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  #81  
Old 10-23-2017, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Believe me, if Al thought he could program better and save the money, he would! As for Al's needs, the only thing different about him is the lyrics. Musically, we're doing everything the top musicians and producers ion the business are doing. We get major props from major pros for our work. One famous, FAMOUS drummer told me after seeing our show, "I couldn't do what you do." Flattering words indeed, maybe my gig is harder than it seems to me?
Indeed.

I can't see Terry Bozzio or Vinnie or Portnoy or Neal Peart doing what you do year after year. They'd all go crazy having to fit what they do with in what Al needs. Not to mention the costume changes. I can just hear Bozzio saying "you want me to do what????" lol
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  #82  
Old 10-23-2017, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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If you truly enjoy playing, then it's not stupid at all.
Well yes, absolutely!

But there are aspects that I have to acknowledge are kind of "stupid". Perhaps stupid is not the right word. I have made things far more difficult for myself. It would be far easier to use technology to put together a solid drum track and I could do it in about the time it takes to write this reply, and most people might even prefer it.

Quote:
I don't think drummers have lost their value at all. There are just styles and genres that emerged which are better served by a sequence. I never took that personally, but I stay involved in both sides. It's just part of being a modern drummer.

Bermuda
Hmm, I guess. You are quite successful! Major props to you!

It seems drummers in pop aren't as well known as they use to be, nor does one really hear drummers in pop music, but I could very well be wrong (like I said, I mainly listen to old music, and when I hear modern pop, I can't even recall a song where the drummer sounded like a drummer and not a synthetic machine type sound).
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  #83  
Old 10-23-2017, 03:56 AM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

There was a time in the 90s, where a lot of hit songs sounded like they bought a drum machine, powered it up, and then used the default patch. Things like that are annoying.

I bought my first drum machine 30 years ago at Keyboard Concepts in Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks. The guy I bought it from was a drummer named Paul. It was his last day, as he was going off to work at Capitol Records. Gave me a business card and told me to visit.

The drum machine he sold me was a KORG DDD-1, complete with expansion cards and the built-in sampler. Man, it was super-pricey! But it sounded great, and I needed something that would allow me to create drum parts for my songwriter demos. I could not afford to get a room, have drums mic'd up, pay an engineer and producer. I was struggling to eat, so this drum machine aided my creativity by removing the requirement of going into a studio.

A few weeks later, I go to Capitol Records to visit Paul. He's giving me a grand tour of the whole place. I look through this studio door window, and there's this guy in the middle of the room. He's got a pair of bongos between his legs, and a mic under the bongos. He's going to town on those things.

I tell Paul, "There's the last of a dying breed," and followed up with a serious question about whether or not drum machines were going to replace drummers.

He said they might, to a degree. But, worst case, suppose there is no call for analog drummers anymore. Who is going to be the best at creating those rhythms, patterns, beats, breaks, and whatever else the song needs?

A drummer.

A drum machine will test you in ways that you should be testing yourself on the kit. Can you compose for a song? How about percussion? How about other rhythmic items that are less conventional?

If you have that "drummer's sensibility," and then you can translate it over into a drum machine, then you've grown as a musician.

Playing acoustic drums is a luxury for me these days. There are no lockouts in my area, plus I had a labrum tear, so lugging drums up and down from the upstairs apartment to a place to play for a few hours can be taxing. I still do it, but I don't really get to play as often as I'd like.

So I write, play other instruments, take lessons, record, etc. All that. For drums, I use an AKAI MPD18 pad controller, to trigger Addictive Drums in Reaper.

It's basically how I keep drumming in my life. Plus, I can work on the art of finger drumming.

David "Fingers" Haynes
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  #84  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:06 AM
Macarina Macarina is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

I have no idea how I would react if I went to a concert event that didnít have a drummer.

Iím guessing I would be extremely disappointed and my view of the concert would be tainted.
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  #85  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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I would counter that the choice is sometimes about money, but mostly a stylistic choice.

Also, is slick professionalism a bad standard?
The stylistic choice came about due to increasing automation leading to new generations' ears being accustomed to programmed music. Self perpetuating economic rationalism. It's happened in all industries, not just music.

If slick professionalism replaces passion and sincerity, then yes.
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  #86  
Old 10-23-2017, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Originally Posted by Macarina View Post
I have no idea how I would react if I went to a concert event that didnít have a drummer.

Iím guessing I would be extremely disappointed and my view of the concert would be tainted.
One of my favorite bands dumped the idea of having a drummer years ago.

