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A Stretch

SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
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Sounds reel gud, @SparkyCal! Glad to hear you finally got it all together!
On a side note... are you aware of any FX box (stomp or otherwise) that will make an electric guitar sound like an acoustic banjo?
I've never heard of that combination, but there are some guitar synths that can make a guitar sound like almost any instrument. I don't think this is the best option https://www.soundonsound.com/news/guitar-monosynths-and-banjos-electro-harmonix. , but if you Google Guitar sythn - guitar to banjo, you will likely find a solution. It may be software or hardware.
 

Audioguru

Sep 24, 2016
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The bridge on a banjo is mounted on the skin on front which is like a drum-head and sounds different to the wood bridge of a guitar.
 

SparkyCal

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With today's technology, differences in instruments can mean very little. A good example is Garage Band. GB is a program that comes standard with the purchase of an Imac, ipad, Iphone (or can be dowloaded for free if it is not already installed).

GB has hundreds of virtual sounds and instruments. Take the stand up bass for example. If you load up that plug in within GB, and play the sounds on a midi keyboard, it sounds identical to a stand up bass. They have even modelled the sound of the fingers moving along the neck. And that is just in an entry level program GB- although an excellent entry level program.

There are new rubber keyboards now that actually let you be even more expressive when playing modelled instruments. These instruments are ordinarily recorded in professional high quality studios using high quality bit rates etc. These files are triggered by the midi keyboard. A rubber keyboard provides even incremental movement from one note to another.

All that to say, with the right plug in or program, characteristics of an instrument can be minimized or negated altogether. I have mixed feelings about thius. Although I love technology, I still think real instruments are best and knowing how to play them for real, is best. The tech, although alluring, falls into my pet peeve around the democratization of "music"
 
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SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
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I am sharing this post that I previously made on a music board. It explains my opinion about music:

This may sound like pessimistic response, but there is not much of a music industry. Once music became compressible on mp3 and shareable, it sucked the life out of the industry.

People still download music off the net without paying, and if they are using a paid streaming service, the songwriters are getting next to nothing. It's criminal. Shows like The Voice, and Idol, in my view, simply manufacture "artists" . That's why many of them are short lived. Do you think Bob Dylan would ever have succeeded on Idol?

Making matters worse (and perhaps better in some cases), is that music making has been democraticized. In the old days, you had to play an instrument to write a song (or, be musically gifted and write melodies using only your voice). Usually songs came from somewhere- a wounded soul, a heart break or another experience. Now, there are zillions of software products that enable you to generate pre - recorded or generated chords, move them around at will, add a loop or two, and you've created a?????...well, I guess, a song. More like manufacture a song. It generally requires no musical sense or ability, although many people have musical sense who use these products. But it does not require musical sense.

Thus, you have anyone who can operate software stringing together pieces that one would never do with guitar in hand. Some call that innovation, others call it musical junk.

The evidence of mindless songwriting is all over the radio today. Loops and vocals is sometimes all that is required to release a "hit" song. Sad.
 

SparkyCal

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I think we may have hijacked this thread ;-(. I j-=hope we didn't break any rules by veering off. I'm fine with it but I hope the moderators don't see it as a violation.
 

Audioguru

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Also, there are too many "singers" today who cannot sing worth a damn. They read the lyrics while auto-tune does the singing for them.
 

hevans1944

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Jun 21, 2012
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I think we may have hijacked this thread ....
Happens quite frequently, especially if several EP members get a really interesting dialog going. The moderators have been pretty lenient about letting such threads continue, even if the "conversation" deviates considerably from the "original" topic. However, name calling, abusive language, and similar unmannerly behavior will get a thread closed sooner rather than later. And if a particular poster continues activity unbecoming... well, that can lead to outright banning. The owners of this website record the IP address of everyone who visits here, so changing your user name after being banned will not help you remain anonymous. There are other "clues" that I won't mention which can also be used to identify abusers and trolls that moderators can and will use to enforce banishment. IIRC, it has been several years since anyone has been banned, so everyone still here now plays nice. The title of this thread, "A Stretch" would seem to cover a lot of territory.:D
 

SparkyCal

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Contrary to popular belief, auto tune cannot make someone who cannot sing, sing. Used appropriately, it can alter notes that veer off key, usually at the tale end. Even so, it is always better to do a retake if the vocalist is available. Sometimes auto tune should be used if you have a near perfect take with the exception of a note or two that needs correction, but unfeasible to bring the singer back in the studio. With Cher being the first to use auto tune as an effect rather than a correction tool, it opened the door to mis use and that is why you hear auto tune soaked vocals that sound like garbage. How do I know all this? I’m a professional Producer and songwriter.
 

