Find Ways to Add Musicality To Your Computer Tracks.
by Christian Lanctot
Today's computers can be considered real musical instruments compare to the traditional acoustic ones. Composers can use them trough sophisticated software and sample libraries of real instruments. Musicality and computer can now live together.They are sounding devices capable of rendering emotions, feelings, creating mental or inner images, scenes, describing moments in life, anything that human being may express physically, emotionally and mentally. They can be played like real instruments. Almost...
1. Orchestral instruments.
Orchestral instruments for example, may play in solo or in-group to make music and from a simple flute line to the powerful symphonic orchestra; the composer has at hand formidable tools. Even in our modern time, when electric and computer take more and more place in the musical presence, the orchestra sits in the first place when high quality expression is needed. Just think about Hollywood mega productions like Star Wars. John Williams has redefined the film music genre. So computer are now playing big role in the creative process and take more and more place as a musical instrument tool. Of course techno exists, loop music exists and whatever computer generated sounds to. In a sense this is a sonic world in its own that serves music. But what is musicality and how computer can render it?
2. Musicality and acoustic instruments.
Learning to play an acoustic instrument is of course about playing notes. Some parts are very simple but some others take years of training to execute well. But music is not just about playing notes. There are parameters to play with. Volume modulation changes, timbre change, attacks are the most common on every instruments. With these aspects of a sounding device, the player can express musicality. The modulations of these parameters are infinite, so the human soul, heart, body and spirit can use and traduce them in music. And then musicality find it’s meaning. People listening get carried away and the magic of music takes place
3. Computer and samplers.
Computer and developer are taking big steps to catch up. Samplers are now getting in maturity. They bring incredible sound libraries to the composer. Gigastudio brought a new technology that revolutionizes the tool: disk streaming. Developer can record each and every notes of an instrument for each velocity level, for every kind of attack, for every loudness level and so on. This is making huge data bank of a real recorded instrument in every musical situation ready to be played back on demand.
4. Sample library.
Now Vienna Symphonic Library is launching a new software tool with his top notch libraries, that choose automatically the right sample to be played simple command from the controller. Velocity assign to loudness and timbre change, duration assign to attack. Pre loaded sound banks are user definable for every musical context or playing techniques. We are getting closer and closer to the real thing here. Although it maybe never be possible to obtain the infinite palette of nuances of a violin, the steps are getting closer. Until more development or next technology.
So are computers capable of musicality in the traditional sense? I think so. In the hand of a talented artist who has the ability to do it? yes. The computer may be considered as a musical instrument in its developing phase. The pianoforte of Beethoven was very pale compare to the modern concert grand. So is the computer, but still...
The author is a musician making music since his very young age and has a degree in music composition. He was a pioneer more than 20 years ago, using the first computers and sound modules and has followed the technology until today. These tips come from experience and are available to you in good musicianship.