Technology is a Sacrifice
\\ Coresect : History : Making Music (Reverse order)
Here follows all items in this section, in chronological order.

Monotron - 14 May 2010

By admin (when...  14/05/2010 @ 15:08:57, Where Making Music, linked 994 times)

Some footage of the very tempting mini Monotron, with Skinny Puppy's Cevin Key in Japan having just bought one. Me jealous? Japan? Monotron? Nah...

Great Ableton Tips

By admin (when...  23/11/2009 @ 11:57:28, Where Making Music, linked 631 times)

Ableton Live Quick Tips 1 from Delicious on Vimeo.


Latest Video Finds

By admin (when...  15/10/2009 @ 09:34:53, Where Making Music, linked 712 times)

Here are some videos of people circuit bending, others using homemade Ableton controllers, and a nice modular synth doing its thing.

Synth Britannia

By admin (when...  10/10/2009 @ 17:23:12, Where Making Music, linked 926 times)

Interesting documentary to be shown on BBC 4 in the UK on Friday, 16 October, at 9 p.m. exploring the thriving synth music scene that sprung up at the end of the 70's and ran through much of the 80's. Expect to see Gary Numan, Human League and Heaven 17. Who knows if they'll include some Cabs in there too. The rest of us outside the UK will be forced to see if a torrent shows up, since the BBC don't allow their real player to work outside the UK.

The Horrorist

By admin (when...  10/10/2009 @ 15:43:14, Where Making Music, linked 688 times)

The Horrorist is the musical project pertaining to Oliver Chesler, and like several musicians operating the field I'll call EBM he has his own blog. Wire to the Ear is full of interesting stuff, and it has a plethora of suggestions and good ideas for people making electronic music or for those who have a musical project on the go. I only spotted him recently, but trawling back through the archives I found some nice hints about using Ableton, getting your photographs out there with Flickr, some microphone porn, and using Animoto to make nice slideshow - videos. He does wander "off topic" sometimes, like his forage into the world of fashion, but I like that, and I wander more than most. All in all a good read.

Wire to the Ear.

Free Synths and Tutorial

By admin (when...  04/10/2009 @ 11:45:50, Where Making Music, linked 718 times)
Here are a few music-making sites I found recently:

  • Variety Of Sound

    This blog is by a guy who designs his own VST's and VSTi's, and though I've not had a chance to try them out, my music making computer is currently producing more blue screens than at a windoze vista convention) they seem to be getting positive feedback which is good news for us, because he gives them away for free.

  • Marvin Pavilion : Marvin VST

    Here is another site with a very nice little set of free VSTi's for you to download and try. They range from effects to synths using a variety of sound synthesis methods. The analogue synths and drum synths look very interesting.

  • TAGS


    Last but not least is a nice little tutorial on how to make an old-skool bass sound using the Albino VSTi.


Trent Reznor advice time.

By admin (when...  03/10/2009 @ 12:21:37, Where Making Music, linked 904 times)

Trent Reznor has never been one to mince words, and here he is again telling it as he sees it, when asked by band wannabees:

"Forget thinking you are going to make any real money from record sales. Make your record cheaply (but great) and GIVE IT AWAY. As an artist you want as many people as possible to hear your work. Word of mouth is the only true marketing that matters."

"...what you NEED to do is this - give your music away as high-quality DRM-free MP3s. Collect people's email info in exchange (which means having the infrastructure to do so) and start building your database of potential customers. Then, offer a variety of premium packages for sale and make them limited editions / scarce goods. Base the price and amount available on what you think you can sell. Make the packages special - make them by hand, sign them, make them unique, make them something YOU would want to have as a fan."

Sound advice, and pretty much the only thing a new act can do.

Trent's advice on the NIN forums.


Downloading, yet again

By admin (when...  26/09/2009 @ 17:54:03, Where Making Music, linked 979 times)

