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Old 09-27-2004, 08:38 AM   #1
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technology and rock and roll.

I was going through old video files on my hard drive, and I found the Tech tv special from the elevation tour. So I gave it a watch. I think that if you look at the evolution of rock and roll, its always adapted and made use of new technology, especially in terms of live perfomance with things like giant tv screens and synthsizers/sequencers.

I've always loved the way u2 has used technology to make their live shows better. From the whole idea of zoo tv to the popmart screen, they've always done it so well.


Now there are a few things that I was hoping to get people's thoughts on.


Some here have said that ATYCLB is missing something because it was recorded digitally even if its almost imperceptible, do a lot of people feel this way?


Some of my friends are total purists, and believe that technology has corrupted rock and roll, I don't possibly see this as being true, but if anyone has any thoughts I'd listen.


Is there good reason to be excited with newer technologies like OLED (which I'm fortunate enough to actually work with), and the new holosonics audio spotlight devices that are based on ultrasound decay? Will rock and roll shows forever be changed by some of the technologies we're going to see in the next few years?


I've always felt that technology is an intrical part of rock and roll, from the electric guitar to effects, etc etc. And I'm ecstatic that I feel we are going to see some off the wall stuff in the near future ( in the very near future if holosonics does in fact make a setup for u2's next tour). Both the audio and visual aspects of rock and roll are in for some big changes anyone else excited?



If your not familiar with the Holosonics device I'm mentioning there is an interview with Joeseph Pompeii at Holosonics here.

http://www.interference.com/stories/id94326.html
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Old 09-27-2004, 01:59 PM   #2
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I'm somewhat of a technology freak and i have always been fascinated by U2's use of technology in their live shows.

Technology is today put on a pedestal (and maybe has for a century) and has got a value in itself in the way that as soon as a new technology arrives to the market, manufacturers want to benefit from it instantly (not that hard to understand). They pump out new products that only focuses on the technology and not other essential things as usability etc.

Technology might have "corrupted" rock 'n roll in the sense that the real feeling is missing in endless layers of effects and perfect production. I guess that the garageband wave is kind of an answer to that evolvement.

I feel on some songs that ATYCLB suffers from something that i think many would call "too heavy production". I don't really know if it could depend on the album being recorded digitally or just a very slick production or a combination of both. But some tracks have a very polished sound.

I think we should get excited about the new technologies that will be used to enhance the experience of going to a rock 'n roll show, the trick though is to enhance it and not wreck it by letting the technology steal the whole show.

I for one am excited about the audio spotlight technology and what U2 will do with it on the coming tour. Very very clever technique, i think it's got endless possibilities. I'm really looking forward to what they will do with Streets...

Rock 'n roll was the music that broke new boundaries, i think it should continue to do that, and in one way or another technology is going to be one of the tools to do that.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:05 PM   #3
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I can't imagine some albums without the use of technology to create new sounds and effects. I know this is going way back but for example, PF's Dark Side of the Moon would have not been the same otherwise. And all the experiementation on prior U2 albums gave them a certain "feel" that is precious. I think ATYCLB is as it should be...these songs are U2's creations and I feel that for the most part what you get on an LP is how the artists envisioned the song ultimatley fleshing itself out to be. I think the polished-ness of ATYCLB was deliberate for several reasons.

I'm looking forward to seein what U2 does with the audio spolight technology too! I'm just looking forward to the tour...I wouldn't care if they played out of a carboard box, I'd love it.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:22 PM   #4
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Wow. That audio spotlight technology sounds really interesting. I want to experience it myself, just so I can get a better grasp of how it works without interfering with the sound in a nearby area.

As for U2 and technology, I have always loved the band's use of it. The band always uses technology to enhance whatever song they're playing. There's no pyrotechnics for the sake of pyrotechnics. Watching the Zoo TV Sydney video, I always think a lesser band with the same technology would come off as extremely cheesy or gimmicky. If the band has discovered a new way of audio presentation, I'm all for it. I trust them with their applications of it.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:23 PM   #5
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I think the Zoo TV tour definetly changed the way live concerts were done...in many different ways.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:28 PM   #6
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Re: technology and rock and roll.

