the absolute "best" instruments one can find. I find that a completely absurd position. A great performer and musician is great with tools that work. They (the tools) don't have to fit anyones idea of euphoric. They just need to work within the capacity of the task at hand.

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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
Posts: 3468
Loc: uk
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #807049 - 26/01/10 05:12 PM
Quote Pete Kaine:

but as an arranger and producer he's certainly pushed the envolope over the years..




More like run over the damn thing in his tank.

.

More power to the man, his stuff's lovely

--------------------
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Edited by tomafd (26/01/10 05:14 PM)


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807050 - 26/01/10 05:16 PM
XTal i just listened to. That's the same kind of thing as the other two but with a softer edge and and more room. And Tha, there it sounds like he's taken the drum track and used it to trigger some filter swept bongo samples of something like that.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #807052 - 26/01/10 05:19 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

...The bottom line is that esoteric instruments deemed "high-end" do not make records sell. Great songwriting and performances do. A recording's purpose is to preserve a great performance. What you're arguing seems to me like you're saying that it's not possible to get a wonderful performance unless one uses the absolute "best" instruments one can find. I find that a completely absurd position. A great performer and musician is great with tools that work. They (the tools) don't have to fit anyones idea of euphoric. They just need to work within the capacity of the task at hand.




You're right, i'm learning so much today.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #807056 - 26/01/10 05:30 PM
Quote Pete Kaine:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote johnny h:

...If you are even older maybe you don't even understand true geniuses like aphex twin.




I wonder if you could help me out? In order to broaden my horizons i've just been to youtube and listened to 'windowlicker' and 'donkey rhubarb'

Is there some other tracks i should try that might give me a better insight into their genius?




The Selected Ambient Works collection might make more sense but even then i'm not sure if it's fully relevent. I wouldn't say he's a genius performer (and i've seen him a fair few times) but as an arranger and producer he's certainly pushed the envolope over the years. Along those lines if someone who stands out performance wise is Squarepusher. I've seen him and his midi'd up 6 string (running into a p.c. with kontakt) bouncing round stage scaring people a few times and been both astounded and entertained in equal measure.




Aphex twin is an awful performer, just stands there and plays random bits of music. Its the songwriting and production which makes him stand out. He virtually invented a whole genre of music on his own, he has thousands of imitators, none of which get close to writing memorable melodies like he can.

You can play his tunes on guitar (search on youtube), and that doesn't work with most electronic music.
Quote:



Quote:


Or is it the videos that are the genius, the whole package? Putting his face onto different bodies is a bit of a trademark style, yeah?




Nah that's Chris Cunningham. An amazing video artist in his own right according to those who keep informing me of such things.




Who used to work for Kubrick as a teenager on the abandoned film "a.i" - you can see the robots he made for him in his amazing video for bjork - all is full of love.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807077 - 26/01/10 06:25 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

But electronic dance music isn't really 'music' in the true sense of the word, it is audio -> out, but not audio <- in - It's more of a sound construction exercise, a pastiche of sounds already recorded or sounds designed inside the machine. It's not proper music as performed by humans using proper instruments.




I don't agree with your angle here with regard what is music, but I get your point and I'll try to clarify it. I think what you're getting at is a wide variety of EDM doesn't involve acoustic recordings at all.

With an acoustic recording you're trying to bring out the qualities of the instrument and the nuances of the performance. You tend to want things to sound "natural" and relatively un-processed.

With EDM you tend to stick sounds through a ton of FX anyway. There is no natural and things can sound more interesting and subjectively better when you've mangled the hell out of them through whatever process. I'm talking about individual sounds here really.

Quality is still important when you're processing groups or the entire mix of course as here you generally want to enhance not further mangle.

Did I get this right or not?


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807080 - 26/01/10 06:38 PM
I think you have yes, but tbh i'm a bit fed up now and wish i didn't get involved in the first place. I'm old, i'm tired, my arthritis is playing me up and i've just made a nice cup of cocoa and filled a hot water bottle. I just don't have the energy for this board anymore.

You can't just say things here and have a laugh, people jump all over you and try and make you cry and submit.

I think this: Music is something played by humans on instruments or parts of their body in real time. It's not something played by machines... That's all really.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807081 - 26/01/10 06:52 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:


I think this: Music is something played by humans on instruments or parts of their body in real time. It's not something played my machines... That's all really.




This is an arbitrary boundary which you have created in your own mind. Machines don't make music on their own, and neither do guitars, drums or pianos.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807082 - 26/01/10 06:56 PM
You've obviously never felt the power of god surging through you body and watched your hands moving over your instrument as if powered by some strange external force.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807090 - 26/01/10 07:33 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

You've obviously never felt the power of god surging through you body and watched your hands moving over your instrument as if powered by some strange external force.




If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303 for a little while, switch it back on and press play.


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The Korff
Loose Cannon (Reviews Editor)


Joined: 20/10/06
Posts: 2203
Loc: The Wrong Precinct
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807096 - 26/01/10 08:00 PM
Similarly venomous arguments were had when music recordings became popular, because "the interaction between performer and audience" (was it TSB who mentioned that?) became lost. Music could be switched on and off like a lamp, the 'performance' aspect was lost because everyone heard the same thing...

And yet here we are, on a music recording forum, arguing about the merits or otherwise of using "machines" to create music.

At what point does an instrument become a machine? When it's got a pickup or a tonewheel in it? That would write the electric guitar, Rhodes and Hammond off. When it's got some ICs in it? That's a few great synths off the list too. Should music only be heard by people who are close enough to the acoustic instrument to be able to hear it? I make that no more than a few hundred (quiet!) people at a time for a solo violin.

OK, so recordings are fine, but only if they're of an actual performance. So does the use of splicing, editing and drop-ins render the Beatles albums non-musical?

Does it blolocks!


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807097 - 26/01/10 08:06 PM
No, an instrument becomes a machine when it makes it's own time and plays itself to it's own clock. That's a mechanical performance.

And i'm not arguing about it, i'm just saying that it's not a human performance, so it's not real music.

The myth is that a machine can be a musician, it can;t, to be a musician you have to be a person.

There is no argumant.


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807104 - 26/01/10 08:22 PM
Quote johnny h:

If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303 for a little while...



If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303. And that's it!

More godliness can be felt if you then apply a lump hammer vigorously to the horrid, thin, weedy, nasal, whining little bastard!!!

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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807105 - 26/01/10 08:23 PM
I don't think anyone is arguing that machines are musicians. I happen to agree with you in thinking that they aren't. But it's the compositional aspect of electronically performed music that makes it a valid expression of the composers humanity, thus qualifying it as "music" in my opinion at least.

I think what seems to be getting confused here is the issue of a performance artist and a composer. One doesn't have to be both to be a musician or for their work to be considered music. They are two separate aspects of expression within the musical art form.

Can a machine be a performance artist? I think not because I define a performance artist as someone who expresses their heart and humanity through performance. Machines don't have hearts in the metaphysical sense (that we're aware of at least). They are also not human and thus possess no humanity. So they cannot be performance artists. But they can be "performers" in that they can actively display work for an audience to experience. But in the argument as to whether or not electronically created and performed works are indeed music the issue of the performer is neither here nor there. The composer is what matters in determining that conclusion. Since so far the composers of electronic works have been humans, I think that qualifies their compositions as "music".

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The Korff
Loose Cannon (Reviews Editor)


Joined: 20/10/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807106 - 26/01/10 08:23 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

No, an instrument becomes a machine when it makes it's own time and plays itself to it's own clock.




A bit like, say, a tape machine...

Quote The Southern Baptist:

That's a mechanical performance.




Like, say, musique concrete, or Radiophonic Workshop stuff.

Quote The Southern Baptist:

And i'm not arguing about it, i'm just saying that it's not a human performance, so it's not real music.




See my comment about the Beatles. This is quoted from an earlier post in this thread:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

So to me in the first example a person sitting in his room would hear his performance whether it was recorded or not, because he's pleaying the synth. In the second example the finished performance can only be heard once the machine plays it back.




So no edits allowed, then. No drop-ins, no gates, no EQs, no compressors, no fader rides and (if you take that argument to its logical conclusion) no multitrack recording, because the recording that is created deviates from what the performer hears in his room.

Quote The Southern Baptist:

The myth is that a machine can be a musician, it can;t, to be a musician you have to be a person.




Of course! I don't think anyone except that nutter who programmed a music-by-numbers computer (Ellie?) would argue with that!

But your insistence that music that requires 'machines' to exist isn't really music is, IMHO, very narrow-minded.

Cheers!

Chris


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807107 - 26/01/10 08:33 PM
Not for machines to exist, no. Machines are great tools for music composition and creation. But the idea that one can stand back while a machine plays a composition is laughable to me.

A tape machine if sifferent, it replays something that it's previously 'heard' and the same thing that would have been heard by anyone listening when the performance happened.

I'm struggling to see why it's so hard to see (and moreover hear and appreciate the subtleties of) the difference.

Music is to me anyway, an art form which is about people making music on instruments. When dod we get to letting machines pay the music for us?


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807108 - 26/01/10 08:34 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

I think you have yes, but tbh i'm a bit fed up now and wish i didn't get involved in the first place. I'm old, i'm tired, my arthritis is playing me up and i've just made a nice cup of cocoa and filled a hot water bottle. I just don't have the energy for this board anymore.




Don't be like that. Some of your posts made me laugh and they generated a lot of responses which is a good thing. Better than a sleeping audience let's face it.

Quote The Southern Baptist:


I think this: Music is something played by humans on instruments or parts of their body in real time. It's not something plyed by machines... That's all really.




You see I completely disagree with this. Music for me is something that invokes an emotional response - hopefully pleasure or even sadness.

I couldn't care less how it was made, that's just snobbish - and hey what do I know as I'm into all that bleepy machine assisted noise! Yes there is a lot of rubbish out there, but a good tune is timeless and really captures me and hopefully takes me on a journey whatever instruments were used.

Back on topic quality is certainly paramount in the end product though whatever the music. I don't think anyone is going to argue otherwise.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807109 - 26/01/10 08:35 PM
As far as edits and drop-ins go, well once again the music is played by a person, there is a performance. Edits, sure, why not?


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807110 - 26/01/10 08:36 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Not for machines to exist, no. Machines are great tools for music composition and creation. But the idea that one can stand back while a machine plays a composition is laughable to me.





Well nuances are important I agree, but you can record or program these into the machine..... The machine isn't making the music, it's a tool enabling people to express themselves.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807113 - 26/01/10 08:39 PM
It's not snobbery btw, i'm not snobbish about music. I just believe that the performing of music is a human activity and it would be a great loss if the musical fraternity handed that to machines. As so many other activities have handed to machines to the detriment and ultimately the loss to human culture.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807114 - 26/01/10 08:43 PM
Quote HugoL:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

Not for machines to exist, no. Machines are great tools for music composition and creation. But the idea that one can stand back while a machine plays a composition is laughable to me.





Well nuances are important I agree, but you can record or program these into the machine..... The machine isn't making the music, it's a tool enabling people to express themselves.




No it's not making or composing the music (well not yet generally) but it is performing it.

Say you have a piece to play, you've learned it and you know it well and you record it. Lets just say that as you record it you see your wife or girlfriend or child or mother through the glass and you feel some special emotion that takes you and effects your performance. That human condition/experience will come through, that's 'art'.

A machine will never have these feelings, they will never come through. Sure you can program things into the sequencer, but it will never 'perform' in a human way, it can't, it's a machine.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807115 - 26/01/10 08:44 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

It's not snobbery btw, i'm not snobbish about music. I just believe that the performing of music is a human activity and it would be a great loss if the musical fraternity handed that to machines. As so many other activities have handed to machines to the detriment and ultimately the loss to human culture.




Well ok, but machines just enable us to create that performance as we go, rather than "live". Not such a bad thing.

When people are uninventive and don't add the nuances and performance detail things sound sterile and lifeless definitely.


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The Korff
Loose Cannon (Reviews Editor)


Joined: 20/10/06
Posts: 2203
Loc: The Wrong Precinct
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807118 - 26/01/10 09:07 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

As far as edits and drop-ins go, well once again the music is played by a person, there is a performance. Edits, sure, why not?




Pardon?

Quote The Southern Baptist:

What he [Peter Kaine] said was this.

So if I program a lead sound on my Jp8080 and play the main rift off it and record it to disk in protools then it's a performance using a proper instrument.

But if I build the same patch in superwave and then play it in cubase using a midi controller and record and edit it's no longer music performed using a proper instrument? [end Peter's quote]

Now what i take that to mean is that in the first instance he takes his synth, programmes a patch and plays in into his recorder.

