The Real Reason Why Music Is Getting Worse

This forum is for anything not Reason related, if you just want to talk about other stuff. Please keep it friendly!
User avatar
Aosta
Posts: 1128
Joined: 26 Jun 2017

Post 28 Jun 2024

A thought provoking video about the value of music in this day and age.

Tend the flame

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3945
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 29 Jun 2024

While some of his concerns are valid i disagree with his old man yelling at clouds conclusions. I disagree with the whole premise that music is too easy to make nowadays.

This guy is on a crisis cause the kind of music he likes is almost completely dead. To him, anything that’s not done the way rock is "supposed to be done" isn’t of much value, and since rock lost its cultural relevance… You know, when disco was supposedly killed by people like him, the fans kept it alive and evolved it instead of just crying about everything going a different direction. The result is nowadays disco is far more culturally relevant than rock, it and all the subgenres that evolved from it that all use the tools and techniques he despises so much, get played and danced to en masse at countless venues every week around the world. I guess we won the war in the end. And also, it isn’t any easier to make than rock, it just requires a different skill-set.

To his final points: sure streaming is cheaper, should cost more, Ai is tacky af and nobody will be listening to that shit anyway.

User avatar
bxbrkrz
Posts: 3916
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 29 Jun 2024

Because of tools like Youtube and cheap cameras, and cheap microphones, and cheap lighting, and free editing software, and free very good tutorials online...high quality media production is too easy to make nowadays.

If only there were a way to gatekeep everything with expensive stuff, like in the good ol' days.
757365206C6F67696320746F207365656B20616E73776572732075736520726561736F6E20746F2066696E6420776973646F6D20676574206F7574206F6620796F757220636F6D666F7274207A6F6E65206F7220796F757220696E737069726174696F6E2077696C6C206372797374616C6C697A6520666F7265766572

User avatar
huggermugger
Posts: 1414
Joined: 16 Jul 2021

Post 29 Jun 2024

We're living in an age where music has become wallpaper. It's all around us and we ignore it. It's disposable and we replace it with new wallpaper on a daily basis. And the new becomes old very quickly. Hobbyists (a.k.a "producers") dominate the market, but they don't write music, they write genres. We consume popular music like we consume McDonald's - it must be familiar, it must always taste the same, but with the occasional happy meal surprise toy thrown in to delight the kiddies. The listening public doesn't care whether or not the music they (don't) buy is vapid and formulaic because there's a dozen more equally vapid and formulaic genre tracks available at the touch of a finger. But look how new and shiny!

We disrespect the artist (0.0003 cents to listen to this guy's music is all I'm willing to pay) and we fetishize the technology (what's the cheapest, fastest, easiest plugin to make my tracks sound PROFESSIONAL?). And I include the developers of our software when I think of artists. The tools they create are small works of art, and boy do we want them. But we resent paying for updates, though we're all too ready to demand new features, and we're always on the lookout for the cheapest option to the point where developers have to offer up freebies just to stay in the game.

User avatar
BRIGGS
Posts: 2143
Joined: 25 Sep 2015
Location: the reason rack

Post 29 Jun 2024

The real reason is, the money is cursed. And, anything that touches it, slowly decays. This includes music.
r11s

RobC
Posts: 1896
Joined: 10 Mar 2018

Post 29 Jun 2024

huggermugger wrote:
29 Jun 2024
We're living in an age where music has become wallpaper. It's all around us and we ignore it. It's disposable and we replace it with new wallpaper on a daily basis. And the new becomes old very quickly. Hobbyists (a.k.a "producers") dominate the market, but they don't write music, they write genres. We consume popular music like we consume McDonald's - it must be familiar, it must always taste the same, but with the occasional happy meal surprise toy thrown in to delight the kiddies. The listening public doesn't care whether or not the music they (don't) buy is vapid and formulaic because there's a dozen more equally vapid and formulaic genre tracks available at the touch of a finger. But look how new and shiny!

We disrespect the artist (0.0003 cents to listen to this guy's music is all I'm willing to pay) and we fetishize the technology (what's the cheapest, fastest, easiest plugin to make my tracks sound PROFESSIONAL?). And I include the developers of our software when I think of artists. The tools they create are small works of art, and boy do we want them. But we resent paying for updates, though we're all too ready to demand new features, and we're always on the lookout for the cheapest option to the point where developers have to offer up freebies just to stay in the game.
I don't get the writing genres part. What new unique genres are there?

