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Lack of respect in our industry for formal music or technical traininng.... Dynamics Plugins
Old 19th August 2007
  #151
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

It's true that everyone takes a different path. And it doesn't bother me when someone else's path ends up being shorter or "easier" than mine, but when you see someone who doesn't really know what they're doing get better gigs than you because they can shmooze better (or don't mind it as much) it gets frustrating. There's another thread on here somewhere regarding the use of stock drum samples being used on every low budget recording, and how getting real drums to sound good is a dying art. I think the sentiment that this is somehow "cheating" isn't too far off from thie topic of this thread. You know, some kid with an mbox in his bedroom is doing demos for people, using stock presets and wearing out every cliche in the book, and we take offense when someone talks about how great his tracks sound. Well, of course they sound good, he got the Andy Johns sample library for Christmas! We put in all this work to learn how to get great tracks HONESTLY, and here this kid comes and takes all our business! But really, is this kid hurting us? Do we really believe that anyone worth dealing with is going to pick him over us "professionals"? Well, they might. The gear and software companies have done a great job of selling the idea that anyone can record, all you need is product x and software y and you'll sound just like your favorite record that was done in a million dollar room with a $250,000 console and a $50,000 mic locker! Now I'm a firm believer that a good engineer can make a good sounding record with a Mackie and some 57's, and that someone who's crap can screw the pooch with the best gear in the world. But the new gear market is doing everything it can to keep that a secret. I think the most frustrating thing is the PERCEPTION that what we do is easy, and is somehow less of an art than playing the music. An to be honest I've heard a lot of horrible songs with great production that went nowhere, the old garbage in-garbage out thing. A great song trumps great production every time. But it sure doesn't hurt to make great songs SOUND great either. On the other hand, take an Avril Lavigne, nice image and a kickin mix by Chris Lord Alge, and you can convince a lot of people that the song IS great, because it SOUNDS great. So there's a good argument for knowing what you're doing. Do the A&R guys know whether or not CLA went to school for engineering? Do they care? No, they just want it to sound good. However you learned to do that is your problem.

I will say, and someone else touched on this earlier, that it's a LOT easier to communicate with people who have some kind of formal musical background. Having to say "you know, that part at the end of the song where it kind of slows down sort of fast and you hang on to the next to last note and then everyone hits the last note together" is a lot more trouble than saying "there's a ritard, a fermata, then end on the one".
Old 19th August 2007
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
Are you pretending that slavery, religious conflicts and concentration camps no longer exist ?...
No I can't say they don't exist today, but I will say that it's a question of scale. I would argue that they were more rampant across the globe than they are today.

But, if they exist they always have, have we really declined?

I think every era cries that there is a decline of our civilization. When was the perfect golden era that all the other eras are compared to?
Old 20th August 2007
  #153
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfreq33 View Post
I think the most frustrating thing is the PERCEPTION that what we do is easy, and is somehow less of an art than playing the music. one".

no, i think the most frustrating thing is that a lot of
what you're talking about is irrelevant.

have you listened to any syndicated radio lately?

there are PLENTY of horrible songs, horrible sounding mixes,
horrible arrangements and horrible sounds
creating success for advertisers, labels and artists.

of course, this is completely my opinion, and completely irrelevant,
because i'm not the one buying air time or cds.


and, just to be positive, and present the OTHER side,
there are also plenty of GOOD sounding songs, mixes, etc.

but, hell, i'd rather hear THRILLER ANYDAY, than any of this trash....

sorry, Bruce for the "nastiness", but it's reality in my little brain

.
Old 20th August 2007
  #154
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big country's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Swedien View Post
Slutzies All.....

I guess what really pissed me off is the fact that both sides of this issue seem to be very close minded. And nasty on top of all that close minded dog-doo.

I am a very lucky guy. I have worked with the best musicians that the industry has to offer. AND I STILL AM!!!!! They are, for the most part, all well trained and very gifted. NOT ONE OF THEM WAS NASTY!!!! They are all excellent musicians.....

Jealousy, resentment and anger are ALL the result of low self-esteem. I see far too much of that in evidence here. We should do something about that.

Bruce Swedien
I used to clean toilets and pick up trash
I cleaned some mean ass toilets in my day

did I ever tell you guys, one time the urinal was fuked up at a park
I used the pressure washer on that baby
I was a hero
if it wasn't for me, the kids would still be pis-sin on the floor
you know how the little leagers are

hopefully bruce every one thinks different
if every musican thought the same it wouldnt be art
it would be rap

I used to look up to your ass

'you cool bra

you ever need any help let me know
Old 20th August 2007
  #155
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by no ssl yet View Post
No I can't say they don't exist today, but I will say that it's a question of scale. I would argue that they were more rampant across the globe than they are today.

But, if they exist they always have, have we really declined?

I think every era cries that there is a decline of our civilization. When was the perfect golden era that all the other eras are compared to?
I do believe that the decline of the western civilization has started a few decades ago, following quite the same pattern as the Roman Empire's, with its load of useless wars, increasingly perverted financial system, more and more obvious political abuses, not forgetting this expanding games culture...

