[LAU] A year of Linux Audio revisited - would like to know your oppinion

Robert Persson ireneshusband at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 15:33:39 EST 2007

Charles Linart wrote:
>> Just because you're ignorant about a function doesn't mean it's
>> unimportant.  Also, "You don't need that feature, it sucks anyway"
>> followed by a rant about how successful music sucks, is an evasion,
>> not a real argument, even if you did know what the hell you were
>> talking about.
Obviously I agree with the point Rob is making here, but it's important
not to let that get mixed up with personal attacks.
> Successful music?  What's that?  You mean commercial music?  By my
> definition of success (sounding good) it is a complete and total
> failure in most cases.  Now hear out my "argument":
> Music is a human experience, and mechanizing it to the extent that
> it's mechanized today in commercial studios dehumanizes it; therefore,
> commercial music sucks.  You may disagree, but maybe my ears are just
> better attuned than yours to the clocklike monotony of what you call
> "successful" music.

But that is not a good argument for ignoring features that many people
want. In effect you are saying that everyone should make music the way
you do it. No wonder Rob feels so offended. I used to know someone who
had opted to learn the flute at school in the early seventies. When he
told his flute teacher at his first lesson that he wanted to be able to
play like Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, the teacher fired him. Since then
music has become more eclectic, less class-ridden and less judgemental,
and that is certainly a good thing. Certainly a lot of commercial music
is pretty dull, but amongst all the dross within any particular genre
there are always some gems, if only you are willing to look for them.

And please don't tell me what kind of ears I have.

> Many good songs are completely ruined by overproduction.  The best
> artists out there are still doing it live-to-tape, and Linux is just
> fine for that sort of thing.
If the best artists are doing it live to tape, why are you using a
computer? Of course if your needs do not include sequencers then you are
very well catered for by Ardour (and will be even better catered for
once VST support is implemented). And certainly overproduction has
ruined many potentially great projects. However I would not agree that
all the best artists are doing it live to tape. Many ground-breaking
artists, from Edgard Varèse and Conlon Nancarrow to Tangerine Dream and
DAF, have assumed radically different ways of working for reasons that
are creatively and conceptually sound (although I freely admit that
Tangerine Dream has also used sequencers to produce some dreadful
schmaltz). Speaking for myself, I want groove quantise partly for
conceptual reasons—pastiche is an important aspect of my work—but mainly
because my "skills" as a musician are completely inadequate for
implementing the ideas I have. So please let's ditch the judgements
about other people's abilities and tastes. And let's ditch the flaming.

> As for "quantizing the groove," open-source programs have many, many
> ways of doing that based on the description from the Cakewalk website,
> even if they don't have a cool marketing slogan for it.  Maybe we
> should call it "phreaking the matrix" in the OSS audio world.
Please tell me more. I've been looking for these tools and I haven't
been able to find them. I will gladly give them a try if they are fairly
simple to use and integrate reasonably well with my work flow. As for
the term "groove quantise", it has attained fairly wide acceptance. It's
use is not limited to Cakewalk users.

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