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Unrefined "Musician" Gains a Global Audience

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the amateur-my-eye dept.

Music 325

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "An unskilled musician performed a catchy pop instrumental for more than one million YouTube users even though he can't play a lick of drums or piano. The 22-year-old Norwegian's tool was stop-motion video, WSJ.com reports. From the article: 'To make "Amateur," Mr. Gjertsen recorded each analog beat and note one by one on video. He transferred the sounds from each video clip into audio files, which he could rearrange with the Fruity Loops sound-editing program — the same software he's used to create his all-digital music in the past. After organizing the sound files into the right order, Mr. Gjertsen reconstructed the pattern with the original video files. In the final product, he insists, nothing about his performance was digitally enhanced. "You have the original sounds from the video," he says.'"

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"Unskilled"? (5, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218066)

Just because he can't play piano or drums, he clearly still knows what sounds good, has a sense of beat, tempo, and melody, and knows how to use editing software.

I'd wager most modern music is made just like that, and involves a lot of people who would meet this definition of "unskilled" musician.

Re:"Unskilled"? (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218098)

Agreed. NIN, anyone?

Re:"Unskilled"? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218608)

You don't know much about Trent, do you? He plays piano just fine. He plays guitar just fine. I've never seen him play drums, but rumor has it he plays drums too. His piano versions of songs are even available at your local Best Buy, I'd bet.

KDAWSON LICKS GOAT SCROTUM!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218832)

Another ABSOLUTELY worthless slashdot article. Props to this feces smearing tool case for posting another piece of gay rubbish. This guy should be shot.
 
Lick my balls, kdawson [goatse.ch] . You shall live a short and pointless life. You already have a good start at it.

Re:"Unskilled"? (2, Insightful)

Cristofori42 (1001206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218104)

"Unskilled musician" yes. "Unskilled video editor" I think not.

Re:"Unskilled"? (5, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218478)

"Unskilled musician" yes. "Unskilled video editor" I think not.

"Unskilled musician" no.

"Unskilled performer" yes. "Unskilled composer" I think not.

Re:"Unskilled"? (4, Insightful)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218778)

Agreed. That's a pretty standard Baroque chord progression, and anyone familiar with Bach will spot the harmonic minor touches immediately. The guy may not be able to play the piano, but he certainly knows music.

Re:"Unskilled"? (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218244)

I'd wager most modern music is made just like that, and involves a lot of people who would meet this definition of "unskilled" musician.
I disagree. I play a number of instruments and have fiddled with drums and keyboard. You'll note that when he's playing drums, he never has to prepare for the next hit. He's never thinking about what comes next. Same on the piano. He's just hunched over with two fingers outstretched. And that's what makes this 'unskilled' versus skilled. If you watch a skilled piano player, their hands are constantly fluidly in motion.

Now, your critique about modern music is unfounded. Yes, I hate N'Sync also and I'm sure that their studio does a lot for them. But it sure the hell isn't micro-sampling like this guy is doing. At some point, it stops being sound editing and it becomes sampling. This man is a skilled sampler but horrible at drums (he never uses anything but one symbol--I mean, there's three or four others, try the ride!--and a little bit of hi-hat).

So while he may 'have a sense' of beat, tempo and melody, sit yourself down at fruity loops and mess around. You'll be pleasantly surprised that after a few hours, you have something that sound cool to you. After a few days, something that might sound cool to others. A few months and who knows?

The man is skilled. Skilled at sampling and editing. He's not, however, a skilled musician. He doesn't record 'tracks,' he records 'samples.' There's a difference and your statement of "a lot of people" and "most modern music" is quite hastily made.

Sampling is how pop music is made (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218558)

Yes, I hate N'Sync also and I'm sure that their studio does a lot for them. But it sure the hell isn't micro-sampling like this guy is doing. At some point, it stops being sound editing and it becomes sampling.

What the h*ck do you think MIDI [wikipedia.org] is? Or tracked music [wikipedia.org] ? Or Mellotron [wikipedia.org] ? Or Fairlight [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:"Unskilled"? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218604)

he never uses anything but one symbol--I mean, there's three or four others, try the ride!--and a little bit of hi-hat

It's cymbal, not symbol. I'm not a musician and even I know that.

Re:"Unskilled"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218630)

He's just using a different instrument, played in a non-linear way. He's as much a musician as anyone playing a "traditional" instrument. Do you complain about authors writing in a non-linear fashion with a computer rather than linearly with a typewriter?