The ethnical and economical balance of the globe is radically changing and the western world is bound to face the major question of its own place and future among the growing influence of India, China and Orient, all of which are eager to weaken the too-old, overwhelming white colon superiority...

That's when I think more artists should do what they're supposed to do, explore the cultures of the world, travel, inquire, take plenty of time for introspection and reflexion, and then write songs or poems, paint, sculpt, work on whatever medium available to open or widen people's minds and let everyone know about their insights and visions about our mistakes from the past, our current dysfunctions and our common future in this changing world...

Developing such a vision is the main artist's job to me and that goes way beyond having been trained formally or not. Formal training is fine but it remains a tool, like great studio gear or cuban sandwiches, things you can live without but which are nice to have around...

To speak honestly, the (few) morons I've met among the formal trained musicians were those who had lost or not found the natural connexion with their inner soul yet, because of the strict theoretical patterns they'd been locked in for years, a problem that self-made artists don't encounter in general.

A lot of african artists have that pure magic touch, mainly because their culture didn't take them away from every human being's born-equal skills : time and purity ; two simple things that the modern civilization has gradually stolen from its people by perverting them with power-dictated economical, political and religious values...

O well, am I getting boring ?... Let's get naked !...

Y'all have a nice day,

Olivier.
Old 20th August 2007
  #156
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

This is too much of an open subject, due to the fact that music is basically a more unrestricted field to get into.

We all grew up and went to school for a reason.. right? OK

Now what was that reason?
A Daycare type place to keep us busy while our parents were at work?
A place to socialize with other people and build social skills?
A place to learn special skills required in the real world in attempts to prepare us for whats to come?

Try All of the Above!

School is not about being able to claim yourself as being certified in Pro Tools or whatever. School was about giving us time to develop and take in certain skills that were required for us to start off our journey into what is known as "the real world".

It works the same way with music. Going to an arts school, or music technical school should be about learning and taking in those skills that you are naturally ungifted in, as well as building up on and strengthing those skills you already know, so you are not at as much of a disadvantage when you are ready to get into the industry and look for a job.

For Some, not going to school for formal training will put a very detrimental spike into how far they will make it in the business.
Learning technical skills and musical theory in school is not a replacement for real world and hands on life experiences though.
And for some people, School may not even be required.
That does not cheapen the whole experience that going to school could have given that person though, it just ment that school was not their way, and not within their path of success.

Bill Gates went to school, but he was a dropout, he didnt even finish. Many of those guys who came up with million dollar ideals during college dropped out of school, why? because it was no longer required for them to get to where they were heading.

I myself have always wanted to attend music school. But I have almost 10+ years of real world experience at my younger age, that makes it hard to even justify spending the money on such a thing. I am also heading in the directions that I want to go and gaining enough respect without it.

All that being said, it still doesnt cheapen my thoughts of how going to school could have been for me. I respect education, but at the same time I know eduction means nothing without real world talent and learning experiences that get you to put your eduction to use.

Example: A guy I work with graduated from one of the most well known music institutions in my surrounding area.
He knows all the basics and then some, but personally I feel that his education has limited and closed his mind, leading him to believe that he already knows everything he needs to know, and that nothing can challenge what he has learnt from this school.
In short, he doesnt have enough real world experience to take full advantage of his schooling just yet. He still has to experience situations that cause him to challenge what he knows, and cause him to extend his mind into learning more.

The problem with young guys who come out of music school these days, is they think they know all they need to know, and they arent particularly interested in doing anymore learning, which is stupid.

All in all even with his music degree, he still lacks in depth knowledge on many things that are important to know and posses in order to be competitive within this field. The same exact stuff that I have to teach him right now so he can actually keep up with and work efficiently at all the things we are taking on.

I myself was fortunate to be given gifts, (which I dont consider being luck) that help me to do what im doing today with little to zero formal training.
I was also fortunate enough to spend all of my music career around studios and engineers who were well experienced in the field, some of them also being teachers at music engineering schools with 20-30+ years of experience, who believed in my talents enough to take a chance and allow me to hang around their studios, and record my artist work almost free of charge.

There is all this talk about people who are Not trained hating on guys who are, because supposedly the untrained people feel threatend, (which I dont buy one bit) But what about the guys who Are trained that hate on those who aren't, but who just happen to be better at what they do.

The formally trained guy I work with likes to challenge every single concept I mention until I proove them true to his embarassment.
This basically reinforces what I was saying about him being closed minded and thinking that nothing can challenge what he learnt at school.

I think he has some type of resentment towards myself due to the fact that he believes he should know just as much and be just as efficient at engineering as I am, which is a ludacris thing to think considering the significant difference between our years of experience, even if I have not been formally trained.

