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Has Technology Hurt Music

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#21 Phonetic Hero

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:11 AM

I don't necessarily agree with you here. You could easily argue the limitations of, say, solo guitar, solo piano, or any given monophonic/limited-polyphonic synthesizer are equally restricting. Or solo clarinet, string quartet, etc. An ENORMOUS part of the popularity of chiptunes is the nostalgia factor and cultural/social element. There are tons of primitive synthesizers out there but the chiptune culture only really started to become a less-than-niche 'thing' around the time when anything retro or nerdy was becoming popular.

Please note I'm not saying anything about whether it's a "good" or "bad" style of production, I love chiptunes and have done some very poor attempts at them myself. I'm just talking about the popularity of them vs. the popularity of any arbitrarily picked production style or set of instruments.

Fair enough, I'll roll with most of that, although my comments were aimed more at modern electronic rather than solo acoustic instruments. My recent interest in writing chiptunes actually kind of came from a frustration with my own lead and melody writing, so it started as exercises with the limited instrumentation to FORCE catchy and memorable melodies out (which I strongly recommend if anyone is feeling the same way).

But I've been listening to chiptunes before I even knew there was a culture built around it (I'm so hip, right? Fucking LOVE Alberto Gonzalez's Gameboy work), looking up youtube clips of music from my favorite Gameboy games etc., and it was pretty easy to let myself be absorbed by the sound and turn it into a way of writing that I ultimately love. The process and the end product are both way, way too much fun

#22 Esker


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:57 PM

It's interesting seeing people associate orchestral pieces with technology since those pieces are there for years. I usually make associations of technology in music at eletronica style, here I can say its just exists because techonology has evolved.

So it's easy to agree if someone that loves styles which don't need necessarily technology in yours compositions like rock or orchestral songs say that technology hurt music.

If technology hurt game music the answer is no at all, but since consoles have more power today, players demand epic songs when gaming usually to get involved with the scene, in detriment of that same song being memorable to them. So videogame music become a little bit disposable, maybe as much as the the game itself become disposable after a while.

#23 Rozovian


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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:06 PM

Music was much better before they invented concert halls.

I mean electricity.

Or rather, synths.

At the very least, no good has come from the mp3 encoding and sharing music on the net.

So yeah, no.

#24 The Coop

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

Having read the article, no, technology didn't hurt music. It offers more ways to create it, regardless of genre, and that's not a bad thing. The problem comes with how musicians, producers, mixers and so forth apply the technology to the music they're trying to create. That's where it can go horribly wrong.


#25 audio fidelity

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:10 PM

Brian, what studio were you at when you were out here? I'm curious as to who this music genius is.

But anywho, I agree that this need to be marketed by audio/recording companies, that you need this great new tool to get this new sound, is soon to be hopefully a dying trend as people wise up that the technology is coming to a plateau and that most have plenty of tools to make great music already at their disposal and they need to shift their focus back to the craft.

There is certainly a synergy that happens with the gear, and I'm all for it as I'm sure you are. WIth the new technology, in its abuse and poor uses of it often because we all are amateur in some realm of music as we take on more tasks as composers and engineers, we are just starting to find a balance on how to use it.

For me it's the same concept of why people lose the first 6 months, to a year, lost in their iphones playing mindless games and wasting their time.
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#26 Legion303


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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:12 AM

has technology hurt music



#27 CC Ricers

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:51 AM

Reading Tweek's blog post and his short descriptions on professional experiences, it sounds to me that it's not much of a problem directly caused by technology but more of a project management problem. The clients, or the colleagues you work for want to take more of control in their own hands, and it's this newer technology that makes it ever more tempting for them. Then they lose sight of what it is to properly run a project.

Put in a different analogy, I've heard of a couple clients who are upset with the stark simplicity of a finished website, or a logo because "they can just hammer it out themselves in a few hours". Good designers do not make busy websites, though- they make websites where every element is snugly fit in its own place and respects all the other portions of the design, and do a good job prioritizing what parts of the composition are important.

Some time ago, a lot of web designers paid poor attention to function and got too obsessed with tech. Flash websites were THE SHIZ in 2002 and portfolios were padded with them. But our own gear-lust waned, designers became more conservative and started following stricter practices. I think the only temptation to going back to making those sorts of sites is because of the increase in broadband, but most know better than that.

The bad news happens when exclusively technically-minded or management-minded folk try to design. I see it fairly often. These guys will always be behind the curve on how to use new tools in moderation. Design students tend to produce less busy-looking designs, and enlarge elements that are more important while still following some set of guidelines. They impose their OWN limitations, in spite of the advancing technology that now lets us use less lines of code to do crazier layouts. It's tricky as hell to consistently turn arbitrary guidelines into well-designed forms.
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#28 Xelebes


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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:55 PM

I think the article is spot on. The "gear" fetish is so widespread that many people feel like they can only make good music if they have the most expensive equipment ever made. They won't consider any other options first.

And then there are these people who frown upon others who don't use the latest version of FL Studio for example. Of course you can have new features in an upgrade and all that, but in the end practice makes perfect and nothing else will do the talking on that matter.

I remember FruityLoops 2.7. I don't want to go back to that. Please?
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