Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

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Sachi_R
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#1 Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

:| :| Ladies and gentlemen,
YouTube is bigger than anything we saw before in our music. From the time of Matanga Muni to Mylapore Mamas.
(It should be truly named ITube but Apple holds some patent perhaps).

And in YouTube, the happeningest thing is this thing called Raga Labs.

What sparkle
What mojo
What chemistry
What artistry.
What brigha
What gigha (don't mind what it means...just for rhyme you see).
What is this thing called Raga Labs?

No wonder the kids (well irrespective of age they all look and behave like kids acting in the ubiquitous Amazon Flipkart kind of ads these days) seem to have rehearsed and perfected the delivery.

Not to remain behind uploads touting Yoga Gurus and Cult Heroes, these YouTube clips begin and end with some immodest advertising, too.

But I find neither aesthetic nor lyrical appeal in the renditions...the music seems too "photoshopped" for my liking.

I would any day prefer the Khadi variety of livecasts like Parivadini.

I want your help, because I seem to have missed entirely the point of these videos.

Do they make careers, promote well trained musicians, or give us a new avatar of Carnatic music?

And this is coming so soon...It took time for me to get used to Kuldip M Pai and just as I was feeling a little better about that canned Carnatic music, this....

Can you recommend the right specialist for me to see, please? Before I feel too sick?

Yours disorientedly,

...

balakk
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#2 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by balakk »

Well that's the beauty of it, it's YouTube, not iTube! If it was iTube (also called AIR in some circles), one would only listen to some mediocre "vidwan" droning out tired pantuvaralis and poorvikalyanis for 45 minutes, and static for the remaining time.
With YouTube, there's a choice - for the elite, live-concert goer and the plebs who occasionally indulge in capsule-sized music packages.

However I agree with you, the sheer audacity of getting together a bunch of young kids to sing and perform classical music ? What atrocities will they think of next? I suggest a strongly worded letter to the Hindu editor.

MaheshS
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#3 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by MaheshS »

balakk wrote: ↑30 Jul 2018, 20:25 However I agree with you, the sheer audacity of getting together a bunch of young kids to sing and perform classical music ? What atrocities will they think of next? I suggest a strongly worded letter to the Hindu editor.
LOL. Rasikas own Mr Mathrubootham

Sachi_R
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#4 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Balakk,
πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹
I would like to share with Mr. Mathrubhootham (he has taken a short break) a good Raga Labs video... something that compares with what you think is good classical music.

Would you kindly give me a link?

balakk
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#5 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by balakk »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑30 Jul 2018, 21:23 ... something that compares with what you think is good classical music.

Would you kindly give me a link?
Cant really fall for this trap. If the question had been simply - "hey, can you share me a link which you liked?" this Bootham might have responded - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olpmhZ9lJCo

The undersigned Bootham is not afraid to admit it has low standards, and is easily pleased with classical, light, film, bhajans, jazz, pop, rock, sufi, bhangra etc. The Bootham has also occasionally indulged in techno, of which it's not proud of.

Sachi_R
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#6 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Aiaiyyo!
Balakk,
You don't have to be so "Bhootham"-like!

Thanks for the link. I found it melodious indeed. All my comments otherwise apply to this one too.

One good turn deserves another.
I want you to see this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yANc9F7hu2I
(Same girl on the veena, maybe this performance preceded the Labs)

Another one, an effort by four really well-trained performing musicians:
https://youtu.be/TLEV0FL8xyo


I liked these two. For me of course the ORIGINAL one was this one:
https://youtu.be/cmU08XHWnks

You can triangulate the results and guess what kind of music I like.

Thanks
Last edited by Sachi_R on 31 Jul 2018, 19:26, edited 1 time in total.

Sachi_R
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#7 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

And how could I have missed this:
https://youtu.be/A7G3xSdYt_E

MaheshS
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#8 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by MaheshS »

The one thing that puts me all this stuff is the facial expressions / hand movements / don't look at the camera, smile at co-artists. They are so artificial and comes across as fake. They seemed to have been coached to do these things in alignment with the melody rather than the lyrics. This is why I am not a big fan of SuryaGayathri or any other such kids.

Seriously, they are singing some heavy weight philosophical pieces like "Bhaja Govindam" happily smiling and gesturing at "Puranapi maranam" etc. :lol: :lol: :lol:

We need to stop putting up kids like this on reality shows / you tube just for the sake of publicity, look what I can teach, look how they can do this ... circus.

Sachi_R
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#9 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Mahesh,
My God.
You pretty much wrote all that I left unsaid.

Circus. That's it.