On an ending note, I think this discussion can go both ways... these days most people in general dont seem to have enough respect for anybody but themselves...This can be seen and is evident in all areas of life. Sadly a lot of young formally trained people dont have the personality for what they are even doing, and despite the fact of them being professionally trained, they cant find work and end up just giving up on the whole ideal of entering the music bizz....
Old 20th August 2007
  #157
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PettyCash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
I do believe that the decline of the western civilization has started a few decades ago, following quite the same pattern as the Roman Empire's, with its load of useless wars, increasingly perverted financial system, more and more obvious political abuses, not forgetting this expanding games culture...

The ethnical and economical balance of the globe is radically changing and the western world is bound to face the major question of its own place and future among the growing influence of India, China and Orient, all of which are eager to weaken the too-old, overwhelming white colon superiority...

That's when I think more artists should do what they're supposed to do, explore the cultures of the world, travel, inquire, take plenty of time for introspection and reflexion, and then write songs or poems, paint, sculpt, work on whatever medium available to open or widen people's minds and let everyone know about their insights and visions about our mistakes from the past, our current dysfunctions and our common future in this changing world...

Developing such a vision is the main artist's job to me and that goes way beyond having been trained formally or not. Formal training is fine but it remains a tool, like great studio gear or cuban sandwiches, things you can live without but which are nice to have around...

To speak honestly, the (few) morons I've met among the formal trained musicians were those who had lost or not found the natural connexion with their inner soul yet, because of the strict theoretical patterns they'd been locked in for years, a problem that self-made artists don't encounter in general.

A lot of african artists have that pure magic touch, mainly because their culture didn't take them away from every human being's born-equal skills : time and purity ; two simple things that the modern civilization has gradually stolen from its people by perverting them with power-dictated economical, political and religious values...

O well, am I getting boring ?... Let's get naked !...

Y'all have a nice day,

Olivier.
Im feeling you on what you are saying still....................
except for the getting naked part..........
Old 20th August 2007
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
I do believe that the decline of the western civilization has started a few decades ago, following quite the same pattern as the Roman Empire's, with its load of useless wars, increasingly perverted financial system, more and more obvious political abuses, not forgetting this expanding games culture...

The ethnical and economical balance of the globe is radically changing and the western world is bound to face the major question of its own place and future among the growing influence of India, China and Orient, all of which are eager to weaken the too-old, overwhelming white colon superiority...

That's when I think more artists should do what they're supposed to do, explore the cultures of the world, travel, inquire, take plenty of time for introspection and reflexion, and then write songs or poems, paint, sculpt, work on whatever medium available to open or widen people's minds and let everyone know about their insights and visions about our mistakes from the past, our current dysfunctions and our common future in this changing world...

Developing such a vision is the main artist's job to me and that goes way beyond having been trained formally or not. Formal training is fine but it remains a tool, like great studio gear or cuban sandwiches, things you can live without but which are nice to have around...

To speak honestly, the (few) morons I've met among the formal trained musicians were those who had lost or not found the natural connexion with their inner soul yet, because of the strict theoretical patterns they'd been locked in for years, a problem that self-made artists don't encounter in general.

A lot of african artists have that pure magic touch, mainly because their culture didn't take them away from every human being's born-equal skills : time and purity ; two simple things that the modern civilization has gradually stolen from its people by perverting them with power-dictated economical, political and religious values...

O well, am I getting boring ?... Let's get naked !...

Y'all have a nice day,

Olivier.
Well we are off on a huge tangent from the thread's original point, but I'll go with it.

You say "The ethnical and economical balance of the globe is radically changing and the western world is bound to face the major question of its own place and future among the growing influence of India, China and Orient, all of which are eager to weaken the too-old, overwhelming white colon superiority..."

Doesn't sound like a decline to me.
Old 20th August 2007
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Swedien View Post
Soultrane......

The thing about this thread that I think is really important is that fact that "It is all important."

In other words.... Education isn't worth a poop if it doesn't focus a WELL-TRAINED, self-disciplned talent....

By the same token... Talent isn't worth a poop(And can get quickly obscured) if it doesn't focus a good education...

Bruce
Getting back to the point of the thread.

Bruce, I don't think speaking of talent fully addresses the issue. The real issue is Application.

Education is only important to the extent that it works in application. However application attempts without education/knowledge is pretty useless as well.

A solid foundation is an education that works in application. It doesn't matter if this education is gained within the halls of academia or on the Chitlin circuit.
Education has to be functional and useful in application..
Old 20th August 2007
  #160
.

yes, nossl, and in addition to function / application, education can also add perspective...


and, at the right institution for the right person at the right time, opportunity -

career, networking, etc.

.
Old 20th August 2007
  #161
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Bruce
Part of the problem is that not all educations in feilds related to ours (or any for that matter are created equal)! For a number of years I worked for a small school with a music proram this was 17 years ago and most of the progam was based in swing . Now those that graduated had very little in job prspects except in the feild of music education and they were no way equped to comunicate or educate the next generation!
ALso these small programs project "this star quality" om there finest but yet the only educate them in areas with very limited marketability! And thes people were paying $40,000-$50,00 for the privlage! Also the "music department personal was seen as bunch of premadonnnas by the rest of the facualty!

