Feedback Is Good


Published in SOS February 2013
Bookmark and Share

Paul White

The end of 2012 has been a busy time for us here at SOS, with a number of events and trade shows to slot in between our regular testing, writing and editing commitments. Several of these events involved hosting seminars and Q&A sessions with large groups of project studio owners. I find these particularly valuable, as they help me focus on what the typical reader really needs to know, rather than simply monitoring forum exchanges between much more experienced audio engineers, which can give a false impression of the more general knowledge base. I'm also constantly surprised by just how many of the products we take for granted slip under the radar of the typical recording musician. For example, at a recent event at which the theme of my workshop was guitar synthesis, many of the attendees had never used a guitar synth or even seen one in action. After a brief demo and a chat, a number of them decided that guitar synthesis was worth exploring, but how come the things remain such a mystery to most guitar players? Roland's GR500 and ARP's Avatar guitar synth were launched way back in 1978, which was before many of the attendees were born, so it's hardly a new technology.

Similarly, at a recent Q&A session I hosted, one of the co-presenters asked the 100-strong audience how many of them used Melodyne. Four hands went up. We then asked how many knew of it, and though a few more hands popped up, the majority seemed unaware that such a thing existed. When they were shown polyphonic Melodyne DNA in action, they reacted as though it was black magic!

Useful feedback for us, indeed, but then the tables were turned when one of the audience put me on the spot and asked me what new development in technology I'd really like to see. I thought for a moment and then replied that I'd like to see a DAW intelligent enough to free us from the tyranny of the click track without us having to work 'off the grid', something I've commented on a couple of times in the past. Despite algorithms designed to create a tempo map from an existing drum track, I often find these require a lot of input from the user to produce a usable result, and I was surprised how many of the audience responded to my reply: it earned a mild round of applause, so clearly other musicians are thinking along similar lines.

If something so 'impossible' as Melodyne DNA is already available, surely it isn't too much to ask that a DAW could listen to what you've recorded, without you having to find a separate and spill-free kick or snare for it to follow, and then create a reliable tempo map to fit it without you having to lead it by the hand? Maybe it could even work out an average tempo and then quantise all the recorded audio to fit it, something that takes up a lot of operator time at the moment. After all, if a human can tap their foot in time to a piece of music without relying on a simple kick or snare pattern to follow, surely a computer can be taught to do the same?

Paul White Editor In Chief  


Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help


Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26


We accept the following payment methods in our web Shop:

Pay by PayPal - fast and secure  VISA  MasterCard  Solo  Electron  Maestro (used to be Switch)  

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2016. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media