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#280743 - 02/11/10 11:22 PM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
spalding1968 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 1230
Loc: United Kingdom
When you have become confident with Karma James can you provide a demonstration as this would change the whole game if what you are describing actually sounded like a variation in a style that a human would make. Does it sound like the example below ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wf34ljSSRA

You see to my ears no matter how clever the technology this still sounds like computer music. in particular listen to the guitar as Karma is being used. Listen to the drums. Everything is way overly quantized and doesnt sound like a real drummer . It sounds completely automated.

Can you find a demo that actually uses Karma that makes it sound like a human musician ?

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#280744 - 02/11/10 11:46 PM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
I think you only have to listen to the creator of Karma's performances, to see where HE thinks its' strengths are. He is a synth wonk (not a bad thing, just its' own thing!) through and through.

I don't think Karma has the slightest idea how to adapt to real world rules for playing by humans. The rules are so complex, it's only recently that some arrangers (designed for the task) are starting to get a grip on guitar chord voicing and performance. And that is with a completely dedicated Guitar mode that re-voices EVERYTHING to correct, idiomatic playing, and it STILL doesn't come that close!

As Stephen points out in his demo, Karma is ENTIRELY based around arpeggiators, whether single note or polyphonic, rhythmical ones, but there's nowhere where he even alludes to how these arpeggiators can be constrained to real world rules. Let alone the fact that playing isn't, in real world music, arp or loop based anyway.

I think we should just be grateful that, for many things, there still isn't an adequate substitute for a real person! We remain too complex, to intuitive, too unpredictable to emulate. I can only pray it stays that way!

Karma, for electronic music, is groundbreaking. For real music, it is no better (just different) than what we already have, IMO. And its' creator has already spoken about his interest in adapting it to arranger-like concepts... None, zero, nada.

At least HE knows its' strengths... and weaknesses

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#280745 - 02/12/10 12:05 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Bachus Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/02/06
Posts: 6622
Quote:
Originally posted by spalding1968:
When you have become confident with Karma James can you provide a demonstration as this would change the whole game if what you are describing actually sounded like a variation in a style that a human would make. Does it sound like the example below ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wf34ljSSRA

You see to my ears no matter how clever the technology this still sounds like computer music. in particular listen to the guitar as Karma is being used. Listen to the drums. Everything is way overly quantized and doesnt sound like a real drummer . It sounds completely automated.

Can you find a demo that actually uses Karma that makes it sound like a human musician ?


I hope that James can fin time to give a Demonstration, to show both how KARMA can function as an Arranger and how all those other functions can add depth to the musicall styles most people overhere use. i have huge confidence in James.

What wories me about this video is that its over a year old and despite Kays promises KARMA is still not available on the openlabs machines, its already 9 months overdue, clearly there is some kind of problem and i just wonder why, no answers to be found on the KARMA boards.

@Mystic Jammer, dont let Chas's comments ruin the fun you have making music, music is all about having fun what your doing. I'm confident that with the right mindset your performance will improve stellar over the years to come. Are you still having keyboard lessons? Having a personal teacher is a great way to improve your stuff, even some of the better keyboard players i know are still having keyboard lessons or doing workshops to improve certain aspects of their play either learning a new keyboard or certain techniques. One never stops learning in the lovely world of music, just have an open mindset to it.

[This message has been edited by Bachus (edited 02-12-2010).]
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#280746 - 02/12/10 04:31 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Mystic Jammer Offline
Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 41
Loc: quebec
!

[This message has been edited by Mystic Jammer (edited 02-13-2010).]
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Keyboard: Korg-M1
Computer: MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz dual-core, 4 GB RAM
Software: Logic 9, Kore 2, NI-Komplete

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#280747 - 02/12/10 07:13 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Hi Diki.

Quote:
I'd be fascinated to hear some of the country Karma stuff, James (and any other 'real-world' examples). A bit of basic demonstration (leave off the right hand altogether unless it triggers Karma's actions, perhaps?) showing the potential for variation that does mimic what REAL players do. I'm sure you didn't QUITE mean that first sentence, as I'm sure you understand that, although the arranger's performance might be locked down, exceptional care was taken in its' creation to be VERY accurate idiomatically to what a real player would play.


Easier said than done. I'm not setup to record video and proper sound right now. It would take me an hours work between the setup and then merging the video with the sound afterwards.

It's a lot to do in order to demonstrate sometime I know KARMA already does.

