Author Topic: "Open source music"  (Read 12525 times)

Offline DustWolf

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"Open source music"
« on: January 19, 2006, 13:36:10 »
Hello,

I make a new thread to shift focus fairly hehe. The beginning of the discussion about this can be found here.

The argument wether tracked music should be distributed in source format or as something more portable like MP3 is as old as the MP3 format itself. The argument as I understood it was all about wether trackers should feel like something greater for distributing the music in source format or should we just look at the practical side and distribute it in something most listeners can use. In the recent years, the latter has apparently won over, letting those who stood for the other feeling at a loss.

I think that by correctly defining music distributed in sources as open source music, this may restore the balance between the meaningfullnes of both ways to distribute music.

Now considering "open source" does have it's own defenition and a commitey assigned to debate it, I'm guessing we can't call ourselves "open source musicians" just because we want to...

Here's the defenition of Open source, check it and see if it would work for you:
http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php

Offline LPChip

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"Open source music"
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2006, 14:04:36 »
I think that if its possible, you should always present the source. Ofcource you have to take into account whether the size of the samples are small or big and if VST(i)'s are used that are either commercial or if its a hastle to install them.

If I make a chiptune, I'll always give the source, unless it was made using VSTi's. I also take into account if the mastered MP3 version sounds better or not. If i can make a better sounding MP3 while the source song is really small, I'd probably share both. Usually my big songs end up with 15~25mb each with commercial VST's attached to them. Giving the source here is just impossible.
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Offline shableep

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"Open source music"
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2006, 17:13:45 »
I think there are 2 distinctive groups of trackers. there's the group that uses tracking with sharing the source in mind. and now more than ever, a group that uses it to simply produce good music.

i guess in the end it depends on what the end goals are for modplug. chances are, it's for producing the highest quality music possible in a tracker. this might make modplug start distancing it's self from the use of a portable source file. as you can see, it has already distanced it's self just with the addition of VST instruments. portability has already gone down. i think, when it comes down to it, source portability is far down the priority list.

if people want to write songs that have a source that is completely portable, then maybe there should be a new open-source project that is focused on just that. this version wouldn't use any external anything. no VST. maybe this portability version of modplug could contain better internal effects, and general functions that many popular VSTs have. maybe include something crazy like a more developed modplug instrument scripting system, or modplug ... plug-ins that all get saved within the source file, and are all open-source. just like the songs themselves. this would truely share peoples musical developments and innovations.

i think the current modplug open-source project should be focused on over sound quality, enhanced features and support for the latest musical ambitions. developed for those who prefer moplug over a sequencer as their professional utility.

Offline DustWolf

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"Open source music"
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006, 20:34:11 »
Quote from: "shableep"
I think there are 2 distinctive groups of trackers. there's the group that uses tracking with sharing the source in mind. and now more than ever, a group that uses it to simply produce good music.

i guess in the end it depends on what the end goals are for modplug. chances are, it's for producing the highest quality music possible in a tracker. this might make modplug start distancing it's self from the use of a portable source file. as you can see, it has already distanced it's self just with the addition of VST instruments. portability has already gone down. i think, when it comes down to it, source portability is far down the priority list.

if people want to write songs that have a source that is completely portable, then maybe there should be a new open-source project that is focused on just that. this version wouldn't use any external anything. no VST. maybe this portability version of modplug could contain better internal effects, and general functions that many popular VSTs have. maybe include something crazy like a more developed modplug instrument scripting system, or modplug ... plug-ins that all get saved within the source file, and are all open-source. just like the songs themselves. this would truely share peoples musical developments and innovations.


I dissagree. As LPChip pointed out, you can package your source with the plugins you used and it is still portable.

There is something simmilar in open source software. There are no two groups of software devolopers as you would say, one with making open source in mind and the other with making software in mind, they all make software and we all make music.

And modplug is not the only tracker in the universe, mind you. When writing the article I had those people using Buzz and other such things in mind too. Buzz tracks have used VST for a long long time now and I don't think it's ever been a portability issue, the VSTs are simply packaged allong and anyone can listen to the track form source should they wish to.

