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Is there anything you consider "Cheating?"
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Is there anything you consider "Cheating?"
mattcolville
This is the video that started me down this road;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MptJjycG9Do

I watched probably another 100 hours of videos over the thanksgiving and Xmas breaks before I felt like I could reasonably get a Mother 32 and it would not be a waste of money.

About thirty minutes after I opened it up, I watched that original video again and said "Ah-hah! Valhalla Shimmer!"

20 minutes after that, I was making music that sounded exactly like Vangelis Blade Runner synths and I never looked back. I've got like 26 modules now.

But...

I've never gone back and used that VST. I want to do it with modules. I don't even know if you CAN replicate that with modules, I sort of thought the Erbe Verb could do it, I dunno.

I don't know why, but for me, using a DAW running a looped synth wash and a VST for shimmer feels like...cheating.

That's entirely personal! But so is this whole hobby. I got a BitBox to use as my drum machine and I sorta feel like that's cheating. Like, if I were better at this, I wouldn't need samples. grin

Do you folks have these arbitrary "I refuse to use...." philosophies? Anything you find hard to explain or justify?

Or I am just crazy? grin
dubonaire
I refuse to use Maths and Clouds
Joe.
Sample packs make me angry.

Nice starting point for people getting into the hobby I suppose, but really they're helping people skip the fundamentals.
lisa
LoFi Junglist wrote:
really they're helping people skip the fundamentals.

I feel the same way about tennis and driving. People just buy a racket and a car, premade! They shouldn't skip the fundamentals. You haven't really driven until you refine your own gas. smokin'
Joe.
I also consider logical fallacies a form of cheating w00t

...but to revisit my previous whine, I realise I'm 'cheating' these days, compared to what i considered sampling 20 years ago.

No more diving through record bins in second hand stores, garage sales, no more hoarding random vinyl.

I have access to sample databases that list sources. eek!

I can sit on youtube during work, listen to a playlist of records, note down times. I can search for related Artists, composers, arrangers. I can find the entire body of work for an artist in a minute.

Maybe I'm cheating. Maybe it's all relative.
big job head
I refuse to put Rings into Clouds (but i don't have them so it's no problem...)
lisa
LoFi Junglist wrote:
I also consider logical fallacies a form of cheating w00t

Yeah. hihi

The thing is that you can consider any part of the process as a fundamental element. Drawing the line at "making your own sounds" is arbitrary. The same logic can be used to say that you should be building your own synths. That's my point.

You're allowed to have any arbitrary view, of course. I also understand where your are coming from since I shared this specific view for many years. Nowadays I realize that it's a view based on the notion that the technological aspect and techniques of music making is more important than the music itself and these days I disagree with that.
cptnal
If you refuse to do or use something for anything other than musical reasons you're your own worst enemy.

Nothing is cheating as long as you're having fun (and no one gets injured). You will be judged on the results - either by yourself or others.

This is fun!
dubonaire
lisa wrote:
LoFi Junglist wrote:
really they're helping people skip the fundamentals.

I feel the same way about tennis and driving. People just buy a racket and a car, premade! They shouldn't skip the fundamentals. You haven't really driven until you refine your own gas. smokin'


I buy a racket and win an Aston Martin playing poker with a murderous villian.
racooniac
no

this made me remember an interesting thread of recent times:
https://www.reddit.com/r/WeAreTheMusicMakers/comments/26bf7b/using_loo ps_is_cheating/

a lot of those comments are just gold wink

"But you have to be the female goat" applause
hamildad
stackables, unless banana.
Tom_1970
The use of samples.
Using multisamples to get a ‘tuned instrument’ is no problem for me, as long as it is an acoustic instrument like a piano or drums, but for anything that can be achieved with synthesis, I consider samples as cheating.
Using complete sampled beats, parts, riffs, licks etc. is beyond cheating.

This definition is just for me, I don’t judge others on using samples....
Well mostly I don’t. hihi
starthief
Nope, no technique/product is cheating.

Some things are lazy -- and that may be just fine, I'm a big fan of sloth myself. Sometimes "lazy" is just a lazy word for "efficient" Mr. Green

Some things are boring -- in which case... oh, I don't care, do whatever :yawn:

Some things are all too common, derivative, uncreative etc. -- I mean, it's your music, but any potential listeners will probably appreciate not being dragged through it again seriously, i just don't get it


More specifically, I use VST effects (and a handful of VST synths once in a while). They have all kinds of advantages. Not sure why anyone would feel shame at using ValhallaShimmer but not, say, a Halls of Valhalla zDSP card. It might be helpful to figure out how to achieve those sounds with more basic building blocks yourself -- or discover other cool stuff trying to -- but if you like the sound, use it.
jkjelec
Recently there was a clip shared of a "music in the park" event from I guess the late 1960s. There was a Moog Modular there, with a reel-to-reel tape deck playing a multi-tracked electronic symphony that must have been recorded from the Moog. Looking at it now it is so obvious that the synth isn't playing it, but back then it must have looked that way. Now THAT is cheating!

I am just joking; maybe they told the audience members that it was a sample of the music that the synth could make.
BenignToxicity
I'm in my own quandary about samples. I'm happy to use spoken word samples from radio sources or libraries as source material... because there is simply no way I can do that for myself. However, I was recently reviewing some Morphagene demos, and found the library of reels. As far as I can see, these are created (using an MG system) to showcase the module's capabilities... they sound great, and maybe fun to play with to learn the module, but I couldn't help but think using these in an "original work" would be cheating. I have the same problem with the TG One module. As much as I've loved listening to Throbbing Gristle for decades, using samples (even if they're curated by Chris Carter for the purpose) strikes me as "cheating".
dplduffy
I think the great thing about music is that it’s entirely subjective. What you hear and what someone else hears can be two different things. So the same sample can lead to two totally different songs. It may be “lazy” or unoriginal, but I don’t think it should be considered cheating.
Dcramer
It’s this whole ‘cable’ thing angry
Any upstart hack can patch a modular by cheating his way through with...ugh...patchcables... meh

In my day we patched our banana jacks back and forth the way it was meant to done... hyper .... with real bananas It's peanut butter jelly time!

True, they didn’t pass much current, or last very long....and god...the flies...

But back then we were real artists lol


It's peanut butter jelly time!

nanners
Dead Banana
Dead Banana
spinach_pizza
lisa wrote:
Nowadays I realize that it's a view based on the notion that the technological aspect and techniques of music making is more important than the music itself and these days I disagree with that.


