A question for those who are musically inclined....

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    Feb 13, 2012 4:41 PM GMT
    So...I was watching the Grammy's yesterday and I have to say, some of the music there was just...well...appalling. Im talking about things like Chris Brown's song and dance (and lets be real here, acid trip), Rhianna not even trying to lip sync, and I didnt make it much further than that. This new trend, of synthesized music, has me asking people who know much more than me (that is you) this stoner question. There is a TLicon_biggrin.gifR at the bottom.

    How is it that we can synthesize an art form such as music? Dont we lose that oh so important element of human emotions?

    Chris brown sounded stale. Rhianna sounded monotone. Jesus christ these guys are supposed to be performers yet they cant even capture the human soul and stir up emotions in me like other art forms.

    Can you imagine a painter saying "See this painting, it is great. I made a computer program that figured out the best brush strokes to use."

    or a director "See this movie, it is great, everything is done by a computer program so we have no human interactions. Doesnt it strike your soul?"

    No stoner director, it doesnt. In fact, it sounds cold, calculated, boring, and overall an ugly mess. Why you people make millions of dollars is beyond me. You guys putting out albums have ruined this country!

    Anyhow, rant over, what are your thoughs? Is synthesized music a good or a bad thing in the industry and why?

    TLicon_biggrin.gifR-then this thread asks a question that you cant comprehend. Thank you and have a great day.
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    Feb 13, 2012 4:54 PM GMT
    The foo fighters singer said that as well.. for real music, you have to pick up your instrument and train your voice.. teh real music isnt in a box.. it comes from here *points at chest*..

    though I have to say I like digital art for what it is.. in its own right
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    Feb 13, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidThe foo fighters singer said that as well.. for real music, you have to pick up your instrument and train your voice.. teh real music isnt in a box.. it comes from here *points at chest*..

    though I have to say I like digital art for what it is.. in its own right


    It comes from massive pec muscles? Thats what I thought.

    Maybe Chris Brown should hit the gym more.
  • musicdude

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    Feb 13, 2012 5:03 PM GMT
    its because popular music now a days is more about selling an image rather than selling a talent. its all a marketable show. the few artists that have both marketability and talent are the ones that make it huge and are respected in the industry (Beyonce comes to mind). studio produced artist (the ones who get hired cause they're hot and not because they're talented) appeared in the 90s (i think miny vanilly or wte his name is was the first) and have been perfected in in early 2000. its sad really when you think the true talents often make less money and have less fame than the fakes but that's current society for you
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:17 PM GMT
    musicdude saidits because popular music now a days is more about selling an image rather than selling a talent. its all a marketable show. the few artists that have both marketability and talent are the ones that make it huge and are respected in the industry (Beyonce comes to mind). studio produced artist (the ones who get hired cause they're hot and not because they're talented) appeared in the 90s (i think miny vanilly or wte his name is was the first) and have been perfected in in early 2000. its sad really when you think the true talents often make less money and have less fame than the fakes but that's current society for you


    Yea but I dont think these people are going to make it in the long run. Yes they are famous now, but are we going to be talking about them like the Beetles or even Adele (who I think would last for a while). But to each their own, stupid brain dead America.
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:19 PM GMT
    I heard someone on the bus describe it as McMusic.

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    Feb 13, 2012 5:20 PM GMT
    meninlove said I heard someone on the bus describe it as McMusic.



    lol kind of like the McMansions that were built? That is funny as hell.
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    Chainers said
    musicdude saidits because popular music now a days is more about selling an image rather than selling a talent. its all a marketable show. the few artists that have both marketability and talent are the ones that make it huge and are respected in the industry (Beyonce comes to mind). studio produced artist (the ones who get hired cause they're hot and not because they're talented) appeared in the 90s (i think miny vanilly or wte his name is was the first) and have been perfected in in early 2000. its sad really when you think the true talents often make less money and have less fame than the fakes but that's current society for you


    Yea but I dont think these people are going to make it in the long run. Yes they are famous now, but are we going to be talking about them like the Beetles or even Adele (who I think would last for a while). But to each their own, stupid brain dead America.
    But Adele is no different in terms of selling an image and a sound. She's not really talented vocally, which is why she just had surgery on her vocal chords because she can't sing properly. She just has a unique sound and catchy, soulful music.

    Very few, if any of today's popular singers are actually talented. Without a recording studio, they sound pretty horrible as evident in so many of their live performances.

