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Topic: A new way to create and distibute music (Read 19285 times) previous topic - next topic
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A new way to create and distibute music

Hi everyone,

I’m fond of HA since several years now.
I have invented and I’m working on a very interesting project about music distribution online since more than two years now. The first release will be for end of June with a well known English band. I thought that I could share this new “en avant-première” for my HA buddies…

So, here are the principles (I’ll try to make it short):
The old revenue model of the music industry is based on the value make on each copy of an original recording. While the industry control the duplication and the distribution of the recording, revenue are assured. We think that this control is definitely lost. Nowadays, everybody is able to do it with a computer and an Internet connection. Therefore it is getting very difficult to get money of something that everybody can do: copy. All attempts to preserve economically this model will exhaust an industry already in a bad shape.

The principle is to provide to each user a unique work of art. Like a “tailor made” content but on a large scale. Actually, you will get an original rather than a copy like before. This is becoming possible thanks the demand for digital content, interactivity (video games, internet), communication path (internet, wireless), CPU power, use of computer and digital format for artistic creation and the creativity’s potential linked to artistic works of art.

The required conditions for this kind of digital item are:
•   The ability to generate a sufficient number of unique versions perceptibly different
•   A way to easily identify each version
•   The impossibility to retrieve all traces of uniqueness

A lot of digital item fit these conditions but currently music and movie are particularly well positioned.

We have developed a unique concept call “variable work of art”. In this concept, the artist can define a work of art able to generate a large number of different versions, rather than one final master like before.
A well known example of the concept is Andy Warhol paintings of Marilyn Monroe. In the early 1960's, Andy Warhol developed a technique which enabled him to enlarge photographic images, transfer these images to silk screen, place them on canvas, and ink the images from the back. With this technique, Warhol was able to begin producing series of prints based on mass media, which opened the eyes of art appreciators around the world.

Obviously, this scheme is not for physical distribution (CD) but for online distribution
The great benefits of this concept are, among others, to offer to the consumer something he can’t get through distribution based on the copy (legal and illegal distribution) and to make easily identifiable the source of the copy (because you have the identity of the buyer).
Because the concept is not related to a format but to the music, as you will see below, there are no DRM and no format restriction.

The first release will be for end of June. 10,000 interpretation of the same track will be distributed two month before the official release of this well known band. Each interpretation will be different (with a nice interface letting people easily choose) and you will have the choice between four different mixes:
•   Standard mix: This mix is the standard mix with compression and limitation as usual. The format should be mp3 lame api directly encoded from 24 bits.
•   Headphone mix: This mix has been especially mix for headphones (I have done the mix with ety’s and HD 650) with 3D and binaural effects. The format should be mp3 lame aps directly encoded from 24 bits.
•   Big mix: This mix has been made for big loudspeakers or sub bass equipped system. Sub bass and production have been added. According to the loudness race discussed here, compression and limitation are very light, so the dynamic and therefore the track is full of life . The format will be pcm 16/44.1 directly dithered/noise shaped from 24 bits.
•   5.1 mix: This mix is made in 5.1 and it rocks (we didn’t just put reverb in the rears channel). You better have a good sub  . The format will be DTS audio 24/44.1.

All constructive reactions are welcomed.


A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #2
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What do you mean with "This mix is the standard mix with compression and limitation as usual."? Will it sound like shit, like most modern CDs sound today?

Nearly, that's why you can choose the Big Mix (no compression and very light limitation just to avoid 3 or 4 clippings).
I think it is people to decide if they want usual compressed stuff or more spacious sound.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #3
willl the customer be able to preview those tracks?

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #4
Sounds like something Radiohead would do....
But enough guessing, what format will the big mix be distributed in? flac?

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #5
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Sounds like something Radiohead would do....
But enough guessing, what format will the big mix be distributed in? flac?

For Radiohead, I was in contact with their manager. He refused. I will transmit your reaction to him  .

For the format, it will be wav, because outside HA, a lot of people don't know what is flac.

However, I think we could consider it for later, when we will have online downmix...

