No Effort

Without having read the actual article (based on the quote), I’d say: That’s all very nice. But if you ask me, that’s all external to the thing that’s really important - the music itself. And you could easily claim the opposite point of view: today, a lot of musicians choose to act as their own AR, manager, record label and take care of distribution themselves. A lot of extra effort.

P.S: I think it’s inspiring that one of my friends has just released a limited vinyl that isn’t mentioned anywhere on the internet. Yes, I have a copy of the album, but I can’t provide any links whatsoever. Of course, vinyl collectors go into a frenzy over stuff like this

this is the key for me: music has become “not special for people” because of people like this Kevin: a person who doesn’t work in music because he likes it, but simply because is where he can “sink his teeth” into. I really don’t care about it anyway: I will keep on making music for myself and releasing it for free; anything else is left to the debaters

they say ‘in some cases’, then go on to draw conclusions about the entirety of music-production from that? seems a bit simple to me.
maybe i should read the whole thing. maybe not :)

agree with danoise and it-alien here, can’t add much more of my own.

Actually i think we are closer to the roots of music now.
They probably started with some simple drums and flutes and stuff and did not need record labels and production companies to get their music to the people, they simply just played music.
Now we don’t have to rely so much on record labels and production companies to get our music to the people, we just make music and put it on the internet.

^ applause

Now that the equipment is available to everybody to attempt to make music means that no effort is needed to do so???

Everybody has access to pots and pans with maybe a couple of wooden spoons for free but I’ve only seen a few people hit them in a manner which sounds good. Since when is cost and access to materials a measure of effort in production or skill in execution?



This attitude seems to appear in quite a few artist interviews in Computer Music too: the notion that it’s somehow a bad thing that the ability to make music is no longer related to cost, and that there’s now “too much crap” as opposed to the good old days when only rich people who could afford hardware were able to make music.

It’s such a ridiculous idea. There is no connection between the quality of artwork and the cost involved in making it.

The shit does outweigh the gold but to be honest this has always really been the case (to at least some extent.) I’ve been buying vinyl since about 1994/5 and can never remember a time where I didn’t have to listen to 50 odd records to find the couple I may want to part my money for. I have also come across records from that period and even further back where I liked the tune but it transpires that the production is terrible and it’s not really playable out, so you can’t claim this is only due to the new digital age and ease of publication either.

I will admit, with the amount there is now out there under your fingertips, that a producer or new label does maybe have to put in a little more effort to try and get themselves seen. But still the best method to do this is get out playing gigs, it always has been and probably always will be.

The amount of awesome music there is available for free does sometimes astound me, shame I as yet have not gone the digital DJing route. I find this far more impressive than the fact there is also a whole plethora of sub-par music out there as well. Although, as mentioned above, this may be in large part because I don’t try and kid myself this wasn’t always the case.

Exactly. 90% of music on the Internet is crap because 90% of everything everywhere is crap. It has nothing to do with the cost of production. How many millions of dollars are involved in making the latest Britney Spears manufactured trash?

Or maybe 80% of the good music is made by 20% of all musicians.

Its just the whole thats getting bigger, the ratios are probably the same and always will be.

I think you’re mixing up two different principles there.

The 80:20 rule is an informal property that applies to the Pareto distribution, which is a particular class of power law that frequently occurs in nature and society: for example with human wealth, popularity, number of Twitter followers and the like. In these situations it is typically the case that some small percentage of the people hold some large percentage of the available total, and the person at number one will have millions or billions as times as much as the people at the lower end of the scale.

There certainly are large differences in the amount of music people can produce — for example I might create one track in eight months, while there are people who can complete a track in eight days or even eight hours. However there probably isn’t anyone who can complete a track in eight seconds, and there certainly won’t be anyone producing tracks every eight microseconds. I therefore doubt that the amount of music produced obeys a power law distribution, and it is unlikely that some small percentage of composers produces the majority of all music in the world. More likely it is a Normal distribution, where most people are somewhere in the middle with relatively few at the upper and lower extremes, which is what applies to other things in nature such as human height or intelligence.

Sturgeon’s law, on the other hand, asserts that “90% of everything is crap”. It is not a mathematical principle relating to the quantity of production but a subjective statement about the general quality of most work (which again derives to the normal distribution, and its property that only a very small percentage of the population is near the top of the scale).


And you seem to be completely missing the word GOOD. Surely it doesn’t matter if it takes you minutes, days or months if it goes into the tosh pile at the end of it anyway.

Obviously Goodness is purely subjective though.

But for what each person likes I wouldn’t be that surprised if it does follow a similar type of law. Although I would say far less than 20% of people, or even just those who call themselves musicians, make 80% of the music I like. Who knows though…

I have ten bytes of code to share with you:

make music  

There are two different different aspects to music here that need differentiating: production versus songwriting

I think that the introduction of affordable electronic equipment and (generally pirated) software has resulted in the growth of specific genres. Dubstep I think is a good example of one. The quality and novelty of the software and gear has resulted in very effect laden music.

I’ve found that electronic music’s production quality has been increasing, while acoustic music’s production quality has been decreasing (as well as the popularity of the genre). This is because acoustic music cannot be produced by downloading a few plugins. You need a nice mic, mic preamps, an acoustic guitar (for example), and a properly sound damped room.

Gone are the days of albums mixed by audio engineers. There is little money to be made by professional recording studios because of the piracy epidemic. Also, the popularity of iPods - not the audio player itself, but the awful earbuds and dock “stereos” that people use - have reduced the need for high quality recordings.
If you want an acoustic guitar part nowadays, you just sample it.

Does this result in worse music? Well, if you like acoustic music (jazz, folk, etc.), then it probably has been getting worse. But on the other hand there is some very interest electronic stuff being made. Remember that production is separate from songwriting, and the creative drive people have to make music is always there. Just because music can be made effortlessly and published effortlessly, doesn’t mean the music has to be poor.

I didn’t want to get the impression that I was dissing Lisa Gail when posting in this thread. Yeah its funny, but its not like she’s trying to sell you Proactive or cigarettes.

I watch two channels on tv, one = NFL channel (american football fan), and two = Investigation Discovery (I.D.).

The internet for pretty much everything else.

Personally I can listen to almost any kind of music, as long as the frequency levels aren’t too brutally imbalanced.

Music and commerce are two different types of investments, including an emotional one I suppose. I think when you mix both, there’s a greater chance of being burned.

If I make lemonade at home for my own pleasure, sure yeah its special to me. Hey, I might even make some for visitors and they might think it’s special too. No where near of a worry to ones who are competing and selling lemonade. Psychological and business warfare, This is good lemonade, this is bad lemonade.

Anyway, It-Alien said it best.

Thread reminds of Frédéric Chopin who died at 39 years of age.

I put a lot of effort into making crap.