Quote:
What several of us are asking, I think, is just exactly HOW do you create rules for Karma that ensure that what IT generates past the basic pattern input in the first place (which can be as real as arranger patterns - often made on MIDI guitars, drum kits, etc.) is still idiomatic to the instrument it emulates..? Can you restrict it to only certain voicings that are guitar accurate? Can you restrict the drums to only play what is humanly possible?


OK, lets look at it in a simplified way.
You have your Style on KARMA and that's connected to a bunch of KARMA Sliders and on screen settings. While all these KARMA settings are set to 0 the style will play back exactly like a style on an arranger keyboard.

However, if you start to increase any of those value, the KARMA effect your modifying is allowed access tot he Style playing and it in turn start to make it produce new notes.

Here's an example..... You have a style playing back with all the KARMA settings at 0, and then at the press of a button you move onto the next KARMA Scene that has the exact same settings as the previous one, only the Note Repeat value has changed from 0 to 10.

At this point your now hearing a variation of the same Style as KARMA has been allowed to add to and modify a percentage of the original notes.

Quote:
You obviously have quite a bit of experience with it... do you find yourself making Karma the main base of a composition if you are trying for a real-world sound, or do you still find yourself reaching for the PA2X when you want to lay something down?


I would be one of many totally converted over to KARMA at this point. So much so that it worries me to see that KORG haven't reversed a dump truck up to Stephen Kays house full of money and a contract that gives them exclusive rights to the technology.

Quote:
How do you consider the differences, weaknesses and strengths, beteen arranger use and Karma?


Right now KARMA is only found an workstations so the content (GE's) it comes with, the layout and functions all operate in a way suitable for Workstation users work flow. So obviously that's something that would need to be addressed if it was to come to Arrangers.

If that happened, then there would be no weaknesses because arrangers can only do a small fraction of what KARMA already does.

Imagine.... some guy buys a PA3X with KARMA on-board but he lacks all ability to program the keyboard or write his own styles. Now with KARMA he can take a style he likes and by moving a few sliders he can create an entirely new style. How difficult does that sound.

The on the other hand, some programming freak could get lost in KARMA for weeks and surface with a huge smile on his face. So it can be both complex, and also as simple as it gets.

Regards
James

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#280748 - 02/12/10 07:22 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Quote:
As Stephen points out in his demo, Karma is ENTIRELY based around arpeggiators, whether single note or polyphonic, rhythmical ones, but there's nowhere where he even alludes to how these arpeggiators can be constrained to real world rules. Let alone the fact that playing isn't, in real world music, arp or loop based anyway.


I think you are misunderstanding the meaning behind the words.

If a polyphonic Arpeg contains a set of values that transpose the the root note of the chord your playing up and down semi-tones, then how is that any different from what an arranger does already.

In both cases they will all play the same pattern and respond to chord changes.

Regards
James

[This message has been edited by Irishacts (edited 02-12-2010).]

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#280749 - 02/12/10 07:31 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Don't really need a video, James. An MP3 would be sufficient (I tend to listen solely with my ears, in any case!)...

But I'm sorry, but your example of 'note repeat' just doesn't clarify it, for me. WHAT gets repeated? When? Without something acoustic as the starting point, I'm afraid none of the posted Karma things has any relevancy to what I'm asking. It all SOUNDS like a great idea, but I can't find anything online that attempts to mimic real instruments. Perhaps that IS the fault that it doesn't start with an acoustic GE in the first place (hence my desire to hear the Oasys country ones), but none of the Karma 'elaborations' of the electronic stuff seems to improvise on anything I recognize in anything other than an evolving arpeggiator fashion. Which is NOT how humans get 'more complex'. It isn't simply a question of more notes, it's a VERY delicate issue of how many, and when and which before it continues to remain organic.

I've worked, obviously, with arpeggiators most of my life, had Oberheims, Moog's and even modulars (at college) with them. And, in all my time of using them, I never once heard an arpeggiator do something human. What they did was GREAT, don't get me wrong, but it never made me look behind the curtain for the little man playing it I always knew it was a machine.

But I am willing to be converted. Please consider a simple audio recording of JUST the Karma section, doing the most acoustic things you can find, James. I have yet to see anything on the web in that direction, and maybe if it can be demonstrated satisfactorily, demand for Karma would rise to the point that someone DOES drive that truck up to Stephen Kay's door...