You make it sound like we either share source code and stay in stoneage or render MP3s and excell in proffesionality. Sorry, those two things have nothing to do with eachother, I can make a proffesional sounding track and share it's source code just as well as I can make a piece of crap, render it into MP3 and SELL it if you want.

I just hate that "proffesional" tag there. The only reason you couldn't give away sources, which is the same reason that occurs in software, is because your VST (or samples or any other part of your song) is commercial. So why not just admit it?

There is no tehnical limitation that would prevent music from being open-source and making music open source would not limit the possible generes or quality or whatever in any way.

I disagree with the asumption that commercial = quality and free = crap. Look in areas of software for clear examples.

And again, this is non-invasive. I didn't say all tracked music would have to be open-source, I just said maybe we should enstablish this term.

Offline Sam_Zen

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"Open source music"
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2006, 02:17:42 »
Quote from: "DustWolf"
I disagree with the asumption that commercial = quality and free = crap. Look in areas of software for clear examples.

Right on. Way too much examples I'm afraid.
But in fact the ancient way of writing down a score on paper, which then can be copied, to read and perform the piece, is a form of open-source too. You have the basic material and play it how you like. The interpretation of the compo.
Replace instruments or change the speed.
By the way, open source doesn't mean that anyone can do anything they like with it. A matter of basic licences, according to law. It's not done to copy someone's tracker and present it as an own composition. Or use the material for commercial purposes without asking the author for permission.
The basic 'source code' of a module can mean different things, depending on what the author definetely want to maintain in the composition as is, or which elements could be modulated in the performance of somebody's own version.
Basically I think that the actual patterns with their instrument-codes are the core material of the compo.
I did experiments with trackers, where I divided the used samples of a song in 'percussive' and 'tonal' categories.
Then I exchanged the instrument positions of these groups of sounds in the song. So the hihat would play the melody part, and the strings would play the bassdrum part. Sounds different of course, but the overall structure and dynamic of the composition still was there.
Different 'permissions' possible here :
- One can replace some instrument, but the pattern-score should be kept intact.
- You must use the given instruments, but you choose to repeat pattern 14-18 4 times to include your solo with your own sample in an added channel. Etc.
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Offline Matt Hartman

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"Open source music"
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 15:19:18 »
I think the method you choose to "reveal" your music to the public is a personal one, that is to say, how ever one chooses.

For instance, I track for professional contract, if I freely distribute the source (.IT) then I will be negligent in my contractual agreement. Also, the release could potentially hurt future sells.

Even considering the vantage point of your every day general use tracker, I would still say it's of personal choice.

It's always a nice thing to release the source file instead of for instance,  an MP3 simply because other trackers can examine your musical/'trackerical' approach. Which in effect, gives back to the community by sharing ideas and techniques.

Yet, I do not believe it should be mandatory in the association of being considered a true or false tracker. A tracker is a tracker because he or she uses a tracker to compose/compile the brunt of their music.

Let's not forget, tracking is just another tool to accomplish a higher directive, which is to simply write and enjoy music.

I remember a lot of tracking groups were hardcore about releasing only native formats, but even they eventually started MP3ing. It's all about personal choice, and I think that's the only way to go in life.
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Offline shableep

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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2006, 12:22:18 »
my goal wasn't to say that free = crap. free can be amazing, and i have definitely been amazed and unable to match plenty free songs. i was trying to say that there may very well be a conflict between interests.

if your concentrated on complexity, then you're limiting portability. if your concentrating on portability, then you're limiting complexity. if i use a large orchestra library, i'm limiting my portability. if i'm using clever synthetic instruments and utilizing the tracker, i'm increasing portability. i feel these two values would battle each other in development. which one gets priority when? i feel it's better that we avoid the battle by having each have their own.

i'm not trying to be anti-portable. i agree with you guys. but i respect each one differently. you have no idea how much i want to be like "look what i tried to do in modplug. look look!". but i can't with the direction i've taken modplug recently. and i've accepted that it's simply not possible. i'm hitting instrument limits, 32-bit memory limits, sample number limits. it's not happening. but i also want to be able to track stuff with my tracking community. i still do. but in my case, i live in 2 different worlds with modplug. there's a part of me that tracks because i love tracking and sharing it back n' forth. but there's another part that says "i NEED to get this sound, and i'll do whatever i can do to get it". and it's in that goal that i hop off the portability train, and wander down the bumpy road of complexity. modplug just happens to be my loyal vehicle.

