I'm No Luddite! But I Have...Artistic Concerns...

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Too Many Notes
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
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Location
Michigan
Those of you who've read my many rants know that I'm not against beat boxes, synths, samplers, hip hop, or lots of other genres that make use of certain tools to help in the creation of music. These machines must be programmable by the artists involved (very few use presets), and considerable creativity is employed in their use by the good ones in each genre.

As it happens, today we went to my brother's for Easter brunch, and I sat with a group of artists and art professors who touched briefly on A.I. and the challenges it represents to not only art, but the teaching thereof.

Well, that includes most of the arts, doesn't it? Visual art can be done by AI; music can be created via AI; books can be written with AI, and I could go on.

I wondered aloud if there will be a group that will be perfectly happy to let AI do all the creating, and another group that will value human-created arts. And there might be a blend.

It's fascinating to talk about this. There's also an element of WTF!

Since I mostly think about music, and not visual arts nearly as much, I thought it'd be interesting to start a discussion here about what's happening, and what could happen.

I can tell you from experience that you can buy pre-programmed libraries of one-finger musical phrases. In my opinion, it sounds canned. I don't use it. Most composers don't, some so-called 'sound designers' are more inclined to because it's fast and easy. Got a commercial and a low audio budget? There you are. Instant bullsh!t.

"Wait a sec, Les, you do ad music, which is bullsh!t regardless, really."

"Sure, but at least it's original bullsh!t and I did it!" :rolleyes:

If I could make a prediction, I'd say that in addition to AI-generated stuff, there will be a movement in the arts toward live performance, played by humans, written by humans, etc. It'll be put up or shut up; live music always is.

I think (this might be just a hope) there will be a resurgence of interest in orchestra, dance (modern and ballet), live theater, live popular music shows, etc.

I'll leave the rest of my thoughts on hold for now. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks!
 
I’ve been watching a couple of excellent artists producing with AI recently and the results are really good. Often I can’t tell just by looking. What I find interesting is how close to that artists work the AI is. It makes me think that even with a good AI, there is still a role for an artist.

I might not buy any AI, but mostly a personal prejudice.

I will note that I haven’t seen what I consider a true artificial intelligence yet. I’ve just seen sophisticated algorithms. Impressive software, but still a rendering of some persons thinking.
 
Those of you who've read my many rants know that I'm not against beat boxes, synths, samplers, hip hop, or lots of other genres that make use of certain tools to help in the creation of music. These machines must be programmable by the artists involved (very few use presets), and considerable creativity is employed in their use by the good ones in each genre.

As it happens, today we went to my brother's for Easter brunch, and I sat with a group of artists and art professors who touched briefly on A.I. and the challenges it represents to not only art, but the teaching thereof.

Well, that includes most of the arts, doesn't it? Visual art can be done by AI; music can be created via AI; books can be written with AI, and I could go on.

I wondered aloud if there will be a group that will be perfectly happy to let AI do all the creating, and another group that will value human-created arts. And there might be a blend.

It's fascinating to talk about this. There's also an element of WTF!

Since I mostly think about music, and not visual arts nearly as much, I thought it'd be interesting to start a discussion here about what's happening, and what could happen.

I can tell you from experience that you can buy pre-programmed libraries of one-finger musical phrases. In my opinion, it sounds canned. I don't use it. Most composers don't, some so-called 'sound designers' are more inclined to because it's fast and easy. Got a commercial and a low audio budget? There you are. Instant bullsh!t.

"Wait a sec, Les, you do ad music, which is bullsh!t regardless, really."

"Sure, but at least it's original bullsh!t and I did it!" :rolleyes:

If I could make a prediction, I'd say that in addition to AI-generated stuff, there will be a movement in the arts toward live performance, played by humans, written by humans, etc. It'll be put up or shut up; live music always is.

I think (this might be just a hope) there will be a resurgence of interest in orchestra, dance (modern and ballet), live theater, live popular music shows, etc.

I'll leave the rest of my thoughts on hold for now. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks!
Sometimes mankind's creativity produces things that are designed to be beneficial and help ease mankind's burden. Other times that "gift" you receive you want to re-gift and send to some unsuspecting relative.

You know, like that young child you sent off as a babe, who keeps coming back from college to dwell in your home, even though he graduated 5 years ago...?
 
It’ll be fascinating to observe. I suspect we’ll see new genres.