It really does take away from their shows. But I get it, one less mouth to feed on the road. Might even make the difference between a profit and loss on a tour.
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  #87  
Old 10-23-2017, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

I don't think Depeche Mode ever had a dedicated "real" drummer, did they? Never bothered me.
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  #88  
Old 10-23-2017, 08:19 AM
Elven Bones Elven Bones is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

Drums are only one part of the music. None of the other instruments are real either. It's easier than ever for a musician, no matter his primary instrument, to own the entire process. Learn to write songs, not just drum parts.
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  #89  
Old 10-23-2017, 02:37 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

It's totally just a Eurocentric problem. Europeans didn't like drums in the first place. Everyone else is increasingly using drums, and using sampled drums are just a way to add drums to tracks that otherwise wouldn't have them, eg two man reggae bands that can't find reliable drummers.
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  #90  
Old 10-23-2017, 03:51 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

Wouldn't it be ironic if all the musicians who shunned acoustic drums for machines because machines are cheaper, had their day jobs replaced by cheaper guest workers who programmed their jobs away.
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  #91  
Old 10-23-2017, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

Cost is the main reason for me with any instrument in pop music.

Think how much the wrecking crew/funk brothers/swampers etc would cost for a session nowadays.

They'd all be on the royalties list too as that has changed since session musicians were the done thing.

The noggin scratcher for me is that the great pop music that has stood the test off time for 60 years was made as disposable music to make a quick buck but it was made by amazing players and producers.
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  #92  
Old 10-23-2017, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Originally Posted by Macarina View Post
I have no idea how I would react if I went to a concert event that didnít have a drummer.

Iím guessing I would be extremely disappointed and my view of the concert would be tainted.
I think that would depend on the concert. The first concert that sticks in my memory that my parents took me too was the Manhattan String Quartet playing an all Mozart program. I remember that but my dad also took me to see rock groups (i don't remember these shows but i've seen pics) In fact a great many of the best concerts i've been to did not have drum set players at all, nor guitar players. Some Timpani parts in a couple of them so i guess that counts.
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  #93  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

What would you think about a drummer who records their snare, bass, toms, and cymbals separately in layers? Is that a "real" performance?

Saw a band get on a Sunset Strip stage, where not ONE person had a "real" instrument. All laptops and controllers.

They had nothing visual [no show or stage presence], so it was like watching people having a meeting at work. Of course, the life was compressed out of everything.

The audience was all on their phones, but they had the biggest crowd of people ignoring them, ever.

There was a great deal of depth missing from both sides of the stage. I've seen this happen with real instruments, too, so I'll bet it's a beginner thing.

I remember a great amount of rejection when it came to the synthesizer and rock. David Lee Roth didn't want a synth in Van Halen. Keyboard players were shamefully hidden behind a curtain at times, by guitar bands who were protective of their axe image.

This discussion is nothing new.
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  #94  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

I think pop music has gotten a lot less diverse over the last 15 years or so. At the turn of this century, you could hear stuff like Mariliyn Manson, Britney Spears, Linkin Park, *NSYNC, Limp Bizkit, Eminem, and Christina Aguilera, on the same station, one right after the other. The advent of cheap MP3 players, followed by smartphones with streaming services, has allowed people to listen to pretty much whatever they want with ease we couldn't imagine 20 years ago.

As a result, people's tastes have gotten a lot more specialized, and pop radio has become fairly homogenized, because it doesn't have to appeal to anybody who actually cares - they're already curated their dream playlists on their iPhones. The only people who listen anymore are people who use music as background noise while they drive to work or over the PA at the store they work at.

This means that the pie has gotten a lot smaller for the radio business, and I wouldn't be surprised if corners were cut to make radio-friendly pop as inexpensive as possible. Especially after Lorde's "Royals" became a smash hit, everyone thought minimalist instrumentation and production was the way to go, and the recording industry - facing a slump of its own - was only too happy to oblige.

This is all just my opinion, of course, and you're welcome to think that I'm way off base. As far as The Chainsmokers are concerned, I saw a meme stating that "you could point to any two white guys in their mid-twenties and tell me they're The Chainsmokers, and I'd have no choice but to believe you."

I don't think that drum machines contribute to a lack of personality on a musical or personal level, but they do seem to go hand in hand many times. But there's a time and place for drum machines, and many of my favorite songs use sequencers and drum machines heavily. Someone above mentioned Depeche Mode, and that's a band that oozes personality, despite using no acoustic instruments that I can discern.

