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More software to do the work of CREATING music for you


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Sorry to break it to you but that's already been happening for a long time!

Yeah I started getting into mainstream music only recently, and it's between Dragonforce, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Poison, Muse, etc... mostly bands from 10 years ago, or bands from 30-40 years ago.

Your parents probably remember when their parents hated all the cool new music they were listening to. I'm pretty sure they DON'T remember how their parents' music was infinitely better than the crap being fed to them at the time :|

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There's a lot of problems with the music industry, but I don't think this is terribly bad. Based on my brother's comments with Band-In-A-Box (he's used it at school), I think we're still a long way off from having professional-quality backing tracks generated on the fly. And even when that comes, it's becoming gradually easier for indie artists to get exposure, so I think we're progressing towards an environment where the consumers, not the record labels, decide who's good or not and spend their money accordingly. Basically, if you're a crappy artist who can't do your own parts or put together a band, even just using session artists, this technology isn't going to help you much.

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Since this seems more a discussion of the application of this technology rather than the technology itself, let me share something. Skip to 5:30 for the relevant bits, but be sure to go back and watch the jam session afterwards...

Intelligent arrangers like Band-In-A-Box and MySong are merely one of many tools at your disposal. Experienced producers can benefit from them, as you can use them to explore a variety of musical ideas. Band-in-a-Box helped me work out ideas that I wasn't sure would work, and it showed me how ideas I thought would work actually didn't.

The more software like this, the better. Amateurs may use it to throw crap together, but people who know what they're doing will use it to create even better music.

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Since this seems more a discussion of the application of this technology rather than the technology itself, let me share something. Skip to 5:30 for the relevant bits, but be sure to go back and watch the jam session afterwards...

Intelligent arrangers like Band-In-A-Box and MySong are merely one of many tools at your disposal. Experienced producers can benefit from them, as you can use them to explore a variety of musical ideas. Band-in-a-Box helped me work out ideas that I wasn't sure would work, and it showed me how ideas I thought would work actually didn't.

The more software like this, the better. Amateurs may use it to throw crap together, but people who know what they're doing will use it to create even better music.

I completely agree!

I've been hearing a lot of the "software makes music for you, its gonna be the end of music as we know it!" theories for a long time and its only recently started to bother me. This kinda goes along with the new Melodyne software update that can take individual notes out of chords to fix it up. This only will help the experienced people make music better, not make shitty people good. No matter what medium of art, no matter how good the tools we use are, it isn't going to suddenly make all of the music shit. Sure there will be more amateurs and idiots making utter crap, but the talented people will always rise to the top.

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Because you are physically limited - you have only 2 hands and it's pretty damn hard to even learn to use them completely independently because one of 'm usually wants to mimic what the other's doing.

Also, your imagination is constrained by muscle memory and "what sounds good". You'll subconsciously avoid certain progressions.

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I don't understand. I don't think of myself as old-fashioned... but how can "intelligent arrangers" offer me more harmonic variation than what is available to my imagination when I look at the keys of my piano?
Because you are physically limited - you have only 2 hands and it's pretty damn hard to even learn to use them completely independently because one of 'm usually wants to mimic what the other's doing.

Also, your imagination is constrained by muscle memory and "what sounds good". You'll subconsciously avoid certain progressions.

To add to what Yoozer said, it's like collaborating with another musician:

The other person thinks differently than you, so they're going to come up with variations that you habitually avoid.

There's nothing old-fashioned about that.

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Because you are physically limited - you have only 2 hands and it's pretty damn hard to even learn to use them completely independently because one of 'm usually wants to mimic what the other's doing.

Also, your imagination is constrained by muscle memory and "what sounds good". You'll subconsciously avoid certain progressions.

you got it backwards man, it's harder to make them do the same thing.
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Oh noes, how could I ever live without a computer to assist me in creating harmonies? The computer is so much more imaginitive than I, what ever will I do?

Apparently this feature uses harmonies that require more than 10 fingers to reproduce. Truly astounding!

Seriously?

If I want a fresh perspective, I'll go to another musician. Hahah! Am I the only one with friends?

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you got it backwards man, it's harder to make them do the same thing.

