Steinberg - creates cheaters!

Get the acoustic out. Enjoy. Whether you use a rock or a nail gun you’re still banging a nail in. Use one and you really need to get that nail in. The other just means you don’t have to think too much about anything. Your choice.
Anything that gets further away from the simplicity of music and the reproduction usually ends up with an audience of three. Yourself, the girlfriend and the dog. Then one day she takes the dog for a “walk”…
I find the more everyone tries to be “different” the more they sound and look the same.
I’m not.

I decided (or the industry decided depending on who you ask) that I would not be a professional musician years ago. So, I do it because I LIKE playing instruments to create songs. I get no enjoyment from tool music. If it doesn’t have the roots of me in it, I have no use for it. That doesn’t make one better than the other. And, I do use tools to manipulate the results of playing. I do use orchestra samples and drum machines. So, it’s a thin line. But, I do it because I enjoy playing. If it was just dragging loops onto an editor and jacking around with effects, I would have no interest. The “songness” doesn’t enter the equation.

You’re not less of a musician Steve, you’ve just got more tools at your disposal to sculpt the sound you want without that getting done by an engineer. We’ve moved on, no worries :sunglasses:

I totally respect those views; I get it. For me, however, if something allows me to create better art, then I don’t have any real objection to it, whether it’s something like Auto-tune, or loops, etc. Having said that, I rarely use

amp sims
NEVER use 3rd party audio or MIDI files

I do however use:

samples, particularly for drums, piano, and various wind instruments
VSTi’s like Trillian or Omnisphere
other musicians

I agree with Doug. It is really all relative. You could argue that the Beatles or Pink Floyd were cheating.
I think the thing with the loops, for me anyway, (as a musician) is that there just isn’t any personal satisfaction in the final product if I didn’t write or perform it (or at least most of it).

Same here. I write and perform everything myself. I’ve got no problems with using samples or heavily editing your own recordings. That only adds to the fun imo.

Using the tools available isn’t cheating. They even cut tape way back when, to fix mistakes. The result is what matters.

But I do agree it’s better to practice and be a good musician, be able to play the music you want to make. Saves a lot of editing time.

Loops can be a great composition tool, just to get something there quickly. You can replace it later when the song is written.

The purists of yesterday believed multitracking was “cheating”. If it didn’t happen live, in the moment,
it wasn’t real. Punch ins are cheating. I’m pretty sure the electric guitar pi_s_sed some people off, too.

Everyone decides where they draw the line for themselves. I don’t have a problem with that.

I do thank the op for opening my eyes to something I wasn’t aware of. I never realized that Steinberg
was responsible for this breach in musical ethics. :slight_smile:

The problem I always have with this line of discussion is that subtle definition of “musician”. It doesn’t really matter, but I know DJs who tell people they are musicians. But, they couldn’t find Middle C unless you were showing them the word calculate. I don’t see much difference between using loops and playing a tape deck or turn table. Heck, I used an eq on my stereo in the 70s. Did that make me a DJ? I must have been way ahead of my time.

Then you see people who are extremely good audio engineers and awesome with DAWs and editing and mastering. There is art involved for sure, but I’m not sure if I would term it as musicianship. Engineers have been responsible for the ambient quality of music as far back as the first recordings. Even theater architects picked materials for acoustic qualities. Are they musicians because the shape and content of the hall will EQ a vocal?

I leave lots of room for what constitutes an instrument. But, I can’t take the leep to using a DAW to loop samples and effect your way into a “song” as being a musical instrument. Even then I would disagree with myself sometimes. It’s one of those very slippery slopes that has almost no real boundary for off/on.

What I DO know is that playing guitar and piano kicks ass. But, to Steve’s question about what to say when someone says “you have talent” but you know all you did was jack around in a DAW. There is nothing to say BUT thank you. It actually does take talent to get something musically pleasing even with these amazing tools. You just have to come to your own grips about calling it “musical” talent or not.

My 2 scotches philosophical wanderings for the evening!

Aloha guys,
From an old guy’s pov

I remember hearing on the radio an interview with Duke Ellington
where he was questioned about the fact that unlike
the Artie Shaw band, many players in
Duke’s band had bad technique.
Duke said that he did not care if they had to play their
instruments with their toes, as long as the music came out properly.

As long as you are happy with the finished product…
…Bob’s yer uncle’.


