#Selfie Synth

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by commodorejohn » Thu May 29, 2014 7:43 pm

I'm continuing my attack because other people are continuing its defense. (And, more specifically, are continuing to directly respond to my posts on the issue.) That's what's known as "debate." This notion that "okay, you've said you don't like it, now you have to shut up and stop discussing why you don't like it with other people" is just silly.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

User avatar
Vxster
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Luton, UK

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Vxster » Thu May 29, 2014 7:56 pm

commodorejohn wrote:I'm continuing my attack because other people are continuing its defense. (And, more specifically, are continuing to directly respond to my posts on the issue.) That's what's known as "debate." This notion that "okay, you've said you don't like it, now you have to shut up and stop discussing why you don't like it with other people" is just silly.
Please don't patronise. You are repeatedly stating what you think a song should be in your eyes and anything else is wrong. How is this a debate? You just keep the saying the same irrelevant thing, time after time after time. We are all fully aware of why you don't like it. It has no proper song structure or melody and no one sweated blood in the inception of it.

The defence is that it has sold a lot of copies. You cannot ignore that. You also cannot tell those people that they are not allowed to like it because you don't like it. Are you actually going to try and deny that it has sold copies and some people like it? You can't undo that. Your opining of the shortfalls of this track is ultimately pointless.

commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by commodorejohn » Thu May 29, 2014 8:37 pm

Vxster wrote:Please don't patronise.
Please don't grossly misrepresent everything I've said. I've never said that only my specific preferences constitute valid music - in fact, I've repeatedly had to say the opposite of that, because so many people keep trying to tell me I said that. What I actually said is that there are some fundamental, genre-crossing standards for what constitutes quality songwriting, just like there are for any art form, and this thing fails to meet any of them. I certainly haven't said that people aren't allowed to like it, and I didn't pretend that it hasn't sold - I merely said that I don't care that it's sold, because sales volume has never been a reliable indicator of quality. And to the extent that I've repeated myself, it's because many, many people (such as yourself) have completely missed my points and gone on to argue at length against things they imagine I've said that they somehow managed to mangle out of things I actually did say.

Is my opining ultimately fruitless? Maybe. Is it out of place on an Internet forum dedicated to discussing electronic music, in a thread on the very subject of the thing I'm opining about? I can't really see how it would be.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

User avatar
Vxster
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Luton, UK

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Vxster » Thu May 29, 2014 9:02 pm

commodorejohn wrote:What I actually said is that there are some fundamental, genre-crossing standards for what constitutes quality songwriting, just like there are for any art form, and this thing fails to meet any of them.
In your opinion. This is not some set-in-stone set of criteria. If you think it is, you are perhaps unaware of the criteria themselves. You also possible don't actually get it. I also don't think you would agree with what constitutes quality songwriting standards in many forms of music that you don't like.
commodorejohn wrote:I certainly haven't said that people aren't allowed to like it, and I didn't pretend that it hasn't sold - I merely said that I don't care that it's sold, because sales volume has never been a reliable indicator of quality.
Who is talking about quality? And of course, your idea of quality. It is, however, an indicator of whether some people like it. They must think it has some quality, surely?

commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by commodorejohn » Thu May 29, 2014 9:27 pm

Vxster wrote:In your opinion. This is not some set-in-stone set of criteria.
If you want to stick by the "yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man!" argument, then sure, it's my opinion, and I suppose it's therefore possibly wrong. But the mere fact of your saying so isn't any kind of a convincing counter-argument. And anyway, I really don't think it is unreasonable to say that there are some very basic, universal low-bar standards for an art form. If a would-be painter creates something that's just a blank canvas with a little strip of a single, exceedingly ugly color of paint around the edges, I'm not going to feel any qualms about saying that it's not a good painting (even if he later claims it was done "ironically.") I know that's blasphemy and heresy in this modern age, but I'm sorry, I'm just not going to accept that there are literally no standards at all.
If you think it is, you are perhaps unaware of the criteria themselves. You also possible don't actually get it. I also don't think you would agree with what constitutes quality songwriting standards in many forms of music that you don't like.
Actually, as I've said several times in this very thread, I'm perfectly capable of recognizing people actually giving a damn and doing quality work even in genres I don't care for, this one included. This is because, as I've said, there are some basic, universal standards for what constitutes good songwriting, and I don't have to find every application thereof to be 100% to my taste in order to recognize and appreciate that.

