Tracking and Demoscene discussion.

your background affects whether something sounds "gamey

Postby overthruster » Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:03 am

this is a really late post on the subject... but really recently (well, a couple weeks ago) i played that track brown bunnies for one of my friends.
she said it sounds like video game music...
at first i was like "pfft, what does she know"

...but on my way home (we were at a bar) i realised the reason for why this stuff and probably instrumental electronic music in general sounds "gamey" to the uninitiated:

ok: most popular music, the main focus/elements are vocals/lyrics, and bassline.

in trakcery/demoscene stuff and most idm/instrumental electro WHATEVER, the focus is instead on melody and rhythm. which pretty much all vgm is focused on. also what most jazz is focused on (well, chords and rhythm i guess, but you get my point)

and the fact that it is focused on melody/rhythm AND it is predominantly obviously electronic/sampled i think adds to this perception.

and i am talking about like, popular music such as whatever, rnb or rap/hiphop, not even getting into rock, which the main thing behind it is chord/lyrics anyway, and so many people who listen to predominantly rock music dont even consider "electronic music to be real music anyway" or dont even realise that the vast majority of all the music they ever listen to is digitally edited/sequenced/mastered etc...

just my thoughts... this has been boggling my mind up until recently also
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Postby Sonicade » Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:19 pm

I agree this is usually the case. People tend to rely heavily on familiarity. For example, hesitating to try a foreign food or even another person's point of view. Music is no different. If it sounds unfamiliar then your mind goes by free association to think of the closest thing to it. After that it's up to how open your mind is to that feeling which determines whether you appreciate it or not. The more familiar, the easier it is to appreciate hence the popularity of familiar Pop music. It's all about the viiibes man!
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Postby organic io » Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:41 am

i love trying new food. i will try anything!!!
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Postby hseiken » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:15 pm

overthruster wrote:in trakcery/demoscene stuff and most idm/instrumental electro WHATEVER, the focus is instead on melody and rhythm. which pretty much all vgm is focused on. also what most jazz is focused on (well, chords and rhythm i guess, but you get my point)


This is EXACTLY it because I played a track by Tech Itch ("Heavy Metal VIP") for a friend, and they said that IT sounded like videogame music. True, that tune would definately be killer 'boss' music, but it's far from standard idea of classic videogame music.

At any rate, no words + no hook = no love from the n00b...unless you catch them at the right time when they start getting bored of the music they listen to.
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Postby crosfire » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:15 am

Why scene music sounds like videogame music? The answer is pretty easy :D.
Most of game musicians, are post-scene musicians. So the conclusion is: The scene music don't sound gamey, but the game music sounds sceney:P!
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Postby overthruster » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:28 pm

i LOVE tech itch!!!

but yeah, unfortunately in the united states, there are still alot of people saying "heck no to techno" which is pretty damn sad and lame imo. im sure in europe their idea of "gamey" and "tehcno" is quite a bit different.

it seems like electronic listening/dancing music is only JUST NOW getting somewhat popular in the states, and your average radio listening person has probably only LISTENED to electronics in video games, i dont think very many people pay attention to the music in movies and commercials

i mean, there is that interview with luke vibert where some twat pretty much accuses him of "just pushing play" and shit, the population at large seems to be sadly ignorant

even last year people have told me "electronic music ISNT REAL MUSIC" seriously, not just joking.
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Postby plusminus » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:26 am

Another reason I think people don't appreciate the skill that goes into electronic music is that often there is very little in the way of performance skill. People are used to seeing traditional instruments as music, and so if there's no obvious element of live control like there is when you play a piano or whatever, it's maybe harder for much of the general public to grasp the talent within the music.

(Truth be told, I saw Mike Paradinas (mu-ziq) live and he basically did push play for the set. Tracks sounded very very similar to the album versions, and in fact for the encore he just started up a track and left the stage to have a beer. Didn't get back in time to hit stop before the next one started playing...)

Anyhow, what's wrong with video game music? :)

EDIT - more thoughts:

Things get even worse the further away you get from "popular" electronic music, i.e. dance/house stuff. I was trying to explain Francis Dhomont to someone (look him up on google if you've never heard of him) and it was just impossible to convey the idea of music made with electronics that wasn't at all booty-shaking bass beats.

