Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Yatmandu » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:58 pm

otto wrote:I’m not sure I buy the comment that EDM is more responsible for interest in synths than “all other music genres combined”. I might be persuaded that it is more responsible than any other singular genre (and I still think that might be a stretch) but I think you might have an over-inflated idea of how big EDM is. If you ask the average, random person who Aphex Twin is you will probably get a blank stare. Wheras if you ask them if they are aware of Depeche Mode or NIN, most everyone has at least heard of these bands. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one of these bands individually sales more of a single album than all the sales on the biggest EDM label combined.

Let’s not forget there was a big boost of indie-ish bands in the early 2000’s that were doing the retro 80’s thing with synths such as The Killers, yeah yeah yeahs, Bravery, etc. Synths are still really big in indie music although trends have generally moved away from such obvious 80’s re-treads. There are still a lot of fairly large indie groups that primarily focus on synths, Bat for Lashes and MIA immediately come to mind. There are also a lot of bands that kinda tread the line such as Air, Ladytron, Fujiya & Miyagi who I feel exist more in the realm of dance music inspired indie-pop than pure EDM.

Also you have a rich history of music. I mean the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd used synths. There is a rich use of synths in psychedelic music, particularly Krautrock. Kraftwerk is such an inspiration to many, including EDM. Early to current hip-hop/rap. Synth-pop was huge and has made a big comeback with both imitators and original acts releasing new stuff. Industrial was really big for a while in the 90’s and seems to always have some following. Post-punk like Gary Numan and Joy Division have a big following. Prog rock seems to have a fairly large following among older synth-rockers. I’ve noticed a lot of metal and scream bands have incorporated synths. They are everywhere.
I never suggested that EDM was the originator (obviously), or the sole motivator for *today's* synthesizer craze. But I still maintain it's the main driver. How many NIN or Depeche Mode fans are actually running out and getting analog synths to mimick their idols? Compare that to the countless producers on beatport trying to be the next Aphex or Hawtin. It's night and day in my book. Don't worry, I know my synth history pretty damn well, but nobody's going to sway my opinion/my guess (I don't really know after all), that EDM/techno is the main driving force of all things synth.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by otto » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:49 pm

Until you mentioned it, I didn’t even know what beatport was, which says something. You could look on myspace and find a countless number of bands that aren’t EDM that utilize synths. Also, how many of these aspiring EDM artists on beatport actually use hardware synths? When you visit software forums such as KVR I see a larger concentration of aspiring EDM musicians than on hardware based forums such as VSE, Analogue Heaven, gearslutz, etc. which are more widely dispersed in musical interests. Sure TB-303 emulations and such are probably aimed at EDM types but then again I’ve owned an x0xb0x, an FR-Revolution and a bass station at different times and never had a particular interest in making acid or similar music.

The “nobody’s going to sway my opinion” is a poor argument and shows lack of objective judgment on the subject. I’d have no problem admitting I was wrong if proven or convinced so. So far you’re not convincing me. Not because I want to be right, just because your argument isn’t convincing.
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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by nvbrkr » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:55 pm

Yatmandu wrote:How many NIN or Depeche Mode fans are actually running out and getting analog synths to mimick their idols?
Probably quite many.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by tim gueguen » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:40 pm

All you have to do is look at threads on here and Harmony Central's KSS forum. There are regular entries from people who want to buy a first synth so they can emulate Depeche Mode and other relatively well known acts, or who are into metal genres that commonly have keyboard players. You see people who want to buy analog gear to get sounds that actually didn't come from analog gear and who would be better served with a workstation or ROMpler like a Korg X50 because they want realistic sounds, but being newbies they have no idea that one instrument that has keys isn't interchangeable with another instrument that has keys.
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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by mute » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:23 am

nvbrkr wrote:
Yatmandu wrote:How many NIN or Depeche Mode fans are actually running out and getting analog synths to mimick their idols?
Probably quite many.
That was a stupid question... seriously. DM and NIN, really? Those were your examples? .. questioning their influence (specially the former) on modern electronic music is like questioning Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd's influence on rock, which imo makes you look like a fool on the subject. While AFX and Hawtin have a nice niche carved out for them and are quite influential, if you think they're on the scale of DM.. that's just absurd. h**l, Google enough for interviews and you'll find out DM were an influence on Hawtin, as were Nitzer Ebb (many of whom claim NIN ripped off from day one..ironically speaking).

