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It keeps on comin'!

On Mon, 4 Aug 1997 pycraft@elec.gla.ac.uk wrote:

> >But again, the "sensibilities" that are at work with a guitarist are an
> >intangible, organic, built-in thing, and they're there from the crack of
> >the cosmic DNA.  
> Woah, I think there may be a touch of overemphasis on that point. 
> I _do_ understand where you're coming from, in that I find
> synths etc sort of "isolating" instruments where I don't have enough
> control over the sound, like I do with guitar.  
> But that has nothing to do
> with the quality of music produced.

I agree -- I'm not saying that guitar-based music is fundamentally better 
than computer-based music.  Here's (yet another!) different perspective 
on it: If you want to tweak a sample, you have to put it through a series 
of external apparati and processes which are part of a seperate and 
ditinct entity from who and what you are.  If you've playing a guitar, 
then this process happens automatically -- it's "hard wired" into your 
system.  (Too bad it's harder to get a good upgrade!)

> Andre, you mentioned in another post that you would be playing in coming
> gigs with a guitar synth.  If this is anything post '88 or so, you are
> fundamentally _playing_with_samples_.  

It's a Roland GR-50 which I believe came out around 1988, using LA
synthesis which was supposed to take the best aspects of digital and
sample-playback synthesis, and by most accounts (in that particular unit
at least) wound up getting all the worst aspects instead... 

> OK the samples are short sections of
> sampled intrument waves, but samples nonetheless.  Now we get to a second
> question - how long does a sample need to be before it ceases to be the
> DJ's own creation?  :)

The way I see it is this: If you've got individual samples of drum 
sounds, waveforms in a sample-playback synth, etc, there's no inherent 
musical phrase there, unless you're triggering a factory loop.  It's not 
as if there's a segment of somebody else's performance loaded into the 
thing, which will fly forth at the push of a button.  It's still up to me 
(or whoever) to actually create the music.

And in the mea culpa department, there *are* some factory-loaded loops in
the GR-50 memory, which I'll probably be using in my solo gigs.  How do I
justify this in light of the last 5,000 posts I've made?  A combination of
reasons, mostly having to do with sheer terror at an impending solo
residency without my main looping axe.  But in my own defense, I'd also
have to say that these loops aren't available in the factory presets; they
have to be user-tweaked, and I've spent some time doing some serious
tampering with them to get them to the point where they are right now. 

Which is exactly what all the pro-DJ arguments have been advocating all
along, I know.  Is this an atom bomb-sized hole in my whole argument?  
Could be.  All I know is that my conscience gets a bit tweeked when I 
trigger one of those loops.  Guess I'll have to wait and see what happens 
at the gigs...