Offline Sam_Zen

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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2006, 00:40:04 »
Quote from: "shableep"
i'm not trying to be anti-portable.

No need for pro and cons here. It can exist both alongside each other.
Of course the main difference is, if the work is done as a job for some company, or just made to suit personal creativity. In the first case of course legal aspects can make it hard to release the original tracker.
The practical problem here also lies in the fact, that people want to make the Final production with the tracker-app.
This lead to the introduction of external VST-plugins, starting all kinds of problems with portability and compatibility and licences.
From the tracker-beginning I decided to avoid these bottlenecks and make a distinction between the composing process and the production process. So my module is the basic composition, it can be listened to to get the impression, but I consider this as the 'raw' material for the final production. Which I make using a multitrack editor, because OMPT has the option to export selected channels into seperate stereo-wavs for the mixer.
(and the great thing is, all those wav-file have exactly the same filesize in bytes)
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Offline Matt Hartman

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"Open source music"
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2006, 00:56:04 »
Forgive for my dramatic replies, they only look more dramatic than my actual intent.

Tracking has really transformed its face throughout its 2 decades. With the introduction and succession of VSTi implementation, it?s only going to get better or worse depending on which tracker you ask. With it dramatically come increased file sizes and the push for quality sound to the max.

In retrospect, to be a tracker is subjective to ones opinion and viewpoint.  I don?t think you?ll find one singular definition. You come to understand that everyone has their own motives for brining their art to the tracker format. Some trackers are more serious than others, some trackers will pick it up only to drop it shortly. Some trackers will even become hindered by the limitations and move on to other tools.

Community, really has nothing to do with the physical tracker itself. It merely acts like as a bridge to bring people together who share in a common interest. Community is about sharing a consciousness through communication. True, a mod file can certainly bring this to the table, and it?s a powerful projection at that, but it shouldn?t be the foundation of community itself. If MPT blew a tire, we would have only lost the use of our vehicle, not the road itself.

Yet, there?s a bigger community here that surpasses the even tracker, tracking, or a mod file. That?s the community of music, which is beautifully infinite. The tracker was created to create music for different intents, however not to create a tracker itself. It was a means to an end, not an end to all other means besides tracking.

Whether you want to share your mod with others has to be a personal experience. It will just make that moment when someone does much more valued in the long run.

Additionally, I stress it is not everyone?s obligation to take care of anyone else but themselves.

How about instead of enforcing a mandatory quota, and potentially pissing off some members, let?s try have a weekly or monthly artist spotlight, in which they share their tracking approach with all who is interested?  Only names that have been willingly submitted will be drawn from the hat. This way, everyone can feel like there?s a lot of sharing and caring around here without some members feeling like they are obligated to share when they don?t choose to do so.

Also, I suggest offering the typical compos, in a very organized and well thought out fashion. I always found these things to be motivating and stimulating, in a intellectual tracking sense.

Forcing members to eat their green beans is no-no 101.
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Offline shableep

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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2006, 09:32:59 »
sounds solid to me. i 2nd matt's motion.

i've always loved compos. there's definatly a sad shortage of em' these days.

Offline DustWolf

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"Open source music"
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2006, 12:05:43 »
Quote from: "Matt Hartman"
How about instead of enforcing a mandatory quota, and potentially pissing off some members, let?s try have a weekly or monthly artist spotlight, in which they share their tracking approach with all who is interested?  Only names that have been willingly submitted will be drawn from the hat. This way, everyone can feel like there?s a lot of sharing and caring around here without some members feeling like they are obligated to share when they don?t choose to do so.