There's also bands that work alongside drum machines, like New Order. Stephen Morris is a criminally underrated drummer who plays alongside a drum machine, creating complex patterns that no human - or drum machine - could effectively reproduce.

To corrupt an old bumper sticker slogan, "Drum machines have no soul - and that's just the way I like it."
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  #95  
Old 10-23-2017, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
If slick professionalism replaces passion and sincerity, then yes.
I don't view those as mutually exclusive. In fact, passion and sincerity aren't even required to craft a good pop song. I think the problem is, there are fewer 'good' pop songs. I know that word is very subjective, but never has there been so much criticism about the pop music of the last 20 years or so.

Example: I put together the walk-in music for Al's concerts. Sometimes there's a theme, sometimes just a bunch of songs that sound good to my ear, and have a certain energy to keep the crowd 'up'. I try to find newer music to include, and it's become increasingly difficult. I don't think anything on the current playlist is newer than 5 years old, and the bulk of it is 15 years and older. I have a pretty average taste in music and like a good pop song, but I'm having trouble finding anything.

I don't think that's for lack of passion, sincerity, or because the production side is too slick. The songs just aren't there.

Bermuda
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  #96  
Old 10-23-2017, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

I think the songs and songwriters are there, but the commercial apparatus getting them in front of the public and making them hits has broken down. However the business works now, there apparently is not a lot of need for new hits that are good songs-- otherwise they would be spending money on artist development to make that happen.
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  #97  
Old 10-23-2017, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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The songs just aren't there.
I couldn't help but think of this guy's video about "How to make a hit song in one minute." Where I come from, this isn't a hit song. At best, in all fairness, I'd call it a good start to something.

This takes the pop songs/real drums disappointment to a whole new level.

It's absolutely horrible. No dynamics, no creativity, nothing fresh or new.

For this guy, his popularity is all about his personality, or maybe his look, or a combination. What he has going for him, in the music business, actually has very little to do with music at all.

How good looking are you? How popular are you? How many units of Axe Body Spray can you potentially move? Where do you sit on this trend wave?

Meanwhile, I've known many people by far more talented than myself, who could never make it in the music business. Their stories would be tragic, if the music business were not rotting from the inside. The tragedy is not theirs, and neither is the shame.

There are legitimate musicians making music out there, and I salute them and have a great deal of respect for what they do. However, the bar has been lowered enough that the point of entry hinges on many other factors, most of which have nothing to do with music.

You can take a list of major award-winning acts from the 60s and 70s, and if you are honest, then you just know that they'd not stand a chance if they were starting out today.

So the lack of presence of a real drummer is the least of what is going wrong. I think electronic drums, sequencers, and the like have their place. I like Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, so there's no strong hate for these things being in their place.

No doubt, from the music to the lyrics, the songs are not there, and I do not even stop to wonder whether or not this even matters to the "music business." It's just too obvious.

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  #98  
Old 10-23-2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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I have a pretty average taste in music ...
Man, you're lucky. I've been told my taste in music is below average at best.
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  #99  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:15 PM
Macarina Macarina is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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I think that would depend on the concert. The first concert that sticks in my memory that my parents took me too was the Manhattan String Quartet playing an all Mozart program. I remember that but my dad also took me to see rock groups (i don't remember these shows but i've seen pics) In fact a great many of the best concerts i've been to did not have drum set players at all, nor guitar players. Some Timpani parts in a couple of them so i guess that counts.
Well, I was primarily thinking rock concerts vs. orchestrated works or plays where the band is in the pits. I was thinking bands who do have drums in their songs, but might not have the drummer physically on stage. Maybe Britney Spears and the other pop stars, just track the music? I dunno... I hear about these things.

I remember Alice Cooper on his greatest hits tour, had the entire band stuck behind a giant TV screen, so he could do his theatrics up front. I was really torn. While I heard great things about his shows, not seeing the band totally sucked. (Note: they did make an occasional appearance when the TV screen lifted away briefly).

Maybe it's because I'm a drummer and 'extra' aware of the percussive side of songs. I would just be so discouraged going to a concert that, to me, is obviously missing something.
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  #100  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

The music business is a business. A song (or group of them) is nothing more or less than a commodity in the music business. However a song can be made in the least expensive Ė most efficient process while meeting the demand of the consumer Ė so shall be done.

Until the consumer changes requirements of what is required Ė the simplification process will continue.

This is no different than any other consumer product on the market.