I don’t think live music in our late-20th century sense of it will be what it once was. Market forces will continue to erode it. Live composition will be interesting.

I suspect AI will replace human DJs. Adaptive to the crowd, an incredibly deep library, and the ability to engage more senses in an intentional way.

Then there’s the money-side of things. Who earns what, who owns what, and eventually… Can an AI retain its own earnings?
 
My major issue with AI creation is that it's not truly artificial intelligence. Instead they're very impressive programs that find art in whatever form that already exists and does a variation of copying and combining. So it's more like complex, computerized plagiarism, with no credit to the original artists.

Of course there's the argument that human artists generally do the same thing. Long before AI, I heard people claim no truly original stories have been written since Shakespeare.

So I find it interesting and fascinating but have deep concerns.

But I have often become skilled at things just when they ceased to matter--jazz-focused saxophonist, audio engineer mainly in mastering, writer/analyst/editor--so I relate to The Beth's "Expert in a Dying Field."
 
"Wait a sec, Les, you do ad music, which is bullsh!t regardless, really."

"Sure, but at least it's original bullsh!t and I did it!" :rolleyes:
I'll always love ya, for that statement alone.

Since the time when automated music took over the majority of the airwaves I've hoped and prayed that the younger generation would rebel against the predominant current of artificial sounds that is the foundation of HipHop, EDM, and even the hybrids of Rock that made up Popular charts for the past few decades.

I'd always thought that the younger generations were the most progressive and rebellious, but it seems that we're living amongst a younger generation of listeners that DGAF about improvisation or human rhythms, and even though there are many gifted young musical artists that do care about it, they are so underground that nobody gets exposed to them unless they search around YT for acts that few are even aware of.

I don't know what that says about our society but anyone here that understands the music *business*, they know that in business it's all about low overhead and high profit. When 1 or 2 people in the studio can churn out a lot of preprogrammed music, and not have to pay an entire band or orchestra, and spend a lot of $$ and time on it, we all know what the label marketing is going to promote.

I'm all about underground music and my latest pet thing musically is "Souldies", Young players composing and recording old skool soul music in the same arranging framework and recording methods done in the 60's & 70's.
Not a big audience, or musical virtuosity, but their honesty and integrity is precious to me.

Some examples:

 
Humans, or a section of them, will value original creation. Then there will be a (likely huge) group who doesn’t, and will accept whatever they’re fed. I’d venture the opinion that it has always been that way, and the creators whose creations are fed into “programming” for dissection and reassembly with no credit/compensation to them will always rage against it, as they should. It’s been vividly evident since the industrial revolution, and fairly exponential in its growth in relevance since then. Patents and copyrights are in for a rocky future.

I’m not wanting to go back to the cave just yet, but I do see a scenario where limitless use of our creativity in creating the ability to mimic and reproduce that creativity can devalue artistry to the point it wouldn‘t be viable as a profession. That can’t end well.

Concerts are already half or more tracks for some “artists” who justify that it’s their voice they’re lip syncing over. With auto-tune and 50 takes, comped to one vocal, of course. Other bands just play it. The ones who do studio quality stuff live impress the heck out of me. Musicianship on display will sell, but then you get into concert tickets. The wife and I looked into John Mayer tickets, only to find anything in actual visual range would cost north of $1000 a pop. That ain’t happening, so in a way we may be loading the gun that’ll shoot us later.

I‘ve no answers for it, but its a fascinating topic.
 
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It’ll be fascinating to observe. I suspect we’ll see new genres.

I don’t think live music in our late-20th century sense of it will be what it once was. Market forces will continue to erode it. Live composition will be interesting.

I suspect AI will replace human DJs. Adaptive to the crowd, an incredibly deep library, and the ability to engage more senses in an intentional way.

Then there’s the money-side of things. Who earns what, who owns what, and eventually… Can an AI retain its own earnings?
You may be right regards engaging the senses. Not sure of intellectual or copyrights. Might set a new earnings standard for music, based on who programmed the AI and what value people place on the music.

I sincerely doubt that AI will replace humans who wish to create and play music themselves, though. There is too much of a human yearning to create, build and enjoy the fruits of one's labor compared to letting AI take over our ability to entertainment ourselves.

Regards single-note generated songs, IIRC, Antonio Carlos Jobim in 1962 wrote "One Note Samba" that was a I-VIII modulation on one guitar note. Only thing that modulated was the stand-up bass viol. Brush drums and percussion were the same. An exceptionally beautiful song, though very little was done musically. And of course, the final bar which ends on a higher note. I don't think AI would be that far off from imitating something of this type, but given the level of technology advancements in recent months, it certainly doesn't seem impossible...
 
