All This Machinery Making Modern Music

As an old progressive rock fan, I don’t have any problems with machines making music. If you want to get technical about it, most instruments are machines, so adding new technology doesn’t change things too much.

How does a robot band change the equation?

Look and listen for yourself. This is Z-Machines:

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And here’s Compressorhead doing AC/DC’s “TNT.” None of them can duckwalk worth a damn.

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Show me a Robot Bon Scott and I’ll be impressed.

The addition of picks and fingers and drumsticks-wielding arms make the band capable of sounds an average Earthling can’t achieve.  One drummer with 22 arms–such as that in Z-Machines–can do things even Neil Peart can’t do, but he’s no Peart.

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Of course, all of this is 100% human work. The machines are were built and programmed at the University of Tokyo by team led by Kenjiro Matsuoby, and the music is by Squarepusher. Even as we do start to see more computer-composed music, those programs are also made by humans. The human element cannot be removed from the loop. In the end, you just have more machine-assisted music, and Rush, Yes, Leon Theramin, Robert Moog, and others have shown us that was possible for decades.

At least now, however, we know what the house band for Skynet will look and sound like.  Thanks Japan!

h/t: CNN

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.