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #6
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willl the customer be able to preview those tracks?

Sure.

You will have two levels for the preview. You can hear in real time the interaction with the interface and you can pre-listen 30 sec of the version you chose.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #7
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You will have two levels for the preview. You can hear in real time the interaction with the interface and you can pre-listen 30 sec of the version you chose.


that's nice! but i don't really understand what the difference of these songs will be like?
i mean, will it be some kind of "remix" or something?

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #8
What does this 10,000 interpretation of the same track mean?

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #9
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You will have two levels for the preview. You can hear in real time the interaction with the interface and you can pre-listen 30 sec of the version you chose.


that's nice! but i don't really understand what the difference of these songs will be like?
i mean, will it be some kind of "remix" or something?

It's a kind of surprise but oustide the mix I talked about (standard, head, big and 5.1) you will be able to choose the rythm, the sound of one main instrument and the melody of another one main instrument.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #10
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What does this 10,000 interpretation of the same track mean?

It means that you introduce variations during your creative process and you combine it, you can create a large number of different interpretations of the same track.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #11
sounds quite interesting! i'll test it, if it is available in germany, too. is it?

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #12
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sounds quite interesting! i'll test it, if it is available in germany, too. is it?

All across the universe... while you have a credit card...

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #13
How are you going to get 10.000 interpretations of the same song?
I might be missing something, but that seems insane to me...

Apart from that it reads really really interesting.
"To understand me, you'll have to swallow a world." Or maybe your words.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #14
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All across the universe...


i doubt that! 

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #15
My first thoughts:

1) I like the idea of four different mixes, and that they will be provided as wav/lossless or high quality lossy. To me, it sounds like a step in the right direction for online music, as my impression is that at the moment you don't get alot for you money compared to buying the CD at about the same price.

2) IMHO "10,000 interpretation" sounds like something the marketing department came up with for their next big hype. Is it like a lottery? If you don't get a good version/mix the first time, just buy another... I can't imagine how you can make 10000 variations of the same track, that all sounds good (even in their own particular way). I was under the impression that at least some musicians, use alot of time to make their music sound just the way they want it, before it's released. Wouldn't it take a real genius to come up with a way to generate 10000 good sounding such interpretations? I assume they are generated and not premade?

I don't create music myself, and there is a reason behind it, I simply haven't got the talent. I think I prefere to let the artist or someone else with the right skills, decide "the rythm, the sound of one main instrument and the melody of another one main instrument".

I realize that this is a very negative and pessimistic point of view, but 2) just sounds too visionary/futuristic IMHO. Nevertheless I'm looking forward to the release and I hope I will be positively surprised. Good luck! 

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #16
hmm, i am not yet sure on how this "variation"-model would be like. I mean, is it "just" that there are premade/realtime-generated "remixes" of the same work(or that i can choose from some predefined "features", like the rhythm you mentioned).

Or is it instead that i can contact the artist and ask him "i really like your ambient album xyz, however the frequency at which the drones in track 3, 4 and 5 "pulse" is a bit too fast more my taste - it creates a feel of urgency - could you do a version where the drones are more slow?"

The first one would only be partially interesting to me - the second one instead would be very interesting imho.

- Lyx
I am arrogant and I can afford it because I deliver.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #17
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How are you going to get 10.000 interpretations of the same song?
I might be missing something, but that seems insane to me...

Apart from that it reads really really interesting.

Actually it's really easy.
For example we have here 10 melodies for one instrument. 11 sounds for another instrument. 3 rhythms. 500 movements in the panoramic for one element (this variation is subtle). 4 mixes.
When you combine, it means 10x11x3x500x4=660,000 different interpretations...

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #18
One problem I see with this formula for distribution:

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Because the concept is not related to a format but to the music, as you will see below, there are no DRM and no format restriction.


