Sound Lab

In a Moog Mood? Here's a forum for discussion of general Moog topics.
Post Reply
unfiltered37
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:28 pm

Sound Lab

Post by unfiltered37 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:12 am

I enjoy watching the Moog Sound Lab, but can we get a little more diversity of style? It seems like it's all the same type of pop music or whatever, and don't get me wrong, it's cool, but how about getting some more instrumental bands like when they had Medeski Martin and Wood, or some pure electronic stuff or hip hop or jazz or dubstep or whatever. It seems like it would benefit to show as many different styles as possible. Also, it would be amazing if we could hear someone go through the equipment and show the capability and power of such a huge system. It just strikes me as a waste of a wonderful room.

User avatar
MC
Posts: 2884
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 2:20 pm
Location: Secluded Tranquil Country

Re: Sound Lab

Post by MC » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:11 am

No argument there. One of the reasons we're not seeing many other genres using synth gear is the learning curve. Precious few musicians in those genres embrace synths because they just can't grasp the technology behind sound design. I was recently reading my back issues of Keyboard mag from the 1970s/1980s - this was a common refrain from musicians back then, and I don't think it's any different now.

Another is the mindset of many players today. Too many are focused on shortcuts. They learn just enough to "get by" and neglect to develop their playing and/or sound design technique. Once they land on a style that brings in success and money, they're set in stone. Too few who develop beyond that find continued success.

Then you have highly developed jazz musicians who put so much energy into learning their licks and scales that they have little reserve to learn about synthesizer technique. Jazz demands a high level of expression that is hard to coax out of a synth. Sitting down at a piano, Hammond, or EP is just much more convenient.

Certain audiences have little appetite for electronic synth timbres. Country is a good example. The instrumentation in country music dates back over a hundred years. The last new instrument to be (reluctantly) embraced by country music was the electric guitar. That genre is resistant to change because anything too foreign would alienate the audience. The same is true with other genres - many artists lose as many fans as they gain when they advance to a different style. Double edged sword.

Guitar dominant genres just do not leave any room in the sound spectrum for synths. Hard rock, modern rock, heavy metal are primarily about the egotistical guitar hero hogging the spotlight. The guitars fill up so much sonic space that there isn't much room for synths. I have a concert DVD of Thin Lizzy - they had a keyboard player using an OBX, and during the entire 90 minute show I heard his playing a grand total of three minutes.

Visual impact. Let's face it, a guitar player wanking away is just more visually exciting than a keyboard player. That's why raves use extravagant lighting systems with constant motion, a synth artist just can't put much motion into the performance without the sound suffering.

Back in the 1970s/1980s, there were studio musicians whose specialty was sound design. Especially in LA. When an artist or music director didn't have the technique, they called in these sound design experts. There has always been a similar arrangement with composers - not all recording artists were composers. When cheap samplers came along these sound design experts were seldom needed. When you could buy a keyboard or softsynth with 1000s of presets onboard, these sound design experts were seldom needed. When was the last time Mike Boddicker had a regular session schedule?

My current band is southern rock. I did bring my OBX to one rehearsal because it happened to be in the truck from a session a few days before. They liked my playing despite there being little application for synth in that style. I'm not carting around an extra keyboard that is only going to be used for one or two songs.
Gear list: '04 Saturn Ion, John Deere X300 tractor, ganged set of seven reel mowers for 3 acres of lawn, herd of sheep for backup lawn mowers, two tiger cats for mouse population control Oh you meant MUSIC gear Oops I hit the 255 character limi

EMwhite
Posts: 1651
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:22 pm
Location: Middlesex

Re: Sound Lab

Post by EMwhite » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:25 pm

unfiltered37 wrote:I enjoy watching the Moog Sound Lab, but can we get a little more diversity of style? It seems like it's all the same type of pop music or whatever, and don't get me wrong, it's cool, but how about getting some more instrumental bands like when they had Medeski Martin and Wood, or some pure electronic stuff or hip hop or jazz or dubstep or whatever. It seems like it would benefit to show as many different styles as possible. Also, it would be amazing if we could hear someone go through the equipment and show the capability and power of such a huge system. It just strikes me as a waste of a wonderful room.


The best season was the first season, which I think was called something else and was co-sponsored by Fuse, Paste or somebody.

Aside from the Medeski, Martin, Wood, they had Matisyahu and Pretty Lights. Can't get more diversity in style than that. It was also at the old location and had a raw feel to it. I remember seeing Matis sitting alone at the warehouse doors, it was the first time I heard of them. So many alt acts now, I think it's hard to choose but at this point it's more about marketing and wanted to reach a given population of potential musicians and fans of music than what appeared at the time to be one guy doing Artist Relations and reaching out to find interest.
'76 Minimoog, Taurus 3, Oberheim FVS + Son of 2-voice; Sequential ProOne; Juno 106; Moog Model 15; Kurzweil 250; Hammond M3; and a handful of Fender Basses Flickr!

User avatar
MBlom
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:59 am

Re: Sound Lab

Post by MBlom » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:55 am

I would also love to see more artist in the Sound Lab, doing there songs with new arrangements maybe, using synths instead of guitars. Or maybe just a quick jam. Or a cover song. I would watch and listen to that often! And buy more Moog stuff! :wink: There's a lot of artist who are good enough musicians to do that. Robyn, Royksopp, Depeche, M83.. and I bet there's tons more that aren't THAT famous, yet still skilled and interesting enough. But maybe it isn't that easy to get artist to come and play other things than their latest show/single.
Latest gigs
https://youtu.be/Fpvi7Jrq8DQ
http://youtu.be/owdKlBrUUKY

Minimoog Voyager EB & Minitaur + MF-101 + MF-103 + MF-104M + MF-107 + CP-251 + Minifooger Drive. MachineDrum UW + MonoMachine + Rickenbackerbass (-75) + Hagströmguitar (-75).

unfiltered37
Posts: 645
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:28 pm

Re: Sound Lab

Post by unfiltered37 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:07 am

I hear what you are saying about synths not working for some styles like country, but come on, everything is sequenced and has synths in it these days. All hip hop has synths, all electronic/dubstep has synths, most fusion stuff has synths. I am not even really into these styles that much, but I just want to hear something different, and I think it would benefit them to include more. I am from NC, so I understand there is not a huge diversity of these styles, but everyone knows Moog, so maybe just reach out more.

User avatar
GregAE
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 8:44 pm
Location: In the studio, of course

Re: Sound Lab

Post by GregAE » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:23 am

A crisp Berlin School performance would be most welcome - with the Emerson Moog Modular prominently featured, of course!

EricK
Posts: 5972
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 2:09 pm

Re: Sound Lab

Post by EricK » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:38 am

I think SoundLab is more impromptu than people realize. Most of the time they get people in there who are in the area for their normal gigs or festivals. I don't believe Moog intentionally seeks people out for their style.
Support the Bob Moog Foundation:
https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=4043

I think I hear the mothership coming.

Post Reply