Is Audio Software Stopping Potential Musicians From Ever Learning

Posts 1 - 25 of 79
  1. 612029
    Unknown User : Fri 19th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    This is such contentious subject but with the development of computer software we seem to have a whole generation of producers that can't actually play a real instrument. How many of you could actually play the song or loop you have written if someone asked the next day you recorded it....

    Ooooh no thats impossible iv'e lost the sample or the loop is on my other disk drive.. I've changed to Cubase and what you've listened to what i did last year on fruity loops.. (True ?)

    I hate to say it guys but past bands and artists are massive, in some cases much bigger than the current scene.. The rolling stones, U2 will still outsell a skrillex concert, (fact)... Why.. Because at the end of the day there is nothing better than seeing a live performance..

    Every new sythn released is looking for the past, warmth, feel, analogue.. True... Of course.

    My opinion is technology is great it means we can record cheaply and if we know how to write a song then it's incredible... But i have to say i'm really getting fed up of pre recorded loops all control alt copy and pasted together.. It sounds exactly what it is..

    Learn to play a real instrument, a bass, a guitar a piano and the musical expression is instantly vast, more than you could ever imagine from a pre recorded loop.

    Back to basics guys, i challenge you to turn off your computers, learn to write a song, play an instrument.. Then record

  2. 951439
    Evisma : Fri 19th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Saw Chemical Brothers on a late night show last week. They just stood there and pushed a few buttons(INTENSELY) and slowly spun a few knobs (DRAMATICALLY). The rest of the time they were grinding the air with their pelvises. The lights were crazy, so was the camera movement, but nothing was happening on stage besides pushing play and looking busy. One guy played four notes on a keyboard. TA-DA!!

  3. 817298
    Enzotic : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    I disagree. I think if someone love making music via synths, loops, samples, live recordings, or whatever else is out there then they should continue to love and make the music their making.

    I personally don't play any instrument well enough to record myself, though I have decided to learn to play the piano. Also, being a poor college student makes it difficult to purchase gear for recording and instruments.

    We live in an age where making music is accessible to a lot more people than it was in the past. That's a good thing in my opinion!

  4. 486477
    GramoChopin : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    I'm at the point of my producing where I'm more addicted to the infinitely variety of sounds you can put together and create. It's more interesting to me as well. There's only so many physical instruments in the world and virtual instruments keep evolving into something new.

    I do want to learn and master the piano to further enhance my productions though. I could play that instrument for hours, it's also my fav. So you know, it's all based on preference. It's a new age, and inevitably things will become more technological. Of course, established bands such as U2 and any other great musicians in history will sell and have success. Agreed. (Granted their still alive)

    Physical instruments do sound better than any virtual counterpart too. But I know with me, creating a piece on software is just more interesting. Not necessarily better sounding mind you,(There are some exceptions) but more interesting.

    I would also accept your challenge if I just didn't have so many other things to get done. Perhaps when I master the piano, which would probably be in another year(s) or two. ha

  5. 612029
    Unknown User : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    @Enzotic + GramoChopin
    Please don't think i mean you have to be great or perfect the piano or guitar.. I honestly think just putting your touch or feel to a real instrument can have an incredible effect.. Money doesn't matter, record through some cheap headphones into an interface if you have too.. That will sound better than an over compressed synth loop really believe me...

  6. 828980
    Burtsbluesboxes : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Its a new age in music. Not everybody creates music with software simply because they're too lazy to learn an actual instrument. The reasons are endless. Personally I love it and create both ways, live instruments (guitar/bass), vsts, loops, samples. Sure there's plenty of crap but does that really matter? To each his/her own.

  7. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Heard a new word the other day and I suppose it's the catch cry of the modern age "Controlerism"...I'm an old school believer and will always go to my instruments first,however I really get blown away by what some controlerists can do in live situations (or anywhere for that matter)...I was dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age,sometimes I feel like a mule pushing (yes pushing) an overloaded cart full of fat(or skinny) computer nerds......I'm all for any musical progression and expansion,plus if the lights go out I can pick up my acoustic! :)

  8. 612029
    Unknown User : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    The new age in music is based on synths from the 80's and 70's phatkatz4 honestly mate.. I wish i hadn't sold my old keyboards.. There isn't a decent sound that couldn't have been created 30 years ago.. Seriously, the only difference is most sound like the've been squashed into oblivion.. But i'd love to hear something on your guitar.. Thats the challenge, can anyone on this site actually record a song without technology.. It's a fair question :-)

  9. 1318259
    MeTalliX : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Well, there are still music producers that still include REAL instrument samples that where recorded from the working studio.

