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A Computer Now Counts As An Instrument?


Tman5293

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Without a doubt the future of music will rely more and more on computers, but that will only make "real musicians" more valuable. Look at it like the difference between a DJ and a live band. The DJ's music is perfect reproduction of the original song, yet, people are willing to pay far more for a live band that can only try and copy the original. Some don't even try. Live musicians will only become more valuable and needed.

 

As far as a computer being an instrument, no, but I would consider it music equipment.

 

Some 8 years ago I wrote a program that would allow musicians to jam LIVE together online. At the time broadband wasn't as common as it is now and bandwidth put a halt to my project. The quality of bandwidth is available now and I'm sure someone has, or will, put an online studio up like I had planned. Imagine how fun it would be to go to a studio on the Internet, check out some live jams going on, or some recording sessions. You never know who might stop by and lay down some tracks. Would be neat to have someone like Eddie Van Halen drop by a lay down a lead track or just jam. People who didn't play an instrument could still drop by and sit in just to listen to a jam session or recording session.

 

It will be possible, if it isn't already.

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Some 8 years ago I wrote a program that would allow musicians to jam LIVE together online. At the time broadband wasn't as common as it is now and bandwidth put a halt to my project. The quality of bandwidth is available now and I'm sure someone has, or will, put an online studio up like I had planned. Imagine how fun it would be to go to a studio on the Internet, check out some live jams going on, or some recording sessions. You never know who might stop by and lay down some tracks. Would be neat to have someone like Eddie Van Halen drop by a lay down a lead track or just jam. People who didn't play an instrument could still drop by and sit in just to listen to a jam session or recording session.

 

It will be possible, if it isn't already.

 

that is a really cool idea... that would be an awesome thing to go online and jam with whoever else is on [thumbup]

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Bob...

 

I don't think it's so much "thinking old" as deciding that one ain't gonna learn. That's not at all age-dependent.

 

m

Could be that. Or it could be some people get old before their time ;)

 

Without a doubt the future of music will rely more and more on computers, but that will only make "real musicians" more valuable. Look at it like the difference between a DJ and a live band. The DJ's music is perfect reproduction of the original song, yet, people are willing to pay far more for a live band that can only try and copy the original. Some don't even try. Live musicians will only become more valuable and needed.<...>

 

DJs have a lot in common with bands. They have to read the crowd and make appropriate music choices. I get along just fine with DJs. But a DJ is not a musician, he is an entertainer. Of course if the DJ also plays a musical instrument, he/she can be a musician AND a DJ. Good musicians are also entertainers. We do the same thing for the crowd but use different tools.

 

There are songs that the public wants to hear that Leilani and I just cannot cover. We can do a lot but we know our limits. We DJ them and most of the time I play along with them (because it's fun to do so).

 

When playing, we do some covers, and some quite different from the popular recording (like Stevie Wonder's "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" as a cool-school-jazz swing tune).

 

Of course, that's drifting off topic.

 

I enjoy playing the musical instrument we call a computer and if something new comes along, I hope I like it too.

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

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I do think a computer can be a musical instrument.

 

There is an accesory that was made for early versions of the Commodore 64 that allowed you to play the computer's keyboard as a musical keyboard and there are still bands now that play C64s live, with or without one of those accesories. The iPad has a touch screen piano app and my girlfriend's phone has touchscreen synth software which I find fascinating and is about the only thing I like about the thing.

 

I've also heard a recreation of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon created with an old Nintendo Entertainment System.

 

I personally believe that anything you can make a sound out of can be an instrument, including vegetables. There's a vegetable orchestra who play hollowed out produce as percussion and wind instruments. They're both mad and brilliant. If you can use something as an instrument to make a sound that your other instruments can't make even better.

 

You can use a software synth to make a single piano note then use your computer to stretch the note, shift it up a couple of semitones as it starts to fades out, then pull the volume up on the note, shift it back down a semitone before the note ends and fade in a bit of reverb at the end. Do more variations of the above, repeat certain segments by manually pulling, pushing and squishing the notes in the same way again, instead of copying and pasting the part, in order to add the same kind of natural variation you get when playing the same sequence twice on guitar.

 

You can make entire pieces of music that way, using the software's functions to create sounds that you couldn't otherwise produce. Surely that would make it an instrument, because if not what is the music played on?

 

Whatever tools you can use to produce the best music you can, use them.

Whatever they are.

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I do think a computer can be a musical instrument.