Also Please remer that most of us have had to at one time or another deal with one of the many recording tech school grads wh had been instructed in a "method of recording" versus learning basic theory and techniogue!

That said I learn something new everyday because my best teachers instilled in me the quest for knowledge and to aknowledge that I really know very little no matter how much I learn! and the heart and soul of learning is the quest to know more which is missing today in our "teach for the test" based system!
Old 21st August 2007
  #162
Gear Head
 

My formal education was monkey pee

My guitar teacher could read notation, so he earned a master's in guitar performance. I went to 2 lessons the whole semester, like an idiot, because I couldn't take him seriously once I heard him play. I was no good, but at least I could play on beat. He couldn't. I ended up with an A. What a joke. My loss in a sense. All he taught was how to read notes. I've never seen notes in a Nashville session unless there were strings or horns involved. But maybe some circles require it. My recording professor never said anything about the use of compression. He told us what it did to the wave form in theory, but never explained what a threshold or ratio knob did. But man ould he crunch some numbers from the Acoustics textbook. Did I mention that same guy left a concrete ceiling in a control room untreated, with big gaping square caverns about a foot deep and a foot wide in each direction? (This was before the proliferation of Full Sail and SAE ads in magazines luring guys like me in). My music theory teachers - with doctorates - could regurgitate a mean Mozart piece, but could not explain to me how to improvise a solo over a chord structure. They also told me that a fourth was meant to fall down to a third and a seventh was meant to lead up to the root. This, my friends, is what my dad paid $20k for me to experience. Bad choice of schools - probably. But I am not alone in my grieving. I would much rather have spent $20k on a starter rig and started taking clients for 4 years and offering them unlimited free studio time. I'da learned more.

My friend, a killer engineer who has been at it for many years, says it best:

He can't keep a second around. I couldn't figure out why, cause he treats everyone around him with respect and dignity, and these guys get paid more there than at any other studio I have come in contact with. The fact that they get paid anything is pretty remarkable in and of itself these days. He said they tend to come to him from Full Sail, SAE, etc., thinking that because they dumped $50-60k (or whatever it is now) on this degree that they know it all and are ready to rock. They're prematurely cocky...err...overconfident (?). He says this education makes them useful seconds because they know their way around the gear and understand signal flow and ProTools shortcuts...but they get pissed because they expect to jump right in and be mixing projects on the SSL that clients have been paying $800/day to do in there...they don't have the chops to do it yet and he isn't going to gamble his studio's rep on their work until they have a few years of experience under their belt on after-hours stuff, like everybody else has had to do. They realize he's serious and quit to go "freelance". Not one of them has ever found another gig.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/images/smilies/piss2.gif

One of the best engineers I know out of Full Sail is selling mortgages. The market is over-saturated, and the stigma that other guys from there create (uh oh, watch out, he's from Full Sail - he must not have any ears attached to his big head) makes the talented few, like him, LESS marketable I think. I tried to hook him up with a few studio owners in Nville and when they heard he was from Full Sail they didn't seem to be interested anymore. Why? Past experience with Full Sail graduates who couldn't make a snare pop or a kick thump.

There's something to be said for the school of hard knocks, unless you're planning on playing cello or viola. It's like learning plumbing. Spending a few years doc'ing mixes for a guy like Bruce...that would be a useful education and would cost alot less money.
Old 21st August 2007
  #163
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Barish's Avatar
After reading the whole thread again, I don't think that when Bruce said "respect the formally trained" he meant to refer to those whose desires overtook their capabilities, which we tend to use quite often to prove our "formal training doesn't work in this business" theory.

I think the formal training part of the concept is the right idea, but the impressions that the trainees are given pre-admittance and pre-graduation at those institutions in current situation are the misleading ones that cause trouble, by giving graduates wrong incentive in the challenge of finding a placement in the industry.

B.
Old 21st August 2007
  #164
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fontenele's Avatar
 

THis is the kind of thread

This is the kind of thread that makes people pissed at the statements simply because they are not true or inadaquate or imcomplete.

People who never went school are ignorant.
you can say that about a guy who never went to school but worked his ass off at a studio and know a LOT ! The guys who didn't go to school, have no talent and try this in general don't last not even a little, or get those clients that nobody really wants.

