Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by Voodoo Ray » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:01 pm

Is that guy trying to channel his inner Alexander Robotnik?

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by ellaguru » Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:18 pm

madtheory wrote: Good to see a keyboard player worse than me tho ;)
:)

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by gs » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:40 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
ColorForm2113 wrote: chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.
And what's the difference between that and using sheet music to sequence a bunch of musicians who just play back a prewritten song?
Well, the difference there is RISK. One of the (human) musos might make a mistake. Not likely to happen with sequencers or sample-triggering.

Not saying that the risk factor is a good reason to seek out live music. But there is still a kind of ethos out there, where people have the notion in the back of their heads that they are going to a concert where "something might go wrong -- a ha, let's go to the concert and see if they have their live act together, or if they screw up!" Kind of like wanting a car wreck to happen but you don't want to be the one involved in it.
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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:03 pm

gs wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
ColorForm2113 wrote: chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.
And what's the difference between that and using sheet music to sequence a bunch of musicians who just play back a prewritten song?
Well, the difference there is RISK. One of the (human) musos might make a mistake. Not likely to happen with sequencers or sample-triggering.

Not saying that the risk factor is a good reason to seek out live music. But there is still a kind of ethos out there, where people have the notion in the back of their heads that they are going to a concert where "something might go wrong -- a ha, let's go to the concert and see if they have their live act together, or if they screw up!" Kind of like wanting a car wreck to happen but you don't want to be the one involved in it.
It's true, but I don't think that's "it," if you know what I mean. I think people want to see live musicians play because there's a chance that the music will take on a new dimension of quality and energy by being played live in it's entirety on the spot. You get more of the musician coming through the work, and the hope is that the experience will just be better overall, more individualized, or at least a new way to experience and appreciate a given song or group of songs. You also get a larger, more all encompassing sound, and an experience immersed with an atmosphere for the music to seep out of. The more the live experience is like listening to your cd, the less it does all of the things that make seeing something live unique and enjoyable. Another boon is when you hear an instrument played live, like a small performance for acoustic instruments, the hope is that you're hearing the sound directly from the source as it's produced, and for some there is also the appreciation of technique and the type of instruments. Contrary to popular belief, if you had seen someone like Sasha and John Digweed, or DJ Tiesto in the late 90's to really early 2000's, a lot of those elements were there, and it's even apparent from listening to their DJ compilation CDs when compared to the source material that they created them with. Not so anymore for people like Dave guetto, or deadmouse 5.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by pflosi » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:10 pm

There definitely is a fun element in a liveset that always feels like it could break apart any second. Implicitly everybody notices it.

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:09 am

gs wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
ColorForm2113 wrote: chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.
And what's the difference between that and using sheet music to sequence a bunch of musicians who just play back a prewritten song?
Well, the difference there is RISK. One of the (human) musos might make a mistake. Not likely to happen with sequencers or sample-triggering.

Not saying that the risk factor is a good reason to seek out live music. But there is still a kind of ethos out there, where people have the notion in the back of their heads that they are going to a concert where "something might go wrong -- a ha, let's go to the concert and see if they have their live act together, or if they screw up!" Kind of like wanting a car wreck to happen but you don't want to be the one involved in it.
What a load of bullshit. ;) If increased risk = better live show then everyone would be gigging with PC laptops full of cracks that spent their lives downloading torrents with no virus protection, that kind of risk would deliver the kind of show that would blow people's minds. :D

Ninja got it right when he said that a live performance with live musicians can transcend the written music in a way that's hard to do with a sequencer or a laptop. Interestingly though, a laptop can be a far better tool for expressive improvised performance than a hardware sequencer, you've just got to put the work in to make sure that you've got an interface that allows you to be expressive and having your software structured in such a way that allows you to take the song and bend it how you feel while you're playing it. A laptop won't do that out of the box but put the work in and it'll do it amazingly.

The problem here seems to be that some people posting in this thread assume that a laptop on stage means playback. It's pretty amusing really, out of all the things that you could use on stage a laptop is the one that's the most ambiguous. You know and can see what drums are doing, same with a guitar, keyboard, horns etc. People don't know what a laptop is doing cause it could be doing a huge range of things, so they get scared they're being cheated out of some kind of authentic experience. That, as well as the attitude common in modern art of 'I have those tools, I could have done that'.

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by Broadwave » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:32 am

Stab Frenzy wrote: The problem here seems to be that some people posting in this thread assume that a laptop on stage means playback. It's pretty amusing really, out of all the things that you could use on stage a laptop is the one that's the most ambiguous.
True... Being the old fart that I am, I saw Ultravox a few years ago, they all had laptops, but were using them for playing plug-ins (GForce Minimonsta, Oddity, VSM etc) to recapture their old sound but without stacks of hardware.

They undoubtedly played live (great to hear the occasional bum note) and sounded better than they did 30 years ago.

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:10 am

pflosi wrote:There definitely is a fun element in a liveset that always feels like it could break apart any second. Implicitly everybody notices it.
That's exactly what I loathe about playing live.

I do not suffer from stage fright but the utter terror of my rig giving out makes me cringe each time I play live.

