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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:52 am 
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I hate the term DJ friendly.
Good DJ`s should be able to play anything.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:16 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I hate the term DJ friendly.
Good DJ`s should be able to play anything.


Fair play. Couldn't agree more. I guess what I mean to say is I'm not always worried about using typical dance music arrangements and tropes.

Feeling a bit like I have gotten off on the wrong foot here somehow :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:34 am 
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No no no I know what you mean, it`s just that term drives me nuts, not got on the wrong foot at all, I agree with you.

When you see it in a short review "blah blah synth over blah blah beats for a pounding DJ friendly floor filler"

I`d almost take it as an insult, to me it means zero effort, generic and obvious.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:06 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
No n no I know what you mean, it`s just that term drives me nuts, not got on the wrong foot at all, I agree with you.

When you see it in a short review "blah blah synth over blah blah beats for a pounding DJ friendly floor filler"

I`d almost take it as an insult, to me it means zero effort, generic and obvious.



Ah. I see what you mean. It is pretty horrid in that context.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:13 am 
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This is something I've thought about before...

So OP was about expressing ideas and feelings through tech. But does the technology express itself through the music you create?
Obviously guitar music is guitar music, piano music is piano - but what about DAWs and effects units, synthesiser with nobs and sliders etc. - do these modes of interaction direct our thoughts and make us on a subconscious level write music or produce in a certain way and would more embodied forms of interaction with the computer or whatever enable us to create newer forms of music? I guess the question is how much does technology - whether guitar or computer - frame and confine the way we make music? Bit philosophical and yeh I've gone way off topic here...

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:00 am 
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Koichi wrote:
This is something I've thought about before...

So OP was about expressing ideas and feelings through tech. But does the technology express itself through the music you create?
Obviously guitar music is guitar music, piano music is piano - but what about DAWs and effects units, synthesiser with nobs and sliders etc. - do these modes of interaction direct our thoughts and make us on a subconscious level write music or produce in a certain way and would more embodied forms of interaction with the computer or whatever enable us to create newer forms of music? I guess the question is how much does technology - whether guitar or computer - frame and confine the way we make music? Bit philosophical and yeh I've gone way off topic here...


There is definitely a difference.
After a long long time off, I`ve gone back to playing "real" instruments. Guitar, drums, bass, keyboard and percussion. Suddenly the fluidity of ideas was immediately different.
Not better, but very different.

With an X0X grid, for example, you are immediately limited, and that definitely influences you, straight away you staring at 16ths. And you can`t fluidly express attack, intent, you have to go in and edit velocity for example. With hardware you are always one step behind yourself, well I should say "I" am...... You have the idea, and then you have to push buttons, turn knobs before you have that idea, and then another idea comes, but you still have to finish of dealing with, I don`t know, cutoff assigments or automation or whatever, before you can move on, even to a simple key change or something.

So definitely. Again I`m not saying it`s good or bad, but the technology does influence.... Inform...
Frame, you used the right word, it frames the music we make for sure, and it`s quite hard to get out of that unless you really abandon the rules and structures.
But then with techno it`s very difficult, already you have a big restriction from the get go, it needs to be of a regular tempo, it needs to fit betweem x and x bpm for dj`s to play it, Dj`s do need to be able to play it somehow etc.
all music has it`s rules and restrictions etc, but we do like to think in techno land that we are wonderful children of freedom and super progressive music, when in fact we are confined within (glass) walls.

I`ve been trying to write a doom metal album, well, it`s done now, bar the vocals. I started in January, but it has taken me sooo long to get out of dance musics rigid parameters, in terms of structure. Obviously the immediacy with electronics is more in the sound design. But for me, it took me ages to shake off "techno" and actually work out how to write a song again.

It`s really freed me up, I`m hoping I will bring something back from it all, when it is all done and released, to apply to techno, if I return to techno at all that is.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:57 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I don't even entertain switching on the gear without an idea in my head.
Usually a reasonable picture of a tune, sometimes just a riff idea or a sound and a riff.
The more emotional stuff comes when I am going through an emotional time, for whatever reason.

I don't know, music for me is something natural, it flows out of me, I always thought this is what being a musician is, it's like writing, the words just come out.
The music is in you and it wants to come out, that feeling is the difference between a musician and a producer I suppose.


You make me remember this one ;)


but theres a question, so you guys dont go to studio just to have fun sometimes?
Damn, im that silly? hahaha Because lots of nights i just do that, i get a beer, turn everything on and have fun doing a 4x4 stuff, i dance a little, do some weird synth lines, no worring about getting something good out of it, just for fun, then if i feel that i did some good groove i press record, play again and theres some new track... or not hehe
Nobody else do that for fun anymore?