I 100% agree with this.

Yes, anyone can dial up a huge synth wash with valhalla shimmer (or something similar). But in my opinion, it's what you do with that synth wash that's important. Same with any other technique.
dooj88
LoFi Junglist wrote:
I also consider logical fallacies a form of cheating


if a tree falls in the woods...

if a thought forms in the mind and there's no one there to recognize it, was it a candidate for logical fallacy?

i refuse to make music with VST presets. also, yeah, i'm not a fan of shimmer verbs, it's like fake complexity if not done right.
Shledge
I have samplepacks of for drum sounds and loops in my bitbox (mainly amen breaks).
I use stackables.
I sample what I make into loops and make songs out of that.
I've used factory presets before, and factory samples built in to DAWs.

Does it matter?
Abston
The more I get experience in sound design and production, the more i think using sample pack with Loops is cheating smile In fact, more than just cheating, it makes you loose the most important thing, your personality and you are just sounding the same than 10000 other guys
luchog
mattcolville wrote:
Do you folks have these arbitrary "I refuse to use...." philosophies? Anything you find hard to explain or justify?

Or I am just crazy? grin


The two are not mutually exclusive. Mr. Green

LoFi Junglist wrote:
Sample packs make me angry.

Nice starting point for people getting into the hobby I suppose, but really they're helping people skip the fundamentals.


My personal philosophy is also focused on fundamentals, multiple simple modules that do one or two things, and work together to create sounds, rather than super-complex multi-function modules that are nearly an entire synthesizer in and of themselves.

For the same reason I eschew anything that uses samples and wavetables. I don't know that I'd necessarily call that "cheating", but it's certainly not really taking advantage of the unique characteristics of modular synthesizers. And once it gets to that point, I feel like might as well just go back to my computer and save a few bucks on hardware.

My own personal style is based on keeping my rack as purely analog as possible, avoiding much in the way of digital sound production or signal processing, in order to retain a level of imprecision and unpredictability that digital hardware effectively erases. Also the reason that the core of my current rack is vacuum-tube-based modules, adding an additional layer of chaos to the system. An instrument that is no only truly unique and unreproducible (even with the same hardware), but which changes over time as tubes age and/or get swapped out.

Abston wrote:
The more I get experience in sound design and production, the more i think using sample pack with Loops is cheating smile In fact, more than just cheating, it makes you loose the most important thing, your personality and you are just sounding the same than 10000 other guys


Reminds me of back in the late '90s to early '00s, when every kid with a (typically pirated) copy of Sound Forge/Reason/Pro Tools/etc, was churning out piles of techo-industrial garbage. After a few minutes of listening, you could tell fairly clearly what software and sample libraries were being used, because they all sounded essentially the same. There was little to no originality, just a whole lot of canned sounds and beats stuck together like Lego bricks, all pulled from the same small bins that everyone else used.
InnnerSight
Everything is cheating - Unless you make your own instruments and scales. w00t

Everything is fair game, just make sure you add something of your own to it.
1010music
Thanks for starting this conversation. As someone who has been involved in making music tech for a number of years, I have seen it take on many forms. I find that the definition of "cheating" is always in the eye of the beholder. One person's "cheating" is another person's "keeping it real."

Think about how many things you are taking for granted with music creation--especially electronic music production. I would argue that unless you are producing music with nothing but the sound of your own voice and body then you are "cheating."

Using a car to get to your gig? That's cheating. You should carry everything by hand no matter how far it is.

Using electricity from the grid to power your rig? That's cheating. You should generate it yourself.

Using money to get paid for your gig? Cheater. Use bartering of goods and services like real artists do.

I hope this makes you laugh and points out the humor of this topic.
BenignToxicity
I think everyone has their own yardstick... my discomfort need not be (nor should it be) someone else's. My own (somewhat arbitrary) line revolves around whether I can do it myself or not... am I just taking a shortcut... would I learn more and feel more accomplished if I did it myself? Obviously I cannot reproduce the radio stuff I like to use... but I can reproduce a fairly serviceable bass drum and hi-hat when the need arises. However, I tie up a lot of hardware to do that and I would certainly not baulk at using something like Pico Drums with its samples to do that efficiently. Am I breaking my own rules? Probably... but they're my rules, so I can.
Hi5
dubonaire wrote:
I refuse to use Maths and Clouds


Tom_1970 wrote:
The use of samples.
Using multisamples to get a ‘tuned instrument’ is no problem for me, as long as it is an acoustic instrument like a piano or drums, but for anything that can be achieved with synthesis, I consider samples as cheating.
Using complete sampled beats, parts, riffs, licks etc. is beyond cheating.

This definition is just for me, I don’t judge others on using samples....
Well mostly I don’t.


Sums it up.

Reality though there is no cheating, just things I don't like
AW198
My 'cheating' isn't someone else's 'cheating' - I happily use sample packs for drums, but as soon as it's a drum loop I'm dragging and dropping it's cheating for me, unless I'm doing weird stuff with splicing the loop etc. Anything where you're basically buying someone else's work (drum loops, synth riffs, MIDI chord files etc) to drag and drop and pretend you made yourself - that's cheating. I find it hard to respect people who take full guitar riffs, filter them slightly, then call that an original track (looking at you, Martin Garrix). But hey, it's just personal preference and if it's how you make cool, original music, then who am I to judge?

With my modular youtube videos, I have a personal rule that using software effects and processing is cheating... Ableton is for recording audio and normalising only!
captjrab
It comes down to how much time are you willing to invest in a format and to what end? There is a learning process involved no matter what. If you want to learn the Bit Box or any menu divey module, it would be helpful to put in some qualityy time and figure out its own fundamentals.
I have an aversion to computers. Dragging and dropping sounds like a lot of work and cutting and pasteing digital squiggles is not my thing, but some people can chop all that stuff up in no time because they know the fundamentals of software.
It also comes down to your artistic fundamentals. What is your experience? What are you trying to say with your music (if anything).
Parnelli
It is said that there are no rules in love or war; my approach to modular seems to represent a little of both to me, so why ruin a good thing? Guinness ftw!
mattcolville
dubonaire wrote:
I refuse to use Maths and Clouds


This is my favorite answer. I think everyone has something in them that says "Oh EVERYONE needs one of these, huh? Everyone! Can't do without one, huh?"

