HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Entertainment » Musicians (Group) » Robots being used instead...

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 06:31 AM

Robots being used instead of live persons as musicians.

I spoke with my friend, a professional musician for nearly 55 years, a trumpeter, yesterday.

He recently lost a slew of jobs for live performance that were canceled because a new entity severely underbid his contractor. Not with another group of musicians. But a combination of a synthesizer and humanoid robots playing instruments. Apparently the latter was developed in Japan. Each robot is programmed to hold the instrument at the correct angle, to imitate the embouchure, etc. while having the sound of the instrument emit from a speaker in the robot. Think of it as the robots in Disney World playing at events, weddings, in clubs, etc.

He has a bad feeling about this trend as he believes that listeners can't tell the difference between "live" and robot, and/or if they did, they won't care. For example, instead of hiring a wedding band for the reception, the robots in their tuxedos were hired and the cost was $3,000 to $5,000 less, you know who'd win . . . . .

My friend kind of saw this coming as he's lost jobs in recording to synthesizers over the decades, but he always believed that his live performances were comparatively safe.

6 replies, 614 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Robots being used instead of live persons as musicians. (Original post)
no_hypocrisy Jan 2019 OP
ExciteBike66 Jan 2019 #1
PJMcK Jan 2019 #2
Harker Jan 2019 #3
no_hypocrisy Jan 2019 #5
Harker Jan 2019 #6
Sherman A1 Jan 2019 #4

Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 06:42 AM

1. I saw this at Chuck E Cheese once when I was a kid

Dang bears and mice stealing our human jobs!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 06:57 AM

2. Broadway musicals

The "orchestras" for Broadway musicals have mostly become a joke. And the audiences don't seem to care or to know the difference.

In the past, the pit orchestra would be somewhat large, between 25 and 30 musicians. These ensembles would be made up of woodwinds, brass, percussion and strings. On some shows, there might be a second keyboard player using an electronic keyboards but it wouldn't serve the purpose of replacing live musicians. Over the past several decades, however, that number of players has been chiseled down to less than a dozen.

Producers and theater owners have driven this trend because it lowers the labor costs for their shows. To make the situation worse, on some shows the orchestra, such as it might be, is underneath the stage and the music is mixed by an audio engineer who sends the mix through speaker systems in the auditorium. Consider that the audience isn't hearing "live" music; the music is coming through speakers. In reality, what is the difference between that and Karaoke?

To make matters worse, most audiences today don't really know what real instruments sound like. They don't even know the names of the instruments! Why would they care, then, if there was a real trumpet or violin accompanying the show?

It's a depressing trend.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 07:17 AM

3. Coincidentally, I'm heading to The Bayernhof Museum

In Pittsburgh today, which houses a vast array of music boxes and antique automatic music playing machines.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Harker (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 07:21 AM

5. Which reminds me of the Hans Christian Andersen tale of

The Emperor and the Nightingale. The Emperor chose the mechanical bird over his once-beloved live songbird and with tragic consequences.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 08:02 AM

6. We were at the National Aviary yesterday...

I have much to consider. Thanks for mentioning H.C. Andersen. The social and cultural aspects of real vs. artificial has always intrigued me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2019, 07:20 AM

4. This is a reason I like Andrew Yang

He is speaking to the automation issue and a universal basic income. Lots of jobs are simply going to go away and be replaced by AI or robots. We need to find a means to address this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread