Here Today....

Saturday, December 16, 2006


...instruments of tomorrow.

18 comments:

Buddy Larsen said...

we don't get it, and we're pissed off!

Skookumchuk said...

Me want.

Buddy Larsen said...

why you want? no can eat. no can makee whoopy wif.

Skookumchuk said...

But have evolved beyond eat and make whoopie - at least part of time. Maybe two, three hours a day. No can count higher.

Buddy Larsen said...

ugh. too bad you lost um two yer fingers. ouch.

Skookumchuk said...

No, no. Beyond three is just "many" fingers. Make tough to say how much beer I drink, for example. Could be "many" beers or "MANY" beers. Also apply to eat and make whoopie.

Me still want electronic noise gadget, though.

Skookumchuk said...

And maybe gadget taste good, who knows?

Buddy Larsen said...

roughage always good.

you hear about constipated mathematician? Him work it out with pencil.

Skookumchuk said...

Hah! Funny. Back when take analysis courses, me eat whole forest, plus graphite mine. Rubber plantation also.

Is good people on blog not insist on elevated tenor of conversation. Otherwise you, me just stay quiet in corner.

Buddy Larsen said...

oh, heap good thing, you right. but, what is "corner" you sit in? we just use um old-fashion concavities in sides of cave.

Skookumchuk said...

Wife tell me sit in "corner." Not know exact meaning myself.

Skookumchuk said...

However, not now in corner. Put MANY lights on Christmas tree. No count above three, but know electric meter spin like crazy. Eggnog later. Maybe mix Crown Royal.

Buddy Larsen said...

Ah, Crown Royal--make you feel like a King!

Syl said...

Sigh..I bet tt had sound. I got the idea though :)

I think one of the worst 'inventions' EVER was MIDI. Standards were set in concrete too soon. MIDI had nowhere to go so WAV files took over for instruments sounds and they were very very limiting because an instrument makes more types of sounds than one little wav sound can give you.

Computer music basically died in infancy.

I applaud anything, anything at all, that could revive it.

Skookumchuk said...

I agree, Syl. It appears very clever, and I also hope it works and that electronic music someday can take off. But the essential problem for me is this - I already knew what it would sound like before the video even started. This is very difficult for me to articulate, since I'm a music lover who is also musically illiterate, but it is a limitation. There is still a sameness, a mechanical quality, a limitation in expressiveness. No Itzhak Perlman will be using this. Maybe someday.

Syl said...

skook

There is still a sameness, a mechanical quality, a limitation in expressiveness. No Itzhak Perlman will be using this.

The mechanical quality comes about because of another stupid invention--the metronome. And MIDI pretty much sealed the deal there too. A steady beat is required, but part of the expressiveness is in stretching a little here, compressing a little there.

As for expressiveness, MIDI killed that too. The envelope for the sound cannot really be manipulated and that's where you can get swelling and fading and changing of the tonal quality.

So even if you play a keyboard live which is recorded in MIDI, and you stretch and compress your timing, the sound quality over the duration of the notes doesn't change a bit and THAT contributes to the mechanical feel.

A fullness/richness is missing too because that requires combinations of different waveforms playing simultaneously AND changing over the duration of the note.

Take care of these and you can have real music.

dammit, the C64 had these capabilities, though of course it was limited to 6 lousy bits. And yet with our more powerful machines, memory, processing power, the sound has not improved one iota!

Skookumchuk said...

Syl:

And yet with our more powerful machines, memory, processing power, the sound has not improved one iota!

You are right. Very good info and obvious as to why when you think about it. But it is almost unbelievable that if it was done to a degree in the C64 days as you say, it isn't being done someplace today.

Syl said...

But it is almost unbelievable that if it was done to a degree in the C64 days as you say, it isn't being done someplace today.

No, it's not unvelievable. It happened because computer/sound card makers said that customers are consumers of music, not creators.

So even the Amiga forego the synth on a chip technology and switched to playing audio files of instruments to make sounds.

:(

There was talk of Intel putting a synthesizer on its chip--but it never happened. Who would use it?

You need the combination of hardware AND software to utilize the hardware--to control the waveforms and envelope etc--but without the synth chip being available to everyone out of the box, there was little to no interest in writing programs to utilize hardware that was hard to find, expensive, and/or non-existent.

Lots of people jumped on the midi bandwagon though and sound cards specialized in including wavetables instead of a controllable true synthesizer.

And that, too, pretty much failed in the long run since the sound you got from a midi file was TOTALLY dependent on the specific wave file included in your sound card.

No consistency. Most artists scoffed at that. Why even continue with midi if you couldn't be assured what you wrote would be heard as you wanted it to be heard.

So mpegs took over.

Even midi has/is died/dying.