Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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vurt
addled muppet weed
46992 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:16 am

:lol:

Ploki
KVRian
789 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:18 am

wagtunes wrote: ↑
Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:09 pm
The answer to your question is a complex one and not something I really want to get into in depth but there are many reasons for this attitude. One reason is this.

The piano, as you pointed out, has survived for quite some time. It actually has a fairly neutral tune, meaning it's not overbearing like some synth tones which, by their very nature, are quite exaggerated.

In addition to that, the piano has been used for countless types of music, so it's not identified with just one thing, like classical for example. There's jazz piano, which is also very popular and fairly old itself. And so on.

Synths, on the other hand, especially those 80s tones, are just that. They've primarily been used for 80s sounds. They don't have a rich history behind them. So the sounds themselves, because of the narrow use, have become a cliche.

It's a good part of the reason why Prog Rock eventually died out. People got tired of hearing that Lucky Man lead because it was such a narrowly used sound, whereas the piano, violin, and other "traditional" instruments were used for so many thing.

And this is just one reason. Some people simple hate the sounds, always hated them, and wish they never existed in the first place.

In short, you can't compare the "traditional" instruments to these "specialized" sounds.

Right or wrong, they will always be viewed this way.

FTR, I love the old sounds, but that's just me.
I don't get this at all.
Of course synths don't have a history, they were popularised in 80s. Piano didn't have much history in 1780 either.

Also, synth is such a broad term...
Synths will never go out of style, because you can do a lot with them. A synth is kinda like an orchestra.

And certain orchestration styles went out of style, but orchestra itself didn't.

IMO "rock sound" is aging worse than synth sound is and offers much less in the long run.

AnX
KVRAF
4905 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:23 am

donkey tugger wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:15 am
AnX wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:57 am
vurt wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:22 pm
AnX wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:12 pm
wtf is going on in this thread?
what's it to you fisherboy? :box: :box:
im an angler! :x
Bastard sea farmer.

i dont eat them, im not feckin polish

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vurt
addled muppet weed
46992 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:25 am

ok, ok, calm down, don't get your rod bag in a twist :shrug:

AnX
KVRAF
4905 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:26 am

:dog:
Ploki wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:18 am
I don't get this at all
thats quite clear

Ploki
KVRian
789 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:47 am

AnX wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:26 am
:dog:
Ploki wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:18 am
I don't get this at all
thats quite clear
:party:

User avatar
Forgotten
KVRian
1107 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:51 am

vurt wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:25 am
ok, ok, calm down, don't get your rod bag in a twist :shrug:
Is that some sort of euphemism?

Dirtgrain
KVRist
119 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:52 am

vurt wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:13 am
throbbing gristle :band2:
Ha, my friend in junior high school bought an album by them just because of their name. He put a bumper sticker that came with it on the bottom of his skateboard. Sadly, I also bought a record that same day solely based on band name: "Septic Death." Wasn't a very good album, and I should have taken the band name literally, dammit. Still have it though.

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
46992 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:53 am

Forgotten wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:51 am
vurt wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:25 am
ok, ok, calm down, don't get your rod bag in a twist :shrug:
Is that some sort of euphemism?
'ere, does yer mother know youre out past 11?

User avatar
vurt
addled muppet weed
46992 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:54 am

Dirtgrain wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:52 am
vurt wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:13 am
throbbing gristle :band2:
Ha, my friend in junior high school bought an album by them just because of their name. He put a bumper sticker that came with it on the bottom of his skateboard. Sadly, I also bought a record that same day solely based on band name: "Septic Death." Wasn't a very good album, and I should have taken the band name literally, dammit. Still have it though.
if its any consellation, ive seen septic death live :shrug:
think i had roughly the same reaction.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18839 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:30 pm

same reason we went to see Talking Heads in 77
same disappointment

User avatar
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
8331 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:14 pm

