I tried out Beat Scholar and Instacomposer 2 just because I was curious.
I actually wasn’t wrong about how I’d feel about them once I ended up using them – they generate what sounds like full-fledged elevator music on command, kind of like the patterns I’d never actually write with my MIDI controller or other tools in a million years (for better or worse), and dare I say, it’s all super generic and lifeless. I know that these could easily be tweaked to create better music overall, but starting with essentially semi-random shit doesn’t really seem like a good idea most of the time, and admittedly the only reason why I’d even make generate pieces in the first place is because I get to play around with the process for hours.
I could technically see myself using these in a very limited scenario where they’re actually a part of the design process, and the sketch I’m dealt by the random button is where I start shaping everything else, but this only seems like a cool “hey, what If I did this” experiment rather than being inherently useful to me. It seems like hard mode to actually try to make something I’d actually use with either of these so far.
With that said, I feel like any cool MIDI functions your DAW already has (arps, chords, length, random, logic gates) are more than enough to put something together that has way more feeling behind it, or your own personal spin at least. I definitely understand why people would use these (especially newer producers), but in my head, I feel like I might as well use some stupid AI to generate a song and pretend like it’s mine… and that still takes all the fun away for me.
I should also say that I love the ideas and innovation behind stuff like this, and if they lower the barrier for new producers to get started, then they can’t be a bad thing. Apparently I just like playing with the process of designing stuff myself, and that’s not always conducive to production anyway because most of that even turns out sounding like shit :D.
There’s also a slight possibility I didn’t go far enough with these just yet, such as linking two together and using their signals to negate each other for starters, and possibly moving onto bigger applications from there. If I come up with any experiments that work out, I will probably feel compelled to post them here just on the off chance anyone else finds meaningless experiments fun like I do