It was a not so ok week for Reason users like myself I must say because Reason currently seems to have some serious performance issues. In case you missed it, check my ‘Synapse The Legend quick performance test: RE versus AU’ article.
The good stuff is that the musical code poets are writing code which will produce a better sound than ever before. I love the old warm and fat 70s sounds but I don’t own all that hardware. Some stuff from the 80s, nice stuff too. And also from the 60s. But with my laptop I am able to reproduce these sounds and go beyond what was available back then and take the next step. Innovate, sound wise. Synapse The Legend is another example of this, generating polyphonic Minimoog sounds which can go a bit or a lot out of tune, or stay in tune. The Legend sounds even better than a real Moog Sub 37 and is way more stable than a real Minimoog. Sound wise there’s no difference between a real analog Minimoog and The Legend.
Digital guitar amp simulators, same thing. With my laptop I am able to create all sorts of boutique guitar tones. It’s all there inside my MacBook Pro: Orange, Marshall, Vox, Fender. And I can bend and blend them all together for The Ultimate Guitar Tone. There’s so much too choose from these days, for many people it might even be too much. If there’s too much to choose from you might end up choosing nothing at all. Not finishing anything. No longer being able to make decisions. It might harm your creativity.
If you can’t choose, try to limit yourself. Stop wondering and stop asking yourself questions. It was never about the tools, remember?
We are lucky with our fast running computers. But it’s not all good, at least not at the Apple front. Peter Kirn wrote down all his concerns. A big rant, a must read, even if you’re not an Apple user! Read it: ‘Apple’s relationship with pro music needs some mending’.
Dumb computers, real intelligence or humanness?
Scientists at SONY CSL Research Laboratory have created the first-ever entire songs composed by Artificial Intelligence: “Daddy’s Car” and “Mister Shadow”.
The researchers have developed FlowMachines, a system that learns music styles from a huge database of songs. Exploiting unique combinations of style transfer, optimization and interaction techniques, FlowMachines composes novel songs in many styles.
“Daddy’s Car” is composed in the style of The Beatles. French composer Benoît Carré arranged and produced the songs, and wrote the lyrics.
The two songs are excerpts of albums composed by Artificial Intelligence to be released in 2017.
This music doesn’t sound like intelligence to me! But maybe this will make us try to be as human as possible. We musicians love to use computers to improve our performance, edit are parts, pitch correct our vocals, quantise our performances, but why not to be more human, more real and not to be too perfect? Perfectionism is super boring, right? We need rawness, the Persian Flaw.
Read how these compositions were done, here!
And talking about boring perfection, what about this quote from the Forbes article ‘We’ve Reached Peak Curation In Music. Can Collisions Save Us From Ourselves?’:
Over time, we curate a world so perfectly in harmony with our points of view that no rough-edged, sharp-elbowed, dissonance is allowed. Everything is in its right place, and the world is properly aligned on its axis.
And guess what? Curation has killed the concept of The Album: ‘Playlists Have Passed Album Listenership, Says New Study’
Last but not least…
Technology does only one thing- it tends toward efficiency. It has no aesthetics. It has no ethics. It’s code is binary.
T Bone Burnett / keynote speech at AmericanaFest
Have a nice weekend!
Also published on Medium.