41 posts in this topic

40 minutes ago, JohnStacy said:

When I stand in front of students, especially those in rural schools, the students have this idea that music is what they hear on the radio

I have to say, for me, this is probably the saddest. While I have contended that pop does not equal less musicianship, I will agree I'm not a fan of the kind of music that plays on today's radio stations. I've tried playing music that I enjoy in the car with my peers, which is usually jazz or R&B, and they usually ask "What the fuck is this?" Then they put on Post Malone or Drake. I've asked them too why they don't like my music taste, and their response was, "Because we can't get lit to it." 

I'm sure people were getting lit to Bill Evans in 1963.

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Why would that surprise you? Not everyone who likes music is into it the way you guys are. Not everyone wants to enjoy music to the point of studying composition history of the last 100 years of jazz and its roots in rock and roll. It's a pleasure in life that has the distinction of being a universal language, highly variable, and being an obligation to absolutely no one to practice or absorb in any other way that what perfectly fits them.

If you don't understand how ridiculous music elitism is, then I invite you to listen to a guy rant about how people don't appreciate waterslides at Dolly's Splash Country and bitch about their "mainstream" construction and design like I did back in 2004 for close to 20 minutes. God, I still can't figure that out.

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7 minutes ago, Meteo Xavier said:

Why would that surprise you? Not everyone who likes music is into it the way you guys are. Not everyone wants to enjoy music to the point of studying composition history of the last 100 years of jazz and its roots in rock and roll. It's a pleasure in life that has the distinction of being a universal language, highly variable, and being an obligation to absolutely no one to practice or absorb in any other way that what perfectly fits them.

Is it possible for me to agree on both sides? I'd like to do that.

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6 hours ago, JohnStacy said:

The watering down of the genre is a result of the labels avoiding risks.  That doesn't have much grounding in reality, since a lot of the people are buying the music because it's available and it's basically the least bad option.

Talking of labels... I have actually tried to send demonstrations of my music twice to record labels. First was Heavy Artillery Records, they were not interested and no wonder since the demo was crap i know it even though i'm not fully entirely sure as i don't remember anymore which 1 i sent there (maybe 'Nightfall'? of my tracks. At least that was total crap shit early production from me and i think it was at that point when i tried). Second was Monstercat but considering how big that one is, no wonder they were not interested of my demo ('Through the Darkness'). Labels (especially bigger ones) are still selective most definitely about who they accept into their amidst, as they want to keep their image good as well. Also the style of music they play is usually limited to some precise few (sub)genres at most. That in mind as i produce a lot of different styles as you can hear if you were to browse my crap, should i and could i sign into several different labels at once?

 

What do you guys think of labels being the door to some earnings for producers? I mean, don't labels pay for you to produce to them and then they possibly play the music in some of their stuff like a stream or otherwise distribute and advertise you as an artist amongst their selection of artists? Does it pay good at all? Or does that too depend entirely on the sales on the distribution sites as in the label doesn't pay you but instead just advertises you a bit as they get to play your music and stuff like that? And won't they kind of then force you to produce what they want instead of being free to do what you want? As in couldn't i then post my random crap to my own channels and should stick precisely to keeping the image of the label i would be in?

6 hours ago, JohnStacy said:

This creates a demand that affirms that the labels and other sources should just be conservative with what they sell.  They have the marketing money, so they win.

I think this is true, as you in your whole reply are pointing out, they basically control the music style that becomes popular as they then can market into the radios and crap like that, to public in general, which results in people hearing the music enough and therefore developing a standard that "this is music". Still it's not like they control people's minds or anything, i mean all have personal taste too, but still isn't it highly limited amongst majority (not all) of people to the different labels that play the different styles that different people like with their taste, instead of people rooting for some small.time artists who aren't played in mainstream basically. Then there are only few exceptions who root for small-time artists but aren't those rare? There is also the peer pressure as in people often want to belong in some groups and therefore if many despise something precisely, others just go along with it even if they secretly think otherwise, as they don't want to isolate themselves from these people and be left alone and laughed on about their opinion.

