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#174578 - 07/14/07 06:43 AM MIDI files VS Karaoke
cassp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3718
Loc: Motown
There's been lots of talk that using SMFs are like cheating. And that it's just like karaoke - entertainment. Hmmm...

As a musician who uses midi files, I like to think that what I do is different than karaoke, in more ways than one. What are your thought on this?
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#174579 - 07/14/07 07:33 AM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
Rejected Idol Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/06
Posts: 59
Loc: St Paul, MN
Anyone who thinks using a MIDI file is “cheating” better accept the fact that they are also cheating if they use an arranger or a drum machine. MIDI files are sequences of chords and rhythm. Arranger styles are also sequences of chords and rhythm. The only difference is that a midi file usually has a set key and a predetermined progression for the chords. An arranger is essentially playing back a pre-recorded “MIDI sequence” when you use your left hand to structure a chord.

The bottom line is that anyone on this forum who uses an arranger or a drum machine to enhance their sound is using sequences, whether you admit it or not – playing “live in arranger mode” is triggering the sequences with your left hand.

Regarding what most of us do vice karaoke, if we just call up a midi file and sing to it, we’re doin’ karaoke. If we are playing melodies and improvising to a basic rhythm backing (styles or midi), that’s not karaoke, per se. But remember that, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you can bet someone in the crowd will always say anyone who sings along with a sequence (whether a midi file or via an arranger) is doing karaoke.

R/I
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#174580 - 07/14/07 07:43 AM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
cassp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3718
Loc: Motown
R/I, I like what I'm reading from you on this post and on Donny's 'cheating' post. Keep up the good work and stick around. We love good, honest input like yours.
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#174581 - 07/14/07 07:57 AM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
bruno123 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4453
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
We approach the topic of Karaoke and midi files with such justification. At one time any form of music or entertainment that was produced from prerecorded material was considered faking. A no no.

Well, that’s all over. We no longer see and hear what is, instead we hear what has been created prior to the performance. No one is wrong, no one is cheating, it is the time we are living in. Look at the movies, concerts and us OMBs. Times and values have changed, enjoy it all.

I would not want to stand on the difference between Karaoke and midi files. What and how we work with them is a different story. That is where I might draw a line. And the guy said, “How do you like my arrangement? (Midi files) “My arrangement” troubled me, you see what he did was to change the solo instrument and drum set being used and it became his arrangement.

Use it but don’t own it.

IMHO, John c.

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#174582 - 07/14/07 08:03 AM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4477
Loc: Michigan
I am thankful for the programmers at Yamaha or wherever that provide professional arrangements in the styles. It makes my music incredibly entertaining. I surely am 'cheating' IMO. But I also play and sing along, which very few can do.

We shouldn't be too hard on ourselves. Lending our time and talent to appreciable audiences balances the guilt
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#174583 - 07/14/07 08:17 AM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
Rejected Idol Offline
Member

Registered: 02/13/06
Posts: 59
Loc: St Paul, MN
Ditto Guys!

Let’s say we all worked in a big advertising firm, and the boss asked us to develop a sales presentation by tomorrow. A coworker and I both go home and work up our presentations. The next day we go into the conference room and his presentation is very factual, excellently delivered, but it’s in black and white and doesn’t have any pictures. Mine is accurate and easily understood, in color, has photos, and even some animation. The boss says the client will like mine because it has “extra bells and whistles”. Then my workmate complains, saying “that’s not fair ‘cause he used PowerPoint to build his slides and it has artwork”.

Is it my fault if he elected to stick with older technology and “raw skill” whereas I invested money in technology and spent a lot of valuable time learning how to properly employ it?

Technology is wonderful! The key is employing it to enhance your sound, as opposed to overdoing it to the point that it detracts from your show.

R/I
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#174584 - 07/14/07 08:42 AM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
btweengigs Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/09/02
Posts: 2178
Loc: Florida, USA
Take a cruise. Many of the ships offer fantastic Broadway type shows. You will hear some great musical full orchestral arrangements accompanying the singers and dancers. Now...look in the "pit". It's not uncommon to see only a piano player and drummer with head sets on playing along with pre-recorded tracks.

I've heard a few passengers moan about the lack of musicians for these type of shows, but the bottom line is the shows are most often considered to be great entertainment The lack of musicians in the "pit" is not going to keep passengers from booking trips.

There has been significant downsizing on the stages in the lounges of these ships as well. OMB's, duos, and up all have their laptops cooking to provide the fullest sound possible. Sometimes the DJ lounge is the most popular of the ship's venues...but the ages there tend to be the youngest.

Eddie

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#174585 - 07/14/07 01:19 PM Re: MIDI files VS Karaoke
mikeathome1 Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1208
Loc: Syracuse NY
There is a huge market for karaoke, people want to participate in their entertainment now. Dj's are big, people want to hear Sinatra do Sinatra or Garth Brooks do Garth brooks.
It's changing thats for sure.
Once you get more and more OMB's (and people find out Johnny down the street got a keyboard last week and thanks to styles and midi he sounds as good as a pro) people will loose their taste for it.
We all justify what we do and what we use, and we all love the people that agree and not so much those that don't.
It's the same old debate musician or entertainer.
Do what ya gotta do and be ready to keep ahead of the crowd.

[This message has been edited by mikeathome1 (edited 07-14-2007).]
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