But in the second example he goes to the machine, programmes a patch, uses the midi facilities to capture some on/off messages and as he states 'edits' it.

So to me in the first example a person sitting in his room would hear his performance whether it was recorded or not, because he's pleaying the synth. In the second example the finished performance can only be heard once the machine plays it back.




A bit like capturing a recording on a tape machine, and editing the tape machine then, yes? Because it "can only be heard once the machine plays it back."

Nothing personal, by the way! This is all in the name of healthy debate, as far as I'm concerned, but can you not see that you've contradicted yourself there?

Cheers!

Chris


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
Posts: 4461
Loc: The Orient, East London
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #807124 - 26/01/10 09:35 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

Quote ken long:

Quote EnlightenedHand:


The second main reason professionals don't default to average gear is simply because they don't have to. We use what we like because we can. Often times it sounds great straightaway and that's fine by anyone so long as they have the budget to acquire the gear. That still doesn't make it a necessity. That makes it a choice out of convenience and personal preference.




Again, all down to time and clients. Most of my clients will have a basic set up at home. They will expect me to turn something around rather quickly. Quality is a given. Why spend hours faffing with average gear and DSP when you can get that sound straight from the source? That is, after all, the most important part of the signal chain.

ken



The paragraph that I wrote just above the one that you've quoted addresses this. I'm quite aware of the efficiency benefits of high quality gear. I agree that in a professional setting this is important. Which is exactly why I wrote what I did in the bit that you didn't quote.




I was agreeing with you. I quoted that paragraph because I wanted to reiterate that point.

ken

--------------------
I'm All Ears.


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Tui
active member


Joined: 02/09/02
Posts: 3274
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807127 - 26/01/10 09:41 PM
Bloody hell. I go away for a couple of hours to play some real music with real musicians, and there are 53 new posts about what does, or does not, constitute music. As one would expect, there are as many definitions as there are posters.

Quote The Southern Baptist:

In order to broaden my horizons i've just been to youtube and listened to 'windowlicker' and 'donkey rhubarb'




'Windowlicker' and 'donkey rhubarb'..? Hehe. I think this just about sums up the state of western, contemporary culture. It's a freak show, sophomoric and void of meaning. No, for this you need no Steinway or Stradivarius, or an Eventide or a Brauner mic. A Walmart PC will do.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: The Korff]
      #807142 - 26/01/10 10:46 PM
Quote Korff:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

As far as edits and drop-ins go, well once again the music is played by a person, there is a performance. Edits, sure, why not?




Pardon?






Quote The Southern Baptist:

As far as edits and drop-ins go, well once again the music is played by a person, there is a performance. Edits, sure, why not?




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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #807143 - 26/01/10 10:54 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote johnny h:

If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303 for a little while...



If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303. And that's it!

More godliness can be felt if you then apply a lump hammer vigorously to the horrid, thin, weedy, nasal, whining little bastard!!!




Does have a good filter though. If you like that kind of music.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807144 - 26/01/10 11:01 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote HugoL:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

Not for machines to exist, no. Machines are great tools for music composition and creation. But the idea that one can stand back while a machine plays a composition is laughable to me.





Well nuances are important I agree, but you can record or program these into the machine..... The machine isn't making the music, it's a tool enabling people to express themselves.




No it's not making or composing the music (well not yet generally) but it is performing it.

Say you have a piece to play, you've learned it and you know it well and you record it. Lets just say that as you record it you see your wife or girlfriend or child or mother through the glass and you feel some special emotion that takes you and effects your performance. That human condition/experience will come through, that's 'art'.

A machine will never have these feelings, they will never come through. Sure you can program things into the sequencer, but it will never 'perform' in a human way, it can't, it's a machine.




Supposing somebody were to release a piece of piano music twice three times.

The first time they played their midi keyboard into their computer and recorded the midi information, then mixed it down.

The second time they inputed the midi information with a mouse and used groove templates to simulate the performance characteristics of a real pianist, then mixed it down.

The third time, they played a real piano, but audio quantised the notes afterwards, then mixed it down.

Where exactly does your arbitrary line fall within these 3 records?


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807145 - 26/01/10 11:07 PM
My line would be under take #1. The second two mean nothing to me. Vienna.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807146 - 26/01/10 11:11 PM
Nice chatting to you all. I'm outa here for a while...

Take care.


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The Korff
Loose Cannon (Reviews Editor)


Joined: 20/10/06
Posts: 2203
Loc: The Wrong Precinct
Re: Audio myths new [Re: The Korff]
      #807147 - 26/01/10 11:16 PM


The point I was trying to make was:

What's the difference between someone using "the MIDI facilities to capture some on/off messages" and then editing those events, and someone (for example) using a digital recorder to "capture some on/off messages" (those little ones and zeros that live inside your computer) and editing those?


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The Korff
Loose Cannon (Reviews Editor)


Joined: 20/10/06
Posts: 2203
Loc: The Wrong Precinct
Re: Audio myths new [Re: The Korff]
      #807148 - 26/01/10 11:16 PM
Oh, he's gone.

Does that mean I win?


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807149 - 26/01/10 11:33 PM
Oh God what have we created with this thread? Thanks a bunch Ethan!


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onesecondglance



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 2140
Loc: Reading, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807153 - 27/01/10 12:17 AM
Quote HugoL:

Oh God what have we created with this thread? Thanks a bunch Ethan!




i'm just waiting for Godwin's law to kick in...

--------------------
hourglass | random thoughts | doubledotdash!? collective


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807169 - 27/01/10 03:56 AM
Quote johnny h:

Supposing somebody were to release a piece of piano music twice three times.

The first time they played their midi keyboard into their computer and recorded the midi information, then mixed it down.

The second time they inputed the midi information with a mouse and used groove templates to simulate the performance characteristics of a real pianist, then mixed it down.

The third time, they played a real piano, but audio quantised the notes afterwards, then mixed it down.

Where exactly does your arbitrary line fall within these 3 records?



For me, it depends on the circumstances...

For a 'real' piano piece (composed by, say, Debussy, Fauré, whoever), none of the above. All would be (and would sound) fake. But for someone banging out l, lV, V chords in a pop/dance tune in a mix, any of your scenarios would be acceptable.

And as far as the performance of of a 'real' piano piece, again, it depends on the circumstances...

For a live performance in concert of, say, 'Clair De Lune', I'd expect the performer to have rehearsed and practiced to an extent where they can play it throughout as flawlessly as possible with all due expression and interpretation. There may be mistakes in the live performance (or not) but within the environment of listening to it once in a concert environment, if I noticed a mistake, that's fair enough. If I noticed a mistake...

In that environment, I might not notice the odd duff note here and there because I'd be so wrapped up in 'the moment' and the performance and the environment.

But for a recording of it for repeated listening?

Well for that, I'd accept (and even expect) multiple takes and maybe even some splicing together of the best takes so that it bears repeated listening.

But to put that level of musical expertise and recording engineering on the same level as some 16-year-old dicking around with quantise and MIDI on their home computer is laughable. You won't find the Labeque sisters 'inputting' their performances into a computer with a sampled piano played from a MIDI controller, you just won't - ever. It will be done 'for real'! And for them, nothing but the finest is enough. Which is fair enough.

But that's a rarified atmosphere. For MOST people (especially yer 16-year-old banging out simple triads in a dance toon in their bedrooms on their PCs), MOST gear these days is good enough to realise their ambitions and aspirations for a MySpace release especially if it all electronic.

If, however, acoustic instruments are involved, then good old traditions come into play and proper acoustic treatment, choice of mic and that mic's placement in front of decent instruments played by a competent muso are likely to yield FAR better results than "Which audio IO / monitors for under £100?"

'Boutique' gear has it's place in the right recording environment (especially where big money is involved) but for MOST people in MOST situations working in MOST genres, prosumer gear is, by and large, more than adequate to produce good recordings these days if you know what you're doing. And there's the rub - a lot of people don't.

That's not to dismiss the newbie (we all had to start somewhere) but to crave some £x,xxx valve topology pre-amp, whatever, as a solution is to miss the point. There is so much more to it than that not least of which is 'content' and frankly, it doesn't matter what gear you have to capture that - if the 'content' is good, the gear is almost irrelevant!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog

Edited by hollowsun (27/01/10 04:00 AM)


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3495
Loc: Manchester
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #807194 - 27/01/10 09:59 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote johnny h:

If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303 for a little while...



If you want to experience God in musical form, remove the batteries from a Roland TB303. And that's it!

More godliness can be felt if you then apply a lump hammer vigorously to the horrid, thin, weedy, nasal, whining little bastard!!!




I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a post on here. The description pretty much nails it for me.

--------------------
Check out our currently running, audio creation competition with a huge selection of prizes @ Scan Velocity 2014


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: The Korff]
      #807203 - 27/01/10 10:30 AM
Quote Korff:

Oh, he's gone.

Does that mean I win?




Yes, you win the music.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #807217 - 27/01/10 11:55 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote johnny h:

Supposing somebody were to release a piece of piano music twice three times.

The first time they played their midi keyboard into their computer and recorded the midi information, then mixed it down.

The second time they inputed the midi information with a mouse and used groove templates to simulate the performance characteristics of a real pianist, then mixed it down.

The third time, they played a real piano, but audio quantised the notes afterwards, then mixed it down.

Where exactly does your arbitrary line fall within these 3 records?



For me, it depends on the circumstances...

For a 'real' piano piece (composed by, say, Debussy, Fauré, whoever), none of the above. All would be (and would sound) fake. But for someone banging out l, lV, V chords in a pop/dance tune in a mix, any of your scenarios would be acceptable.

And as far as the performance of of a 'real' piano piece, again, it depends on the circumstances...




I was actually joking, I wasn't expecting serious answers! I was making the point about the ability to make fake distinctions between "music" and "non-music".

An individual's own personal opinion has no validity or relevance in the outside world. And while it may be grimly satisfying for the victor meldrew types to say "i hate music that wasn't made like the music i had as a teenager" or variants on, it contributes nothing of value.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807225 - 27/01/10 12:19 PM
Don't make me get my handbag out.

Now, if you're refering to me when you use the VM referene then please be aware that i do like lots of tracks that you have refered to as 'non-music' in fact i stated that much earlier in the thread. In fact, i have spent many a happy hour programming beets and everything. I even went to a rave once, i mean they took my stick off me at the door, but i went there anyway.

And don't forget Kraftwerk and Jean Jarr, greenfield, bowie and many others. They were doing electronica before it was called that. And the sugar hill guys doing hip-hop. I've often waved my stick around to that stuff.

Those were the days.


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4273
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Audio myths new [Re: The Korff]
      #807228 - 27/01/10 12:26 PM
Quote Korff:

Oh, he's gone.

Does that mean I win?



No.

--------------------
Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807233 - 27/01/10 12:46 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Don't make me get my handbag out.

Now, if you're refering to me when you use the VM referene then please be aware that i do like lots of tracks that you have refered to as 'non-music' in fact i stated that much earlier in the thread. In fact, i have spent many a happy hour programming beets and everything. I even went to a rave once, i mean they took my stick off me at the door, but i went there anyway.

And don't forget Kraftwerk and Jean Jarr, greenfield, bowie and many others. They were doing electronica before it was called that. And the sugar hill guys doing hip-hop. I've often waved my stick around to that stuff.

Those were the days.




What is all that supposed to mean?

The victor meldrew thing isn't about age, I know people in their mid 20s with attitudes like that, in fact they may even be the worst ones.

It was actually you that referred to certain genres as "non-music". Incorrectly. I was arguing that music does not necessarily have to be played live to be accurately described as music.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807236 - 27/01/10 01:01 PM
Quote johnny h:

...It was actually you that referred to certain genres as "non-music".




You go off and find where i said that and quote it.

I said that music performed by machines is not 'proper' music because imo, for music to be 'proper' it music has to be performed by musicians, and by definition a machine cannot be a musician.



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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807239 - 27/01/10 01:13 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote johnny h:

...It was actually you that referred to certain genres as "non-music".



I said that music performed by machines is not 'proper' music because imo, for music to be 'proper' it music has to be performed by musicians, and by definition a machine cannot be a musician.




Yeah, and that's just total rubbish!


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JamesSimpson



Joined: 24/12/05
Posts: 1072
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807241 - 27/01/10 01:20 PM
I remember a time when we were allowed different opinions and so long as we didn't millitantly try to explain ours (or force them on others). Then many people didn't mind you having those opinions. Sometimes i get the feeling on forums that there always has to be a right answer and while this may be correct for technical based questions such as how many spdifs can I adat to my firewire? With which there is one such answer, something as complex and subjective as music cannot be contained down to one right answer.

Remember the Musique Concrete composers slammed modern pop music as useless and worthless "not real music".

