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Re: Lots of fun.

> Hard Drive based recording, complex editing, virtual instruments and the
> like gives unprecedented power to musicians.  However, it also gives

In the home studio, yes.  But for live playing, I'm not sure if the 
problem of
OS-induced latency (ESPECIALLY on laptops) has been conquered yet.  I would
_love_ to get one of those relatively inexpensive 450+MHz laptops, install 
software synth on it, and use it instead of a commercial synth/sampler 
in all likelihood would be far less flexible and in some cases more 
with a MIDI guitar/keyboard controller.  This new Digigram VXPocket card 
laptops sounds promising but I have not been able to find "field reports" 
from performing musicians, plus it's expensive.

> unprecedented power to crappy musicians to put together some pretty
> impressive stuff.  I know this for a fact, because what i can create on 

There's a lot of music out there already.  The days of ordering mail order
catalogs and searching for unique record shops as the primary methods of
finding good new music (any genre, not just "new" as in avant-garde though
avant is a healthy part of my listening diet) have been long gone for me.
That was when noncommercial music was much harder to find.  Now it's so 
to find that there's too much of it. :) I rely on the Internet and 
such as yourself and others on various mailing lists to refer me to 
works of music - basically assist me in the filtering process. :)

> Do you feel that if this trend continues that there may be some sort of
> rebellion or 'backlash' to it?  That we may place a much greater value on
> music that is actually 'played' for us, as it will allow us firsthand to
> know if the person, or ensemble, actually has any musical merit?

The general public has been conditioned by commercial interests to accept
certain performers (e.g. N Sync, Ms. Spears, etc.) and their works as 
product".  The public now places greater value on the stage presentation
(choreography, costumes, etc.) of the featured performers than the 
themselves.    Stage presentation could be anything from the space warrior
outfits of the Backstreet Boys to the trendily-dressed (Fubu(tm)) rappers
preaching the gospel of hedonism. Naturally there are those who place much
less value on stage presentation and more on other things but those folks 
in the minority.

That's why I don't think there will be a backlash.  Most people are not 
into music itself - they are more into memories associated with the music
(Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, Diana Ross, etc.) or the product associated 
the music (the aforementioned Brittney, etc.).  They won't even notice the
hidden millions making music (good, bad, and ugly) with their computers in
their home studios.