Obviously i dont do only for fun, sometimes i have more serious intentions (THIS sounds silly hahaha) but i think having fun making music is important too

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:25 pm 
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It's just fun for me, well, fun and learning/exploring. I have no major ambition to release stuff (although in terms of quality, or lack of it, I find myself doing comparisons the whole time...) The furthest I've gone is throwing stuff up on sc, kinda of as a way of drawing a line, tracking the progress I make in terms of 'completing' stuff. I surprised myself a couple of times by listening back to early stuff I did, in some cases thinking "did I really come up with that?" because it sounded half decent, the composition was interesting or some melody really worked (to my ears!) ..


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:39 pm 
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daunzila wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
I don't even entertain switching on the gear without an idea in my head.
Usually a reasonable picture of a tune, sometimes just a riff idea or a sound and a riff.
The more emotional stuff comes when I am going through an emotional time, for whatever reason.

I don't know, music for me is something natural, it flows out of me, I always thought this is what being a musician is, it's like writing, the words just come out.
The music is in you and it wants to come out, that feeling is the difference between a musician and a producer I suppose.


You make me remember this one ;)




but theres a question, so you guys dont go to studio just to have fun sometimes?
Damn, im that silly? hahaha Because lots of nights i just do that, i get a beer, turn everything on and have fun doing a 4x4 stuff, i dance a little, do some weird synth lines, no worring about getting something good out of it, just for fun, then if i feel that i did some good groove i press record, play again and theres some new track... or not hehe
Nobody else do that for fun anymore?

Obviously i dont do only for fun, sometimes i have more serious intentions (THIS sounds silly hahaha) but i think having fun making music is important too


I don't think the 2 are mutually exclusive, music is my love and my life, I love making music, it is always fun or else I wouldn't do it.
Today I was playing my pan drum in the sun.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:08 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
I hate the term DJ friendly.
Good DJ`s should be able to play anything.


I think "DJ friendliness" is as good a description as any. I mean, sure, a good DJ "should be able to play anything"... except not literally. There are some tracks that on their own contain the necessary elements to make people dance in a higher concentration than other tracks, so to speak (Four to the floor kicks as opposed to a more irregular kick pattern is an example that comes to mind). So some tracks will require more involvement from the DJ in order to keep them from breaking the flow in the set and making people stop dancing, or making them not want to start dancing at all.

So rather than a dichotomy I think it's more like a continuum, a scale if you wish. Tracks on the more "friendly" end of the scale will require less effort from the DJ to make them fit in the flow of the set, and will allow the DJ to focus on embellishing the track or the set in some way and other such tasks, and to improvise more freely. On the other hand, less friendly tracks will require more effort on the Dj's part but they give the possibility of creating a wider range of moods and atmospheres and contrasts that wouldn't be possible if you were to limit yourself to playing music with certain restricted characteristics, and thus risk making your set predictable and derivative.

I respect a DJ that is able to mix tracks from all over the spectrum and make them work.

I don't DJ (although I think pretty much every electronic music fan is a DJ in a way. Inside their head, but I digress) so this is all coming strictly from a listener's point of view.


Koichi wrote:
This is something I've thought about before...

So OP was about expressing ideas and feelings through tech. But does the technology express itself through the music you create?
Obviously guitar music is guitar music, piano music is piano - but what about DAWs and effects units, synthesiser with nobs and sliders etc. - do these modes of interaction direct our thoughts and make us on a subconscious level write music or produce in a certain way and would more embodied forms of interaction with the computer or whatever enable us to create newer forms of music? I guess the question is how much does technology - whether guitar or computer - frame and confine the way we make music? Bit philosophical and yeh I've gone way off topic here...


I think about this quite a bit and I think the difference is mainly in the way traditional instruments were developed and evolved throughout hundreds of years, compared to the inception and evolution of electronic music making tools. There's definitely a clear differentiation between the two.

Traditional instruments have been optimized to be live performance tools and to give the most immediate way of expression possible. That's why the priorities if one were to design such an intrument would be, for example: making it as easy as possible for the player to translate works of music into their own instrument as immediately as possible, consistency in playing techniques, ergonomics, etc. This makes the playing of traditional instruments more "symbiotic", more immediate and natural, which also means that the instrument being used will not influence the final product as much since their design is stripped down to only the most essential features needed to perform its function, and thus making the player's style and inflections the primary identifying elements of a given performance.

