The Null Device

Pop goes Populism

Today's Cat and Girl ties in nicely to the chip-tune/authenticity debate previously mentioned:
"Guitars are bourgeois, OK? They're expensive and the skill they demand is elitist!"
"We should be making music with computers! They're the populist medium of today!"

Mind you, computers are bourgeois and expensive too; the iBooks that all the inner city hipster kids have certainly are. Though maybe it's more authentic if you shlep along a battered beige box that looks like it was stolen out of an office and souped up numerous times, running Windows 98 and AudioMulch (or better: Linux and some home-brewed audio software; it's not going to sound as slick as Cubase, but slickness is bourgeois). Having to lug that and a 15" glass bottle to see what's going on bespeaks punk authenticity and commitment to one's art, in a way you can never get with an Apple PowerBook.

(Of course, there's no way you could carry a PC/monitor to gigs on a bicycle. Then again, real proles drive, usually battered Mazdas or Holden panelvans. Cycling everywhere is a bourgeois affectation, like vegetarianism. Discuss.)

(Btw, Graham: any ideas on how one could combine tracker modules and live performance? Perhaps a tracker with keyboard-controlled mutes/cuepoints/sample triggers could be useful for that...)

There are 5 comments on "Pop goes Populism":

Posted by: dj http://deejbah.livejournal.com Mon Oct 27 04:19:39 2003

Yes, when i cycle to work, i truly feel that i am the oppressor of the proletariat, not to mention the lumpenproletariat.

Partaking in a chickpea and potato curry at luncheon doubles my delight in being at the top of the wedding cake.

Then, after feasting on bread and jam, i play my guitar (the classical or the electric, such are the choices of the well-to-do).

I am comfortable and relaxed in the knowledge that despite my meagre income, rental accomodation, background and material comforts, i am truly bourgeois.

Posted by: Graham http://grudnuk.com/ Mon Oct 27 08:09:11 2003

Actually, I ride because I haven't bothered learning to drive yet. Nothing ideological, it's probably got more to do with my brother scaring me shitless (and vice versa) on my first driving lesson.

As for "live" tracking, it's a bit clunky, but it's doable, usually with specially written tracker patterns. One of the two Mental Flosses from KFMF used to do a bit with Impulse Tracker and a CS-1x.

I'm guessing the state-of-the-art as far as programs with a tracker heritage goes would still be Buzz - http://www.buzzmachines.com/ , though it'd be which shares a few things in common with Audiomulch but is more amenable to doing songs, (or bad drugmusic, if you prefer) as well as tweaking things in real time. Though I haven't actually thought much about migrating to it. Maybe I should. (It's Wintendo-based, but at least it's free.)

Posted by: Jim http://found.pale.org/ Mon Oct 27 11:33:31 2003

Years ago - like around 1990 - I wrote a thing for a DJ mate which took OctaMED modules and allowed you to loop and switch between patterns, change tempo, and switch tracks on and off; so he could use it in live performance - all with a nice keyboard based interface. I shipped it off to him and he paid me £100 for it, so I assume he used it, although I never got to see it at work...

Posted by: sam http:// Mon Oct 27 12:57:33 2003

Buzz is very cool but so damn buggy; you should save very very often if you plan to use it. The author lost the sources in a harddisk crash and is supposedly working on version two, but that point has been in the FAQ for about two years now.

There are more modern trackers available, <a href="http://www.modplug.com/">ModPlug Tracker</a> and <a href="http://www.skale.org/">Skale</a> being two popular ones. Skale supposedly works under Linux (not sure if they mean natively though).

Buzz is definately cool for doing live stuff, what with the real-time tweakability aspect. But something more powerful, full-featured, and stable like Cubase would probably be better. But then, Buzz is free..

Posted by: sam http:// Tue Oct 28 15:11:48 2003

Ah crap, those links aren't meant to look like that.. :)

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