What's new

Reaching for "the next level"

YaniDee

Active Member
What these "who needs real players?" , button pushing "producers" don't realize, is that there are real musicians who actually played all those loops and phrases and generated the raw sample sounds for their latest pastiche "composition".
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
Excellent thread!

As Quincy Jones said several years ago (maybe 20 years ago, and I paraphrase what I can remember:

" Now we have a whole bunch of people calling themselves 'musicians' and 'producers' who've never actually played a real musical instrument in their life.
...and the music of today suffers from this. These so-called 'musicians' don't know what it's like to breath life into an instrument, to have to play with other real people....to actually get the music into their bodies like a dancer has to....real musicians have to feel music in their bodies...they have to breath....react with other real people.
....todays music suffers from a lack of people having never actually played an instrument or done any singing in their lives. A lot of todays music is pretty lame."

(...I paraphrased a long interview to the best of my memory)

I'm so lucky to have been am still am a trombone player. I've worked with classical, jazz, rock, Latin, funk, pop, rock, soul, punk, ambient, Broadway, ballet, opera, new-age, fold, world, highly experimental, etc....etc....etc. musicians and groups.

I'm fortunate to know that sample libraries are only facsimiles of what real musicians are capable of. And it's very frustrating every time I have to use my 'in the box' production gear to create a project for which I can't be able to afford a group of real musicians. I feel like I lose part of my soul everytime I open up the DAW.

But....composing with sample libraries has also enable me to produce some works that would have killed a real trumpet player or drummer if they had to do numerous 'takes' over the course of a day while working in the box. (....and, I do have fun trying to replicate real people....it's a challenge!)

Anyways.... as I tell 'younger' musicians now who think they don't have to know anything about music, music theory, or having to play an actual instrument:

"Why limit yourself? Do you just want to be at the mercy of software producers for your musical life and experience of music? Don't you want to get hired by people doing other projects?....interact with other real people?....get hired by someone because you're really good at your instrument?....be able to play any musical style?.....to be able to read any music placed in front of you?....

...to help make the world a better place?...to take pride in being a creator of music? (not just a cut and paste producer)

Maybe do what I did. I deleted my entire 'Apple Loops' collection off my hard drive (...I don't even use Logic or Garageband, but still had it from years ago.) Toss 'em. Buy some other software that forces you to at least create something 'in the style of'. You'll learn more that way.

By a sample library, make your own sounds, learn the keyboard at least... go out and listen to some real musicians. Go hear a real orchestra and a jazz big band. Hear a string quartet play live.

None of us will ever be like Quincy Jones with his wealth of life experience, but it's someting to aspire to. A machine will never replicate what he's done with real musicians.
Too much work and too much money for all of that.

I can make three songs a day with computers. With real instruments, there are a lot more steps and money involved just to get a song to sound decent.

Quincy Jones and others grew up in a time where that was all they had. We have more, so why be ungrateful?

Are people really in that much of a need to limit themselves to using a real instruments and paying for studio time? The studio is in my laptop!
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
Too much work and too much money for all of that.

I can make three songs a day with computers. With real instruments, there are a lot more steps and money involved just to get a song to sound decent.

Quincy Jones and others grew up in a time where that was all they had. We have more, so why be ungrateful?

Are people really in that much of a need to limit themselves to using a real instruments and paying for studio time? The studio is in my laptop!
There is a simple test: listen to his music, then listen to yours. Is yours, regardless of genre or how it was created, of similar quality? He was one of the greatest at doing what he did. Can you say the same about yourself?

If not, a little humility might be in order.
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
There is a simple test: listen to his music, then listen to yours. Is yours, regardless of genre or how it was created, of similar quality? He was one of the greatest at doing what he did. Can you say the same about yourself?

If not, a little humility might be in order.
I would not compare what I do to Quincy Jones. Of course he is in another league. He grew up in conditions that forced him to become proficient in as many instruments as possible. So he is great at what he does. I am doing something different.

