Sunday, April 09, 2006

4/9/06 JM Link Dump

David wants to know what to tell a bad chazzan.

Aryeh writes about a new acapella album that raises some interesting halachik questions.
The song is very well done. The intro to this song is Sweet Home Alabama (hope he gave credit!), and leads into Piamenta's Yi'baneh. Guitar is replaced by vocals with heavy distortion. The effect is good, but the tone of the guitar sounds like a low-end keyboard guitar sound. Having said that, I think the creativity of the idea outweighs the minor tonal issue. There are also vocal drums and bass. The arpeggios at the beginning of the song sound like they sampled the vocals and made a keyboard patch out of it, and then played it.
The techniques used raise some interesting questions as to what is/isn't permissable with regard to music production techniques for sefira albums.

I'm not sure where the distinction between vocal and instrumental music -- rather than recorded vs. live music -- comes from with regard to sefira. I can't recall having seen a source on it.

At any rate, assuming that the halacha is in line with current JM industry practice, that vocal recordings are permitted but tracks with instruments are not, an obvious question is what constitutes vocal music. Where is the line drawn?

For instance, many synthesizers use samples as the basis for the sounds they generate. Would any sound based on a vocal sample be permitted?

Is sampling a vocal, assigning the notes to a keyboard, and then playing it back permitted? Would it matter if the line played is actually singable?

How about processing vocals with distortion and the like?

At what point is a vocal no longer considered pure vocal as opposed to a processed electronic instrument?

What is the status of a vocal sound that is generated purely via synth. In other words, if it sounds like a vocal, do we ignore the source and treat it as one?

We raised some related questions a while back in "Kol Haschalos Kashos."

Would a synthesized female voice be assur as Kol Isha?

Would there be a difference depending on how the synth generates sounds, for instance, via samples, FM, or additive synthesis?
Finally, MoC may have made Wikipedia, but we've made Bob Marley News!