If there was software that made *lyrics* better...

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Jon Nolan
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Post by Jon Nolan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:26 pm

i guess what i'm saying is, if there were software that would edit my lyrical composition, i wouldn't use it. and i want to know why. i want to know why i feel differently about using it to edit my performance.

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:15 pm

I'm of the same opinion that a musical performance has a more objective criteria by which to judge. If someone is trying to hit a particular note and can't that's one thing. If someone is trying to express an idea and there's a more eloquent or poetic way to express it...by what standard is it being "improved"? Lyrical content is subjective. I think self editing and finding different ways to communicate an idea are the key skills in writing lyrics. What effect the lyricist is trying to achieve is going to effect the outcome. Plus, changing the way you say something can change the voice with which you're speaking. Someone could re-write your lyrics to something they find to be "better" and you might not be speaking in YOUR voice.

I've had that direct experience in the studio as a vocalist before. It came down to a suggestion being made along the lines of "why don't you say ____ there" and my response was "I would never say that".

That's my artsy fartsy way of saying no, I wouldn't use the plug in. I wouldn't want it for my own music and I wouldn't presume to override the artistic voice of someone else.

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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:48 pm

I had a friend who read a book called something like "how to write a killer pop song" and his songs became a million times better afterward. There are rules that you can apply to songwriting a "grammar" if you will. I don't think it would hurt anything to stick your lyrics through the software and see what it suggested, it might spark some ideas. Like a spell checker, grammar checker or thesaurus (as was suggested).

For every 100 people that got on the radio by abusing the thing (a la autotune), 1 person would figure out a way to do something cool with it (autotune the news).

Music isn't all "art", it's part craft, that's where this tool could come in handy.
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Post by T-rex » Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:02 pm

http://www.masterwriter.com/notableusers.html

I have nothing but respect for someone who can write a really good song. I think like anything great, it's an art. It's like beat detective, you can make an ok or even bad drummer sound in time. But it's not going to ever make a bad drummer groove like Jabo Starks. I think software may help people get better results but it would never take a bad songwriter and make them an amazing songwriter.
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Re: If there was software that made *lyrics* better...

Post by cgarges » Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:51 pm

dwlb wrote:IMHO, unless you're extemporizing/ad-libbing, composition and performance are two separate processes.
Mitch Easter told me that when they did some dates opening for Robert Palmer, he saw that Palmer had these giant cue cards taped to the stage with random words written on them and other words that rhymed next to them. He would be improvising on the outros of songs and stuff and getting ideas for rhymes off of these cue cards. I thought that was hysterical!

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Re: If there was software that made *lyrics* better...

Post by JGriffin » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:07 pm

cgarges wrote:
dwlb wrote:IMHO, unless you're extemporizing/ad-libbing, composition and performance are two separate processes.
Mitch Easter told me that when they did some dates opening for Robert Palmer, he saw that Palmer had these giant cue cards taped to the stage with random words written on them and other words that rhymed next to them. He would be improvising on the outros of songs and stuff and getting ideas for rhymes off of these cue cards. I thought that was hysterical!

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:22 am

Snarl 12/8 wrote:Music isn't all "art", it's part craft, that's where this tool could come in handy.
To me, that's the same thing, when it comes to creative output. The idea/inspiration is just the starting point and everything after that is craft. Maybe that just speaks to how I create "art". I've never written lyrics by sitting down, putting pen to paper, then spontaneously creating an entire song without stopping and that's it. I take an excruciatingly long time to finish writing lyrics and vocals actually, heh. I was just getting at the point that you're also making, it's the work and effort you put into the song that is your expression. If you could turn on a switch and just "fix" anything you write it wouldn't be as unique to yourself or rewarding. I guess if that was a real thing someone could use it as a "guide" and just take pointers from it, but I personally wouldn't have any interest in it.

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Jon Nolan
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Post by Jon Nolan » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:36 am

i've still been thinking about this stuff, along with the "bazillion tracks" thread. Even though it might seem like a bit of a non sequitur, given the subject of this thread, what I think I've concluded, is that.....

Unless it's a deliberate production decision, and not just fear of other's opinions, I'm not interested in doing musical plastic surgery.

