Where’s creativity?

I’ve noticed there’s often a pattern leaning towards tech issues on music forums. Of course there’s a need for discussing technical issues, more so regarding how complicated our instruments becomes.

However, I think music first of all is a creative process, with its own joys and difficulties. I would love to learn from other musicians, about creativity, composing, playing tecniques, cooperation project, stage fright, notation, and a zillion other issues with a more human or psychological kind of perspective.

This i not a criticism, just a humble try to broaden the categories in our forum. I find it difficult to learn anything from many tech issues. If you’re not already into the matter, tech language itself, with all its abbreviations, excludes newbies or at least rises an unnessesary steep learning curve. It’s even harder for us who’s natural language is other than English.
What do you think?


For me, I think a lot of that boils down to “what is the Y axis even good for, and how do we fix it?”

(my current thought: it should represent two parameters, which both start at zero regardless where your finger lands. moving up from center increases one. moving down from center increases the other.)


While I’m certainly guilty of mostly posting/reading tech stuff, the content I tend to enjoy the most is of the type you describe, @Micael. It could be videos or soundcloud links of what people are making, a discussion on what makes a good live performance, or something like that. I find it very inspirational to see/hear what others are doing, for instance. Mtyas axoloti/blocks video springs to mind as the latest example.

I tend to gravitate towards technical stuff, and while the tech side of music production in itself is an awesome hobby, for me it is just a means to an end. I want to become as good a musician as I can be and create music that makes me proud. I just keep getting distracted by tech. I sit down to start on a new track and an hour later I’m patching nonsense in puredata. That is why I am unable to make music on my own. My wife doesn’t care as much for the technical stuff, so when we create music together she helps me keep focused.

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I’m all for a creativity type category, I think fits pretty naturally with the communities focus on expressivity.

what would it be called? its objective?
are you thinking more music theory, or creative process?
how do we prevents its natural tendency to be about gear?
perhaps something along the lines of creative ideas, inspiration…?

why is tech discussed more than the creative process?
I think, perhaps the internet is often used to solve ‘issues’ or ‘how to…’, which tend to be more tech/gear related.
and also, its probably easier to talk about concrete concepts …
what you like about a piece of gear, is probably easier to describe than say a piece of music, or Bb major :slight_smile:
(… and of course the fact we are typing into text, is part of this… which I think is why youtube videos can go a little further, though still they are quite tech focused)

Hmm, “Life, the universe and everything”? Too narrow? :smiley:

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What about “music-making (no tech talk)”?


Hahaha! It’s perfect!

Maybe we should wait a bit before creating another category. Perhaps it fits into the General category. Let’s see if there is a real need having a separate category for creativity issues. I think it will reveal itself through the numbers of such discussions. It’s fine by me to post in General category until then.:smiley:

We have synth and controller discussions. The missing component, as described, is “technique”.

(The “how do you practice?” thread could move there, along with “do people actually record and edit their MPE data?”)

I suppose the other side of that is more or less “what’s missing?”

What ideas haven’t been explored yet?

For example…

Let’s invent a more dynamic arpeggiator!

  • Pitch includes bend.
  • Pressure doubles as velocity.
  • Y axis controls… octave? pattern order?
    note duration? likelihood of inclusion?

What else can this rich expressive data mean?

But also…

I want MPE support on my legacy synths, and I don’t think giving up “polytimbral” as a feature is a reasonable compromise. Who can we bribe to write custom firmware / add USB endpoints?

That one’s mostly dreaming, I know.

This is vital and does deserve its own thread, at the top level. Suggested names:

Creativity And Technique

Right-Brain Stuff

Musicality in PolyExpression

Tech jabber is easy; we are all techy people to some extent or another, and this left-brain exercise is simultaneously very natural to us, very addictive, and very easy to fall into and become obsessed with.

Talking about right-brain stuff is hard. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s hard to express in words (“dancing about architecture”). The insights we glean can be tremendously useful, but they’re fragile and easily lost or dismissed. As a very famous author once wrote: “Real Substance taps softly on your back porch door in the dead of night. Trivia drives a Humvee through your living room window with the brights on and the stereo blaring Metallica.”

I have learned over the years that my particular wants/needs for performance are my own and overlap only slightly with those of others; in fact, most MPE users would consider me a throwback of sorts, because for certain types of performance I actually prefer left-hand expression control and I think that deliberately omitting it is a disservice. If anyone made a tiny USB box with pitch and modulation controls and a couple of buttons and sliders on it that I could put next to my K-Board Pro 4 (or my Launchpad Pro, for that matter), I’d marry it. But I digress.

The point is, talking about what we want from these devices in terms of creating music, and sharing the kind of music we create with it, is vitally important, but should have a very different environment for discussion than the tech stuff. Tech talk can survive sharp and focused criticism, because things either work as designed or they don’t. That kind of criticism can strangle creativity and musicality in the cradle.

So that’s my 5 Lindens’ worth. I don’t mind posting stuff in this subthread until something official is done, but I do think something official should be done.

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This should be one option for sure. But then I say the same thing about modulation wheels, given that I cut my teeth on Oberheim gear back in the day…

created a new category to help promote discussions in this area.

not the best title , but i think its kind of descriptive - we can changed it later if there is an outcry against it :slight_smile:

I’ve used @Micael 's suggestions as the ‘guide’ for what the category is for

if anyone would like to add, more to this let us know. but seems like a good starting point.


I think it’s a given that tech is discussed more than creativity because tech is an easier topic to discuss, can be expressed readily in words and images, can be taught and is logical.

Creativity, on the other hand, is much more difficult to pin down, cannot be readily taught, is emotional and, unless you are Picasso or James Joyce, for example, is rather limited by words and images.

Tech is also 100% objective and creativity is purely subjective.

That being said, here is my feeble attempt:

Art is Life imitating Art

“Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.”
– Albert Camus

Not for one generation alone is a masterpiece born. The artist is a future dweller, delicately balancing the whole of past experience with an impulsive desire for creation. At odds with the present, which mainly consists of internal and external conflicts, life cascades by in a nearly contradictory dance - neither completing nor obliterating genius.

Why does the artist have an impulsive desire for creation? This is a difficult question to answer and must be traced back to its origin through conventional wisdom.

Most artists deal in currencies of ‘truth’ and 'beauty,’ oftentimes walking a tightrope between the two. In fact, ‘truth’ and ‘beauty’ represent two of the greatest inspirations for any artist. Most artists are severely discontent by society’s state of being. For many artists, war, avarice, corruption and conditioning can sum up society’s trivial pursuits. This post-modern miasma (that we generally refer to as ‘life’) offers very little substance to nourish the life of the mind, and thus, the need for creation arises. This ‘need’ is actually a creative drive that acts as a counter to the destructive forces prevalent in the world: artists aren’t happy with what they are forced to accept as a ‘way of life,’ so, in retaliation, they create their own way of life - a life of freedom of the mind.

This explains why art is such a positive outlet and why many people, of all walks of life take something very special and uniquely positive out of the creation and experience of art.

What else transcends the boundaries of language and culture? What else has but a singular, life-affirming function as its foundation? What else chronicles the struggles and victories of the human spirit, all the while, depicting a more favorable reality?

All of this is embedded deeply within the social fabric of our consciousness. The artist, undoubtedly the greatest of all humanitarians, merely makes us aware of it.