Besides, humility is not my strong suit. I am only working to be great at what I do, not follow in others’ footsteps. I appreciate the groundwork others have laid down, but I am walking a new path.
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
I would not compare what I do to Quincy Jones. Of course he is in another league. He grew up in conditions that forced him to become proficient in as many instruments as possible. So he is great at what he does. I am doing something different.

Besides, humility is not my strong suit. I am only working to be great at what I do, not follow in others’ footsteps. I appreciate the groundwork others have laid down, but I am walking a new path.
But are you great at what you do or just egotistical? I don't know you or your work. But even many of the greats somehow remain humble. You might want to work on it. Just a suggestion.
 

visiblenoise

New Member
Hey, purely electronic music is music too. If you're cool with music that makes little attempt to emulate real instruments (you should be), why bother drawing a line between that and the stuff that does?

Not that I fully agree with the mentality, but I definitely understand it.
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
Please point me to where I can listen to some examples of your greatness :)
Of course!

Check out "Run Hard" and "Triple Double": http://intervox.co.uk/en/To_The_Top_AID-4053?l=EN

Check out "Mellow Tick" and "Ticked Off": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Truth_AID-4018?l=EN

Check out "Boundaries Of Sensation": http://intervox.co.uk/en/In_Between_AID-2803?l=EN

Check out "Future Floss": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Gene_Coding_AID-3474?l=EN

Check out "Slow Forces": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Subtle_Traces_AID-2426?l=EN

Check out "Resist Temptation": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Hellfire_AID-2030?l=EN

Check out "Predator Militia": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Zoom_AID-1833?l=EN

Check out "All The Trappings": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Stylista_AID-3214?l=EN

Check out "Coin Operated Machine": http://intervox.co.uk/en/8_Bit_Beats_AID-2392?l=EN

Check out "Flutter By" and "Through Tepid Waters": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Aqua_Love_AID-2411?l=EN

Check out "Kooky Spooky Time": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Boo_AID-2294?l=EN

---

If you ever want to collab on some stuff, let me know. I'm always game to do business!
 

cmillar

Active Member
Hey, purely electronic music is music too. If you're cool with music that makes little attempt to emulate real instruments (you should be), why bother drawing a line between that and the stuff that does?

Not that I fully agree with the mentality, but I definitely understand it.
Agreed....some fantastic electronic music out there; even going back to the '60's and the real pioneers of electronic instruments. The early Moog experimenters did some amazing stuff.

Wonderful because it's a what good music should be....'organized sound'....and electronic music can take you 'places' that traditional instruments can't.....whole new sonic landscapes.... new colors....
 

Desire Inspires

To the stars through desire....
Agreed....some fantastic electronic music out there; even going back to the '60's and the real pioneers of electronic instruments. The early Moog experimenters did some amazing stuff.

Wonderful because it's a what good music should be....'organized sound'....and electronic music can take you 'places' that traditional instruments can't.....whole new sonic landscapes.... new colors....
Yeah, I appreciate it all.
 

BlackDorito

Member
On the sub-topic of live musicians versus in-the-box, there is no right answer that is suitable for everybody but I would add:


Live musicians:

- get you away from the computer
- become part of the universe of people who populate your musical life
- connect to you on FB and LinkedIn, then get you future gigs
- teach you things about your writing and introduce you to interesting people, including other composers
- sometimes play out of tune - particularly brass and string players
- give you a tepid response when you are most vulnerable because your piece is not in the late 19th century Russian chamber music style that they prefer.
- sometimes don't call you back

DAWs and VI Libraries:

- are there for you 24x7 without fighting any traffic or paying any money (beyond the initial purchase)
- are always in tune
- allow you to do amazing things with musical resources you would otherwise never have any hope of commandeering, e.g. three full string libraries all panned differently, Evo's, Omnisphere industrial, prepared pianos, Olafur Arnalds, Mahlerian orchestral forces, spiky chamber ensembles, and countless other specialty libraries and configurations
- have no humanity, either in their playback or within the social endeavor of music-making
- can suppress the musical muse with a daily onslaught of technical issues
- require you to become a composer, data entry / recordist, mastering engineer

Luckily we can howl about all these things here on VI-C
 

Ashermusic

Senior Member
Of course!

Check out "Run Hard" and "Triple Double": http://intervox.co.uk/en/To_The_Top_AID-4053?l=EN

Check out "Mellow Tick" and "Ticked Off": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Truth_AID-4018?l=EN

Check out "Boundaries Of Sensation": http://intervox.co.uk/en/In_Between_AID-2803?l=EN

Check out "Future Floss": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Gene_Coding_AID-3474?l=EN

Check out "Slow Forces": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Subtle_Traces_AID-2426?l=EN

Check out "Resist Temptation": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Hellfire_AID-2030?l=EN

Check out "Predator Militia": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Zoom_AID-1833?l=EN

Check out "All The Trappings": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Stylista_AID-3214?l=EN

Check out "Coin Operated Machine": http://intervox.co.uk/en/8_Bit_Beats_AID-2392?l=EN

Check out "Flutter By" and "Through Tepid Waters": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Aqua_Love_AID-2411?l=EN

Check out "Kooky Spooky Time": http://intervox.co.uk/en/Boo_AID-2294?l=EN

---

If you ever want to collab on some stuff, let me know. I'm always game to do business!
Definitely some good stuff there, especially the electronica, some not so good, especially the orchestral IMHO.
 

dgburns

splunge
Hey @JohnG much love for your thoughts, really.

I think the next level is really about having players interpret your composition. So much truth in what you wrote that it really is a case of ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ before you can really appreciate.

♥ nothing better then a great cue played by great players that ‘get’ what you’re trying to do, and having the room ‘with you’.

It’s the Apex of my aspirations as well. Here’s to you getting to the next level.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Yeah, great question. I have numerous 'next levels' and they are continuous rather than any sort of arrival points. I love the combination of real instruments and the wonders that are available with vst's etc., to me they are completely complementary when it comes to composing and recording. Of course nothing can compare to real instruments played live however what is also possible via computers these days is pretty mind-blowing and opens up endless possibilities for composers, as long as they learn their craft properly and don't fall into the trap of relying on the machine to 'replace' musical knowledge or instrumental skill. Without those it can all end up sounding pretty generic and samey imho.

Anyway, I aspire to keep becoming a better guitarist, to play piano better, to write better and better music, to keep developing my orchestration skills, to write faster, to get more listeners for what I have released and will release in the future, to get my music performed etc. etc. All-in-all my next level is to express what is inside me to the utmost of my ability so that when my time comes to leave this planet, I'll hopefully feel like I've gone some way to fulfilling my true potential as a composer and musician.
 
Last edited:

cmillar

Active Member
Yeah, great question. I have numerous 'next levels' and they are continuous rather than any sort of arrival points. I love the combination of real instruments and the wonders that are available with vst's etc., to me they are completely complementary when it comes to composing and recording. Of course nothing can compare to real instruments played live however what is also possible via computers these days is pretty mind-blowing and opens up endless possibilities for composers, as long as they learn their craft properly and don't fall into the trap of relying on the machine to 'replace' musical knowledge or instrumental skill. Without those it can all end up sounding pretty generic and samey imho.

Anyway, I aspire to keep becoming a better guitarist, to play piano better, to write better and better music, to keep developing my orchestration skills, to write faster, to get more listeners for what I have released and will release in the future, to get my music performed etc. etc. All-in-all my next level is to express what is inside me to the utmost of my ability so that when my time comes to leave this planet, I'll hopefully feel like I've gone some way to fulfilling my true potential as a composer and musician.
Yeah...it's nice to have goals about being more proficient at using software to fully utilize it's capabilities to help realize your music. So much to learn...so little time!

But if I only wanted to aspire to have a computer play my music all the time?

That'd be like wanting to always make love to a plastic doll .... I guess?....(haven't tried it!)

Something would always be missing!
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
But if I only wanted to aspire to have a computer play my music all the time?

That'd be like wanting to always make love to a plastic doll .... I guess?....(haven't tried it!)

Something would always be missing!
I dunno.. my girlfriend is a plastic doll and the great thing is she never talks back. Unlike my computer which is way too argumentative! ;)
 
Top Bottom