Author Topic: RQ014: What do you think when you find an artist has used a loop library...  (Read 8346 times)

jkn

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Random Question #14

What do you think when you've found out an artist you like has made extensive use of loop libraries or sound sample libraries?

Do you care?
Is it "less" of a creative thing?
Is it even more creative because they took something that existed and made something new?
Similar to taking a preset on a synth and tweaking it?
Doesn't matter at all?

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LNerell

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"Cheater" is my first thought.  ;D

If they haven't changed anything with the sound then my second thought is "lazy."  :D

And if they just sampled something off of someone else's CD my next thought is "why?!?"  ???
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petekelly

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Tricky one,

My initial reaction was to think 'yeah, its lame', but on reflection it really does depend on how much extra work was done with the library sounds.

I worked with a feller who used ACID loop libraries to create soundtracks for Hypnotherapy CDs (which sold very well). I always felt that this was a 'fake' way of creating ambient music. He wasn't sufficiently skilled to create original material.
In my opinion, I felt this had little artistic merit. Particularly with atonal droney textures, its very east to create material - not so easy with
harmonic/tonal material or rhythmic stuff, where you need some knowledge to create work.

I worked on one project in which library loops were used (in parts) and I was very uncomfortable about it, so I did a lot to them to add something of myself to them.

Personally, I like to create my own sounds.

cheers
Pete

triksterb

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Depends on the genre.  If it's ambient, where 90% of the fun and creativity is coming up with your own sounds, then yeah, it's cheating to take a loop that someone else took the time to make and use it for your own.  Then you end up with thousands of 15 year olds on myspace or whatever using loops and it all starts to sound the same.

But for a genre like hip hop, a well-cut out loop from a record can really bring life to a song and can be really creative with the right lyrics and beat over it and transforms the original loop into something else. 

But it's up to the artist to use loops or not; they have to make it sound good.

mystified

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I use lots of library loops. For me, though, they have to play a supporting role. I usually compose by creating drone cloths or backdrops that are not from library loops. Then I compose on top of the drone sounds. What I add comes from all kinds of sources-- loop libraries, home recorded sounds, and all kinds of places, as long as it's legal.

Theoretically, it is legal JUST to use loop libraries, but for me, this would take something away from the process. It just wouldn't feel right.

Also, some of these libraries have ambient loops that are equivalent to minute-long pieces. If these are used, I think they should at least be tweaked or tuned in some way. That's just my philosophy.

Some day I would like to use only homemade sounds. As of now, I do not have the resources to do this. But it is a nice goal, I think, to have.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 01:53:16 PM by mystified »
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Wayne Higgins

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Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?
Why would anyone want to do that?

 ;D
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Wayne Higgins

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Seriously, I wouldn't look down on anyone else doing it.  It all depends on what they are doing with them and are they happy with what they are doing.
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mystified

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sraymar

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Never used a loop library, in fact I don't loop much on my own. I have just too see what would happen, but for the most part my stuff is loopless. I have looped to create samples that become part of patches but they get played as varying notes and chords as opposed to a held note producing a huge atmosphere for most or all of an ambient piece or cut and paste time. I have used other preset patches but to me that's like using Leo Fender's Stratocaster, its up to the musician to make something of the sound.

I do remember an "artist" on the old mp3.com that was finally "outted" so to speak. He came off as a hot chick using a hot young scantily clad woman's picture on his page with "music" that was basically ACID loops with stolen porn sounds mixed in. The guy was making a pretty good killing with the money and had lots of guys professing their "love" for "her".

A friend of mine asked me to come up with a Pink Floyd type tune that he wanted to "collaborate" on. He just wound up cutting and pasting some loops from Garage Band over it, the intro loop wasn't even in key with the tune. He was new to this kind of thing and thought it was par for the course.

To me watching somebody tweek loops is like watching a mechanic tune a car.

Steve





Ambient isn't just for technicians!

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hdibrell

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Loops are just a tool. I've never used them, but I might. I'm sure that there is a good way to use them and a bad. That's the way it is with all the tools we use to make music. It's what separates an artist from a hack.
A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.

ffcal

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Re: RQ014: What do you think when you find an artist has used a loop library...
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2010, 01:09:51 AM »
I'm not a big fan of third-party loops, especially if they are not processed to the point of becoming something else.  It's like cutting and pasting from different artists that you like.  Maybe good enough for one's own entertainment, but probably not worth unleashing on the world.  Seems about as lame as it sounds.  In a similar vein, I came across this 2006 article in the NY Times about "composing" in GarageBand:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/02/arts/music/02walk.html?8hpib

Forrest

darkenedsoul

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Re: RQ014: What do you think when you find an artist has used a loop library...
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 06:03:31 PM »
I use loop libraries along with whatever I come up with in regards to progressions. I don't see a problem with it. I usually process them w/effects as it is so it's not straight out of the box for my stuff. If you abuse them that's cool vs not abusing them imho. I don't have time or haven't spent the time on making my own stuff for a lot of my material. But I do abuse those that I do  ;D to make it my own take on things. If someone just takes what's there and makes no changes that' not as original as taking the samples and mangling them to suit your needs/wants. I don't like to use default stuff, I prefer to mangle it somewhat to suit what I want out  of them.


jkn

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Re: RQ014: What do you think when you find an artist has used a loop library...
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 07:37:39 AM »
I haven't taken the time to answer my own question yet...

When a loop is used in context - it can take a song and push it to another level.  I'm thinking of hip hop or the earlier industrial stuff or the various merging of music.   Orbital... Meat Beat...  Public Enemy...   

But then I run into songs that seem to just pull a whole chunk out of an older song and repeat to death and rap over top (p. diddy... kanye.. both in some cases, and both have done some rather interesting things from time to time)

Getting into more ambient realms of music and our little niche of the world...  I can see someone using loops like they use presets on a synth... they're colors to add to the spectrum of their songs.   I would prefer if the artist messed with them a bit... 

Personally - I don't own any loop libraries - and always mangle my sounds through effects or programming on synths... unless we're talking about a classic sound like an electric piano where you really want it to sound like the preset...   I don't even really "loop" anything - if I'm doing a drone - I'm recording it all the way through.  But that's just me.

To me - their all tools.  All the colors in my paintbox... to quote XTC.


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MarkM

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Re: RQ014: What do you think when you find an artist has used a loop library...
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 06:07:18 PM »
What is the difference in using a sample from a library or using a rompler? and for that matter what is the difference in using a stock preset from a synth?  They are all sounds somebody else created: some longer than others. For that matter what is the difference in using the sounds from a piano; after all somebody else engineered the sounds it makes? The artist is just putting the sounds/notes in a certain order, dynamic, and length of time. There are products like Omnisphere/Atmosphere. Where do you draw the line?  Does it really matter?  I don't think so as long as the artist uses these tools to create their own original composition.

Personally my style of music is based on odd sounds that hopefully nobody else has realized. However, there are times when the sound from a stock preset just seems to fit better than anything I could come up with. When I think a flute or electric piano sound is what is needed somewhere, I won't re-invent the wheel. I realize that these libraries sometimes have lengthy clips, but if a composer chooses to base their whole composition on these clips, then that is their call.  However, I don't think the composer will advance artistically much from doing so, nor do I think the listener will gain.  As someone above has stated, these are merely tools to get a larger job done.