Harsh reality? Perhaps - but it's the reality.

The "manufacturing of hits" model has changed over time. As has other elements of music business... How music is purchased (or not), listened to or watched. Live gigging opportunities... etc...
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  #101  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

In terms of songwriting going 'downhill', I'm not sure if that's the case but if it is there is a plausible explanation.

Record companies have been in trouble for a long time now, trying to make money. As have film studios. If we take the example of a popular film genre and analogise it to music, we can draw a valid comparison.

Superhero movies are big, big business now. Twenty years ago we had a few but they didn't saturate the cinemas in quite the way they do now. Around about ten years ago, Nolan's Batman movies got great press and audience numbers and other studios caught on. Marvel comics and their characters (and yes, I'm aware Batman is DC) started having a few hit films and in the last five years or so, there's barely a quarter goes by that there isn't a large-budget superhero action blockbuster that's new on screen. Some of them are good (Nolan's Batman, Wonderwoman, Avengers), some of them not so good (Batman vs. Superman, Suicide Squad). They pretty much all made good money. People went to see them. The merchandising did well. Films that are not financially successful aren't made into franchises and no sequels are made.

The point is, it became a winning financial formula and is an inherently conservative approach.

Move on to music and exactly the same thing has occurred. A particular pop sensibility has developed and studios - afraid to lose money - have digested the financials, worked out the general characteristics of what sells and what doesn't and rather than spending money on 'experiments' have doubled down on what they know will sell. The result? The music all starts to sound fairly similar. In that milieu there are some great songs, there are some really poor songs.

Aesthetic judgement is, however, completely irrelevant. How much money did it make? The more trouble the industry is in, the more I homogenous I expect the charts to sound.
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  #102  
Old 10-23-2017, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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I don't think that's for lack of passion, sincerity, or because the production side is too slick. The songs just aren't there.

Bermuda
But I think an argument could be made that the songs are there, but over use of slick production has squeezed all the "there" out of them to the point we no longer here the "there".

Songs are so overly compressed that they don't breathe, and there are no dynamics, and the songs just become digital noise.

If you put Lady Gaga or Katy Perry in a time machine bak to the late 60's with Phil Spector producing and Hal Blaine on drums with others of the Wrecking Crew surrounding them, I think we might have something. But of course, since we don't have a time machine, we can't prove it.
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  #103  
Old 10-23-2017, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Originally Posted by Macarina View Post
I have no idea how I would react if I went to a concert event that didnít have a drummer.

.
Apparently you would enjoy it if you ingested enough ecstasy. :)

It blew me away the first time I saw (not in person) a DJ playing for a 10,000 plus crowd

I've noticed a bit of a trend for solo guys who went back to using drummers over a machine simply for a stage presence. A keyboard or guitar guy can program the bass, guitars, keys, strings and backing vocals and use a live drummer to have some movement/action going on stage.
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  #104  
Old 10-23-2017, 10:16 PM
Elven Bones Elven Bones is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Apparently you would enjoy it if you ingested enough ecstasy. :)

It blew me away the first time I saw (not in person) a DJ playing for a 10,000 plus crowd

I've noticed a bit of a trend for solo guys who went back to using drummers over a machine simply for a stage presence. A keyboard or guitar guy can program the bass, guitars, keys, strings and backing vocals and use a live drummer to have some movement/action going on stage.
A successful performer told me that back in the 80s he tried to perform live with programmed drums, but without a drummer moving on stage, the performance was just dead. It was just him and a guitar. He eneded up getting a drummer to perform live.

He probably could have just hired dancers though.
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  #105  
Old 10-24-2017, 01:50 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

Are there any pop songs that have reduced "percussion" part? From what I heard they all have increased percussion parts. I would conclude the reason that they don't use real drums, is that minimalist one drummer shows aren't good enough.
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  #106  
Old 10-24-2017, 04:48 AM
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Are there any pop songs that have reduced "percussion" part? From what I heard they all have increased percussion parts. I would conclude the reason that they don't use real drums, is that minimalist one drummer shows aren't good enough.
Yes, machines don't have human limits, and the inhuman limits (ie. subtleties) - to paraphrase the great Leslie Neilson - don't amount to a hill of beans any more. Part of this comes from the fact that today's society is loud - more people, more machine sounds - Joni Mitchell's acoustic guitar isn't going to cut through the way it once did.