    Music fans just don't really care about talent or training these days, only catchy music and marketing.

    And honestly, no offense to rap fans, but why is rap even considered music? Some styles (like Will Smith, or Flo Rida) are catchy because they move with the music, but your typical rap artist sounds so absolutely horrid, and rap/hip hop is the majority of what they play on the radio these days.
  • musicdude

    Posts: 734

    Feb 13, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    ^^^^what is it with all these stupid fake profiles putting up these vids?
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    musicdude said^^^^what is it with all these stupid fake profiles putting up these vids?

    I got three youtube vids sent to me in a private message.

    I'm at work. No youtube.
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:31 PM GMT
    Fiyero27 said
    Chainers said
    musicdude saidits because popular music now a days is more about selling an image rather than selling a talent. its all a marketable show. the few artists that have both marketability and talent are the ones that make it huge and are respected in the industry (Beyonce comes to mind). studio produced artist (the ones who get hired cause they're hot and not because they're talented) appeared in the 90s (i think miny vanilly or wte his name is was the first) and have been perfected in in early 2000. its sad really when you think the true talents often make less money and have less fame than the fakes but that's current society for you


    Yea but I dont think these people are going to make it in the long run. Yes they are famous now, but are we going to be talking about them like the Beetles or even Adele (who I think would last for a while). But to each their own, stupid brain dead America.
    But Adele is no different in terms of selling an image and a sound. She's not really talented vocally, which is why she just had surgery on her vocal chords because she can't sing properly. She just has a unique sound and catchy, soulful music.

    Very few, if any of today's popular singers are actually talented. Without a recording studio, they sound pretty horrible as evident in so many of their live performances.

    Music fans just don't really care about talent or training these days, only catchy music and marketing.

    And honestly, no offense to rap fans, but why is rap even considered music? Some styles (like Will Smith, or Flo Rida) are catchy because they move with the music, but your typical rap artist sounds so absolutely horrid, and rap/hip hop is the majority of what they play on the radio these days.


    lol so Adele doesnt do a text book singing and instead writes and sings music from the soul that can reach down inside you and make you feel the exact emotion she wants you to feel. Yea, sounds like poppy dribbly trash to me brah.

    But seriously, rap (and good rap not this mainstreamed crap) is more of poetry being read to a beat than actual music.
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:32 PM GMT
    musicdude said^^^^what is it with all these stupid fake profiles putting up these vids?


    We refer to him as the reaper. He posts those videos because we was kicked off of the site. Ignore him and report spam. He is kind of like a queef, kind of disgusting overall harmless. Im just waiting for the psycho to snap and kill someone so he can finally get arrested and thrown in jail. Oh to dream!
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:33 PM GMT
    Trollileo saidThat's what's "popular" right now. It's sad when an A Cappella group can do a better cover of a song than the original artist.


    Very sad indeed. What is even sadder is that the A Cappella group doesnt get paid as well too.

    Then agian, I do know that most artist dont actually write the songs they perform. Lez sigh.
  • musicdude

    Posts: 734

    Feb 13, 2012 5:34 PM GMT
    Fiyero27 said
    Chainers said
    musicdude saidits because popular music now a days is more about selling an image rather than selling a talent. its all a marketable show. the few artists that have both marketability and talent are the ones that make it huge and are respected in the industry (Beyonce comes to mind). studio produced artist (the ones who get hired cause they're hot and not because they're talented) appeared in the 90s (i think miny vanilly or wte his name is was the first) and have been perfected in in early 2000. its sad really when you think the true talents often make less money and have less fame than the fakes but that's current society for you


    Yea but I dont think these people are going to make it in the long run. Yes they are famous now, but are we going to be talking about them like the Beetles or even Adele (who I think would last for a while). But to each their own, stupid brain dead America.
    But Adele is no different in terms of selling an image and a sound. She's not really talented vocally, which is why she just had surgery on her vocal chords because she can't sing properly. She just has a unique sound and catchy, soulful music.

    Very few, if any of today's popular singers are actually talented. Without a recording studio, they sound pretty horrible as evident in so many of their live performances.

    Music fans just don't really care about talent or training these days, only catchy music and marketing.