Music is essentially an aural aesthetic. We are training talented kids for a life-long reality show through all this. The music may well suffer big time.

sankark
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#10 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sankark »

MaheshS wrote: ↑31 Jul 2018, 18:16 The one thing that puts me all this stuff is the facial expressions / hand movements / don't look at the camera, smile at co-artists. They are so artificial and comes across as fake. They seemed to have been coached to do these things in alignment with the melody rather than the lyrics. This is why I am not a big fan of SuryaGayathri or any other such kids.

Seriously, they are singing some heavy weight philosophical pieces like "Bhaja Govindam" happily smiling and gesturing at "Puranapi maranam" etc. :lol: :lol: :lol:

We need to stop putting up kids like this on reality shows / you tube just for the sake of publicity, look what I can teach, look how they can do this ... circus.
Seriously MaheshS, are you trying to put all who earn because of the stage build/lighting/compering/voice culture/synchronized dances (or should I say acrobatics)/all instrumentalists/cameraman/editors/spontaneous-audience-reaction-trainers etc. out of work & put the GDP of the country in doldrums. Think of this as MNREGA for popular art; watch not a artistry ;)

sureshvv
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#11 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

MaheshS wrote: ↑31 Jul 2018, 18:16 The one thing that puts me all this stuff is the facial expressions / hand movements / don't look at the camera, smile at co-artists. They are so artificial and comes across as fake. They seemed to have been coached to do these things in alignment with the melody rather than the lyrics. This is why I am not a big fan of SuryaGayathri or any other such kids.
I do not know about the other "kids" but I find Surya Gayathri very authentic.
Seriously, they are singing some heavy weight philosophical pieces like "Bhaja Govindam" happily smiling and gesturing at "Puranapi maranam" etc. :lol: :lol: :lol:
So what? Are you expecting them to oppari vechufy?
We need to stop putting up kids like this on reality shows / you tube just for the sake of publicity, look what I can teach, look how they can do this ... circus.
I do not know about Raga Labs, but I find Kuldeep Pai's kids very capable and authentic.

sureshvv
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#12 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑31 Jul 2018, 19:24 Mahesh,
My God.
You pretty much wrote all that I left unsaid.

Circus. That's it.

Music is essentially an aural aesthetic. We are training talented kids for a life-long reality show through all this. The music may well suffer big time.
I am sorry you guys are coming off super cynical. Music is definitely not suffering under Rahul Vellal or Surya Gayathri. The "reality show" is just show casing their carefully honed superior talent. Nothing to belly ache about.

Sachi_R
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#13 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Sureshvv,
Suryagayathri and Rahul Vellal already have a body of work on YouTube. I agree that their talent,the training under Kuldeep Pai are both authentic.
One has to see the obvious - the recording (lip synced video) and visuals are bordering on plastic uand the music is autotuned I guess. But I have got used to it, the positives are already there as mentioned.

People who have attended their live performances have to be asked what was the gap between those videos and live performances.

I am looking to understand these aspects in Raga Labs. I said as much in my first post.

Careful. Circuses are almost never going to help classical music. Especially the instant stardom of half-baked talents.


Reality shows? God help the kids and their parents.

PS: I also feel vairagya, karuna, nirvana, and such emotions cannot survive this kind of circus.
There is nothing to argue about the obvious. When a big name flautist did some major vyavaharam and speed stuff for Eti Janma, I had said as much.

sureshvv
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#14 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 00:35 One has to see the obvious - the recording (lip synced video) and visuals are bordering on plastic uand the music is autotuned I guess. But I have got used to it, the positives are already there as mentioned.
You may be over-analyzing this. There is no question that it is their original singing. The video production aims to provide a certain ambience - which I find most unique and enjoyable.
People who have attended their live performances have to be asked what was the gap between those videos and live performances.
Live performances include the audience and the venue too. They are bound to impact the performance.
The one solo live performance of Surya Gayathri that I have seen, was very well received - it was mostly Bhajans.

I am looking to understand these aspects in Raga Labs. I said as much in my first post.
I am limiting the discussion to Kuldeep Pai's videos as they are the ones that I have watched.
I will not characterize them as "circuses". I did not detect any half baked talent either.

But these kids are young enough that "half baked" is itself quite an achievement. Some people may have said the same thing about U.Shrinivas or Ravikiran when they were in their pre-teens.

Sachi_R
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#15 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

SureshVV,
You're very sanguine about these CM videos, it seems. Very well. No argument there.

Confing the discussion to Kuldeep M. Pai, my opinion is
1. He is a highly trained and good musician himself. He calls his series Parampara. Something to note.
2. He trains these kids very well before the recording.
3. I like his due diligence in getting the lyrics and final video output right.
4. I would imagine he screens all the talents and chooses carefully what he presents.

