Instruments vs. Electronic

In the very beginning of his article Peter Krapp begins to discuss the differences in sound and noise and at what level of compression these things disappear. He starts off his article by asking the questions if sounds can be compressed enough, will the files eventually not be sounds. The answer is obviously no. Just because these items are so compressed that they may be corrupted, doesn’t mean that they aren’t the original material. They are, just a highly compact form that doesn’t play anymore. Even though the file is now useless, it doesn’t take away that this file is still the same file as before, with the same info in it.

He also takes a very interesting look into music and how this new digital age has transformed all kinds of music in different ways. His most prominent statement is, “Music is not “electronic” It merely reproduces known sounds” I think that this statement stands as an overview for a large part of the article. Even though some modern sounds and notes are unattainable by instruments, that doesn’t mean that sound could not be achieved by other means. Based on the statement that Krapp has made, it is impossible for machines to come up with a sound that can’t be replicated by modern instruments. I have a hard time believing this however. I do agree that most basic electronic sounds come from real instruments or can be replicated, but with new styles of music and more unique sounds becoming more popular, it’s almost impossible to say that all sounds can be replicated. The advantage the machine has is the possibility of combining many different sounds from different instruments to create a unique sound. The machine has the possibilities of altering each sound and breaking it down to a frequency level. The precision offered by this method  provides greater control than a standalone instrument ever could. By tuning these frequencies precisely and combining them with other, the possibility for unique sounds is endless. While most sounds can be played by instruments, machines provide us with all the tools to create any sound imaginable.

4 thoughts on “Instruments vs. Electronic

  1. Interesting point when you disagree with Krapp on his statement about it being impossible for machines to come up with a sound that cant be replicated by modern instruments. I also find it hard to believe especially since synths can replicate a lot of noises in our environment and are considered a modern instrument. I also agree that its impossible to state that all sounds can be replicated. Just as we can hear similar sounds like birds chirping daily we will never hear that one chirp at 3:30pm on tuesday ever again. <- hope that makes sense


    1. It is very interesting how you mention the concept of the machine and the power that it has when it comes to creating sound. I have always thought about the power of the computer and how these days anyone can produce sounds into music. Like you mentioned, the capabilities of the computer give us much more power than instruments and I feel that taking this into consideration, we might consider future with few instruments and more electronic production.


  2. You bring up an interesting point about machines being able to create unique sounds. It seems very very unlikely that computers are completely unable to create sounds that are unique to that system. Computers and electronic sounds do take samples of other sounds from real world objects and instruments to create most of the noises, but there must be the possibility to manufacture sounds without outside influence.


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