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:31 am

All I can say is that electronic dance music predates all of the massive genrefication which occurred relatively recently, and especially the relatively isolated and unknown (in regard to the U.S., anyway... let's remember, folks... we didn't have the internet back then, and raves hadn't taken off in most US cities, either. The only place you heard dance music was a club, and clubs were still playing 12 inch singles of non-techno electronic dance music in many places as late as 1990) movement that happened in Detroit.
When we danced to electronic dance music in the 80s, it was influenced by the big-name artists who were making electronic-based pop songs, and the artists or remix artists who took those songs and made extended dance versions of them. But those songs largely started out as just pop songs... as you can tell from listening to any of the artists whose music was being made into dance remixes in those years.
Not only that, but for the love of GOD, you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing an all-synth song. Look at all of the popular music from about 1983-1990. It was all at least synth-saturated, if not 100% synth. Guitars were even only acceptable if they were played direct and through gallons of disgusting effects... rendering them synth-like. It was 100% standard pop delivered via our old friend the synth. Lots and lots... and lots... and lotsandlots of kids in the 80s were buying synths because it was simply the reigning instrument of the 80s... having never set foot in a club.
Despite being an electronic dance musician from about 1985-1999 or so, I didn't hear the term "techno" until about 1992. Some of the genres lauded as being so definitive in the 80s, I didn't hear of until the late nineties. People need to realize that a lot of these genre descriptors are ex post facto, and the internet-based portrayal of where and when they happened, as well as their impact, is misleading.
In addition to that, electronic instrument users (of any genre) up until about 1995 (and many after, even up to today) only wanted the newest, most powerful, most controllable, most stable, most etc. synth. NO ONE wanted beat-up, unstable, limited analog up until the mid nineties, with the exception of maybe Roger Manning. :wink:

[Disclaimer: I know a number of these things don't apply to the UK and Europe. Things were different there, and I can't comment on what was happening. I know Techno got a much earlier start there, and etc. ]
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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:24 am

mute wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:
Yatmandu wrote:How many NIN or Depeche Mode fans are actually running out and getting analog synths to mimick their idols?
Probably quite many.
That was a stupid question... seriously. DM and NIN, really? Those were your examples? .. questioning their influence (specially the former) on modern electronic music is like questioning Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd's influence on rock, which imo makes you look like a fool on the subject. While AFX and Hawtin have a nice niche carved out for them and are quite influential, if you think they're on the scale of DM.. that's just absurd. h**l, Google enough for interviews and you'll find out DM were an influence on Hawtin, as were Nitzer Ebb (many of whom claim NIN ripped off from day one..ironically speaking).
So what you're saying is that the biggest influence on current dance music is pop? Well that settles it then.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by JJQ » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:49 am

As this is the first day of my 7,5 week summervacation I think Id join in. :D

Most synthesists I know turn their attention to synthesizers after acid-techno-house came to town in the early 1990s. I used to listen to heavy metal, and the use of synthesizers was not true metal.

Of course the techno own the synthesizer issue but it defenetly revived it. It was like in early punk, you dont need to be a schooled musician to express your self musicaly and reach others with your sonic landscapes. You only need a 303 and drummachine. There where no rules and you couldnt go wrong, and you could dance as silly as you wanted.

By this way me and many people I know began to explore synthesizers, and redescovered JMJ, TD & fusion jazz etc. I know that we have a lively all analog acid scene here in the south of sweden, but I guess its the same in many places.