And once again, you're arguing against something I didn't actually say - and not merely misinterpreting something I did say, but wrongly speculating about what you think I might think. And once again, you've come to a conclusion that I've already specifically said isn't the case several times in this thread. So if I'm repeating myself? This right here would be why.
Who is talking about quality? And of course, your idea of quality. It is, however, an indicator of whether some people like it. They must think it has some quality, surely?
They may indeed think it does. I just think they're wrong.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

User avatar
Vxster
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Luton, UK

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Vxster » Thu May 29, 2014 9:36 pm

commodorejohn wrote: They may indeed think it does. I just think they're wrong.
And I would agree with you :)

User avatar
silikon
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1247
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:21 am
Real name: Ms. Jackson
Gear: Random bullshit with knobs and buttons.
Band: Year with no summer
Location: East.
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by silikon » Thu May 29, 2014 9:50 pm

commodorejohn wrote: I really don't think it is unreasonable to say that there are some very basic, universal low-bar standards for an art form.
Boy you sure know how to dig in when someone throws a pinch of salt in your twinkie.

Since you've been stating this repeatedly, I'd be interested to know exactly what those standards are comprised of, if you would. (if you stated them in detail and I failed to find, then my apologies.)

Far be it from me to want to jump directly in the middle of a shitstorm-in-progress but, if I'm not mistaken, even those 'standards' that are stated are something interpreted differently from one to another. Frankly, having standards (in this specific instance, don't wad ye knickers about the rest of life) speaks to me like it's a nice way of saying that something is below you, or perhaps you're unwilling to even invest the mental capital to give it a go. 'Art' stagnates and we're all reduced to listening to Milli-Vanilli remixes for eternity.
echo 1 > /dev/awesome

User avatar
Vxster
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Luton, UK

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Vxster » Thu May 29, 2014 9:53 pm

commodorejohn wrote:Actually, as I've said several times in this very thread, I'm perfectly capable of recognizing people actually giving a damn and doing quality work even in genres I don't care for, this one included. This is because, as I've said, there are some basic, universal standards for what constitutes good songwriting, and I don't have to find every application thereof to be 100% to my taste in order to recognize and appreciate that.
Your idea of universal standards. I think the thing is, I am not sure you are capable of recognising quality work in genres if you are not familiar with them. Do you unilaterally condemn all of musique concrete to be terrible because it fails to exhibit your standards of what constitutes good songwriting? And by extension, any other minimalist genres?

Infinity Curve
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:21 pm
Real name: Cody
Gear: SH101, Monomachine, Machinedrum, Analog Four, lots of eurorack
Band: Infinity Curve
Location: Toronto Canada

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Infinity Curve » Thu May 29, 2014 10:02 pm

commodorejohn wrote:
And once again, you're arguing against something I didn't actually say - and not merely misinterpreting something I did say, but wrongly speculating about what you think I might think. And once again, you've come to a conclusion that I've already specifically said isn't the case several times in this thread. So if I'm repeating myself? This right here would be why.
But you have been doing this exact thing throughout the thread John. Ninja or I make a comment using an example and you paraphrase it or twist it around to suit your argument. I say it is club music for people out having a good time, drinking and dancing; you turn that into 'you can't enjoy it unless you are wasted' and argue that point. Ninja mentions kids show music, and uses Barney as an example; you start spouting off about shows with what you consider great music that reaches beyond what it set out to be, and then proceed to argue from that premise. It's infuriating.

A healthy well balanced person can view things from another person's perspective, even though it might conflict with their own opinion; you seem completely incapable of this, which I think is the cause of most of the back and forth in this thread.
Vxster wrote:I think the thing is, I am not sure you are capable of recognising quality work in genres if you are not familiar with them.
^ this is a very good point.

User avatar
Automatic Gainsay
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3962
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:22 am
Real name: Marc Doty
Gear: Minimoog, 2600, CS-15, CS-50, MiniBrute, MicroBrute, S2, Korg MS-20 Mini, 3 Volcas, Pro 2, Leipzig, Pianet T, Wurli 7300, Wurli 145-A, ASR-10, e6400.
Band: Godfrey's Cordial
Location: Tacoma
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Thu May 29, 2014 10:14 pm

Hi, everyone. I know you'll want to punch me in the face for this, but I gotta say:

There are indeed indicators for quality music. Like everything else in the world, people have tried to find objective measurements for subjective things. Just because they are not 100% accurate at all times due to the way that the human experience is largely a bell-curve, does not mean they do not exist, or that they're not at all accurate.

Many people here look at electronic music as a personal expression, a pastime, an activity, a hobby, etc. But I guarantee to you: If you go to college for music, you will experience a VERY DISTINCT OBJECTIVE MEANS OF QUALITY ASSESSMENT that will undoubtedly really piss you off. But in the academic and historical worlds, and even art world, objective measurement of music exists.

It's easy to sit on the internet and say "all of us think music quality is subjective and wholly opinion!" But you're not in the thick of things. Where quality music matters... in the various industry where money is indeed made from it... quality music matters.