For instance one could say "303 basslines are played out".. but nobody will ever say "piano sounds are played out", because the appeal of a piano piece is not on the timbral aspect.

By the same token, you could hear someone say "that melody is played out" when talking about a pop song, but no one will say "that melody is played out" when talking about a one note drone whose appeal is not on the melody but on the modulation of the sound over time.

Electronic music intruments and tools have a completely different goal in mind. The priorities when designing these types of instruments are related more to the aural aspects of music and the exploration of timbral possibilities. Rather than giving an immediate way to play melodies and harmonies and rythms with little variation in timbre, it relies on the exploitation of wider ranges of timbres and their combinations in order to produce a compelling result. Of course they also allow for performance and the playing of melodies, harmonies and rythm, but this aspect becomes less immediate in favor of the sound design capabilities. This is especially true in techno. This entails that the intrument used will have a greater influence in the final product, since it's not optimized to be a seamless way of expression but to facilitate the design and creation of sounds as such, instead of only using sounds as tools subordinate to the articulation of a melody and other such elements of composition. In this way the possibilities for one designing sound are orders of magnitude greater than for someone dealing with interplay of musical intervals and rhythm alone. This means that any of these instruments will only be able to cover so much ground in terms of the range of sounds it can produce, giving it a unique and limited set of possibilities, which become more easily recognizable in the final product, whereas almost any traditional instrument will be able to play all of the 12 notes, and the playing of those notes is usually all that's needed to convey a complete musical concept.


Of course the distinction between the two concepts has always been blurry and will only become blurrier with time. Until they finally converge when we come up with a way to translate thoughts directly into music, or something, I guess. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:37 am 
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^sorry for this short response...my browsing is limited to two finger typing on an iPad these days...but spot on...I am only interested in hardware that gives me easy access to timbal changes OR that allows for easily programming them. I can and have written some more melodically and harmonically complex pieces than the Techno I am making now...but evolving timbre is the name of tha game for me currently.

I'm not sure there are boundaries left to push in this regard but progressive timbre + interesting and catchy rhythm is a good formula for dance music that also works on home hi fi and headphones.


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:53 am 
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DixieWhiskey wrote:
. Rather than giving an immediate way to play melodies and harmonies and rythms with little variation in timbre


You've obviously never spent six weeks working on perfecting a guitar tone.

Edit: just as an example, here's a guide to tone (timbre and response) for high gain guitar styles, just using the pod hd amp modeller. Note especially the terminology used for describing aspects of the distortions. In techno you get "add some distortion or overdrive" and thats about it, unaware that guitarists have been refining and exploring the timbre of distortion for 50 years already.
http://www.foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/
have a skim through the descriptions of the amps, its a pretty interesting world


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:07 pm 
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Yeah I' e been diving in to guitar tone since January, building my own effects and buying some esoteric ones.
Variation of timbre is and extremely refined art in guitar world, in some ways more so than in dance land because none of it is programmed, it's all designed to be used live.
The subtle tonal changes you can get just by changing picking position and attack, combined with effects that enhance certain harmonics can give Wildly different variation of tone. Combining that all with a responsive amp and riding the tone and volume controls on the guitar and using foot pedals, you get crazy responsive tone.
That's just one example.

Guitar tone is an art unto itself, and rather than having limited variation in timbre I am finding it to be just as versatile as synth work.

It's easy to make these blanket terms when your eyes are blinkered by your favourite genre.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:04 pm 
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DixieWhiskey wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
I think "DJ friendliness" is as good a description as any. I mean, sure, a good DJ "should be able to play anything"... except not literally. There are some tracks that on their own contain the necessary elements to make people dance in a higher concentration than other tracks, so to speak (Four to the floor kicks as opposed to a more irregular kick pattern is an example that comes to mind). So some tracks will require more involvement from the DJ in order to keep them from breaking the flow in the set and making people stop dancing, or making them not want to start dancing at all.


Going wildly off topic here, but using your example of 4 to the floor kicks, I`ve never experienced losing people on the floor to irregular kick patterns.
I`ve been playing broken beats for the last 8 years or so, and quite the opposite, when you start bringing broken beats in to 4x4 and the kicks start clattering against each other, the intensity goes up and the dance floor goes bananas, I think a lot of DJ`s simply don`t know how to handle it and can`t mix it, because the beats aren`t going doof doof and that is all they can mix.
I find it odd when a DJ plays safe. It`s techno, not house, not trance. The audience should never be treated like farm animals, I think it is always best to trust them, trust that they are there for techno, and for the unexpected, give them the credit that they can take difference.
It`s always worked for me.