People who went to schools are talentless.
Not true, but it would be stupid not to admit that school can make a guy with no talent at all think he is actually something. I am from Brazil and all you hear about there as something like "this guy went to berklee" It was a big thing, it actually still is. But the pros don'e respect it any more, it is always the same thing, there is no way to deny, the majorty has NO CLUE about a LOT of stuff ! I went to MI in hollywood, It is not a 4 yrs school, I went ther for a year, 10 years ago, and I got to say that it is AWESOME ! I, a keboard player, had ONE excellent teacher, he still there, his name was Schroeder ! He was F****ing awesome. To the point that at the end of the year we had a big informal spontaneuos ovational class which was kind of like an interview/recognition thing for him! Jazz improv with him was a hit ! Plus the guy is kind of a crazy guy. Recorded something with his buddy chick corea ( who I said I didn't like and almost got my ass kicked ) , something only for themselves, chick on the drums, and he on the piano, but as he said quote , "WEIRD ****" ! Besides we got time to sit down if the likes of mike stern/ scott hederson ... Scott kinsey ( tribal tech Keyboard guy ) was a theacher there, He was genius, but could not teach **** !
My experiece at MI was great, but oh boy a lot of people were clueless there.

Talent always wins !
I would love to believe that ! Actually I would not ! Because it F****ing hurts !


But the true is we all see life thru our experiences.
So Bruce meditates on that, because he went to school , had a good experience, and maybe feels the pain of people who went to school and get the doors shut for them, and feells like the industry is loosing because of that. The industry would have lost a great big deal of talent if it have said no to him, we all agree with that.

But boy isn't that a case by case thing?
Old 21st August 2007
  #165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fontenele View Post
This is the kind of thread that makes people pissed at the statements simply because they are not true or inadaquate or imcomplete.

People who never went school are ignorant.
you can say that about a guy who never went to school but worked his ass off at a studio and know a LOT ! The guys who didn't go to school, have no talent and try this in general don't last not even a little, or get those clients that nobody really wants.

People who went to schools are talentless.
Not true, but it would be stupid not to admit that school can make a guy with no talent at all think he is actually something. I am from Brazil and all you hear about there as something like "this guy went to berklee" It was a big thing, it actually still is. But the pros don'e respect it any more, it is always the same thing, there is no way to deny, the majorty has NO CLUE about a LOT of stuff ! I went to MI in hollywood, It is not a 4 yrs school, I went ther for a year, 10 years ago, and I got to say that it is AWESOME ! I, a keboard player, had ONE excellent teacher, he still there, his name was Schroeder ! He was F****ing awesome. To the point that at the end of the year we had a big informal spontaneuos ovational class which was kind of like an interview/recognition thing for him! Jazz improv with him was a hit ! Plus the guy is kind of a crazy guy. Recorded something with his buddy chick corea ( who I said I didn't like and almost got my ass kicked ) , something only for themselves, chick on the drums, and he on the piano, but as he said quote , "WEIRD ****" ! Besides we got time to sit down if the likes of mike stern/ scott hederson ... Scott kinsey ( tribal tech Keyboard guy ) was a theacher there, He was genius, but could not teach **** !
My experiece at MI was great, but oh boy a lot of people were clueless there.

Talent always wins !
I would love to believe that ! Actually I would not ! Because it F****ing hurts !


But the true is we all see life thru our experiences.
So Bruce meditates on that, because he went to school , had a good experience, and maybe feels the pain of people who went to school and get the doors shut for them, and feells like the industry is loosing because of that. The industry would have lost a great big deal of talent if it have said no to him, we all agree with that.

But boy isn't that a case by case thing?
You're missing what it is that pros don't respect.

If someone says "call this guy, he wnt to Berklee" I don't respect that at all. But what it is that I don't respect is the guy making the referral. His statement makes it clear that he has no idea what's important.

Had he said "Call this cuy, he's the most musical person at waht he does" I'd call him. I don't really care where, why or how he got to that point

Anyone who knows Berklee at all knows that going and not quiting (both your instrument and/or dropping out) is a decent sized achievement.




This debate is flawed. Successful people are not succesful because they went to school or learned on the job. They're succesful becuase they are observers and informational sponges and soak up information and ideas all the time in every context. They are sefl-aware and know their strengths and weakness and seek out information and opportunities at every moment of everyday to improve both. They view learning as a lifelong process making any specific point we're debaing here a statistically insignifcant piece of the pie. Now more than ever, it doesn't matter what you do or want to do now. Five years from now, you will have evolved or become unemployed. Succesful people's behavior reflects this whether they think about it consciously or not.
Old 14th September 2007
  #166
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big country's Avatar
 

I believe I have learned more dropping out of classes than staying in them

I tend to retain the knowledge better because I take time to soak in whats really important
and it causes me to worry
thier for burning it in my head
Old 14th September 2007
  #167
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vernier's Avatar
I don't care for the way trained musicians play or sing, but do think training from a pro in the big studio is important for recording engineers. That is needed.

