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August 28, 2018 • Page 14 Right In Tune EDITOR’S NOTE: The Press & Dakotan is looking at the evolution of how you are entertained. This is the next part of a River City series that, in the coming months, will explore how the consumer experience has evolved in a number of entertainment venues — from streaming television, to concerts, to going to the movies and more — and where these experiences are heading. ——— BY ROB NIELSEN rob.nielsen@yankton.net People of a certain age remember the first Beatles song they heard. People of a certain age fondly remember the day they picked up a recorder for the first time in music class. Their parents likely do not share this enthusiasm. But no matter what, we’ve all been touched by music in some way or another, from listening to it to learning about it. And whether it’s recording, teaching or disseminating music, one thing is certain — it has evolved significantly in the last four decades. Recently, the Press & Dakotan sat down with two individuals who have helped bring music to the world in their own unique fashions. • Jeremy Schaeffer is an audio recording engineer from Scotland. He has maintained a recording studio — All Poetic Audio — in Scotland for nearly a decade and has been part of a number of bands throughout his life, presently as lead vocalist for Earth Groans. • Dena Den Herder teaches music and fifth grade band lessons at Yankton’s Lincoln Elementary School. She has taught at Lincoln for 10 years with a combined 17 years working in music education. CHANGES It goes without saying that, when it comes to music — whether it’s listening to it or teaching it — there’s a little difference between today and the past. Schaeffer said, in music, what’s old one day may be new the next. “There’s different fads,” he said. “It’s like clothing styles — everything comes back around. It’s like we’re coming back to the ‘80s kind of sound. That’s the ‘new’ sound in alternate rock. It’s interesting to see how things go and come.” Den Herder said changing styles have also applied to teaching music. “When I was a kid, at my school, we didn’t have a music room — there just wasn’t room for a music room,” she said. “The music teacher would push the big old piano down the hall or (would bring) the record player, and she’d have the books and you’d sit and listen. You’d listen to the song and you’d sing it, and that was about it.” She said her classroom is a far cry from those old days. “With my classroom, we’re up dancing, we’re moving, we’re bringing in instruments,” she said. “We’re very active in the classroom.” Den Herder said kids are extremely enthusiastic about music classes these days. “I do a lot more activities than I used to,” she said. “Kids have video games. They’re used to a lot of stimuli, and in order to keep their attention, I need to keep class moving. They’re very excited, but I need to keep them moving.” Schaeffer said musicians in modern times haven’t kept up this same level of enthusiasm. “I feel some of the musicians are a little lazier,” he said. “I think our generation is lazy when it comes to musicians and musicianship. Back then, you could either play it or you couldn’t, and that’s just how it was. Now I feel like people can get on stage, play it sloppy and call it good.” He said that technology has also grabbed ahold of the modern musician — and it’s helping with live shows. “We’re a lot more dependent on our computers,” he said. “People are playing with backing tracks these days, which is great and cool. It adds to the show. … People are playing the metronome clicks inside their ears. People have in-ear (receivers) and they can hear themselves, so it’s helping us become better performers.” As with the recording industry, technology is also making its way into the classroom as far as music is concerned. “One of the first textbooks I had here, we’d have listening maps,” Den Herder said. “It’d be printed in the music books and the kids would have to look around. Now there are animated maps to go on the smart board. They’ll show the visual difference.” In addition to the smart board, she uses iPad games to help in fifth grade band lessons for practice. Den Herder said she uses a similar app when teaching fourth grade students the recorder. “The last 5-10 minutes, when we’re done playing songs, we play a video game and they all have to play the correct notes, and hold it for the same duration,” she said. “Kids get competitive when it comes to a video game. If they don’t do the right thing, they get upset. It’s so much more interactive and we have so many more tools to use.” Though Schaeffer said laziness has become a part of the music industry, he says there’s also been a rise in creativity over the years. “As time goes on, things have been done, and if you want to stick out, people become more artistic and creative with the ways they arrange music and write music,” he said. “Who doesn’t like to hear something new?” He added popular music has also become more technical as the decades have come and gone. “Van Halen