Then Lennon and McCartney put some daft loops and textural noises in a Beatles album or two and send a Christmas card, feature a face on an album cover. Whaddaya know? Suddenly pop music isn't quite so bland says Stockhausen.


Lets all have a cup of tea and agree that perhaps we can be happy without agreeing.

--------------------
Squarehead Jam Jar Facebook Jam Jar


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onesecondglance



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 2140
Loc: Reading, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807242 - 27/01/10 01:21 PM
let the above exchange stand testament to the fact that sarcasm and dry wit do not translate well over the internet.

--------------------
hourglass | random thoughts | doubledotdash!? collective


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807243 - 27/01/10 01:24 PM
Quote johnny h:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote johnny h:

...It was actually you that referred to certain genres as "non-music".



I said that music performed by machines is not 'proper' music because imo, for music to be 'proper' it music has to be performed by musicians, and by definition a machine cannot be a musician.




Yeah, and that's just total rubbish!




You think a machine can be a musician?

You think someone sitting in front of a piano roll, waving their arms around and smiling is a pianist?

You think a sequencer playing erik satie's gymnopedie #1 can give you the same listening experience as a fantastic pianist playing that piece with all the subtle nuances they feel effected by at the time of the perormance that you both share?

There's rubbish, and there's 'utter ill informed rubbish.''


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Richard Graham



Joined: 10/04/06
Posts: 2745
Loc: Gateshead, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807246 - 27/01/10 01:27 PM
Quote HugoL:


Well nuances are important I agree, but you can record or program these into the machine.....




This is the nub of the argument for me... when you hear human beings *expressing* themselves on an instrument, they are expressing *themselves* (their emotions, thoughts, or 'soul' if you like) through the actions of their bodies, finely controlled (or not!) by their mind through their technique.

When you hear a simulacrum of expression that has been programmed on a machine, however well... all you are hearing is a simulacrum.

If you are interested in hearing what simulated emotion sounds like, then you should listen to music that simulates emotion (and this goes for a lot of non-programmed stuff too).

Given a free choice, I'd rather hear somebody playing their heart/mind/soul out and really giving it up.

I am interested in hearing how close a machine can be programmed to sound, too... but it will never make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

--------------------
"if you don't have much soul left and you know it, you still got soul" - Bukowski


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807249 - 27/01/10 01:33 PM
Spot on!

I'd rather listen to this! At least there's some expression going on here and not just the ching of a cash register for the dumbed down masses!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ860P4iTaM&NR=1&feature=fvwp


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807254 - 27/01/10 01:43 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote johnny h:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote johnny h:

...It was actually you that referred to certain genres as "non-music".



I said that music performed by machines is not 'proper' music because imo, for music to be 'proper' it music has to be performed by musicians, and by definition a machine cannot be a musician.




Yeah, and that's just total rubbish!




You think a machine can be a musician?

You think someone sitting in front of a piano roll, waving their arms around and smiling is a pianist?

You think a sequencer playing erik satie's gymnopedie #1 can give you the same listening experience as a fantastic pianist playing that piece with all the subtle nuances they feel effected by at the time of the perormance that you both share?

There's rubbish, and there's 'utter ill informed rubbish.''




Perhaps it could yes, i wouldn't rule out the possibility.

Supposing a world leading expert on classical music developed a program which could simulate the subtle nuances of the piano and how they relate to the feeling and emotion which registers in the listener. This could be based on studies of hundreds pianists and how they perform different material. Or even extend this to whole orchestras.

Just because the technology does not yet exist, doesn't mean it won't. With time, its extremely likely that some technology will come into being, and it may well be that experts will not be able to tell the difference.

You may be able to click a preset box and decide which orchestra you wish to perform your work, and all the subtle nuances, variations, interaction, conductor and room will be simulated to a degree which makes it impossible to differentiate from the real thing.

Its tempting to believe this cannot happen, that some magical human quality will spoil the illusion and that there will always be something artificial about the simulation. But there is little / no evidence for this. It is more likely that the computer performance will eventually become superior to that which can be performed by musicians, in the same way lexicon can make reverbs which sound more pleasing than real reverberent spaces.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807255 - 27/01/10 01:47 PM
I guess the question is similar to this one. Would you rather spend an hour on the Star Ship Enterprise's Holodeck with a woman, or get a real one?


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JamesSimpson



Joined: 24/12/05
Posts: 1072
Re: Audio myths new [Re: onesecondglance]
      #807257 - 27/01/10 01:49 PM
Quote onesecondglance:

let the above exchange stand testament to the fact that sarcasm and dry wit do not translate well over the internet.




Perhaps I'm not funny in real life either though, that would be the rub I suppose.

--------------------
Squarehead Jam Jar Facebook Jam Jar


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


Joined: 12/09/03
Posts: 8994
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807263 - 27/01/10 02:06 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

I guess the question is similar to this one. Would you rather spend an hour on the Star Ship Enterprise's Holodeck with a woman, or get a real one?




That's opened a whole new can......



--------------------
Samplecraze
Stretch That Note


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807267 - 27/01/10 02:19 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

I guess the question is similar to this one. Would you rather spend an hour on the Star Ship Enterprise's Holodeck with a woman, or get a real one?




Its quite easy to get a real woman, and its very familiar. Given the chance to visit a spaceship, yeah it would be amazing! Who wouldn't want to do that?

You'd turn down the chance to visit a real spaceship for another notch on your bedpost? Woman can smell desperation you know...


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grab



Joined: 08/07/07
Posts: 2845
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807277 - 27/01/10 02:43 PM
Quote:

You can't just say things here and have a laugh, people jump all over you




If you kick off saying that what they're doing isn't proper music and is only a pastiche of "proper" music, then were you expecting anything different...?

Quote:

You think someone sitting in front of a piano roll, waving their arms around and smiling is a pianist?




Someone sitting in front of a piano roll isn't a pianist. But they have control of the speed of playback, so they can still create dynamics on a single player-piano. And now suppose that they're driving a dozen player-pianos at a time, switching between each of them and rewinding/forwarding at appropriate times so that only chosen phrases of each of the original tunes are played back, but a continuous musical stream continues with a constant rhythm. Sure they're not a pianist, but they're creating music which wouldn't exist without them, and that makes them a musician. The machine isn't the musician, but the person controlling the machine *is*.

If you're not allowed any technological assistance in creating sounds, you're pretty limited. Yes, Bobby McFerrin managed to create an entire album just from vocals and body percussion, and it wasn't at all bad, but I don't think we'd want *every* piece of music to sound like that. So where's your cut-off point in which technologies cause "music" to be created? A piano is a fairly complicated piece of machinery. A church organ is even more complicated. And most electronic keyboards or digital pianos have more complex electronics than old drum machines did.

If your cut-off is that it requires immediate human involvement in the sound creation, where does a vibraslap or a "rain tube" come in? A human sets them going, and they produces noise until whatever internal thing (the spring on the vibraslap, or the beads in the rain tube) have run out of steam. But a human chooses when to kick them off. If those are too mechanical for you, how about a cymbal with a which rings on long after the initial strike?


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807280 - 27/01/10 02:49 PM
No, i'm afraid that in the case of the rainstick; the angle at which you hold your stick, and the speed at which you incline it will alter the rate at which the beans rush down the tube.


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 3495
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807285 - 27/01/10 03:10 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:


I'd rather listen to this! At least there's some expression going on here and not just the ching of a cash register for the dumbed down masses!




That imply's that all Electronica is written to make money and the previous comments state that you don't think that the music can have the same emotional involvment with the end user as a piece that played by a live performer.

Emotion is the connection the piece has with the end listener surely? Moby's "Play" album (money made from it aside) had a number of I'd say emotionaly haunting tracks which were pretty much built up inside the box. Of course each persons definition of an emotionally touching track will be compleatly different but to state someone else's opinion isn't valid is a pretty strong statement.

Quote JamesSimpson:

I remember a time when we were allowed different opinions and so long as we didn't millitantly try to explain ours (or force them on others). Then many people didn't mind you having those opinions.




Completley agree. The's times where I'll take an opposing viewpoint in a debate, simply to have a debate but I don't mean anything by it when doing so. I just like chatting about things like this as every viewpoints valid. Some of the reactions to T.S.B's comments have been a bit strong I.M.O and he's taken each one very gracefully and it's been quite an interesting thread this even if it has been on a serious tangent.

I so suppose as the old saying goes:

"I don't agree with what you say but i will defend your right to say it"

Back on the off topic I can't stand 99% of dubstep. But the's been a few piece's that have made me go "wow" and the's even been one or two that have had some emotional impact on me. It's a type of music where the majority of it I doubt you could ever perform as live pieces but I don't feel it makes it's any less valid as music.

--------------------
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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Pete Kaine]
      #807286 - 27/01/10 03:13 PM
Quote Pete Kaine:

...to state someone else's opinion isn't valid is a pretty strong statement.




You'll never hear me say that.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807292 - 27/01/10 03:27 PM
You still haven't answered the spaceship question, Baptist. I'm interested in your opinion on this one!


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Pete Kaine
Scan Computers


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807302 - 27/01/10 04:01 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

Quote Pete Kaine:

...to state someone else's opinion isn't valid is a pretty strong statement.




You'll never hear me say that.




Reading back I may have interpreted past posts and phrased that poorly. My apologies sir.


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onesecondglance



Joined: 02/01/08
Posts: 2140
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: JamesSimpson]
      #807304 - 27/01/10 04:08 PM
Quote JamesSimpson:

Quote onesecondglance:

let the above exchange stand testament to the fact that sarcasm and dry wit do not translate well over the internet.




Perhaps I'm not funny in real life either though, that would be the rub I suppose.




our posts crossed over - i was meaning The Southern Baptist and jonnyh's debate.

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Tui
active member


Joined: 02/09/02
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: JamesSimpson]
      #807305 - 27/01/10 04:15 PM
Quote JamesSimpson:

Sometimes i get the feeling on forums that there always has to be a right answer




Yup, that's quite a disease and common across the net.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807307 - 27/01/10 04:33 PM
Quote johnny h:

You still haven't answered the spaceship question, Baptist. I'm interested in your opinion on this one!




I'd like to visit a space ship, i'd like to see a holodeck type device. But i would rather make love to a real woman than one which is programmed to look feel smell and respond like a real woman - because a machine can't feel or give love, and without love we are lost.


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The Korff
Loose Cannon (Reviews Editor)


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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807311 - 27/01/10 04:45 PM
Now where did that plot go... Anyone seen it? I could've sworn it was right here a while ago. Perhaps it's over th... Nope. Anyone?



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Tui
active member


Joined: 02/09/02
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Richard Graham]
      #807319 - 27/01/10 05:01 PM
Quote Richard Graham:


I am interested in hearing how close a machine can be programmed to sound, too... but it will never make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.




It really depends on the artist's ability to use the electronic medium as if it was a real instrument. The music of Tim Clark (Hearts of Space) conveys an amazing amount of emotion, IMO. He uses controllers and FX so efficiently, that it has an effect on me, similar to that of fine acoustic performances.

I find it quite interesting and somewhat telling, that today we generally seem to have less keyboard controllers available than 20 years ago. The old DX 7 had an input for a breath controller, for example. Today, my top-of-the-line Roland keyboard doesn't even have aftertouch. Sad.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807320 - 27/01/10 05:05 PM
We're talking about the musical equivalent of the Turing Test: if in proper blind conditions you can have a dialogue with a computer and not realise it is not a real person, then it is "intelligent".

Programmed, looped etc "music" is interesting on some levels. But it's not intelligent. It has no emotional content.

That's not my opinion as opposed to anyone else's. It's fact. We have not yet invented emotional machines.

To experience music is to experience emotion. The content and depth of such performances will necessarily be lacking.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #807331 - 27/01/10 05:40 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

Programmed, looped etc "music" is interesting on some levels. But it's not intelligent. It has no emotional content.




Tell that to the room full of sweaty kids at the local club


Seriously though recording and editing music in a sequencer is a form of programming. So when you talk about programming are you talking about the use of a sequencer, or someone coming up with an algorithm that actually writes music from scratch?

If you're just saying loop based or sequenced music has no emotional content I couldn't disagree with you more. Good trance music for example is designed to be extremely emotional, it does this through hypnotic repitition and subtle variation. It's precisely these elements that make it emotional by taking you on a journey. If you're not into it and the only emotion you feel is distaste, that's fine, but that's not how many of us feel (even if there is a lot of formula based me-too rubbish out there). It's about how the music affects us as listeners, not how it was produced.

Of course if you're talking about machine generated algorithmic music then ok, I agree as it stands today. However music is very closely related to maths, so it's only a matter of time IMO.