Aphex Twin is Music (5, Insightful)

Dster76 (877693) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218646)

So while he may 'have a sense' of beat, tempo and melody, sit yourself down at fruity loops and mess around. You'll be pleasantly surprised that after a few hours, you have something that sound cool to you. After a few days, something that might sound cool to others.

A few months and who knows?

The man is skilled. Skilled at sampling and editing. He's not, however, a skilled musician.

I'm sorry, you're mistaken.

The only things your argument establishes is that he is not a talented drummer or pianist. A musician is someone who makes music, and for the purposes of defining the term, I couldn't give a shit how it's made.

The Richard D. James Album [allmusic.com] by Aphex Twin contains, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful "music" made in the last decade using techniques very similar, in principle, to the ones this guy is using. I'm thrilled to see that new tools are allowing different people to become musicians in brand new ways.

Re:Aphex Twin is Music (1, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218742)

Aphex Twin, as has often been pointed out by music historians, is just repeating what Karlheinz Stockhausen did fifty years ago now in works like Kontakte [amazon.com] , except Richard James dumbs it down considerably. Where's the twelve-tone row in a given Aphex Twin track? Where are the aperiodic rhythms?

In showing the legitimacy of creating music from sampling, it's better to use the innovators like Stockhausen or Berio as examples, or those who continue this tradition but at the highest levels of rigour, such as those connected with IRCAM [ircam.fr] .

Re:Aphex Twin is Music (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218756)

Mod parent up. Aphex Twin is the grand master of IDM; any big innovation in electronic music after 1992 is probably, at least in some part, his doing.

Re:"Unskilled"? (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218672)

Yeah. And all composers ever suck cause all they do is tell other people what to do.

Your statement is as hastily made as his, only his was more entertaining. You must be one of these modern "unskilled" Slashdot posters.

Re:"Unskilled"? (3, Interesting)

Keith Handy (456832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218964)

He does use the hi-hat. And he has an excellent ear for music - sure, it has a choppy sound as a result of being, as you say, micro-sampled, but there are harmonies and chord progressions in there that are prettier than what a lot of "real" musicians come up with in their entire lives. To top it all off he displays a self-effacing sense of humor about the whole thing.

-an actual musician.

He certainly is a musician. (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219044)

He's not a pianist or a drummer, that's for sure, but he's a hell of a musician. In that he makes music. That doesn't imply any skill at any particular instrument, although in this case, I think it's quite arguable that the computer is his instrument.

Although new instruments have had a history of being rejected by more conventional instrument players whenever they're introduced, I would have hoped that we'd moved beyond that now. (Did you know what harpsicord players thought of the piano when it was first introduced? It wasn't flattering, I'll bet.) Keyboards, synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, and other electronic devices are all valid tools for a musician to use. For that matter, so are 55-gallon drums and PVC pipe, at the other end of the spectrum.

This guy made music; therefore he is a musician. The fact that you think that 'anybody' could do this is irrelevant; everybody isn't doing this, or it wouldn't be notable and other people wouldn't be listening to it. Acting haughty because he doesn't have conventional instrumental skills is ridiculous.

Re:"Unskilled"? (1)

Blankhorizons (1003315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218718)

And I'd wager that you're not a musician. Do a little more research into how a studio works. Also 90% of being a musician isn't simply recording, it's touring, that's where the real money is. If you can sell a million albums at 18 bucks a piece that's 18 million gross sales. If you can sell a million concert tickets at 25-100 dollars a piece, that's a hell of a lot more. And you can tour a ton more than you can write new material and record it

Re:"Unskilled"? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218830)

This guy is very skilled at sampling. The computer is his instrument. As a musician, I can tell you that he is unskilled at drums and piano. He doesn't even qualify as an amateur with those instruments.

Direct Link to the video (-1, Redundant)

Finnegar (918643) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218072)

Redundant (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218250)

Yeah, thanks, I saw that same link in the summary.

Re:Redundant (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218842)

O thank you, your comment is one of the funniest i have read on slashdot in quite some time, i needed a good laugh.

Hair (5, Funny)

jamesl (106902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218114)

Its the hair, man.

This is news? (-1, Troll)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218126)

He's by no means the first talentless person to get millions of views on youtube and he won't be the last. Hell some of the highest viewed videos on there are people on webcams lip-syncing songs, so I don't know if being viewed by a couple of million people on there means an awful lot.

