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Decolonizing Electronic Music Starts With Its Software (Pitchfork article + browser apps)


dcom
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saw that article a while back. it's interesting but also i have a hard time w/software as colonization. not sure why. i guess being a music theory dunce some of it seems irrelevant to me. but also, it's hard to expect a bunch of people in germany or wherever the software is written to accommodate every possible musical outcome. perhaps at some point there will be add on packages to "retune" software so a 12 tone scale isn't dominant.. or like w/a qwerty keyboard you can select different nationalities or languages etc but in a musical context.

i think for a thing like that to change it's usually a person taking the project on himself as it seems that guy in the article did. i'm sure if ableton had been created in a different place not subjected to western music rules it'd have a different set of rules itself. calling it a "western bias" seems disingenuous since i mean.. it's made in a western country.. why wouldn't it be western? 

I get what the article is trying to do and it's interesting but pitchfork just makes me groan. 

came across this today on twitter. relevant. about how musicians are taught. i found it interesting. 

 also a tangent but perhaps relevant. . some interesting nuggets in here about relative tones.

 

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w/the newer tuning suites that are popping up and things like TUN files, Wilsonic, and the MTS-ESP 

https://cdm.link/2021/03/inside-mts-esp-the-new-tuning-tool-from-oddsound-and-aphex-twin/

do these kinds of things put all the various tuning systems of different countries within easier reach of muscians?

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Even DAWs need to be woke these days; it's a welcome progress, but I'm getting a bit tired with the ever-fragmenting inclusivity rhetoric. Change starts with language and checking assumptions, but DAWs using Western tuning systems are not a form of oppression or colonization. It's of course easy to argue that creating a DAW with a Western base tuning system starts with an assumption that it's what people will and want to use, and such an absolute assumption is by default wrong and it should be checked - it's not like DAW software companies are forcing anyone to use them. Makes clickable headlines and copy, though.

Edited by dcom
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Easily tunable string instruments can be tuned however the player wants, but there's an implicit pressure to use a tuning that takes into account the instrument's cultural history and background. A six-string guitar with a Western tuning is not a tool of oppression, nor is an Oud

mwo,x1000,ipad_2_snap-pad,750x1000,f8f8f8.u1.jpg

Edited by dcom
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5 hours ago, dcom said:

Even DAWs need to be woke these days; it's a welcome progress, but I'm getting a bit tired with the ever-fragmenting inclusivity rhetoric. Change starts with language and checking assumptions, but DAWs using Western tuning systems are not a form of oppression or colonization. It's of course easy to argue that creating a DAW with a Western base tuning system starts with an assumption that it's what people will and want to use, and such an absolute assumption is by default wrong and it should be checked - it's not like DAW software companies are forcing anyone to use them. Makes clickable headlines and copy, though.


All the major DAWs, yes, all of them, use western tuning systems and have no provisions at all for using different ones. To the people who make them the 90% of the world that doesn’t use these tuning systems simply don’t exist. By itself that may not be oppression but it’s certainly a symptom of an extremely unequal world.

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17 minutes ago, rhmilo said:


All the major DAWs, yes, all of them, use western tuning systems and have no provisions at all for using different ones. To the people who make them the 90% of the world that doesn’t use these tuning systems simply don’t exist. By itself that may not be oppression but it’s certainly a symptom of an extremely unequal world.

That's what I meant when I wrote that "It's of course easy to argue that creating a DAW with a Western base tuning system starts with an assumption that it's what people will and want to use" - which you did, but I also wrote that "and such an absolute assumption is by default wrong and it should be checked." I agree with you, but you responded like I didn't address the issue.

Edited by dcom
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thank god, i heard someone play a forrth a fifth a minor fall & a major lift the other day and it felt like uncle sam himself was expelling creamy white vitriol directly upon me

Spoiler

real talk tho is microtonality going to be the next overused trope in electronic music? between this & aphex's thing

 

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6 minutes ago, Berk said:

Lol (de)colonization? What? Am I a boomer?