User avatar
NMHindman
Posts: 118
Joined: 14 Oct 2021

Post 29 Jun 2024

He is comparing the benefits of the past with the detriments of the present, -accurately, but it's only 50% of the story. He forgets that not long ago we were complaining that the music we were fed was determined by the diabolical commercial interests of major 'record industry' players. Then, technology democratized things, so that anybody could publish music, and listeners could decide themselves what they listened to; the grass was suddenly greener. Is it any surprise that the result is an infinite mass of music? So the short-sighted forget the detriments of the past model, and only consider the faults of the present.

Music hasn't deteriorated at all; it is just completely unfiltered now. Similar to media/'news', -no longer filtered by the bias of news networks but instead spread anonymously over social media, with the same benefits and detriments. Are there fewer great artists now? I doubt it; it's just a matter of finding them in the unfiltered mass of material. Probably all of us can name a band or musician we've discovered and admire who is otherwise unknown to the rest of us. Thankfully, we no longer have to rely on record company execs to filter for us, but then we have the massive chore of filtering ourselves.

From the musician's standpoint, there is loads of advice on how to get my music 'out there' and heard by others, to discriminate it from the mass of other material. The usual suspects, -social media presence, engaging with other fans/artists, etc., all a bit labourious and pulling us away from our music. What they never mention is the number ONE means to get your music listened to, which is to write great music. If my music isn't getting the traction I think it deserves, it's probably because it doesn't deserve it. Back to those artists we discover whom we love, -we usually also discover that they have a substantial following; it's not because of their social media presence, but because they are making great music.

avasopht
Competition Winner
Posts: 4024
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 01 Jul 2024

There's much less money for instrument players.

This changes the game.

The main driving force behind US Gospel music is that churches pay their musicians. It allows them to commit more time to it.



A similar thing has happened in the music industry.

User avatar
tomusurp
Posts: 346
Joined: 30 Jan 2022
Location: USA

Post 01 Jul 2024

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
29 Jun 2024
While some of his concerns are valid i disagree with his old man yelling at clouds conclusions. I disagree with the whole premise that music is too easy to make nowadays.

This guy is on a crisis cause the kind of music he likes is almost completely dead. To him, anything that’s not done the way rock is "supposed to be done" isn’t of much value, and since rock lost its cultural relevance… You know, when disco was supposedly killed by people like him, the fans kept it alive and evolved it instead of just crying about everything going a different direction. The result is nowadays disco is far more culturally relevant than rock, it and all the subgenres that evolved from it that all use the tools and techniques he despises so much, get played and danced to en masse at countless venues every week around the world. I guess we won the war in the end. And also, it isn’t any easier to make than rock, it just requires a different skill-set.

To his final points: sure streaming is cheaper, should cost more, Ai is tacky af and nobody will be listening to that shit anyway.
I agree and he does have good points but his point at 5:05 where he says that these DAW and new technology is making us less innovative and creative is false on many levels because true producers can utilize these programs to make all kinds of amazing music. And there's MANY real producers who LIKE to make music. But I TOTALLY AGREE with him that stuff like MIDI packs and many AI plugins are just pointless. I would only argue that certain "integrated AI" plugins can be helpful but they are not even necessary for the most part.

But "generative AI" first of all not only sounds bad but why even make music if you will just put loops and generations together? For example I'm not even that knowledgeable about music theory but I never even sample anything and continue to always make my own melodies. I'm not that great with chords, but I'll battle it out until I find the "sound" I'm looking for, even though I have the plugin Scaler by Plugin Boutique and then we also have the Scales in Reason but I still don't reach for it.

So I can't knock him for the video because I believe the underlying message is that I believe generative AI need not be an essential tool. I understand a rare occasion you might generate something like a single track but as long as you add your own elements to the rest of it and still put in the time and work I'll deem it acceptable

User avatar
guitfnky
Posts: 4423
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 01 Jul 2024

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
29 Jun 2024
While some of his concerns are valid i disagree with his old man yelling at clouds conclusions. I disagree with the whole premise that music is too easy to make nowadays.

This guy is on a crisis cause the kind of music he likes is almost completely dead. To him, anything that’s not done the way rock is "supposed to be done" isn’t of much value, and since rock lost its cultural relevance… You know, when disco was supposedly killed by people like him, the fans kept it alive and evolved it instead of just crying about everything going a different direction. The result is nowadays disco is far more culturally relevant than rock, it and all the subgenres that evolved from it that all use the tools and techniques he despises so much, get played and danced to en masse at countless venues every week around the world. I guess we won the war in the end. And also, it isn’t any easier to make than rock, it just requires a different skill-set.