1.6 million is less than some obscure regional TV stations. You get watched by more people falling off a trampoline on You've Been Framed.

Mod parent up! (0, Troll)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218804)

This man is preaching the truth.

Man I Dig That Crazy Beat! (5, Funny)

RailGunSally (946944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218130)

He should take it on the road!

Let me be the first to say... (1, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218138)

So what? Is this really news?

So he sampled sounds, put them in a "sequencer" and created a pattern appealing to the ear.

Tangerine Dream and a bunch of other krauts were doing this 30 years ago.

Am I missing something?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (3, Informative)

ezzthetic (976321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218264)

By the way, it isn't "Fruity Loops" anymore - it's "FL Studio", and has been for a number of years. Sanitarium objected to the original name.

The software designers thought it was unlikely that anyone would confuse their sequencing software with a breakfast cereal, but apparently Sanitarium had in mind a situation in which they might want to give away CDs with cereal.

Also, they discovered that IT executives tended to fall about laughing when they told them the name of the software.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218326)

What are you talking about? I think you responded to the wrong post.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (2, Insightful)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218356)

1. He is unskilled musician. The others were highly skilled musicians.
2. They didn't also have the video sample as well - only audio.
3. They didn't post it on YouTube.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218432)

He is unskilled musician. The others were highly skilled musicians.

there were no "high skilled" sequencer technicians at the time. It was an emerging technology. Most of these guys in the krautrock genre were doing experimental music, a lot of them probably had little real music training.

As for the rest? Yeah, the video wasn't there. Is this what really makes it newsworthy?

Re:Let me be the first to say... (5, Insightful)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218734)

He is unskilled musician.

I have always relied on the definition of music as it was taught to me by my first college music professor: "Music is sounds and silence organised in time".

As far as I'm concerned this guy is very skilled at organising sounds and silence in time. Ergo, he's a skilled musician. He's just not a skilled instrumentalist.

Re:Let me be the first to say... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218658)

So he sampled sounds, put them in a "sequencer" and created a pattern appealing to the ear.

Ahh, what a question. In my day we would have put it this way:
But is it art?

After all, the same could be said of Beethoven:

All he did was imagine sounds, write them in the right sequence on paper and create a pattern appealing to the ear.

...just another kraut doing this 200 years ago!

And, yes, you are missing something!

IDM (4, Insightful)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218142)

That's essentially the concept of IDM [wikipedia.org] ; taking sounds from different sources that shouldn't work in any coherent sense and making them come together musically. This doesn't even go that far, sampling's been around for years. Also, "musician" refers not only to those who can play musical instruments, but also to those who compose musical works. He fits the criteria, as far as I can tell.

Re:IDM (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218330)

For a genre called "Intelligent Dance Music," that makes a lot of sense.

Re:IDM (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218342)

Despite the name, it's really not that pretentious a genre, I swear.

Career path (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218146)

His skill at turning someone with zero musical performance skill into something entertaining and presentable shows he could get a job as a pop music producer. Hell, he can't do any worse than the pimps who churn out the pop tarts we see on stage today!

Re:Career path (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218220)

His skill at turning someone with zero musical performance skill into something entertaining and presentable shows he could get a job as a pop music producer. Hell, he can't do any worse than the pimps who churn out the pop tarts we see on stage today!

I think that's his point. That the 'musician' in much of today's recorded music is actually the producer/editor and not the person you hear singing/playing the notes that make up the music. The music is the editing, the editing is the music.

Moo (0, Troll)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218154)

How do i watch this without installing Flash?

Re:Moo (3, Funny)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218368)

exit out of X, recompile your kernel with the correct modules (make sure you run make clean and make mrproper first). edit grub to load the new kernel, reboot and you should be all set.
if that does not work, grab a live cd and burn it on yout back up machine (you had one right?) boot up your machine from the live cd then mount the hdd and modify grub to load the old kernel. its as simple as that.

Re:Moo (1)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218414)

I'm behind a corporate firewall and youtube.com is blocked. Is the same video on google video (it's not blocked...go figure) -- or would someone like to post it somewhere else?

Thanks!

Re:Moo (2, Informative)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218520)

Never mind, it's on Google video [google.com] .

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218522)

Help!

I'm being held prisoner in a chinese laundry!

This will ultimately lead to. . . (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218176)

a new Adult Swim cartoon. Count on it. It's like a live action Tom Goes to the Mayor.