Yes, everyone has a different experience of music, and different people like different things, and sometimes musicians who know nothing about music make music that is as popular as music made by incredibly talented and skilled experts. But to use those things as a justification for the concept that quality of music doesn't matter, or that everyone has a different means of assessing quality, is to ignore the fact that the average of people tend to like what they all agree is "good music." All of you here have bands that you, on average, uniformly agree "are good." It's not just by chance that your tastes align. THERE IS CRITERIA. And that criteria isn't just a consensus of opinion.

For all of you who are so outraged at the concept that commodore is asserting... I would like to encourage you to either go to college, or get a job in the scoring industry. There are some sobering truths headed your way if you do. :)
‎"I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." -Charles Babbage
"Unity and Mediocrity are forever in bed together." -Zane W.
http://www.youtube.com/automaticgainsay

User avatar
synthroom
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 876
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:16 pm
Real name: Kirk
Gear: Fairlight IIx(!), JP-8, D-50, S-50+550, S-760, JX-3P, JD-800, EII, Emax II, Mini, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1, Pro-One, Performer, K1m, K5m, few other things.
Location: pdx
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by synthroom » Thu May 29, 2014 10:33 pm

Since when do the rules of academia rule pop music?
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
EII, Emax II, Minimoog, ARP 2600, P-5 Rev.1 (broken...), Pro-One, Crumar Performer, K1m, K5m, MS-2000B, Virus KC, a few other things.

User avatar
Nannerfan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 282
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:00 pm
Gear: Akai AX-60, AX-80, S612
Arturia Microbrute
Roland D-550, TR-8
Yamaha QY700, SU700, TX81Z

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by Nannerfan » Fri May 30, 2014 2:20 am

Who here on this forum likes this track?

Show hands.

commodorejohn
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:39 am
Real name: John
Gear: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, Oberheim SEM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by commodorejohn » Fri May 30, 2014 2:23 am

I'd thank Marc for saying everything I wanted to better than I would have, but he's talking about formal academic musicology type stuff, and that's...not wrong, but not really what I was getting at. You don't have to go to college for music to understand this - Lord knows I didn't. I'm sure you do get it solidly hammered into your brain there, but there's no formal education required just to be aware of the universal aspects of good music. You just have to be willing to develop and use the capacity for critical thinking that God gave you, expose yourself to a variety of subjects, and not write things off as not worth thinking about because "it's not meant for you to think about!" This s**t really is that basic.
silikon wrote:Since you've been stating this repeatedly, I'd be interested to know exactly what those standards are comprised of, if you would. (if you stated them in detail and I failed to find, then my apologies.)
I did basically state what I was talking about earlier, but I might as well make it good and clear here. My issues with "#selfie" - aside from the generally abhorrent nature of Millennial narcissism - are as follows:
  • It's no good at progression. A song needs to change over time, not just do the same thing over and over like a broken record. "#selfie" is basically a modestly okay intro badly stapled to one pattern that repeats for like four minutes. There are some extremely token efforts made to change things up, but none of them actually work - if I weren't deliberately and carefully listening for the changes, you could honestly play any four bars of this thing and I would have no idea where it fit.
  • It's no good at pacing. This is closely related to the above. "#selfie" is a world-class one-trick pony where pacing is concerned - the only thing that the songwriters know how to do (or, at least, the only thing they did) was the frenetic-buildup-followed-by-dropout "eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-EH-EH-DOOOOoooooooommm!!!" thing. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, and it's an EDM staple - but that can't be the only thing a song does, and "#selfie" flogs it like a red-headed stepchild. It's like "Seasons in the Sun" where the only thing they knew how to do was shift to a higher key, so they just kept doing that from get-go to get-gone. Moreover, it doesn't even accomplish anything by it - the buildups don't build up to anything, it just drops right back to the same damn thing. Even Homestar Runner's deliberately reductive techno parody at least knew to use that for something.
  • It's no good at catchiness. I initially phrased this as being about not having a melody, but that was a mistake on my part. It doesn't have to be the melody that catches the listener's ear in a song - it can be the bassline, or the drums, or pretty much anything - but it has to be something. A good song grabs you by the ear with something and makes you want to stick around to hear more of it. There isn't anything like that in "#selfie" at all. The bassline's generic, the drums are generic, the progression is generic. The closest thing to catching and holding the listener's interest in there is that quasi-Eastern bandpass thing that I think is what the OP was asking about, and that only approaches catchiness because it spends the entire song sounding like it's maybe about to start actually going somewhere - but it never does.
That's basically it - and seriously, that s**t is basic with a capital "How the h**l do you even get familiar with even one genre of music without gaining some kind of understanding of this." That's so basic you don't even have to have technical terms to explain it so I didn't bother trying to remember what they were.
Frankly, having standards (in this specific instance, don't wad ye knickers about the rest of life) speaks to me like it's a nice way of saying that something is below you, or perhaps you're unwilling to even invest the mental capital to give it a go. 'Art' stagnates and we're all reduced to listening to Milli-Vanilli remixes for eternity.
Unwilling to give it a go? I've listened to this thing multiple times over and tainted my YouTube suggestions simply for the sake of being fair about it. And all I have to show for it is a set of more carefully-articulated opinions on exactly why it's s**t. If I'm coming off as thinking it's below me, that's because it's, you know, not very good, not because I didn't give it a chance to be.