    And honestly, no offense to rap fans, but why is rap even considered music? Some styles (like Will Smith, or Flo Rida) are catchy because they move with the music, but your typical rap artist sounds so absolutely horrid, and rap/hip hop is the majority of what they play on the radio these days.



    so, a pitcher in baseball who fucks up his throwing arm and needs surgery is really a shitty pitcher and doesn't deserve to be remember? right...
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:35 PM GMT
    musicdude said
    Fiyero27 said
    Chainers said
    musicdude saidits because popular music now a days is more about selling an image rather than selling a talent. its all a marketable show. the few artists that have both marketability and talent are the ones that make it huge and are respected in the industry (Beyonce comes to mind). studio produced artist (the ones who get hired cause they're hot and not because they're talented) appeared in the 90s (i think miny vanilly or wte his name is was the first) and have been perfected in in early 2000. its sad really when you think the true talents often make less money and have less fame than the fakes but that's current society for you


    Yea but I dont think these people are going to make it in the long run. Yes they are famous now, but are we going to be talking about them like the Beetles or even Adele (who I think would last for a while). But to each their own, stupid brain dead America.
    But Adele is no different in terms of selling an image and a sound. She's not really talented vocally, which is why she just had surgery on her vocal chords because she can't sing properly. She just has a unique sound and catchy, soulful music.

    Very few, if any of today's popular singers are actually talented. Without a recording studio, they sound pretty horrible as evident in so many of their live performances.

    Music fans just don't really care about talent or training these days, only catchy music and marketing.

    And honestly, no offense to rap fans, but why is rap even considered music? Some styles (like Will Smith, or Flo Rida) are catchy because they move with the music, but your typical rap artist sounds so absolutely horrid, and rap/hip hop is the majority of what they play on the radio these days.



    so, a pitcher in baseball who fucks up his throwing arm and needs surgery is really a shitty pitcher and doesn't deserve to be remember? right...


    Or someone like Lincicum (btw does anyone else think his name sounds like a Drag queen?) who throws unlike everyone else and is considered one of the best pitchers in Baseball right now is untalented, because he doesnt do it like everyone else...lol.
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:36 PM GMT
    I apologize in advance if I go overboard here. This topic is near and dear to me, as I have been a guitar player in rock bands for many years. Basically, this is at the heart of determining where the right balance is between organic and synthetic in contemporary music.

    First thing I would say is that computers are good for some things, and they have been extremely helpful in making musicians more productive in recent years. The old technique for recording (a rock band, for instance) was to put the bass and guitar in a room together with the drums in a separate sound booth. All instruments are mic'd and everyone wears headphones so they can all hear the entire rhythm section. You then surround your guitar and bass cabinets with bulkheads (built out of 2x4s and covered with carpet) so that the sound doesn't bleed into other microphones when recording. Then the rhythm section plays the entire song from beginning to end until you have one solid take of the drums. This may take several attempts before being successful. As soon as you have a good drum take, you immediately drop the guitar and bass parts that were performed and re-record each one by itself until you have a solid drum, guitar, and bass performance. If you made a mistake on guitar from 1:13 until 1:24, the engineer would have to "punch in" when you wanted to start overdubbing a mistake and "punch out" when you were done. If you screwed this up, you may have to record the entire track over again. But it was all recorded on 2" tape and was a very tedious manual process. During this process, the musicians had no choice but to become really tight performance-wise, or it would take forever.

    Nowadays, you use computer software to make this process easier. Doesn't matter if you're using Cakewalk, Vegas, ProTools, etc. You can set things up more easily, you can eliminate mistakes without costing the entire take, you can move parts around and cut off beginning end, intermittent noise, etc -- and you can add effects to entire tracks or portions of tracks much easier than you could without software. Another thing to mention specifically that's become increasingly popular in recent years is "auto-tune". This is any software package that allows you to identify when a singer goes flat or sharp, target only that portion of the vocal melody, and correct it pitch-wise. The way you go about this can result in a very subtle fix that sounds great, or an unnatural sounding envelope filter being applied to a human voice (think Cher "do you beLIEVE in LOVE after LOVE" and how unnatural that sounded).

    Another way you can use synthetic to enhance music is with a live DJ working samples into otherwise organic music. Think Incubus. Those guys are phenomenal musicians but they may use a drum loop to start a song, or add a sound effect that adds to the music (but might be prohibitively tedious with drum triggers or some other method). This preserves the spirit of the music without pissing all over it.