Swi

Wow... (1)

Codename46 (889058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218186)

Makes me wonder what good piano has done for me for the 12 years I've studied it. =(

Retro! (3, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218190)

This reminds me of the tracker modules that saw a lot of use on the Amiga.

Re:Retro! (2, Informative)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218390)

The modern incarnation of the tracker concept would be Renoise [renoise.com] . It has VST support and other things that electronic musicians would expect from a studio application, with the efficient interface only a tracker provides. It's also only $60, which is trivial compared to FL Studio, which is something like $300 for the fully functional version. [/ad]

Free software for making music (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218598)

The modern incarnation of the tracker concept would be Renoise. It has VST support and other things that electronic musicians would expect from a studio application, with the efficient interface only a tracker provides. It's also only $60, which is trivial compared to FL Studio, which is something like $300 for the fully functional version. [/ad]

The open-source incarnation of the tracker concept would be Modplug Tracker combined with Audacity. It has VST support and other things that electronic musicians would expect from a studio application, with the efficient interface only a tracker provides. It's also only $0 and under a free software license, which is trivial compared to Renoise, which is something like $60 for the fully functional version. [/ad]

Re:Free software for making music (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218706)

Well, yeah, but...Audacity. That extra application kind of makes it cumbersome to use in combination with a sequencer, especially since you're really just working with samples rather than with the VST itself.

Youtube's impact on the music scene (3, Informative)

thebigo195 (949864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218196)

Another example of a great piece of music (or something like it) that only works when accompanied by video. We'll be seeing more and more developments in this direction thanks to Youtube! See Chuck Klostermann's recent article in Esquire for a full dissection.

Girl you know it's true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218216)

Ooh Ooh Ooh, I love you.

umm (5, Funny)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218222)

So basically he made a MIDI track using live instrument samples?

Now this is cutting edge stuff here - simply by dictating what pitch, how long, and when notes should be played, he was able to "perform" an entire song!!

Can you imagine the potential of this? Why, you could be an entire orchestra by yourself! In fact, you could even perform this kind of trick LIVE - simply substitute musicians skilled in their instruments for the samples, and in order to "control" them, you could provide them with the musical instructions somehow on paper. Of course you'd have to implement some kind of global timer to keep them all together, but it seems very doable!

Re:umm (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218332)

Can you imagine the potential of this? Why, you could be an entire orchestra by yourself! In fact, you could even perform this kind of trick LIVE - simply substitute musicians skilled in their instruments for the samples, and in order to "control" them, you could provide them with the musical instructions somehow on paper. Of course you'd have to implement some kind of global timer to keep them all together, but it seems very doable!

I am sure it is doble and there are probably a few dozen /.s planning to prove that it is.

What makes this video interesting is the orginality and this is what art is often comes down to: it is not the ability to do it, since many people could probably do it, but actually making this real and sharing it for all to appreciate. A copy of an art piece is still art, but it not original art where the artist went the process of play, experimenting and realisation. So for those /.s thinking "meh", consider that he actually did something about doing it, no matter the approach he used.

Re:umm (3, Informative)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218428)

I'm just making fun of the ridiculous gimmick, as if splicing sampled notes together to create music is anything new.

The real success of the video is, like you said, the work that went into it, the actual composition. There are thousands of people making MODs and MIDI files; this guy just added the video. So: premise stupid, execution excellent. Kind of the opposite of modern art.

Re:umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218576)

I thought most modern art was 1. Stupid premise, one that involves minimal skill needed in execution anyway, 2. Mega BS hype, often elitist 4. Profit!

Well, that covers at least 95% of works that people call "modern art". The other 5% may actually have something to them.

Re:umm (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218648)

Well, to be more accurate, they come up with a one and only one idea and base an entire work completely off of that. There's no skill involved, either; really they might as well write the idea down on paper, because that's all it's worth.

"Cover a city block in syrup"

Re:umm (1)

hpycmprok (219527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218730)

they come up with a one and only one idea and base an entire work completely off of that



Often music is made up of small repeating ideas that are combined and recombined in interesting ways. Not to compare the subject of the original story to Beethoven, but the 5th symphony states its entire subject in the first three notes. Then, just to make it clear, it states it again in the second three notes.


Then the motive of three notes is repeated, varied, recombined, and explored for about 90 minutes. In fact, music that didn't repeat itself or make reference to earlier themes at all would sound random. On the other hand, much modern music is so repetative as to drive me crazy.


Short drive, I know...