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1833
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #807335 - 27/01/10 05:53 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

We're talking about the musical equivalent of the Turing Test: if in proper blind conditions you can have a dialogue with a computer and not realise it is not a real person, then it is "intelligent".




I used to employ this argument until my Gran fell out with an answerphone

The sound of a train can be hypnotic, which can induce certain emotions in it's passengers, but that doesn't necessarily infer that trains can compose emotive tracks (no pun intended). Particular sounds can generate emotions (crying babies, car alarms etc.) but that doesn't qualify them as being musical. I suspect the real emotion in music is experienced by the player, and sometimes this is conveyed to the listener. Personally I find heavy metal music immensely tiresome to listen to, yet extemely liberating to play, so the same song evokes different emotions depending upon which side of the amp I'm on.

--------------------
Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807340 - 27/01/10 06:16 PM
Not that it matters, but personally i enjoy quite a bit of sequenced music and i've done some myself here and there.


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Hairy Ears
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807357 - 27/01/10 07:51 PM
To be, music is any form of sound that creates an emotional or intellectual resonance with me (for want of a better way of putting it) - I don't care how it was arrived at, whether it is 'fake' or 'real', if it makes that connection then to me it is real.

I have found many 'real' bands leave me cold and many 'electronic' bands have made a strong connection - for example Hot Chip's "Just Like We Breakdown" moves me strongly, pretty much all of Coldplay that I have heard leaves me cold, hence the Hot Chip trakc is very real to me.

Am I knocking Coldplay? Not really, because it obviously connects with some people, just not me.

Of course, jamming with live musicians is just so much fun!

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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #807417 - 27/01/10 11:55 PM
Quote Dynamic Mike:


The sound of a train can be hypnotic, which can induce certain emotions in it's passengers, but that doesn't necessarily infer that trains can compose emotive tracks (no pun intended). Particular sounds can generate emotions (crying babies, car alarms etc.) but that doesn't qualify them as being musical.





What's with citing extreme examples? These are noises not music, although I guess some would say there's a fine line sometimes.

Also on this general off-topic topic, why can't we agree just to disagree. Everyone has different tastes and different values.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807418 - 28/01/10 12:02 AM
If you look up 'music' in the dictionary, it does include references to natural sounds; the music of the wind, the music of the waves, bird song.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807420 - 28/01/10 12:23 AM
An often-cited definition of music, coined by Edgard Varèse, is that it is "organized sound" (Goldman 1961, 133). The fifteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes that "while there are no sounds that can be described as inherently unmusical, musicians in each culture have tended to restrict the range of sounds they will admit."

"Organisation" also seems necessary because it implies purposeful and thus human organisation. This human organizing element seems crucial to the common understanding of music. Sounds produced by non-human agents, such as waterfalls or birds, are often described as "musical", but rarely as "music"


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1833
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807422 - 28/01/10 12:30 AM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

If you look up 'music' in the dictionary, it does include references to natural sounds; the music of the wind, the music of the waves, bird song.




If you look up 'le petomane' in the encylopedia it also includes references to the music of the wind

Music is in the ear of the beholder. How's that for a compromise?

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #807434 - 28/01/10 02:24 AM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

Quote The Southern Baptist:

If you look up 'music' in the dictionary, it does include references to natural sounds; the music of the wind, the music of the waves, bird song.




If you look up 'le petomane' in the encylopedia it also includes references to the music of the wind

Music is in the ear of the beholder. How's that for a compromise?




Compromise is a dirty word.


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Amusikaido



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 247
Loc: Brighton area
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #807436 - 28/01/10 03:08 AM
http://xkcd.com/386/

--------------------
Twas with respect and disbelief,
That I surveyed my new Motif ...


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1833
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Amusikaido]
      #807437 - 28/01/10 03:55 AM
Quote Amusikaido:

http://xkcd.com/386/




Brilliant! Obviously aimed at all those people who dare to challenge my opinion with their knowledge.

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807448 - 28/01/10 08:38 AM
Music makes the people come together

Madonna.


She's obviously never been here


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Ariosto



Joined: 04/05/08
Posts: 303
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Pangloss]
      #807450 - 28/01/10 08:57 AM
Hi Pangloss

I have to admit that I haven't played a lot of those instruments, I was more saying that If I did.

But I would probably go for the Guarneri Del Gesu too as I understand some Strads can be prolematic. I certainly would love to own Del Jesu!

But of course the advantages of using these fine fiddles can be exagerated - there are plenty much less valuable instruments that can sound just as good. Yes, absolutely right, it is the player that counts! (And not just the bars rests ...)


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Ariosto]
      #807463 - 28/01/10 09:55 AM
what we should all take heart from is the fact that so many of us are so passionate about the subject in general.

and that if actually bother to have opinions, and feelings on the subject , then they care... and that in itself is a good thing.

Edited by idris y draig (28/01/10 09:55 AM)


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ZukanModerator
Zukan


Joined: 12/09/03
Posts: 8994
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807470 - 28/01/10 10:09 AM
Amen to that.

--------------------
Samplecraze
Stretch That Note


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807478 - 28/01/10 10:21 AM
A bit like religious fanaticism.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #807525 - 28/01/10 12:45 PM
Quote The Southern Baptist:

A bit like religious fanaticism.




No, not like that.


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807593 - 28/01/10 04:03 PM
oh, I don't know

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Facebok Page for acoustic music PA-ing in smaller venues


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Dynamic Mike



Joined: 31/12/06
Posts: 1833
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #807627 - 28/01/10 05:01 PM
http://xkcd.com/411/

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Disclaimer: The views or opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the poster by the time you read this.


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Dynamic Mike]
      #807630 - 28/01/10 05:24 PM
Quote Dynamic Mike:

http://xkcd.com/411/



Ha!!!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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matt keen



Joined: 07/01/06
Posts: 1846
Loc: Northants, England
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #811880 - 15/02/10 10:36 AM
I Think high end gear chain is a cumulative thing and does make a real audible difference -- or should I say can

I am not so sure that many of us (me included) are good enough to get the best out of all the gear variables and settings.

In late 80's I was running a Fostex E16 based stidio with nice rooms, a decent Soundtracs desk and some pretty good mics. Our head engineer (I was the Studio Manager and second engineer)had 10 or 15 pro released albums to his name. So we knew what we were doing in a semi pro sort of way and a semi pro environment. Then John Leckie came in with a band he was looking to produce and ran/engineered some sessions. He got a quality of sound from that gear that was 20% above what we had achieved or thought we could achieve.

Top gear does make a difference but makes the most difference when used by those who have the skill, craftmanship and ability to get the most out of it

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Matt
www.krcollective.org


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GTD
member


Joined: 21/02/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #812307 - 16/02/10 03:25 PM
Quote Steve Hill:

We're talking about the musical equivalent of the Turing Test: if in proper blind conditions you can have a dialogue with a computer and not realise it is not a real person, then it is "intelligent".

Programmed, looped etc "music" is interesting on some levels. But it's not intelligent. It has no emotional content.

That's not my opinion as opposed to anyone else's. It's fact. We have not yet invented emotional machines.

To experience music is to experience emotion. The content and depth of such performances will necessarily be lacking.







I couldn't agree more; although I love good electronic music (and have done since long before midi), there is nothing more exciting in sequenced music than a good take with no quantization - even if it is over a quantized support arrangement.

Individual notes or controllers can be tweaked post performance, but at least you are polishing something worth polishing.

In some ways a well recorded (not over produced) sound has a similar effect imo. Perhaps good recording gear, like good instruments and setup practice don't get in the way of inspirational performance and therein lies much of the value (as already said).

I dream of Fairchild and Chandler rebuilds with the best of them but make do with plugins as a necessity

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ElecTrika-MixTek



Joined: 26/01/10
Posts: 414
Re: Audio myths new [Re: GTD]
      #812399 - 16/02/10 09:29 PM
Interesting, but the emotional content is not in the music, it's in our minds. we humans are the emotional machines you speak of and the music, even if it is very simple entails teh possibility of emotional and initellectual experiences. Even a very simple piece of music, electronic or otherwise, if well recorded and mixed can be an artwork.


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GTD
member


Joined: 21/02/03
Posts: 169
Loc: Ireland
Re: Audio myths new [Re: ElecTrika-MixTek]
      #812429 - 16/02/10 11:11 PM
Quote ElecTrika-MixTek:

Interesting, but the emotional content is not in the music, it's in our minds. we humans are the emotional machines you speak of and the music, even if it is very simple entails teh possibility of emotional and initellectual experiences. Even a very simple piece of music, electronic or otherwise, if well recorded and mixed can be an artwork.






In the same way the meaning of text on a page or screen is in our minds...

We CAN respond emotionally to things not made by other humans trying to evoke emotional responses in us - a sunset or the sound of thunder for example. Perhaps some electronic music or music concrete taps into these sensibilities.

Jean Michel Jarre apparently tweaks all his sequenced parts to impart subtle unpredictability for the listener - according to researchers in the ilk of Levitin, our brains seem to tune in to the effort the musician is making and this adds to the excitement. Jarre is trying to simulate this using his matrisequencer, or protools or whatever it is he uses these days.....

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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
Posts: 3468
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: GTD]
      #812432 - 16/02/10 11:15 PM
Quote GTD:

- according to researchers in the ilk of Levitin, our brains seem to tune in to the effort the musician is making and this adds to the excitement.




Bang on. One reason to leave the quantize off, and play the damn part all the way through sometimes. And don't stop until you get it right, all the way through, in one pass.

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Michael Dow



Joined: 28/08/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #812449 - 17/02/10 12:51 AM
Quote Steve Hill:



Programmed, looped etc "music" is interesting on some levels. But it's not intelligent. It has no emotional content.
.




I'm sorry but that comment is virging on insanity for me!

WHat if the programmed "loop" is a piano piece, classical in style, played really well and realistic sounding.

Why would it not be emotional because it's been written on a computer?

What if you were to replace that piano sound with a synthesized noise but keep the timing and the expression similar or the same. Would it lose it's emotion? I think not!

Trance music, for me, can be really emotional. But that's because i like it, i like the melodies. And beleive me some of them are very emotional sounding. BUt perhaps only to people that like the style. If the style didnt do it, you woudlnt be interested enough to bother being emotional. You'd just write it off straight away.

A looped percussion beat, sure, isnt going to be emotional. But a melody is a melody. Programmed or not, if someone hits some emotional chord progressions, it will have some emotion, be t dark and haunting, uplifting, or joyful or whatever!

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Michael Dow



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Loc: London
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #812450 - 17/02/10 12:54 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk_Cl4-agjU&feature=related


Quick example of a piece of uplifting trance. You may or may not find it emotional. But it does it for me and many others!

Or of course there's the ferry corsten mix of adagio for strings by samuel barber (william orbits re-release) Awesome, and programmed.

--------------------
www.myspace.com/michaeldow www.myspace.com/portasoundband


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GTD
member


Joined: 21/02/03
Posts: 169
Loc: Ireland
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Michael Dow]
      #812534 - 17/02/10 01:24 PM
Quote Michael Dow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk_Cl4-agjU&feature=related


Quick example of a piece of uplifting trance. You may or may not find it emotional. But it does it for me and many others!

Or of course there's the ferry corsten mix of adagio for strings by samuel barber (william orbits re-release) Awesome, and programmed.





Michael, please don't take offence, but this music is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

It is to my ears very, very musical, but (imho) robbed of so much potential in having conveniently repeated arp and drum loops.

If the producer were to have allowed each part, including trivial repeating parts, to have evolved or developed in subtle ways, the whole listening experience could have been much more engaging.

If the subtle changes in drums or arpeggios or whatever, are engineered into the music in a way which is sympathetic to how the music is changing and evolving, then there IS feeling, even though it is sequenced electronic trance music.

Put simply, (again imho), the less lazy the sequencing, the more involving the music will be.

Isn't the use of slow filters and modulated delay or pumped compression on repeating parts an attempt to give them more' life'?

I would love to ask a sizable number of 'trance' afficionados to compare an arpeggio or drum loop which repeats unchanging with one which changes subtly over time. Would the answer depend on whether the loops were heard in isolation or in context in the music? I don't know, but I'd bet (if their attention is drawn to it) a significant number of people would prefer something changing subtly to something static.

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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: GTD]
      #812557 - 17/02/10 02:51 PM
Quote GTD:

Quote Michael Dow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk_Cl4-agjU&feature=related


Quick example of a piece of uplifting trance. You may or may not find it emotional. But it does it for me and many others!

Or of course there's the ferry corsten mix of adagio for strings by samuel barber (william orbits re-release) Awesome, and programmed.





Michael, please don't take offence, but this music is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

It is to my ears very, very musical, but (imho) robbed of so much potential in having conveniently repeated arp and drum loops.