And you dont need druggs as Shaft mentioned.
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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Yatmandu » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:46 pm

otto wrote:Until you mentioned it, I didn’t even know what beatport was, which says something. You could look on myspace and find a countless number of bands that aren’t EDM that utilize synths. Also, how many of these aspiring EDM artists on beatport actually use hardware synths? When you visit software forums such as KVR I see a larger concentration of aspiring EDM musicians than on hardware based forums such as VSE, Analogue Heaven, gearslutz, etc. which are more widely dispersed in musical interests. Sure TB-303 emulations and such are probably aimed at EDM types but then again I’ve owned an x0xb0x, an FR-Revolution and a bass station at different times and never had a particular interest in making acid or similar music.

The “nobody’s going to sway my opinion” is a poor argument and shows lack of objective judgment on the subject. I’d have no problem admitting I was wrong if proven or convinced so. So far you’re not convincing me. Not because I want to be right, just because your argument isn’t convincing.
Again, this is only my guess. But it's a somewhat informed guess, from my experiences both in r.l. as well as from surfing the web. Sure, a lot of beatport producers use software synths and are more likely to visit KVR than here. VST's are easy to work with, have no maintenance, and they're cheaper than hardware synths. My point was that the synth and drum-machine is front and center in this genre of music. Without them, there is no genre. Techno == synth + drum-machine + sequencer + sampler + effects. Those guys that use VST's, 99% of them would love to have a Moog or a Prophet in their studios. They just can't afford them.

If you want a quick data point that will probably prove what I'm saying (I haven't done this, because I don't need convincing), just google up any synth on youtube, and then count the number of times the song/demo/whatever is of a techno nature versus anything else (rock, pop, country, industrial, polish polkas, whatever).

Try this with a few different synths: a Moog, a Prophet, some newer ones, eg: DSI Evolver, some Modulars, some Japanese analogs (we all know what will happen when you search for any of the Roland products, but I'll understand if you don't want to include those in the tally), some boutique synths (MFB, FutureRetro).

Then, if you're not convinced, we'll think of something else.

As of today, Techno has done and is doing more for the popularity of synthesizers of all kinds than probably all other genres combined. I still stand by this.

By the way, don't get me wrong. I listen to all types of synth-based music. From Krautrock, original Kraftwerk, ELP, 80's bands (Cabaret Voltaire is one of my all time faves). So my opinion has nothing to do with musical preferences...it is just an observation.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Yatmandu » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:58 pm

mute wrote:
nvbrkr wrote:
Yatmandu wrote:How many NIN or Depeche Mode fans are actually running out and getting analog synths to mimick their idols?
Probably quite many.
That was a stupid question... seriously. DM and NIN, really? Those were your examples? .. questioning their influence (specially the former) on modern electronic music is like questioning Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd's influence on rock, which imo makes you look like a fool on the subject. While AFX and Hawtin have a nice niche carved out for them and are quite influential, if you think they're on the scale of DM.. that's just absurd. h**l, Google enough for interviews and you'll find out DM were an influence on Hawtin, as were Nitzer Ebb (many of whom claim NIN ripped off from day one..ironically speaking).
I wasn't questioning DM's influence on modern electronic music. Of course they're like a Led Zeppelin or a Pink Floyd of sorts for dance music. I'm just saying that today, techno is the main driver for synthesizers. I'm not denouncing 60's, 70's or 80's bands. I like a lot of those bands. Just do my youtube test.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Syn303 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:31 pm

For the record about Tangerine Dream, founder Edgar Froese never liked TD being called an Electronic Group he always maintained TD were a Rock Group! Although their influence stretched into ambient, new age and techno.
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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by otto » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:17 pm

Well to be honest I haven’t seen many techno type demonstrations of moogs, prophets and such on youtube. In fact I’ve seen a few comments on voyager and mini videos where people are complaining because there are no demonstrations of the synth being used in a EDM fashion (rather, they are actually playing them). Put your own theory to the test. Also, just because a synth is sequenced or arped doesn’t mean it is being used for dance music. There is plenty use of both outside of EDM…

Just because softsynth users want analog doesn’t mean they have any influence on its current state. Until they are throwing money down they have just as much to do with current trends in hardware synthesizers as nascar fans.

