Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by nathanscribe » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:53 pm

Some gold here. Thanks chaps. :-)

Along with the "dont' they all do the same thing" from my mum whenever she visits, and the looks of sheer terror on the girfriend's parents' faces when they visit (though her dad's secretly jealous, being a prog fan), I once allowed a couple of drunk friends/acquaintances over for a party (which I was avoiding) to have a look. One said "have you got a Moog?" I said "yes" and showed him the LP. "That's not a f**k moog", he said, "it's digital."

I know how it feels when someone says "play something then" and it's all switched off or whatever. As if you should just plug in a mono and pretend to be Rick Wakeman, and they'd go away happy that you'd just fulfilled their daily quota for stereotype indulgence.

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:57 pm

minime123 wrote:ive heard this one a few times:

"synths arent REAL instruments"
Oh tell me about it! :lol:

I've heard this one a few times:

"softsynths aren't real instruments, like analogue synths"

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:08 pm

I've been sorely tempted to take the opposite tack and list stupid things said about synths by people who were defending synths, but I'm not going to. :D
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by braincandy » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:40 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I've been sorely tempted to take the opposite tack and list stupid things said about synths by people who were defending synths, but I'm not going to. :D
Oh, c'mon. That would be fun!
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by braincandy » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:46 pm

JSRockit wrote:Come one, we all know someone who thinks that these things just play themselves...that you just hit a button and it makes music for you.
I can sort of understand someone saying that if they see someone trigger a key which uses either a phrase from an onboard arpeggiator (example: AN1x) or triggering a phrase that includes a rhythm track like on the Juno-G.

And wasn't it Vince Clarke who sat back, had a smoke, and a glass of bubbly during a song at an Erasure show or is that synth urban legend material?
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by BoxPhenom » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:48 pm

Them :"So you play piano?"

Me : "Not really, I can, but I'm really nothing special, electronic music is a lot of programming"

Them : "oh ok" (now they think you're just some kind of lazy poser)

Me : "and in fact most of my synths play one note at a time"

"what???" (thinking you're lazy and in disbelief of the 1-note at a time thing)

I think most people have a very low attention span and/or a limited interest in things that fall out of what they like or know.

The world of synthesizers is far too complex for average citizens to understand or care about.
Unfortunately people tend to put down those things.

But for every hater I meet there's always another person who's truly impressed about electronic music and synthesizers. To many we are the keepers of a form of magic!
I just love it when people tell me "wow you have an 808" like I have my own personal music legend working for me.

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by zmd » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:54 pm

my favourite guy is a friend who constantly says "i need a midi" when he is refering to anything electronic. software, controllers, drum loops (audio and midi). i thought he would get past this, but, 2 years later, its a "a midi".
i think its the "a" that bugs me most!
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by Solderman » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:06 pm

On the 808, that reminds me, when I first started sampling stuff in 1996, I actually said at one point, "Why would anyone want to buy a real 808; the drum sounds are all digital." I've since modded a TR606, so I think I know better. :oops:

Not so much stupid as it is puzzling, but people are amazed when I can pinpoint what gear was used in a song. Half the time it's because I've read about it, not actually figured it out just from listening. Unless it's something obvious, like an 80's drum machine or the TB303. What's annoying is when they start asking, "Well what's in this one? Or this one?", like it's my hobby or something.
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by novielo » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:18 pm

BoxPhenom wrote: But for every hater I meet there's always another person who's truly impressed about electronic music and synthesizers. To many we are the keepers of a form of magic!
I just love it when people tell me "wow you have an 808" like I have my own personal music legend working for me.
i like that quote.

low attention span is also a problem. some time ago i went to jam with some guys that "absolutely needed" synth sound, cool sound, space sound, something unique... you get the point. so i brought the nord modular, a laptop to go with it and a microkorg "just in case". i did have a s**t load of patch in the nord, but i always start with a patch and elaborate from there. i soon realise that 3 minutes of tweaking is way to much for poeple that are use to tune a guitar/bass or take 2 drum sticks.

the nail in the coffin was when one of their friend came by and saw the nord attached to the laptop (a f**k old one without even usb)
he asked: (pointing at the nord) how many vst can you load in there? do you have midi sounds?
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by synthRodriguez » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:54 pm

b***h-a*s sister-in-law (who considers herself an authority on contemporary pop music) came over one day and wanted to hear something. I had the ES8 set up with a intricate arpeggio I'd worked on for a couple of hours. I hit a key and kicked it off.

In an instant she said, "That's cheating," spun on her heel and walked off.

If she could only see how a lot of today's music is produced. :roll:

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by megamanx » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:18 pm

the usual "oh, you guys are dj's?" as if everybody that plays electronic music is a dj or at a gig someone shouted " You sound like outer space!" which I kinda liked...

edit: also once a guy asked if I was checking my email because I was using my laptop on stage... :?

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by polyklinik » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:33 pm

i made my first electronic-dub song with an MC-505 and a Waldorf XTK. I showed it to my father and he said:
"It's not music, it's noise!"

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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by Solderman » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:58 pm

Mega's comment reminded me of what the real-estate agent who came to visit said when I played my Jupiter 8 for him:
"It sounds like Star Trek".

After I modded my TR606, I showed it to my brother in law, while carefully pointing out all the things I added. His first comment: "Why doesn't it sound like real drums?"
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by cornutt » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:00 pm

Christopher Winkels wrote:You mean like Queen's News Of The World?

I do agree with you though that the lack of synths on an album is hardly something to be particularly proud of. Now if they said "No accordians were used"..... well, that's a different matter.
Larry Fast slipped "... and nobody played guitar" into the credits of the first Synergy album. When Cords was released, and it featured Peter Sobel on guitar synth, Larry put in: "Finally guitar... sort of." :lol:
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Re: Dumbest thing you've ever heard someone say about synths

Post by veer chasm » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:30 pm

zmd wrote:my favourite guy is a friend who constantly says "i need a midi" when he is refering to anything electronic. software, controllers, drum loops (audio and midi). i thought he would get past this, but, 2 years later, its a "a midi".
i think its the "a" that bugs me most!

this guy's name isn't Bruce by chance? Yeah my buddy does the same thing verbatim, he's into classic hot rods so I always ask him if it's "got a hemi?" just to get back.

I guess in people's defense everyone presumes to know a little about everything. If their point of reference is the home keyboard with MIDI they will try to apply that knowledge to our usage of professional synthesizers. If people at gigs started coming up to me and ask if my synths use Curtis chips I'd probably be more dismayed than appreciative. We are really specializing in a field that the general public is ignorant about, if it were common knowledge I wouldn't enjoy it as much. The biggest mental block is a typical synth has keys like a piano and an interface like a computer, so if it doesn't play and sound like a piano they assume it's "not a real instrument". Endless convolutions.
Here's something to consider: if you or someone is seen playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band do you consider them true musicians? I have no answer, I just see some parallel behind what the public sees us doing and what people perceive as video games.
Last edited by veer chasm on Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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