Hpy

Re:umm (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218870)

Yes, but that's just it - he explores that musical phrase. Modern artists would (and have) simply repeat that one phrase on loop for ninety minutes instead of writing other music around it, telling a story with it, instead of weaving it into something, making it into a journey. What I mean when I say modern artists base an entire work off a single idea is this:

"I am going to collect toothpicks that people have thrown away." or
"I will cover this city block in syrup." or
"I will get a whole bunch of funhouse mirrors and set them up in interesting ways."

And then they do it. And that's it. They don't bother to think beyond this first idea. Then, only afterwards, they make up a bunch of bullshit about why this is Art. Basically a single "gosh, that's neat" idea suffices for art these days. That's sad and pathetic.

Re:umm (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218886)

They can't. Yoko Ono already used the "just write the ideas down on paper" idea. (Remember Grapefruit?)

Re:umm (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218900)

If you think unoriginality is going to stop these people...

Re:umm (1)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218838)

The Brown Derbies have been doing what the GP suggested for some time. Their version of "Take on me" by A-Ha is fantastic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_derbies [wikipedia.org]

Re:umm (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218848)

whoooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo oooooooooooooosh!

is the sound the joke made as it soared over your head and out of the auditorium.

Re:umm (2, Insightful)

hpycmprok (219527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218566)

So basically he made a MIDI track using live instrument samples? Now this is cutting edge stuff here - simply by dictating what pitch, how long, and when notes should be played, he was able to "perform" an entire song!!

Nothing new about the technology he used. The real point is that he created a new composition using that technology.

Can you imagine the potential of this? Why, you could be an entire orchestra by yourself! In fact, you could even perform this kind of trick LIVE - simply substitute musicians skilled in their instruments for the samples, and in order to "control" them, you could provide them with the musical instructions somehow on paper. Of course you'd have to implement some kind of global timer to keep them all together, but it seems very doable!

This method, in fact, was once much more popular than it is today. Ensembles of musicians of all sizes up to full orchestra read music to entertain live audiences. The global timer was the conductor.

But I suspect you already knew that and were just trying to sound clever.

Just a different type of technological tool for the real creative force: the composer. Orchestras are the puppets of composers, even after those composers are dead.

The methods this person used are not new, but they are valid. Anyone past their sophomore / junior year in college would know this from having paid attention in humanities, much less having taken intro to music as an elective. Tearing down others doesn't make you look smart.

Hpy

Re:umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218612)

I made this point to another reply, but the point is that the angle of the story is all wrong. He made a great composition at great labor, but the methods used - having an "unskilled" musician make music by the MAGIC of composing - just aren't interesting. The stop motion, the song itself, all those things are interesting. The focus of the story, the "amateur" part, is the least interesting part of the story.

Re:umm (1)

russryan (981552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218944)

I date myself, but one of the phenomenal events in recorded music was "Swithced on Bach" by Walter (now Wendy) Carlos. This was a presentation of some of Bach's most popular works with a Moog Synthesizer. The difficulty was that the song had to be "programmed" notes at a time with patch cords (analog programming!). It was at least as laborious as the presentation here, and with much more complex material.

Re:umm (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219014)

So you're saying Fruity Loops and stop motion animation are "phenomenal events"?

The Moog thing was simply the first proof of concept of programmable music; not anything interesting otherwise.

Funny (4, Insightful)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218234)

If someone submitted the link to this video a month ago when it first appeared on blogs and Digg etc it wouldn't have been accepted as a story on Slashdot. Funny how the Wall Street Journal's description of the video, spare interview, and short backstory showcasing their world-class investigative journalism (the same that doggedly followed the Enron debacle) makes this YouTube clip a legitimate story to post on Slashdot's front page.

I'm not complaining about it being here, or complaining that the Wall Street Journal submits its own stuff. Just funny how a random link becomes legitimate, that's all.

Back in the day, we had .mod files (2, Interesting)

ebers (816511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218276)

Mod files were the old amiga standard for doing this, except they didn't have much space for samples so all tonal instruments were just one sample played at different rates. It was amazing what could be done with just four notes at once. A song was typically 100 KB.

Nice to see what the little man in the synthesizer actually looks like, though.

Re:Back in the day, we had .mod files (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218436)

Holy crap, I remember those! Anyone have something that'll still play them? I have a few I'd like to convert to MP3 format, for old times' sake.

