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Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby CS70 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:30 am

MOF wrote:
The "strong" music is so powerful that sticks out no matter what. You can play Smoke On The Water on a banjo or on bagpipes or toys, and it will still be itself and just as powerful and crowd-moving.
Really? I think if you hadn’t heard the original you would be thoroughly underwhelmed,

Really. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVo6s6W7EHE

I've put this loud at parties and the house has come down just fine.

even if you had, I can’t imagine it stirring your emotions.

Well, I won't speak about yours emotions, but the 8 bit version stirs mine alright, exactly now. It's telling me to pick up the guitar and play along!

It’s all about arrangements. Just imagine the opening full orchestral stabs of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony played on banjos!!

Well, I feel it would be a serious failure of imagination not to think about it... admittedly, you would need a lot of banjos. :D

Listen to Badfinger’s version of Without You, then Nilsson’s. It’s the timbre (read ‘lead synth sound’) and emotion (read ‘performance controls of that lead synth’) of his voice and the arrangement of orchestral parts (read ‘more supporting synth sounds’) that put it into a different class.

This I've never heard - dunno what you're talking about. I'll look for an 8 bit version :D

I used to think that a good A&R man (it was men in those days) should be able to spot a million seller from the rough demo’, but if you had to sift through countless cassettes a day I think you’d struggle to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Well, doing something for 8 hours at a time, with such a big element of randomness involved, is a terrible fate no matter what it is that you're doing.

But that aside, the hard reality is - in my opinion - that it is true.

The music I'm talking about it's exactly the one that doesn't need anything big to sound like itself.

"Strong" music can be played to great effect with one instrument, and a voice if voices are involved. If you have more, sure, you can decorate it and make it bigger, badder, better... but take an nylon string guitar and invent a solid riff.... there you are. Actually, that's pretty much how "Smoke" came about if I am not mistaken - jamming and riffing at a rehearsal session.

If had to find a reason, I think it's a hard thing to accept because it involves admitting that most of the music we invent, and even a lot of what we like is, sadly, not of that sort. Most of the universe is, after all, a lot of fluff. I speak, of course, barely of myself.

As of A&R, their job is (used to be) not so much find these gems, but to find something for that can be packaged and commercialized and sold even if it's not that great. Because money is made on predictable volumes, and "strong" music is rare :D

Pop corn is a lovely little melody. If it had came about before synthetizers, it would have been played in some other form. It just so happened that there were synthetizers around when it got out.

If our potential audiences had such qualities then we could all just release the demo i.e. a lead vocal and maybe one instrument, but it would rarely work in my opinion. It’s only when you’ve tried numerous combinations of sounds, chord inversions, tempos etc that it sounds as if it was always meant to be that way.

Not sure what you mean. Until you've written a piece like that, it's not it. We (well, I) are talking finished composition, not what happens during the writing.. for that there's the gazillion Facebook songs with people making a video of them with a guitar and three chords and say "I've an idea, what do you think?" (well, what do you think that I think? :D).
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:31 am

desmond wrote:wait for an ad to play

Kiss goodbye to youtube ads: https://ublockorigin.com/ (just checked - since installing it, I've been shielded from 1,151,000 ad-related things which is 3% of all the network connections my browser has tried to make).

I've not yet done it myself but https://pi-hole.net/ is a logical next step if you want to take that further for all devices on your home network.

I agree with the anonymous links. Guilty of it in the past but I've been trying not to post without some explanation these days.

I've used ad-blockers for years. It transforms the Internet into something far better, but I resolutely whitelist SOS in all cases.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:36 am

desmond wrote:I wish the SOS forum showed embedded YouTube thumbnails so you could know what's being referenced without having to actually go to YouTube, stop whatever music you're listening to, wait for an ad to play, and then find out the video is something you never would have wanted to watch anyway, close the tab, resume your music... etc...

So did I desmond, and a previous version of the SOS Forums did offer embedded YouTube thumbnails, but sadly the far more robust new version we now use doesn't :frown:

desmond wrote:At least putting a title for each link would help decide....

I did include titles in my post, but just for you I've just gone back and emboldened them so no-one else has to click on a link to find out the tracks I was referencing.

Oh and I finally tracked down the culprit in the end, it was:

Normal Greenbaum 'Spirit in the sky' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZQxH_8raCI

Was that OK for you? :mrgreen:


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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby CS70 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:37 am

ManFromGlass wrote:.and then sometimes a rearrangement gets the glory while the original resides in obscurity.

I've heard through the grapevine that such things all happen along the watchtower, where people twist and shout.... :)
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby CS70 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:40 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:
CS70 wrote:Banjos? They can do a lot. It just takes a little imagination.

And being Finnish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ao-iNPPUc

I forgot. Accordion! :D

Listening now and liking it far more than I thought I would! :clap:

Triple bonus points for use of an anvil as percussion.

They're actually very good musicians. And with banjo. vodka helps.