    All other uses of synthetic seem to turn my stomach. You can't just sample somebody else's song and then pawn it off as your own. I was embarrassed for Kid Rock when he wiped Hetfield's lyrics off a Metallica song (I think it was "sad but true") and then re-released it with his rap on top of the rhythm section. Talk about shameless. When I hear pop singers, it's hard not to hear auto-tune all the time. Listen to Britney Spears' recordings (auto-tune everywhere) versus live performances where she doesn't lip sync and actually has to sing the part. Huge difference. And they are really only called "recording artists" because their main job is to have performed in some manner and have a product when leaving the studio. They're not necessarily even writing their own songs; in fact most of them don't. So, somebody else writes the music, you pick a song, show up, sing it badly, they auto-tune the shit out of your performance, slap a bunch of samples on it, and then release it and sell a million copies? Something has gone terribly wrong in the music industry.

    My brother teaches painting at the New York Academy of art. He used to cuss about a new method of painting that some youngsters are embracing these days. They take a picture of a model sitting in a chair (with a camera), then they make a slide from the picture, then they use a projector to display the image on a canvas, and then the artist (if you want to call them that) paints over the image to create the finished product. That's not painting, that's like tracing when you're a kid. Filling in a coloring book or something. You don't understand anything about geometric construction of the figure, representing light accurately, using color effectively, etc -- because you trusted a camera to do all of that for you. You CHEATED. Same kind of thing OP is talking about in music.

    Like I said, I can't stand it. But until people stop buying this music, it's not going anywhere.
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:38 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    Chainers said
    Trollileo saidThat's what's "popular" right now. It's sad when an A Cappella group can do a better cover of a song than the original artist.


    Very sad indeed. What is even sadder is that the A Cappella group doesnt get paid as well too.

    Then agian, I do know that most artist dont actually write the songs they perform. Lez sigh.
    Don't fucking get me started about A Cappella groups not getting paid enough...

    Lady Gaga is one of the only top 40 artists (if not the only) who actually writes all of her own songs.

    Brittney Spears had 40 credited writers/composers on her previous album. Brittney Spears was not one of them.


    Brittney is a tool. Literally. A tool. She is used by the media completely. Technically she is a whore too. Selling her body to make money. Les Sigh.

    I thought Adele wrote her own music too. And Taylor Swift right? Maybe I am wrong...
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:42 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    Chainers said
    Trollileo said
    Chainers said
    Trollileo saidThat's what's "popular" right now. It's sad when an A Cappella group can do a better cover of a song than the original artist.


    Very sad indeed. What is even sadder is that the A Cappella group doesnt get paid as well too.

    Then agian, I do know that most artist dont actually write the songs they perform. Lez sigh.
    Don't fucking get me started about A Cappella groups not getting paid enough...

    Lady Gaga is one of the only top 40 artists (if not the only) who actually writes all of her own songs.

    Brittney Spears had 40 credited writers/composers on her previous album. Brittney Spears was not one of them.


    Brittney is a tool. Literally. A tool. She is used by the media completely. Technically she is a whore too. Selling her body to make money. Les Sigh.

    I thought Adele wrote her own music too. And Taylor Swift right? Maybe I am wrong...
    I think they might have some sort of producer influence. I'll check later tonight. I have to go to class.


    Boo class, Rj is much more important. Get your priorities straight Trollileo!
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:43 PM GMT
    gekkisaidaiich saidToo long to read.


    I started reading it and liked where it was going. Care to compress? (yes Im lazy)
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:46 PM GMT
    I get conflicted about this topic sometimes.

    On the one hand, yes, I do believe that music should be more than just selling a beat and a catchy hook. But it gets confusing when we start denouncing artists as "untalented" because their live performances don't sound exactly like the album recording. If music really does come from the heart, why would the quality of one's vocal performance necessarily determine whether or not someone is a credible artist? Don't the imperfections of an artist's live performance verify that they are indeed human and not synthesized?
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    Feb 13, 2012 5:50 PM GMT
    MightyMouse87 saidI get conflicted about this topic sometimes.

    On the one hand, yes, I do believe that music should be more than just selling a beat and a catchy hook. But it gets confusing when we start denouncing artists as "untalented" because their live performances don't sound exactly like the album recording. If music really does come from the heart, why would the quality of one's vocal performance necessarily determine whether or not someone is a credible artist? Don't the imperfections of an artist's live performance verify that they are indeed human and not synthesized?


    I would say that the reason why the live performance sucks is not because of the lack of vocal talent, but the lack of soul that is being shown in the music. I mean, Rhianna sounded cold. Granted Ive never really been a fan of hers, but still, put your heart into it!

