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Music

Sawmaster

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In the "I never knew that" department are ship-loads of studio musicians, most of who made it on to the Top10/Top40/Top100 once or twice. Then there are some who were prolific there but you never knew it. And while the songs and/or bands they recorded with are famous, they fade back to obscurity and sometimes die there. Today's "RIP" goes to John Giblin a bass player every one of you has heard but never knew. The link goes to Wikipedia where a very long list of his accomplishments which surprised even me.
 

TH2002

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Not only are all these great singers and musicians dying, but now I hear that AI generated music could be about to take over the industry... it's still too early to see what potential impacts AI will have on music as a whole though. But if it does indeed "destroy" the music industry by turning it into something unrecognizable, at least I can say that good songs that already exist will continue to exist...
 

Sawmaster

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Well I'm a "white boy" but Tina Turner was one of the sexiest classiest women to ever live. I rank her full equal to Requel Welch and Sophia Loren on that plus Tina could sing. A no-excuses real-life Superwoman.

AI can take over lots of music genre's, but I doubt it can ever find the quirkiness of some of the post-punk and new wave bands I like. Those bands created a new sound altogether even if many didn't get top-ten status. And the octave bass drops of some of the Neue Deutsche Hart bands or their off-tuned songs which don't have a single recognized note in them. Out of the possibility of billions of note combinations it takes a human to decide if the result is pleasant and is what was being sought.

You cannot make anything until you know what it is you want to build, so AI will never do the music I like best. I won't piss on an electric fence but I'm hats off to the ones who do just to know what it feels like- the human brain may be second-rate now but the human spirt will always be tops!
 

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So I've been fooling around with some old MP3 players lately and it really makes you appreciate all the amenities we have in more modern media players like VLC.

WinPlay3 is the first realtime MP3 player ever created, developed by the Fraunhoufer Society, the same institute that developed the MP3 format itself. The version I've been experimenting with is the latest release 2.3b5. It's about as bare bones as you can get; you can play, pause and stop a song, skip between them, and put your songs/playlists on repeat and shuffle. That's it. The seek bar is only visual (you can't actually use it to skip to certain parts of a song), there's no software volume control, no album art, no visualizations... nothing. It does have the advantage of being extremely lightweight (the entire program is less than 1 MB in size) and of course, it works. In all fairness, many 90's laptops have a hardware volume control, usually a volume wheel on the front or side of the computer so not having one in the program itself wasn't a huge deal at the time. Also, MP3 players had to start somewhere.

I've also been fooling around with Winamp 2.95 (released in 2003 IIRC but the original release of Winamp 2 dates from 1998) - when it comes to software, it doesn't get much more 90's than this player. It definitely has more features than WinPlay3 (the seek bar actually works, there's a volume control, equalizer, and Winamp can also play a limited number of video file formats) and is extremely customizable. It's undoubtedly a cutting edge piece of software for its time, but still feels dated by modern standards of course. There are a crap-ton of skins and plugins you can use - it's probably easy to make your own skins if you wanted to. I did install a plugin that adds support for album art, which doesn't work quite right most of the time - it the song name has any non-Latin letters it will refuse to display the album cover, and sometimes you have to switch to a song w/o an album cover for it to display the correct one of the current song. All these woes remind me of how far media players have come since the mid to late 90's.

Playback in VLC and other more modern media players sounds a bit cleaner than WinPlay3 and Winamp 2, although both of the latter have a distinct "90's" type background noise that's hard to explain but I like. For songs from the likes of Junko Yagami, Counting Crows and Dire Straits it actually fits really well!
 

Sawmaster

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I once was head roadie with a "studio" for a short time in the analog days. We had a 64 channel board, a pair of CS 800's and some smaller amps, the pair of AL7 speakers I built, and a 4 channel TASCAM tape machine to master with. We also had all the usual range of gear too like risers, mics (including wireless), and stands. We had a deal with a local commercial recording outfit to get your cassette tapes made from our masters. I learned something about acoustics and that there's no money in music until you hit the top, and that part still holds true today.

When digital came along and quickly was condensed to PC-sized and affordable it became "game over" for all the little outfits like this one. The speakers and and stage gear still had value but the mixing boards and recorders which were the expensive parts of recording and stage production work became just so much scrap electronics nearly valueless :rolleyes:

Now you can do at home what cost tens of thousands of dollars to do in the 80's for well under $100 and do it better than they ever could too. Today your band cam make the finished product all by itself without ever leaving the comfort of your home :cool:
 

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Here’s WinPlay3 running on an era appropriate laptop, cause why not? The volume wheel on the front of the computer is a really nice thing to have, it’s a shame computers in general have done away with these since the early 2000’s or so. The sound quality coming out of the front headphone jack is also amazing! Playback is a bit choppy when multitasking (likely due to the non-MMX Pentium 100 paired with only 8 megs of RAM) but it’s still more than fine if you want to type up an essay or whatnot while listening to your favorite tunes
 

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akt1985

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Anyone remember R&B artist Tracy Chapman’s late 80s hit Fast Car? Recently, Country Superstar Luke Combs did a cover 35 years later of “Fast Car” that is not half bad. The hit is rapidly moving up the country charts and believe it or not, it’s getting airplay on the pop charts.

 

TH2002

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Was in line at the car wash yesterday when the song "Shake Shake Shake" by KC and the Sunshine Band came on the radio. Ugh...
stop-loud.gif


That song singlehandedly proved one thing - by itself, just because a song is old, that doesn't necessarily mean it's gold.
 

akt1985

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A lot of mainstream pop music stinks today. However, the recent wildfires in Hawaii made me think of this Katy Perry song from her later years that surprisingly is very soothing to listen to but did not get a lot of airplay on the pop or adult contemporary charts.
 

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My parents liked Jimmy Buffett a lot, which lead me to like him quite a bit as well. His music reminds me of childhood vacations, we always took a family beach trip every summer to Destin and would play his music the whole drive down. As a kid I didn't think too much of that, but now all those songs hit differently.

RIP Jimmy.
 

Mike S

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And Gary Wright, the man behind Dream Weaver.
 

TH2002

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Not that it means much to a bunch of weather nerds more focused on keeping track of tonight's threat, but today would have been Elvis Presley's 88th birthday.
 
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