Perhaps this is another reason for the lack of acceptance of electronic music: people are only familiar with it in cliched, specific contexts.
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Postby hseiken » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:44 pm

that's a good point too...techno = gay, pretty much it seems...i mean, stateside, what major techno songs have been top 40 hits with major air time? to list a couple (seriously, this list will be super gay...happy gay, i mean):

1.) 2 unlimited - get ready for this
2.) the immortals - mortal kombat
3.) robert miles - children
4.) cher - do you believe in life after love
5.) chemical brothers - block rockin' beats
6.) etc.

You can see that these are all songs the females love, men hate and all have become the basis for many a highschool cheerleading squad. this association alone creates the imaginary brickwall that it's all crap....sad but true...the same is true of other 'cheeze' genres such as '80's' music...true, lots of 80's pop is cheese, but hell, descendants were 80's, technically speaking, and they rock out with their cock out.

once the perception is in place, it's very hard to alter it.
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Postby plusminus » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:32 pm

hseiken wrote:all have become the basis for many a highschool cheerleading squad


Oh god, you're so right it's depressing.

Also now I have f-ing Cher in my head. Dammit. :(
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Postby organic io » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:10 am

overthruster wrote:it seems like electronic listening/dancing music is only JUST NOW getting somewhat popular in the states



i disagree with this, its peak popularity in the states was in the mid-late '90s ... like around 97-99... with artists like chemical brothers, prodigy, fatboy slim, orbital, actually popping into mainstream radio and media for a while. at the time the big buzz term for the music was "electronica" (god damn i hate that word). the fetish was wearing off by 2000 though and it has never seemed to have as much of a comeback. if you go to best buy or any CD store, the electronic music section is a lot smaller now than it was back then
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Postby organic io » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:14 am

hseiken wrote:2 unlimited - get ready for this


sadly, this song defines 90% of americans' perception about electronic music.... because this song is ubiquitous. it seems like every sporting event or bowling alley or anything you go to (well, me at least here in north carolina), this song will be played. :?

if most people hear this as their first taste of electronic music, and they hear it so frequently... they must think that other electronic music sucks as badly as this song. :(
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Postby fbjon » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:19 am

overthruster wrote:this is a really late post on the subject... but really recently (well, a couple weeks ago) i played that track brown bunnies for one of my friends.
she said it sounds like video game music...
at first i was like "pfft, what does she know"

...but on my way home (we were at a bar) i realised the reason for why this stuff and probably instrumental electronic music in general sounds "gamey" to the uninitiated:


My girlfriend said the same thing about one of my tracks here, I think it was Psychology in reverse from sdc8, not sure. She didn't mean it in a bad way, but it kind of surprised me because I hadn't thought that way at all. I'm thinking perhaps sine/saw/square leads give off that impression in general?
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Postby organic io » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:46 am

fbjon wrote:I'm thinking perhaps sine/saw/square leads give off that impression in general?


it must be, because they are similar to the NES music synthesization techniques
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Postby hseiken » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:00 pm

dj io wrote:
hseiken wrote:2 unlimited - get ready for this


sadly, this song defines 90% of americans' perception about electronic music.... because this song is ubiquitous. it seems like every sporting event or bowling alley or anything you go to (well, me at least here in north carolina), this song will be played. :?


North Carolina? Greetings from Norfolk.
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Postby plusminus » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:32 pm

dj io wrote:i disagree with this, its peak popularity in the states was in the mid-late '90s ... like around 97-99... with artists like chemical brothers, prodigy, fatboy slim, orbital, actually popping into mainstream radio and media for a while. at the time the big buzz term for the music was "electronica" (god damn i hate that word). the fetish was wearing off by 2000 though and it has never seemed to have as much of a comeback. if you go to best buy or any CD store, the electronic music section is a lot smaller now than it was back then


I try to avoid popular CD stores, but I don't think the electronic section around where I've lived has shrank. However, it does seem like during the "electronica" heyday you could find some interesting things there... new Autechre albums, really unknown acid.. I remember seeing an album called Arc vs. Tiny Objects In Space (http://www.12k.com/1001.html) for sale and being intrigued by it, but not really wanting to risk buying it since I was in highschool and never had much money around. 10 years later Taylor Deupree is one of my favourite artists...

Nowadays I'm lucky if I see an Aphex Twin album mixed in with the collections of house music and triphop albums.

Thankfully there's always mail-order :D
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