So far so good. I have got used to the visual effects. I have subscribed to his channel.

I agree live performances are in a different league altogether. That's why if someone does well in a live concert it is a big deal for me.

Pratyaksham Bala
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#16 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »


sureshvv
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#17 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

Yes. Just be happy that they are not in Super Singer :D

SrinathK
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#18 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by SrinathK »

Virtually every great name has been a child prodigy at one point. As an example, Lalgudi as a 12 year old (younger than Sooryagayathri is now) was accompanying Salem Desikan (and if you've heard him you'll wonder how even a veteran can follow that, let alone a youngster). MLV had "swallowed the nadaswaram" and worked on Purandaradasa krithis at 13. GNB was singing kalpanaswaras as a 5 year old. And then there's Ravikiran and his siblings.

I've been watching talented kids for so long now I am beginning to think that all children are capable of genius. To me, all children function at a certain level of "ignorant genius" up to a certain age - although they may selectively excel in at one thing more than another. By ignorant I mean they really don't know what is difficult or easy, or whether they are capable of achieving this or not, no preconceptions, just go. A child's mind is still uncluttered. This is a very pure form of confidence. Adults have way too many pre-considerations in comparison - believe it or not, except for some decline due to age, the ability to grasp and perceive in a very vivid manner is still there in an adult, we just stop using it.

A child's body is also light and flexible and recovers very quickly from wear and tear, something that gets rather obvious as we grow older. We also need to admire how so many kids are able to sing with beautiful tone and perfect pitch. Their coaches are certainly excelling in those aspects.

It is not fair to criticize a child for not having the experience spectrum of someone at the other shore of life.

However, I will add this. The grind of live performance is always the true test of a musician. It is possible to 'super polish' a rendition for a studio recording or for a few minutes of spotlight singing, but when you have to run a 3-4 hour grind, 200-300 performances in a year - that's a different story.

Sachi_R
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#19 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

The grind of live performance is always the true test of a musician. It is possible to 'super polish' a rendition for a studio recording or for a few minutes of spotlight singing
πŸ‘

rajeshnat
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#20 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by rajeshnat »

To continue in the circuit of repeated live performance requires a lot of push factors that is needed (prominent sabha support, musicians who are powerful should need to back up, you have to build a strong marketing technique and chase all the press writers etc). Kuldeep a fine musician did not get that much opportunities to showcase in that path of super polish live performances . He had to go in youtube channel route and his videos are sought out for sure as he still wanted to showcase his learned art. Having said the peril is for the next gen kids who are part of this troupe. Soorya gayAthri will grow soon as a teenager and then Rahul vellal will also follow and go bit more aged . One fine year in very near future the cute factor will disappear and the rasikas will go to the next avatar of cute factor musicians.

Hitting all these reality shows has some advantage to get really huge count of rasikas and takes different trajectories .
Abhishek participated as a young talent in that naad bhed or some program tv more people noticed and he is well past the borderline success
Few musicians of Java TV Carnatic IDOL concert winners of first edition were all great . Bharath Sundar, G Abhilash, Brinda Manickavasagan, sriranjani santhanagopalan , apoorva anahita . The first edition first prize went to Bharath sundar and some listeners prize went to G Abilash . As such for that gang these programs were useful for them. The next year Sean Rolden won(son of sirmushnam raja rao) , he is not able to get into that much of live circuit. About 12 to 14 years there was this wonderkid Master Anantharaman of ramjee isai mazhalai , he was truly a sensation , but I am not sure if he is even persuading .

All said the ideal route is to grab the marketing opportunity like what Abhishek did , ravikiran also did in 70's , MLV ,GNB and MS amma also did with early day film stint . BMK got 2 career turning numbers one is oru naal pOduma which got him senior rasikas ( tiruvilaiyadal-kv mahadevan) and the other set of junior rasikas he got it thru chinna kannan azhaikiran(kavikkuyil -illayaraja).Both were blockbusters.

Bottomline it is better to chart out a young marketing campaign to get masses and then slowly settle with a subset of serious rasikas, abhishek is worth emulating .

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#21 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by SrinathK »

An opportunity is an opportunity. Too often the old guard is guilty of putting destructive idealism forward at the cost of sacrificing valuable opportunities which are required at that stage. However, if such an opportunity presented itself to us, we would definitely not turn it down.

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#22 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 00:35One has to see the obvious - the recording (lip synced video) and visuals are bordering on plastic uand the music is autotuned I guess.
I can confirm the objective (autotuned) and agree with teh subjective ("plastic"!). Anybody who knows about autotune can immediately detect it... practically all filmy studio recordings are put into an auto tuner... but it is quite evident, although I am sure they will come up with better methods to camouflage.