    And while you do have a point, there are just some things a instrument can't do, which is why some prefer synth over sound.

    And not to mention, this technology can bring new grounds to music production. Now if you wanna be the guy to use nothing but synths and pre-recorded loops, it is kinda bum-ish, because it's like, "artificial music", but if you use this technology right, you can become the best producer in the world. (Take Daft Punk for example.)

    And actually, I think 45% of musicians can play an instrument, including Skrillex (guitar), Daft Punk (guitar and keyboard), and Razihel (guitar). I'm not saying EVERY music producer can play an instrument. I can play the piano and the keyboard. Why don't I use it in my music? One, because I don't have MIDI set up for it, two, I don't have a good microphone to record it with, and three, I can just use FL Studio. So yes, I agree with you completely, because nothing can replace an instrument, an electronic music production is becoming very popular around the world.

  10. 612029
    Unknown User : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Daft Punk - randon access, grammy award wining because it is totally 1970's disco retro. Nothing about that album is modern... they are lucky enough to use original 1970's and 80's synths. They employed 1970's guitarists to play on the record.. Recorded totally in an original 80's style..
    Skrillex is actually a very good guitarist and original, you can hear it in the melodies of his spirits LP, he wanted to work with the doors...An innovator.
    All i'm saying is don't think that in 2014 music has advanced.. its the opposite IMO. Alot of very mediocre computer music totally reliant on the past studio processors, effects and musicians.. ;-)

  11. 1318259
    MeTalliX : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago


    Don't leave out Daft Punk's other albums!
    Even though they aren't as popular as RAM, they still contribute to my previous post. Like Discovery for example. A 1999 album that sounded FLAWLESS, and it was a great album, so great it had it's on movie: Interstella 5555.

    The album had songs full of synths, and real instruments, and it all sounded great!

    Then again, that's just Daft Punk.

  12. 828980
    Burtsbluesboxes : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Recorded in 1995 in my parents basement with a cassette player. I'm the one with the leather jacket in the pic. Now a days I don't have a band to play with, the time or the place to do so, and I love to make classical/cinematic songs but i don't play violin/cello, drums, or any other orchestral instruments. I would love to learn but in reality that's not going to happen. I did pick up a keyboard to learn :D The bass player/singer is AlienSymbiosis(Bryan) This is the first one I recorded after discovering DAW software, a bit rough but have learned soooo much since then. most people do music as a hobby all out of fun and love of it. There's a few more I play live instruments on posted and many more I just haven't finished yet. (warm fuzzy socks, awakening of the blood countess (very rough) and Looperman Blues, Christmas I played live guitar/bass on as well) Regardless of style i love to watch a master of their art perform live, playing live or tweaking knobs. Music is constantly evolving, new technology comes available all the time. I was not familiar with the electronic styles before finding looperman. What led me here was trying to learn to write songs completely on my own using DAW software for drums. Is it preventing people from learning live instruments? Well, in most cases it probably is, I guess it depends on how you use the tools available. It's a blessing and a curse. I use as a learning tool as well as for fun.

  13. 828980
    Burtsbluesboxes : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Oh yeah, rotting horde, coldness of the grave, nursery of lost souls a few more I played live on :D Everybody uses The software differently.

  14. 258735
    LazarusBlack : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    When i first started making music with a computer i simply stacked loops together to make what I thought was good at that time.

    These days i don't use loops anymore. I make all my own melodies,leads,bass,and beats, using my Novation synth by itself or to control a soft synth and i make my beats with Maschine. I have become very bored with just using someones else's loops as the base for my songs.

    I do live shows,where I actually perform my own songs live. from vocals to playing the synth and banging out beats live on stage. the key is to figure out how to actually interact and perform a song that you made while sitting in your home studio without just standing there flipping a switch and pushing a button. thats where the real artistry and showmanship is developed.

    as for controllerism

    here is a video i made a couple years ago. Yes I am just pushing buttons. BUT! it took a long time to get all the sounds to interact right. i had to trim loops and samples. adjust tempos and pitches. place all the sounds on the pads and remember what pad made what sound and hit it at the right time to bring it all together into a coherent song, rather than random noises. very similar to the way a person would learn and remember what string played what chord on a guitar or playing keys on a piano. in essence, controllerism is the same as learning and playing a instrument just a more modern version with a different interface.

    Laz }:)-

  15. 1170088
    terrancet : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    Man, you can not be serious? Then we would have to get rid Dj Premier's or Alchemist's influence upon Hip Hop. These are just a couple names of LEGENDARY PRODUCERS that have change the way we use samples.