This is exactly what I was talking about.
mattcolville
AW198 wrote:
My 'cheating' isn't someone else's 'cheating'


Of course not! It is by definition personal, self-imposed, idiosyncratic! Often not strictly rational, but then that's sort of the point of music.
@realwiggler
+1
starthief wrote:
Nope, no technique/product is cheating.

Some things are lazy -- and that may be just fine, I'm a big fan of sloth myself. Sometimes "lazy" is just a lazy word for "efficient" Mr. Green


Whatever gets you working is totally valid. If you like the outcome and it fuels your creativity, what else really matters seriously, i just don't get it
sduck
InnnerSight wrote:
Everything is cheating - Unless you make your own instruments and scales. w00t


Electricity from the wall/grid is cheating. You're not a real electronic musician until you've wound your own coils around magnets you've created yourself, rigged up the whole thing with a bicycle, and pedaled like crazy just to get a beat going (on your all DIY rig of course).
Shledge
You know what is objectively 100% cheating when it comes to music?

Taking the entirety of someone else's music and claiming it your own. Not even sampling to add spice to your song - taking credit.

Everything else isn't "cheating". There's no right or wrong way to make music. The only outcome is that people will think it's great, or that it's shite.
Joe.
Shledge wrote:
Taking the entirety of someone else's music and claiming it your own. Not even sampling to add spice to your song - taking credit.


Wendy Carlos Youtube bots?

you kids get off my lawn
R.U.Nuts
We're all making electronic music here. There are loads of people out there who tell you: "Nah, using these gimmicky boxes for making music is cheating." "You don't actually play these instruments, you program them." "It's not hand-made music."
-Just sayin' hihi
dubonaire
mattcolville wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I refuse to use Maths and Clouds


This is my favorite answer. I think everyone has something in them that says "Oh EVERYONE needs one of these, huh? Everyone! Can't do without one, huh?"

This is exactly what I was talking about.


And it's true, but almost completely irrational. I think sometimes it's good to acknowledge one's irrationality.
gonkulator
Shledge wrote:
You know what is objectively 100% cheating when it comes to music?

Taking the entirety of someone else's music and claiming it your own. Not even sampling to add spice to your song - taking credit.

Everything else isn't "cheating". There's no right or wrong way to make music. The only outcome is that people will think it's great, or that it's shite.


Agreed, basically the only "cheating" worth considering is some form of plagiarism.

A few comments,

Just because I may create stuff (music or anything) from scratch, as it were, doesn't necessarily (or usually, in my case) mean it is better than something that was in some way premade.

It is totally understandable that, especially when you are under a deadline, or are primarily a musician (as opposed to a synthesist or sound designer) that you would use what some of us would consider shortcuts.

I played some of my stuff for a friend, who immediately asked where I got the sounds. When I told her that it was all mangled together from basic synthesizer elements without any samples, she was much more impressed. I wasn't sure what to think about that, except I suspect most casual listeners assume most musicians are using samples as their primary sources.

Personally, so far i have refused to multitrack or use music phrases or loops I didn't create. But that's just me. I do this almost solely for the process.
Yes Powder
I like to think I'm pretty open-minded about things in music production.
I'm open to using samples if done tastefully, and really have no problem with modules like Clouds, even though I don't own one. I feel like in modular synthesis it's hard to "cheat"; sure you can make an uninspired or lazy patch, but that's only really cheating yourself.

One thing I do consider cheating though is using one-finger presets on softsynths— you know; the kind where you hold one note on the keyboard and it basically makes the song for you?
Back in college (about 2006 or 2007, I believe?) two electronic bands I was listening to released albums that year. Both bands had a song that featured the same one-finger sound that I recognized as a preset from a Reaktor ensemble. Totally killed them for me. I'm sure other bands I liked or still like do it too, but the fact that I recognized this one so distinctly really shattered any illusions I had of their godhood.
bobdylan
I can't see how anything could be cheating if it's being used to create art? Plagiarism sure but certainly nothing else. I personally would never want to include a laptop in my live set due to personal preference, but could never condemn anyone for using one in theirs. It's about what they are presenting, not how they're doing it necessarily.
Joe.
bobdylan wrote:
I can't see how anything could be cheating if it's being used to create art? Plagiarism sure but certainly nothing else.


I've often wondered what would be considered crossing the line.

What If i take someone's noise or drone track, and then reverse it?

I've got a feeling nobody would notice as there's no recognisable melody or chord progressions, no snares or hats to give away it's being played backwards etc.

and if I'm busted alll I have to do is declare it's a 'comment on the linearity of time' (or something as equally douchy) and it's still art right?

(The primate I'm baiting with this comment is obviously the one I'm going to bootleg hihi )
electricanada
Tom_1970 wrote:
The use of samples.
Using multisamples to get a ‘tuned instrument’ is no problem for me, as long as it is an acoustic instrument like a piano or drums, but for anything that can be achieved with synthesis, I consider samples as cheating.
Using complete sampled beats, parts, riffs, licks etc. is beyond cheating.

This definition is just for me, I don’t judge others on using samples....
Well mostly I don’t. hihi


I don't judge others for using samples or loops. I judge them for using their materials badly.
dubonaire
When it comes to art, I think it can only be cheating if you misrepresent your work. And I feel sorry for anyone who does that.
Shledge
LoFi Junglist wrote:
bobdylan wrote:
I can't see how anything could be cheating if it's being used to create art? Plagiarism sure but certainly nothing else.


I've often wondered what would be considered crossing the line.

What If i take someone's noise or drone track, and then reverse it?

I've got a feeling nobody would notice as there's no recognisable melody or chord progressions, no snares or hats to give away it's being played backwards etc.

and if I'm busted alll I have to do is declare it's a 'comment on the linearity of time' (or something as equally douchy) and it's still art right?

(The primate I'm baiting with this comment is obviously the one I'm going to bootleg hihi )


There are entire genres dedicated to doing just that. cool
SynthBaron
Cheating well is also a talent.
dubonaire
SynthBaron wrote:
Cheating well is also a talent.


There are plenty of illegitimate talents.
cptnal
SynthBaron wrote:
Cheating well is also a talent.


Amen! Most of my musical heroes were charlatans, dilettantes and plagiarists. we're not worthy
SynthBaron
dubonaire wrote:
SynthBaron wrote:
Cheating well is also a talent.


There are plenty of illegitimate talents.


Like pop music after around 1999.

Nevertheless, the benjamins roll in.
ndkent
I remember I felt cheated when someone was playing a case of modular live. I'm hearing digital and complex sounds and wondering how they were patching them. Turns out they were playback from an SD card.

