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Comment yeah... (Score 1) 449

It's true that there is an entrenched culture of sampling in music, typically without explicit attribution. Even if the artist in question pays for the right to use a particular sample, credit is rarely given in an obvious fashion, if at all. When I was a younger lad, I remember the disappointment I felt when I learned that the sick-ass grooves I was listening to on the radio were mostly lifted wholesale from soul records, Ice Cube, Puffy (well, I guess I never really liked his music, but he was one of the worst offenders), etc. It wasn't that I was mad they had sampled it, I just felt like a tool having assumed they had come up with the groove themselves, and found myself far less impressed by the music, which was usually my favorite part of a lot of the classic '90s hip hop.

Sure, sampling in music has been going on a long time, and yeah yeah kids these days and their mashups, yadda yadda. I even do a fair amount of it myself, as an electronic musician, and I try to get creative with the ways that I use my sample material. But I think that this sort of corner of sampling, where you just take a loop from an Al Green track and play it over a breakbeat and you're done, is as close to plagiarism as it gets, ignoring the fact that most of these producers probably got legal permission one way or another. If this author wants to pull the whole "we live in a digital culture now" thing, that's fine, but there's no reason why she couldn't have listed the sources she plundered in an appendix, and made public the fact that she was trying something innovative by applying the wisdom of the new generation, or whatever. I'd even hail her initiative. As it stands, it seems pretty clear that she just wanted to pass other people's words off as her own, got caught, and made up a bullshit excuse.

Comment Thank goodness for the free market! (Score 1) 235

It's exhilarating to see such visceral confirmation of the superior efficiencies of free market capitalism. If the scientists working for this cancer research corporation didn't have the profit motive behind them, who knows how long it would have taken for them to reach this point in their research, that is, if the project had even gotten off the ground at all!

Comment Re:Oh really? (Score 1) 389

The phrase "better than nothing" is appropriate, I guess.

You can even use VST plugins if you really want to (though I wouldn't, too many are rubbish).

If you feel like trying to run your VSTs under WINE (audio plugins are tempermental enough in plenty of native hosts). And really, you think you'll be getting better results with LADSPA? Show me a non-trivial LADSPA effect (like, say, a guitar amp simulator) that doesn't sound like trash.

Comment Re:Oh really? (Score 1) 389

So your assumption is that audio production is becoming an increasingly *smaller* niche of computer use? With the number of DAWs, synths and sequencers continuing to rise on other platforms, what makes you think this is the case? If it's a "vanishingly small" market, it wouldn't have made much sense for Apple to release Garageband, now would it?

Really, there is just no form of criticism of Linux that you people can take. If the program in question is for a niche market, then it's irrelevant. If it doesn't exist at all on Linux, we can do just fine without it, and have been, thank you very much. If it's difficult to use, that's not because the software is badly designed, it's that the users are too stupid or accustomed to their existing tools to figure it out. If the documentation is undecipherable (see recent Slashdot article), the user probably shouldn't be reading documentation anyway, as they're probably the kind of user that should just stick to browsers and email. The list goes on and on and on and on and on.

The reason why people aren't using Linux en masse is that for your average user, Linux is simply a waste of time. All the stuff that your crowd dismisses as irrelevant is stuff that, in the aggregate, matters a quite a lot to people. What is a computing platform if not a collection of (sometimes big, sometimes small, sometimes overlapping) niches? Who wants to recompile his kernel just to be able to get passable audio latency? On OS X I haven't had to think about that for...roughly the number of years since I migrated to it. Who wants to deal with woefully inadequate documentation or turn to community message boards where half of the advice is wrong or misleading? Who actually wants to spend more time fiddling with his OS than using it to produce content, or in the case of the non-musically-inclined such as yourself, "do something productive"? Who wants to learn a poorly designed user interface (or better yet, deal with no interface whatsoever) for substandard clone of an existing commercial product when the original product works just fine?

The answer is people like you, and the miniscule market share of like-minded ultra-left-brained mega-dweebs that your insipid post reflects.

Comment Re:Not cool musically (IMO)... but... (Score 1) 65

Typical engineer's thinking. If manual dexterity is the ultimate benchmark of musicianship, then you must think that Joe Satriani is the pinnacle of guitar playing (who knows, maybe you do). There are countless musicians out there who may not be the most technically gifted performers in the world, but make incomparable music as a result of their musical sensitivity. And that sensitivity, beyond a sensitivity to the music itself, also manifests itself as a sensitivity to the capabilities, limitations, and the expressive range of the instrument (emotionally as well as physically).

Your fear of electronic musical instruments replacing traditional ones is unjustified. Not only will an electronic rendition of a traditional instrument (which is usually an insipid simulation) never fully capture the original, but the real interest in electronic instruments is in exploring the different possibilities afforded by them, both in terms of performativity and in terms of expressive depth.

Comment Re:Annoying factor bigger than geek factor (Score 1) 65

  • Any sound can be decomposed into a series of overlapping sine waves
  • The timbre produced by this ensemble is more harmonically complex than "we're all playing the same sine waves", since the drone varies spectrally (as well as in pitch) over time (coordinated, as well, it's not just a random collection of tones)
  • What makes you think that playing tuning forks would require more skill, other than the fact that the activity itself is more obvious to the audience?

Comment Re:Isn't that a highly regulated industry? (Score 1) 467

Totally! While we're at it, let's beef that up with a few other ethnic and racial stereotypes!

"As long as none of your references are named Dmitri, you should be fine" (eh? eh? RUSSIANS)
"As long as none of your references are named Deshawn, you should be fine" (black people are scary)
"As long as none of your references have Hussein for a middle name, you should be fine" (goes without saying)

I'm sure you can probably think of some others.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky