Anti Laptop Live Tempest Jam Takes Drum Machines Into Unexplored Territory

YouTube Preview Image

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures r.domain performing a live improvised set at the Anti Laptop Music Event II. 

The only gear used was a Dave Smith Tempest, Korg Kaoss Pad 2 and an Eventide Space pedal. The Tempest was the only sound source.


38 thoughts on “Anti Laptop Live Tempest Jam Takes Drum Machines Into Unexplored Territory

    • Well it doesn’t follow your standard formula for hit record, thats for sure. I don’t think it’s waste of time at all. wonderful soundscapes, drifting tension. Superb stuff!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  1. Anti laptop. How daring and original!

    How about, “we have 3000 bucks to spend on analog hypeware and still manage to sound the same as a 500 dollar laptop”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 27

  2. Any event with “anti” part of its name is self destructive. A laptop is the cheapest way to access and make music professionally if you give yourself time and focus on learning the craft with the app you can afford to buy.
    I believe those type of events with names like that will on the long run give a bad name to people like smith, oberheim and all those “instrument boutique” businesses.
    It is bad business to make fun of your potential future client who lust after your product now but can’t afford them yet.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 14

    • We need more personal music and less professional music!

      I think the name was just a bit of fun. They have a Facebook page so it’s not like they’re Luddites.

      As part of the generation that grew up with video screens linked to electronic music making, I think it’s worth stepping outside that zone from time to time. It’s not about the sonics, it’s about the ergonomics and the feel.

      Also, right or wrong, people’s attitude toward laptops are also sort of blasé and especially for music that isn’t dancy I can understand wanting to distance yourself from that.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

        • It matters. Interacting with a physical device is very different from doing so through a computer interface like atrackad/kayboard. You have more flexibility in terms of controlling the sound, but at the same time less flexibility in terms of constructing your signal path. So you make different choices and express yourself musically in different ways. I spent years building my musical setup around the computer, and over time I got heartily sick of it. Now I hardly use one at all and my creativity has improved significantly, along with my enjoyment. It’s not that computers are bad, but they do abstract away a lot of the performance aspects of music.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

          • maybe for those who don’t like dealing with them. not every one is going to be really good at piano, not everyone is going to be a sports superstar or doctor…some people can’t exist musically with a computer…some thrive. it’s all in the eyes of the maker. so for you to say they DO abstract away a lot of the performance aspects of music(globally) is wrong. maybe for you it does, but there’s a whole community of people out there who are not effected the same way you are.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

      • >>>> people’s attitude toward laptops are also sort of blasé and especially for music that isn’t dancy I can understand wanting to distance yourself from that.

        There’s the “problem,” if any. If its not dance-y, people’s ‘attitudes’ translate it as blase. FEH. Sorry, but playing keyboards or a table sporting several modules & pads isn’t sexy to see. Using a keytar just causes the audience to make the wank sign, too, ahem… If the sound isn’t happening, all the LEDs in the world can’t fix it. I embrace my DAW. It allows me to orchestrate the hell out to whatever comes to mind. If you ever sat before a synth as a newbie and were disappointed that it didn’t sound like a finished album, a DAW feels like ice cream and live nude girls all in one.

        I enjoy using loops and arps part of the time, but I inevitably play most of the parts by hand. Its a best-of-both-worlds thing for me. If people are more concerned with your gear than with what you played, congratulations, you just earned a merit badge in Suck. OTOH, if you fire them up, no one but a gearhead will even ask.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • I see the ‘anti-laptop’ event as an event that forces regular laptop users into other creative realms using hardware, not just their favourites bits of software. Out of their comfort zones even. Besides the electronic scene is drenched in laptop users. It’s refreshing to see hardware only.

      As for giving a ‘bad name’ or ‘bad business’ for great companies such as Dave Smith Instruments or Eventide or whatever….. that’s a ridiculous notion. I’ve performed with such ’boutique’ hardware before and have comments from people after the show saying how much they want to buy that gear now after seeing it used creatively in a live context such as the video above.

      Too many haters on the comments it seems. They must of forgotten that they signed up to ‘SYNTHtopia’. Besides it’s about the music in the end. Enjoy!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

      • ” Besides it’s about the music in the end”

        Well that was MY point. Again how can you force someone with a very cheap AMD laptop with a nice collection of free VSTis to by into analog gear he/she cannot afford but would love to buy one day?
        My point earlier was not “anti real gear”. they were no hate in what i wrote as I am wait for it.. “ANTI-HATE!” :-)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • An analog tool like the Tempest is an instrument. A laptop never will be an instrument for as long as this planet survives. It’s that simple. More instruments less computers.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  3. a laptop is just another piece of equipment for making music electronically…just like the tempest. i could do the same thing with an mpc, maschine or any other synth. how about trying to produce soundscapes and other stuff with a traditional instrument ie a piano. it can be done and has many times. the phrase anti laptop just ruins this. its just another piece of gear… just like the tempest is.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  4. @totomax @Chris Well said. I was doing laptop shows 12 years ago and it was fun exciting, things like Reaktor were still fairly new and sonically fresh. These days I prefer hardware but these days I can also afford it. “The Anti-laptop Music Event II” is the dumbest name for a show I ever heard. This performance was alright but in the context of “anti-laptop” I expected much more. “The only gear used was a Dave Smith Tempest, Korg Kaoss Pad 2 and an Eventide Space pedal” Wow, so what? This is good, modern, expensive gear it’s not as if you’re saying “The only gear used was a Casio Sk1, a Boss DD3 and a Boss RV5.” I mean dude should deliver an impressive set with the gear he was utilizing.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  5. No problem with the music, just the ideology behind it. Rebelling for rebelling’s sake is just as pointless as blind conformity.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  6. I bet there were alot of korg electribes at this event! And if there weren’t i find that strange. I think this would have been a fun event to have gone to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  7. It’s not rebelling for rebellions sake!
    It’s trying to bring back some sense of gesture into the production of electronic music, as watching someone sit behind a laptop for 45 minutes can be quite disengaging as an audience member. In this event you are watching someone physically interact with a tool in an obvious way.
    It’s not claiming to be ‘better’ than laptop music, as a matter of fact all the performers here use/perform with laptops regularly. It is just promoting methods of electronic music creation that don’t involve a laptop.
    Your tits, calm them, people.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