Re:Back in the day, we had .mod files (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218562)

I'm sure there is stuff around that will play them. Start here [wikipedia.org] . As a last resort you could always use UAE.

Re:Back in the day, we had .mod files (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218632)

Holy crap, I remember [mod/s3m/xm/it]! Anyone have something that'll still play them?

Try OpenMPT (MODPlug Tracker), which is now free software. I used it to arrange the Russian music for LOCKJAW [pineight.com] .

Re:Back in the day, we had .mod files (2, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219028)

Holy crap, I remember those! Anyone have something that'll still play them?

Of course. The format is still in widespread use, although typically more than 4 channels are employed these days (and they aren't hard-coded to left and right channels, as with the Amiga). There are many Pocket PC, Gameboy and Cellphone games that use tracker style playback (most completely MOD compatible) to save storage space.

MikMod [raphnet.net] , fmod [fmod.org] and Hekkus [shlzero.com] are three different libraries currently used by game developers for mod playback. However since flash storage has increased dramatically over the last couple years, more and more developers are using mp3 format. So that may finally put an end to the use of MODs.

Dan East

F00bar2K (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219038)

You didn't specify an OS, but for Windows Foobar 2000 [foobar2000.org] plays MODs and SIDs and a lot more.

Bring on the remixes ... (2, Funny)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218308)

Bring on the remixes ... a little star wars kid action and we got a serious music video!

MySpace (4, Insightful)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218314)

This kid really is awesome. His editing skills are unreal.

Check out his MySpace [myspace.com] page. He has other material apparently.

Re:MySpace (1)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218954)

I'm with you on awesome. You never know, a talent like we see in Florian Schneider might come around more than once, in a lifetime.

Kraftwerk has been such a fantastic influence on techno music, and popular music in general. To me, the influence is obvious - but he is certainly doing his own thing!

Re:MySpace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219036)

"Awesome" and "MySpace" closely related in the same post. Awesome. Dude.

Hmm.. (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218334)

Well see, I commented on this a while ago.. I know some /.'ers on here come up and say that he isn't skilled and that it's a simple case of playing around on a sequencer, but I've done my fair share of midi editing and experimenting but I never created anything as complex as this (the drum part).. I think he's a smart guy and has studied drum patterns a lot. Either that, or he's literally just whipped over a bunch of midi-drums to his sequencer, matched them up to the corresponding movie cuts and bobs your uncle, he's done it. To be honest, I think it might of been a bit of both. I reckon he done the midi drumming from a preset one on the internet, cut it up a bit and hit render button, in my opinion.

Rip Off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218360)

of Michel Gondry. Lame.

genius (2, Insightful)

yanyan (302849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218398)

While actual mechanical skill with an instrument belongs to one level, composing and arranging belong to a wholly different level. I'd even go as far to venture that both rely on completely different sets of brain matter. Speaking from personal experience, i may be able to shred guitar with the best of them (okay, i might be exaggerating a bit), but i really hit a wall when i try to arrange something, especially if it has many layers of instrumentation, melody, harmony, etc. That guy is a master arranger in his own right.

Norge i vinter (1)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218418)

What would you do in the "murk tid".
some drink, at least this guy thought of soemthing creative.

Yeah... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218426)

...but does he want a PSP for Christmas?

Another of his videos (3, Informative)

strider44 (650833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218442)

He has plenty of good videos - another of his, Hyperactive [youtube.com] uses the same technique to a similar effect.

sh1t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218460)

Usene7. In 1995,

FirstG poGst!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218462)

Users. BsD/OS [goat.cx]

life is just a sequence of ..... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218474)

repetitions with slight variations. We are all experts at that.

Not slashdot-worthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218510)

Give me a break. All he did was collect samples then sequence a simple tune. Thousands of people are doing this to generate thousands of sequenced music which are hardly newsworthy.

The only difference here is that he collected video in addition to the audio samples, rendered the audio track applying crossfading as usual, dumped the sequence into something easy to parse - say SMF - then wrote a script that splices video segments according to which sample is played. This is assuming that there aren't applications that helps sequences video segments, which I believe there are since this idea isn't particularly new. I've seen countless music videos that already do this. How about we post every video that gets a million hits on "youtube"? Is this geek news?

Re:Not slashdot-worthy (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218780)

"All he did was collect samples then sequence a simple tune."