It wasn't playback that was bothering me, that's common and probably leads to a fuller sounding experience. It's that I got curious about how some sounds I was hearing were being produced from that modular live and they weren't live or from that modular
dubonaire
cptnal wrote:
SynthBaron wrote:
Cheating well is also a talent.


Amen! Most of my musical heroes were charlatans, dilettantes and plagiarists. we're not worthy


Dilettantism for life! It's motherfucking bacon yo
dubonaire
SynthBaron wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
SynthBaron wrote:
Cheating well is also a talent.


There are plenty of illegitimate talents.


Like pop music after around 1999.


Prince clearly knew.
mckenic
BOOM!

starthief wrote:
Sometimes "lazy" is just a lazy word for "efficient" Mr. Green


I think you just blew my mind & changed my world-view completely!
Thank you! thumbs up
Shledge
Making crap music != cheating, though.

Being good at cheating isn't a music skill.
davidh
cheating depend of the point of view, and you can go pretty deep into those cheating layers :

using sample = cheating
ok make your own sample with a synth
but using presets = cheating
ok create your own patch
using a synth someone else has designed = cheating
ok build your own instrument, build a modular
using factory build modules = cheating
ok let's DIY
DIY kit = cheating
ok ok make your own pcb
cloning an existing circuit = cheating
okokok then imaging your own circuits !
yes but using factory build electronic component = cheating
design and build you own electronic components

good, now are not a cheater anymore, any release date for your next album ?
heemmmmm
grin

it's not the hard work you put into, that decide if your music is good or not, it is only the emotion the listener feels.
be lazy if you can, or cheat, or put a lot of effort in it if you like, this is absolutely not the point, if your music touch the heart of a listener it is ok.
spinach_pizza
sduck wrote:
InnnerSight wrote:
Everything is cheating - Unless you make your own instruments and scales. w00t


Electricity from the wall/grid is cheating. You're not a real electronic musician until you've wound your own coils around magnets you've created yourself, rigged up the whole thing with a bicycle, and pedaled like crazy just to get a beat going (on your all DIY rig of course).


Aha, but you're still relying on some kind of contraption to make the sounds! The only honest way to make music, of course, is to rely completely on your own body making all the sounds. Oh wait, It's not really your body making the sounds, it's the air pushing on people's ears...hmmm, I guess we can't really take credit for anything! lol

Based on some of the criteria some have put forward in this thread, I'd guess that painters should consider photographers as cheaters. (As an aside, Bob Ross was the only true painter artist, because he performance painted in real time! lol) Is a composer a cheater? Someone who may not actually play a single note of the composition, and take perhaps months or years to write the music? Authors who endlessly go back and change things, polish them? These are the contexts within which I view multitracking to produce recorded works.

I personally agree with what Dubonaire said above, that perhaps the best concept of cheating is one of misrepresentation. Otherwise, if people are honest about what they've done, who are we to criticize their creativity regardless of the tools or methods used? I'm not talking about aesthetics or taste.
SynthBaron
Editing recorded MIDI and using it for sequencing in your DAW instead of playing live for every take is cheating.
Shledge
No it fucking isnt
Knights Who Say Neve
spinach_pizza wrote:


I personally agree with what Dubonaire said above, that perhaps the best concept of cheating is one of misrepresentation. Otherwise, if people are honest about what they've done, who are we to criticize their creativity regardless of the tools or methods used? I'm not talking about aesthetics or taste.


I think that's it. Milli Vanilli cheated, not because they used session singers, but because they tried to pass themselves off as those singers.

But consider (for example) the guy who just arranges a bunch of premade loops in ableton and then presents his work as original. And his work - the arrangement, that is - is original. But that guy probably isn't going to go out of his way to mention that the loops are pre-made. And that I think is the why people feel that certain things are cheating, because the person taking the shortcut can take advantage of the public ignorance about these things. Some will assume that he composed the melody, played the beat and so on, when he did no such thing, and give him a level of respect he may or may not actually deserve.
luchog
bobdylan wrote:
I can't see how anything could be cheating if it's being used to create art? Plagiarism sure but certainly nothing else.


That's pretty much the only thing I'd consider cheating. I would want to expand that a bit, though, such as using samples as the primary musical base, without adequately crediting sources.

A whole lot of current popular music, especially Hip Hop and Industrial, depends on samples. Samples of rhythms and melody lines, taken from other artists; or random sounds and noises. In the case of Industrial, it's more often those random, non-musical samples that are used to accent larger, more original work; whereas in Hip Hop and recent Pop, it's often entire rhythms, melody lines, even vocals in some cases.

When you have someone like Vanilla Ice using the entire opening riff from David Bowie and Queen's "Under Pressure", and that's pretty much the entire instrumental line, I'd say that borders on cheating if the original source is not adequately credited, and nothing is done to significantly alter the sample from its source, or integrate it into a larger piece. If not actually cheating, it's certainly profoundly lazy, and it's bad art.

"Great artists steal" is a very old aphorism, and it's true. Artists steal from other artists all the time, it's not possible to avoid doing so, really, given the sheer volume of art that has been created over the millennia. But along with that should be the understanding that what they're stealing is just building blocks, bits and pieces that they can manipulate and integrate into a larger work, and that they're doing more of their own work on top of those building blocks.

spinach_pizza wrote:
Based on some of the criteria some have put forward in this thread, I'd guess that painters should consider photographers as cheaters.


And, indeed, that is a debate as old as photography, one that still rages on in the art world to this day. But those who complain that photography isn't really art, or is just cheating, typically don't understand the amount and nature of the work that goes into making a truly great artistic photograph.

People in these debates, as exemplified by certain posts in this very thread, clearly don't really understand the fundamental nature of this debate. They're focus their objections too narrowly on the tools that the artist uses, and the pointless and rather stupid debate over whether a particular tool is artistically valid. All tools are artistically valid. What's important is the process -- how those tools are used, and the effort expended by the artist to master their tools and develop their artistic vision.
pugix
Depends on whether we are talking about music production or limiting it to modular synthesis, a decidedly small subset of music production. I'm fine with using anything for music production, even samples of copyrighted songs (this has been tested in court and found legitimate).