There's been a strong push to "tidy up" rock and pop, to legitimise it with precision. Sloppy hippy dippy playing like the Stones or Hawkwind is passe. So now pop is clean and mean and made by a machine!
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  #107  
Old 10-24-2017, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Yes, machines don't have human limits, and the inhuman limits (ie. subtleties) - to paraphrase the great Leslie Neilson - don't amount to a hill of beans any more. Part of this comes from the fact that today's society is loud - more people, more machine sounds - Joni Mitchell's acoustic guitar isn't going to cut through the way it once did.

There's been a strong push to "tidy up" rock and pop, to legitimise it with precision. Sloppy hippy dippy playing like the Stones or Hawkwind is passe. So now pop is clean and mean and made by a machine!
Funny, this just reminded me that at the turn of the 20th century Tin Pan Alley was called the song factory and it was criticized for creating mass produced sterile music. And that was people like Irving Berlin, Charles K. Harris, Jerome Kern, Harry Von Tilzer, and George Gershwin they were talking about. Granted these writers had a very high level of professionalism which is discernible in their music but when did that become a bad thing? Why is there this feeling that poor musicianship is somehow more authentic or real? I always found it odd that people would credit garage bands with very little musical ability with more musical authenticity than the musicians that spent years of their lives studying and bringing themselves up to a professional level of facility. It shows up in mainstream pop music with the advent of Rock n Roll and reappears with punk rock(musically identical but with distorted guitar and edgier lyrics). Sorry i think i've strayed from the topic a bit but the thread brought all this stuff up in my mind
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  #108  
Old 10-24-2017, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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If it results in the exact same performance, then what's the difference?

Let me convey a little story. On one of Al's recent albums, there's a particular original song on which I played the drums live. I have to brag here, I did a particularly excellent job, and there's not a moment where you'd think "that's a live drummer." It was that tight and even and solid, and the song lent itself to that vibe, so it was perfect.

But I still wonder why I spent the time playing it when I could have just programmed it for the exact same result. I don't think I was trying to prove something, but I know I ended up working harder behind the drums than I would have behind the keyboard. Note: I get paid the same either way. :)

Just saying, if the result is the same, then what's the difference?

Bermuda
The difference for me is that we're talking about art, so it's absolutely fair game to care about whether or not it was made by a human or a machine. Whether we can be fooled or not is a different point, I think.

There's more to how we feel about art than the bottom line. I can care about whether a product is hand-made vs. made by a machine, and it's got nothing to do with whether or not I can tell the difference. People are moved by the things other people do. It's about expression and empathy for the human condition. It's about an appreciation for a skill acquired through hard work. Human achievement matters to people. Machines can do almost everything faster and better than us, but we still have spelling bees and people still try to out-run each other on tracks.

I get that from a business perspective, the music sells regardless of how it was made, whether it was performed by man or machine. But I think there's a tendency to view the act of caring about the particulars as some kind of thing everyone just needs to get over. And it feels sometimes like the people who are concerned with such things are just viewed as Luddites who can't adapt to a changing world. And I don't see it that way.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:38 PM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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It was just him and a guitar. He eneded up getting a drummer to perform live.
I swear I read somewhere that Smashing Pumpkins used to perform with a drum machine before getting Jimmy Chamberlin. I can only imagine the difference they felt.

What I can't imagine is programming a machine in a tedious fashion to recreate Chamberlin's parts. Sounds like a royal headache.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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But I think an argument could be made that the songs are there, but over use of slick production has squeezed all the "there" out of them to the point we no longer here the "there".

Songs are so overly compressed that they don't breathe, and there are no dynamics, and the songs just become digital noise.
I don't think processing is a detriment to a song's enjoyment, as much as poor production and lack of melody, groove, and hook would be. More than anything, a song has to have a hook. Even today, with product not selling. The song has to stand on its own.

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Old 10-24-2017, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

True-- any level of processing or lack of processing can work if the song is there.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:42 PM
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The difference for me is that we're talking about art, so it's absolutely fair game to care about whether or not it was made by a human or a machine. Whether we can be fooled or not is a different point, I think.
To be clear, machines don't spontaneously create anything without a person behind it. Drum parts aren't spat out by a computer. They're composed by a person. Ideally IMO, a drummer.