 

What do you guys think of those music mix Youtube channels then? So called 'wanna-be' record labels, as in who, i assume, are some single person or couple perhaps who post others music into their channel in a mix or maybe more rarely nowadays individually which has a lot of others music as well, i mean in a way that in that way you could get heard without signing into a label per-se, but don't you usually benefit the channel more than yourself mostly? As in people just listen to that channels all music and hence you drown in there among others, especially if the channel doesn't advertise you as the artist properly, some of these don't even add the names of the artists and tracks that are playing.

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16 hours ago, JohnStacy said:

When I stand in front of students, especially those in rural schools, the students have this idea that music is what they hear on the radio.

This is an absurd complaint and goes with the assumption that the amorphous "pop music" is inherently inferior.

Obviously, especially where young people are concerned, they are going to know music by what their primary exposure to it is. For me it was 90s country music and 80s rock bands. Now, I mostly write orchestral stuff whereby I'm most influenced by composers like Williams or Goldsmith.

Now here's where you see how nuts this starts to get: Plenty of people hate modern trailer and film music because it's significantly dumbed-down compared to Williams or Silverstri. But lots of people shit on Williams for not being enough like composers that lived and died a hundred years before him, and plenty of people yet shit on film/tv/game music altogether, and for the same reasons. 

Classical and Jazz elitists base their criteria for "good" or bad on how much it employs specific composition techniques for a previous time period. Now, this isn't to say the "pop" world hasn't seen a pretty serious decline in skill of the most basic level; hell, most of the "trailer" composers couldn't compose a string quartet that wouldn't be an incredibly boring "chord in left hand, melody in right" keyboard-style piece. Is this music of a greatly-lowered standard for composers? Yes. Should we expect that aspiring professionals should have great respect for the craft and be able to do more than this? Yes. Are people wrong for liking or wanting to make that kind of music regardless? No, but that hasn't stopped people from saying that trailer composers should be sent to literal death camps.

What these people don't realize, is that these musical devices they love so much and associate with classical or jazz are not limited to those genres. Plenty of 90s and early 2000s pop music like Girls Aloud actually had some great counterpoint among the singers, and even more impressive in old video games. But is that good enough? No. It has to be a fugue or follow every 18-century part-writing rule to perfection or else it's shit.

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7 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

This is an absurd complaint and goes with the assumption that the amorphous "pop music" is inherently inferior.

Obviously, especially where young people are concerned, they are going to know music by what their primary exposure to it is. For me it was 90s country music and 80s rock bands. Now, I mostly write orchestral stuff whereby I'm most influenced by composers like Williams or Goldsmith.

Now here's where you see how nuts this starts to get: Plenty of people hate modern trailer and film music because it's significantly dumbed-down compared to Williams or Silverstri. But lots of people shit on Williams for not being enough like composers that lived and died a hundred years before him, and plenty of people yet shit on film/tv/game music altogether, and for the same reasons. 

Classical and Jazz elitists base their criteria for "good" or bad on how much it employs specific composition techniques for a previous time period. Now, this isn't to say the "pop" world hasn't seen a pretty serious decline in skill of the most basic level; hell, most of the "trailer" composers couldn't compose a string quartet that wouldn't be an incredibly boring "chord in left hand, melody in right" keyboard-style piece. Is this music of a greatly-lowered standard for composers? Yes. Should we expect that aspiring professionals should have great respect for the craft and be able to do more than this? Yes. Are people wrong for liking or wanting to make that kind of music regardless? No, but that hasn't stopped people from saying that trailer composers should be sent to literal death camps.

What these people don't realize, is that these musical devices they love so much and associate with classical or jazz are not limited to those genres. Plenty of 90s and early 2000s pop music like Girls Aloud actually had some great counterpoint among the singers, and even more impressive in old video games. But is that good enough? No. It has to be a fugue or follow every 18-century part-writing rule to perfection or else it's shit.