When it is limited to modular synthesis, I am somewhat dismayed by a trend in some areas to put a computer behind a panel with some knobs and CV inputs. If it's for music production, fine. If it's to be 'modular', I have my doubts. I don't use any samples. However I have nothing against taking real time buffer snapshots (such as with Clouds) or delay units. As long as the original signals are being generated and the processing is in real time, I'm fine with it. Wave table synthesis is a grey area, if you consider wave tables as a kind of sample. I have nothing against digitally implemented modules, as long as they act like a black box, for example digital VCOs like Braids or Twin Waves (both of which I have). I am dubious about machines like Morphagene. Legitimate for music production, of course. But how is this modular? Chiefly because of the CV inputs. The only way I want to program my modular is by patching. Never by loading samples. That's a kind of cheating, but only because now you've gone beyond what is to me the essence of modular: patching and tweaking. You have added sample libraries. Again, for music production, all is fair game. But when a computer with samples is used as a module, it's basically an expensive way to do what could otherwise mostly be done with software and a computer.
sexslut
This thread is funny.

How can you possibly "cheat" in art? The word seems meaningless in the context of art or music.
Flareless
sexslut wrote:
This thread is funny.

How can you possibly "cheat" in art? The word seems meaningless in the context of art or music.


Funny, I was thinking this same thing as I read through the thread.

My MU modular is just another instrument in my toolkit which I use to produce music. When I listen to a piece of music I don't think "oh that's a VST and not a real Minimoog therefore this isn't real music". If something sounds good for a piece I'm working on I use it regardless of where it comes from.

For me I know I'm doing the right thing because it's my artwork and what matters to me is "am I pleased with the result?". If others can be made happy (or angry, melancholy, etc..) from my music that's just a bonus. I TRY to provoke an emotional response (just like a Voight-Kampff Test wink ).

The idea of cheating in creating music by not using a "correct" instrument or sound is like the idea of cheating in painting by mixing blue and yellow to get green.

That's just my opinion though and I respect the points made here in this thread. It's quite an interesting read.
memes_33
which is more important, the end result or the means of achieving it?
cycad73
dooj88 wrote:
LoFi Junglist wrote:
I also consider logical fallacies a form of cheating


if a tree falls in the woods...

if a thought forms in the mind and there's no one there to recognize it, was it a candidate for logical fallacy?


There are always other "ones" in the woods. A fact so evident, only philosophy can forget it wink

"Cheating" as such makes no sense as a concept. Everyone has things they don't do. I don't use samples or virtual instruments, because I haven't exhausted the possibilities of what I use. I also don't upgrade my computer/DAW or have much of an interest in modern gear. It's about framing and focus. To evolve within one's own means. When the time is right, some of those other approaches may be viable.

I think of Eliane Radigue. For 30 years she used only ARP 2500. Then she began composing only for acoustic instruments. Just like a switch. You never know.

"If I could just push a button" -- but who really wants to do that? Music isn't something in one's mind, some master plan that one imposes upon the world. It's a truth already being born through our engagement with the world. We can only acknowledge it and assist it, perhaps bring it out a bit more. We can impede it, too, but only when we try to master it.
SynthBaron
sexslut wrote:
How can you possibly "cheat" in art? The word seems meaningless in the context of art or music.


If there is truth in the composition or performance, then it will shine through no matter what is used to make it.
sexslut
I agree, SynthBaron. That's what I was trying to convey.

Cheating in this context would mean something like doing tricky things to get to the truth. Which is irrelevant, imho. As long as you get there, does it matter how you got there?

Edit: I understand as well that process can be an integral part of the "truth", but if it is... still, how could it be cheating? If that makes any sense. Guinness ftw!
gonkulator
I think the key, or one of the keys, is full disclosure. If one listens to Forbidden Planet, or Switched on Bach now you would think, yeah, that is nice, but what is the big deal, I could do that. But knowing the painstaking process (at least) it took back then, makes them landmarks. And now, while I fully appreciate and admire the skill with which so many can now produce extremely complex and sophisticated pieces by using even inexpensive tools, I also appreciate the fact that others voluntarily limit themselves (for whatever reason,) without passing judgement on anyone else using whatever legitimate tools they choose.
BaloErets
I think having any form of deity in your life is cheating.

And scooping up some peanut butter directly from the jar with your finger is definitely NOT CHEATING!!! angry angry
Joe.
BaloErets wrote:
I think having any form of deity in your life is cheating.


bah, now i'm sad again.

I think you're right though. Having a way to escape the concept of a finite life, and nothing after, is effectively cheating. You're not having to struggle with all of the questions arising from 'what is it to be human', you've found a way to not deal with reality.

but if you're indoctrinated into a way of thinking, kept ignorant from other possibilities, is it really cheating?
electricanada
pugix wrote:
Depends on whether we are talking about music production or limiting it to modular synthesis, a decidedly small subset of music production. I'm fine with using anything for music production, even samples of copyrighted songs (this has been tested in court and found legitimate).

When it is limited to modular synthesis, I am somewhat dismayed by a trend in some areas to put a computer behind a panel with some knobs and CV inputs. If it's for music production, fine. If it's to be 'modular', I have my doubts. I don't use any samples. However I have nothing against taking real time buffer snapshots (such as with Clouds) or delay units. As long as the original signals are being generated and the processing is in real time, I'm fine with it. Wave table synthesis is a grey area, if you consider wave tables as a kind of sample. I have nothing against digitally implemented modules, as long as they act like a black box, for example digital VCOs like Braids or Twin Waves (both of which I have). I am dubious about machines like Morphagene. Legitimate for music production, of course. But how is this modular? Chiefly because of the CV inputs. The only way I want to program my modular is by patching. Never by loading samples. That's a kind of cheating, but only because now you've gone beyond what is to me the essence of modular: patching and tweaking. You have added sample libraries. Again, for music production, all is fair game. But when a computer with samples is used as a module, it's basically an expensive way to do what could otherwise mostly be done with software and a computer.


Is there anything in modular that can't be done inside a computer?
SynthBaron
electricanada wrote:
pugix wrote:
Depends on whether we are talking about music production or limiting it to modular synthesis, a decidedly small subset of music production. I'm fine with using anything for music production, even samples of copyrighted songs (this has been tested in court and found legitimate).