Audioguru

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Believe by Cher used obvious Auto-tune and so does rap by Drake.
Many unmusical people do not know what is "being in tune".
 

SparkyCal

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There are exceptions, but many Producers won't work with singers that can't sing in pitch. The exceptions being if you are marketing a person's star power looks and you have to tolerate that they cannot sing very well. The characteristics of a great singers are as follows:

1. Wind control (being able to control your output- this can be learned)
2. Singing on pitch. This too can be learned but it involves rewiring your brain through singing/learning mental excersizes. I never used to be able to sing well, but now am the lead singer in my band. It took me over a year but I rewired my brain to sing on pitch. It's hard work, but once you do it, it becomes near impossible to sing off pitch because your brain is wired to cling to pitch.
3. Expressiveness- connecting with the lyric and delivering it with feeling.
4. Tone- this can be changed but only to a degree. it is mainly the product of the physical layout of your face, teeth , vocal chords, throat etc.

Assuming professional singers have #s 1, 2 and 3, it is #4 that makes them memorable. No-one sounds like Don Henley, no-one sounds like Robert Plant, No-one sounds like Sinatra or Janis Joplin- although many try. When your God given tone is unique, it is what makes a good singer, great. There are tons of singers that have good tone, but their tone sounds like the tone of thousands of other singers,- making them fade in a wash.
 

hevans1944

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All good and valid points @SparkyCal. Which is why it behooves us to move full speed ahead with digitizing every aspect of music, cramming every last bit of it into some gigantus super-duper artificial intelligence driven computer that can faithfully create the sounds that Sinatra, Joplin, Elvis, and anyone else you have ever heard of... maybe even Tiny Tim walking through the tulips. I am personally looking forward to the day that John Wayne shows up again, on-screen, standing on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, saying "Okay, Pilgrim. Engage!"

I do miss those who have passed... Janis, Elvis, Frank and so many others. Some of the great opera singers were imperfectly recorded on wax cylinders with Thoma Edison's invention, and today we have recordings of much greater fidelity, but hardly any real singers left who are worth recording. I want to see that change sooner rather than later. Electronics is the only certain path where that can happen, but we ain't there yet.

I think your point #3 will be the most difficult to achieve electronically. Points #1, 2, and 4 are just physics.
 

SparkyCal

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Music listeners are starting to detect that something is not right. It will be a long time until they say enough is enough
 

hevans1944

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It will be a long time until they say enough is enough
That may never happen.

The Japanese are already far ahead of everyone else in making robots or simulacrums that act like humans. It's not too much of a stretch to think that someone, somewhere, will model the human vocal tract, lungs and chest, mouth, tongue, nasal cavities and then use slightly compressed air passing by artificial vocal cords to produce something that begins to sound like human speech, and perhaps even song.

Of course such models have already existed for quite some time now, in computer form, and a realistic voice could probably now be produced with just an adequate loudspeaker, with some electronics in between the computer and the loudspeaker. Okay, maybe a LOT of electronics and a :LOT of computer, but still possible. If you have ever listened to text-to-speech examples on YouTube videos, you are not impressed. The state-of-the-art is still pretty crude for amateurs, but there are people out there with deeper pockets full of cash who really want to see this happen. Imagine Hollywood becoming a Mecca for electronic artists creating productions starring long dead actors and singers. There might be some negotiations with their estates on rights to use representations of the dead, but that's what lawyers are for. There is a huge amount of money to be made here, just as soon as the technology advances far enough to make it worthwhile.
 
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