If the producer were to have allowed each part, including trivial repeating parts, to have evolved or developed in subtle ways, the whole listening experience could have been much more engaging.

If the subtle changes in drums or arpeggios or whatever, are engineered into the music in a way which is sympathetic to how the music is changing and evolving, then there IS feeling, even though it is sequenced electronic trance music.

Put simply, (again imho), the less lazy the sequencing, the more involving the music will be.

Isn't the use of slow filters and modulated delay or pumped compression on repeating parts an attempt to give them more' life'?

I would love to ask a sizable number of 'trance' afficionados to compare an arpeggio or drum loop which repeats unchanging with one which changes subtly over time. Would the answer depend on whether the loops were heard in isolation or in context in the music? I don't know, but I'd bet (if their attention is drawn to it) a significant number of people would prefer something changing subtly to something static.




I don't really like the track in the youtube video, its pretty banal to my ears. But whoever thinks programmed music means unintelligent music is just totally ignorant.


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hollowsun



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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Michael Dow]
      #812562 - 17/02/10 03:10 PM
Quote Michael Dow:

Quick example of a piece of uplifting trance. You may or may not find it emotional. But it does it for me and many others!



Yes. Nice enough.

I think that with this style of music (and the original Berlin electronica of the 70s, etc.), it's the relentless, pounding, perfectly quantized, dead on the beat, unwavering, hypnotic drive of the sequencing that appeals here. Hence, presumably, the 'trance' label.

But about that piece you highlighted (and so much of that genre)...

God, it was SOOOO bloody predictable!! I don't listen to a lot of trance (and whatever sub-genre) but I could hear it all coming in advance ... the offbeat hi-hat, the clichéd thumping kick, the snare fills doubling from 8ths to 16ths to 32nds, the inevitable fizzy 'supersaw' chordal pattern, etc.. I was sitting there going "Ah - off beat hi-hat coming in ... now" ... "Doubling snare fill coming in .... .... now" ... "And it's all going to stop in a second ... doubling snare fill, probably a doubling kick fill too, then break down to a stop, put the whole lot through an upwards filter sweep ... then the thumping kick then the off beat hi-hat coming back in now ... aaaand .... doubling snare fill aaaand .... big majestic 'supersaw' chordal finale ... now"...

And sure enough, exactly as I was predicting! I got them all pretty much spot on!

I listened to other related vids listed there ... all the bloody same ... like they were written to some formula or rule book.

It's a shame because I love a pounding, hypnotic, metronomic, sequencer driven piece and was doing it/listening to it 15 years before you were born (although we were using analogue sequencers and 'real' synths with knobs which we could interact with in real-time to provide variation) but I have to say that I find trance so/too formulaic.

I just wish the trance merchants could break away from the formula and do something different - and interesting - for a change. I am sure there are some which I don't get to hear (my clubbing days are long over!!!) and yes, you can level the same criticism at other musical styles (intro, verse, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight, transpose up a tone, repeat chorus through fade out) but when a 53-year-old who doesn't listen to trance can predict to the bar pretty much exactly what change is about to happen, it says something about the genre's predictability IMO!

But I don't know - maybe there's some kind of (subconscious) feeling of 'safety' in that and/or maybe it's all 'paced' for the dance floor, something I parted company with a LONG time ago!!

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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Michael Dow]
      #812563 - 17/02/10 03:14 PM
Quote Michael Dow:


Or of course there's the ferry corsten mix of adagio for strings by samuel barber (william orbits re-release) Awesome, and programmed.




I have to admit, that one does bugger all for me (and I usually like most electronica, bar the dullest house). The original piece is a masterpiece, and played by real people with real string instruments, astonishing. To my ears, the remix may get the notes right, but the feeling ... just isn't there. Still, if it got a few people to go and search for the original, worth doing, but otherwise... I'm sorry. It's a travesty, a pale shadow of the original.

IMHO of course !

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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: tomafd]
      #812570 - 17/02/10 03:25 PM
Quote tomafd:

Quote Michael Dow:


Or of course there's the ferry corsten mix of adagio for strings by samuel barber (william orbits re-release) Awesome, and programmed.




I have to admit, that one does bugger all for me (and I usually like most electronica, bar the dullest house). The original piece is a masterpiece, and played by real people with real string instruments, astonishing. To my ears, the remix may get the notes right, but the feeling ... just isn't there. Still, if it got a few people to go and search for the original, worth doing, but otherwise... I'm sorry. It's a travesty, a pale shadow of the original.

IMHO of course !




Yeah its awful, really. No feeling, no emotion. Exactly what does william orbit add? A kick drum and some cheesy synth sounds? Whilst at the same time stripping out all the feeling and movement of the original...


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #812583 - 17/02/10 03:51 PM
Quote johnny h:

Yeah its awful, really. No feeling, no emotion. Exactly what does william orbit add? A kick drum and some cheesy synth sounds? Whilst at the same time stripping out all the feeling and movement of the original...



Yep. That sums it up pretty nicely. 10/10!

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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #812592 - 17/02/10 04:26 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote Michael Dow:


I listened to other related vids listed there ... all the bloody same ... like they were written to some formula or rule book.





It's all written in the dummies cook book guide to making Trance don't you know lol

I don't know how a thread about audio myths deviated into slagging other genres of music but any way I agree with you Hollow Sun...and I will come back to this but I'm at work at the moment


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #812621 - 17/02/10 05:51 PM
Quote vinyl_junkie:

I don't know how a thread about audio myths deviated into slagging other genres of music but any way I agree with you Hollow Sun...



I am most definitely not "slagging"....

Just my observations!

And a lament ... that a genre with so much potential (given the amazing technology and possibilities involved) is so 'painting by numbers' and formulaic and 'identikit'!

If you want me steer this back on topic, I am happy to do so....

All this nonsense and talk of 64-bit audio and 192kHz sample rates is, for the most part for MOST people in MOST situations given the restrictions and compromises of their recording/playback systems and environments, largely "Emperor's New Clothes" bollocks and not worth worrying about! And Joe Public simply (largely) doesn't care and 44/16 is perfectly adequate for all but the most demanding of recording and listening situations.

Several clichés can be wheeled out here...

- If it sounds good, it IS good

- If the content is shite, it doesn't matter what high-end technology you use

- If the content is good, it doesn't matter what low-end technology you use

Impeccably recorded records have bombed and disappeared into total obscurity; appallingly recorded records have been international best sellers!

The gear you use is almost irrelevant if the core musical idea is good and solid and engages the audience.

On the other hand, the 'audience' is a fickle lot ... which is why Joe Dolce's 'Shaddapayaface' kept Ultravox's 'Vienna' off the #1 slot ... or The Smurfs or 'Grandma, we love you' or whatever (ahem) musical travesty which has proved popular.

And unfortunately, at the end of the day, much of it can depend not on which boutique hardware or cheapo, freebie plug-in compressor you use but on who you know and contacts in the industry.

And all of that is kind of irrelevant given that most people don't want to pay for music any more!

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Edited by hollowsun (17/02/10 05:52 PM)


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 8618
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #812626 - 17/02/10 05:58 PM
Quote hollowsun:

God, it was SOOOO bloody predictable!! I don't listen to a lot of trance (and whatever sub-genre) but I could hear it all coming in advance ... the offbeat hi-hat, the clichéd thumping kick, the snare fills doubling from 8ths to 16ths to 32nds, the inevitable fizzy 'supersaw' chordal pattern, etc.. I was sitting there going "Ah - off beat hi-hat coming in ... now" ... "Doubling snare fill coming in .... .... now" ... "And it's all going to stop in a second ... doubling snare fill, probably a doubling kick fill too, then break down to a stop, put the whole lot through an upwards filter sweep ... then the thumping kick then the off beat hi-hat coming back in now ... aaaand .... doubling snare fill aaaand .... big majestic 'supersaw' chordal finale ... now"...

And sure enough, exactly as I was predicting! I got them all pretty much spot on!




I totally agree with what you said - but you're a musician, and thus you listen to music fundamentally differently to an average person without musical ability.

I'm going to generalise a little, so forgive in advance.

We creative people *thrive* on new ideas, interesting ideas, being challenged, we love hearing something new, we're amazed when a guest musician on our tracks does something we would have never thought of and lifts our track to a new level.

In short - our whole essence is that creative people *love* being challenged. We don't want endless rehashes of the same old formulas, we want invention, ingenuity and someone to channel their creative spirit in a way that's captivating and new.

But - non-creatives often *don't want to be challenged*.

Being challenged requires active effort to absorb and process something new, it forces us to re-evaluate our position and view on things, and some people simply do not want to do this. They do not want to switch on the TV and have to *work* to understand the plot, they kinda want it spoon fed in nice easy digestable, predictable lumps.

This is not *wrong* as such, it's just a very different take on things to how my whole being is shaped, and I presume most other creative people too. Creative people fundamentally wire themselves differently to "non-creatives".

(Remember, I'm generalising, and there can be an argument that nobody is actually a "non-creative", but that's not the point of my post at this time.)

I've sat and watched people process challenging material, and seen them shut down. Those people are not reached by being challenged. Their wiring does not work well with it.

Different strokes, for different folks.

And yes, I've often being driving along the motorway with this style of trance on some of my favourite tracks cranking out of the car stereo, and find the experience highly enjoyable when I'm in that mood. Uplifting indeed, when done well - driving, repetitive music *done well* can be very powerful. Like any genre, much of the material is average, with some great stuff right at the top.

For balance, I've also been driving along the motorway listening to a solo singer songwriter perform and make me cry.

Music is a powerful thing, and *all* music to a large extent has formulas and recipes - it's how music works.

The recipe is not the problem, it's the composer working within their recipe to strive to do something that connects with someone. A given piece might do nothing for person A, but for person B it becomes a highly important, and emotive piece of music to their life.

Some people blindly follow the recipe, and don't put themselves into their music. I would say that quite a bit of trance could be argued to fit into this category. There's probably plenty of other categories of music you could level the same comment towards as well...

It's all good. Find what works for you, and don't criticise others if they are not moved by what you think they *should* be moved by. There are people I know who I think have *appalling* taste in music, but hey, it's their taste, and it's what they like, so who's to say it's appalling, other than me..?

It's probably more important to *be* moved, than what's doing the actual moving, in life.

Hmm. That got more than a little philosophical, didn't it? I apologise...


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 8618
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #812628 - 17/02/10 06:06 PM
Quote hollowsun:

- If it sounds good, it IS good




I have to say, this one bugs me a bit.

If someone with no experience and questionable judgement thinks something is *good*, then I would question that, because they do not have the skills necessary to make an appropriate call.

"Good" is a different meaning than whether you like something or not.

I could play a rough, really bad mix to my mum, and ask her if that sounded good, and she'd probably say, truthfully, yes, it sounded really good.

Then I would play the finished mix, which *anyone* would say comparing to the two sounded much better, and she would indeed, say it sounded better than the first one.

The point is, she didn't have to ability to understand and reference that first mix when she heard it. It sounded good to her, so it was good in her terms.

But that doesn't make it *actually* good.

So I would modify the cliche:- "if it sounds good to you, and you have enough experience and judgement to assess it properly, then it's good to you".

I admit it's not quite as catchy, but...


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #812656 - 17/02/10 07:36 PM
The slagging comment wasn't aimed at you Hollow Sun, but some other comments I have seen in this thread where's one person thinks his taste is better than another and so on..
What you said I think was spot on as well as other people who made similar comments.

Among the wide range of music I listen to a huge chunk of it is electronic music..call it what ever you want, house, trance, deep house, etc.
One thing has been bugging me recently more than ever and that is the formulaic, predictable same sounding c*ap in pretty much all the genres now especially deep house which is "too cool for skool" lol and deep mannnn and it all sounds the same now..It's become the most boring thing you have listened to in your life and this comes from a house head..Just lame 909 kick with a sampled rhodes chord pitched one up two down...
If you check out new releases on vinyl everything coming out in the deep house genre all sounds the same, what's in fasion now is bad production, 707 drums, 303 and juno...if it sounds like it was made in 88 without a computer it's a hit with the house kids...just rip off any old trax records release from Chicago and you have a hit not to mention you are cool cos you are a propper house head who used a 707..the chicago beat box of choice for many of the pioneers of house back in the day.
I could go on forever but at least trance ain't that pretentious and lame....it's just as lame as all the other stuff out there now just in different ways lol
People forgot how to be creative with all these DAW's..it's not the fault of the DAW it's us lazy humans


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 8618
Re: Audio myths new [Re: vinyl_junkie]
      #812660 - 17/02/10 07:46 PM
More and more people can make music these days, which means more music is generated and while the potential for great stuff increases, so does the noise of the mediocre, but at a faster rate.