Autotune has its place, when done overtly. But somehow, for classical music and true emoting, it seems,..."plastic" !

To take one random example of a Sooryagayathri, I did an analysis of this recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyNSOu-Fl-k

First looked at a few episodes of G3, as in "raaamachandra...". They are all at the exact same frequency, 326.96Hz. Also, looked at the various Sa's - they are all at exactly 262.7Hz, i.e., C.

Any listener will notice the artificial steadiness of the kaarvais and odd twangs during transitions.

Kuldeep Pai is doing a disservice to these talented kids by using inappropriate audio tools. In the long run, natural excellence, like these kids' natural talents, is always preferable to plastic "perfection".

In my professional life, I was obliged to examine a lot of EEG, EMG ,ECG and respiratory data of patients sleeping on a BIPAP machine or a ventilator in a sleep lab. I've seen patients with excellent cardiac rhythm, i.e., steady heart rate through many hours and other patients who have the occasional PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) and other complicated arrhythmias. And then once in a while come across a patient with absolutely perfect cardiac rhythm, i.e., an absolute flat trend line for heart rate, typically around 60 BPM or 72 BPM, with only statistical sampling noise but no other real variability. The first time I saw this long long ago, I was initially gobsmacked/spooked but quickly figured out that it was a patient on a pacemaker ! When I first listened to the autotuned Sooryagayathri, I was similarly spooked. It felt like pacemaker steady !

Not all auto tune is silly and uncalled for. Here's a wonderful song made up by auto tuning great talks by eminent scientists...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB7jSFeVz1U

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#23 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by SrinathK »

@uday_shankar, I once remember a program on what used to be Worldspace satellite radio which I had heard earlier elsewhere of a very senior artiste not on his best day by a mile. They edited it so much that he sounded 30 years younger IMHO. It caught my attention because just some time back I had read an article in the newspaper about using pitch correction for commercial recordings.

If you were to analyze an older recording of say MS Amma or Madurai Mani Iyer or a Bhimsen Joshi, how much would be the variation you typically find?

And so that's how a lot of film songs seem so absolutely pitch perfect as well...does Super Singer junior also do this, or are the kids just that good?

Sachi_R
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#24 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

The reason I respect the chitravenu is that it is a real acoustic instrument. The musician has to blow into it and get the music right. There is no synthesizer or autotune.

I am sure Uday can come up with an Auto tune electrical flute which is always perfect sounding.

I was appalled when A R Rahman pretty much endorsed an Intel product where you simply wave your hands and the machine makes synthetic music.

There was this episode in Mozart in the Jungle. A multimillionaire Japanese benefactor of the NY Philharmonic compels their charismatic director to conduct Mozart's Requiem. The guy is very uncooperative for artistic reasons. The Japs then invent a robot that learns from him, then not only completes the work, it even conducts it perfectly.
The real conductor is so full of revulsion that he grabs the robot and chucks it into the Kyoto river. The robot is destroyed. He mocks the Japanese rich man, " See, I but he can't swim!"

Image

uday_shankar
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#25 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

SrinathK wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 16:51If you were to analyze an older recording of say MS Amma or Madurai Mani Iyer or a Bhimsen Joshi, how much would be the variation you typically find?
Srinath, hard for me to say, since I'm not not primarily an audio signals person but medical signals person !

That said, there's a characteristic machine-like precision or steadiness which reveals itself in the spectra of all fixed pitch instruments which you won't see with voice. The spectra is more smeared and noisy. Unless, of course, the voice segments are auto tuned.

WIth old recordings, to pin a number to the amount of variation you may see with MSS or MMI, you'll first have to normalize the shruti in a recording, which may drift due to the tape recorder as well as the natural drift of the manual tambura which is tuned perhaps at the beginning using a pitch pipe and there after just periodically retuned relatively. I don't know how to automate that but can think of ways to do it with a combination of manual sampling and automation. At the end of the day, I expect to see a much more noisy spectra for any given kaarvai than Sooryagayathri's :). Also, variation between one kaarvai to another.

I am told that Lata Mangeshkar had the most machine like unwavering voice among all yesteryear singers, classical or light.

I have never watched Super Singer programs (don't have a TV !) but I wouldn't be surprised.

I learned about the scourge of auto tune in the film industry from my friend Pradip Somasundaram, Malayalee playback singer.