20th century mass-democracy, the unholy mcdonaldsification of west european cultural norms, has made great strides towards overcoding the entire globe. now it feels compelled to cover its tracks by making a concerted effort to shorn itself of any aspect that speaks of western ideological centrality, in order to put forward the illusion that globalist society is a natural+universal phenomenon

Edited by Cryptowen
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50 minutes ago, dcom said:

That's what I meant when I wrote that "It's of course easy to argue that creating a DAW with a Western base tuning system starts with an assumption that it's what people will and want to use" - which you did, but I also wrote that "and such an absolute assumption is by default wrong and it should be checked." I agree with you, but you responded like I didn't address the issue.

Ah, ok, must’ve misread, then. It seems to me like you wrote that DAWs *aren’t* a form of oppression whereas the point I tried to make, not very well, it turns out, was that they might as well be.

28 minutes ago, Cryptowen said:

now it feels compelled to cover its tracks by making a concerted effort to shorn itself of any aspect that speaks of western ideological centrality, in order to put forward the illusion that globalist society is a natural+universal phenomenon

Interesting take. It’s possible, but considering that the non-Western world has been on the ascendancy for a while now, and making increasingly bold claims to its rights to deal with the world on its own terms, the alternative interpretation, that the formerly colonized are genuinely pissed, seems to me more likely.

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"Shattering hegemonies" sounds a lot cooler than "developing a plugin". Maybe somewhat ironically this might be the easiest way to sell his ideas to western liberals looking to feel guilty about something new.

But there could be real opportunity there. Maybe there are millions of Indians frustrated that their favorite 22-note sitar tuning isn't available in Ableton. Whatever DAW that jumps on this and makes it simple and easy might have a hit on their hands.

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I've got friends who are producers from Egypt, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Japan... none of them have expressed feelings of being oppressed (or even inhibited) by their setups.

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it's a complete strawman argument that means nothing other than to generate clicks. 10 ragas to a disco beat. How OPPRESSED was that

Edited by dr lopez
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I'm all for alternative tuning systems but can we also get rid of the piano roll while we're at it? Thx

Also for CV controlled systems there are the analogue sequencers. It would be nice to have something like this in a DAW. At least you can pull it off in Reaktor and similar more versatile software and there are already plugins, but native support would be nice.

image.jpg

 

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9 hours ago, ignatius said:

 

 

 

i really can't remember the last time i watched something as moronic as this from someone who sells as an educated and intelligent person! it's like half of her brain is missing! it wouldn't bother me at all... i mean, internet + free world = just choose your universe! ...but she said that she has students?! wow poor kinds

and also, repeatedly saying ''dead white men'' didn't help either

Edited by xox
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My massive hairy balls need decolonising that's for sure.

*scratches*

*sound of howler monkey echoes across testicular valley*

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1 hour ago, xox said:

i really can't remember the last time i watched something as moronic as this from someone who sells as an educated and intelligent person! it's like half of her brain is missing! it wouldn't bother me at all... i mean, internet + free world = just choose your universe! ...but she said that she has students?! wow poor kinds

and also, repeatedly saying ''dead white men'' didn't help either

for me it was a little look into the rigidity of her world.. when she talks about musicians being afraid to express themselves in parts of scores that say "open to interpretation" etc. i know little about that world so i found it interesting though i guess it's not like that everywhere? sort of seems like that same old argument about knowing the rules so that they can be broken properly or whatever. 

as for 'dead white men' she doesn't blame them.. just sounds like she's got a bone to pick w/the system and how people are taught.  maybe she's an idiot and is missing something obvious.. but i wouldn't know what that obvious thing is because i know a C major chord and anything else i have to look up in software or cheat in some other way. 

for the longest time i didn't even use notes of any kind. basically using drums into fx to create melodic content with a backbone of granulated material from lush samples i made with lot's of automation. so wtf was even a note. frequencies was where it was at.. that didn't change much w/modular stuff though notes were forced by using quantizers and lot's of voltage sources and blah blah.. 

these days there's a million ways to skin a cat musically speaking.. all the tools are there and can be had on a laptop for however anyone wants to do anything. but it's not going to come out of the sky in a fully formed way.. i mean.. everyone has to sort of build their own system even in ableton.. for how they want to make music. 

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