Quote:
Originally posted by Arun V

anyone else excited?
http://www.interference.com/stories/id94326.html
I
even though we are from the analogue era and I usually prefer my music raw, not cooked, I am indeed excited.
Hub just found out he got his job too btw we've been on tenderhooks about it for so long. He has to keep up with and learn to drive all the new-fangled programs. It's all greek to me
U2 will put it to good use, an aural and visual feast. I imagine I'll only get to sample it once but what a night it should be
what a wait it's been
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:33 PM   #7
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I agree that the sonics can make an album, like Joy Division's work, but sometimes it can go too far. Balance is key.
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:16 PM   #8
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I'm a little wary of the applications mentioned, heh.If the idea is to eliminate any audible trace outside of a given point, then the whole idea of an accurate soundstage is tossed out the window.

For example, my stereo speakers, provided they are properly positioned, already create a near exact match to where the vocals would be in the actual recording. As I move around the room, the vocals sound as though they derive from the same place. Why would I want to remove the vocals if I were off axis? Wouldn't I want them to sound as though they were coming from the right of me if I move to left of center?

*head explodes*

Maybe I should rethink this a little more. But, atm, I can't get my head around it, lol.
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chile
I'm a little wary of the applications mentioned, heh.If the idea is to eliminate any audible trace outside of a given point, then the whole idea of an accurate soundstage is tossed out the window.

For example, my stereo speakers, provided they are properly positioned, already create a near exact match to where the vocals would be in the actual recording. As I move around the room, the vocals sound as though they derive from the same place. Why would I want to remove the vocals if I were off axis? Wouldn't I want them to sound as though they were coming from the right of me if I move to left of center?

*head explodes*

Maybe I should rethink this a little more. But, atm, I can't get my head around it, lol.

I think it would create a "flyover effect" for certain part of certain songs I think actually one area it would work reallyw ell on is the intro to mofo.



If in fact it's the same sound just done in a "flyover" fashion then you can create an accurate soundboard.


If in fact it's a solo done on a fly over...then things get tricky I'd think


I may have this conceptually wrong..but that's what I do believe.
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:32 PM   #10
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I asked Mr. Edge in the Ask Edge dealie about the audio spotlight. Maybe he'll answer? Maybe he can get all techie with us?
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:30 PM   #11
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I wonder - using the Mofo intro as the example... in which direction will Edge point his "sound" at the beginning (high point) and does it lose it's affect if you are the one who gets the 7th beat out of 16?

Interesting.....

(Edited to add extra thoughts)

I could see a cool application for things like the start of EBTTRT - a repeated riff. Everyone gets a single riff each.


Stupid 80s glam rock thought:

Imagine if the pointing worked by following the direction Edge is pointing his guitar while he's doing a searing solo. hehe.
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Old 09-27-2004, 04:37 PM   #12
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I think he'd point the inital burst out at the entire crowd. and as the "sound" is losing intensity he'd fly it over


that's just a wild guess...I'd think he's the only one who can settle the debate on this.

hey quick question for anyone else in here who might be an engineer by trade or academically


can anyone find pompeii's paper on ultrasound decay?


I'm going to post for this on slashdot as well.
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:01 PM   #13
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I wonder how the audio spotlight would be captured by someone recording from the audience, and if that would lead to several significantly different recordings.

I think it will be used as more of a surround sound type of technology, though, which would be awesome. Everyone would be in the center of the show. This is sounding more interesting as I think about it!

As long as it's directing (spotlighting) U2's music, the music is still the thing, and technology won't be getting in the way. It will just envelope us more.
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:27 PM   #14
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If technology matches the emotion and sheer energy of a U2 show, then I'm all for that technology...U2 has always used technology to enhance then to distract, and that is what keeps them at the cutting edge of using technology as an inspirational tool to coexist with the music for the ultimate experience it sight and sound.
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Old 09-28-2004, 02:01 AM   #15
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U2 and Holosonics

Yesss, I've heard of holosonics and I know that U2 have contracted with the inventor. Their concern was that the dynamic involved in thier music is so terribly loud ...outside of the stadiums.

PROBLEM: Individuals who fall marginally outside of the field of the signal path in the stadium will not hear an adequate frequency spectrum.

According to the Thiele small perimeter this can be helped by changing the field of the signal radius...windy i know, ........but I am not just a filmmaker,...I specialize in related issues and LF recordings. HMMM. Will u2 do it? It takes more than putting your show in the hands of some supposed wunderkind, though I know the guy knows audiophysics....holosonics is something for an airplane ride, not live set ups.:
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