thinks : is a good faker equivalent to a good performer?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Post by kabuki » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:49 am

Angstrom wrote:
kabuki wrote:I played some Journey, Neil Diamond and John Cougar to open
I'm glad to see you don't need 20 years of Buddhist meditation to get rid of your ego ...

just a single wedding gig will do it.

No shame in my game. I always give the girls what they want. Except an orgasm. That one eludes me. jk

Not to say that I enjoy me some Journey, Diamond, and Cougar if it fits the situation, which it very much did in this case (it was a wedding).
15" PB 2.5 Ghz, 4 Gig RAM, 750 GB HD, Live 9 still no cue points or program change messages?!?. Doesn't do shit.

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Post by Machinesworking » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:59 am

Rock bands I get pissed seeing play backing tracks etc. but really? Electronic music of almost any kind involves sequenced parts. I'm disappointed when i notice how much of a "live" set is just audio files, and happy when it's not, but there are exceptions.
Group called Covenant, three guys, two guys with simple controllers, probably doing no more than some mixing, and a singer. obvious that most of it was on DAT, but they were so in to it, and got the crowd so worked up that it just didn't matter. Their stuff is minimal EBM, not anything to add to live really, but it sounds good loud, and they have fun.
Most of the time though electronic acts aren't on par with rock bands IMO, one of the main reasons why rock bands will never die out, it's kinetic, stick hitting drum, strings and hands moving etc. What are you gonna do with a keyboard or laptop?
Video feeds of your hands moving sliders?

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Post by the ar » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:05 am

This is the perfect topic for McRorie the One Man Band, too.
He has always been and will always be the FUTURE, ahah.

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Post by gjm » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:23 am

Back to the OP.

The distinguishing factor with your example is the Audience expectation. What are they coming to do? Are they coming as educated computor based DJ's looking to their 'Hero' for inspiration, or a crowd that is gonna be half cut and ready for a good time? Is the music in the first instance simply a vehicle for a 'good time' or is the performance and the artist actually meant to be critiqued? This same situation exists for 'traditional' musicians as well. Knowing who the majority of your audience is and their intention can change the way you approach your 'performance.' The reality is that there is always someone out there ready to pass judgement on your performance irrespective of the success of your show. For Angstrom, the customer is always right, despite what the compitition has to say.

Now for the compitition. It seems that it's not Joe average who gets on a forum straight after a night clubing and points fingers at DJwotnot and rips to shreds his show. Its people in the know! People who aspire to be 'The Man'. In the OP's scinareo, your the minority. Most people in the audience fundamentally don't give a rats ass.

Now to the slightly off topic comments in this thread. Some have talked about the uneasyness they feel finding a point somewhere along the spectrum of totally canned to totally improvised. These are fantastic feelings that show people are examining who they are and what they do and how they want to be seen by the public and their peers. Each to their own in the end. It's good to look at others and measure yourself as an artist. But the only valid purpose should be to improve your own game, not simply to shit on someone.

As a side note, consider that most audiences are programed NOT to see a computor as an instrument in the traditional sense. When you are hunched over a guitar, even if all you are playing is the 4 chords mentioned in an earlier post, the general population understands what you are doing. When you are hunched over a computor... well... guess what, you look like you are sending an email. Its not uniformly understood that there is a very highly skilled and highly practised person behind the screen or assorted boxes, who has to engage in a certain type of synchronistic thinking along with sensing 'vibe'. You DJ types have an up hill battle. I raise my hat to you. A lot of your skill base actually can go unseen to the average person. Shame. This to me is the issue that strikes at the core of the topic of 'What is a valid performance or performer?'. PERCEPTION. The fine and very personal line between who you are and what you portray.

Now, back to practising the tambourine... :lol:
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Post by dj superflat » Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:45 am

everyone's a faker to some extent, you're really just talking shades of grey (the most "authentic" act has elements it repeats every show, whether it's the headbob at certain parts of show, or the comments regarding a given song, or even just playing the songs in roughly the same order each time out (few bands don't use roughly the same setlist for long stretches at a time). put another way, everyone's got an aesthetic.

regardless, the audience/customer is always right. even if they've been "duped," doesn't matter if they have a good time. and performers should just do whatever works for them (and their audience, if they care).

i mean, really, does it matter whether madonna is lip syncing, or has backup vox way high in mix (covering for her heavy breathing during dance), or is using pitch correction live, etc.? is someone less authentic for using a better sounding mic? or compression? using only some canned elements rather than all?

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Post by Patch » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:03 am

Ignorance is bliss.

All those neck tingling moments I've had at festivals over the years couldn't have all been completely live. I don't know which ones were live, and which ones weren't. Obviously, I'd hope that they all were - but if I found out that Faithless didn't play live at Gatecrasher all those years ago (highly unlikely - it's Faithless for fucks sake!) I wouldn't be heartbroken...

Ignorance is bliss.