When it is limited to modular synthesis, I am somewhat dismayed by a trend in some areas to put a computer behind a panel with some knobs and CV inputs. If it's for music production, fine. If it's to be 'modular', I have my doubts. I don't use any samples. However I have nothing against taking real time buffer snapshots (such as with Clouds) or delay units. As long as the original signals are being generated and the processing is in real time, I'm fine with it. Wave table synthesis is a grey area, if you consider wave tables as a kind of sample. I have nothing against digitally implemented modules, as long as they act like a black box, for example digital VCOs like Braids or Twin Waves (both of which I have). I am dubious about machines like Morphagene. Legitimate for music production, of course. But how is this modular? Chiefly because of the CV inputs. The only way I want to program my modular is by patching. Never by loading samples. That's a kind of cheating, but only because now you've gone beyond what is to me the essence of modular: patching and tweaking. You have added sample libraries. Again, for music production, all is fair game. But when a computer with samples is used as a module, it's basically an expensive way to do what could otherwise mostly be done with software and a computer.


Is there anything in modular that can't be done inside a computer?


Nope, and they've gotten a hell of a lot easier to use recently.
Joe.
electricanada wrote:
Is there anything in modular that can't be done inside a computer?


FUUUCCKKKK!!!
Dead Banana
SynthBaron
LoFi Junglist wrote:
electricanada wrote:
Is there anything in modular that can't be done inside a computer?


FUUUCCKKKK!!!
Dead Banana


There are ways.
pugix
electricanada wrote:
pugix wrote:
Depends on whether we are talking about music production or limiting it to modular synthesis, a decidedly small subset of music production. I'm fine with using anything for music production, even samples of copyrighted songs (this has been tested in court and found legitimate).

When it is limited to modular synthesis, I am somewhat dismayed by a trend in some areas to put a computer behind a panel with some knobs and CV inputs. If it's for music production, fine. If it's to be 'modular', I have my doubts. I don't use any samples. However I have nothing against taking real time buffer snapshots (such as with Clouds) or delay units. As long as the original signals are being generated and the processing is in real time, I'm fine with it. Wave table synthesis is a grey area, if you consider wave tables as a kind of sample. I have nothing against digitally implemented modules, as long as they act like a black box, for example digital VCOs like Braids or Twin Waves (both of which I have). I am dubious about machines like Morphagene. Legitimate for music production, of course. But how is this modular? Chiefly because of the CV inputs. The only way I want to program my modular is by patching. Never by loading samples. That's a kind of cheating, but only because now you've gone beyond what is to me the essence of modular: patching and tweaking. You have added sample libraries. Again, for music production, all is fair game. But when a computer with samples is used as a module, it's basically an expensive way to do what could otherwise mostly be done with software and a computer.


Is there anything in modular that can't be done inside a computer?


A hundred large knobs to turn, patch cords to wrangle. That is what it's about. Dead Banana
R.U.Nuts
To all those who say sampling is cheating: If I record ten minutes of banging on random stuff with mallets, process the recording with fuzz, ring mod, flanger, whatever pedals, re-record it, EQ the recording in a DAW, load it into a sampler module, pipe it through a LPG to make a hi-hat sound because I think that sounds better than the hi-hat from a 808 replica hi-hat module. -Do you think that is cheating? If no: we're not worthy
mome rath
when i was an insufferable tit with too much free time, i agonized about this


but fuck it, i can't make a good amen, you know?
Joe.
mome rath wrote:
but fuck it, i can't make a good amen, you know?


Try one of the other 20 common breaks used then... or stop cheating and find/create a new one twisted
mome rath
LoFi Junglist wrote:
mome rath wrote:
but fuck it, i can't make a good amen, you know?


Try one of the other 20 common breaks used then... or stop cheating and find/create a new one twisted


sure i can do a lot of other stuff, yeah

but it just scratches "that" itch man

i think i need to see someone about it--do you know any good local groups?
MindMachine
The WMD Chimera module is a 'short cut' and 'space saver'. I could get somewhat close to what it does with about 12-15 modules, a microphone, all my odd percussion pieces, a ton of time and a ton of patience.

Or I could plug in the Chimera. I love metallic and machine noises.
pugix
R.U.Nuts wrote:
To all those who say sampling is cheating: If I record ten minutes of banging on random stuff with mallets, process the recording with fuzz, ring mod, flanger, whatever pedals, re-record it, EQ the recording in a DAW, load it into a sampler module, pipe it through a LPG to make a hi-hat sound because I think that sounds better than the hi-hat from a 808 replica hi-hat module. -Do you think that is cheating? If no: we're not worthy


It's not cheating if you are 'making music'. But in what you describe a modular synthesizer is just one of many 'tools'.

I think that a bridge is crossed when modules start being sample recorders and players. Don't know about the word 'cheating', but this is clearly a new development in the modular world. It's as if using only modules without sampling capability is too limiting. So, do whatever is possible in the format. But at least keep it modular, in that I can mix and match and cross patch.

Another thing that's been disturbing me lately is a trend to fill entire Eurorack panels with whole synthesizers in a single long panel. No choice to mix and match. Mother 32 is one of the smaller ones. The difference with a standalone patchable synthesizer is only that it's in a Eurorack box. seriously, i just don't get it
luchog
electricanada wrote:
Is there anything in modular that can't be done inside a computer?


Yes, but usually not the sort of thing that most people using modular are typically interested in.
R.U.Nuts
[quote="pugix"]

I think that a bridge is crossed when modules start being sample recorders and players. [/qoute]

I don't understand: Do you think samplers in general are for cheating? Or using modular samplers instead of stand-alone samplers? And why?
Joe.
luchog wrote:
Yes, but usually not the sort of thing that most people using modular are typically interested in.


Growing live neural networks and having them pilot modulars?

Shledge
I really hate the "if it doesn't involve playing live, it's cheating" argument.

A performance can be done in many different ways. I am classically trained as a pianist, but I'm not going to put down people who lug their laptops/modulars out and use them live.

I do all of the above - samples, sequences, you name it. They're just tools for the end product. My take on it is that if it can't be done faster with a similar quality, then you're not really working efficiently.
luchog
Shledge wrote:
I do all of the above - samples, sequences, you name it. They're just tools for the end product. My take on it is that if it can't be done faster with a similar quality, then you're not really working efficiently.


"Art" and "efficiency" are two words that don't really belong together.
Shledge
It is if you are doing it professionally. Or in my case, being able to do the same thing without the added hassle.

For example, what is more efficient? Recording one take (lets say a simple pad, nothing obtrusive) and using multiple instances or recording each separate take of the same thing over and over? If the results are essentially the same, wouldn't it be easier to do it the quicker route, leaving time and mental energy to do more creative stuff? Wouldn't it be quicker to use hotkeys than take ages to go through menu after menu? What about creating presets of what you made? Creating a library of samples you have created and put them into songs? These are all methods to increase efficiency without really reducing the quality of your output.