I agree there.

Actually I think it's always been a little like that, wherever you look. Modplug & United Trackers (and afterwards the Sounding Board that split off UT), there were always people willing to saccrifice some of their time to provide education for others and not everybody is willing or able of doing the same.

When thinking purely on the educational side, a simple Wiki system with example downloads would be convenient enough.

On a personal note however, I have really rarely downloaded any MP3s off ModPlug, usually when I see one I just go not again and feel some combination of: if I downloaded I'd be missing something out / not fully utilizing my sound system and that the person who made it probably didn't really write down any of the cool drums or anything, but just ripped it off some commercial source (and encode to MP3 to mask it). And don't take that personally.

Offline LPChip

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"Open source music"
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2006, 18:56:52 »
Quote from: "DustWolf"
Quote from: "Matt Hartman"
How about instead of enforcing a mandatory quota, and potentially pissing off some members, let?s try have a weekly or monthly artist spotlight, in which they share their tracking approach with all who is interested?  Only names that have been willingly submitted will be drawn from the hat. This way, everyone can feel like there?s a lot of sharing and caring around here without some members feeling like they are obligated to share when they don?t choose to do so.


I agree there.

Actually I think it's always been a little like that, wherever you look. Modplug & United Trackers (and afterwards the Sounding Board that split off UT), there were always people willing to saccrifice some of their time to provide education for others and not everybody is willing or able of doing the same.

When thinking purely on the educational side, a simple Wiki system with example downloads would be convenient enough.

On a personal note however, I have really rarely downloaded any MP3s off ModPlug, usually when I see one I just go not again and feel some combination of: if I downloaded I'd be missing something out / not fully utilizing my sound system and that the person who made it probably didn't really write down any of the cool drums or anything, but just ripped it off some commercial source (and encode to MP3 to mask it). And don't take that personally.


Even if that same person has alot of modules and just a few mp3's?
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

Offline nickythenose

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MPT O/s music v. competing "brands"
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2006, 19:53:11 »
I woud like to propose an interpretation. I am interested in Modplug, not just to make good music, but to learn how good music is made. I cannto do that if I am just downloading MP3s, I need to see the source. Other music softwares suchas Fruityloops or Sibelius dont seem to have the same kind of community feel and as such I can very rarely find and download new music, so as far as actually learning stuff is concerned, MPT is better than Fruityloops.

If it helps me to learn then it is good, if it helps me in terms of pleasure, it is more of a fad that will fade.


Let the modules run free!

Offline DustWolf

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"Open source music"
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2006, 22:24:53 »
Quote from: "LPChip"
Quote from: "DustWolf"
On a personal note however, I have really rarely downloaded any MP3s off ModPlug, usually when I see one I just go not again and feel some combination of: if I downloaded I'd be missing something out / not fully utilizing my sound system and that the person who made it probably didn't really write down any of the cool drums or anything, but just ripped it off some commercial source (and encode to MP3 to mask it). And don't take that personally.


Even if that same person has alot of modules and just a few mp3's?


Well given facts I of course would not doubt, but at the time it was clear that some people only released MP3s and others only released source files.

But then let's not use my personal oppinion as a base for considering facts. I well understand that it is most probable that most people who release music only as MP3 do so because they have high quality samples and instruments and not because those samples or instruments would be sampled off the radio or tape of something that is or used to be commercial.

Really you know, the stuff Scooters do (scream in the mic to other people's hard work and slap their label on it) isn't art to me.

Offline Matt Hartman

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Re: MPT O/s music v. competing "brands"
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2006, 05:34:24 »
Guys,

How about a resource that's strictly dedicated to tracker music education?

A central point where trackers of all backgrounds and skill levels can go and feast on a wealth of knowledge or share their own knowledge with others?

Tutorials are great, but they can also be stagnant and boring not to mention uneasy on the eyes.

As far as I can tell, there have been attempts to educate other trackers, but in a very sporadic and unorganized fashion.

Even a simple page featuring tips and tricks would be nice.
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