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Post by forge » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:17 am

good thread

it depends on the situation completely but when I go out I'm much more interested in what I hear

I'm interested in what they're doing insofar as I'd like to know if they're doing it live how they go about it, but if I'm in a club I'm far more interested in the sound and it's an opportunity to hear it on a big system

for me personally I dont have much confidence that I could create a totally 100% set from scratch from a blank set and make it sound interesting and get a dnace floor moving so I dont expect that from others and I think there is every bit as much skill involved in picking the right tracks for the right time for the right crowd - and that's just playing tracks to get people dancing

Pitch Black gave some good ideas when they were in town and they do it all Live - although it's all based on parts from their existing tracks, not blank sets - so maybe that is the best approach to take

I havent seen COSM so I cant comment but there is definitely something really impressive about people really doing clever things with their tools

but I dont think it means the others are crap, just that they are really really good

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Post by Daim » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:43 am

the faker cannot react as good to the crowd's mood since his set might be preplanned..

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Post by hambone1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:05 am

It's show business. 21st-century vaudeville without requiring the skill or talent of a true live performer. You're there for the financial benefit of the promoter/club/function/etc.

You're a DJ. You cheerlead and 'play' somebody else's music as escapism for the lemmings from their mundane Mon-Fri 9-5, and as a worker bee for the promoter/club owner/etc to make more cash. Does it really matter to anyone in the crowd (apart from the other insecure trainspotting DJs) how the sound gets to their ears?

Why not just accept it for what it is and enjoy it? Why be so insecure as to slag off others who DJ differently from you?

IMO, be secure enough to be the best you can be for yourself, not for anyone else. If that means doing more live, go for it. If it means playing pre-made tracks, that's OK, too.

I personally couldn't give a f*ck about what anyone but me thinks about how I do what I do.

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Post by Angstrom » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:33 pm

I'm not specifically referring to DJs in this hypothetical situation - I'm talking about all forms of performance. And I'm not castigating the practice - I'm just investigating it - in the era of button pressing which means little to the audience it's interesting to investigate "what is real" and "what is valid". When the audience can't tell real 'button pressing' from fake 'entertaining' does it matter to anyone but the performer?

And to those (very few) in the thread who think that the educated nerd-core will be able to tell a fake somehow, especially due to the way the faker would not be able to respond to the crowd. etc.

I'm sorry to say that this interaction can be faked. It's just like a Tarot reading.
Those moments where you, in the audience, thought you had a real connection with the moment ? Those moments are subjective perceptions, not an absolute truth. You modified the moment for yourself and validated it via a perception of what was happening
. When a 'big tune' plays and the audience goes "whoooo!!" and the band points and smiles - a connection has been made. Afterwards everyone remembers it as a 'connection', but that big tune could easily be on tape. The next night the tape plays and it doesn't catch the audience the same way .. only a mild "yay" results. Never mind ... it's just an off night eh, because the next night the big tune goes down massive!

Just to prove how hard it is to tell:
A friend of mine was touring with a large well known act, I saw people on this forum salivating over their upcoming tour, and after the gigs they raved about the performance - how they connected, how live it was, etc, etc. But the thing is - it was all on DAT. Every night the Promoter would say to my friend "so how long is the set, roughly" and he would reply - " exactly fifty eight minutes, twenty seven and a half seconds".

Of course as I saw all the forum members reviews coming in I couldn't (and wouldn't) say "It's a DAT you know". But it was, and no-one had the faintest idea. And they all loved it, so does it matter?

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Post by forge » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:48 pm


I personally think 90% if the punters wouldnt give a crap, especially if you factor drugs and alcohol into the equation

it's just that, using this forum as an example, that 10% is probably where many of the people here fit

but a majority on the Ableton forum doesn't make a majority in the electronic music going public world

I say fake it, fake it, fake it! :lol: :wink:

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Post by Angstrom » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:50 pm

the problem is -
as performers we don't want to fake it!

even if a fake gig might be 'better' than a real one!

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Post by hambone1 » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:51 pm

Angstrom wrote:the problem is -
as performers we don't want to fake it!
Then don't!

Be true to yourself. Does it really matter what everyone else thinks?

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Post by Angstrom » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:00 pm

hambone1 wrote:
Angstrom wrote:the problem is -
as performers we don't want to fake it!
Then don't!
Be true to yourself. Does it really matter what everyone else thinks?
this is a hypothetical investigation intended to make people ponder what it means to 'perform' - it isn't a heart felt confession of how I intend to live my life as a lie ;)

actually I expected many more people to say "death to the fakers!!" rather than the actual response which seems to be 90% "hmm, yep faking is fine really, I'm just burning my next gig now"

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Post by b0unce » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:03 pm

I consume so much music it's ridiculous, I don't go to gigs just to get plastered and laid - if I did that I'd be an alcoholic with liver-failure and AIDS by now. if such-and-such is advertising a live gig I could easily go there to appreciate their mad skills, sucks to find out they're faking. especially after paying e16.50 at the door.

I'm not dogging those who do it the lazy way, but just be upfront about it. call it a showcase or something, be as crafty as you want with the english language, but don't sell me an expensive ticket for a live gig and fake it.....
spreader of butter

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