Nur Ein IX Round Four

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Nur Ein IX Round Four

Postby Ross » Sun May 11, 2014 9:51 pm

Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, other pitched percussion ok? Just not piano?
Last edited by Lunkhead on Wed May 11, 2016 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: adjust title
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Caravan Ray » Sun May 11, 2014 11:43 pm

This has serious implications for anyone who can't come up with anything and wants to send in a microphone fart. That is a wind instrument and you will be disqualified. You will have to 'turkey slap' the microphone instead.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby noma » Mon May 12, 2014 12:04 am

Ross wrote:Marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, other pitched percussion ok? Just not piano?


That would be interesting, yeah. Even more so, what about a kalimba (African thumb piano)? It's not a percussion instrument in the strict sense because it's plucked (it's a lamellophone, actually) but similar in tone and function to a marimba or glockenspiel etc.

Also, two more questions:
1. Is it OK to use a drum synth?
2. Is it OK to record percussion instruments and use them as samples? (i.e., no live percussion)
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 12, 2014 6:02 am

I read the spirit of the challenge as not leveraging pitched percussion, since you are in a sense making a fake piano by doing so, and piano was explicitly ruled out. But perhaps that's what the judges want - fake pianos and fake synths. Which, if I'm going to spend a few hours making a fake synth, why not just allow synths? :)
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Ross » Mon May 12, 2014 6:49 am

I read the spirit that way, too, MG. Just looking for reinforcement to be sure we all understand it the same way.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Generic » Mon May 12, 2014 7:08 am

We actually discussed this amongst ourselves before settling on the challenge. We all agreed right off the bat that, although some classifications list the piano as a percussion instrument, we didn't want a full batch of singer-and-piano songs (not that I would have minded, but it wouldn't have been much of a challenge!).

At first I thought we just wanted to rule out using "pitched" percussion, but a majority of the judges argued in favor of struck idiophones such as the xylophone or marimba. (Plucked idiophones such as the "thumb piano" are not considered percussion for the purposes of this challenge). Therefore any instrument that produces sound by vibrating the entire instrument when struck is acceptable for the purposes of this challenge. Specifically, we intended to rule out instruments whose sound is produced by vibrating strings, even if those strings are struck, such as pianos and dulcimers. Obviously no guitars, basses, violins, horns, or any other type of instrument that isn't normally classified as "percussion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struck_idiophone - There's the Wikipedia article on Struck Idiophones (also called "Concussion Idiophones"). It also includes Shaken Idiophones and Scraped Idiophones, which are also acceptable for this challenge. Everything on this page should be acceptable for the challenge except for the toy piano.

If you don't have any real drums, I'm fine with you using loops, synthesizer (or softsynth) drums, or a drum machine - but no loading samples of other instruments into synth drums!

As awesome as Akira Jimbo is, his synth drum kit would likely NOT pass muster for this challenge, since he's got the drum heads mapped to MIDI instruments that sound like melodic synths and horns:

Conversely, sounds from your own mouth and body are permissible, so Eddiebangs' "Troublemaker" would be fine.

Hopefully that's clear enough.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 12, 2014 7:23 am

Clear as mud. :)

So where does that leave synths (just plain ol sin waves), if the purpose is to only get rid of stringed instruments?
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Generic » Mon May 12, 2014 7:30 am

Manhattan Glutton wrote:So where does that leave synths (just plain ol sin waves)...


I wrote:If you don't have any real drums, I'm fine with you using loops, synthesizer (or softsynth) drums, or a drum machine - but no loading samples of other instruments into synth drums!


Manhattan Glutton wrote:...if the purpose is to only get rid of stringed instruments?


The purpose was not only to exclude stringed instruments, but rather all string instruments, horns, brass, woodwinds, reed instruments, and anything not normally classified as "percussion." Synthesizers (other than drum machines) are not typically considered "percussion," and therefore they should be excluded. You can, however, still use your synth clap sounds. :-)

EDIT: made it a little less snarky.
Last edited by Generic on Mon May 12, 2014 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Geoff WreckdoM » Mon May 12, 2014 7:42 am

Thank you Jon! I would not have done as good a job explaining this. Not even close.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Lunkhead » Mon May 12, 2014 7:50 am

Most pedantic Ein ever?! Awesome!!!! :roll:
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 12, 2014 8:07 am

I feel like allowing pitched percussion just makes this too open to interpretation.

If I manipulate the shit out of a bass kick to sound like a sin wave, what's the point of having the restriction?
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Generic » Mon May 12, 2014 8:58 am

Manhattan Glutton wrote:I feel like allowing pitched percussion just makes this too open to interpretation.

If I manipulate the shit out of a bass kick to sound like a sin wave, what's the point of having the restriction?


If you're asking us to change the challenge to suit your level of understanding, the answer is absolutely not.

If you're asking us whether it would be permissible to alter a kick drum to the point that it sounds like a sine wave, I would say that the challenge is contingent upon the judges being able to tell that the instrument in question is a percussion instrument. At the risk of sounding pedantic or obvious, the judges need to be able to recognize the percussion instrument in order to know whether you succeeded in the challenge.