Yeah, which is why I prefer electronic instruments. Recording midi and keeping playback ‘live’ as long as possible is absolutely amazing when you feel like editing a certain part later on.
I certainly acknowledge that this requires less skill than actually performing on an instrument and getting the entire part right in one run. It doesn’t bother me though, I have fun, I learn new stuff and the result sounds good enough for me so I see no reason to stop doing what I’m doing :slight_smile:

Lenny Lee

I’m pretty sure the electric guitar pizzed some people off, too.

I was about to make that very point before you beat me to it. Really Lenny, you can be so rude :laughing: - how did you get that offensive (?) word through the swear filter?

Hi Steve, welcome to the 21st century!

Great to hear that you`re DEVOted to new ways of creating music.

Best wishes


This post has struck a chord (groan) with me. I ‘programmed’ midi files in the early 90’s for a commercial midi file outfit and I did okay, my work often coming out in the top sellers. I was having a problem with a song I was covering and went to get advice from the “boss”. He listened to the part and scribbled some notation, I told him I couldn’t read music. He was gobsmacked and told me he would have to let me go, otherwise the people who worked for him who were in the Musicians Union would boycott his company.

The next day he called me to say he’d had a think, and anyone who could do what I did without musical training must be a natural musician, and if I kept quiet about my “ignorance” he would keep me on.

I listen to my old midi files now and they’re pretty awful. It was my technical skills (balance, instrument selection, attention to velocity issues etc.) that made my work seem “musical” in those bad old days.

I went on to run a little 8 track studio and synchronised tape with midi controlled drums, bass and other instruments, as soon as ‘humans’ got into the act the midi element sounded somehow more natural. I learned a lot of lessons and i continue to learn in my “songwriters studio”.

The main rule is - There Are No Rules. If you are making music that anyone at all likes (my girlfriend and her dog think I’m brilliant!) then you are a musician my friend - however you go about it! :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

1989 i had 14 keyboards all midi’d up to an atari with a phil reese 10 port midi adaptor and all set to channel 1 , on one song i made every keyboards adsr and filters were set up to a different setting and only one key was pressed which was the c3 and the over layed sound of 14 keyboards lasted 4.30 with no repeating of sounds …

now my point is ,was it music ? was i a musician ? who gives a fuck i enjoyed it and without cubase it would never of been achieved and that is whats happening to day ,all music you hear on the open market has been in some way manipulated to make the final cut …does that make the artist an less of an artist or multi talented with skills to achieve his ultimate goal ???
the art of being a musician is making a pleasurable sound for one’s ears ,does it matter how you reach the end result .look at Sargent peppers ,or their sitanic majesties request ,were they all played with no manipulation ?


This is the line that I have a hard time with. I actually don’t agree. I think anyone can make music, but I think being a musician has more meaning. Being proficient with an instrument. Being able to communicate musical ideas through notation (not just western notation though). Being able to perform with a large musical vocabulary. Having a repertoire that spans genres. These are just some of the things I associate with the word “musician”, which is completely disconnected from the idea of playing or making “music”.

The same way I trick people into thinking I can sing and play - by using cunning tricks and gimmickry. :laughing:

Click on the quote button on my previous post to learn this trick for yourself. :wink:

I just realized I may have another good analogy.

I have a computer science degree. I have no problem making the claim that I am a software engineer. I use that term instead of programmer because I can read and write engineering diagrams/schematics in many languages and notation styles. I understand how to deconstruct business processes into conceptual models. I can communicate about architectures and technical assumptions and I can write actual code in multiple languages. And I have delivered complex software following strict governance and guidelines. Hence, not just a programmer but an engineer.

Now, I also was very interested in math. As part of most CS programs you get a good core of mathematics. I was interested, so I went beyond Calc and DifEq. Discrete Math, Linear Algebra etc. I could probably get a Math degree with another 6 or 9 credits. However, I WOULD NEVER make a claim that I was a mathematician. No way, no how, no chance. I’m close enough to understand what the name implies and I know I don’t qualify. Not even close.

You guys use math every day, even in small ways. You use it correctly. You even use cheater utilities that give you capabilities that are actually outside your personal abilities in the math domain. And, you get correct, acceptable and possibly even “pleasing” results. But most of you are NOT mathematicians. Balancing the checkbook or managing the budget for a multi-national corporation does not meet the barrier for entry.

So, all of us can twiddle to our hearts content and make pleasing sounds. But, I still think there is room for “musicians” in the world, and that we should have a little respect for the amount of dedication it takes to be a good one.


We (humanity) create music in whatever way that we can… one of my earliest memories on earth are of my aunts and uncles snapping their fingers in time to some music - and that I wanted to be able to do that, too.