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#280750 - 02/12/10 07:40 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Diki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 12861
Loc: NW Florida
Quote:
Originally posted by Irishacts:
I think you are misunderstanding the meaning behind the words.

If a polyphonic Arpeg contains a set of values that transpose the the root note of the chord your playing up and down semi-tones, then how is that any different from what an arranger does already.

In both cases they will all play the same pattern and respond to chord changes.


To continue, then... simple transposition isn't anything to do with elaboration. I already know (and you've already stated) that chord following is possible (although you haven't made any allusion to out of range notes and chords, and inversion recognition and playback in detail). If all Karma did was what we already have, what would be its' point? But the main crux of Karma is that it takes YOUR input (the source of the GE) and then creates variations upon it. And THAT is what I'm trying to get details about.

HOW does it generate, for example, a more complex guitar part from your original simple one. Can it be forced to ONLY add notes that a guitarist could physically play? Can it be forced to only add rhythms that a guitarist would typically use? Can it be forced to only use chord voicings that a guitarist would play?

That's the kind of detail I'm looking for...

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#280751 - 02/12/10 08:14 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Hi Diki.

I just recorded a little video in my iphone. Just let me get a Toasted Sandwich into me first and I'll post the video and answer your posts above.

Cheers
James

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#280752 - 02/12/10 09:20 AM Re: Karma , The Arranger of the future (my view)
Irishacts Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1631
Loc: Ireland
Hi Diki.

Ok, the video is up. http://www.irishacts.com/misc/karma.mp4
(28MB Download)


Quote:
But I'm sorry, but your example of 'note repeat' just doesn't clarify it, for me. WHAT gets repeated?


Lets say the pattern was C4, E4 G4, C5 and it just repeated like that. One note per beat too.

KARMA can take those 4 notes and make combinations out of them, play more than one at a time, double time it, swing shift it, or even go outside of the octave range.

It can do one of all of those things, or even go further by accessing the random side of KARAM.

Quote:
I'm afraid none of the posted Karma things has any relevancy to what I'm asking.



Trust me when I say this, it's not easy to understand what KARMA is because it can do so much. You might think your not getting the answers to your questions, but in fact it's your own inability to understand what KARMA is is why you think that way. I was the exact same as you for years until I purchased KARMA Triton for my Triton Studio.

There's a sort of light bulb moment when you own KARMA and everything you have been listening to people talk about finally makes sense. I don't know of anyone who has had that moment without owning KARMA.

The video might help you understand the basics because I'm stripping back KARMA to it's basic functions.

Quote:
It all SOUNDS like a great idea, but I can't find anything online that attempts to mimic real instruments. Perhaps that IS the fault that it doesn't start with an acoustic GE in the first place (hence my desire to hear the Oasys country ones),



The reason why you haven't heard anything if interest to you is two fold.

1.You will never catch a Workstation user wanting his Workstation to sound like an arranger.
2: The OASYS is a workstation and comes with content for workstation users.

So it's purely a content issue and the fact that you are listening to Workstations. I can safely say that the demo's that are online don't do KARMA any justice either. They seem to focus entirely on all the randomness of KARMA which is not something I like myself at the levels people demonstrate.

I like things to be real and creative at the same time. I'm no into the massively spiralling notes KARMA can generate.

Quote:
I've worked, obviously, with arpeggiators most of my life, had Oberheims, Moog's and even modulars (at college) with them. And, in all my time of using them, I never once heard an arpeggiator do something human. What they did was GREAT, don't get me wrong, but it never made me look behind the curtain for the little man playing it I always knew it was a machine.


KARMA doesn't function at all like an Arpeg. This is why you don't understand. If you look at KORG Forums you will even see people requesting that KORG add an arpeg to KARMA.

Quote:
But I am willing to be converted. Please consider a simple audio recording of JUST the Karma section, doing the most acoustic things you can find, James. I have yet to see anything on the web in that direction, and maybe if it can be demonstrated satisfactorily, demand for Karma would rise to the point that someone DOES drive that truck up to Stephen Kay's door.


The only advice I can give you is forget everything you know and listen to what's said. It's a very different concept than an arranger and an arpeg.

It's both, but both of those only make up 20% of what KARMA is. The other 80% is a lot to take on board. I never managed to do that years ago because back then everyone was as clueless about KARMA.

It wasn't until I got my first KARMA product, and with some effort did I finally understand. Since then it has developed a lot and it far more musical and creative that any system I've ever seen.

Regards
James

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