You see this all the time in other areas - I use photoshop a lot for example, and use actions/scripts extensively to greatly speed up menial elements of something I'm working on. Would it be more "true" to take ages to manually resize 100 images from photography I shot, or use an action or script to practically do it in a fraction of time?

Personally I think the whole time sunk = more true is a big fucking fallacy.
cornutt
Cheating? The only thing that's cheating is using someone else's work and not crediting them for it. However... there are a lot of traps out there, a lot of one-trick ponies that have only limited uses. Some of these traps are easy to fall into, and sometimes they become popular and you have people trying to drag you into them, so you can be as miserable as they are. cry

I admit to being leery of things that are popular, in general. If everyone is using one particular thing, that makes me more likely to use something else. This obviously has limits, but it's a rule that seems to work for me. Having said that, even Autotune has potential creative uses. Sometimes I feel like blaming Autotune for badly sung pop music is like blaming the tool for the work done by the poor craftsman who uses it.
HighLordFixer
Someone made rules for composing modular synth???!
You can play modular with alligator clip cables and nails....
plus designing your own circuits and using soldering iron for saving some resources isn't cheating....
Is recording long passes then hacking them up considered "cheating"?
Life often tends being about creativity & resourcefulness.
Joe.
HighLordFixer wrote:
Someone made rules???!


Yeah, but they don't really apply if you're in international waters.

*Autotune Foghorn Sample*
HighLordFixer
Does kinda being in planetary orbit count as "international waters"?
My wifi connection drops if get too far out:P
Then need trying to pick up the crappy NASA signal...
We better ask someone from the NAVY secret space program:P
Dcramer
LoFi Junglist wrote:
mome rath wrote:
but fuck it, i can't make a good amen, you know?


Try one of the other 20 common breaks used then... or stop cheating and find/create a new one twisted


Lately I’ve been into the Ramen break....
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
..........lolspew
Homepage Englisch
Brian Eno used a preset which I could recognize from miles away, "Four Dogs" from Native Instruments FM8. Barely tweaked. It's a good preset. And a good tune. It works.

On the other hand, I heard some pop atrocity on the radio a few years ago, a Reason track with female vocals. How do I know? They used a default song, one of those that come with software for demoing what it can do. Now that's both lazy and unimaginative.

Just saying.
egg
todays live music concept is nothing but the cheating I dont see much differancies between djing and live modular thing they both push play button on cd player or sequencer
ngarjuna
Unless the actual audio source is there in the room generating sound waves everything that you hear in a production is cheating. The only difference between beloved and universal production techniques and cheating is context and elitism.
existentia
Dcramer wrote:

Lately I’ve been into the Ramen break....


Otherwise known as "noodling around"?
HighLordFixer

todays live music concept is nothing but the cheating I dont see much differancies between djing and live modular thing they both push play button on cd player or sequencer


yeah well that's sort of cheating^

yet who is it cheating?

everybody who actually plays traditional instruments is well aware of that... if you can't actually oldschool manually play a song using your internal sequencer with some type of instrument then you really are only ultimately cheating yourself in the big picture.... yet not everyone has the sustained focus, memory, & timing inside of them.... or have spent copious amounts of time doing it... over & over & over & repeat... hands literally bleeding... practicing... until it becomes nature... and you attain internal timing clock with imprinted scales... ~shrug~... always played music as far back as can remember... on most anything that makes sounds... forced myself learning drums merely because thought that was massive challenge plus was so tired of depending on flaky drummers... you are only "cheating" yourself if just want everything coming instantly easy yet that seems sort of the nature of our society anymore... eye have more than earned my noodlin & wigglin rights by now... considering the gods only have a clue how many scale exercises eye have played by now:P

whew look out for pre first cup of coffee muffwiggler rants

the first instrument you start composing/recording with has tendency of forging/defining/colouring overall style & feel of composition... whatever it may be.... keep expanding/evolving/challenging your own abilities...

Eye forced my GF manually learning bass so she would better comprehend programming/playing keyboards better... and boy did she hate me for that:P now all eye have to intone are the magic words "twinkle twinkle little star" and she gets this psychotic insane look... yet her overall timing on keyboards & programming ability is WAY better now post learning playing traditional bass...

anyways go ahead and cheat yourself if always want easy instant gratification... because you're not cheating me:P

seriously go with whatever works for ya
keep on noodlin...
like you are working in a pasta factory
eventually you make it over "the hump"
and everything starts flowing
for becoming in tune in tone & in time
always challenge yourself for becoming an artist and not just autistic:P
KEEP PRESSING THE SHINY RED CANDYLIKE BUTTON!
pugix
R.U.Nuts wrote:
pugix wrote:


I think that a bridge is crossed when modules start being sample recorders and players.


I don't understand: Do you think samplers in general are for cheating? Or using modular samplers instead of stand-alone samplers? And why?


It's just that sampling did not exist when modular synthesizers were invented. Neither did MIDI. I don't use either. But I don't consider myself a purist of any kind. Just a kind of traditionalist. I don't demean others who don't work like me. I learned modular synthesis in 1973. The basic concepts of Moog, Buchla, and Serge got ingrained. Those are more than enough to do anything I want to do. I don't need to do sampling or even looping. Some of my best friends use those. It's fine. I feel the need for some limitations. Limitations that I can choose. Such as making small rack and seeing what I can do with it. And with modular synthesizers, leaving out sampling still leaves me almost endless technology to work with. Think of all the patches your box is capable of that you will never discover.
ndkent
Samples of course are a valid means of making music, no argument there.

I have a problem with any claim that what's being done with samples is entirely synthesis when it's probably processing sampled or recorded material.

So is it electronic music? Yes. Is it being synthesized on that unusual looking gear? Well maybe some of it is and some of it didn't originate then and there.

It gets back to using a modular rig to some extent as a prop, it might very well be making some of the sound and processing, maybe even triggering, but some of the sound was made on something else some other time
Tumulishroomaroom
MindMachine wrote:
The WMD Chimera module is a 'short cut' and 'space saver'. I could get somewhat close to what it does with about 12-15 modules, a microphone, all my odd percussion pieces, a ton of time and a ton of patience.

Or I could plug in the Chimera. I love metallic and machine noises.


I have this, I have the Tip Top TG edition, I like them a lot, and I find my music better since they entered my system. I love mangling other people's samples, and even if I don't mangle them, one sample isn't going to make a full track in itself so who cares really ?