To his final points: sure streaming is cheaper, should cost more, Ai is tacky af and nobody will be listening to that shit anyway.
I think he took your comment personally. 😆

I think your bias is showing, my friend. I disagree with some of his conclusions as well, but suggesting he's bitter because the genres he likes are dead is just false. rock is very much still relevant. it's not as prominent as it used to be, but it's alive and kicking, and the is just as (or more) vibrant than ever. there is a lot of derivative trash out there, in every genre--even the ones Rick likes...though that's nothing new. he's got a problem with people using the vastly improved technology to chase genres and the 'in' thing. that's of course a valid way to approach art, but good lord is it boring. anyhoo, yes, he likes different music than you or I, but that's a good thing. that's how an artform remains diverse. this response strikes me as similarly 'yelling at clouds', only it's a young guy yelling at the old guy for yelling at clouds. 😆

my takeaway from the first vid was that he thinks music generally is seen more and more as background noise filler than it used to--and I think that's true (he backs up the claim in this new one). I think that's why you'll see the proliferation of AI music in restaurants, shopping malls, and the like--and nobody will notice, let alone care.

funny you commented on this one--I saw it come up in my feed a few days ago and was thinking about making a sort of response to it. 🙃
I write music for good people

https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3945
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 02 Jul 2024

guitfnky wrote:
01 Jul 2024
PhillipOrdonez wrote:
29 Jun 2024
While some of his concerns are valid i disagree with his old man yelling at clouds conclusions. I disagree with the whole premise that music is too easy to make nowadays.

This guy is on a crisis cause the kind of music he likes is almost completely dead. To him, anything that’s not done the way rock is "supposed to be done" isn’t of much value, and since rock lost its cultural relevance… You know, when disco was supposedly killed by people like him, the fans kept it alive and evolved it instead of just crying about everything going a different direction. The result is nowadays disco is far more culturally relevant than rock, it and all the subgenres that evolved from it that all use the tools and techniques he despises so much, get played and danced to en masse at countless venues every week around the world. I guess we won the war in the end. And also, it isn’t any easier to make than rock, it just requires a different skill-set.

To his final points: sure streaming is cheaper, should cost more, Ai is tacky af and nobody will be listening to that shit anyway.
I think he took your comment personally. 😆

I think your bias is showing, my friend. I disagree with some of his conclusions as well, but suggesting he's bitter because the genres he likes are dead is just false. rock is very much still relevant. it's not as prominent as it used to be, but it's alive and kicking, and the is just as (or more) vibrant than ever. there is a lot of derivative trash out there, in every genre--even the ones Rick likes...though that's nothing new. he's got a problem with people using the vastly improved technology to chase genres and the 'in' thing. that's of course a valid way to approach art, but good lord is it boring. anyhoo, yes, he likes different music than you or I, but that's a good thing. that's how an artform remains diverse. this response strikes me as similarly 'yelling at clouds', only it's a young guy yelling at the old guy for yelling at clouds. 😆

my takeaway from the first vid was that he thinks music generally is seen more and more as background noise filler than it used to--and I think that's true (he backs up the claim in this new one). I think that's why you'll see the proliferation of AI music in restaurants, shopping malls, and the like--and nobody will notice, let alone care.

funny you commented on this one--I saw it come up in my feed a few days ago and was thinking about making a sort of response to it. 🙃
Do it guit! We need the Slow Robot 👌 response 🙌👍

User avatar
Chizmata
Posts: 928
Joined: 21 Dec 2015

Post 02 Jul 2024

i didnt watch it because im sure it will just strengthen my aversion to youtube musicians. but commenting on the headline, there has always been good and bad music. perceiving a systematic change/trajectory developement in this area only results from the listeners restricted perception caused by his own individual bubble and bias. im pretty sure the guy would strike a lot of his personal gold if he just dug bandcamp deep enough.

User avatar
Quarmat
Competition Winner
Posts: 492
Joined: 11 Feb 2021
Location: Europe

Post 02 Jul 2024

Any way you can expound what I am about to say will sound classist and obnoxious, but, so be it:

The problem with popular music is precisely the "popular" part of it.

Until a few years ago, given the cost of producing (meaning recording, mixing, printing, distributing) music, only those who could afford many hours in the studio, with the best engineers, etc., could produce music that sounded at a certain level of quality (I'm not talking about the quality of the music, but the quality of everything else, from the mix to the cover-art). Only "capable" and "innovative" artists were then recruited for this expensive process, and while making music that yearned for the largest possible audience, in a sense it was music that "educated" the audience, and those who did not like it on the first listen (nor the hundredth) if nothing else recognized its cultural impact. I don't think everyone loved Kill'em All by Metallica in 1981, but its cultural impact was recognized even by those who hate metal in all its forms.

