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Flowing Juices

I couldn’t get a wink of sleep, so I got out of bed early, started a pot of coffee and took a shower.  I was struck with something I wanted to write about while I was sipping my first cup of coffee on the balcony, and decided to compose this post as sort of a warm up to get the creative juices flowing for the writing I intend to do today.

My gripe today is with Apple.  Now I love Apple, as many of you do.  But I firmly believe that no elected president goes unchecked (lets face it, we have elected Apple president of both consumer and prosumer computing, at least in the creative world).

As you may know, I’m passionate about a lot of things.  My lovely lady, my friends and family, my writing, the Internet, so on and so forth.  But I will always have a strong passion for music — more specifically, for creating.

At it’s core, I suppose this rant stems specifically from Apple’s implementation of Flex Time (an advanced feature previously only available in Logic Pro) in their consumer grade iLife component audio software, GarageBand.  I will be the first to praise Apple for their line of prosumer products (Logic Studio, Final Cut Pro, etc.).  As an audio producer, Apple’s prosumer line has made it easier for me to do what I do.  However, I will also be the first to damn Apple–Because their prosumer line has made it easier for YOU to do what I do.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have only the utmost respect for you, dear reader, as I’m sure you’re capable of anything you set your mind to–even without the help of Apple.  And I’m not really trying to sound pretentious or elitist or anything like that.  But this isn’t just about me.  It’s about creative professionals everywhere.  The people who spent their time and money toiling in college studios around the world to learn the delicate trade of making music or films or digital art.

Now I know that we “acolytes of creativity” have more skills than the 17-year old in his parents basement with a Logic Pro equipped Macbook and a Radio Shack dynamic microphone.  It’s not just about knowing how to operate the software.  Musicians will always get a better product when they pay a professionally educated engineer to produce their album in a real studio.  But the problem arises with the mental wall that Apple is constructing.  The ease-of-use in their software is convincing the untrained everywhere that they too can create professional recordings in their own home.  And, despite the fact that they usually can’t, it’s making business more difficult for the people attempting to make a living employing such skills.

So, like much of the issues I bring up on this blog, I don’t really have a solution.  I do suppose I have a plea, however.  Artists: don’t be fooled.  Your art is not something to cut corners on.  When you’re looking for someone to help you in realizing your creativity, find someone who is truly trained in the trade.  Go with the engineer with experience and access to a studio, not the kid down the street with a laptop and a Logic For Dummies book.  And while I used the music aspect of this argument for a majority of this post, it applies to every facet of the arts.

Now that that’s out of my system, some brief thoughts on some media I’ve been experiencing:  I’m currently listening to the new (and free!) Girl Talk album, All Day. It’s fantastic, as usual, and I wish there were some way I could contact Greg Gillis directly to congratulate him on a job well done.  My other comment comes with significantly less enthusiasm, as last night I almost regrettably subjected myself to the cinematic onus The Human Centipede: The First Sequence, a diamond in the rough from IFC Films.  It was bad, but it wasn’t awful.  Maybe I’ll post more thoughts on that later, but that’s about it.

Now to get working on some more profitable work…

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