If you play safe then it means your concern is not for the music, but that you just want people to like you.

Anyway, converting ideas and feelings into music.......

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:07 pm 
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I just knew somebody would say something like that. I'm talking about overarching concepts here, can't be bothered to point out every exception or my post would be twice as long. I'm making a comparison of one type of instrument RELATIVE TO THE OTHER. I never said guitars don't allow for various timbres at all, or something like that.

Besides, I was talking about timbre modulation within a performance or piece. When you dial your guitar tone, that's the tone you will use for the whole song. Probably the whole album. And for some bands, their whole career. So my point still stands.



Lost to the Void wrote:
Yeah I' e been diving in to guitar tone since January, building my own effects and buying some esoteric ones.
Variation of timbre is and extremely refined art in guitar world, in some ways more so than in dance land because none of it is programmed, it's all designed to be used live.
The subtle tonal changes you can get just by changing picking position and attack, combined with effects that enhance certain harmonics can give Wildly different variation of tone. Combining that all with a responsive amp and riding the tone and volume controls on the guitar and using foot pedals, you get crazy responsive tone.
That's just one example.

Guitar tone is an art unto itself, and rather than having limited variation in timbre I am finding it to be just as versatile as synth work.

It's easy to make these blanket terms when your eyes are blinkered by your favourite genre.


Sometimes blanket statements are necessary in order to make a point, I was hoping people would see the wood from the trees with what I was saying instead of picking up on technicalities that I thought were implied.

Of course there IS a great deal of tonal possibilities with traditional instruments, but I was making a comparison, so I wasn't talking absolutes.

My point was that tonal variation in non electronic music is in general terms a less prominent feature, usually subordinate to the other 3 traditional elements of music rhythm melody and harmony. Whereas in techno, melody and harmony are usually designed around the timbral modulation instead of the other way around. Rhythm usually plays a role as important as timbre in techno, IMO. This is what makes electronic music devices leave a more recognizable imprint in the final product than traditional instruments, which was Koichi's main point I think, as I was replying to his post.

So yeah of course hi gain guitar tone allows for a great range of timbral expression in performance, but I don't think this possibilities could ever match those of an instrument designed around the idea of timbre design, like a synth


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:37 pm 
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DixieWhiskey wrote:
When you dial your guitar tone, that's the tone you will use for the whole song.





Just not true, this is 2015, things are vastly different.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:47 pm 
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DixieWhiskey wrote:
My point was that tonal variation in non electronic music is in general terms a less prominent feature, usually subordinate to the other 3 traditional elements of music rhythm melody and harmony.

This is what makes electronic music devices leave a more recognizable imprint in the final product than traditional instruments, which was Koichi's main point I think, as I was replying to his post.

So yeah of course hi gain guitar tone allows for a great range of timbral expression in performance, but I don't think this possibilities could ever match those of an instrument designed around the idea of timbre design, like a synth


That depends what type of "non electronic" music you are talking about.

I mean sure, if you are talking about boring conventional rock or something. But there are more experimental genres out there.
In the same way that EDM uses the same sounds again and again and again, I could pick that music for an example and just say, oh all synths sound the same, there is limited tonal and timbral variation etc, it`s always that grating cheesy synth chord sound, or those really abrasive sawtooth wobbles.
What you are saying is exactly the same as that only about "non electronic" music.

Just listen to what throbbing gristle did with the bass guitar over so many years, or the french horn, or some of the recorded saxaphone work by Ilia Belorukov, it`s a zillion times more tonally interesting than your average berghein styled 808-soft-kicks-and-shed-loads-of-reverb-with-one-bleep-synth.

In some ways I think conventional synthesis weighs around the neck of techno preventing progress.

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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:10 pm 
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I'm aware there are many exceptions. I don't think any of that invalidates the point I was making which was trying to explain why the tools used to create electronic music influence the end product more than traditional instruments do. You don't think this is true?

DixieWhiskey wrote:
Of course the distinction between the two concepts has always been blurry and will only become blurrier with time.


I hoped that disclaimer was enough for people to reckon I wasn't talking absolutes but addessing a broader concept and avoid cherry picked responses. Though sometimes it seems like an impossible task to achieve on the internet :D


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:24 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:

In some ways I think conventional synthesis weighs around the neck of techno preventing progress.


Yep, exactly my point, electronic music production methods *usually* are more limiting and influence the end result more than acoustic/electric instruments


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 Post subject: Re: Converting ideas and feelings into music
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:40 pm 
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Oh I agree the tools do influence the music.
It`s one of the reasons I`m trying to use non typical tools to make techno.

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