I also get that you might be posting just to complain, which is totally fine, but I'm trying to offer clarity and solutions where possible.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Mon May 12, 2014 9:19 am

This thread confused the hell out of me until I went back to Niv's post of the new title and saw it had been edited for... clarity.

In brief, we have to make a song by hittin' stuff (whether literally [hittin' stuff with our little hands, or with extensions of our little hands like sticks, mallets, hammers, severed limbs, &c.] or figuratively [synths and/or samples of someone hittin' stuff]), right?

Punky's Dilemma: say I treat an acoustic guitar like a cajon, banging on the different tonal spots of the body, and the strings can be heard in sympathetic vibration... is that a disqualifying usage? (See also: kicking a piano, yelling into the pickups of a plugged-in bass guitar).

Are explosives percussion or concussion instruments? ;-)
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 12, 2014 9:38 am

This is Nur Ein, isn't it? Am I not supposed to be complaining? :)

Naw, it's good that you're explaining the judging to an unprecedented level. I just think the judges' intent with the text is a little... traditional. When you take a look at rap and modern electronic dance music, there's a very fine line between percussion and synth. For example, I would consider the high-pitch synths used in trap and moombah to be percussive in nature. So, I feel that allowing synth is equivalent to allowing xylophone.

And really, do you guys really want to listen to 20 songs of pitched snares and xylophones?
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Generic » Mon May 12, 2014 9:52 am

Rabid Garfunkel wrote:This thread confused the hell out of me until I went back to Niv's post of the new title and saw it had been edited for... clarity.

In brief, we have to make a song by hittin' stuff (whether literally [hittin' stuff with our little hands, or with extensions of our little hands like sticks, mallets, hammers, severed limbs, &c.] or figuratively [synths and/or samples of someone hittin' stuff]), right?


More or less, sure.

Punky's Dilemma: say I treat an acoustic guitar like a cajon, banging on the different tonal spots of the body, and the strings can be heard in sympathetic vibration... is that a disqualifying usage? (See also: kicking a piano, yelling into the pickups of a plugged-in bass guitar).

Are explosives percussion or concussion instruments? ;-)


It doesn't matter whether explosives are percussion or concussion; either way they're fine.

I don't have a straight answer about harmonics - we'll discuss it and get back to you ASAP.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Ross » Mon May 12, 2014 10:01 am

I assume you're kidding about the explosions, they wouldn't fit the definition above, clearly a wind instrument it seems to me. :-)
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby glennny » Mon May 12, 2014 10:19 am

The way I read it, a timpani bass line such as in "Human Behavior" by Bjork would be acceptable.
However the spirit seems to be non- pitched instruments. Drums , we'll toms and kick, do have pitches. You guys should hear the Prisoner ( Zipline drummer) let loose on his roto-toms, very melodic.

I'm hoping some of go serious Doo Wop.

I'm also assuming total a Capella meets the challenge as well?

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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Generic » Mon May 12, 2014 10:25 am

Ross wrote:I assume you're kidding about the explosions, they wouldn't fit the definition above, clearly a wind instrument it seems to me. :-)


Hmm, good point. Which section were the cannons in for the 1812 Overture? :-P
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Generic » Mon May 12, 2014 10:31 am

glennny wrote:The way I read it, a timpani bass line such as in "Human Behavior" by Bjork would be acceptable.
However the spirit seems to be non- pitched instruments. Drums , we'll toms and kick, do have pitches. You guys should hear the Prisoner ( Zipline drummer) let loose on his roto-toms, very melodic.


Yes, the timpani should be fine. I mean, we didn't discuss it as a group, but it's a big ol' drum, so I can't think of a basis for excluding it.

glennny wrote:I'm also assuming total a Capella meets the challenge as well?


I wouldn't dock anyone for doing this, though c'mon, you could at least throw some finger snaps in there or something, right?

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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Ross » Mon May 12, 2014 10:32 am

Glennny, i disagree with you about the spirit seeming to be non -pitched. Look again at this quote from JonEric...

Generic wrote:At first I thought we just wanted to rule out using "pitched" percussion, but a majority of the judges argued in favor of struck idiophones such as the xylophone or marimba.


At this point, I sort of figure none of this will apply to me anyway.
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby Ross » Mon May 12, 2014 10:34 am

Generic wrote:
Ross wrote:I assume you're kidding about the explosions, they wouldn't fit the definition above, clearly a wind instrument it seems to me. :-)


Hmm, good point. Which section were the cannons in for the 1812 Overture? :-P

Just saying, the sound doesn't come from striking the cannonball. Now if you want to play Anvil, i'm totally with you on that!
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Re: Nur Ein! IX Round 4

Postby adamadamant » Mon May 12, 2014 12:44 pm

I really dig this title and challenge. Fingers crossed for a miracle to get me through round 3.

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