 

There is an accesory that was made for early versions of the Commodore 64 that allowed you to play the computer's keyboard as a musical keyboard and there are still bands now that play C64s live, with or without one of those accesories. The iPad has a touch screen piano app and my girlfriend's phone has touchscreen synth software which I find fascinating and is about the only thing I like about the thing.

 

I've also heard a recreation of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon created with an old Nintendo Entertainment System.

 

I personally believe that anything you can make a sound out of can be an instrument, including vegetables. There's a vegetable orchestra who play hollowed out produce as percussion and wind instruments. They're both mad and brilliant. If you can use something as an instrument to make a sound that your other instruments can't make even better.

 

You can use a software synth to make a single piano note then use your computer to stretch the note, shift it up a couple of semitones as it starts to fades out, then pull the volume up on the note, shift it back down a semitone before the note ends and fade in a bit of reverb at the end. Do more variations of the above, repeat certain segments by manually pulling, pushing and squishing the notes in the same way again, instead of copying and pasting the part, in order to add the same kind of natural variation you get when playing the same sequence twice on guitar.

 

You can make entire pieces of music that way, using the software's functions to create sounds that you couldn't otherwise produce. Surely that would make it an instrument, because if not what is the music played on?

 

Whatever tools you can use to produce the best music you can, use them.

Whatever they are.

 

that is a very good point... [thumbup] even though i don't personally agree that a computer is a "musical instrument", i would see how it could be used like you said to create unique music....

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that is a very good point... [thumbup] even though i don't personally agree that a computer is a "musical instrument", i would see how it could be used like you said to create unique music....

 

Do you agree that a modern keyboard a musical instrument?

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I'm amazed by the poll responses.

 

45% of you reckon it takes no significant talent/skill to write parts for computer based instruments?

 

Un-freaking-believable.

 

I think the reason for this is that if you have a virtual band where all instruments are tuned perfectly and the software has all chords and notes imaginable, then you could argue that all your doing is arranging and dropping things in the right order. Some programmes I believe also predict or suggest what should come next making it easier to put things together, effectively eliminating a musicians "writers block"

 

I love guitars, both acoustic and electric and I think that an awful lot of mediocre guitarists use way too much in the way of effects pedals to hide the fact that they are just mediocre, hell i'm guilty of it.. the chorus pedal or some gain or delay. BUT if it creates a pleasing sound then wheres the harm, we are still playing the instrument and as people play, their individual "style" comes through. some people pick better than others, some stick with the same couple of chords and make a career out of it.

 

Is a computer an instrument? I hate to say it but yes.. Is it a musical instrument? thats a far more difficult question to answer. I'm not convinced that computers are. A computer needs to be preprogrammed with all the sounds before it can be played (hark I here people now saying instruments have to be buit and tuned..lol) Perhaps a simpler answer would be that, if it makes a musical noise even when unplugged then it can be an instrument. ( someones going to suggest typing on a keyboard is musical..lol.. but you cant play a chord on it..lol)

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I guess 45% have never played a synthesizer and must think Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman have no talent, because the synthesizers that they play are simply computers with black and white keys.

 

 

I bet these guys could play just as well on a piano

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I think the reason for this is that if you have a virtual band where all instruments are tuned perfectly and the software has all chords and notes imaginable, then you could argue that all your doing is arranging and dropping things in the right order.

 

AKA the definition of music composition. Composition is not a trivial task, and to do it well takes skill/talent, whether it's done on an acoustic guitar, piano, sheet of notation paper, or a computer.

 

Some programmes I believe also predict or suggest what should come next making it easier to put things together, effectively eliminating a musicians "writers block"

 

This is true and a good point to bring up. Arpeggiators are only a tool though, and do not create good compositions themselves. A musician is required to make something out of it.

 

Is it a musical instrument? thats a far more difficult question to answer. I'm not convinced that computers are. A computer needs to be preprogrammed with all the sounds before it can be played (hark I here people now saying instruments have to be buit and tuned..lol)

 

A computer system with tone generator software performs the exact same role as a modern keyboard/rompler. Are you saying that keys are not musical instruments? I know of a lot of keyboardists (millions of them) that would not agree with this assessment.

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Do you agree that a modern keyboard a musical instrument?

 

yes... and i think i know where you're going with this. i do realize that a keyboard has computers in it, but the reason it is an instrument and a plain old computer is NOT is because a keyboard is just a digital emulation of a piano, and thats what the keyboard was designed to be - a digital solution for pianists. A computer is NOT meant to be a digital emulation of any specific instrument. it was NOT designed with anything musical in mind. the computer was designed to do math equations.

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yes... and i think i know where you're going with this. i do realize that a keyboard has computers in it, but the reason it is an instrument and a plain old computer is NOT is because a keyboard is just a digital emulation of a piano, and thats what the keyboard was designed to be - a digital solution for pianists. A computer is NOT meant to be a digital emulation of any specific instrument. it was NOT designed with anything musical in mind. the computer was designed to do math equations.

 

agreed!!!!![thumbup]

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the computer was designed to do math equations.

 

bullsh!t.

 

The personal computer is a general purpose machine that was designed to run general purpose applications. Music software is one such category of application software. If it's running musical instrument software then *gasp* it's a musical instrument.

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I know this is peripheral, but I personally think that a computer can have an increasing role for musicians of all sorts if only carrying a songlist and a few jokes to patter between songs.

 

It also seems not only possible, but probable to have built-in "effects" where one might run the guitar and/or mike and/or whatever through the computer as a built-in sound board but with different settings per song.

 

When "Song A" comes up in the database, the presets automatically go there, for example. "Slow" songs might boost amplification for example for soft playing and singing, "rockers" might get cut back a bit 'cuz "we" tend to push more.

 

Even without any effect on sound at all, I see the computer and potentially a performance setup program as an aid even to a no-amp, no-PA acoustic performance.

 

I've seen increasing use one way or another of "backing tracks," sometimes entirely computer generated and sometimes entirely performed by the "on stage" performer using the computer the same way Les Paul used recording tapes. I personally don't see them as part of anything I'd do, but I can easily see how it helps Bob "Notes" with his music and music business given the audiences he's working with.

 

Just as musicians learned to adjust to electric amplification, we have to learn to adjust to tools of various sorts that can enhance our own performance styles, whether it's "just" a variable songlist with lyrics as a reminder, or whether it's a stomp box or PA or...

 

m

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yes... and i think i know where you're going with this. i do realize that a keyboard has computers in it, but the reason it is an instrument and a plain old computer is NOT is because a keyboard is just a digital emulation of a piano, and thats what the keyboard was designed to be - a digital solution for pianists. A computer is NOT meant to be a digital emulation of any specific instrument. it was NOT designed with anything musical in mind. the computer was designed to do math equations.

 

The computer is just the platform for the software(which is the true instrument)...which WAS designed to make music. A computer itself without the software is kinda like a piece of wood. It does nothing musically.

 

A computer with the right software is kinda like that piece of wood, cut and shaped into a guitar with electronics and strings added. NOW its an instrument.

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What is your point?

 

My point being that they didnt need electronics or computers to make them talented musicians. are keyboards and synths not based on being played like a piano with some electronic wizardry thrown in?!?

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My point being that they didnt need electronics or computers to make them talented musicians. are keyboards and synths not based on being played like a piano with some electronic wizardry thrown in?!?

 

Are softsynths not based on being played like a piano with some electronic wizardry thrown in?

 

Are electric guitars not based on being played like an acoustic guitar with some electronic wizardry thrown in?

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bullsh!t.

 

The personal computer is a general purpose machine that was designed to run general purpose applications. Music software is one such category of application software. If it's running musical instrument software then *gasp* it's a musical instrument.

 

are you f**king stupid?!?! the computer was originally designed to do math equations... you know, back when computers took up a whole room, that's all they did was MATH EQUATIONS!!!! That's what the computer was originally made for, and that's all I said... I said NOTHING about modern-day personal computers. ](*,)

 

The ORIGINAL purpose of the keyboard was to simulate a piano.

The ORIGINAL purpose of the computer was to do math.... End of story!!! And if you still disagree with that FACT, then you're a moron and not even worth arguing with!! [cursing]

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Actually I have an old friend who, in the IBM "punch card" era who had permission to mess with cross-referencing words in the Old Testament.

 

The first computers I was around were tape storage machines for storage of millions of magazine subscription names.

 

Yes, some of the very earliest computers were strictly for math, but very quickly the sorting capability brought database manipulation. We're talking 1950s and before. I was word processing on a computer in the 1970s, complete to OCR. And some others were ahead of me along those lines.

 

Technically computers do not even do "math" - at least not base 10 as most of us think, and conversion to binary and back creates error that has to be taken into consideration there too.

 

I see "music" as created on a computer, either the sound itself or a score, simply as a specialized sort of word processing.

 

Note that Babbage's "analytical engine" was indeed base 10, but it also used punch cards such as used on looms. There also was a capability for storage of material. We're talking somewhere in the 1870s. Other "on-off" binary systems followed - all before tubes were available to build computers more or less as we know them.

 

m

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