Music and Technology: Computers or band members? // Landrew Kentmore
Getting computers involved in group activities is not always a good idea. For example, playing soccer against a team of computers is dangerous for both the computers and the people.
It's dangerous for the team of computers because they could break if they get kicked too hard. It's dangerous for the team of people because the computers never move, so the people might start to get cocky and think "no one can beat us!" and then get really sad when they lose to a team of other people (so it's more of an emotional danger). There is one group activity that computers can do ok, though, which is play in a band.
Computers don't really play instruments. They make sounds that sound the way instruments do. There are upsides and downsides about computers in bands, so if you are in a band and you are thinking about replacing band members with computers, here are some things to consider:
Good thing: Computers won't be competition when it comes to flirting with girls after the show. Even if there is a girl that's more into flirting with the computer than you, think about it--is that really a girl you would be interested in?
Bad thing: Computers can't fight. What if you play a gig and you sell more tee-shirts than the other band so they challenge you to a fight in the parking lot? You're going to be in some trouble when your only back up is a laptop!
Good thing: Computers have screens not faces. Sometimes when musicians are really "feeling" the music, they make weird faces, where it kind of looks like it's hurting them to play. This can be confusing to watch, because you're thinking, "Do I dance or do I find a doctor? I want to stay and enjoy the music, but I don't want to be held responsible if this guy dies." There is no need to worry about this with a computer!
Bad thing: Computers can't march. This is only a problem if you are in a marching band.
Good thing: Computers are less likely to quit the band to go work on a solo album. They probably won't overshadow you and talk about how they just needed to work on something deeper on a talk show, unless you build a really powerful computer. And if you do make a really powerful computer that makes a solo album, then you should go to the talk show and stand up in the audience during the interview and yell, "I created you!" And then everyone will know that the computer's solo album is basically your solo album.
Bad thing: Computers can't grow long hair or sweet goatees or get tattoos, which might be an issue if you want your band to have a bad boy image. To make up for this, add some pyrotechnics to your show, because then your computer will just sit there and not flinch at all while they go off, and the audience will think, "He's so calm in the face of danger! He must have been through some crazy stuff in his life!"
Deciding whether or not to add a computer to your band is tough. Sometimes it comes down to something that is not even related to performing music, like the fact that they don't need a bed in the motel (good thing), or that they can't drive a van (bad thing).
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