So is, incidentally, Zakk Wylde playing a Hello Kitty guitar

Sounds are incidental...
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby desmond » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:58 am

Martin Walker wrote:Normal Greenbaum 'Spirit in the sky' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZQxH_8raCI

Was that OK for you? :mrgreen:

:thumbup:
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby desmond » Sat Dec 05, 2020 2:03 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:Kiss goodbye to youtube ads: https://ublockorigin.com/ (just checked - since installing it, I've been shielded from 1,151,000 ad-related things which is 3% of all the network connections my browser has tried to make).

I’m well aware but unfortunately Apple changed the security model for Safari 13 and extensions like that won’t work anymore.

I do run Wipr which works within Safari 13s inbuilt filtering mechanism, but while this prevents the ad video running, I still have to wait for the time to count down where the ad would be playing. So I don’t actually gain much in terms of youtube.

I do run chrome as a secondary browser but it’s a context switch to change browsers just to click on a link to find out what it is, and Chrome is a poorer experience for me in general compared to my browser of choice.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:28 am

desmond wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:Kiss goodbye to youtube ads: https://ublockorigin.com/ (just checked - since installing it, I've been shielded from 1,151,000 ad-related things which is 3% of all the network connections my browser has tried to make).

I’m well aware ...

In truth I thought you must be. It's a pity that Apple have limited the ability for such plugins to work natively on Safari but there were noises to the effect that Google would be doing something similar with Chrome which is why I moved to Firefox again. Maybe Pie Hole wouldn't be a bad option to investigate if ads are intrusive as it works upstream of your client.

Having experienced the web for some time now through the filter that is Ublock Origin and the like I fear that should such mechanisms become unviable I would probably go without rather than suffer them.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby tea for two » Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:56 am

Oh no only about looks first for me
Jupe 8, Easel, Source, Quadra.

Give me multicolours I'm sold.

Similarly acoustic instruments the more exotic looking the more my eyes sparkle.
African Kora is my favourite "guitar" "harp" type instrument because it looks so exotic to me.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby The Elf » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:13 pm

desmond wrote:At least putting a title for each link would help decide....

I'm sure there's a way to do that - how?
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby MOF » Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:39 pm

IMO no piece of music is incapable of being placed in a different setting, just that the new setting still needs to be sympathetic to the requirements of the music itself, and that is down to the skill of the arranger.

My point exactly. The magic bit is getting the melody to be arranged in the first place. Library music is often written to a brief e.g. I want this to sound like X, a track is created using the exact same instruments, even chord sequences, production values etc but the semi-plagiarised melody just doesn’t work; good enough for TV incidental music but no one’s in a hurry to release it as a single.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby MOF » Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:48 pm

Banjos? They can do a lot. It just takes a little imagination.

And being Finnish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Ao-iNPPUc

I forgot. Accordion! :D

Plus double bass, mandolin, drums and voices. As I said it’s about arranging a mixture of instruments. If it was just banjos there would be little in the way of ADSR, pitch and timbre to choose from.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby MOF » Sat Dec 05, 2020 5:52 pm

and then sometimes a rearrangement gets the glory while the original resides in obscurity

Exactly, Badfinger’s Without You being just one example.
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby MOF » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:00 pm

Really. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVo6s6W7EHE

I've put this loud at parties and the house has come down just fine.

Now be honest, if the only version you’d heard was the 8 bit version, would you be telling all your mates to check it out? The fact that you feel like getting your guitar out to play along with it suggests to me that you wouldn’t, you should have said you feel the urge to add another 8 bit synth. :D

It’s all about arrangements. Just imagine the opening full orchestral stabs of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony played on banjos!!

Well, I feel it would be a serious failure of imagination not to think about it... admittedly, you would need a lot of banjos. :D
There wouldn’t be enough range, no bass in particular.

Here’s the 8 bit version of Without You. :lol:
As well as arrangement I notice a few (better) tweaks in Nilsson’s melody too.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9aTnwArYjoM

take an nylon string guitar and invent a solid riff.... there you are. Actually, that's pretty much how "Smoke" came about if I am not mistaken - jamming and riffing at a rehearsal session.

I don’t think it would have come from a nylon guitar, they were in a temporary studio with a mobile recording lorry hooked up outside, all their gear set up and ready to go.

Pop corn is a lovely little melody. If it had came about before synthetizers, it would have been played in some other form. It just so happened that there were synthetizers around when it got out.
Agreed, but it’s about arranging it to provide the ‘ear candy’.

Not sure what you mean. Until you've written a piece like that, it's not it. We (well, I) are talking finished composition, not what happens during the writing.. for that there's the gazillion Facebook songs with people making a video of them with a guitar and three chords and say "I've an idea, what do you think?" (well, what do you think that I think? :D).

I’m not talking about all the writing stages where you decide what note or rest comes next. Some songs really can be a melody and very simple accompaniment such as guitar or piano but I think they are rare.
We now expect more variety and numbers of instruments as seen in the classical world from quartets to chamber music and then orchestras and even bigger (Wagnerian) orchestras. It allows the composer to repeat the hook(s)/themes many times with some variations and without boring the listener when they are handed out to different instruments.

P.S. No need to send me an invitation to any parties you might be having in the future. I’m not into 8 bit music. :lol:
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Re: Synthesizers. Is it really about new sounds these days..?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:19 pm

I saw a photo of a bass banjo once - it was huge! It would burn for days
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