*Hopefully* the good stuff and good people rise to the top, but I can't help thinking a lot of them are drowned along the way... but then that's probably always been the case, I guess...


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: desmond]
      #812661 - 17/02/10 07:46 PM
Quote desmond:

Quote hollowsun:

God, it was SOOOO bloody predictable!! I don't listen to a lot of trance (and whatever sub-genre) but I could hear it all coming in advance ... the offbeat hi-hat, the clichéd thumping kick, the snare fills doubling from 8ths to 16ths to 32nds, the inevitable fizzy 'supersaw' chordal pattern, etc.. I was sitting there going "Ah - off beat hi-hat coming in ... now" ... "Doubling snare fill coming in .... .... now" ... "And it's all going to stop in a second ... doubling snare fill, probably a doubling kick fill too, then break down to a stop, put the whole lot through an upwards filter sweep ... then the thumping kick then the off beat hi-hat coming back in now ... aaaand .... doubling snare fill aaaand .... big majestic 'supersaw' chordal finale ... now"...

And sure enough, exactly as I was predicting! I got them all pretty much spot on!




I totally agree with what you said - but you're a musician, and thus you listen to music fundamentally differently to an average person without musical ability.




That is absolutely incorrect!

The assumption that being a musician makes you more sophisticated in your music tastes is a classic mistake of many producers and musicians.

Knowing how to play a few chords, in fact knowing all of them front to back, or being able to eq a snare absolutely does NOTHING to improve your understanding of music. Just think back to the 1970s with the prog rock bands believed they were pushing music forward from the dumb motown hits which the idiot general public loved. What did they know? Nothing. It was the Motown hits that stood the test of time. It was the Motown hits that had the true understanding of music and soul, something which the technically proficient and musically educated prog rockers had no knowledge of at all.

People know if they like something or not. They may not know how to express it in the same terminology but they feel it just the same. Same with dance music. They might not say, "oh I don't like the kick and snare balance or the sidechaining", but they won't dance, and they won't want to listen to it. And that's far more important.

Quote:


Creative people fundamentally wire themselves differently to "non-creatives".

(Remember, I'm generalising, and there can be an argument that nobody is actually a "non-creative", but that's not the point of my post at this time.)

I've sat and watched people process challenging material, and seen them shut down. Those people are not reached by being challenged. Their wiring does not work well with it.




Dismissing people as having rewired brains and believing you experience music in a fundamentally different way is both condescending and myopic.

There is a difference between being "challenged" and listening to "challenging" music. Why is it challenging? Is there a good reason for it? Music should be as simple as it needs to be, and no more simple. If its needlessly challenging, then while it may be technically proficient, its arguably has less musical value than the latest pop hit.
Quote:


Music is a powerful thing, and *all* music to a large extent has formulas and recipes - it's how music works.

The recipe is not the problem, it's the composer working within their recipe to strive to do something that connects with someone. A given piece might do nothing for person A, but for person B it becomes a highly important, and emotive piece of music to their life.



The recipe is based upon fundamental rules of music and rhythm and mixed with shared knowledge of genre and song structure. True musical genius is to interpret these rules in a new, but at the same time familiar way, so that it connects with people all around the world.


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vinyl_junkie
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: desmond]
      #812663 - 17/02/10 07:52 PM
Quote desmond:

More and more people can make music these days, which means more music is generated and while the potential for great stuff increases, so does the noise of the mediocre, but at a faster rate.

*Hopefully* the good stuff and good people rise to the top, but I can't help thinking a lot of them are drowned along the way... but then that's probably always been the case, I guess...




That is so very true, I was going to say that too but forgot to write it down.
With this though I guess it also raises the bar of the quality the music has to be now to actually stand out.
Changing the subject slightly, has any one heard the new Gil Scott Herron album cos I think it's errrm cack, produced by that dude who runs XL records...not a wise choice imo

Just sounds like some poor rip-off of Autechre with poor ol' Scotty doing his thing over it

Edited by vinyl_junkie (17/02/10 07:58 PM)


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 8618
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #812686 - 17/02/10 08:27 PM
Quote johnny h:

The assumption that being a musician makes you more sophisticated in your music tastes is a classic mistake of many producers and musicians.




You know J, there's rarely a post of mine you reply you where you don't seem to invent words that I never said, or miss my point entirely.

I said "fundamentally different", I said nothing about "sophistication" or any value judgements. I didn't say "those stupid non-muso's know nothing about music and I so incredibly superior, which is how you've interpreted my post". Perhaps I worded things badly, but that is absolutely not the intent.

It's really not incorrect. If I play a song to a non-musician, and I say "can you sing back to me the bassline" they will will not be able to do it. Non musicians (and this is not a put down, it's just a generalisation, as I already apologised for) feel the beat and the changes, and listen to the words and melody and important hooks but the rest is just part of the whole mish-mash but they don't really know how to process.

When I listen to tracks, of course I'm hearing that stuff that everyone notices, but I've trained myself to listen over many years. I'm hearing what the various parts are, how they interact. I'm hearing the vocal and how wet it is in the mix and where the vocal rides are. I'm hearing the snare and how it's been compressed, and often what it's beeing compressed with. In short, my knowledge makes me actively listen in the way that non-musicians do not know how to do. This does not get in the way of my enjoyment of the music, in fact it enhances it, because I'm also absorbing lots of things and learning from what I hear.

As an analogy, I was never particularly visually creative as such, because it was sound that grabbed me from an early age. but when I started to get into photography, it *changed the way I see*. I had to educate myself about light and the quality and direction of it, how to shape and control it. Once you actively process what you see, it fundamentally changes what and how you see. Again, this is not a put-down for people who aren't interested in photography, it just means that you see things differently.

Quote johnny h:

Knowing how to play a few chords, in fact knowing all of them front to back, or being able to eq a snare absolutely does NOTHING to improve your understanding of music.




It may well do nothing to improve my *enjoyment* of it, but it certainly does plenty to improve my understanding of it.

Quote johnny h:

People know if they like something or not. They may not know how to express it in the same terminology but they feel it just the same. Same with dance music. They might not say, "oh I don't like the kick and snare balance or the sidechaining", but they won't dance, and they won't want to listen to it. And that's far more important.




Of course. And there was nothing in my post that says this.

Quote johnny h:

Dismissing people as having rewired brains and believing you experience music in a fundamentally different way is both condescending and myopic.




Can we layoff the personal insults please, it's getting habitual around here. You are quite able to hold an opposing viewpoint and discuss it rationally without getting straight into name calling.

Quote johnny h:

The recipe is based upon fundamental rules of music and rhythm and mixed with shared knowledge of genre and song structure.




Yes, that is exactly what I mean.

Quote johnny h:

True musical genius is to interpret these rules in a new, but at the same time familiar way, so that it connects with people all around the world.




I don't know that I can define exactly what "genius" is. And I don't really care - it seems to me that's more of a social label, than anything to do with music.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: desmond]
      #812702 - 17/02/10 09:19 PM
Quote desmond:

Quote johnny h:

The assumption that being a musician makes you more sophisticated in your music tastes is a classic mistake of many producers and musicians.




You know J, there's rarely a post of mine you reply you where you don't seem to invent words that I never said, or miss my point entirely.

I said "fundamentally different", I said nothing about "sophistication" or any value judgements. I didn't say "those stupid non-muso's know nothing about music and I so incredibly superior, which is how you've interpreted my post". Perhaps I worded things badly, but that is absolutely not the intent.




Well okay, maybe, but I'd still disagree entirely that people hear music in a fundamentally different way from "creative types"
johnny h Quote:



It's really not incorrect. If I play a song to a non-musician, and I say "can you sing back to me the bassline" they will will not be able to do it. Non musicians (and this is not a put down, it's just a generalisation, as I already apologised for) feel the beat and the changes, and listen to the words and melody and important hooks but the rest is just part of the whole mish-mash but they don't really know how to process.




Most people can sing a bit, repeat melodies and tap along to some rhythms. Tone deaf people can't (and i know a lot of tone deaf producers actually) but they aren't the majority.
johnny h Quote:


When I listen to tracks, of course I'm hearing that stuff that everyone notices, but I've trained myself to listen over many years. I'm hearing what the various parts are, how they interact. I'm hearing the vocal and how wet it is in the mix and where the vocal rides are. I'm hearing the snare and how it's been compressed, and often what it's beeing compressed with. In short, my knowledge makes me actively listen in the way that non-musicians do not know how to do. This does not get in the way of my enjoyment of the music, in fact it enhances it, because I'm also absorbing lots of things and learning from what I hear.




Okay, well I can take your word for that. But personally I would strongly disagree knowing how much reverb there is on a snare enhances enjoyment of music.
johnny h Quote:


As an analogy, I was never particularly visually creative as such, because it was sound that grabbed me from an early age. but when I started to get into photography, it *changed the way I see*. I had to educate myself about light and the quality and direction of it, how to shape and control it. Once you actively process what you see, it fundamentally changes what and how you see. Again, this is not a put-down for people who aren't interested in photography, it just means that you see things differently.




After learning about photography, I know now there a certain ways of composing shots which make photos more effective, and what tricks and techniques are used to create that sort of image. But it doesn't affect my emotional response to new images at all.
johnny h Quote:


Quote johnny h:

Knowing how to play a few chords, in fact knowing all of them front to back, or being able to eq a snare absolutely does NOTHING to improve your understanding of music.




It may well do nothing to improve my *enjoyment* of it, but it certainly does plenty to improve my understanding of it.




Music is about emotion and not technique. Arguably being consciously aware of the reverb and compression of small elements of a piece of music distracts from its emotional impact.


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 8618
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #812707 - 17/02/10 09:38 PM
Quote johnny h:

Well okay, maybe, but I'd still disagree entirely that people hear music in a fundamentally different way from "creative types"




Perhaps you don't like the wording. But this is a common thing - I watch someone dancing, with very little knowledge of choregraphy or dance or what makes a great dancer. I can enjoy (or not) the performance, and I can single eout things I like. And I can certainly have an emotional response to it.

But in no way would I be seeing it the same way a professional dancer would be watching it.

Quote johnny h:

Most people can sing a bit, repeat melodies and tap along to some rhythms.




Sure. Hence my OT point about there being an argument to say that perhaps there are no "non-creative" types. Music may well be an inate ability inside everyone that only some people exploit - but that's a different argument and not relevant to our discussion.

Quote johnny h:

Okay, well I can take your word for that. But personally I would strongly disagree knowing how much reverb there is on a snare enhances enjoyment of music.




Again, I never said this. I said, I *listen* in a different way. I did not originally mention anything about the enjoyment of what I'm hearing. Of course listening to engineering details is not really affecting my emotional response. But the fact is, I'm hearing these things that other, non-trained people are not, and I'm hearing actively, listening to all the parts and the details and the arrangement and the intent, and these other people are not. I'm listeneing to all those tracks in one big multitrack arrangement together, where non-trained people are listening to the mix and the focal points.

You may disagree to the semantics of my post, but I'm very sure that I'm listening to what I hear very differently to my non-musician mates. In fact, I've had plenty of conversations about it.

Quote johnny h:

After learning about photography, I know now there a certain ways of composing shots which make photos more effective, and what tricks and techniques are used to create that sort of image. But it doesn't affect my emotional response to new images at all.




Of course. Again, if you read my original post, I never said this. All I'm saying is that I *see* differently now, to before I had that knowledge. I will still largely have the same emotional response to looking at an image, but I will be able to explain what I'm seeing. Again, "understanding" and "enjoying" - the appreciation of the piece, and the emotional response - are two different concepts. In reality, it's not that clear-cut of course, there is some interaction between the two.

The fact that my engineer-ey bits are hearing and appreciateing what an awesome drum sound a particular record has could get in the way of the "artistic intent" or what's being communicated. And this is a bit of the "curse" of knowledge - it means you can't quite experience somethig in the same way as someone without that knowledge. Again, supporting my original point.

Quote johnny h:

Music is about emotion and not technique. Arguably being consciously aware of the reverb and compression of small elements of a piece of music distracts from its emotional impact.




Yes, arguably so. And once again, you've have pointed out something that also supports my initial comment.

I never said my experience of listening was "better" or "worse" than a non-musician. I simply said, I think we hear things differently. This, to me at least, seems quite obvious.


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: desmond]
      #812719 - 17/02/10 10:47 PM
Quote desmond:

Quote johnny h:

Well okay, maybe, but I'd still disagree entirely that people hear music in a fundamentally different way from "creative types"




Perhaps you don't like the wording. But this is a common thing - I watch someone dancing, with very little knowledge of choregraphy or dance or what makes a great dancer. I can enjoy (or not) the performance, and I can single eout things I like. And I can certainly have an emotional response to it.