Oh, that's all, eh? It must be pretty easy for someone with no musical training to track. And that is what he's doing - IDM with a video channel. It's not trivial; it's not easy, but it is neat to see someone extend the tracking concept. Of course, most tracks have many samples playing simultaneously which makes associating a video sample with each audio sample problematic. You could alpha blend the many video samples, but it would be hard to find the sort of synergy in the multiple video samples that exists in the audio. Star Guitar by the Chemical Brothers happens to an excellent job of exactly this (via matte rather than blending) and it is also non-trivial. Simply dividing the screen so that overlapping samples can be seperately represented is arguably less ambitious - but for someone without musical training to attempt it is certainly not.

I hope I've put what this guy is doing in better context for you. It's actually startling to me that you would compare this guy's effort to commercial music videos without recognizing the various achievements and innovations of both. But, perhaps Rembrants works wouldn't impress you, since he mostly just smathered paint around in a pattern like that other guy, da Vinci.

Re:Not slashdot-worthy (1)

joshier (957448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218878)

Why are you replying under me?.. I said no such thing which you quote.

However, I've always wondered about that video (chemical brothers ~ starguitar).. It's always been a favourite of mine, and even though I am into graphics (2d and 3d) I've often wondered how they made that. I've heard of matte editing before, but not really totally understood it.

I'd buy that for a dollar! (1)

sobiloff (29859) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218568)

And the one hit wonder is born...

look at all the h8rs here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218592)


jealous much ? everybody going "all he did was blah blah blah"

iam sure you can compile a Kernel or put a new skin on KDE but can you do what he did ? and if its so easy lets see your version iam sure you have loads of music and creative videos you edited right ?

is that crickets i hear or the sound of tumbleweed ?

to some people hardcore ASM code is an art to others its mindnumbing shite, Art takes many forms how many can you master ?

Re:look at all the h8rs here (1)

zalas (682627) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218896)

What I find interesting is not the fact that he took audio/video pieces and spliced together a song. What I find interesting is the way he presents the process of making a song and the fact that what was commonly done for music (snippet sampling) is applied in unison to video. That being said, the technical details aren't really that interesting.

PS: And yes, I do compose/produce music, reverse engineer and splice music videos together in my spare time.

congratulations! (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218664)

he just reinvented the mod/s3m/xm file... just with video instead of samples

how little the slashdot crowd knows about music! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218688)

Seriously, some of you guys seem to be kinda ignorant of the role computers & technology play, and have played for quite some time, in music!

Remember the .mod file? (1)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218768)

So basically You-Tube has provide an old MOD tracker as a new hit? Didn't this go out of style in about 1996? Or have I forgotten the old 1mb MOD files that had incredible sound clarity compared to MIDI yet were shunned for their repeating bass line... ?

Lasse Gjertsen is a genius (4, Interesting)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218814)

It's obvious from some of the comments that posters haven't seen his work. He's one of the most creative artists I've seen on YouTube. From the pointless and bizarre Den Lille Valpen [youtube.com] , to the simple humor of US [youtube.com] , to the amazing production values on Jeg går en Tur [youtube.com] . And the guy is only 22.

Personally, I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

cLive ;-)

ps - oh, and the "Your mother is a" Slutt joke is quite funny too...

not that new (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218816)

Speaking as someone that has produced records (a few little dance hits in the UK) what he's doing is what's going on in just about every studio in the world. Namely, using samples to make a beat. It's nothing special, what's interesting is tying that with the video. Having said that, software to do that has been available for nearly 10 years (called Steinberg X-Pose) and it's quite good fun to use - just set video and sound samples to keys on a keyboard and bash away.

http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/multimedia/xpose-it/ [dooyoo.co.uk]

Steinberg did once think it was going to be the 'next step' in AV production - maybe they were just early? If he'd used that software he probably could have done it in a tenth of the time.

Tools for Fubmle Thumbs (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218906)

I have a similar problem: I can't play real-speed very well, but in 1994 I built a special MIDI sequencer that makes it easier for me to hand-edit and "see" music patterns:

http://www.geocities.com/tablizer/foxmusic.htm [geocities.com]

(Unfortunately I don't currently have any samples ready. I put my equipment away when my kids were became toddlers because they couldn't keep their fingers off of it.)

100% un-original..."EBN already did it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219004)

Yawn...that is basically what Emergency Broadcast Network (EBN) [youtube.com] built their entire body of work, starting in the early 1990s - sampled video recontextualized into music. The linked video is merely a recent example. And EBN did it with samples from common broadcast TV, not with specially constructed video.
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