I think you're really overreacting and not at all responding to what John is actually frustrated about. He's talking about the decline of music education curriculum in schools, not the moral consequences of pop music being popular.

It also sounds like you're bringing a lot of "everything is elitist bullshit" baggage into the conversation when it's completely unwarranted. People don't deserve to be antagonized just because they think artistic standards are valid, and you're kinda framing that whole camp as a sort of angry mob when they're not. I mean, unless your frame of reference for "people who care about art" is something like... youtube commenters.

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Since we're exploring music education, I want to say nowadays, music education on the university level outside of schools like Berklee, Julliard, NEC, what have you... in my experience, it's a complete joke. I'm going to Endicott College, and it's a great school. I went in as Computer Science major, realized it wasn't for me, and I switched to Liberal Studies with a concentration in Music. Now I did this because what I really want to study is music (we don't have enough money to go to music school, ok how can I make this work). Well... it's not working. It's a complete joke. I have private instruction... he doesn't have me do anything. He just kinda stands there. In jazz band (frustrating for me because this is something I really want to look forward to), our instructor hardly makes them work hard not only to play right, but to play tight. Every section is very weak. I had some music classes with the same professor who does my private instruction, hey guess what, we didn't do anything in those classes and I got an A just because. At the end of the day, I'm switching majors. And this is a college; we hosted an intercollegiate jazz fest with other schools in the area, Ipswich High and Beverly High played, then us and Gordon College followed by Boston University. It goes without saying we were terrible compared to the other universities, but even the high schools were miles better than us. 

Maybe I'm just a kid who's wishing he was going to music school, but this level of education is less than mediocre.

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8 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

This is an absurd complaint and goes with the assumption that the amorphous "pop music" is inherently inferior.

Obviously, especially where young people are concerned, they are going to know music by what their primary exposure to it is. For me it was 90s country music and 80s rock bands. Now, I mostly write orchestral stuff whereby I'm most influenced by composers like Williams or Goldsmith.

Now here's where you see how nuts this starts to get: Plenty of people hate modern trailer and film music because it's significantly dumbed-down compared to Williams or Silverstri. But lots of people shit on Williams for not being enough like composers that lived and died a hundred years before him, and plenty of people yet shit on film/tv/game music altogether, and for the same reasons. 

Classical and Jazz elitists base their criteria for "good" or bad on how much it employs specific composition techniques for a previous time period. Now, this isn't to say the "pop" world hasn't seen a pretty serious decline in skill of the most basic level; hell, most of the "trailer" composers couldn't compose a string quartet that wouldn't be an incredibly boring "chord in left hand, melody in right" keyboard-style piece. Is this music of a greatly-lowered standard for composers? Yes. Should we expect that aspiring professionals should have great respect for the craft and be able to do more than this? Yes. Are people wrong for liking or wanting to make that kind of music regardless? No, but that hasn't stopped people from saying that trailer composers should be sent to literal death camps.

What these people don't realize, is that these musical devices they love so much and associate with classical or jazz are not limited to those genres. Plenty of 90s and early 2000s pop music like Girls Aloud actually had some great counterpoint among the singers, and even more impressive in old video games. But is that good enough? No. It has to be a fugue or follow every 18-century part-writing rule to perfection or else it's shit.

Yes, you completely missed my point.  Because you quoted only the first sentence of that paragraph, you assumed it was going in a direction that it wasn't.

Edit 1: I should probably clarify.  I really don't like band.  The idea of putting only wind instruments in an ensemble is one I really don't like.  But, unless you teach at a big school (150+ students per graduating class minimum), band is the only form of secondary music education you have in most places.  So

The problem I have with the idea that music is what's on the radio is that the students didn't seem to put effort into it.  They would sound great, good in tune, good sound, music had energy, on stand tunes of things they knew.
Instant there was any other music?  They would very clearly not put effort into it.  Body language would change.  They would make much more basic mistakes and sound like a completely different band.  Spend a month or so preparing something for concert contest?  It would sound okay, but not nearly as good as the stand tune they spent one day on.

