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Re: Case against laptops

Quoting Claude Voit <c.voit@vtx.ch>:

> hey plugin junkies...

Not sure to whom you are referring here.  I switched to a laptop  
because I am presenting my sets in surround sound.  Other solutions  
may have been possible however the laptop proved an efficient  
solution.  The laptop emerged as the easiest solution to play my  
synthesizer tracks along with synchronized loops.

> where is the music gone  ?

Of course, it is all about making music.  However, to deliver a  
performance under the constraints of limited set-up / take-down time,  
and to travel great distances a dedicated laptop emerges as a solution.

For me personally, since I play the theremin, foot switches are  
cumbersome because the movement, or even the motion to look at a  
footswitch effects the intonation.  Not that I can't use my feet (I am  
a classically-trained organist) however I am compelled to do whatever  
it takes to perform the music.

> do something real with your fingers

I think you are suggesting that playing a keyboard, guitar, or a  
traditional instrument is "real" whereas turning a knob or typing a  
command into a computer is not.

I understand these feelings.  At the electro-music 2007 festival (held  
two weeks ago) I heard amazing and expressive music that people  
created by turning knobs and keying commands in real time.  I walked  
away with a different and more positive impression of the "knob  
twirlers".   One of the high points for me was to participate in an  
improvised set that was organized by "Velva" ...


Four of us played pitched instruments (Flute, Violin, Cosmotron,  
Theremin), one of the members of Plork (Princeton Laptop Orchestra)  
processed sound via the "Chuck" program ("Chuck" is a running server  
that responds to real-time commands), another laptop utilized Ableton  
Live, and I think Tim did some processing when he wasn't playing the  

Far from "noize music", this impromtu ensemble jelled almost instantly  
and we were all watching and playing off of each other.  The set  
brought the listeners to their feet.

I agree that when a musician is seated at a laptop, then some other  
visual is a good idea -- either lights, video, etc.

On my solo set, I didn't use video -- the set went fine however the  
pictures look a bit bland.  I may use some lights or still projections  
behind me in the future.  People tend to want to watch a theremin  
performance so wild videos are probably not needed most of the time.

-- Kevin