As for the argument for untrained musicians ..the list would go forever and include cream of the crop artists such as Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Jimmy Day, Clarence White, and many many more.
Old 14th September 2007
  #168
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by big country View Post
I believe I have learned more dropping out of classes than staying in them

I tend to retain the knowledge better because I take time to soak in whats really important
and it causes me to worry
thier for burning it in my head
No flame intended. I just don't understand your post. After dropping out, which knowledge are you retaining better? The knowledge you coudln't absorb in school? Life knowledge? Only the knowledge that you think is important for you? You really have to translate this for me ...........
"I take time to soak in whats really important
and it causes me to worry
thier for burning it in my head["......???
Old 14th September 2007
  #169
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Lunatique's Avatar
I think it all depends on the individual's own talent and hardwork. I've met people who have earned a degree in composition and know very advanced music theory, but obviously lack the talent to write compelling music--everything they do might be technically correctly, but have absolutely no creative flair whatsoever. Then there are those who can't even read notation or know much about music theory, but have so much creativity.

But the monster creative geniuses are almost always those who have both the education/training, AND were talented in the first place. These guys are the ones I really look up to. Sakamoto Ryuichi, for example, is a musician's musician, well-versed in many different styles of music, and can do them all with a sense of authority and originality--be it classical, avant-garde, jazz, electronic, film scores...etc.

When those without training/education starts bashing those who do, they tend to concentrate on those who are making music that's very different from their own specialized genre (for exmaple, hip-hop or punk guys making fun of classical musicians), but they forget that there are trained/educated musicians playing in their genre that are quite amazing, and will probably play/compose/arrange circles around them due to the additional training/education, on top of the talent that's already there.
Old 14th September 2007
  #170
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Let me start off by saying that I know very little about music theory. I can read (trumpet for 10 years) and I can pick out just about any pop chord progression within a few minutes but there are plenty of chords I'm clueless about. I tend to go more by feel than anything. I do have relative pitch but not perfect.

Anyway…

We've all heard the saying "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".

I think that that's what's in play here.

I know many many "graduated from Berklee" students who are truly clouded by their own education.

Education has actually built walls for these people and has stifled their creativity.

It's certainly possible that these students were never that creative but thru school have gained the confidence to try. I don't know.

I know that a lot of art teachers feel that children paint much better before they learn to color in the lines. I see a similarity here. Maybe?

This doesn't mean that I think school or music theory is a bad thing. It means that the truly brilliant will use it to their advantage while the run of the mill musician might become a slave to it.

My personal experience as a songwriter is that I need to steer clear of musical theory knowledge. I know too little to try and gain much at my age. I won't even write songs on guitar or piano anymore. My ability to play those instruments limits what I will write. I literally just sing into a portable device and figure out the chords at a much later date. It's my hang up. I know. If I knew every single chord and application I would certainly not need to do it this way.

So I feel this is why people bash it. Because so few of us are willing to study it long enuff to gain it fully, we actually limit ourselves with it.

I do know that the more talented musicians I meet do tend to know a lot of theory and it's correct applications while there are quite a few creative geniuses who know very little. These creative geniuses tend to hire those talented musicians to fill in the holes.

I believe you need to be truly brilliant to be amazingly creative and have all the theory to back it up.

This separates the brilliance of Eminem and Quincy Jones. Although they are both talented.
Old 14th September 2007
  #171
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
I tihnk you have a very good point, or a few. I see education as a process. It takes a while. I think schools CAN ruin a student. Mainly because lot of teachers are frustrated from failure. Certainly not ALL.

But in most case it takes years to take all the symbols, think with them to the point where they can become truly a creative language. Most people aren't fully cognizant of this process and go off half baked talking BS before they KNOW it all. You can't learn a scale and play music with it over night. If you feel like you have to brag about how much you know all the time, chances are you're over compensating for a lack of true ability.

You have to learn everything and throw it away, I think. Creativity is behind the symbols but it is not the symbols. One can be phenomenally creative and not have the slightest idea what he's doing, and no one would be the wiser. And someone else could take that "uneducated" creativity into the stratosphere. Or not.
Old 15th September 2007
  #172
Lives for gear
Its the notion that you lose some level of creativity when you learn all the "rules" and "fundamentals" and "style" is taught to you. It also makes the creator more mysterious because the content just comes from "somewhere".
Old 15th September 2007
  #173
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
That notion is something I've never expereinced or witnessed myself. But I've seen a lot of people claim it when they haven't completed the process of learning it.
Old 15th September 2007
  #174
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
Let me start off by saying that I know very little about music theory. I can read (trumpet for 10 years) and I can pick out just about any pop chord progression within a few minutes but there are plenty of chords I'm clueless about. I tend to go more by feel than anything. I do have relative pitch but not perfect.

Anyway…

We've all heard the saying "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".

I think that that's what's in play here.

I know many many "graduated from Berklee" students who are truly clouded by their own education.

Education has actually built walls for these people and has stifled their creativity.

It's certainly possible that these students were never that creative but thru school have gained the confidence to try. I don't know.

I know that a lot of art teachers feel that children paint much better before they learn to color in the lines. I see a similarity here. Maybe?

This doesn't mean that I think school or music theory is a bad thing. It means that the truly brilliant will use it to their advantage while the run of the mill musician might become a slave to it.

