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December 13, 2010 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Merry Christmas music from the North Point iBand, using borrowed iPhones and iPads
posted by growabrain (9 comments total)

 
I'm not saying this isn't cool, because it is, or that iPhones and iPads can't be used creatively, because they can. But the instruments used here are basically all electronic triggers, and that's kind of boring. You could reproduce the exact sound of this with a MIDI arrangement and play it automatically. The people standing there are just kind of a courtesy.

I can't wait till people come up with new fucked-up instruments for the touch screen and devise new ways to write music with them. I'm hunting for some myself. I found the Sonic Wire Sculptor this weekend and it's a ton of fun. And I'd love to form an ensemble of people who arrange note patterns on the fly with Bubble Harp, or maybe get a jazz player or two to somehow improvise off the structures being formed near-instantaneously.

Got to say it excites me just how easy it's becoming to write and play music, though, and how lots of people are learning to make music without knowing any of the rules. Down with structure! Up with things that sound neat!
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2010


The part of this that I find most amusing is that they are all using devices with built-in high speed wireless networking and yet must still be corded to the 3.5mm jack.
posted by wcfields at 12:48 PM on December 13, 2010


I'm not saying this isn't cool, because it is, or that iPhones and iPads can't be used creatively, because they can. But the instruments used here are basically all electronic triggers, and that's kind of boring. You could reproduce the exact sound of this with a MIDI arrangement and play it automatically. The people standing there are just kind of a courtesy.

The same thing could be said about anyone playing any kind of electronic instrument live. Or even someone playing a piano. The advent of player pianos certainly didn't diminish the experience of seeing somebody play one live.
posted by zsazsa at 12:54 PM on December 13, 2010


I'm glad that these were borrowed, because otherwise it would be crappy justification to buy one (unless you also followed purchasing it and justifying it with a Dave Chappelle performance as Rick James and said: "I'm rich, bitch!").

Seriously Manheim Steamroller slaughtered this song much better many many years ago.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:59 PM on December 13, 2010


The same thing could be said about anyone playing any kind of electronic instrument live. Or even someone playing a piano. The advent of player pianos certainly didn't diminish the experience of seeing somebody play one live.

No, because with pianos and modern electronic instruments there are other physical aspects that you pay attention to. The force you strike a piano with affects how the notes get played. The various pedals let you change the dynamics of the instrument. Similarly, I've got a modestly-priced keyboard controller, and even it allows me to alter my playing with both force and a variety of pedals. So when I play once, the sounds coming out of it are very hard to digitally recreate; you could capture the notes but not the exact forces and adjustments without a great deal of effort.

The iPad instruments shown here are relatively simple, and they're playing relatively simple things; look at them playing and you'll see it's mostly just tapping the screen to a rhythm. It struck me as sort of like watching people play Guitar Hero. Which is to say, all the notes were there, but it didn't strike me as a particularly powerful or interesting live performance.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:41 PM on December 13, 2010


The force you strike a piano with affects how the notes get played. The various pedals let you change the dynamics of the instrument.

And the later generations of player pianos could recreate velocity and all of the pedals. Here's Rachmaninoff, raised from the dead, for example.

Similarly, I've got a modestly-priced keyboard controller, and even it allows me to alter my playing with both force and a variety of pedals. So when I play once, the sounds coming out of it are very hard to digitally recreate

That keyboard controller outputs MIDI. Capturing that MIDI stream and replaying into whatever you've got the keyboard normally connected to will reproduce the exact same performance as far as it's concerned.

The lameness of the performance in the video is pretty much just due to using toy-level iPad/iPhone apps, not the fact that the inputs to them could be electronically captured and re-performed.
posted by zsazsa at 1:55 PM on December 13, 2010


Wow, North Point Church has a mighty fine stage and AV setup. It's a damn shame that no one there thought to scale that down a bit and use that money instead to help the 14% of their county that lives below the poverty line - you know, like Jesus said to do.
posted by deadmessenger at 3:25 PM on December 13, 2010


@deadmessenger
How did you arrive at their location?
Out of curiosity, I searched North Point Music for the info and left empty handed.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 8:24 PM on December 13, 2010


I live not far from there, Will Wait. I actually know a couple of people who were in attendance when this was performed.
posted by deadmessenger at 4:10 AM on December 14, 2010


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