I honestly don't care that these kids don't care about classical music, or composition technique.  That wasn't my point.

I really do care that they don't give literally any value to it unless it's famous.  They have openly expressed that musicians who aren't "famous" aren't real musicians and probably have a "real" job that they actually do during the day.  That was a struggle that I fought and lost. 

I wasn't saying, this is good music, you are stupid.

I was saying, you're going to be here for a whole semester of not marching band, put some god damned effort into it and maybe it wouldn't be so boring.

Edit 2:  Plus, you know, it's my job to expose and educate about different types of music they have not been exposed to.

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5 hours ago, PRYZM said:

I think you're really overreacting and not at all responding to what John is actually frustrated about. He's talking about the decline of music education curriculum in schools, not the moral consequences of pop music being popular.

It also sounds like you're bringing a lot of "everything is elitist bullshit" baggage into the conversation when it's completely unwarranted. People don't deserve to be antagonized just because they think artistic standards are valid, and you're kinda framing that whole camp as a sort of angry mob when they're not. I mean, unless your frame of reference for "people who care about art" is something like... youtube commenters.

I don't see how I'm over-reacting to anything nor am I "antagonizing" anyone. You though, are quick to over-react and be like "you're over-reacting and being hostile" to me fairly often over nothing, dude. Though to be fair, my wording may not have been the best.

 As in my post, I actually didn't even accuse him specifically of being an elitist, rather I'm talking about elitism among jazz and classical musicians and teachers (which in my experience is pretty common) and saying that the statement of "You think 'mainstream' music is what music is" which he did effectively say, is something that elitists do say. The short version of my point is: There's no sense expressing disdain toward students knowing music by something you don't necessarily hold in high regard, when the stuff you are going to be teaching them is still relevant to them. A point he went on to make after that very sentence!

I have agreed with his point that education should be of a higher standard, 100%.

Quote

I wasn't saying, this is good music, you are stupid.

Like I said, your opening statement typically goes with the assumption that it's inferior. My rebuttal to this part of you post is essentially "Yeah, obviously"

The rest of my rant was about the people who hate anything that doesn't adhere to these rigid standards of classical and jazz. I wrongly assumed that I was clear by referring to such as "these people" and not saying things like "you". My bad. :<

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1 hour ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

You though, are quick to over-react and be like "you're over-reacting and being hostile" to me fairly often over nothing, dude.

Yeah you're right, I've done that plenty in the 2 years i haven't said a word on this forum :<

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Seriously guys though.. i've asked several questions and would like some answers/opinions/knowledge if you have any !

I have posted so much of my original music already that i'm starting to ponder that it is becoming pointless to upload anything worth shit before knowing how to proceed properly in the music world outside of own enjoyment of it.

1.

On 6/5/2018 at 3:53 AM, ShadowRaz said:

Let's say making a remix would get you out there as some people search the original track they know and notice a different spin on the same song and get interested, wouldn't that be advised then huh?

To add the continuation i wrote, now in a nutshell, assuming that it would be some preferred genre (for people and their taste in music in general) remix of the original, and as i could actually attempt several styles, that leads to a follow up question, which would be advised? House? Future Bass? As those are quite popular are they not? Or stick to my own style as in do what i want to keep it more personal and unique in a way which would likely go into some orchestral or dubstep/dnb stuff

2.

On 6/5/2018 at 3:53 AM, ShadowRaz said:

What do you guys think of remaking? I mean that shit isn't obviously innovative at all, and might be kind of disrespectful to the original artist as in to show how one can reverse-engineer the track and perhaps match their skill if not even further since it actually requires a lot more sound design and fine tune skills and on some cases careful listening to match some little stuff too, than doing own 'what you can' stuff but doesn't need imagination at all, so then again it is just copying the original so what is the harm? Is it disrespectful? I mean as long as obviously mentioning the track being a remake and not starting on using that project as bases of claimed "own" music which would be being a copycat.