You a beginner or something, both at music and logic? It is inherently more complex to play two different parts than to play two similar parts *assuming the pieces are of equivalent technical difficulty, all other things being equal*. Sure, the notes themselves may be different, but if you're using the same rhythms in both hands, there's no way that's harder than playing, say, quarter-note chords in your left hand and a melody with dotted eights in the right (ex. Pachelbel's Canon in D).

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Oh noes, how could I ever live without a computer to assist me in creating harmonies?

How could you ever live without a computer to record it? You'd write it down or record it on tape.

How could you ever live without paper to write it down or tape to record it on? You'd memorize it.

It's a tool. That's it. Arpeggiators are tools, the Korg Karma is a tool, a stepsequencer is a tool, but it's a fact that they make you think and act with music differently. Ways you'd generally not think about music because it'd be so far out of your regular imagination that you wouldn't consider it, or not part of your technical possibilities.

The computer is so much more imaginitive than I, what ever will I do?

I dunno. Make music?

Apparently this feature uses harmonies that require more than 10 fingers to reproduce. Truly astounding!

Do you use a sequencer, y/n?

If I want a fresh perspective, I'll go to another musician. Hahah! Am I the only one with friends?

Friends. A poor substitute for Eno's "Oblique Strategies" :roll:

Friends aren't the problem. Non-musician friends are :).

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You a beginner or something, both at music and logic? It is inherently more complex to play two different parts than to play two similar parts *assuming the pieces are of equivalent technical difficulty, all other things being equal*. Sure, the notes themselves may be different, but if you're using the same rhythms in both hands, there's no way that's harder than playing, say, quarter-note chords in your left hand and a melody with dotted eights in the right (ex. Pachelbel's Canon in D).
my hands where crafted by god himself.
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I've been hearing a lot of the "software makes music for you, its gonna be the end of music as we know it!" theories for a long time and its only recently started to bother me.

When you have a "salable image" that the record companies can "make money off of" all you need is something that doesn't sound like ass... nobody said it had to be any good. Just tolerable enough for your fans to ignore it while they drool over you.

Maybe we're both right. This will just make mainstream more shit, make the shitty indie stuff more shit, and give the good indie musicians more options to make more good stuff. Maybe.

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Well you're certainly an inferior participant in this discussion. All you can respond with are disingenuous straw-mans expressed with adolescent sardonicism.

Nicholestein, pay attention to dannthr's posts; that's what you're going to be when you grow up.

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Hahah, this discussion can hardly be considered mature, regardless of whatever input I may have had.

Now if, Analoq, you want to steer the discussion into something mature, then do so, but using Nicholestein as cannon ball is hardly mature.

If you want a mature discussion about auto-harmonization then you need to start discussing the philosophical implications of computer aided composition.

To do that, however, you have to go back, back, back to a foundation: What is melody, and at what point is harmony separated from melody?

There is a legal concept of melody which drives how we legally define music for purposes of copyrighting, but when I harmonize across the orchestra, can what my violas play be considered a melody of their own? Even if they're meant to simply harmonize with my first violins, at what stage do we define what they do as harmony and not melody?

So if we really want a mature discussion about the philosophical implications of computer aided composition, we have to start there so we can better understand what the computer is doing for us and what is achieved or lost by the automation.

Though, I wouldn't normally expect a conversation like that here, hahah, so I'm hardly going to be the one to encourage it!

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Hahaaaaaaa! The software has a "Happy Factor" slider! I love it!

Regarding usefulness for a musician: The software generates three- or four-note chords that change with the measure. This can also be done by playing every possible three- or four-note chord on a keyboard and deciding whether it sounds good in context. Useful for quick foolin' around and experimentation? Yes. Useful for someone who doesn't know how to work with harmony? Yes. Useful for a musician to get some quick ideas? Yes. Useful as some sort of computerized collaboration partner that will give a musician profound new insight? Definitely no.

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Well you're certainly an inferior participant in this discussion. All you can respond with are disingenuous straw-mans expressed with adolescent sardonicism.

Nicholestein, pay attention to dannthr's posts; that's what you're going to be when you grow up.

I meant exactly what I said. >_>

I've always felt that my hands were seperate, and I've always found it very difficult to have them play the same thing, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

it's like, hmm. how do i describe this....dosn't playing the same thing on both hands just make you like want to nod your head to the left or right? the urge to do it is so damn strong for me. >_>

so yeah...

i swear this is the truth. xD

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