    Katy Perry sung a crap song but she tried very hard and put her soul into it. I respected that more than Chris Brown tripping on drugs.
  • A_1991

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    Feb 13, 2012 5:58 PM GMT
    Hmmm I dont think its all that bad. Yeah... I hate pop songs and the whole pop genre but I think synthesize music is just a way for "musicians" to enhance their product. Also, we see a lot of synthesize music in my opinion right now since we live in a modern age where technology plays a huge importance unlike back in the last century and decades ago. To me, synthesize music is just like a movement in the pop industry culture as of right now since back then it wasn't used that much in the pop music genre.
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    Feb 13, 2012 6:36 PM GMT
    I play the Harp (Concert Pedal type), hand-bells and synthesizers. They are tools. It is the musicians, or those that define themselves (often erroneously or egotistically) as musicians, whose job it is to 'touch the soul' of the listener.
    To blame the tool for the work of a crappy artist is facile.

    My partner and I went to a performance by a 'self-described community orchestra' of Mahler's 5th Symphony and 2 other works. As community orchestras go, they exceeded in some 'professional' orchestras, that I've paid good money to hear. Were they perfect? No, there were several intonation problems as one might expect with such a work and orchestra, but the heart and passion of the performance was exceptional. It would be foolish for me to say that an intonation problem was because of a new instrument.

    The other issue that this brings up, and the reason I no longer waste my time watching the grammy's (no, it doesn't deserve to be capitalized), is that since we've essentially eliminated the arts from public schools, there's no longer any significant musical criticism from the public. It is based on popularity and showmanship at the expense of musicality. No one has the patience anymore to learn music. They take templates of successful songs and the public buys it in droves.

    I don't think that everyone should like all types of music, but to defend crappy music without knowledge of a broad range of music is ridiculous.

    I'm all for a guilty pleasure of a Lady Gaga concert, and a few of her songs are musically OK, but this isn't the point to me of that concert. The issue is not to only know and like truly fine music. You can like anything you want. Just know the difference that what's good and what you like don't have to be the same thing.

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    Feb 13, 2012 6:45 PM GMT
    bgcat57 saidI play the Harp (Concert Pedal type), hand-bells and synthesizers. They are tools. It is the musicians, or those that define themselves (often erroneously or egotistically) as musicians, whose job it is to 'touch the soul' of the listener.
    To blame the tool for the work of a crappy artist is facile.

    My partner and I went to a performance by a 'self-described community orchestra' of Mahler's 5th Symphony and 2 other works. As community orchestras go, they exceeded in some 'professional' orchestras, that I've paid good money to hear. Were they perfect? No, there were several intonation problems as one might expect with such a work and orchestra, but the heart and passion of the performance was exceptional. It would be foolish for me to say that an intonation problem was because of a new instrument.

    The other issue that this brings up, and the reason I no longer waste my time watching the grammy's (no, it doesn't deserve to be capitalized), is that since we've essentially eliminated the arts from public schools, there's no longer any significant musical criticism from the public. It is based on popularity and showmanship at the expense of musicality. No one has the patience anymore to learn music. They take templates of successful songs and the public buys it in droves.

    I don't think that everyone should like all types of music, but to defend crappy music without knowledge of a broad range of music is ridiculous.

    I'm all for a guilty pleasure of a Lady Gaga concert, and a few of her songs are musically OK, but this isn't the point to me of that concert. The issue is not to only know and like truly fine music. You can like anything you want. Just know the difference that what's good and what you like don't have to be the same thing.



    But isnt the pop music of today in the same set of structure for the pop music of the 1600s? (the Opera music I mean). They were set up in an AABA fashion which I find to be the same as pop music. But Im no expert on the subject, I just dabbled freshman year of college.
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    Feb 13, 2012 6:57 PM GMT
    I feel the same way. Music has just become awful these days. That's why I go crazy when I hear a song that I actually like. Give me a good album, and my head will explode.

    I used to like pop music, but it's so awful and fake now, at least most of it is. It's been ruined for me.

    I respect singer/songwriters more, but it's hard to tell who writes their own songs. Some of the singers spend five minutes with a song writer just so they can get credit on the album. There's a whole controversy around it.

    Side note: I think Adele's surgery had more to do with her overtaxing her voice and her constant smoking. Some people's vocal chords can't handle the abuse. It doesn't mean they don't have talent. I don't think she's all that great, but people like to attack her for some reason.