My personal experience as a songwriter is that I need to steer clear of musical theory knowledge. I know too little to try and gain much at my age. I won't even write songs on guitar or piano anymore. My ability to play those instruments limits what I will write. I literally just sing into a portable device and figure out the chords at a much later date. It's my hang up. I know. If I knew every single chord and application I would certainly not need to do it this way.

So I feel this is why people bash it. Because so few of us are willing to study it long enuff to gain it fully, we actually limit ourselves with it.

I do know that the more talented musicians I meet do tend to know a lot of theory and it's correct applications while there are quite a few creative geniuses who know very little. These creative geniuses tend to hire those talented musicians to fill in the holes.

I believe you need to be truly brilliant to be amazingly creative and have all the theory to back it up.

This separates the brilliance of Eminem and Quincy Jones. Although they are both talented.
Sorry, this is the standard excuse I hear from people without the education. No offence intended. If I had to choose between talent and education, I'd take talent any day. As you said, being educated does not bestow talent, but having both........now that's an unstoppable combination.

The below post absolutely NAILS it as far as I'm concerned:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique View Post
I think it all depends on the individual's own talent and hardwork. I've met people who have earned a degree in composition and know very advanced music theory, but obviously lack the talent to write compelling music--everything they do might be technically correctly, but have absolutely no creative flair whatsoever. Then there are those who can't even read notation or know much about music theory, but have so much creativity.

But the monster creative geniuses are almost always those who have both the education/training, AND were talented in the first place. These guys are the ones I really look up to. Sakamoto Ryuichi, for example, is a musician's musician, well-versed in many different styles of music, and can do them all with a sense of authority and originality--be it classical, avant-garde, jazz, electronic, film scores...etc.

When those without training/education starts bashing those who do, they tend to concentrate on those who are making music that's very different from their own specialized genre (for exmaple, hip-hop or punk guys making fun of classical musicians), but they forget that there are trained/educated musicians playing in their genre that are quite amazing, and will probably play/compose/arrange circles around them due to the additional training/education, on top of the talent that's already there.
Old 15th September 2007
  #175
Gear Nut
 
James R.'s Avatar
 

Hi Every one,



When I saw this thread I couldn't help but throw my 2 cents in, or (2 dollars judging from the length of this post) for what it's worth.
I believe Mr. Swedien's question is "why the lack of respect in our industry for formal musical and technical training. I will hopefully get to my answer shortly, but I doubt it.
First off I want to say being armed with knowledge (information) is always a good thing. Also I will try not to repeat what was said by others in the discussion early on about talent versus knowledge and vice a versa. However I will say this, in a perfect world the scales would be equally balanced with both. I also want to state for the record I try not to be biased in either direction.
I'm pretty much a self taught engineer. I was very lucky to have interned for a year (to brief a time) in a very well equiped studio in my small hometown in the early 70's. 2" 24 track, 24 channel MCI with autolocate, Neumann mics, but I'm sorry to say I don't remember much about the rack stuff. At that time I thought that the engineer that ran the place was real good, but I was 19 so did I really know. I never thought to asked him if he was schooled. (he was a guitar player) I was just glad to be there. Well he must have been pretty good because a song he engineered and mixed showed up (almost 3 decades later) over the credits of a movie starring Bill Murray called "Larger Than Life". I know for certain it was not a redo because the artist who recorded the song died shortly after it was cut (again early 70's) and the voice on the song in the movie was his. So it could be said for the sake of argument if he was not schooled that talent armed with some knowledge and experience was the clear winner here.
Now if you listen to a lot of stuff done in the 40's and 50's a lot of those guys were schooled sound engineers. So once again it could be said for the sake of argument that knowledge armed with some talent and experience is the clear winner here. (No offence because of not including any following generations of engineers).
As far as musical training goes the story of Duke Ellington was mentioned earlier. I have a similar story about Albert Lee the great guitarist and a instructional video I bought. He was with another instructor and this instructor said to Albert "you played X scale over Y chord" and Albert looked at him and said "I don't know man I just play". Example of talent and hard work over obvious formal knowledge and training.
I think there is a 3rd variable here. It is imagination. I have learned so much from this forum and I am constantly amazed when I read threads here of engineers and the imaginative routings they come up with. Going in directions one may or would not normally think of. You get the picture. Now whether this is extreme understanding of equipment plumbing, or that understanding, coupled with imagination, knowledge, talent, experience and some bravery, then it could be said for the sake of argument that all these factors make the clear winner.
Geoff Emerick's book on the recording the Beatles is IMHO a prime example of imagination. As I take it he broke all the rules in EMI's play book with his imagination to create those records. If you happen to like his engineering style and the sound of those records, (I do) then it can be said that his imagination and vision armed with some talent and knowledge is the clear winner.
I have a aux engineer who is schooled and very skilled (electro/mechanical). Another variable still, is pairings or teams. What I lack in techincal knowledge I make up for on the musical side. What he lacks on the musical side he more than makes up for it in the technical side. He forces me to learn and think in the box and I force him to think outside the box. A clear winner for both of us.
These kinds of pairings can often lead to some darn good musical and engineering cinergy
Whew! Now after all this long winded bull crap I'll get to Mr. Swedien's original question. I'm getting tired of hearing myself type. No matter what side of this discussion you're on, I think there has always been a long standing respect and admiration inherient in all of us no matter where you come from, no matter what you do, for anyone who's came up through the ranks the hard way, self taught, paid their dues in, suffered for their art, whatever you want to call it, no matter what the endevor. Again this is not meant to demean formal training of any kind in anyway. But maybe, just maybe this kind of admiration and respect translates into a perceived lack of respect for said formal training, or a least some perceived snobbery aimed in its direction.
One poster mentioned the playing from the heart concerning the violin players. Now here's where I'm going to get slammed, if I haven't already for opening my mouth. I might sound a little biased now. Sometimes that love and drive for something that allows a person to go after it reguardless of the cost may just give them that extra edge in the heart department. And I think all of us respect and greatly admire that kind of sacrifice. This is no way meant to demean anyone who has sacrificed for a formal education. (I'm trying not to get killed here) Scotty, my personal forcefield please.
Then again maybe this is all to WINDY and lofty a notion. Maybe it's the passing of the artisanship down to the next generation. Maybe it is the hands on aspect we respect more than formal training.
Well now that I've bored everyone to tears and most likely pissed a few off with my long winded little diatribe, I will retire back into the shadows to await my verbal flogging and comeupence.
Everyone have a great day.



