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Re: Devices versus computers for live looping

Matt's mention of Tangerine Dream's sequencing innovations reminds me of
something I read somewhere long ago regarding the origins of the PPG
Waveform synth (if I remember correctly) which kind of relates both to this
thread and to the video looping one. Apparently Froese and Co. had
commissioned the design of a computerized system to control their LIGHT
SHOW when someone involved in the project had the brainstorm of applying
the technology to audio, thus leading to the introduction of a new kind of
instrument using a new approach to synthesis. (I'm not sure of the
specifics, but I think I read this in a Contemporary Keyboard interview
with Edgar Froese sometime in the early 'eighties).
It's another example of someone's use of a piece of equipment for a purpose
other than that for which it was designed contributing to musical
evolution, and another reason for us to keep our minds open regarding the
tools we use, whether or not they're on the cutting edge of technology. By
looking for new ways to use the stuff that's already here, we create a
niche for the gear of tomorrow, and that in turn influences the possible
directions the music can take. Lee-ohki is right; we've got many tools from
which to choose; high-tech, low-tech, or some combination of the two, and
it makes no sense to impose arbitrary limits on our options by being
absolutist. On the other hand, if someone CHOOSES to specialize and focus
exclusively on a particular style, tool or technique, however retro or
futurist it may be, that's up to them and we have no business telling them
they're wrong. It's just nice to know that options are available.

Oh, yeah; another example of computerless electronic music from about 70
years ago! Remember Lev Termen? (alias LEON THEREMIN to the
English-speaking world) Now THERE was an innovator!


>Well, I always thought of the machines that Tangerine Dream used as
>computers. There were a lot of synched-up arpeggiators and stuff. It
>was before the phenomenon of "click and drag" composing, but I think
>that they were using the computers available at the time.

> Another example of electronic music without computers is the
>early tape collage-ists, or composers of "musique concrete" like