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Re: Fear of "canned" loops

I agree that there isn't any shame in putting in a sample every now and 
then and even less if you are the one who made the sample in the first 
place.  The public knows about the technology and I don't think they 
care at all.  However, I do think that what Culture Club did is pretty 
reprehensible only because they obviously set out to fool the audience. 
  When I do one of my DJ/Live production sets (not that I actually have 
in public yet...) no one would wonder if my drummer was playing or it 
was a drum machine or a sampler.  There's no drummer there.  No one 
would question as to whether or not Bruce Campbell is speaking some of 
his lines from Evil Dead, because that would be silly.  I'm not even 
wearing an instrument at all, so right off the bat I'm not advertising 
an instrumental music show.  The Culture Club obviously was.

So one might say, "A difference which makes no difference is no 
difference." but I think it further erodes the role of live 
music/musician in our culture.  I heard a story where a bass player was 
asked to sit in for a Cher concert on keyboards.  He wasn't really a 
keyboard player but they  had no other choice so he did it when he 
found that the show was prerecorded.  Cher and Culture Club have 
probably never been about the music anyway, but this kind of attitude 
is what keeps real musicians out of jobs.  If this happens enough why 
bother to ever hire musicians?  Why not just show a video?

Anyway, it's probably pointless to discuss, as it is what has 
happened/is happening to our culture and the only thing we can do is 
hope to bring something to a performance that Culture Club karaoke 
doesn't.  Since I started playing guitar in 1978 I've seen huge changes 
in how small clubs regard bands.  Welcome to the age of the DJ.  Since 
what I play fits the IDM/Rave culture that ends up where many of my 
shows happen  After years of seeing DJs getting exactly the same 
response that I was getting, I realized it was pointless to fight.  
Mostly because of the initial reaction to me before I even played.  I'd 
see the promoter kind of cringe when they saw me coming in with racks 
of gear and a 20 min setup time.  They're used to a DJ coming in with a 
crate of vinyl or CDs and just going for it.  I'm not crying about 
this, I'm just pointing out my observations.  I hear a lot of us 
complain that we can't make a decent living doing music and these are 
all factors that make our reality.

Mark Sottilaro

On Friday, August 29, 2003, at 11:54 PM, Will Brake wrote:

> Many of the 'live' acts I've worked with this summer used DAT or
> sequenced bits to enhance their performance and, properly done, works 
> quite well. Doc Powell flew in from LA with his guitar and a Zip 
> drive, used the backline provided and hired local hotshots to read 
> charts. Keiko Matsui relied on her drummer to trigger a DAT as well. 
> Chris Botti's keyboardist used an old Akai sampler and zip drive for 
> some backing tracks and Alexander Zonjic's drummer, Danny Cox uses 
> Ddrum triggers and an MPC for sample triggering.
> In every case, there was a full band on stage, playing all of their
> parts, so they were not relying on the 'samples' to provide the show. 
> We had a few discussions at Tuesday coffee about all this. Everyone 
> seems to agree that it is all about the music and leaving the audience 
> satisfied rather than feeling guilty about using a few backing bits.
> On the other hand, one local client that recently opened for Culture
> Club, said their whole show was canned! The musicians played, but there
> was only stage volume and their 'performance' did not reach the house.
> With the exception of the vocals, they relied entirely on the DAT for
> their show. This is certainly what we are trying to avoid, but I don't 
> a
> single person in the audience knew.
> Ultimately, pleasing the people that sign the check is the underlying
> factor. Spelled out, this is the club owner, promoter or the ticket
> holding audience. If they leave at the end of the show feeling they 
> 'got
> what they paid for', they just might have favorable comments about the
> artist. This word of mouth advertising might help to fill the next
> club/festival you play!
> We can climb the mountain and shout for artistic integrity or purism 
> and
> that's ok too. If you sleep good at night, pleased the audience and got
> paid, it really doesn't matter how you got there. Just remember to 
> avoid
> felling that you've arrived! ;)
> Respect
> Will Brake
> Soul Fruit Electronics
> -----Original Message-----
> From: msottilaro [mailto:sine@zerocrossing.net]
> Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 5:15 PM
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: Re: Fear of "canned" loops
> On Friday, August 29, 2003, at 01:49  PM, ArsOcarina@aol.com wrote:
>> Anyone else have thoughts, opinions and/or experiences to share?
>> Or does everyone here associate anything "canned" with Milli Vanilli
>> and/or Karaoke? I guess some types of audiences would even consider
>> looping as "cheating" in some way. I guess the line between "live" and
>> "canned" loops has become blurry over the years and has largely
>> ceased to matter to me at all.
> This is exactly the type of show that I've been formulating.  So far
> it's working out really well.  Yesterday I received my M-audio USB
> audio interface and I was happily surprised to find a version of Live
> included!  It's a truncated version of 1.5, but as far as I can tell it
> will act *exactly* like I intend it to.
> One of the biggest reasons for me to do this was a size/setup time
> issue, but I'm also finding that this type of "Live Production" is
> really fun and allows me to make music that I couldn't make using my
> old setup.  Frankly, the whole idea of "live looping" is great... to
> us.  However, to the audience they could care less.  All they want is a
> good show and interesting music.  They could care less about how you
> get there.
> I'm still in the beginning phases of this Looper/DJ setup, but the
> first steps show a lot of promise.  While the Repeater was the tool I
> used to make the loops, it's not what's playing the loops back.  Live
> synced to the E-MU Command Station is taking care of that.  I can play
> all I want using the Command Stations Pads or a small midi keyboard so
> I don't feel like I'm not getting a chance to add harmonic content to
> the music.  A Numark Axis 9 CD player let's me scratch and mutilate
> samples to my hearts content.  Over all I have not felt like I missed
> my old setup at all and I can now easily compete with DJs in terms of
> setup times and production value.  I can't wait to hear your new CD
> Ted!  I still love the old one!
> Mark Sottilaro