Finding time to write songs

Posted in Creativity, Inspiration, Songwriting on Juni 6th, 2012 by EO-Manager

When you are not a professional musician, time for music always seems to be very limited. There’s your job  that you spend 9 to 10 hours on, your family demands time of course, there is always work to do in the house or the garden, your friends want to see you, there’s your  sports or social club, celebrations, holidays, birthdays … I could go on forever. If you think about it you might wonder when and where is the time to make music, to sit down in silence, write, play, produce? Read more »

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MIDI, Samples, or Live Sounds – Part III

Posted in Production, Recording on Juni 13th, 2011 by EO-Manager

After discussing MIDI and Samples we are going to enter part three: playing recording sessions „live“. Some say that it is the royal league of recording others argue it is a waste of time because it is not efficient and leads to endless recording sessions without any advancement. Well, if we are going back a littel into the history of recording – let’s say 70 or 80 years – this was the ONLY way to record. Even when you had Big Bands or Orchestras playing – the shellac time only had one possibility: either you got it right or you got it wrong. There was no way to record the singer five times in a row and take the best parts and cut them to a perfect one. Musicians had to be really good and concentrated because each mistake could not be redone – the simply was no multitracking in these days.

However, today there IS multitracking and it is possible for everyone so we can make mistakes as many and as long as we like. Back to the point: is it any better to record playing „live“? And if so, why? First of all, we have to define the word „live“ here, as it has multiple meanings. It can be  that you actually record musicians or bands „live“, meaning everybody plays  the same piece of music synchronously. The alternative is that everybody plays „live“ but NOT at the same time, in other words asynchronous. This is usually the case when you enter a studio with a band and do a demo, a record or whatever you want to present afterwards. This is also the case (forced of course) if you are the only musician of your „band“ and you have to have to play all instruments needed one after the other.

Whether you play „live“ or any hybrid model these days ist simply depending on two factors as far as I am concerned: the musical genre and style and the musicians personal abilities. If you are not a multi- instrumentalist it is very hard to play trombone or drums or any other instrument – simply because you can’t. Even if you are multi-instrumental it is not easy because you might not have all the different instruments at hand or they might be very difficult to record because you need too many microphones or external gear that you don’t own. In our days synths and samplers have become so darn good you can emulate anything and everything – or you simply take a construction kit cd and use the ready made sax solo, for example.

The reason why people don’t do all the time is quite obvious: no matter how good the emulation is, the most important part of music will still be missing – the human factor. Mathematically speaking there is literally an infinite number of possibilities how to play an instrument, let alone all the paramerters you would have to take care of even if it were possible to emaulate all of them. And if you take another musician and have a duo, the infinite possibilities even double. You surely get my point: music is an act of instant creativity, talent, decision and ability and probably another million of important factors that any (and I mean ANY) emulation sounds dead in comparison. Take a choir for example. You will never ever get even close to the real thing (that usually blows you away when you listen to it) on and in ready made vocal cds or synth presets. They might sound similar – but unfortunately stale and therefore boring very soon. And – apart from synth sounds, where the artificial sound IS the original – you will always hear it, feel it and will like the „real thing“ more. It is probably because music is not a machine thing (apart from a few genres maybe), it is truly human and warm and emotional and it only stays that way if performed by humans. We even forgive mistakes (if they don’t take over) because the beauty of music is beyond cold perfection …

I bet you knew it yourself, even if (as we all do) you live the musician’s compromise and use some sort of preset, sample or MIDI sequence in almost any peice of music (unless you don’t record and play unplugged flute or acoustic all the time). And there is nothing wrong with it, either. The vision is to be able to substitute all the presets and samples with REAL musicians once you are a superstar. Good luck and don’t forget to comment. End of this trilogy.

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