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#26 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by rshankar »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:33In my professional life, I was obliged to examine a lot of EEG, EMG ,ECG and respiratory data of patients sleeping on a BIPAP machine or a ventilator in a sleep lab. I've seen patients with excellent cardiac rhythm, i.e., steady heart rate through many hours and other patients who have the occasional PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) and other complicated arrhythmias.
Not to digress, but: Even in the absence of arrhythmia, there is a variability to the cardiac rhythm - there is a circadian variation, variation with breathing etc., that is very healthy. Lack of this variability may signal autonomic disease.... So, in biological systems, some variability is good....

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#27 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

rshankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 22:32Even in the absence of arrhythmia, there is a variability to the cardiac rhythm
I know that... maybe it didn't come out more clearly... By "excellent Cardiac rhythm" I meant to say "excellent cardiac rhythm with normal variability".

I just wanted to contrast the normal rhythms with the spooky pacemaker rhythm. Autotune felt like looking at pacemaker rhythm for the first time.. that's the only point I wanted to make. You're unnecessarily reading more into what I wrote.

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#28 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by rshankar »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 22:42
rshankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 22:32Even in the absence of arrhythmia, there is a variability to the cardiac rhythm
I know that... maybe it didn't come out more clearly... By "excellent Cardiac rhythm" I meant to say "excellent cardiac rhythm with normal variability".
I realize that you included 'normal variability' in 'normal rhythm'. I merely wanted to reiterate what you said - that absence of variability is unnatural.

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#29 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

Thanks Ravi... I will try to post a pair of graphs that reinforce this difference, which is at the crux of the auto tune data ... a normal variability in good rhythm, and statistical noise overlaid on machine induced perfect rhythm...

It also illustrates the difficulty of emulating reality... we can't add pseudo random noise on some machine data and try to mimic reality. We need an underlying simulation of real systems, however rudimentary. That said, I won't be surprised if autotune algorithms are being worked on just for that. So in the future, it will become more and more difficult to detect autotune, either by ear or by mathematical analysis ! We are doomed :-P.

Sachi_R
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#30 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

How to make a hit CM video on your own:

Click the pic for a step by step guide
Image

SrinathK
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#31 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by SrinathK »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 19:11 The reason I respect the chitravenu is that it is a real acoustic instrument. The musician has to blow into it and get the music right. There is no synthesizer or autotune.

I am sure Uday can come up with an Auto tune electrical flute which is always perfect sounding.

I was appalled when A R Rahman pretty much endorsed an Intel product where you simply wave your hands and the machine makes synthetic music.

There was this episode in Mozart in the Jungle. A multimillionaire Japanese benefactor of the NY Philharmonic compels their charismatic director to conduct Mozart's Requiem. The guy is very uncooperative for artistic reasons. The Japs then invent a robot that learns from him, then not only completes the work, it even conducts it perfectly.
The real conductor is so full of revulsion that he grabs the robot and chucks it into the Kyoto river. The robot is destroyed. He mocks the Japanese rich man, " See, I but he can't swim!"

Image
Fortunately the majority of CM audience, given their age group, has no liking for new age excessive technology. Otherwise soon we'd have to consider giving the Sangeetha Kalanidhi to a robot or an AI app, or declare Microsoft Excel or a Python script as a composer of talas and ragas.

Sachi_R
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#32 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Future Perfect!

Indian 9 year-old, winner of Math Olympiad, Spelling Bee medallist and world's youngest grandmaster offered at the Mylapore tank festival his latest research:

A six minute Carnatic song consists of 2*64*360 gamaka sound bites which can be improvised as 720 chess positions of 64 squares each and gestured to a 8D laser scanner that converts the song into sound. Another Deep Blue algorithm will add lyrics in one of 12 languages (Katakana and Cantonese included). The song will be presented in 4D 12 track video format via Rrraggga Revues in a 5G broadcast around the world.

His guru, attired in the latest Ramraj outfit, said the Guru Parampara from Saint Thyagaraja would feel truly fulfilled
today.

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#33 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by harimau »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑31 Jul 2018, 13:31
One good turn deserves another.
I want you to see this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yANc9F7hu2I
(Same girl on the veena, maybe this performance preceded the Labs)
A very good vainika who I hope will dominate the veena scene in the future.

She happens to be the granddaughter of Dr R S Jayalakshmi, eminent vainika and teacher at the Music Academy's Advanced School of Music (or whatever they call it).

harimau
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#34 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by harimau »

rajeshnat wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:09
..............

Few musicians of Java TV Carnatic IDOL concert winners of first edition were all great . Bharath Sundar, G Abhilash, Brinda Manickavasagan, sriranjani santhanagopalan , apoorva anahita . The first edition first prize went to Bharath sundar and some listeners prize went to G Abilash . As such for that gang these programs were useful for them. The next year Sean Rolden won(son of sirmushnam raja rao) , he is not able to get into that much of live circuit.