To each his/her own but I'm really glad I have these different, cool, fun to play sound sources in my 6u.
SynthBaron
Mellotrons are cheating.
cptnal
SynthBaron wrote:
Mellotrons are cheating.


Mellotron samples are cheating.
dubonaire
Dcramer wrote:

Lately I’ve been into the Ramen break....


durum n bass


... but seriously, can't believe this is still a topic for discussion.
luchog
HighLordFixer wrote:
Eye forced my GF manually learning bass so she would better comprehend programming/playing keyboards better... and boy did she hate me for that:P now all eye have to intone are the magic words "twinkle twinkle little star" and she gets this psychotic insane look... yet her overall timing on keyboards & programming ability is WAY better now post learning playing traditional bass...


When I was first starting out in music at 6 years old, I wanted to play an instrument like I saw the orchestra and jazz and church musicians play. My parents decided I would learn the piano first. I did not want to learn the piano, I wanted to learn something else (didn't quite know what yet). But they insisted on piano first, because the piano is the best instrument to learn music fundamentals and theory on. They were right. And when I finally did pick up the instrument I really wanted, alto saxophone, it was a lot easier to learn, as I already had a good grasp of the fundamentals.

I only wish I had stuck with the saxophone. I was never good at it, and never would have been better than mediocre (I have a neurological dysfunction that messes with my proprioception and fine motor skills), but I think I would have enjoyed playing it more had I forced myself past the frustration of it. Or I may have hated it more, who knows. Now I'm considering trying to buy one and sort of start over with it, but scraping up the funding is a huge challenge. At least with modular I can buy bits of it at a time, and not have drop a huge chunk of change up front on something I'm not entirely sure I'll really be able to get into.
luchog
mispost
JohnLRice
cptnal wrote:
SynthBaron wrote:
Mellotrons are cheating.


Mellotron samples are cheating.
When I play my Mellotron Micro, I feel like I'm cheating on my Mellotron Rack that is in the other room. hihi
zengomi
Here's my magnum opus of cheating: Hills of Manna

No original sonic content.
Johnbomb
I see music as a powerful way to connect with others. Maybe the question one should ask is "Am I connecting?" rather than "Am I cheating?"

John
Pelsea
Cheating? Play, or play not. There is no cheat.

But I used to ask my students-- would you prefer to send checks to Harry Fox for the samples in your music, or would you rather Harry Fox send you checks because everyone is sampling your stuff?

And getting away with samples means no one is listening to your music.
felixer
using other peoples music in your own. sampling complete beats/riffs. and often not giving credt. that's a no-go for me. but in this world of lies and theft prob acceptable for many ...
subdo
I've always been very open minded about what I consider legit in music production (live performances are a bit more complicated to me so just talking about recording here). I'm a big fan of 90's style boom bap hip hop and all the shameless sampling that goes along with it. So had I replied a month or so back I would have said anything goes up to pulling someone else's song off the internet and putting your name on it.

But I recently bought a new MPC Live. I started writing and recording music in the 90s with an MPC2k. It came with three floppy disks each with a basic drum kit on it. It was up to you to source your own samples. The MPC Live comes packed to the gills with GBs of basically prerecorded loops that are grouped together to I guess make your "own" tracks. seriously, i just don't get it

I spent hours scrolling through EMD trance anthems separated out in loops, trying to find the single hits and usable synth stabs. I think I got about a third of the way through the libraries before I decided that I had enough drum samples to work with and I'd just keep using my modular for anything else. I now have a new appreciation for how much one can cheat in 2018. I can only imagine how many versions of those crappy pre-made EDM tracks out there with slightly different arrangements.
felixer
well, to me that's like 'painting by numbers'. for me making my own samples is a big part of the fun and creative process. can't imagine using someone else 's samples really. but then i'm deeply into original music. i don't want my stuff to sound like anybody else. (except maybe for stockhausen. but that is not so much in the sound as in the playing/komposition). i'm nobody's fanboy ....
and esp commercial electronic music is so dumb. completely uninteresing afaik.
and as far as drumsamples is concerned, i'm more interested in the part/rhythm than the sounds. i've got an arturia drumstep (with great randomization) and a separate rack with modules just for drums. also an alesis D4. mixed in softly that sounds more like crosstalk and gives the whole thing a bit of a live atmosphere. very happy with those.
smutek
On a practical level I echo some of the previous sentiments. If I take someone else’s work and pass it off as my own it’s cheating. I love that Polynomial C sequence. If I play that sequence through one of my synths and tell someone I wrote it, I’m cheating. If I do the same and give proper credit it’s not cheating.

On a personal level, cheating is anything that deprives me of the best experience, enlightenment, growth, enjoyment, expression, satisfaction, and multitude of other benefits I can achieve from my hobby.

For example, I love huge reverb drenched washes of sound. When I first heard (and still hear) Clouds I thought man, I want to make those sounds. I got a Clouds. I don’t care how many other people have them, or sound similar. I don’t make music for them or for the people who worry about that sort of thing. Same goes for the big reverbs, and Rings, and whatever else. I'd be cheating myself if I didn't pursue what I want to pursue.

I love a lot of the potential my computer offers. I have Reaktor, Max 7, Ableton 10 Suite and a Push 2. I’ve got my modest hardware setup on one side of the room and my computer and Push on my desk, on the other side of the room. I got caught up in the all hardware thing from watching YouTube videos and wanted to have a separate, hardware only setup.

In doing so I’ve realized that I got the most enjoyment and was most creative when my setup was hybrid, so I’m going to explore a new setup with my computer, my Push and my modular. I’d be cheating myself if I stubbornly held on to the all hardware paradigm (which I’ve done for a while) after realizing it’s not really what I want.

Finally, and a really big one for me, is presets and samples. I realized they aren’t for me, not because I worry about how original they make me or whatever, but because I get completely overwhelmed by too many choices. I’ve known this for a while but my modular really crystallized this concept for me.

Nothing kills my creativity like sorting through a mountain of presets. My new setup is going to be based around a laptop with Ableton 10 Suite, my Push 2, and my modular. I’m going to delete the presets from all the instruments and most of the effects, start with no samples and build up my own library because I think this is what is going to bring me the most satisfaction and I’d be cheating myself by not giving it a shot.

My music and creations are about me, so ultimately the only way I can cheat is to cheat myself of the best experience I can have.
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