In that way wouldn't people find you easier? Although often if making such, the people who are interested are the ones who would want me to SHARE the freaking project, what fun is in that? Do you ever share your projects to others? I sure as hell wouldn't want to, i wouldn't actually be opposed to if someone attempted to reverse-engineer my own music however as long as they don't use it as bases for their music as in copycat way as i said already.

3.

On 6/8/2018 at 12:37 AM, ShadowRaz said:

What do you guys think of labels being the door to some earnings for producers? I mean, don't labels pay for you to produce to them and then they possibly play the music in some of their stuff like a stream or otherwise distribute and advertise you as an artist amongst their selection of artists? Does it pay good at all? Or does that too depend entirely on the sales on the distribution sites as in the label doesn't pay you but instead just advertises you a bit as they get to play your music and stuff like that? And won't they kind of then force you to produce what they want instead of being free to do what you want? As in couldn't i then post my random crap to my own channels and should stick precisely to keeping the image of the label i would be in?

Record Labels, yay or nay?

4.

On 6/8/2018 at 12:37 AM, ShadowRaz said:

What do you guys think of those music mix Youtube channels then? So called 'wanna-be' record labels, as in who, i assume, are some single person or couple perhaps who post others music into their channel in a mix or maybe more rarely nowadays individually which has a lot of others music as well, i mean in a way that in that way you could get heard without signing into a label per-se, but don't you usually benefit the channel more than yourself mostly? As in people just listen to that channels all music and hence you drown in there among others, especially if the channel doesn't advertise you as the artist properly, some of these don't even add the names of the artists and tracks that are playing.

I mean often some of those don't even ask permission, but couldn't anyone still ask if some bit more popular channels would add your music in their mixes? In a way that they still credit you and therefore might raise your popularity in a way?

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1) You can get a lot of plays on remixes and be very popular for that, but no one bothers listening to your original music. That's something many people here have always said.

2) Lot of popular YouTubers doing mockups and such of famous pieces, like Ahston Gleckman. Generally speaking, suffers the same drawback as point 1.

3) Nay, is my vote.

4) I'd consider reaching out to some such channels to see if they'd feature your tune in a playlist. I've even seen composers who weren't asked for permission thank the channels for sharing it anyway.

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1. This serves a great purpose because if it gets popular, you can use it as testing grounds to find out what you can and can't get away with.  If a remix gets really bad reviews/comments, probably don't dwell on whatever you did.  But it isn't good for promoting your own original stuff, maybe it will if you get maximum popularity?

2.  I think remaking is a load of crap for people who want to get popular.  A lot of people won't even look at it, and most people will just ask why make a copy of the original?  It can be great for learning how to do things, but I wouldn't put your name on it as anything other than what it is, a remake.

3.  No.

4.  Ask about it, but don't count on it.  I actually didn't know what you were talking about, having never seen a channel.  This doesn't really mean much, other than that that reach of these may or may not be that wide.

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There was a time when being on a record label was genuinely worth the effort. These days I've highly reconsidered that notion since all my experience with them has largely been me doing the legwork in trying to get music sold while they do little more than provide web space and artwork with a cut of what I make when it gets sold. I don't feel this is native to the label experience and I'm still trying to get on some others, but definitely it's not what it used to be and a lot of that has to do with music technology integrating with the internet.

Supply explodes to 100x the musicians there was, music theft becomes prevalent, labels reveal a major vulnerability to their business model and acumen, end results is that the musician now does the hard work of marketing (of which they are probably the absolute most incompetent pairing of subject and artist EVER, no seriously) but continue to do it so they feel like they're a real musician or something. I was actually talking about this in the car with my wife after describing the definition of a "vanity publisher" versus a "real publisher" and talking about how "real" labels/publishers have deterioriated in terms of quality and reliability and that artists only still choose them because it makes it feel like they have a badge of honor or part of the 'in crowd' with being a labeled musician and she pointed out, "So, basically, artists avoid vanity publishers because they don't really do anything for artists, but they continue to go with real publishers that also don't do much for them anymore... for their own vanity? That's pretty ironic."

