[LAU] The democratization on music might not always be a good thing...

Darrin Thompson darrinth at gmail.com
Thu Nov 4 16:45:44 UTC 2010

On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 12:24 PM, David Santamauro
<david.santamauro at gmail.com> wrote:
> true, but also a bit of jealousy, no? Why should someone with no
> musical skills other than the ability to operate computer software be
> able to travel the same path as a someone trained for decades?

I can't resist. You better not be trolling us...

The bottom fell out of the font design business in the 80's. Desktop
publishing made elaborate design with type accessible to a huge
population of newly minted untrained practitioners. As a result,
everyone wanted lots of cheap fonts. There was room at the top for a
few type design greats and past that was a swamp of newly demanded
"junk" typefaces. At least that's the story David Seigel tells.

There was no longer a market for "middle of the road" fonts. There
were only font collections costing thousands and font collections
costing $5. I went with the cheap stuff and did my kerning by hand.
Just saying.

And here we all are. There are fonts and there is software and the sun
continues to rise. There's even starting to be a middle market for
fonts again.

If I'm in that middle of the market where my livelihood depends on
people needing me to make funny sounds with a keyboard and a voice,
well, I'm in big trouble.

If fons comes out with a new tool that automixes my otherwise good
arrangement into a potential top 40 hit, and you're a mixing engineer,
well, you're in big trouble.

Tools that make art easier are always going to result in a flood of
new and completely uninteresting art. Oh well. The orbit of the planet
is usually unaffected by that. But I think the lesson of history is
that in the long run, it accelerates the pace of innovation, even if
it makes things ugly for awhile up front.


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