But in no way would I be seeing it the same way a professional dancer would be watching it.

Quote johnny h:

Most people can sing a bit, repeat melodies and tap along to some rhythms.




Sure. Hence my OT point about there being an argument to say that perhaps there are no "non-creative" types. Music may well be an inate ability inside everyone that only some people exploit - but that's a different argument and not relevant to our discussion.

Quote johnny h:

Okay, well I can take your word for that. But personally I would strongly disagree knowing how much reverb there is on a snare enhances enjoyment of music.




Again, I never said this. I said, I *listen* in a different way. I did not originally mention anything about the enjoyment of what I'm hearing. Of course listening to engineering details is not really affecting my emotional response. But the fact is, I'm hearing these things that other, non-trained people are not, and I'm hearing actively, listening to all the parts and the details and the arrangement and the intent, and these other people are not. I'm listeneing to all those tracks in one big multitrack arrangement together, where non-trained people are listening to the mix and the focal points.

You may disagree to the semantics of my post, but I'm very sure that I'm listening to what I hear very differently to my non-musician mates. In fact, I've had plenty of conversations about it.

The fact that my engineer-ey bits are hearing and appreciateing what an awesome drum sound a particular record has could get in the way of the "artistic intent" or what's being communicated. And this is a bit of the "curse" of knowledge - it means you can't quite experience somethig in the same way as someone without that knowledge. Again, supporting my original point.

Quote johnny h:

Music is about emotion and not technique. Arguably being consciously aware of the reverb and compression of small elements of a piece of music distracts from its emotional impact.




Yes, arguably so. And once again, you've have pointed out something that also supports my initial comment.

I never said my experience of listening was "better" or "worse" than a non-musician. I simply said, I think we hear things differently. This, to me at least, seems quite obvious.



Sure, but listening to music from an engineering perspective is counterproductive, in my view. Certainly if I find myself wondering what kind of reverb settings are being used on a drum hit, I'm not normally particularly engrossed in the music.

The small world view of an engineer is not what the public wants. Sure, you can use all your skills and techniques to mix something which connects with other people, and of course this involves knowing what reverb to use to achieve a certain sound, and things like that. But, its important to have the ability to switch off from all that, and listen just as a casual listener.

Its very easy to lose this when you are getting more and more involved with engineering, and its a terrible thing to lose, as you are distancing yourself from the general music loving non-engineer, which is ultimately who you are making music for!


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 8618
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #812727 - 17/02/10 11:07 PM
Quote johnny h:

Sure, but listening to music from an engineering perspective is counterproductive, in my view. Certainly if I find myself wondering what kind of reverb settings are being used on a drum hit, I'm not normally particularly engrossed in the music.




Sure. I was never making a value judgement on it, I'm just calling it like I see it. You can choose what to listen to to a certain extent, you focus on different things. After all, being a musician is to a certain extent about becoming a professional listener.

But you can't turn off, or unlearn knowledge, just as you can't turn off your own perspective in what you experience.

Quote johnny h:

But, its important to have the ability to switch off from all that, and listen just as a casual listener.




I'm not sure it's 100% possible. Certainly it would be up for a debate
It's certainly possible to a degree, I'm sure.

As another example, there's a reason that an important part of testing software is getting people *other* than the developers to test it. Developers cannot properly test software from the point of view of a casual, new user, because they already have too much knowledge about the program to act like a new user. This is very well researched and understood.

Perhaps, for someone reading this that isn't me (I have too much knowledge about my own opinions to make a value judgement ) they are getting the impression that I can have no enjoyment from music because I'm always analysing technical elements - that's the wrong impression and not an intentional one.

I'm captivated, moved, entranced, disappointed, entertained, depressed and uplifted by music. And I suspect it's why most of us come to forums like these...


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #812737 - 17/02/10 11:42 PM
Quote johnny h:

Just think back to the 1970s with the prog rock bands believed they were pushing music forward from the dumb motown hits which the idiot general public loved. What did they know? Nothing. It was the Motown hits that stood the test of time. It was the Motown hits that had the true understanding of music and soul, something which the technically proficient and musically educated prog rockers had no knowledge of at all.



What a load of complete arse!

Prog rockers weren't (and aren't) trying to be superior or prove some point or making out that Motown was 'dumb' (Nina Simone and Motown were Peter Gabriel's biggest influence/inspiration) - they just wanted to operate outside of the usual verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight, chorus repeat until fade confines of the 3 minute (typically love song orientated) pop single format and they were enormously popular in their way at the time. 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Tubular Bells' (both ostensibly 'prog') topped the album charts for YEARS and whilst the musical output of Yes or Genesis or Camel, whoever, barely troubled the hit parade, they enjoyed enormous success in the album charts. And they continue to delight. When 5 old musos (average age around 60) took to the stage recently, Genesis sold out stadiums across the world and frankly, put a lot of young bright young things to shame with their tight and relentless playing.

But by wanting to operate outside of the norm, it meant by default that their music was not going to be mainstream (Tony Blackburn and Radio 1 was not going to play their epics ... although Fluff Freeman did) and they aimed for an area of the body other than just the feet. Why is danceability and 'soul' so important and the measure of what's good (in your opinion)? For some, the Teutonic precision and harmonic perfection of Bach or the languid modality of Debussy or the melodic lyricism of Ravel is what pumps up their musical goosebumps, not the ability to get up and shake yo booty! If getting people onto the dance floor is the sole measure of 'good' music, then Stock, Aitken and Waterman may well win hands down!

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Edited by hollowsun (17/02/10 11:44 PM)


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #812750 - 18/02/10 03:20 AM
I should also add that proggers don't have the cultural and/or social background/heritage of the tunesters at Motown (and vice versa).

Afro-American Holland, Dozier and Holland, etc., had their roots essentially in gospel and jazz, etc., whereas the Euro-white proggers' roots were more likely to be in rock, Stockhausen, classical, free improv, psychedelia, art, surrealism, whatever. A very different perspective producing very different musical results ... obviously.

Quote:

It was the Motown hits that had the true understanding of music and soul, something which the technically proficient and musically educated prog rockers had no knowledge of at all.



That makes me wince - cringe even - on so many levels.

For a start, you imply that the writers and musos at Motown weren't technically proficient. Believe me, they were extremely technically proficient, especially the (financially exploited/abused by Berry Gordy) house band.

But is also implies that technical proficiency is a bad thing. This is just SO wrong. People with technique CAN abuse that and go off on fret wanking and extended solos (yawn - and prog rock DID have its excesses ... but not as much as some would have you believe) but having good technique actually allows you to be more expressive, more emotional because you don't have to think about what you're playing and you don't have to struggle, fumbling with a silly, simple riff or I, IV, V progression - you can just PLAY and not think about the mechanics. Like a writer or orator with a good vocabulary can express themselves more clearly and more subtley, so a muso with good technique can express themselves more fluently (and, to extrapolate to bring this vaguely on topic, an audio engineer who knows what they're doing technically can make a decent recording almost regardless of the gear used).

To say that Motown alone had the true understanding of music and soul is to dismiss and insult so much excellence and so many and just your (IMO myopic) opinion.

Personally, Genesis 'Watcher of the skies' or Vaughan-Williams' 'Variations on a theme by Thomas Tallis' or some gregorian plainchant or PFM's 'Three holes in the ground' or Tangerine Dream's 'Phaedra' or Morton Subotnik's 'Silver apples of the moon' or Prokofiev's 'Classical Symphony' or Heifetz playing Rachmaninov's 'Vocalise' or a Nelson Riddle arrangement of a Sinatra tune - whatever - will move and excite me far more than any frothy record from the Motown 'hit factory' (which - contentiously - had no more artistic merit than Stock, Aitken and Waterman's hit factory ... or Jam and Lewis's or Babyface's or Chinn and Chapman's - those records were made to make money!).

Sure, they have stood the test of time and a lot of them are terrific but to say that they had some kind of monopoly on 'music' and/or 'soul' is just absurd. IMO, Heifetz or Glenn Gould have more 'soul' in one finger and one note than most of the Motown tunesmiths and James Brown together could dream of ... as marvellous as they are in their (very different) way! And I am far more likely to be moved by the 'music' and 'soul' in a simple folk song sung and played by Martin Carthy than I am by Diana Ross And The Supremes or Marvin Gaye.

Each to their own but the notion that Motown had the exclusive on music/soul is, as I say, absurd!

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matt keen



Joined: 07/01/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #812798 - 18/02/10 10:05 AM
Johnny and desmond are very good at cutting and pasting


A useful skill to have if you do a lot of editing

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www.krcollective.org


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #812814 - 18/02/10 11:11 AM
Quote hollowsun:

I should also add that proggers don't have the cultural and/or social background/heritage of the tunesters at Motown (and vice versa).

Afro-American Holland, Dozier and Holland, etc., had their roots essentially in gospel and jazz, etc., whereas the Euro-white proggers' roots were more likely to be in rock, Stockhausen, classical, free improv, psychedelia, art, surrealism, whatever. A very different perspective producing very different musical results ... obviously.

Quote:

It was the Motown hits that had the true understanding of music and soul, something which the technically proficient and musically educated prog rockers had no knowledge of at all.



That makes me wince - cringe even - on so many levels.




Wow, pretty fired up last night huh?
Quote:


For a start, you imply that the writers and musos at Motown weren't technically proficient. Believe me, they were extremely technically proficient, especially the (financially exploited/abused by Berry Gordy) house band.




I said they understood music to a far deeper level, I did not criticise their technical skills. Note that I was specifically comparing to the excesses of prog rock. I did not mention glenn gould or classical music. Nor did I suggest technical proficiency is a cause of lack of musicality. Some of the most musical people are also the most technically brilliant.
Quote:


But is also implies that technical proficiency is a bad thing. This is just SO wrong. People with technique CAN abuse that and go off on fret wanking and extended solos (yawn - and prog rock DID have its excesses ... but not as much as some would have you believe) but having good technique actually allows you to be more expressive, more emotional because you don't have to think about what you're playing and you don't have to struggle, fumbling with a silly, simple riff or I, IV, V progression - you can just PLAY and not think about the mechanics. Like a writer or orator with a good vocabulary can express themselves more clearly and more subtley, so a muso with good technique can express themselves more fluently (and, to extrapolate to bring this vaguely on topic, an audio engineer who knows what they're doing technically can make a decent recording almost regardless of the gear used).

To say that Motown alone had the true understanding of music and soul is to dismiss and insult so much excellence and so many and just your (IMO myopic) opinion.

Personally, Genesis 'Watcher of the skies' or Vaughan-Williams' 'Variations on a theme by Thomas Tallis' or some gregorian plainchant or PFM's 'Three holes in the ground' or Tangerine Dream's 'Phaedra' or Morton Subotnik's 'Silver apples of the moon' or Prokofiev's 'Classical Symphony' or Heifetz playing Rachmaninov's 'Vocalise' or a Nelson Riddle arrangement of a Sinatra tune - whatever - will move and excite me far more than any frothy record from the Motown 'hit factory' (which - contentiously - had no more artistic merit than Stock, Aitken and Waterman's hit factory ... or Jam and Lewis's or Babyface's or Chinn and Chapman's - those records were made to make money!).

Sure, they have stood the test of time and a lot of them are terrific but to say that they had some kind of monopoly on 'music' and/or 'soul' is just absurd. IMO, Heifetz or Glenn Gould have more 'soul' in one finger and one note than most of the Motown tunesmiths and James Brown together could dream of ... as marvellous as they are in their (very different) way! And I am far more likely to be moved by the 'music' and 'soul' in a simple folk song sung and played by Martin Carthy than I am by Diana Ross And The Supremes or Marvin Gaye.

Each to their own but the notion that Motown had the exclusive on music/soul is, as I say, absurd!




What you have done here is take one point of my argument and distort it, to make it appear I am saying something else. Then you are taking this artificially created argument and attacking it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man


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GTD
member


Joined: 21/02/03
Posts: 169
Loc: Ireland
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #812823 - 18/02/10 11:29 AM
Quote hollowsun:



Joe Dolce's 'Shaddapayaface' kept Ultravox's 'Vienna' off the #1 slot ...





It must be 35 years since this bloody song came out and it is as imprinted on my mind as........ the guitar solo in Stairway to Heaven. Wassamatta me??

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GTD
member


Joined: 21/02/03
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #812829 - 18/02/10 11:36 AM
Quote johnny h:

Quote GTD:

Quote Michael Dow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk_Cl4-agjU&feature=related


Quick example of a piece of uplifting trance. You may or may not find it emotional. But it does it for me and many others!

Or of course there's the ferry corsten mix of adagio for strings by samuel barber (william orbits re-release) Awesome, and programmed.