How are the end users going to know that whatever “mix” they are receiving are legit?  If albums are being distributed as non-drm'd .wav files, they will be easy to modify and people will be able to create their own mixes, and probably going to ruin the sound quality.  They may then distribute these mixes to others creating thousands of different sounding files that my not cohere to anything.  Some sort of DRM or some way to tell the original mixed files to ones that would have been modified would need to be in order. 

What do you think about some sort of copy protection to have validity of the files for the sake of the recording artists and the industry that created them?  I think something like this needs to be in order with a system like this or it will fail.  Not knowing what kind of sound quality with the files I'm going to download would not have me using this system.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #19
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Actually it's really easy.
For example we have here 10 melodies for one instrument. 11 sounds for another instrument. 3 rhythms. 500 movements in the panoramic for one element (this variation is subtle). 4 mixes.
When you combine, it means 10x11x3x500x4=660,000 different interpretations...

what if I only like 1 instrument and 1 sound of it and if others feel the same? So basically, if all combinations of the 9 melodies available were already sold I'll always get melodie 10 which I probably don't like as much as one of the first 9 melodies?

Do you think that this will work for every 3:30 minute song? Also, wouldn't that be kinda of 'programing' a song instead of composing it? It's like those cheap music programs that come with prerecorded samples and you just arrange them...doesn't this take away the artists creativity? Usually, an artist keeps fiddleing until the songs is perfect in his/her eyes...the mentioned method sounds to me like 'well, this could work and that sounds good too and we better use this to get more combinations out of it'.

Also, at what price range are we talking about?

I'd say the band is 'Coldplay' 

Edit:
in order to trace back illigal copies you would need to store confidential information about the user for each song, which I'm concerned about. Also, for how long will you keep this information? It's also a storage problem...
In addition, if I sell my individual mix or give it to somebody as some sort of gift and this person decides to put it up on Kazaa, I'm the one you are most likely coming after...since I was the one who originally bought it  Isn't it even legal to give a certain amount of free copies to your friends if you own the original album?

@ ChangFest
well, you will know! Because if you purchase the song from the offical website, you can be sure! So I don't really see your problem...
--alt-presets are there for a reason! These other switches DO NOT work better than it, trust me on this.
LAME + Joint Stereo doesn't destroy 'Stereo'

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #20
Please take my comments with a grain of salt.  It is not intended to offend anyone.  But I disagree strongly with the reasons given for the failure of the old model of selling music and what it takes to succeed in any new venture.

First off, the failure of the old model.  The old model works by trying to sell the most copies of a little music as possible with as little effort as possible.  The old model tries to decide for the customer what the top music is, and produces that music in mass quantity, and tries to sell it.  There are already lots of variations of that music (CD Singles) as well as lots of other, less commonly found music, but the current system online or brick and mortar, would rather do nothing than lift a finger to help the customer get this music.  For example, I'm a big CD Singles fan.  I will buy all the singles for a song I really like, but online and offline retailers don't offer a fraction of a percent of the Singles that I want.  The only reason I even bother to look for music online is because the retailers won't provide me with this music, and if they do, not in a quality format that I want (like lossless, or very high quality VBR).

To put it bluntly, there is no shortage of unique music.  The current system despises more  unique music because it means more work for them.  The current system has forgotten about customer service, and has flat out refused to do anything to make that music available to customers.  This is because it is to their advantage to make more profit by selling more music by fewer artists.  Fewer artists means fewer contracts, fewer contract negotiations, more control over contract rates, less money spent on contracts and royalties, and higher profits. 

The model has not failed because it's easy to get music online.  The model has failed because it's easier to go through all the problems, hazzards, and quality issues of P2P file sharing to find the music you want than try to deal with the current retailers, on or offline.  The fact is they have done very little to make it easier to get music that is not considered popular.  The day that they decide to actually help customers find the music they want, outside of "popular" music, and make it easier for them to get a quality copy of that music, is the day they will start getting more customers.

The Metalica FLAC retail site is a good example of what is possible, of what I think online music shopping should be.  Access to versions of songs you can't easily find elsewhere.  Access to both lossy and lossless music, with a corresponding price difference.  Good descriptions of the differences between music quality.  Good documentation, good customer response to questions.  A clear, conscious effort to provide some customer service. 