If you want a fairly objective statistic on this question, do a poll right here on VSE. This forum is actually a perfect place because it isn’t motivated by a style of music but rather a general interest in synthesizers, analog and vintage in particular. Just make sure your question is fair and not misleading. You’ll probably want to give the poll a long length to get the largest sample as VSE isn’t particularly busy at the moment.
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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Soundwave » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:39 pm

Could it be said the TB303 sparked the analogue revival?

Ok the US technically created dance/techno music using disco loops and ripping off Kraftwerk but it's mainly in Europe where the culture thrived and dance music although not as progressive as it one was is still by far the most popular form of electronic music ever in fact the term dance music does cover a lot of different ground these days (e.g. Techno, House, Drum n Bass, Dubstep, Trance, Electro, IDM ect) just as rock music covers genres like metal, glam, Thrash, Classic, Indie ect.

2k saw the emergence of the digital producer but this is mainly a software environment hence mainstream interest in synths isn't quite what it once was (other than investment) however die hard enthusiasm is still very prevalent if not more so across all generations of electronic music enthusiasts.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by nvbrkr » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:59 pm

Yatmandu wrote:My point was that the synth and drum-machine is front and center in this genre of music. Without them, there is no genre.
Probably true, but why would this inexorably mean that "EDM" has influenced people to hold analog synths in such a high regard once more "more than all the other genres combined"?
Those guys that use VST's, 99% of them would love to have a Moog or a Prophet in their studios. They just can't afford them.
If you can afford a computer, you can afford buying an analog synthesizer. If you can afford buying a hardware digital synthesizer new from a store, you can afford buying an analog synthesizer second-hand. If you can afford to drink a beer and smoke, you can afford to buy pretty much any reasonably priced analog synth you'd wish. If you can afford a car...

The fact of the matter remains that when people use VSTi's, the analog synth sounds just aren't usually that important part in their music or they just don't really care about the authenticity of the sound only a beat-up analog synth can produce. So what's your argument here? That they'd "love to have a Moog or SCI / DSI"? Well, so would most others as well. One has to weigh his interest in music - or at least the type of music you're making yourself - and consider whether putting that amount of money really justifies the purchase from a personal standpoint. This would just seem to fight against the claim of techno people having more to do with analog synths than all the other groups combined, in any case.
If you want a quick data point that will probably prove what I'm saying (I haven't done this, because I don't need convincing), just google up any synth on youtube, and then count the number of times the song/demo/whatever is of a techno nature versus anything else (rock, pop, country, industrial, polish polkas, whatever).
Perhaps you really should do it first before making such a statement

I tried it with Yamaha CS-15, which also gives some results for a couple of other units in the same family. I don't really hear any techno ones, aside from one japanese guy called "technogenome" making sort of bad kick drum sounds with it (and he would be better off using something else, honestly). I did get a whole lot of ones with plenty of annoying filter sweeps though - does that make them techno too?

Typing "ARP 2600" gives me results in a whole lot of videos on the first page by some guy called Automatic Gainsay and two by Stevie Wonder. There's apparently also something that appropriates dance music judged by the musical forms heard on the clip(s), but I'd have hard time believing this type of material would be actually played in a club or that anyone would desire to dance to it necessarily (... and dear lord, stop playing those ethnic flute ROMpler sounds on top of that ARP figure!). I'm not going to even try typing "Access Virus" or "Korg MS2000" because I can predict what I am mostly going to get.

Okay, let me put it this way. Most expensive, non-midi synths just aren't going to interest the average dance musician. If they own plenty of synths, they might usually one or two analogs too. I'm not sure whether those actually play such a huge part in their music that they couldn't do without them though. There's a wide interest - as old s**t tends to fascinate many - but it seldom seems to translate into using predominantly analogs in their setups in the long run.

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Re: Do you aknowledge the importance of dance music

Post by Soundwave » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:32 pm

You'll find big find dance/techno producers who use analogue synths these days tend to record loads of tweaks and loops then edit it all down later.

Modern dance music is more about creative digital editing and production than original synth sounds these days unless your Ceephax or RDJ sneaking out a little retro electro track under some alias. 8)

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