Michael, please don't take offence, but this music is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

It is to my ears very, very musical, but (imho) robbed of so much potential in having conveniently repeated arp and drum loops.

If the producer were to have allowed each part, including trivial repeating parts, to have evolved or developed in subtle ways, the whole listening experience could have been much more engaging.

If the subtle changes in drums or arpeggios or whatever, are engineered into the music in a way which is sympathetic to how the music is changing and evolving, then there IS feeling, even though it is sequenced electronic trance music.

Put simply, (again imho), the less lazy the sequencing, the more involving the music will be.

Isn't the use of slow filters and modulated delay or pumped compression on repeating parts an attempt to give them more' life'?

I would love to ask a sizable number of 'trance' afficionados to compare an arpeggio or drum loop which repeats unchanging with one which changes subtly over time. Would the answer depend on whether the loops were heard in isolation or in context in the music? I don't know, but I'd bet (if their attention is drawn to it) a significant number of people would prefer something changing subtly to something static.




I don't really like the track in the youtube video, its pretty banal to my ears. But whoever thinks programmed music means unintelligent music is just totally ignorant.





Johnny, your reply quotes me and yet doesn't have any bearing on what I said. Perhaps you meant to reply to another poster who discussed intelligence as a factor in music production?

Not to worry though, we are all human (pun intended)

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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: GTD]
      #812862 - 18/02/10 12:20 PM
Quote GTD:


Johnny, your reply quotes me and yet doesn't have any bearing on what I said. Perhaps you meant to reply to another poster who discussed intelligence as a factor in music production?

Not to worry though, we are all human (pun intended)




I wasn't replying to you specifically about that point, I was indeed referring to the earlier poster who said that programmed music wasn't intelligent. Maybe I should have made two posts to make it clearer to who I was replying to.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: matt keen]
      #812998 - 18/02/10 07:15 PM
Quote matt keen:

I Think high end gear chain is a cumulative thing and does make a real audible difference -- or should I say can

I am not so sure that many of us (me included) are good enough to get the best out of all the gear variables and settings.

In late 80's I was running a Fostex E16 based stidio with nice rooms, a decent Soundtracs desk and some pretty good mics. Our head engineer (I was the Studio Manager and second engineer)had 10 or 15 pro released albums to his name. So we knew what we were doing in a semi pro sort of way and a semi pro environment. Then John Leckie came in with a band he was looking to produce and ran/engineered some sessions. He got a quality of sound from that gear that was 20% above what we had achieved or thought we could achieve.

Top gear does make a difference but makes the most difference when used by those who have the skill, craftmanship and ability to get the most out of it




Well what you're saying is: given a particular set of equipment some people will be able to produce better results than others and on a consistent basis. I think that's a given and would be down to experience and talent.

A more interesting question would be did the quality of your recordings improve significantly when you used better equipment, through this change alone? Although equally given some of the equipment you quoted - such as the Fostex - I would expect a fairly decent improvement.

Of course these days the quality bar has been raised somewhat in many areas, certainly DAW compared to tape (unless you're after that effect). So the quality difference between prosumer and hi-end isn't going to be that marked for many items of equipment. Diminishing returns and all that - such to the extent that for some equipment people have to concentrate very very hard to actually notice any difference if it's even detectable at all double-blind.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #813005 - 18/02/10 07:26 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote Michael Dow:

Quick example of a piece of uplifting trance. You may or may not find it emotional. But it does it for me and many others!



Yes. Nice enough.

I think that with this style of music (and the original Berlin electronica of the 70s, etc.), it's the relentless, pounding, perfectly quantized, dead on the beat, unwavering, hypnotic drive of the sequencing that appeals here. Hence, presumably, the 'trance' label.

But about that piece you highlighted (and so much of that genre)...

God, it was SOOOO bloody predictable!!




I've got to agree with Hollowsun here. I'd place that track well into the highly predictable cheese category! Even down to the bog-standard choice of sounds. Personally I was always far more into the sub-genre of trance that was labelled "progressive house".... more opportunity for people to be creative. But hey it's great everyone has different tastes and we're very off topic.


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #813057 - 18/02/10 11:18 PM
Quote johnny h:

Wow, pretty fired up last night huh?



You noticed!

Quote johnny h:

I said they understood music to a far deeper level



On what grounds do you claim that? Maybe they just knew how to write catchy pop tunes that were invariably good for dancing too. They may not even have known why - they just borrowed from their black jazz/gospel background with no deep understanding on their part and came up with a fair few hits.

Your claim is merely speculation on your part because you (presumably) favour that type of music over prog which (presumably) you don't identify with. But you can't, as a result, claim that they "understood music to a far deeper level" and imply that it is somehow 'better' music as a result ... and/or that Motown's musos were better than proggers. FYI, a notable progger has penned several tunes with Lamont Dozier for The Four Tops and others and another progger I know has written several #1s for many name artists.

Maybe I did jump to conclusions but I am a bit tired of this obsession with dance music and that if music doesn't 'groove', it has no soul - there is plenty of music out there that has 'soul' (prog being amongst it) - it's just not aimed solely at the feet but somewhere else.

As a fan of early prog (not so much of the more modern 'metal prog'), I am also tired of all the stupid, misinformed claims of its so-called 'excesses'. Sure, some were (or became) pretentious gits but that's a bit like claiming all Muslims are terrorists because a few nutters set off bombs.

And yes, they put on massive (and arguably pretentious and pompous) stage shows. On the other hand, the bands were so f'cking huge in their time, they could hardly turn up at The Dog And Duck could they? So large venues were the only option. And if you're appearing in a such a venue, you want - nay, need - to put on a spectacular show to entertain the thousands who have paid to see you and maybe expect to see a show that is equal to the imagery in your music. Some went over the top but most put on fab shows.

And interestingly, many of the techniques used in prog's so-called 'excesses' are now standard fare in today's live extravanganzas. For example, Vari-lites were developed with investment from Genesis who used Showco's new prototype in their dramatic stage productions - anyone putting on a decent stage show now uses them.

But did the writers and musos at Motown have a far deeper understanding of music than proggers? Of course not - they just had a different understanding as a result of a completely different cultural and social heritage.

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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4273
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #813064 - 18/02/10 11:55 PM
i'm losing the will to live. make music. not cut-and-paste boring [ ****** ] that's only ok if you are out of your tree on recreational pharma.

duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duf f-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.

pause, 2, 3, 4,

duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duf f-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duf f.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duf f-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.duff-duff-duff-duff.

/died

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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
Posts: 844
Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Guy Johnson]
      #813070 - 19/02/10 12:08 AM
Oh come on Guy, it's bad to generalise. We could do the same thing with brass-band music:

oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa etc.

or classical:

pompity-pompity-pompity-pom-twiddle-twiddle-pompity-pomity-pomity-pom --crescendo -- cymbal crash 2 - 3 - pomity-pompity-pompity-pom etc.


On second thoughts you might have a point somewhere.


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GTD
member


Joined: 21/02/03
Posts: 169
Loc: Ireland
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #813117 - 19/02/10 10:00 AM
On reflection I wonder whether modern dance, trance and so on IS actually very intelligently produced music - and I'm not joking.

There is tremendous rationality in a quick cut and past, get the job done attitude. This stuff sells in bucket loads too, doesn't it?

I think ironically it is an unintelligent approach to the arts which often produces greatness though. The PASSION which causes someone to practice a performance to the point of nausea, and then keep going is clearly NOT very clever, especially when the prospect of benefiting from this endeavor is for many driven people, quite slim.

Passion communicates but can ultimately consume the possessor - not very clever to cut off one's ear in a fit of frustration for example. Even more stupid to throw your work in a bin behind a shed because it's not quite right (to you)!

The thing is though, some artistic greats manage to balance passion and cleverness...... I guess these might be the most worth emulating.

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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #813146 - 19/02/10 11:52 AM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote johnny h:

Wow, pretty fired up last night huh?



You noticed!





Yep!

Look, I'm not insulting the music you love. I was making a simple point about being careful not to neglect musicality and concentrate too much on technical details. I could quite easily have compared mid to late 90s Aphex twin, which fused the two, to Venetian Snares who take similar concepts to their extreme, but are incapable of writing a good melody (think of Hendrix to his technically faster soulless 80s imitators); while it is similar in many core ideas there is no longer any "point" to it.

I could compare early squarepusher or autechre to later works which, in attempt to become more sophisticated have lost the emotion and brilliance in favour of "challenging" material. I just thought maybe not everybody would be that familiar with these artists.

I certainly did not mean to insult a whole genre of music, and I have no objection against complexity in music, just as long as there is a point to it, as long as there is an emotional need for it.


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narcoman
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 8488
Re: Audio myths new [Re: GTD]
      #813402 - 20/02/10 12:35 PM
Quote GTD:


There is tremendous rationality in a quick cut and past, get the job done attitude. This stuff sells in bucket loads too, doesn't it?
.




no comment on dance music at all - but no, it doesn't. Not individually!


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turbodave



Joined: 25/04/08
Posts: 2316
Loc: derbyshire uk
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #813420 - 20/02/10 02:08 PM
Quote HugoL:

Oh come on Guy, it's bad to generalise. We could do the same thing with brass-band music:

oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa etc.

or classical:

pompity-pompity-pompity-pom-twiddle-twiddle-pompity-pomity-pomity-pom --crescendo -- cymbal crash 2 - 3 - pomity-pompity-pompity-pom etc.


On second thoughts you might have a point somewhere.




THANKYOU, THANKYOU , THANKYOU, for so long I have been without inspiration and now...... I am going into the studio to combine OOMPAH with POMPITY.

--------------------
My head hurts!


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #813429 - 20/02/10 03:11 PM
Quote johnny h:

I was making a simple point about being careful not to neglect musicality and concentrate too much on technical details.



Well, my daughter's just had a violin lesson and they went through a piece she's doing for her forthcoming Grade 8 exam and a competition she's in...

Her teacher is ex-Juilliard and was Assistant Professor to Sandor Vegh at the Mozarteum, Salzburg (amongst others) and they spent an hour and a half concentrating on technical details IN ORDER to make it more 'musical' - bow hold, subtle variations in bow stroke, angle and position, fingering, phrasing, etc., etc., etc., and boy, did it make a difference when she had it sussed. And that was just for half a page of it!!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #813448 - 20/02/10 04:38 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote johnny h:

I was making a simple point about being careful not to neglect musicality and concentrate too much on technical details.



Well, my daughter's just had a violin lesson and they went through a piece she's doing for her forthcoming Grade 8 exam and a competition she's in...

Her teacher is ex-Juilliard and was Assistant Professor to Sandor Vegh at the Mozarteum, Salzburg (amongst others) and they spent an hour and a half concentrating on technical details IN ORDER to make it more 'musical' - bow hold, subtle variations in bow stroke, angle and position, fingering, phrasing, etc., etc., etc., and boy, did it make a difference when she had it sussed. And that was just for half a page of it!!




Playing the violin is one thing, writing music is a totally different skill.


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Folderol



Joined: 15/11/08
Posts: 3294
Loc: Rochester, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: turbodave]
      #813455 - 20/02/10 05:10 PM
Quote turbodave:

Quote HugoL:

Oh come on Guy, it's bad to generalise. We could do the same thing with brass-band music:

oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa, oompa etc.

or classical:

pompity-pompity-pompity-pom-twiddle-twiddle-pompity-pomity-pomity-pom --crescendo -- cymbal crash 2 - 3 - pomity-pompity-pompity-pom etc.


On second thoughts you might have a point somewhere.




THANKYOU, THANKYOU , THANKYOU, for so long I have been without inspiration and now...... I am going into the studio to combine OOMPAH with POMPITY.



I hold a patent for combining OOMPAH with POMPITY, but I'll wait until your song is a worldwide number 1 then hit you with a license claim

--------------------
It wasn't me!
(Well, actually, it probably was)


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Folderol]
      #813462 - 20/02/10 05:45 PM
Quote Folderol:

I hold a patent for combining OOMPAH with POMPITY



Yes but does it have 'soul'?

You're wasting your time otherwise!

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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hollowsun



Joined: 20/01/05
Posts: 5464
Loc: Cowbridge, South Wales
Re: Audio myths new [Re: johnny h]
      #813464 - 20/02/10 06:02 PM
Quote johnny h:

Playing the violin is one thing, writing music is a totally different skill.



Not sure I get your point now.

--------------------
Website / Music Lab Machines / Blog


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johnny h



Joined: 24/07/06
Posts: 3089
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hollowsun]
      #813478 - 20/02/10 07:28 PM
Quote hollowsun:

Quote johnny h:

Playing the violin is one thing, writing music is a totally different skill.



Not sure I get you