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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000177.txt from 2002/06

From: "Benjamin Maas" <benmaas@-----.com>
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: Clarinet sampling
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 20:34:17 -0400

I'm not even sure where to begin in reply to this note so I'll just
interject comments throughout the message....

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tony Wakefield [mailto:tony-wakefield@-----.net]
>
> > > Klarinet is all about whatever ... not especially LIVE music since we
> > discuss recordings and other things.
> >
> > No one has ever discussed a recording of a sampled clarinet.

That is because nobody has spent the time to ask about it. There have been
plenty of conversations, though, about how to go about recording a clarinet.

> > I suggest most earnestly that this subject should be directed towards
> > computer composers, and to encourage them to move in the
> direction of the
> > techno stores, where they will find a much higher wealth of advice than
> what
> > they will on klarinet.

There are probably not many on this list that would be knowledgeable about
this kind of thing. There are certainly plenty of people in the industry
that do, though. It is unfortunate that much of the industry has gone to
synthesizers, many of which are sub-par quality.

There is also a lot of music being written by "serious" composers (as if the
film and commercial types aren't!!! Let's get real) that uses synths and
samplers. Spend a day going to recitals at Cal Arts here in LA or at many
NY city new music concerts and you'll discover that really quickly. Having
knowledge and access to quality technology should be important to everybody
on this list.

> I am still most fervent about sampling orchestral instruments, and will
> only encourage the use of them on demos, and not on commercial
> recordings. I
> am, in fact, along with thousands of others losing the battle.
> One could say
> that the battle is totally lost. Look at the loss of string
> section work to
> synths.

I agree with you to a point. Today, we live in a world that is largely
rock-influenced. How many films have you gone to that do not have an
acoustic orchestral or jazz sound track. How many sound tracks have been
produced simply to sell a lot of CDs. Yes, it pisses me off when I listen
to the opening to a highly rated tv show on a network like "Law and Order"
which has a really cheesy synth soundtrack with a couple guitars and basses.
Like they couldn't afford to hire a single clarinetist to play that solo.
It would cost them a couple hundred bucks for that, but they didn't. In
Hollywood (the industry as a whole), often "good enough" is.

At the same token, I must commend the producers of the new show (I don't
know if it's been cancelled already) "The Court" as they hired a 60-piece
A-list LA studio orchestra to play all the music for the first episode and
the theme. They've re-used much of the music for other episodes and scored
the rest with a couple live musicians and synths.

> But this infiltration into klarinet has made me somewhat angry. I
> will always make my views known in no uncertain terms, to those
> who wish to
> take advantage of using a sampled sound as opposed to a live instrumental
> sound.

I think if you look at the original post, there was no reference as to what
the poster wanted the sounds for. Perhaps, they had a MIDI wind controller
and wanted it for those... Perhaps it was for his personal use. You don't
know that it was to be used for commercial use where it may put an acoustic
musician out of work (and put some keyboard/synth player *IN* work). I
agree with you completely about people using synths completely without
acoustic musicians, but let's get real.

Also, if you have problems with the lack of orchestras being used in film
and TV, look at what it costs to produce the recordings. Do you have a clue
as to what it costs for the recording space, mixer, musicians, etc... I can
think of one TV show that uses an orchestra for every episode (The Simpsons)

Do you know why many of the orchestral sessions that have traditionally been
done in LA have left for cities such as Seattle, London, and Prague? The
residuals on scoring are huge. Musicians in LA cost exponentially more
because of this. When 100 or more musicians are hired for a date, this
makes a big difference.

> I may be old fashioned and hot headed, but the whole business of
> sampled commercial releases stinks. I`m not saying that that is what our
> friend is indeed preparing, but if the subject is mentioned, then Tony
> Wakefield will open his mouth.

You should probably think before you open your mouth.

> I have a rock band who are preparing to
> overdub three live brass players shortly. One member of the band is my son
> in law. If he had mentioned sampling to me in the first place, then I
> probably would have lost a daughter too.

It is good that that are going to overdub live musicians and that they can
afford to do so. In the 80's in rock, they often used the synth patches off
of a Yamaha DX-7... Made a sound that is definitely associated with that
time period.

> I will fight and fight again. Everyone else here has to also, so please
> don`t anyone chastise me for my efforts to preserve live music.
> That`s all.
> Tony Wakefield

I commend your efforts to preserve acoustic music. Please understand,
though, that as technology marches on, those that aren't "in-the-know" will
look at the bottom line. We have to fight to a point, but beyond that, we
have to embrace technology and do what we can with it. I'd much rather play
in an orchestra or mix a large orchestra for soundtracks and other
commercial work. However, the bottom line tends to win and we need to
embrace the technology and make sure that it is at the level where it should
be.

If you really want to crusade, talk to studio executives, record company
executives, union reps that demand big pay checks, etc... and convince them
of that.

--Ben

Benjamin Maas
Freelance Clarinetist and Recording Engineer
Los Angeles, CA
benmaas@-----.com
http://www.fifthcircle.com

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