Music Composers Unite!
...nothing would give me greater satisfaction to hear one of my works played by a real living, breathing orchestra. I could then die a happy man!
As a person who uses samples to compose, I can tell you right now that working on samples is more waste of a time and slowes me down than working with a real orchestra. You realize I spend half an hour to get 4 measures of strings to play a realistic sounding legato or portamento when a Real player can do so in seconds.
The advantage of Samples is that it could give you as close as possible preview of the projected work. But it will not replace real musicians for a long time. that being said though, technology is advancing and I have no doubt we will see some outstanding sample libraries that will be out there and will fully make a hard working person like me look like I'm wasting time inserting every note my self.
But lets not all forget that we are humans and we want to see humans and not machines to perform our work, its the most exciting thing in the universe!
You can never replace the human player. I have used various sample libraries through the years, and no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to capture that "human" touch. I currently use VSL samples and even though listening to the demos on their web site shows they are capable of impressive results, they just lack something. I spent many years playing brass instruments, and you just can't get that interaction with a real brass instrument via a keyboard or breath controller. In saying that, sample sets give incredible flexibility for working with, and it also gives people like me the chance to write for orchestral instruments which would otherwise be denied to us purely on financial grounds.
Let us consider some positive points. The technology changes, but it does not kill the human emotions. When first stone-age musicians made their whistles from animal bones, they probably got similar critics from their tribes: the sound is too pristine (compared to human voice) to express the soul; the instruments require too much efforts to study and play; some social issues raised etc. However, today both singers and artificial instruments are alive and well and sometimes cooperate.
Concerning the live performance (as opposed to mechanical one), do not forget that we can actually PLAY the instruments contained in our synthesizers. OK, my 88-key flute with breath controller is not the same as a real flute. It is ANOTHER instrument, suitable for expressing many interesting things and authentic emotions, just like 1000s years ago a flute, made from wood, was another instrument compared to human voice.
Gentlemen, why you see the technology only in a negative light? Your synthesisers probably contain not only these problematic classic instrument samples. There exists a plethora of ambient noises, artificial instruments with deep effects, and a whole industry of creating new expressive sounds outside of that 99 classic instruments. And you have all this at your hand, just try and combine this with the classic sounds, just like Craig Hopkinson brilliantly does. Look also at brilliant pieces by Ronnie Doyle, to name a few members of this forum experimenting with new technological sounds.
Donald McLaughlin said:I think the orchestra is safe for decades to come!
"decades" ........was that a freudian slip?