I'll always love ya, for that statement alone.

Since the time when automated music took over the majority of the airwaves I've hoped and prayed that the younger generation would rebel against the predominant current of artificial sounds that is the foundation of HipHop, EDM, and even the hybrids of Rock that made up Popular charts for the past few decades.

I'd always thought that the younger generations were the most progressive and rebellious, but it seems that we're living amongst a younger generation of listeners that DGAF about improvisation or human rhythms, and even though there are many gifted young musical artists that do care about it, they are so underground that nobody gets exposed to them unless they search around YT for acts that few are even aware of.

I don't know what that says about our society but anyone here that understands the music *business*, they know that in business it's all about low overhead and high profit. When 1 or 2 people in the studio can churn out a lot of preprogrammed music, and not have to pay an entire band or orchestra, and spend a lot of $$ and time on it, we all know what the label marketing is going to promote.

I'm all about underground music and my latest pet thing musically is "Souldies", Young players composing and recording old skool soul music in the same arranging framework and recording methods done in the 60's & 70's.
Not a big audience, or musical virtuosity, but their honesty and integrity is precious to me.

Some examples:

Awesome post.
 
You're making really interesting comments, everyone.

We, as musicians (I include all of us in this, professional or involved amateur) have - and ought to have - something to say about our creative fields.

I've been thinking that it's become increasingly important for me to start to work with as many human musicians as I can afford to, to create the orchestral works I've been creating. Because I'm a novice at writing sheet music that orchestra players can actually read, I've been considering bringing in a person I know who's a good orchestral transcriber.

Even though my little studio isn't much of an orchestra space, it's still a good sounding room, and would be fine with the addition of a few real instruments, even if I have to blend them with orchestral samples until I can afford a proper orchestra and recording space (which of course will probably be NEVER! ;)). I have the right mics to record a small ensemble in a quality way.

I fully realize that there's no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Part of my personality cares about the waste of money, but most of what's left of my brain says to hell with that; get going and see what happens.

Oh yeah...sometimes I forget...this is a guitar forum. Well, sorry for the irrelevance, but maybe I'll record some guitar music too, just for good measure! :)
 
I'll always love ya, for that statement alone.

Since the time when automated music took over the majority of the airwaves I've hoped and prayed that the younger generation would rebel against the predominant current of artificial sounds that is the foundation of HipHop, EDM, and even the hybrids of Rock that made up Popular charts for the past few decades.

I'd always thought that the younger generations were the most progressive and rebellious, but it seems that we're living amongst a younger generation of listeners that DGAF about improvisation or human rhythms, and even though there are many gifted young musical artists that do care about it, they are so underground that nobody gets exposed to them unless they search around YT for acts that few are even aware of.

I don't know what that says about our society but anyone here that understands the music *business*, they know that in business it's all about low overhead and high profit. When 1 or 2 people in the studio can churn out a lot of preprogrammed music, and not have to pay an entire band or orchestra, and spend a lot of $$ and time on it, we all know what the label marketing is going to promote.

I'm all about underground music and my latest pet thing musically is "Souldies", Young players composing and recording old skool soul music in the same arranging framework and recording methods done in the 60's & 70's.
Not a big audience, or musical virtuosity, but their honesty and integrity is precious to me.

Some examples:

I should mention that when I was a teenager, Motown was happening, and I was in Detroit.

We had the Motown Revue each year: Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and many more, live on stage annually. ALL of them.

I love this stuff.
 
I should mention that when I was a teenager, Motown was happening, and I was in Detroit.

We had the Motown Revue each year: Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and many more, live on stage annually. ALL of them.

I love this stuff.
Yea we have tribute band up the wazoo here in the Bay Area and that's cool, but I'm just impressed with the authenticity of the songwriting these kids are doing. It seems they've really done their homework cause I can see some of the tunes being hits if they were done when I was a youngster.

I encourage you to check them all out and the rabbit hole YT will lead you down.

 
I should mention that when I was a teenager, Motown was happening, and I was in Detroit.

We had the Motown Revue each year: Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and many more, live on stage annually. ALL of them.

I love this stuff.
oh man the sex must have been nexxxxxt level. marvin is more dangerous than barry white.
 
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