    In your head and many others, using samples does not constitute for making music. But the hip hop community has been nodding our heads to J Dilla's, SKII and Just Blaze's production over years now. We KNOW it is music.

    There is no right way to expression yourself within music. I absolutely hate when people limit music to the guys that grew up playing music. Music is subjective, right? Then why is everyone saying how people should approach it.

    Hip Hop is not the only genre that relies on samples and loops. Electronic music has capitalize on samples and loops as well as other genres.

    It is my way or the highway approach is SO OLD. Sinatra has been dead since 1998 so why does everyone seem to be singing the same old tune again and again.

    I have been thinking about learning to play an instrument but not because I feel like I am less of a musician than Stevie Wonder but to enhance the way I produce music.


  16. 951439
    Evisma : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago


    Dude,... chill. No need to get all capitals here.

    And the answer to your question is Yes, at least in the 'wanting to play music' department. You're welcome.

    What do your buttons do when the power goes out?

    Instruments create sound. Controllers do not, unless you record yourself rhythmically slapping and hitting it, then you have some solid percussive ingenuity.

  17. 782612
    40A : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    "We have a whole generation of producers that can't actually play a real instrument"

    1.) So...what's the problem? Instrument manufacturing companies going out of business or something? Price of data usage skyrocketing due to the stress downloaded VSTi torrent files are having on ISPs? What is it about this observation that is the implied issue here?

    "How many of you could actually play the song or loop you have written"

    2.) Tell me when you can do the same digitally. If you're unable to match the quality of your physical instrument digitally then that makes you ...a hypocrite.

    "Ooooh no thats impossible iv'e lost the sample or the loop is on my other disk drive"

    3.) Because only digital products are subject to loss, damage and alteration? Take a hammer directly to your guitar and tell me how well that E string sounds, boss.

    Are you really arguing and comparing the longevity of a digital file over a tangible one? 80% Of all the products designed for instruments are just for maintaining it. At the click of a button i can essentially create "900" spare "guitars".

    Stop it...

  18. 782612
    40A : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    "I hate to say it guys but past bands and artists are massive, in some cases much bigger than the current scene.."

    4.) So are you attributing the success of bands based in a separate era, with a separate culture, and a separate type of audience to that of today's culture? Then i get to do the same.

    The reason why your fossilized dyno-bands sell concerts is because that is essentially the opposite direction of where music is heading today. It's all based off of likes, subscribes, up-votes, down-votes, links, shares, viral videos, #tweets, etc. Nobody is trying to promote a concert if it already wasn't a bi-product of the musicians internet campaign.

    So whose buying those tickets to see Journey play "worlds apart" for the 789th time? The same damn people that's been going to their concerts since the 1600s.

    Meanwhile, (in the present)....43million people just watched an autistic kid rap about the life of being autistic. That's more views then some of your aged bands has even had in sales COMBINED. We're talking 2-4 decades of effort that an online video did in less than a week.

    "Learn to play a real instrument, a bass, a guitar a piano and the musical expression is instantly vast, more than you could ever imagine from a pre recorded loop."

    5.) You have no IDEA, not even the slightest...of how much more control digital instruments have over analogue. I'm not even talking about hitting every note flawlessly or playing some impossible progression. I'm talking about breaking the human limitation. Your hands will age over time, your reactions will dull and they will expire (and they have been) your ability to be dextrous will plummet at phenomenal rates. The demand that physical instruments require is taxing to the body; this can not be disputed. Age will destroy your entire ability to be who you thought you were.

    I have an experiment for you. Try fretting the same 3 chords for 3 minutes straight, and record play it back.

    You'd be amazed at how quickly the mind discourages the body from repetitious/monotonous activity. You will slow down, miss notes, stutter, slip, hesitate and falter and do ALL of this within just 3 minutes. Now imagine doing this for decades...

    (But 40, that's what makes an instrument an "instrument"...hearing that

    An instrument isn't designed to do anything but be an "instrument". Your inability to maximize it's potential isn't apart of /it's/ design, it's apart of /your/ design. As a being of flesh and bone, tethered with sinew and muscles and tendons and ligaments - all of which weaken and wear with age.

  19. 782612
    40A : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    In conclusion....

    You've spent years coordinating the muscles in your hands with the synapses in your brain, while digital artists have spent years EXCLUSIVELY training their brain and the subsequent depth of overall knowledge and creativity. A considerably much more resistant piece of wetware than the crude wiring in your digits.

    Unlike you i don't try to differentiate what music actually is, or who is actually making it...or how they want to make it. It's just fucking music, it's our passion, why does it matter? Why does it bother you?

