Ahead of the curve vs. Immature

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I'm one of those that is on the cusp of the millennial generation. In high school and college I was really interested in computers had jobs at tech companies degrees in computer science, playing techno music with trackers etc., but these didn't go mainstream until a few years later, and by older generations fall into the category of "toys". In many ways I identify with the younger generation, shopping/socializing online, however I feel that this leads to a situation where I am perceived as immature by older generations, because the younger generation feels that computers/cell phones etc are "tools". It doesn't help that I am within ten pounds of my high school weight, and health conscious. Beyond the simplistic techno I see the big effect on music is going to be a vaporization of cultural borders with people making musical connections around the world, and I look forward to this. Are these exotic percussion instruments "toys" or "tools" just a trend or the future?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think they can be tools and toys. If you are using them for fun, just aids in socialization , maybe toys, but I have always felt as though my computer was a tool. Tools for learning, tools for teaching , tools for organization, tools for designing, composing playing, whatever. I wouldn't spend too much time trying to label it but just knowing that the technology is there when needed. Moog was probably the first toy, tool, used to deal with music, beyond Buddy Holly over dubbing tracks for the first time. Have fun playing with the tools. I do some woodworking now and consider my tools toys to help have fun.
 

DrumWild

Senior Member
I've used samplers and sequencers [MIDI] in my music since the late 80s. One of my inspirations was Pink Floyd. This video shows Roger Waters using technology to make music.

I'm going on 53, and Pink Floyd is from the generation before mine.

In the beginning of the video, David Gilmour describes it in a way that makes it [and I think this applies to samplers, sequencers, trackers] sound like a tool, where he indicates that, "It's all extensions of what's coming out of our heads," and "the equipment isn't thinking about what to do... it couldn't control itself."

I think that context and purpose is what makes the difference between a toy and a tool. The smart phone is a great example. Sometimes, I'm using it at work for testing, or using apps such as PagerDuty to alert me when a website has gone down in the middle of the night. My checkbook app makes sure I'm not overdrawn, the banking app pays bills, the metronome app serves me in rehearsal, and so on.

But then there are times when I'm on Reddit, enjoying some dank memes, or maybe engaging some block game.

There are some instances where the "old people" just don't get it. The movie TRON from 1982 was disqualified from receiving an Academy Award for special effects, because the use of computers was "cheating."

Within the context of drumming, I got to a point for a while where I was playing my acoustic drums, and had triggers on the drums to trigger assigned sounds from a module. I had pads that would start and stop sequencers, or change programs, or change tempos. Other pads would set off a sound in a sampler.

At the time, I had two bands. The bigger band was where I used that set-up. Our recordings were so difficult to reproduce that everyone in the band also played a synthesizer, except for the bass player.

The smaller band viewed my efforts with the bigger band as the use of gimmicks, toys, etc., and they weren't really into any of that. But the bigger band saw my ability to use these things as a true asset that took pressure off of them.

There will always be people on both sides of the fence. My mother's boyfriend is one of those who views all technology as a waste of time, and he will ask if I brought my "devil phone" with me [I think that attitude is immature]. Then, there's my mother, who set up her own Wi-Fi network and rooted her iPhone.

The curve you're in is part of another curve that started when I was a little kid. If anything, it's more accepted now than ever before.

It all depends on what you want.

Just don't make assumptions. I remember the MySpace days, when younger people would tell me that I could never "get it" because I was too old. They had no idea that I worked at MySpace. It was kinda funny.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think they can be tools and toys. If you are using them for fun, just aids in socialization , maybe toys, but I have always felt as though my computer was a tool. Tools for learning, tools for teaching , tools for organization, tools for designing, composing playing, whatever. I wouldn't spend too much time trying to label it but just knowing that the technology is there when needed. Moog was probably the first toy, tool, used to deal with music, beyond Buddy Holly over dubbing tracks for the first time. Have fun playing with the tools. I do some woodworking now and consider my tools toys to help have fun.
I have woodworking and stone working "toys" hand-me-downs. I very much view them as toys. Interestingly I've moved away from making music with computers it's a tool. Though, I still run my experiments through a fft spectroscope to help with tuning. I do plan on doing more with digital sampling and recording in the future for know it just feels like work, just connecting the cables is like being locked in and not in the moment.
 
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