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:27 am

Stab Frenzy wrote: What a load of bullshit. ;) If increased risk = better live show then everyone would be gigging with PC laptops full of cracks that spent their lives downloading torrents with no virus protection, that kind of risk would deliver the kind of show that would blow people's minds. :D

It's pretty amusing really, out of all the things that you could use on stage a laptop is the one that's the most ambiguous. You know and can see what drums are doing, same with a guitar, keyboard, horns etc. People don't know what a laptop is doing cause it could be doing a huge range of things, so they get scared they're being cheated out of some kind of authentic experience.
The first paragraph is needlessly sarcastic so I won't comment.

But the second one is more interesting: ambiguity in a live setting .... to me, a live set is about community, mutual trust, going somewhere together (artists and audience) .... and ambiguity is not conducive to this result. Again ! if this was about a studio recording I would not give a damn whether one or 10 laptops or even a helium-cooled cray supercomputer were used.

Finally, people (ie the audience) I think are NOT scared of laptops on stage (we all own/use laptops), but just somewhat let-down or disappointed: I think the presence of laptops on stage could be itself a sign of fear but on the musician side, maybe to mask some form of (self-perceived) incompetence..., or as if the artist(s) decided that to sacrifice a chunk of this community/trust/binding musician-audience for the sake of technical or logistical convenience was after all a perfectly normal, rational decision.

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by griffin avid » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:22 pm

Okay, so the actual, bottom line is that a LAP TOP is a TOOL and the problem arises when it is employed in the place of a[an expected, preferred, imagined] musical instrument.

Except, going to see a live show is about seeing a live show. So I expect to see musicians...doing musician things...got that, makes sense....

Seeing some acts- is about THE MUSIC and hearing new versions, alternate/extended mixes, mixtures and mixed-up elements of the song. Yeah, the DJ has an exclusive mix of the song you love AND he just happens to be the guy that made the song too. So he's basically PLAYING a new version of your favorite record live.

And...and seeing some live acts is about the PEOPLE that are there and the atmosphere. It's a big party and the CROWD is the point. The guy providing the music can be hunched over, staring at a screen and turning that funky fader that does nothing.

It seems like we get the difference between movies, plays and improv, but not quite so much with music....
But who knows maybe there's a thread somewhere on a forum, where a guy can't figure out why anyone would sit in the cinema and watch a bunch of prerecorded clips strung together....
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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by Mr Knesh » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:37 am

How about some cool performances of electronic music?


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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by calaverasgrande » Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:04 am

I can go either way on this.
On the one hand I am kind of sick of the whole laptop core thing that was going on a few years ago, and happy to see it is fading a bit as eurorack and other hardware a becoming more popular.

OTOH the only real difference between a soft synth like Arturia or NI make and a VA like the UltraNova or KingKorg is really just the method that you interact with them. But then with a proper midi controller you can get most of that mousing and clicking out of the way.

There is also the whole issue of sequencing or other such work done 'beforehand'. This may be seen as akin to backing tracks by some folks. But it really is not any different than what Tangerine Dream was doing decades ago with hardware sequencing. Sequenced material has been part of electronic music for most of its history!
I suppose I may be defensive because I do a lot of my live performance with drum machines synced to analog synths that play back sequenced material. I do also play other instruments and sing (when the mood strikes me). But this is kind of unusual. Quite a bit of modern sequenced electronic music is more about modifying the timbre or the logic of the sequencing in lieu of 'playing' in a traditional sense.
This is no more or less valid whether it is done in Ableton, Max or Mainstage or if it is done with hardware synths.
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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by abruzzi » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:04 am

madtheory wrote:The worst thing about laptop musos is the hunched over posture. Stand up straight dodammit!
A long time ago I saw Aphex Twin live. There was just a ratty old couch on the stage facing the audience, and he just lounged around on that couch for the entire show with a laptop. For all know he was browsing p**n while a recording played back. It was fun anyway.

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by ninja6485 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:16 am

griffin avid wrote:Okay, so the actual, bottom line is that
Stab Frenzy wrote:Ninja got it right
:2cool: Fixed.
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:45 pm

The reason audiences don't care about any of this is that going to a show (of any music style) is only partly for the music. It's an excuse to take whatever mind-altering substances suit your fancy, hang out with your friends, jump around or maybe even actually dance, take more substances, shoot selfies, take more substances, etc. I'm trying to remember how we survived arena shows in the 1970s way before selfies existed :lol: In fact, I'm trying to even remember some of those shows thanks to my altered states :shock:

Of course the music is important as a soundtrack to the event but whether it's all lipsynched to backing tracks doesn't matter to most of the audience. The biggest touring acts seldom take any risks, after all that screws up the choreography, the lighting and the other spectacle added to get across to huge audiences. If you see acts like that two nights in a row you will see the same show. The very best performers at that level excel at making what's totally planned out seem totally spontaneous. They make sure they play their crowd pleasing hits, pump the latest release and leave time for two encores.

I don't have the time to waste getting all lathered up over pre-processed music styles, I'm too busy seeking out more cool live music to experience.
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