What do you call a accordion player with a beeper? HOPEFUL!


James R.
Avian Studios
(we're for the birds)
Old 17th September 2007
  #176
Lives for gear
 
big country's Avatar
 

NEVER SAID i DROPPED OUT ITS JUST WHEN i GO TO CLASS i CATCH AN idea AND RUN

PLUS ALL THE STUFF IN THE STUDIOS TODAY ARE KIND OF OLD TEC OENOLOGIES AND REALLY DON'T WANT TO WAST MY TIME TRYING TO LEARN OLD STUFF

OR STUFF i WONT NEED

I'm a special student I do things much different
I look at the heard and figure better ways
after all It can only get better
with change


jack in the bean stock theory

henry sounds like he would buy the seed not the cow
I would too
Old 17th September 2007
  #177
Lives for gear
 
big country's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
No flame intended. I just don't understand your post. After dropping out, which knowledge are you retaining better? The knowledge you coudln't absorb in school? Life knowledge? Only the knowledge that you think is important for you? You really have to translate this for me ...........
"I take time to soak in whats really important
and it causes me to worry
thier for burning it in my head["......???

I create not copy
how about you
Old 17th September 2007
  #178
Lives for gear
 
big country's Avatar
 

but then again the world needs more creative people
it frees the mind

with school unless it has changed
their is only one way

allot of what needs to be taught
is stuff that doesn't exist
our schools need the seeds
to plant in peoples mind
that their is a different way
and thats when we find a host of new ways


stair way to heaven theory

how many songs came out of smoke on the water
or better yet what was the first popular song that
became of the power cord

the new world is coming you just have to believe



If whine drinkers whine\
what beer drinkers doo
nothing like a company plane

if brilliance was only some thing you could convince

amgine somday applying to live in a town
Old 17th September 2007
  #179
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
What's REALLY amazing about this thread is how (more or less) every single person believes that THEIR experience (with one school or institution) defines what happens in every school or institution, and how THEIR personal path is the only correct choice for anyone...

in my experience, that's pretty much the way most people relate to everything, everywhere. of course, i can't escape the paradox that in so claiming, i'm pretty much doing the same thing.


gregoire
del
ubk
Old 17th September 2007
  #180
no ssl yet
Guest
The argument that Education stifles creativity is BS.
There are those who feel wandering aimlessly and picking out stuff actually helps their vibe creatively but it's BS.

(It reminds me of a friend who felt working out would kill his jumpshot so he NEVER did.)

The bottom line is you owe it to the short time you spend on Earth to attempt to master your chosen field. If that field is music, you should learn everything that you can about it.


With that said, it's a mistake to think those who come out of schools will be creative because they have been to class. It's also a mistake to think that because they went to class they won't be creative.


Creativity IMO comes from a divine source. Not everyone is chosen to tap into it. But if you are, the least you could do is to feed that which you feed off by learning all that you can musically.

Since we are discussing school we should keep in mind that schools primarily teach you HOW to learn. They teach discipline and other usefull skills that come into play more when you are out of school and trying to apply what you learned.

As humans we learn via repitition. The real "studying" comes after graduation. School is like going on a road trip. The lessons you learn are passed so quickly as you move on to the next phase of the curiculum that they are like landmarks.

It's up to the individual to re visit those landmarks after graduation (and throughout life) to get to master what you've learned.

Mastery doesn't really come while you are in school. School is only where the learning begins as you build a foundation. The mastery/application/beauty comes later.

IMO.
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