  20. 1118799
    Stevejaz : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    I love controlerism. I love software synths, effects etc. And I love my guitars.
    They are different though. The guitars are great for playing notes. The controllers etc are great for manipulating sound. Both in my mind are music. The whole sound manipulation thing is new compared to musical instruments, although Ableton Push is referred to by them as an 'instrument' and not solely because you can play notes on it in my opinion.
    Music notation has about 500 years of development behind it. Music software what? 20 years? I think the development of notated music went as far as it could with 'serial composition' nearly 100 years ago now. The whole sound manipulation thing is a rocket ride.There is so much new stuff every year. So many opportunities to explore new concepts, new ideas. I think music begins in the mind. I think any method that gets it from one person's mind to another person's ear is a good thing. Voice, musical instruments, software, copy/paste. It's all good. These are wonderful times we live in.
    Old guy rant over. Now go make some music.

  21. 749324
    RoseErin : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    I think you need to look in the studio of top producers- They all have piano controllers and many synth machines. I doubt very heavily Deadmau5 just has a piano for the fuck of it. And daft punk still the highest payed Techno act-loves using guitar and drum samples they made themselves.

    I think what youre seeing is rookies are no longer far from the fame. skrillex is on sound cloud- and so are 1000 noobs who wanna sound like him. The old Pros got big and at one point they were all part of a crowd of rookies with sounds they barely knew how to control. quality wise trying to compare the beatles old pop rock jams to their Srgt pepper quality would be unfair. Really what you should say- is stay interested. The reason daftpunk and the beatles kept climbing is because they never stopped moving and learning. Technically speaking its how you apply what you learn, not what you learn, thats most important.

    Did learning the sitar make the beatles better? no- but they used it in their writtings. they thought about it and it changed their whole sound- not just the ones with indian instruments.That kind of manipulation is what creates success.

  22. 186161
    Spivkurl : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    As someone who uses standard instruments and software, I can honestly say that if one makes sound with something, that something has become an instrument. I find it a beautiful feeling finishing a song and knowing I'll never have to perform it again... it's in the past. Think of paintings - how many of you are into a painter who paints something people like, and then keeps doing it again and again forever, with maybe only slight alterations? To me, that is what performing songs which you wrote and recorded 30 years ago is like. I want my songs to be heard how they were meant to progress, not how I decided they should be manipulated throughout the rest of my life.

    A DAW or sequencer is an instrument as well. It takes a long time, a lot of learning, and much effort to know the abilities and limitations of a well made piece of software. Your challenge - "i challenge you to turn off your computers, learn to write a song, play an instrument.. Then record" seems a bit presumptuous to me. Are you recording to a 4 track? A reel to reel? If not then maybe you should rethink your opinions. Those media forms of course aren't going to have a hard drive crash, but... wait... what if the power goes out?! Without electronics, there are no recordings of sound, whether those electronics are analog or controlled by programming information.

    @GramoChopin- "There's only so many physical instruments in the world and virtual instruments keep evolving into something new." My recommendation is to create new physical instruments if you find it limiting. Honestly, a huge amount virtual instruments are either built from samples of old vintage gear, or they digitally reproduce the same tired synthesizer architecture which has been used in hardware for a really long time. Very few have an actually new sound.

    @MAVstudio- "There isn't a decent sound that couldn't have been created 30 years ago.." I'm not so sure about that idea. There are many people out there creating new forms of instruments both for performance and sound design. Also, those instruments from 30 years ago can be improved upon drastically with just a bit of research and effort.

    @MeTallix - "there are just some things a instrument can't do, which is why some prefer synth over sound." How is a synth not sound? That is the whole point of synthesis, to make sound.

  23. 1318259
    MeTalliX : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago


    I was trying to say it like, organic sound, like from a guitar. I just worded it wrong, lol

  24. 186161
    Spivkurl : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    I see. makes sense to me. Thank you for helping me understand!

  25. 592478
    DesignedImpression : Sat 20th Sep 2014 : 7 years ago

    To answer the question I say its hard to compare the two because yes while they may be close in similarity its more like you comparing yourself to your shadow. OF course the shadow will be slightly faster, more consistant in placement, more options to shape its appearance. It still is a shadow at the end of the day that has an option to shuffle a created pattern in a new twisted way that can be achieved with a real instrument if you really wanted to. Depends of who is using the software. Same in both audio software controller and the physical body controller, both teach you sets of patterns to place together to get some movement using some type of noise. Rest falls with who needs it to connect. A good balance is to have both. 1- a physical instrument just jamming out is a good enough reason to start! 2-the audio software to take that jamming out and make it how you hear it in your head. Yup.

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