Stark contrast to the "major" online retailers who offer only the popular music, at a questionable lossy quality, for the same price or higher than hard copy (CDs), wrapped in DRM issues that the customer has to deal with to truly make the music portable enough for their own useage.  Offering a unique version of a track will not do enough if the basic lack of understanding customer service still remains.  If they started offering the CD Singles that I want, I would take a closer look, but still I would rather deal with a company that clearly states the quality of the music and nature of the DRM, and allows me to pay extra for higher quality, DRM free music, as the Metalica FLAC site does. 

Sites that are examples of what I don't like are iTunes and Puretracks.  Apple tries to get you to download and install iTunes at every opportunity, and when they finally do, you find out since you don't live in USA that you can't use it.  Something that could be avoided by the iTunes main web page and the very first screen of the iTunes downloader, and the very first screen of the iTunes installer.  But they don't care about customers wasting their time on something they don't support.  They also don't care about customers who have issues getting around their DRM and music format in order to play it on other devices.  Puretracks is a Canadian online vendor that only offers popular music.  They hardly offer any CD Singles at all.  They don't offer music in any other quality or formats except WMA, and they don't state which WMA quality settings they have chosen.  There is no easy way to email them (last I checked) to get questions like this answered, I had to find out by reading another person's review of the site.  And they don't respond to emails when I did get an email contact for them.  Customer service?  What's that?

Summary: I don't need unique versions of music.  They already exist, as cd singles and as other artists and albums not considered popular enough by the mainstream retailers.  Even if you succeed in offering me this kind of music, if you forget about customer service, by not clearly stating what you are selling and why, not responding to customer input, particular with respect to quality and DRM concerns, then you still wont succeed, at least not with me. 

Considering that more than half of my collection of CDs consists of singles, remixes of songs I like, you might think I would be a great target for your product, variations of a tune.  But you'll quickly find that if customer service is handled the same way that current online and offline retailers do it today, which is to say it does not exist, then I won't be a customer.  On the other hand, I'm not a big Metalica fan, yet I would be tempted to buy some of their music, simply because they are making a clear and concious effort to address customer concerns of people like myself.  For that, they have my respect.

Like I said at the beginning, take this all with a grain of salt.  I do.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #21
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1) I like the idea of four different mixes, and that they will be provided as wav/lossless or high quality lossy. To me, it sounds like a step in the right direction for online music, as my impression is that at the moment you don't get alot for you money compared to buying the CD at about the same price.

Well here, you have here something you can't get thru traditionnal distribution. It's two month before the CD release and you have a unique peace of art (it depends the artists though)

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2) IMHO "10,000 interpretation" sounds like something the marketing department came up with for their next big hype.

I'm not from the marketing department and I'm not from a label. Actually, I have seen high level directors from the Majors and they only see encryption and prosecution as a solution...

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Is it like a lottery? If you don't get a good version/mix the first time, just buy another...

Nope, you choose and pre-listen before buy.

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I can't imagine how you can make 10000 variations of the same track, that all sounds good (even in their own particular way).

I have explained it above.

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I was under the impression that at least some musicians, use alot of time to make their music sound just the way they want it, before it's released. Wouldn't it take a real genius to come up with a way to generate 10000 good sounding such interpretations?

Maybe artists are genius  .
During the creative process, the artist needs to choose between several possibilities. Often it is better that way but sometimes he has to loose an interesting element because at the end, he needs one final master. When he has to chose, it’s always a painful choice. Keeping these interesting possibilities he can create new dimensions in the work and let it accessible to the audience. Who would complain?

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I assume they are generated and not premade?

For this first release, they will be premade but on the long term, they will be generated on demand.

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I don't create music myself, and there is a reason behind it, I simply haven't got the talent. I think I prefere to let the artist or someone else with the right skills, decide "the rythm, the sound of one main instrument and the melody of another one main instrument".

Well the artist decides where he wants to propose the variation and the fan choose which one he prefers. If you don’t care, you can ask to choose for you.