Eloquently put, and hits the nail on the head. Well done that man. Something that makes me smile whenever somebody comes up with how many billions of dollars piracy is costing the music industry (usually from figures that are in fact totally invented too), it all comes down to the simple mistake that every download is a lost sale. The truth is far from it. Actually, it has gotten to the stage now where most music and films downloaded are simply downloaded because they are there. Many net-savvy folk have thousands of albums bunged away on their computers, we can't be as stupid as to assume that they would have spent tens of thousands of dollars on songs each year. They are downloaded, stuck on a hard drive, glimpsed at perhaps, quickly skimmed though once, most likely never ever touched or opened, till they are lost when the drive crashes, or they are erased to make room for another download. I mean, many people nowadays have gigabytes of data sitting on their desks. So lets say they start at the beginning and listen to or watch it all. It'll take them months, maybe years to get to the end and start again. I don't think anyone does that. So what are they doing? Downloading loads, and listening to very little. Not only that, but most things downloaded are probably listened to once at most, kind of like if they were listened to on a radio station. Now, as much as the record industry majors would love it if the public were charged to have the pleasure of listening to the radio, it isn't going to happen. So if we want people to "support" the artists, we should be lowering our expectations and finding ways to enable them to pay, not threatening to sue housewives and kids for millions, or cutting off internet connections because a record company demands it. IF we let companies cut off people for this, then before long we'll be letting people cut off internet connections for other things too, like for visiting "unsuitable" sites for example, and that's a very dangerous road to travel down.
Small artists can also often be found bleating about how people downloading their music means they are killed before they get off the ground. Sadly that would have happened to most of them before the internet ever existed. Back in the days when making music meant "having a band", you faced some difficult times just to get an instrument and learn how to play it (voice included). Straight away the talentless and the financially-impeded were weeded out, and even then only the determined would actually get onto the next square in the board game known as "having a hit". So, if you had a band back in the day everything was a dead cert? Well, no. You would never get radio airplay without a label pushing you (unless it was so local that you'd get more coverage shouting through a megaphone), so if you didn't find a label then it was pretty much game over right there. You could go out and gig, if you were willing to pay: some did, some still do. Nearly all bands back in the good old days died a quick death or staggered along in near obscurity. Once their demos were sent out and never replied to, and they'd toured the local club circuit they faded away or just did the rounds like old drunks trying to find a pub still open, and they all failed because they "never got their chance", just like they do now.
So lets say you stand in that tiny 0.001% who made it all the way and produced a demo and sent it off and actually a label likes you and you record your "hit" and the label gets you on the radio and maybe to a few DJs and then, well, maybe, if people actually get to hear your music, and they like it, then maybe you get to make another song, do more gigs. But maybe the label had bigger acts and didn't quite push yours hard enough, and maybe the radio played you late at night when nobody listened, and maybe the distribution didn't get you into enough shops, and maybe not the right ones, and maybe the DJs who got your 12" only played your "hit" to test the PA when they unpacked their gear or at the end of the night when the lights came on, ah the list goes on, and lets face it: maybe the public didn't like it enough to spend their limited income on instead of the latest U2, a round of beers and a crap kebab.
The truth of the matter is there is a limited amount of money available that people can spend on music. Oh it might have increased some over the past 20 years, but so have CD prices, and anyway, the increase is not going to be enough to mean everyone gets some. Now on the other hand ever cheaper (and ever more omnipresent) computers have meant that anyone can make music. Grab a PC and some free software and it'll take most people less time to make a piece of music than it would to drink three beers and eat a crap kebab. Of course, the music is almost always crap, and that is the problem in this equation, not the school kid downloading terrabytes of music just because they can.

For most small acts downloading will not kill them. On the contrary it'll save them from the inevitable obscurity and rapid death that they would have experienced before the internet connected us all together. Once upon a time they would have built up a fanbase that roughly equated to how many mates they had and that was it. Now they can have their music listened to by people from Kansas to Sydney via Volgograd, and maybe one or two of them are prepared to punt you a dollar or a euro or a rouble or a gig one day. No, probably you won't make a living out of this, but then again, you never would have anyway. Maybe 1000 people downloaded you, and even if we are blindly optimistic and we claim that 500 actually listened to the damn thing and they all love it, that still doesn't mean that if downloading was wiped from the face of the earth you would have sold 500 albums and made €500 (at today's going rate from your hard-working label, and which of course you would have immediately spent on music from other fellow struggling acts). Nope, the sad fact for nearly all of us is that without downloading probably none of those 500 people would have even heard our masterpiece, and it would have ended there.

Now having said all this I am sure you will find some people who really like your music but just don't want to pay for it, and they can now download it all and that burns doesn't it? Well, before downloading "ruined everything" they would have just copied it from a mate, or recorded it off the radio, or just have never got round to it as they have bought the latest U2 and their mate made them a compilation of other music from the chart show on the radio and lets face it, they've only got two ears and a limited amount of time to actually spend listening to music.