I LOL'd.

That being said, being on a label still has some perks from time to time and I still want to get on OCR Records as I feel they're not part of the label description I made above. Other than that, most enterprising artists would do better to just self-publish since at least they'd get 100% of the net profits after all the same work was done.

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2 hours ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

1) You can get a lot of plays on remixes and be very popular for that, but no one bothers listening to your original music. That's something many people here have always said.

2) Lot of popular YouTubers doing mockups and such of famous pieces, like Ahston Gleckman. Generally speaking, suffers the same drawback as point 1.

3) Nay, is my vote.

4) I'd consider reaching out to some such channels to see if they'd feature your tune in a playlist. I've even seen composers who weren't asked for permission thank the channels for sharing it anyway. 

Yes, it might be true indeed that if making remixes, especially a lot of them, then people might just start expecting more of remixes and therefore aren't interested about originals, considering they just drown among the 'bigger names' so to speak which you remixed. But what if making only few, wouldn't it get you on the map perhaps but not necessarily standardized as remixer only?

1 hour ago, JohnStacy said:

1. This serves a great purpose because if it gets popular, you can use it as testing grounds to find out what you can and can't get away with.  If a remix gets really bad reviews/comments, probably don't dwell on whatever you did.  But it isn't good for promoting your own original stuff, maybe it will if you get maximum popularity?

2.  I think remaking is a load of crap for people who want to get popular.  A lot of people won't even look at it, and most people will just ask why make a copy of the original?  It can be great for learning how to do things, but I wouldn't put your name on it as anything other than what it is, a remake.

3.  No.

4.  Ask about it, but don't count on it.  I actually didn't know what you were talking about, having never seen a channel.  This doesn't really mean much, other than that that reach of these may or may not be that wide.

Both of you have quite accurate, as in i agree, and similar answers in fact. About remixing for example how it could be good but not necessarily in some precise ways. Funny to ask this btw on a site which has remix on its name... Sorry for not participating on your game music remixing in general btw... i still like your community in general even though i mostly produce original stuff and have done only few exceptions on remixes and they had nothing to do with video games.

 

Then on remakes you are also correct both, they are still nothing more than learning grounds at most for benefit on sound design for example as  i have seen it, in such tracks which have sound designs, on orchestral/instrumental compositions much less of any use as it is basically making a cover and not even that instead of remake though virtual instruments still require certain amount of tweaking sometimes, still they be at most some orchestration practice, otherwise just copying and yes, some desperate aim for popularity.

 

The label thing actually has made me ponder a lot more than any of these 3 others, and seeing such answers from you and @Meteo Xavier in general, just boosts my already negative feelings towards attempting to join record labels, assuming i could even get in as i think my style doesn't fit that properly anything precisely as it varies. Rarely you hear tempo and style changes (for example orchestral intro, shifts into dubstep/dnb, shifts into house etc) in music like i do on many projects of mine for example, and no labels want that crap, though i personally think it is a bit unique thing to perform such hybrids and hot damn is it FUN

 

I gotta look into this Youtube channel thing a bit. I too have btw, seen artists thank the one who made the re-upload on a mix. Not sure is it in a way thanks as they asked would they add it and then got it through and then came to thank publicly on comments as well and not just privately when asking to add in first place, or is it in a way that the upload fella has found it online while was searching for music and chosen by him/herself to add it and the artist then finds it also either randomly or more likely when searching him/herself. Also i'm actually amazed that you John haven't heard of such.. i'm playing music almost 24/7, as right now a mix of such is playing on background while writing here, and also when gaming unless the game soundtrack is heavy, but on Battlefield 1 and game like Bloodborne which consume hours at a time, they be having minimal music, and therefore i boost the joy by music mixes, similar to when browsing internet in general. So if aren't watching something like tv-shows or movies from Netflix or like now started re-watching Scrubs on DVD since my Netflix was cancelled due to not having enough on my Bank account for the 10€ automatic monthly fee, then music is playing. No quiet moment at my lonely crib.

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