Virtual Band
June 28, 2007 9:08 PM   Subscribe

Hook, line, and sinker, fatti.
posted by cortex at 9:18 PM on June 28, 2007

last comment!
posted by shmegegge at 9:37 PM on June 28, 2007

last comment!

says you
posted by bunglin jones at 9:54 PM on June 28, 2007

Thanks for posting this. I will have quite a lot of fun with it.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:00 PM on June 28, 2007

That is super duper fun.

I have to say though - I know just enough about "playing" my own music to feel a bit dirty enjoying this so much.

I think there is a continuum: pure physically manipulated instruments at one end, with their infinite subtlety and variation; reason and garageband and such in the middle, with their incredible facility to rearrange, repair and revisit; and things like this near the other end, with the structure and framing of the music so explicitly and enjoyably separated from its performance.

I don't think there's any kind of linear ordering of "worth" or "validity" along that axis. The feeling when I actually pick up my bass and just mess around is unmatched by any software. But I get in ruts and cliches, and playing with something like this helps me understand and extend what I might try with my bass in ways I probably never would otherwise.

I don't know where I was going with all that, but this was cool, thanks.
posted by freebird at 10:03 PM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

reminds me of the soundpool stuff that came with the original run of magix music maker. it would be awesome to have this on my cell phone, for when I get ideas for songs on the run / at work.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:10 PM on June 28, 2007

This is pretty good, just because it's so simple. Using this, it literally takes me under a minute to put a chord structure together to jam to on my guitar. Loads of fun. Any idea if you can do more interesting chords, apart from major/minor, though?
posted by Jimbob at 10:12 PM on June 28, 2007

I was too busy being flippant about this not being a double post to mention that this is really quite cool. Nice post.
posted by bunglin jones at 11:04 PM on June 28, 2007

It's also fun for looping some simple backing stuff while you mess around with playing some lead guitar and soloing. I enjoyed it.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:16 PM on June 28, 2007

double or not, this is a first for me. =)

Admittedly, I agree this is nothing compared to an actual band, but for someone like myself who likes to sing but can't afford to have a band? This is about the closest thing to the next best thing I've found in awhile.

I just wish I knew what I was doing.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:53 PM on June 28, 2007

...i can 't make it do anything I'd subject other people to.

she's right by the way. It is humid in Texas right now. Trinity River's starting to look like the Mississippi which is kinda scary cuz it's not supposed to ...I've lived here over twelve years and it's supposed to look like a dried up creekbed with a trickle of water going through it. I'm wondering if there'll be a bridge there tomorrow for me to drive to work.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:24 AM on June 29, 2007

Oh god, i could feel my brain cells dying as I listened to her talk about the weather and her hat.
posted by alon at 4:10 AM on June 29, 2007

I can't mix chords from different keys. Totally lame.
posted by speicus at 6:28 AM on June 29, 2007

Oh wait yes you can, the interface is just bad. Never mind.
posted by speicus at 6:32 AM on June 29, 2007


(with all due respect to the real musicians...)
posted by desjardins at 6:42 AM on June 29, 2007

Is there anyway to put more than one chord into a single bar, though?
posted by cortex at 6:43 AM on June 29, 2007

OK, so my first chords are C, D, F, G, (chosen completely at random since I have no idea wtf I'm doing) and I have guitar, drums, and eguitar2 on. Tempo is left at 100. This sounds EXTREMELY familiar - who did I just rip off?
posted by desjardins at 6:44 AM on June 29, 2007

Argh. C *G* F G sounds familiar.
posted by desjardins at 6:45 AM on June 29, 2007

About five thousand poprock songs, desjardins. That's like a "Hello World" for composition. (Off hand, it reminds me of Natalie Imbruglia's Torn, though it's not quite right.)
posted by cortex at 6:58 AM on June 29, 2007

Yay, I did hello world! Srsly, the last time I touched an instrument was 7th grade, so I'm pretty thrilled to have found that right off the bat.
posted by desjardins at 7:00 AM on June 29, 2007

I'm happy that so many people liked this. I liked it a lot. I liked it because I can't play a musical instrument. I liked it because, without being able to play a musical instrument and having no musical knowledge, I was able to click a few buttons and make a few selections and produce something that sounded like music. I'm a mac user and so I have garageband but any attempt to create music ended up as a cacophony. Now I have access to a backing band. I also have access to the public domain work of Shakespeare's sonnets (in addition to being a non-musician, I couldn't write a lyric to save my life), LOOK OUT MeFi Music.
posted by tellurian at 7:42 AM on June 29, 2007

I dare you, tellurian. Double-dog variety. I think that'd be awesome.
posted by cortex at 7:57 AM on June 29, 2007

I think the real utility in this is the actual theory examples. Hey, check it, you get a base chord, hit the fourth, fifth and minor 6th, and you have a song.

AKA: how to break down any popular music song in the entire world. It's actually really handy, especially for beachside noodling on the guitar.
posted by mckenney at 8:07 AM on June 29, 2007

damn, i thought it was a double. I'm a douchebag. anyway, nice post.
posted by shmegegge at 8:10 AM on June 29, 2007

I dare you, tellurian. Double-dog variety. I think that'd be awesome.
posted by cortex

I'm not so sure about its awesomness, but it's pretty hard to walk away from a Double-dog dare. You got me. You may regret it though.
posted by tellurian at 8:41 AM on June 29, 2007

Yah - don't read my rambling above as "this isn't a real band, so it's not *real* or *cool*", but rather as me being impressed with the tool and what's behind it. Also reflecting on the range of ways to approach music - there are structural and music-theoretical concepts I'd probably never get to while plinking around with a physical instrument that this makes accessible and fun.

Take this subtonic and shove it up your dominant, music theory hegemons! You are no longer the sole keepers of arcane knowledge and the keys to the playground!

*tries to imagine the lady from the old mac ads running through the dark to somehow hurl a flash app and headphones through the Giant Talking TV Head of the Oppressive Paradigm, gives up and goes to work*
posted by freebird at 9:04 AM on June 29, 2007

Yay! I just made a totally horrible karaoke worth version of With or Without You in 30 seconds! C-G-Am-F FTW!!
posted by daHIFI at 9:45 AM on June 29, 2007

No matter what permutation of chords you choose, the result will invariably sound like Wesley Willis' "I Whupped Batman's Ass."
posted by kid ichorous at 9:59 AM on June 29, 2007

That was fun! I will be playing with this for a while.
posted by LeeJay at 1:13 PM on June 29, 2007

AWESOME, fun, so convenient, amazing. Thank you for this great post tellurian. Great find.
posted by nickyskye at 5:03 PM on June 29, 2007

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