    • I’ve seen plenty of laptop artists over the past 12 years that were using a controller and engaging with it as much as this dude. Also, “takes drum machines into unexplored territory”, really? Give me a break. I’m all for hardware but if the music was really, really good, it would speak for itself and you wouldn’t need gimmicks like “anti-laptop” shows. I prefer using hardware but ultimately I just prefer hearing good music regardless of the medium used to create it.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  8. I enjoyed the performance, but the phrase “Anti Laptop Music Event” tweaked a nerve with me. .
    (Judging from all the responses I’m not the only one.)

    Computer have become the most affordable way to produce sound.
    When you call something “Anti-Laptop” it sounds too elitist.
    Call the event “Away from the Laptop” or something similar; “Anti-Laptop” is too superlative.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  9. I for one enjoyed the performance. It’s not like we get to see a lot of playing or knob twiddling or anything that is traditionally associated with in your face use of hardware for live music performance, but I liked the sound of it. If it had been done using a desktop PC or a laptop or a tablet or a phone it wouldn’t have made a big difference to me but I’m not the one playing. Playing electronic music is a very personal thing because you can do so many things in different ways almost regardless of the equipment you use. Consquently we cannot be the judge of this person here.

    Why people get so worked up about the choice of words (“anti laptop”) or the sentiment that is possibly conveyed by those words I cannot understand. It strikes the same note in me as a violent reaction by a guy who’s unsure about his sexuality is hit on by a person of his own gender would. Who cares if some people like hardware better or even detest computers in any overt form? Who cares if someone is more focused on keeping a budget and staying with sofware that’s when you add it up still not exactly as cheap as a used tape recorder, a microphone and some kitchen utensils? To all the people wo keep reiterating that it’s about the sound or the success (as if that were an absolute term!) of the end product: If it is, then why do you buy into this ideological warefare between “hardware” and “software”? It’s funny to see that almost any time that some dedicated hardware topic is brought up there are a number or people that will say that they could have gotten the same result using a cheap plugin or other. Who cares? I don’t comment on any iOS related topic just because I don’t own an iOS device. As long as we have a choice (although, given a budget, the choice may be an illusion) what weapon to use and sites like this report on the possibilities of these devices, everyone wins.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  10. I thought the most interesting part of this video was the performance, not the name of the event, I really don’t understand why lots of people are getting so upset about the phrase “anti-laptop”. It was obviously a way to tell that the event is about making music live on some hardware, not a computer, it wasn’t an invitation to go out and destroy your laptops or some other luddite slogan…
    The performance was very good, it showed Tempest in use as a semi self-contained “groovebox” and the guy did a good job with his live.
    I’m sure he’s got a laptop somewhere at home, shame on him!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    • a laptop is just another piece of hardware. what is the difference really between what i can do with a tempest and what i can do with maschine? Nothing that’s what. computers have given way to much more powerful processing capabilities than any hardware synth. a laptop is another piece of gear. why do laptops need to be viewed as non musical devices? they run music programs right? so does every piece of hardware on the market. they are all boxes filled with electronics that are capable of producing a sound. now what you do with this can not always be considered musical. but why shun the device itself.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  11. Urgh. Anti-anything is such a negative starting point for anything.

    I don’t think the audience cares one jot for how the music maker interacts with their hardware. They’re there to listen to music.

    I’m not going to engage with music in a more meaningful way because someone presses a button or turns a knob on a controller and then pull their hand away really quickly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

    • Only if you’ve got a small attention span or don’t enjoy aural textures. There are beats if you can focus long enough to get to that point in the performance.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  12. although the name for the event is trite, the motion behind it is totally valid. when you’re working on a laptop, your only limits are your processing power and your imagination, making working within limitations like hardware-only or analog-only more like a form of process music–making limitations into inspirations. I know I certainly do. cluing the audience into the fact that it’s about process and limitation informs the both the performance and the listener’s sense of expectation, fundamentally changing the experience on both sides of the stage (or table)–naming the event “anti-laptop” is just a clumsy, blunt way of doing that informing. that said, I think giving the clue with elegance, subtlety, and accuracy is probably one of the hardest things about process music.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  13. to me sounds great… beatiful textures…

    About the anti-laptop title, I think its just a superfluous name aproppiate for musicians that actually think they are better because of the hardware!!!

    to me a computer, a midi controller, a synthesizer or a drum machine is just hardware with different functions, doin different things!!!

    at the end, the only thing that matters is music!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>