So here's an interesting way to look at things: there are too many people making music, and until fairly recently too many people starting record companies, but it doesn't make any difference because most of them will fade away very soon, to be replaced by even more musicians. There's no point in complaining that you could have been as big as VNV Nation or Combichrist because, well, to put it bluntly, no you couldn't. Technology has given us all the chance to make music (but not necessarily good music) and distribute it across the globe, but it can't give us all a guaranteed income from making music.

Distribution does not equal sales, downloading does not equal sales, fame does not equal sales.

Sales equal sales.

Amazing Analysis of the Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up"

By admin (when...  20/09/2009 @ 15:22:17, Where Making Music, linked 1772 times)

Amazing animation showing where the samples came from, and how they were manipulated in the Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up". Only interesting to music makers, I guess.

Doepfer Dark Energy

By admin (when...  19/09/2009 @ 10:43:57, Where Making Music, linked 615 times)

Yes please, just under €400. Oh I might be buying my self one for Xmas...

Shioitor - Virtual SH101

By admin (when...  17/09/2009 @ 15:50:37, Where Making Music, linked 2776 times)

My Roland Sh101 is looking pretty weary: two busted keys and an LFO that is either off or on at top speed. So a virtual SH101 is something one just hankers after when the sun goes down. SO today I spotted a nice piece of news over at Waveformless (Tom Shear's tech blog): "Following in the footsteps of their previous emulations of classic Roland gear, developers D16 have announced their latest an SH-101 emulator with the unfortunate name "Shioitor" (SH101-TOR)".

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but if the
sound samples really are all they seem to be then this one might be a good 'un.
Prices nowhere to be seen, but it has to less than the cost of buying a real one and maintaining it.


Nice Analogue Modelling Synth - free

By admin (when...  10/07/2009 @ 10:16:11, Where Making Music, linked 1051 times)

The Tal-Elek7ro is a nice analogue sounding VSTi that you can download (click on the picture to go get). There are a load of user-made presets available too.

Great new synth idea

By admin (when...  06/12/2008 @ 17:48:39, Where Making Music, linked 549 times)
Check out the video after the jump

"music made with software is good or bad, wrong or right."..?

By admin (when...  22/09/2008 @ 17:43:03, Where Making Music, linked 620 times)
My thoughts on if laptop musicians are just rip offs.

I think the most important thing is the result. If the music sounds good, it doesn't matter who made it and how.

It really doesn't make a difference to anyone if you make something that sounds great, and it's you banging a plastic bin, or it's you having spent several month's wages on a very expensive music making device that you didn't make yourself, and without which your output might be a lot worse (and by this I mean something like a Les Gibson guitar, or even more expensive, a Stradivarius, or how about a Pearl drum kit? Or a Steinway piano: damn, a guy buys one of those and they press a key and the sound is glorious).

Learning to programme a synth is probably about as taxing as learning to play simple guitar.

Learning how to create a song, and then mixing it, and producing it, is harder that learning how to play a guitar.

Needless to say, it's easy enough to do either one badly, and it's hard to do either one well.

Sometimes I listen to someone who's composed a song with a group of popular vsti's and relied on some presets, and the music might be great, but I get that feeling that they didn't make any sacrifices to make it, just like if it was someone twanging a guitar, or banging a drum. There's no difference.

A bad workman blames his tools, for sure, and what about someone who blames someone else's? Not worth the air they wasted voicing their opinion, in my humble opinion.

Learn from the masters

By admin (when...  14/09/2008 @ 23:40:47, Where Making Music, linked 744 times)
Alan Parson's '10 things everyone recording music should know'
 More from Alan Parsons (Part 1 was here), via MT reader Adam, his all time best recording tips:

1. Keep cable runs short particularly low impedance I.e. guitars and mics. It WILL affect the sound. Having said that I don't believe expensive cables offer significant improvement.
2. Even the best instruments and recording equipment will probably sound like crap in the wrong hands. The reverse can also be true.
3. Don't suck the life out of a recording by overuse of limiting and compression.
4. Go for performance not perfection.
5. Log EVERYTHING on a recording so that anyone can pick up where you left off. Particularly tracks that should not be used - better still, get rid of them.
6. Always consolidate tracks (in other words all tracks should have the same start and finish times) so that they can be loaded onto a different platform. Give every track a meaningful name.
7. Even if your ideas are making all the difference, make the other person think they were theirs.
8. The two most important things on a great record are: 1. The Song. 2. The Song.
9. Never trust anyone in the music business with a vowel in their name.
10. The check is NOT in the mail.
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