Today, with the costs mentioned above potentially reduced to zero (as Beato says: nowadays people look for artists who have already produced, mixed and mastered their stuff), the democratization brought by DAWs - in the creative phase - and streaming platforms - in the distribution phase - has necessarily lowered the average level and triggered (accomplices being social networks) an anthropological and aesthetic mutation: the younger generation is no longer talking about song, but about vibe. In Rick's time the Album was king. Today a is an 8 bar loop, repeated for a scant 2 minutes, with minimal variations and possibly a vocal (usually rapped or trapped) what constitutes the vibe, the hook necessary to make one 30s reel on tiktok more competitive than another exactly the same.

This flattening of popular music (no longer - as they say - curated and opinionated from above by trend setters and talent scouts, with all their biases and faults, but, at least, with a vision, a taste) will lead to a split (it is already underway in reality) between a cultured public and a popular public (nothing new? true but I think it will be a much clearer break this time) and the progress of AI will make pop music even more insipid on the one hand and will allow the cultured public to find the music they're looking for amidst the ocean of white noise made up of the constant flow of new music uploads.

There will be a minimum of virtuous osmosis, some "pop" people getting to know "hip" people will approach artists and genres far from the mainstream, but the overall vision will be of two divergent and impermeable universes.

The only factor missing is the economic one: obviously making music costs money, time and energy and niche artists don't live on air, but this is a problem that will involve all professional categories in the coming years due to the advent of 'AI and its coupling with robotics, and a new equilibrium (UBI? post scarcity economics? post-capitalism? t) will necessarily have to be found.

User avatar
Chizmata
Posts: 928
Joined: 21 Dec 2015

Post 02 Jul 2024

Quarmat wrote:
02 Jul 2024
Any way you can expound what I am about to say will sound classist and obnoxious, but, so be it:

The problem with popular music is precisely the "popular" part of it.

Until a few years ago, given the cost of producing (meaning recording, mixing, printing, distributing) music, only those who could afford many hours in the studio, with the best engineers, etc., could produce music that sounded at a certain level of quality (I'm not talking about the quality of the music, but the quality of everything else, from the mix to the cover-art). Only "capable" and "innovative" artists were then recruited for this expensive process, and while making music that yearned for the largest possible audience, in a sense it was music that "educated" the audience, and those who did not like it on the first listen (nor the hundredth) if nothing else recognized its cultural impact. I don't think everyone loved Kill'em All by Metallica in 1981, but its cultural impact was recognized even by those who hate metal in all its forms.

Today, with the costs mentioned above potentially reduced to zero (as Beato says: nowadays people look for artists who have already produced, mixed and mastered their stuff), the democratization brought by DAWs - in the creative phase - and streaming platforms - in the distribution phase - has necessarily lowered the average level and triggered (accomplices being social networks) an anthropological and aesthetic mutation: the younger generation is no longer talking about song, but about vibe. In Rick's time the Album was king. Today a is an 8 bar loop, repeated for a scant 2 minutes, with minimal variations and possibly a vocal (usually rapped or trapped) what constitutes the vibe, the hook necessary to make one 30s reel on tiktok more competitive than another exactly the same.

This flattening of popular music (no longer - as they say - curated and opinionated from above by trend setters and talent scouts, with all their biases and faults, but, at least, with a vision, a taste) will lead to a split (it is already underway in reality) between a cultured public and a popular public (nothing new? true but I think it will be a much clearer break this time) and the progress of AI will make pop music even more insipid on the one hand and will allow the cultured public to find the music they're looking for amidst the ocean of white noise made up of the constant flow of new music uploads.

There will be a minimum of virtuous osmosis, some "pop" people getting to know "hip" people will approach artists and genres far from the mainstream, but the overall vision will be of two divergent and impermeable universes.

The only factor missing is the economic one: obviously making music costs money, time and energy and niche artists don't live on air, but this is a problem that will involve all professional categories in the coming years due to the advent of 'AI and its coupling with robotics, and a new equilibrium (UBI? post scarcity economics? post-capitalism? t) will necessarily have to be found.
i disagree that gatekeeping was always beneficial. record companies could push or deny whoever they wanted. imagine how much talent got wasted while mediocrity got empowered for market or whatever reasons.

User avatar
motuscott
Posts: 3498
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Contest Weiner

Post 02 Jul 2024

I'm years older than this young'un.
Did my spell yellin' at clouds, but even I understand how time works.
Apparently, Grandad here does not.