................
You shouldn't generalize about musicians and their ability or lack thereof in getting traction in the live music circuit.

Sean Roland has probably chosen to earn his living as a music director for films. There is nothing wrong with that. A music director for films has to deal with the lyrics of songs such as "Black is My Favorite Color" or anything else that the director and financier approve and attempt to set it to some catchy tune that would attract the unwashed masses that frequent roadside tea stalls. Some musicians sing such songs to make a living. You can't blame them for not wanting to starve for the sake of "high art". You could try that -- that is, starving -- for a couple of days and see how it feels. (That particular song, I know, pre-dates Sean Roland's entry into film music, so spare me comments trying to set the facts and me correct :roll: )

So, Sean Roland and his guru the tup-tup artist get talking.

The tup-tup artist asks Sean how much he gets per film.

Sean demurs.

The tup-tup artist says, "Hey, I am not going to compete with you so you can tell me".

Sean says, "Fifty, sixty".

The tup-tup artist says, "Fifty, sixty thousand. That isn't too bad".

Sean responds, "Lakhs".

I had to laugh when I heard this story.

PS. Moderators, please redact this post as it discusses emoluments, compensation, honoraria, sanmaanam, thanmaanam, etc.

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#35 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Harimau,
No way this should be redacted.
You mean... I am panting hard,... Sean Roldan earns β‚Ή60L for a song?

Please post a link. I want to hear that song.


Last Shiva ratri, at Isha they had this team with Sean Roldan performing.
Eminently forgettable.

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#36 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by harimau »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑02 Aug 2018, 20:29 Harimau,
No way this should be redacted.
You mean... I am panting hard,... Sean Roldan earns β‚Ή60L for a song?

Please post a link. I want to hear that song.


Last Shiva ratri, at Isha they had this team with Sean Roldan performing.
Eminently forgettable.
Per movie, not per song.

Movies last one week to ten days before they are crowded out of theaters by the next film so the shelf-life of these songs is less than two weeks. After that, the movies are bought up by cable TV where they are shown in endless re-runs.

I saw the film "Mundasuppatti" a couple of years ago. Had a nice storyline but the songs and music were meant to last one week or less.

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#37 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by harimau »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:33
Sachi_R wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 00:35One has to see the obvious - the recording (lip synced video) and visuals are bordering on plastic uand the music is autotuned I guess.
I can confirm the objective (autotuned) and agree with teh subjective ("plastic"!). Anybody who knows about autotune can immediately detect it... practically all filmy studio recordings are put into an auto tuner... but it is quite evident, although I am sure they will come up with better methods to camouflage.

Autotune has its place, when done overtly. But somehow, for classical music and true emoting, it seems,..."plastic" !

To take one random example of a Sooryagayathri, I did an analysis of this recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyNSOu-Fl-k

First looked at a few episodes of G3, as in "raaamachandra...". They are all at the exact same frequency, 326.96Hz. Also, looked at the various Sa's - they are all at exactly 262.7Hz, i.e., C.

Any listener will notice the artificial steadiness of the kaarvais and odd twangs during transitions.

Kuldeep Pai is doing a disservice to these talented kids by using inappropriate audio tools. In the long run, natural excellence, like these kids' natural talents, is always preferable to plastic "perfection".

I once sampled a few segments of a veena concert.

The recording was not even a line-input recording but taken off the air in the auditorium.

The positions of the swaras were perfectly on the dot. I used Audacity or some such tool for my frequency analysis.

You could say that the veena being a fretted instrument this is natural and to be expected.

But remember that the string has to be pulled not just plucked and that could introduce the variability and even the plucking position may vary a small amount, yet it was perfect.

My two cents. YMMV.

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#38 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

harimau wrote: ↑02 Aug 2018, 21:03 I once sampled a few segments of a veena concert.

The recording was not even a line-input recording but taken off the air in the auditorium.

The positions of the swaras were perfectly on the dot. I used Audacity or some such tool for my frequency analysis.

You could say that the veena being a fretted instrument this is natural and to be expected.

But remember that the string has to be pulled not just plucked and that could introduce the variability and even the plucking position may vary a small amount, yet it was perfect.

My two cents. YMMV.
You should spend more time reading. And then you would have noticed this paragraph somewhere in this thread...
That said, there's a characteristic machine-like precision or steadiness which reveals itself in the spectra of all fixed pitch instruments which you won't see with voice. The spectra is more smeared and noisy. Unless, of course, the voice segments are auto tuned.
Fortunately, I don't have to rely on third party toolsets and deal with their quirks and limitation ... I rely on my own scripts, generated from first principles.

