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a feeling : no really new music can be recorded any more.
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Edited Aug 30, 2008, 03:07
Re: It's all in the machines
Aug 30, 2008, 02:33
Dog 3000 wrote:
The "means of production" has changed due to the tech, but I don't really think the "palette of sounds" the computer opens up is necessarily broader. And samplers don't really expand the palette at all, since it's just recycling pre-existing sounds.

Hmm.. I'm not sure how I feel about the "palette of sounds' not being broader tbh. I play with a lot of synths, I'm seriously into the Rapture wavetable like synth. Not wishing to get technical about its circuit path but its pretty flexible. I can think of a sound that I want in my head, then set about building it, then I get it. Now. Are the sounds I make in my head a result of what I know I can make, or more accurately, what I know I can do with the software easily. Or compositionally 'what do I need ?' What frequency range should it cover, its spatial content, it's emotional content. I need a BZZTshhhooo...hummmmMMMM then. Anyroad, from a purely technical standpoint, yes, the palette is a shitload broader. It is perfectly possible to create any sound you want now with reasonable equipment. I also dabble with Reaktor which allows you to build a synth from a virtual circuit board up. Mad little toy, I've built synths with that just for one track. The other thing is, its pretty much impossible now for people to identify how much of a composition is coming from a single track, or even how many synths. Its possible to build a pad on a single synth with four or more seperate voices and patterns extremely easily, each voice and pattern sounding and acting completely independantly, even in different time signatures.

However, what sounds can you think of ? Thats the limitation. Production, placement, mixing, thats a place where its a lot easier to discover new things, and to experiment. Likewise, composition too feels a lot er.. more free.

What you say about samplers... hmmm.. there was a serious move away from sampling a few years ago. Now its back with a vengeance in the form of 'field recordings'. Basically samples of urban settings etc. Processed to fuck though. Thats the thing samplers are less about playing back (recycling) a sound now than they've ever been. Its more about getting some raw ingrediant you can mutate into something else (cos you cant be arsed to dick about with a synth for a few hours). Also, sample players like Kontakt etc have taken virtual acoustic instruments to a different level. Garritans Stradivarius Violin and Cello are probably the best examples around now.

Anyway, I'm digressing. Yes, there is a sameness in experimental electronica, but its a really fucking odd sameness. There are the touchstones such as 'glitch', 'noise' ohh theres a 'field recording' oh theres a bit of jazz in that etc, etc. BUT every recording is wholly different (apart from those artists obviously ripping off Oval, Autechre etc, oh, and the Ableton Live junkies). Every electronica artist has a wholly individual working method, and the good ones change it every track. But, theres still an odd sameness. Fucked if I know how to explain it.

Good Examples here...
http://testtube.monocromatica.com/releases/tube133.htm 'Phragma' is some clever shit.
http://www.last.fm/music/noosign/Waiting+room - me, see, I've got that samey too.

not so freely available.
Phonophani - Oak or Rock. Espen Sommer Eide.
Kim Hiorthoy - My last day.
Skyphone - Avellaneda.

Just picked recent examples off the top of my head that are different enough from each other, but still er... samey.

Edit : And no the sameness isnt a result of computers or digital, puhleeze get a grip luddites and listen properly ;)
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