and some of those bands back then could really shred and do all kinds of cool things with their music,” he said. “Bands now have been doing so much more with how technical they get. If you listen to the Beatles or the Beach Boys, a lot of the music was very, very simple with basic chord structure and it was all about the vocals. Now, every instrument is extremely technical and very interesting to listen to.” IN THE STUDIO Some of the biggest changes in music over the last four decades have started in the studio. “Today, it’s not hard to have a recording studio with technology,” Schaeffer said. “If you have a laptop, you can literally have a recording studio. They make it pretty easy to just go out and buy a cheap interface, some YANKTON CITYWIDE RUMMAGE spoons fire pit rakes vinyl records bike rakes fire pit fire pit household snow blower spoons yard ornaments canopy The World Of Music — Whether it’s Listening To It Or Performing It — Has Changed Greatly In The Digital Age “There’s tons of wonderful little video clips you can show (students). Twenty years ago, it might take you five hours to find that one little piece of information. You can Google it now and have it up in five minutes. We can share that information and share that music with them faster than we could 20 years ago.” Dena Den Herder software and pretty soon, you can set up a studio and you can be making full productions.” He added that in this era, you don’t necessarily even need each instrument on site. “They have ways of programming drums that you don’t have to have a drum set to set up and record,” he said. “It’s a lot easier and it’s a lot more consumer friendly. Way back when (recording) music started, you had to have a big space, you had to have nice acoustics in order to do a record.” In spite of the advances in technology, Schaeffer said there’s still one thing any studio worth its salt still needs. “You have to have somebody that has good ears to make a good record,” he said. “People can make a record on their own, but it won’t always stick out. One of the problems with the industry is you have tons of these ‘bedroom studios’ where they’re making these dull sounding recordings.” Schaeffer said there’s almost been a studio explosion in the state. “There’s literally hundreds of producers in the state of South Dakota these days,” he said. “It used to be that there was very few; there were two studios in the whole state. But today you go to any big city and there’s going to be thousands of kids that can record a record or record their vocals and be able to program instruments, and it’s going to get easier and easier.” He said it’s a far cry from the days before digital recordmaking — for better or worse. “Musicians had to have talent back then,” he said. “We joke about it a lot. I don’t know how Van Halen recorded some of those solos because they had to play it all the way through because it was on tape. There’s no copy-and paste, there’s no aligning it, there’s no auto-tune — these guys were singing well, they were playing well and today we do it OK. We get it close enough and then we can tweak it in post-production. … It’s nice in a lot of senses because you can make everything perfect, but it’s kind of crap that you can make somebody sound really good that doesn’t deserve to sound that good.” However, Schaeffer said the more consumer-friendly nature of the modern recording industry is actually helping make some musicians better. “Kids are buying these softwares, they’re writing music and it’s helping them write better music without having to go to the studio,” he said. “Kids in high school are able to record their ideas. Maybe it doesn’t sound great, but they’re able to put their ideas down, hear it back and learn how they can make it better.” However, there could be some storm clouds on the horizon for the recording industry. “CDs are going to be obsolete soon, which means record labels aren’t going to be making as much money,” Schaeffer said. “Everything is going to streaming now, and people aren’t making as much off of streaming sites as they were off of CD sales.” continued on page 15 rakes ... nouncing An shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com SEPT. 6 thru TH SEPT. 9 TH LABOR DAY SPECIAL Reward your hard work with a Green Mountain Grill All Ads Will Run September 6th, 7th & 8th in the P&D for just $30 30 words and $.20 per word after 30. ONLY ONE ADDRESS ALLOWED IN EACH AD. Stop By The Press & Dakotan To Place Your Ad OR email classifieds@yankton.net INCLUDES: • • Your ad (30 words, 1 address per ad) placed in the • Citywide Rummage Sale section published September 6-8. • • Your ad will also appear on-line at www.yankton.net • • 2 Yard Signs • • by the: Sponsored DEADLINE: NOON, FRIDAY, AUG. 31ST Jim Bowie $724 FREE 28lb .B Of Hard Wood Pe ag With Purchase!llets Daniel Boone $549 Davy Crockett $374 Easy As A Push of A Button Set It & Forget It! 5 miles West of Tyndall on Hwy. 50 Corner of Hwys. 50 & 37 605-689-3909 or Cell 605-464-1113 www.schurmansfarmsupply.com
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