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About Insomniak

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  1. this might sound like crap, so keep an open mind.

    Someday, musicians will make music, and will not be paid for it. And they will be fine with that.

    Likewise, no person shall ever have to pay for music.

    Recorded music is a joke. The biggest joke of the last 100 years. For thousands of years, music only existed in the minds of the musicians, and was only recorded on the medium of paper. Only for so long could it be confined and sold. Like slaves. Music is not a commodity. Only now, in the modern age, do we have technology to get away with the mass emancipation of music. We have CD burners and rippers which have taken bootlegging to new heights.

    Any person who makes music purely for profit has another thing coming. Being so dependent on generating sounds with an instrument for income is ridiculous. Bands who record studio albums and expect to make profit within the next 50 years will be down and out on the streets. The profitable days of the Recorded Music industry are over.

    There are two solutions: musical emancipation, or tighter restrictions, and unfortunatly, I think that the RIAA and other such sinister groups are moving towards restriction in a last-ditch effort to cling to their money.

    In the second scenario, as we are witnessing right now, albums are being fitted with binding restraints such as copy protection (which isn't very effective right now). Although it's too early to forsee, I predict that soon there will be more drastic methods of groups trying to prevent their music from being free.

    However, in my theory of Musical Emancipation, nobody would buy or sell albums. Music would get around through alternitive methods, such as:

    -live performances*
    -sheet music
    -verbal communication

    * I cannot stress this enough. This will be the only remaining form of income for the music industry. In theory, people will pay to see a live show, at whatever price the band or venue choses to have it at. if the music is bad, then people won't go see it in the first place, which will make artists try harder to draw in fans through new, creative processes.

    So do you understand what i'm trying to say? I may sound like a broken record (pun not intended), but this is my veiw on the future of music.

    Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. I've been stewing over it for a couple of days now.

    1. Show previous comments  67 more
    2. Danarchy


      I think Julian has said all that needs to be said. :)

    3. AndrewB


      Julian said:

      So what's the deal? Well, most professional studios use a very complex mix of analogic and digital. Truth is digital is generally only used for recording and is far from being your average soundcard-like system. Even electronic artists are seeking for the sound of analog synths and there is a reason behind this. Fact is digital equipment is getting less and less expensive, but that's not the case for analog one. It's the other way round (ever tried to buy a phono recently?).

      That's probably all correct.

      In the end, what happens? High-dynamic digital hardware costs thousands of dollars. It's still not good enough and you have to equip yourself with analogic hardware which costs even more.

      Nope, sorry, that's where you're wrong. You don't have to equip yourself with that at all. If you're going for some sort of 100% perfect recording (and what does that mean, anyway?), then recording studios are generally the way one goes. But if you're going for 98-99% quality, then it's not necessary at all. I understand the concept of data loss with digital mixing, but the vast majority of people really don't care about that tiny hard-to-distinguish bit of hiss or noise.

      That's funny how you focus on hobbyists. You complained earlier that most independant artists weren't talented. I say you're right for most of them and I also say they have such a bad sounding that I wouldn't dare to feed my stereo with their work. But why do we see so much of them? In fact, they have the same reasonning as you, and a lot of unawared people, have. They think their multi-track 24bits/192Khz soundcard and the bunch of samples they ripped from 16bits/44Khz CDs will do. Well, it doesn't. And any serious musician wouldn't be happy with such a setting.

      I don't agree at all. "Any serious musician" wouldn't be happy with anything less than perfection? I think that's just obviously wrong. In the 128kbps MP3-sharing world that we live in, the vast majority of people are never going to care or even notice that a particular song wasn't mixed with analog equipment.

      I think you'd better stop taking the hype for granted.

      You mean about digital equipment? Yes, a lot of it (such as the SBLive) sucks. I know first-hand. But that doesn't mean that great music can't be made with it. It's the musical content that matters, not the micro-audio noise bits or lack thereof. Would you freak out and go into phobic shock if you listened to an LP and heard its hisses and pops? I don't think so.

      Making high-quality sounding music costs a lot of money and a lot of time. It is far more expensive than what it used to be. On the other hand, cheap products exist that only produce cheap sound. If this is the kind of things you want to hear, fine by me, I have higher standards though.

      Again, you cannot define "high-quality" in few words. Quality of music and quality of audio are completely different things. The vast, vast vast majority of people are not going it boycott music just because it's recorded on digital home-based equipment, nor would they likely ever notice (assuming that the musician knows what they're doing).

      Again, you're right. There is and probably will be a demand for professional recording studios. But they are becoming less and less necessary overall. It's definitely not true that a person has to use one for any reason.

    4. Julian


      Well, Andrew, you cannot disconnect composition quality from sounding. When you deal with dynamic, you deal with an expression range. Now I'm sure the language barrier will stab me around a bit, but I'll try to make myself clear without using french ;)

      Take a simple example: an artist may want to whisper lyrics in a specific part of a song. This can be very good and effective to prepare for a much louder part. It can also bring further meaning to the text. If you listen to amateurishly recorded music, you'll notice that this does nearly never occur because of technical constaints (i.e. hiss getting too important relatively to the source level). There are ways to dodge the issue: sing louder, numerical filters, adding intentional hiss and pretend it to be an effect (I did that myself several times). Fact is all of them kill the very idea, changing the sounding of the voice or removing the quietness of the part.

      One may argue this is exactly the same as trying to play a piano part on a guitar. Musicians should deal with the fact their hardware just cannot capture what they're trying to do. That's a bit biased. I never pictured a recording device as a musical instrument. It's just supposed to be a mean to fix a performance (even if done track by track or programmed) onto a support. As such, a serious musician is seaking for the best sound possible - at least at the very end of the chain. To me, "best sound" is just what is enough to capture what the composer intended to do (and that's supposing he's already good enough to perform it). It has an indirect but, yet, intrinsec artistic value. I'm not asking for much but what I'm asking for is still outrageously expensive.

      I agree with you about listeners not being aware of half what we're discussing here. MP3s are a real mess and OGGs are just the least bad option. But what are you expecting from artists? I mean, would you respect an artist that's not doing his best at bringing the closest thing from what he had in mind to you? That is, of course, up to each individual to answer this question. And, you're also right, most people don't care. As far as I know, however, it has always been like this for any artform. That's most definitly what draws artists apart from the rest of the world. Is that a reason not to let them do it? Again, each individual can make his own opinion. I still believe in diversity and I think artists are needed. But that's another story.

      On a side note, I'd like to thank you for your latest posts. You made on-topic and very valid points that helped driving this discussion a little further (well, at least I hope you didn't mind my "expression range" disgression... thought it was needed).