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re: It's a good idea (as far as I can tell)...

Posted by:
~Maxx 08:43 pm MST 02/15/07
In reply to: re: It's a good idea (as far as I can tell)... - Wilbury 05:16 pm MST 02/15/07

After thinking on the matter a bit I did come to the conclusion that my initial "what sets it apart" conjecture was probably a bit shy of the mark. You could really trigger a sequence bar by bar in pretty much any software, or on any keyboard or drum machine. It would, however, take quite a bit of work to set it up properly if I'm not mistaken. Lets do keep in mind that I am by no means a MIDI or sequencing guru.

So it would seem that this is probably a fancy version of Fruity Loops with samples (or soundfonts, or whatever you want to call them) recorded by the London Symphony. I noticed, though, that nobody mentioned the term "MIDI", or "sequencing" in the Youtube segment. And that most of the talk and praise had to do with its ease of use and a users ability to edit "on the fly". So I wonder if the sequencing and MIDI applications are handled entirely by the software, thus saving the user a lot of time-consuming work and frustration. I'm going to have to Google this and see if I can find out a bit more about it.

Now, not to backtrack, but... I feel I should take a stand for the concept of triggering sequences bar by bar. While I'm sure it's not exactly a novel concept, I'm rather stuck on the idea. If you think about it - a sequence, when triggered, will perform a task between point "A" and point "B" flawlessly, and in perfect time. Wherein lies the argument that they lack human emotion. So it would stand to reason that shortening the length of time between points "A" and "B" and triggering each part manually would in fact go a long way toward negating the "robotic" feel of the typical programmed sequence. And when you consider that Meats drummer almost surely plays along to a click track or electronic metronome of some sort during the live performances (it is a more common practice than most people realize), I could see it working rather well as long as the sequencer and the click track were following the same time piece. Think of it as "hybrid sequencing". Hardly a replacement for an actual musician - but a big step in that direction.

Anyhow... I've rambled enough for now. I finally recieved my copy of NBAMN II, so I'm eager to give it a good solid listen.

Thanx, as always, for letting me rant!

> Thanks cool post.
> That first paragraph of yours is exactly my way of
> thinking and why I'm having succh a hard time
> undwerstanding why alll the hoo-hah.
> And the second paragraph is where I have a problem. What
> nuance and idiosyncracy can be added to these
> pre-sequenced parts by a guy tapping a fucking keyboard?
> As soon as they are triggered they are triggered they're
> going to play exactly the same way they did last time,
> which is exactly the same way it was programmed in -- and
> attempting to trigger any slightly long or complex parts
> in the midst of a tempo that is other than that for which
> it is planned is not going to work.
> The only variable in performance that notion adds is human
> error!!?!
> > It seems to be a sort of MIDI-type application whereby
> > pre-arranged (and/or pre recorded) portions of the score
> > are triggered at particular intervals within the live
> > performance. This alone is hardly new technology. In the
> > past a live drummer would trigger such events with a foot
> > pedal, or by striking a particular pad on his kit - either
> > of which would trigger a MIDI event telling a computer (or
> > digital device of some kind) to perform a certain task.
> > Or (in other, more rare cases) the live drummer could be
> > playing along with a "click track" (a fancy metronome)
> > which would have a tempo map programmed into it for each
> > performance. This tempo map would be a digital "road map"
> > for each song, and would thus know exactly when to trigger
> > a desired event (sound) without anyone having to do
> > anything. The basics of this technology are used for all
> > kinds of things from running the mixing board to operating
> > the lights and pyro effects for most big rock shows.
> >
> > What seems to set this Notion software apart is that they
> > have given it its own position in the performance rather
> > than being dictated by a computer or another band member
> > who has other things to worry about. The argument against
> > this type of technology has long been that it is too
> > "robotic" sounding and too "perfect" for a live
> > performance environment. These machines operate in sync
> > based on a pre-determined tempo. Their ability to keep
> > time within a song is based solely on that tempo. They do
> > not make subtle changes based on the mood of the song,
> > they do not improvise, they do not make mistakes. Once
> > the machine is triggered it plays its part at the tempo
> > that it is programmed to play it in, and it does not stop
> > untill it is told to. And I'm sure it's easy to see how
> > that can take alot of the feeling away from a live
> > performance.
> >
> > So having a guy sitting at a computer triggering each bar
> > of music individually, playing along with each song as if
> > he were a member of the orchestra, is really a long
> > overdue concept in this age of digital music. Having said
> > that I would assume that the guy's getting paid way too
> > much money to sit there and tap a button in sync with the
> > band all night.
> >
> > If anyone hears any more about this software feel free to
> > post it. I would guess that by the time Meat tours again
> > it will be performing his parts too!

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