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#39 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by SrinathK »

harimau wrote: ↑02 Aug 2018, 20:15
rajeshnat wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:09
..............

Few musicians of Java TV Carnatic IDOL concert winners of first edition were all great . Bharath Sundar, G Abhilash, Brinda Manickavasagan, sriranjani santhanagopalan , apoorva anahita . The first edition first prize went to Bharath sundar and some listeners prize went to G Abilash . As such for that gang these programs were useful for them. The next year Sean Rolden won(son of sirmushnam raja rao) , he is not able to get into that much of live circuit.

................
You shouldn't generalize about musicians and their ability or lack thereof in getting traction in the live music circuit.

Sean Roland has probably chosen to earn his living as a music director for films. There is nothing wrong with that. A music director for films has to deal with the lyrics of songs such as "Black is My Favorite Color" or anything else that the director and financier approve and attempt to set it to some catchy tune that would attract the unwashed masses that frequent roadside tea stalls. Some musicians sing such songs to make a living. You can't blame them for not wanting to starve for the sake of "high art". You could try that -- that is, starving -- for a couple of days and see how it feels. (That particular song, I know, pre-dates Sean Roland's entry into film music, so spare me comments trying to set the facts and me correct :roll: )

So, Sean Roland and his guru the tup-tup artist get talking.

The tup-tup artist asks Sean how much he gets per film.

Sean demurs.

The tup-tup artist says, "Hey, I am not going to compete with you so you can tell me".

Sean says, "Fifty, sixty".

The tup-tup artist says, "Fifty, sixty thousand. That isn't too bad".

Sean responds, "Lakhs".

I had to laugh when I heard this story.

PS. Moderators, please redact this post as it discusses emoluments, compensation, honoraria, sanmaanam, thanmaanam, etc.
So you still have a few bullets left in the barrel. :twisted:

This just goes to show that making money is a direct function of how much commercial impact you made and and the quantum of stake you have in that. And some seniority and experience. And the halo effect - ESPECIALLY the halo effect.

The rest of money making is all about investing (once again, in the direction of impact). The more money you already have, the more you can grow it. Or lose it.

What they told you in school was all wrong... they were just breeding good little sheeple for 21st century white collar slaughter. :mrgreen:
Last edited by SrinathK on 02 Aug 2018, 22:45, edited 2 times in total.

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#40 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by harimau »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:33 In my professional life, I was obliged to examine a lot of EEG.......
How about running EEGs on some of the posters on this board?

You would be hard pressed to explain how, despite their flat line EEGs, they manage to engage in seemingly normal activities such as walking, listening to music, writing, etc. :evil: :twisted: :lol:

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#41 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by harimau »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑02 Aug 2018, 21:31
harimau wrote: ↑02 Aug 2018, 21:03 I once sampled a few segments of a veena concert.

The recording was not even a line-input recording but taken off the air in the auditorium.

The positions of the swaras were perfectly on the dot. I used Audacity or some such tool for my frequency analysis.

You could say that the veena being a fretted instrument this is natural and to be expected.

But remember that the string has to be pulled not just plucked and that could introduce the variability and even the plucking position may vary a small amount, yet it was perfect.

My two cents. YMMV.
You should spend more time reading. And then you would have noticed this paragraph somewhere in this thread...
That said, there's a characteristic machine-like precision or steadiness which reveals itself in the spectra of all fixed pitch instruments which you won't see with voice. The spectra is more smeared and noisy. Unless, of course, the voice segments are auto tuned.
Fortunately, I don't have to rely on third party toolsets and deal with their quirks and limitation ... I rely on my own scripts, generated from first principles.
You should write bite-sized pieces rather than whole paragraphs. I have ADD. :lol:

And I am illiterate in computer stuff. I am barely able to use canned programs.

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#42 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Guys, guys, c'mon.

You guys remind me of the time when I was eating a sandwich sitting between GB Shaw and Einstein.

While I was eating my sandwich, each of these guys were prising open the pile on his plate and discoursing on the ingredients.

We were discussing how the sandwiches were increasingly filled with machine-made unhealthy sauce spreads instead of mom-made home spreads.

Both these unshaven geniuses were discussing different ways of analysing the contents to catch the troublemakers.

Bottom line, guys! I said to them, a sandwich is best enjoyed when it is made and eaten fresh, and with home made ingredients. Nobody then is deciding things about what to put into it based on market share, IPO and the number of hits among consumers.

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#43 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

harimau wrote: ↑02 Aug 2018, 22:31I am illiterate in computer stuff.
That makes two of us... I find IT stuff, smart phone stuff, etc quite loathsome.