Discounting music because some or all of the sounds were generated by a computer, is very unfair to the composers of that music (has nothing to do with whether you like the music or not, that's another matter.) Even Zappa relied on a Synclavier (or was it a Fairlight?) for his later works. Was he no longer creating music or art because of that?
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

When I create a drum part for my own personal music, I'm typically using a drum machine/program to compose the parts with. Back in the 90's when I was a more serious songwriter, my idea was to just learn enough drums to play on my own music. But now I compose my part on a drum machine or program. Of course, if I did any actual studio work with my songs, I think I would use acoustic drums for the most part, but I'm not against using programmed drum tracks.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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To be clear, machines don't spontaneously create anything without a person behind it. Drum parts aren't spat out by a computer. They're composed by a person. Ideally IMO, a drummer.

Discounting music because some or all of the sounds were generated by a computer, is very unfair to the composers of that music (has nothing to do with whether you like the music or not, that's another matter.) Even Zappa relied on a Synclavier (or was it a Fairlight?) for his later works. Was he no longer creating music or art because of that?
The fact that the parts are created by a person is important, yes. Although, there are instances now where AI software has "written" pop music. Granted, all of this was enabled by humans who built the software and the machines, but that line between human creativity and machine is being further blurred all the time.

I don't think ANY of the things we're talking about invalidate the art. I'm not discounting any of it. I love plenty of music with programmed parts. I listen to a lot of pop music, rap, techno... everything. I'm not just saying that, you should see my playlists!

I'm just defending the position that it's okay to care about whether a part was programmed or played by a musician. Maybe you don't think that's really being argued here, but in the larger scheme of things, beyond this forum, I feel it often is.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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To be clear, machines don't spontaneously create anything without a person behind it. Drum parts aren't spat out by a computer. They're composed by a person. Ideally IMO, a drummer.
au contraire mon frŤre, this music documentary proves otherwise.

https://youtu.be/hyCIpKAIFyo


But seriously, when these first came out years ago, I watched maybe one all the way through. Totally soulless. And it sort of demonstrates why we go to see performances with live human beings. There's nuance. There's soul.

I too don't get the hords of people going to watch someone spin records. There's nothing to watch. I guess the folks are there for the mind numbing thump, thump, thump
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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The fact that the parts are created by a person is important, yes. Although, there are instances now where AI software has "written" pop music.
Is any of that music out there, or just in the experimental phase?

If it's still behind closed doors, then it doesn't count. Yet.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Is any of that music out there, or just in the experimental phase?

If it's still behind closed doors, then it doesn't count. Yet.
Good question. And I'm not sure. I need to check into it more.

As an aside, I've always been fascinated by the advances in chess software, which is an interesting prism to view AI advances through. I've played chess since I was a kid and I had a good friend who went into physics and math who shared my love for chess. He and I used to geek out with these computer chess reports where this really dedicated chess master would play hundreds of games between various computers to establish their ratings and relative strength. I can't imagine how many thousands of hours that took, but we ate it up.

Computer chess became a bigger deal when machines started beating the best humans, at which point it hit the public consciousness, because it was portrayed by then as a "battle" between man and machine. But the most interesting time for me was way before that, when there were still philosophical debates about the best way to make a computer that could play chess. I feel like the discussions about software and music are sort of at that early stage now.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

Originally posted by Macarina
au contraire mon frŤre, this music documentary proves otherwise.
https://youtu.be/hyCIpKAIFyo

That's an exercise in animation, not music creation. A person created the melody and rhythm, and a person directed the animation.


I too don't get the hords of people going to watch someone spin records. There's nothing to watch. I guess the folks are there for the mind numbing thump, thump, thump

That's basically it, they come to dance. The presence of a person 'spinning records' at a dance is nothing new though, the sock hops of the '50s featured a person with record player and a stack of wax (I wonder if any of the attenders wished there was a live band playing?) and the discotheque was very popular in the '60s.

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Old 10-24-2017, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

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Computer chess became a bigger deal when machines started beating the best humans, at which point it hit the public consciousness, because it was portrayed by then as a "battle" between man and machine.
The thing is, it's always been a person against the computer. There's partial human interaction required. Has anyone made a program where the computer plays chess with itself? Would there be a point?

Granted, it's possible for a computer to generate a (technically) unique melody and rhythm based on certain parameters (such as: here are 500,000 published songs, don't copy any of them!) The results would certainly be novel, but it's not going to stop musicians from creating, and performing music.

My acceptance (and dare I say skill?) at programming hasn't killed my passion for playing acoustic drums.

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Old 10-24-2017, 09:01 PM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: Why don't pop songs have real drums?

Is it "real" if the music is made by a machine that does not use electricity?

WINTERGATAN is all about music machines. The one linked is a wind-up marble machine.
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