Make up & fancy clothes, sure, plastic surgery, no. I'd much rather work with a young (or old) band and help them improve some (if they want) than make them sound like something they're not. It's not because I don't want to do all sorts of crazy editing actually, although sometimes I don't. I often (at this point) find it fun and interesting.
My band made an album in the summer of '91 in a small local studio in two days. ten tunes. totally embarrassing to listen to. totally fucking AWESOME to listen to. Especially now. We were totally going for it - totally unselfconsciously going for it. "Dancing like there was nobody looking." Two or three times a month different people email me to see if I have any CD copies of that old cassette tape cuz they wore it out.

The next album, we spent twice as much and put out a much more safe and professional turd of an album. Nobody EVER asks me for that one. Ever, I think. Gotta mull this over some more....

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Post by ott0bot » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:09 am

If there was software that made *lyrics* better...

it still wouldn't make radio pop drivel or bands like Savage Garden and Buck Cherry worth listening too. Those are the exact people who would be using the software, so it may not have any impact on music at all. Creative types would still whip out a thesaurus or read some Richard Brautigan poems for inspiration, which is probably far more reliable source of inspiration than any software. Unless you don't like Brautigan....in that case fire up the software. :)

Ok....now that I think about it....maybe you could use the software while listening to it, instead of during production, making nearly any song with a decent groove listenable. So it adapts to the listeners preference. Think of it like a filtered search similar to what Netflix uses to find out which movies you love. Sorry hipsters, Kings of Leon can now rival Fugazi in lyrical prowess if you so choose. I don't like the future. :(

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Brett Siler
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Post by Brett Siler » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:34 pm

we are turning into cyborgs!!!

Image

standup
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Post by standup » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:13 am

I think it's more fun to use online translators to write songs. Here's the lyrics to "Satisfaction" translated from English to Japanese, from Japanese to Swedish, then from Swedish back to English:

That pursues me radio end I drivinen of my
car, that person, with him that it
comes to, it be is myself myself that, when the morning tried receive that IS NOTHING the cannot you experiments, because myself, as experiments
not hit what on judgement myself myself, the thing is that State Ohio
myself, that to receive cannot anything to say
, to receive the satisfaction, that, that to receive
NOTHING right a little right a little a right satisfaction can not
little, not to can as
concerns it needless
the information was, because my imagination, that increasingly tel. flax me to receive that IS NOTHING cannot, be done in order to start it is supposed and,


My favorite part is this, I think Mick Jagger could really do something with it:
to receive NOTHING right
a little right
a little a right
Satisfaction can not little,
not to can
as concerns it needless

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megajoe
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Re: If there was software that made *lyrics* better...

Post by megajoe » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:19 pm

dwlb wrote:AutoTune doesn't write your melodies for you.
That's up for debate... It depends on how out of tune the vocalist is and the settings used on the plug-in... :wink: Also, if someone is doing a talking part, it will lock onto a pitch and create melodies.

I know I know, not the point of the discussion.

I would probably use that plug-in all the time with the 'randomize' and 'nastiness' set to 100%"

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Post by AstroDan » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:57 pm

You don't need software, just one steadfast rule: No rhyming pronouns at the end of a line.

Example:

"Can't keep my eyes from the circling skies,
tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
"
"I have always tried to present myself as the type of person who enjoys watching dudes fight other dudes with iron claws."

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Post by vvv » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:39 am

Aiight, I and some others got in a online fight with a troll, so I then used his last post (because he thereafter cut and run! :twisted: ) for the lyrics here:

LOL(Paranoia)
c. '08Vlayman Produx

I must be gay?

The paranoia is a riot
I didn't "snoop or pry into anyone's
business, not a word of truth to what
you say and you are clueless and isn't
this accusation against the rules here?.
But what would someone who is always on
the verge of the next big deal for the
last god knows how many years know about
the truth. Oh and I am so impressed with
your sushi meal. Remember, this was your
choice to come attacking, want to
continue playing? I don't expect anyone
to take me too seriously and I can't
believe anyone takes you seriously. lol
How about this, I wish you the best of
luck, I really do and I really don't
care if you believe me I know its the
truth that's the end of story. You have
accused me in the past of posting under
several names to attack someone, not one
bit of truth there, and of sending you
emails under another name, not one bit
of truth there, so you not believeing me
is consistant. Save your $1000 for a
sushi sandwich. BTW your initial post
was trolly.

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Solution: let someone else write for you!
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