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#44 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:33
Kuldeep Pai is doing a disservice to these talented kids by using inappropriate audio tools. In the long run, natural excellence, like these kids' natural talents, is always preferable to plastic "perfection".
Spoken like a guy carrying an ohm-meter :D

I don't think the kids are learning from watching their own "cleaned up" videos.

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#45 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by Sachi_R »

Suresh,
Sorry I think you miss the point that when kids know perfection comes computer corrected pitch, perfecting their vocal delivery will not be their priority.
Calculators led to poor arithmetic skills, and spellcheck led to poor spelling etc.

It is often cited how singers like Lata and Rafi developed their music in the time when orchestral accompaniment was minimal. Hence they had indeed very good voice delivery. Present day singers seem owefully lacking. They just need to grunt a bit and Rahman takes over, drowning/burying the voice in a soundscape, that too all machine-generated.

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#46 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

Sachi_R wrote: ↑03 Aug 2018, 10:03 Suresh,
Sorry I think you miss the point that when kids know perfection comes computer corrected pitch, perfecting their vocal delivery will not be their priority.
For kids aspiring to become studio only artistes.
Calculators led to poor arithmetic skills, and spellcheck led to poor spelling etc.
Excellent addition/multiplication and spelling skills are anachronistic talents. But separate debate :D
It is often cited how singers like Lata and Rafi developed their music in the time when orchestral accompaniment was minimal. Hence they had indeed very good voice delivery. Present day singers seem owefully lacking. They just need to grunt a bit and Rahman takes over, drowning/burying the voice in a soundscape, that too all machine-generated.
Agree with Lata/Rafi/Susheela/TMS.

As far as live Carnatic music is concerned, I think the grunting has come down quite a bit.

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#47 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by sureshvv »

uday_shankar wrote: ↑01 Aug 2018, 15:33 To take one random example of a Sooryagayathri, I did an analysis of this recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyNSOu-Fl-k

<snip>

Any listener will notice the artificial steadiness of the kaarvais and odd twangs during transitions.
Can you provide some more details about these? Where did you find the odd twangs? As a lay listener, I could not make out.

How about this?

https://youtu.be/ieIh1eWsBJQ?t=624

Don't think this was auto-tuned? Do the meters indicate any shruthi lapses?

In fact she reminds me more of Bangalore Ramani Amma than M.S,

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#48 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

sureshvv wrote: ↑03 Aug 2018, 12:34Don't think this was auto-tuned?
No this wasn't auto tuned. Now how did you come to that assessment ?

As regards the earlier recording, even the first "shrirama" has an artificial twang... the transition for ii-raa which is R-G is a twang.Typically autotune is applied (i am told) to touch up the recordings not in toto... Definitely all the karvais, at least the first few minutes that I was able to listen to, are all "touched up".

If your ears can't detect it, then I can only show you the math ! Some things are immediately apparent to some people I guess...

This segment is also not auto tuned. Much more natural and endearing than the shri rama above...

https://youtu.be/ieIh1eWsBJQ

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#49 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by uday_shankar »

sureshvv wrote: ↑03 Aug 2018, 08:24Spoken like a guy carrying an ohm-meter :D
Everything is only a matter of preference. I certainly cannot pass any "value" judgments, except state a personal preference for me and a suggestion for my family :). The world is changing rapidly and so is music as well as its packaging.

So yeah, I take back my comments about Kuldeep Pai... it's his way in the modern world. Technological air brushing of the limitations, if any, of my sAdhana or an unnatural enhancement of it, is not my dharma... there too we can argue where to draw the line... is it OK to practice with a shruti box and tala machine (guilty as charged !)...

In the case of Sooryagayathri and the other kids, there are no limitations to start with... air brushing only turns the pure into "plastic" as R_Sachi put it :(. That's only our opinion ! Keep in mind that it is very easy to devolve into caricature.

I cannot deny that it's all pleasant to the ear in a kind of superficial way... as a consumer of music, I may consume it for a while, and then move on to the next shiny object that catches my eye. This is the way I used to listen to rock music and still do on occasion... but they were created and performed by adults who made a clear dharmic choice. I have absolutely no concern about the technology used to package it... everything is game. Roger Waters and David Gilmour are the heroes of my youth, and I still follow them occasionally :).

For kids, I can say that there's much greater joy/happiness in "doing" things, including making music, than having their stuff packaged by adults. To that extent, whatever enables happiness in simple, wholesome ways, for our kids should be a priority.

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#50 Re: Help! I need to understand this Raga Labs stuff

Post by ganesh_mourthy »

And I found another similar lab called Indianraga.

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