Have at it, kids
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 11980
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 03 Jul 2024

RobC wrote:
29 Jun 2024
I don't get the writing genres part. What new unique genres are there?
I’m guess the criticism is that long as everyone is writing genres, there are no new unique genres, to which I’d say I strongly agree.
My 2 cents…
New genres are created when artists forge new territory and are not just re-creating what is already created. But it only becomes a new genre after someone else copies it. So one artist doing it is just another crazy artist doing their own thing, while multiple artists doing it creates the new genre. When enough new artists copy the original artist, that genre is said to be “popular”. Hmmmm.

Paradox alert:
To create a new genre requires both artistic originality plus the natural human inclination to copy each other!
Now get off my lawn… ;)
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
motuscott
Posts: 3498
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: Contest Weiner

Post 03 Jul 2024

One thing that I’ve noticed in my elderlyness is that I spend a lot of time trying to remember.
It’s like that joke about the hard drive being full.
It is!
Every new piece of info pushes out some older data.
This is a loser’s game.

I am your host, Motuscott
Who’s using the royal plural now baby? 🧂

robussc
Posts: 552
Joined: 03 May 2022

Post 03 Jul 2024

It seems to me that the popular music charts have always had a lot of junk in them, because most listeners are not wanting to be challenged in their musical tastes. That tendency has gone off the charts with the ability for people to remain in their comfort zones by streaming just music that they already like. Nobody is really listening to the radio anymore (and most stations, at least here in the US, don't want to risk someone switching channels by playing something people won't instantly recognize!)

We're kind of back in the era of the mixtape (except it's now playlists). I'm often recommending stuff to my adult daughter that I've stumbled upon, still trying to convert her to The Warning (lol), and she likewise recommends stuff to me.

But looking at the charts to determine the health of music? Sheesh.

There are an uncountable multitude of incredible artists out there and people with platforms like Beato should be showcasing new music (hint, hint, the Warning :D ) but instead he interviews old farts about the glory days and yells at clouds by listening to the Spotify Top 10.

What a waste. He could be the new John Peel.
Software: Reason 12 + Objekt, Vintage Vault 4, V-Collection 9 + Pigments, Vintage Verb + Supermassive
Hardware: M1 Mac mini + dual monitors, Launchkey 61, Scarlett 18i20, Rokit 6 monitors, AT4040 mic, DT-990 Pro phones

User avatar
Vil
RE Developer
Posts: 176
Joined: 29 Apr 2019
Location: Hungary

Post 13 Jul 2024

Oh, no...
Music is in trouble...
How can I save it?

Maybe I have to drasticly increasing to prices of my rack extensions? Or I have to completly remove them from the shop?

( don't worry, I will not remove them, I was sarcastic )

:) :) ;)

User avatar
selig
RE Developer
Posts: 11980
Joined: 15 Jan 2015
Location: The NorthWoods, CT, USA

Post 13 Jul 2024

I just realized this video starts and is entirely based on two unproven assumptions. That music is getting worse (is it?), and that we’ve been lied to (intentionally or not) about WHY it is getting worse, neither of which is addressed or ever could be addressed in a serious discussion.

I would think for his argument to work you would first have to prove both of these points, which is unlikely because to the first, ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is a subjective thing. And to the second, I don’t think I ever heard a DIFFERENT reason being commonly used to describe this so-called ‘worsening’ of the quality of music. So how can there be a “real” reason?

Besides that, what is there to disagree with besides a possible “blame the tools” overlay (I didn’t make it very far into the video TBH…).
Selig Audio, LLC

User avatar
guitfnky
Posts: 4423
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Jul 2024



let's all blame Phillip O for encouraging me on this one... 🙃
I write music for good people

https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/

PhillipOrdonez
Posts: 3945
Joined: 20 Oct 2017
Location: Norway

Post 13 Jul 2024

I take no responsibility 😑

esme
Posts: 33
Joined: 19 Jun 2024

Post 13 Jul 2024

good music is good music
listen

User avatar
guitfnky
Posts: 4423
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Jul 2024

PhillipOrdonez wrote:
13 Jul 2024
I take no responsibility 😑
😆😅
I write music for good people

https://slowrobot.bandcamp.com/

User avatar
jam-s
Posts: 3128
Joined: 17 Apr 2015
Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 13 Jul 2024

After the invention of MP3 the charts only tell what kind of music is still consumed by people who don't know how to get the sounds without paying for them. Thus I think that the charts data doesn't have any relevance since then and getting angry or agitated about it is just stupid.

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 3 guests