And I think art is in a lot more danger of stagnation when we start giving c**p a free pass because "you're not supposed to think about it!"
Vxster wrote:Your idea of universal standards. I think the thing is, I am not sure you are capable of recognising quality work in genres if you are not familiar with them. Do you unilaterally condemn all of musique concrete to be terrible because it fails to exhibit your standards of what constitutes good songwriting? And by extension, any other minimalist genres?
Musique concrete is actually a perfect example of what I'm talking about when I say that you can recognize the universal fundamentals anywhere, because they are basically the only thing that musique concrete has in common with more traditional music at all. I'm only even familiar with it through experiments by otherwise more normal bands, but even with that I can find elements of (to use the lazy terms I used up there) good progression, pacing, and catchiness in, say, "Revolution 9" or the intro to "Larks' Tongues in Aspic." h**l, the brilliance of the progression is basically the primary reason I wouldn't drop "Revolution 9" from my copy of the White Album entirely - the chaos at the end is such a perfect lead-in to "Good Night" that I just can't imagine it any other way.
synthroom wrote:Since when do the rules of academia rule pop music?
I don't know about academia, but seriously, man? The fundamentals of good songwriting are the entire underlying framework that allows pop to exist. That's like asking why a bird should be subject to the laws of aerodynamics - they're the very thing that allow it to fly in the first place. You wanna talk pop, let's talk Paul "Earthly Avatar of Pop" McCartney - even his shittiest output is catchy precisely because his grasp of the fundamentals is so incredible. His grasp of progression is such that he can take random scraps of things from the cutting-room floor and assemble them into little mini-suites with transitions that are simultaneously so weird that you can't believe you just heard them and so natural that you can't even begin to imagine them any other way, and his skill at crafting instantly brain-infectingly catchy melodies is basically unmatched. That grasp of the universal, underlying fundamentals is why people are still talking about the Beatles forty-five years after the last time they recorded an album.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73

User avatar
silikon
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1247
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:21 am
Real name: Ms. Jackson
Gear: Random bullshit with knobs and buttons.
Band: Year with no summer
Location: East.
Contact:

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by silikon » Fri May 30, 2014 2:50 am

commodorejohn wrote:You just have to be willing to develop and use the capacity for critical thinking that God gave you,
Let's leave fictional characters out of this, thank you.

All that aside, I bet you are fun at parties.
commodorejohn wrote:And I think art is in a lot more danger of stagnation when we start giving c**p a free pass because "you're not supposed to think about it!"
I never even implied one shouldn't think about it. I stated that none of your universal standards are accurately represented everywhere, by everyone. I'm not arguing the idea that this track is rubbish, but at the same time I'm not going to point out why everyone who might have a differing idea about it is a complete idiot and unaware of some mystical music-compass that gives everyone some illuminated idea of what good music is.

This whole argument has become so damn pedantic that... I have no idea why I feel compelled to even jump in.

Image

..inb4 the lock. :lol:
echo 1 > /dev/awesome

User avatar
SeventhStar
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:27 am
Gear: (Sequential Prophet 600, MULTI-TRAK & TOM), DARK STAR, Arturia Prophet V & Modular V, M-AUDIO Keystation 61es
Location: AZ

Re: #Selfie Synth

Post by SeventhStar » Fri May 30, 2014 3:51 am

Nannerfan wrote:Who here on this forum likes this track?

Show hands.
Me.. I especially like the Selfie Girl, but I guess I'm kind of a sucker for a pretty face. And I've always been fascinated with the high-speed link between the female mind and the female mouth. Random thoughts are often processed at giga-flop per micro-second speeds, within the female mind.

I think it is GOOD at catchiness! It caught my attention and the attention of millions of other people. And I am often bored by a lot of s**t on the Internet. Excellent casting job for the Selfie Girl part. Selfie Girl voice acting is perfect, with a "sing song" like pattern to it.

Conveys the Selfie message. Hammers it into the viewer's head. Rapid camera cuts help create a frenzied pace. The viewer can almost feel the frantic thought activity going on in the selfie girl mind (even if those thoughts don't have much meaning to anyone, other than the selfie girl herself). The synth lead and beats have multiple climaxes. Any woman will tell you that multiple climaxes are a good thing! And of course, there is that Sylenth 1 sound..

I've said this once, and I'll say it again, without the Selfie Girl, herself, and the Selfie Girl dialogue, this song would have gone unnoticed, flying under the radar.

I have found this entertaining. I've come.. I've seen.. I've selfied..

Post Reply