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I realize that this is a very negative and pessimistic point of view, but 2) just sounds too visionary/futuristic IMHO. Nevertheless I'm looking forward to the release and I hope I will be positively surprised. Good luck! 

It’s difficult to talk about something that doesn’t already exist but I really think that the real value of the future is in the personalisation, not in the copy (see how the music industry is suffering). I think people are ready to interact (in a part allowed by the artist) with the artist and his work; it just seems disturbing right now.
Finally, before the recording existed, each time you where at the concert, you had different interpretation of the same track. Classical composers let an important part for the interpretation.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #22
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One problem I see with this formula for distribution:

Quote
Because the concept is not related to a format but to the music, as you will see below, there are no DRM and no format restriction.


How are the end users going to know that whatever “mix” they are receiving are legit?

Well, you have to buy it on the artist site, so if you don’t, I doubt it’s a legit one…

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If albums are being distributed as non-drm'd .wav files, they will be easy to modify and people will be able to create their own mixes, and probably going to ruin the sound quality.

It’s already the case with CD’s and even if you modify the version, you are still traceable.

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They may then distribute these mixes to others creating thousands of different sounding files that my not cohere to anything.  Some sort of DRM or some way to tell the original mixed files to ones that would have been modified would need to be in order. 

What do you think about some sort of copy protection to have validity of the files for the sake of the recording artists and the industry that created them?  I think something like this needs to be in order with a system like this or it will fail.  Not knowing what kind of sound quality with the files I'm going to download would not have me using this system.

Sorry but I don’t get it, but I can assure you that no DRM is needed.

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #23
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Actually it's really easy.
For example we have here 10 melodies for one instrument. 11 sounds for another instrument. 3 rhythms. 500 movements in the panoramic for one element (this variation is subtle). 4 mixes.
When you combine, it means 10x11x3x500x4=660,000 different interpretations...

what if I only like 1 instrument and 1 sound of it and if others feel the same? So basically, if all combinations of the 9 melodies available were already sold I'll always get melodie 10 which I probably don't like as much as one of the first 9 melodies?
Well, in this case where we have a limited edition, you better be the first to be served.

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Do you think that this will work for every 3:30 minute song? Also, wouldn't that be kinda of 'programing' a song instead of composing it? It's like those cheap music programs that come with prerecorded samples and you just arrange them...doesn't this take away the artists creativity?

On the contrary, we have discovered that it opens the creativity because it brings new possibilities. We particularly care about the artistic side of the music.

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Usually, an artist keeps fiddleing until the songs is perfect in his/her eyes...the mentioned method sounds to me like 'well, this could work and that sounds good too and we better use this to get more combinations out of it'.

I have replied but after you post this.

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Also, at what price range are we talking about?

I can’t talk about it right now (I should come up with the price later in the week), but it will be slightly more expensive than the usual stuff.

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I'd say the band is 'Coldplay' 

Nice try

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in order to trace back illigal copies you would need to store confidential information about the user for each song, which I'm concerned about. Also, for how long will you keep this information? It's also a storage problem...
In addition, if I sell my individual mix or give it to somebody as some sort of gift and this person decides to put it up on Kazaa, I'm the one you are most likely coming after...since I was the one who originally bought it  Isn't it even legal to give a certain amount of free copies to your friends if you own the original album?

Basically, people who wants to get this stuff needs are taking part of a club/community. When you come in this club you have to agree about the rules of the club (like HA). If you don’t respect the rule, you are excluded of the club (like HA). The main rule of the club is to keep this stuff for you. Now if you try to make money with this or you obviously feeding the illegal community, you could be prosecuted. I think it’s fair.

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@ ChangFest
well, you will know! Because if you purchase the song from the offical website, you can be sure! So I don't really see your problem...

Thx, you should help me to answer…

A new way to create and distibute music

Reply #24
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.....
Like I said at the beginning, take this all with a grain of salt.  I do.

I think that a lot of things you have talk about is going in our sense...