I saw Talking Heads live in 1984, when they were doing the Stop Making Sense show. I'm not a fan of their music but that show was unbelievably good. When I saw the film at the cinema a year or so later, the audience were actually clapping each song like it was a concert, it was so engrossing.
Gamma-UT wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:04 am
Skinny Puppy's first album? Produced by Tom Ellard.
Not really. Tom has some funny stories to tell about the sessions but he didn't produce it. The way he tells it pretty much everything was done by Dave Oglivie. I like Tom and we know each other quite well but I've never been a big fan of his music. I certainly don't think he ever pushed any boundaries where synth sounds are concerned. Cabaret Voltaire, maybe, to an extent, but not Severed Heads.
Maybe if you want to think of Severed Heads as "setting the pace", you're getting somewhere. I like me some Skinny Puppy, but let's not pretend that The Cabs, Throbbing Gristle etc from way before hadn’t already been there, done that.
None of those bands ever did it even half as well as Skinny Puppy. If you don't recognise that, you need to go and listen to the songs I put on the previous page to understand what I'm talking about. There is threat and menace in Skinny Puppy that Severed Heads never even tried to put into their music.
As NME once famously described it, Mallinder had the "screeching over a vacuum cleaner" sound down to a fine art.
Except Mallinder only ever whispered his vocals. It was very effective but there is nowhere I can think of where he comes close to screeching.
Ploki wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:18 am
IMO "rock sound" is aging worse than synth sound is and offers much less in the long run.
I'm not sure how that works, given that plenty of rock incorporates synths but very little electronic music incorporates guitars. Then there are bands like mine, who make rock music using only synthesisers. NOVAkILL is much more comfortable being labelled "Rock" than "Electronic".
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Acer Switch5 (Core i5, 8GB RAM, Win10),Behringer QX1002USB, Cubase Pro 10, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Seaboard Block, Lightpad Block M, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt.

realtrance
KVRist
149 posts since 10 Aug, 2006

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Nobody sits with any thing long enough for it to matter any more.

In my day, we had the bone flute. And wow did we play it.

Now here we are, nine billion strong.

Name me another instrument with that kind of sticking power.

The fault is not in our synths, but in ourselves.

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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
4776 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:11 am

BONES wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:14 pm
None of those bands ever did it even half as well as Skinny Puppy. If you don't recognise that, you need to go and listen to the songs I put on the previous page to understand what I'm talking about. There is threat and menace in Skinny Puppy that Severed Heads never even tried to put into their music.
There is more to threat and menace in music than ODing on distortion and a bit of shouting to saturate the mic/preamp. Skinny Puppy quickly evolved to leave any sense of subtlety behind and just piled on the schlock - it's like Bad Taste when you really want something more like The Exorcist to be effective. Consider what Genesis P was able to get across with little more than a sparse drum machine rhythm and an LFO.
Except Mallinder only ever whispered his vocals. It was very effective but there is nowhere I can think of where he comes close to screeching.
I've got to wonder whether you've listened to anything earlier than Crackdown or Micro-Phonies. The vacuum-cleaner line from the NME was IIRC about one of their gigs around the time of Mix-Up - it's more accurate on the hoover analogy than anywhere else but it was a reflection of their early live sound. The vocals are mixed way back in that first album, but he seems to be channeling his inner Dalek on "Heaven and Hell". Everything through 2x45 spans a fair number of delivery techniques (well, other than actual singing).

With respect to the actual thread topic, when you consider the number of things they tried pre-Crackdown overall, which were done with more emphasis on acoustic treatments than synths, their later stuff seems much more buttoned-down - and may be one of the reasons why synthetic instruments don't get "respect".

Similarly, Severed Heads got a lot more done with tape and musique-concrete techniques compared to what happened when sampling and synths became much more accessible and therefore used more heavily.

yellowmix
KVRian
1122 posts since 11 Aug, 2012 from omfr morf form romf frmo

Re: Why so little respect for the synthetic "instruments" we're creating?

Post Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:15 am

BONES wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:14 pm
I'm not sure how that works, given that plenty of rock incorporates synths but very little electronic music incorporates guitars. Then there are bands like mine, who make rock music using only synthesisers. NOVAkILL is much more comfortable being labelled "Rock" than "Electronic".
Kind of a circular definition, isn't it? Rock had readily assimilated electronic instruments and synthesizers for decades, but the moment you combine electric guitars with "electronic music" it's a one-drop rule and rock would claim it (e.g., Depeche Mode is often considered "Electronic Rock"). Guitars fill up a good amount of the spectrum so that is understandable. But it's also markedly different from the electronic artists that wield a sequencer. Reminds me of when the Beastie Boys learned to play guitar and drums. I suppose a large part of Rock is a certain type of craft and showmanship.

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