Friday, 14 October 2011

Remembering Steve as an Expressive Man

For a long time now, musicians, composers, song-writers and anyone learning to create music have been asking for a solution to facilitate and accelerate the expression of their musical ideas. There is a painful dilemma being expressed in frustrated statements about what is not right about the software they are forced to endure and this has continued to resonate throughout the industry over the past decades.

As a musician and composer I too had my expectations of what I had thought computers and software would do to accelerate my musical learning and composing activities. To shorten a long story for now lets just say I was disappointed. This led to years of work to design and engineer Virtuoso which is now close to being released. Some musicians have had the opportunity to see the Virtuoso solution first hand and their reactions have been extremely positive.

Below are just several of the many examples where the dilemma facing musicians has been expressed in a painfully obvious way. Each statement of frustration is followed immediately by a joyous counter statement where the elation of seeing Virtuoso in action is expressed.

Competitive Analysis : Example 1
“Is music software a blessed gift or the nightmare of modern musicians? How do you choose and use music software for making your own music? Probably the weakest point of today's music software is no longer the technical performance but the human interface (...or should I say the lack of it?). What programmers or software companies consider a useful program surface can instantly make any grown up musician and music producer weep and fall into despair. Combine that with a vast variety of more or less working hardware and the usual computer bugs and you got enough problems to keep the average musician busy for years, producing nothing.” — – 2009
“In my experience, Virtuoso is by far the most flexible I have yet encountered.  This program offers the highest degree of ‘hands-on’ music construction and manipulation that I am aware of. I can see great potential in a software package like this one, because Mr. Buhr's approach has captured the essence of tonal manipulation, in such a way that the student may gain so much more from the musical experience than before. I am personally looking forward to the release of this software, and I would highly recommend it to those involved in music education, performance and composition.”  — Clayton Halverson, Music Authographer, Composer, Teacher, Manitoba Composers Association
Competitive Analysis : Example 2
"I've spent many hours trying to force various notation programmes to do what I tell them to. In the end I went back to pencil and paper, and pen and ink for manuscripts, because it was (a) a lot faster, and (b) less intrusive when it came to writing in real time." — Composer's Lounge, gsmonks, RE: Finale or Sibelius?, 08/19/10
“Virtuoso is the most transparent application of music software that I've ever seen; eliminating the usual interference that other programs make you grapple with. Virtuoso has the capacity to be the software we need and will have immediate application in education.” — Owen Clark, Digital Arts Consultant, Seven Oaks School Division
Competitive Analysis : Example 3
“Over the years I‘ve tried all the pricey notation software and have seen countless pieces go unwritten, would-be composers throwing their arms up in disgust from trying to change key signatures, classrooms full of college students yawning through an unbearably dull clinic on entering quarter notes, and learned musicians giving up on arranging because of the steep learning curve. After all, you spend time studying music to become good at music, not to wrestle with esoteric software.” — Dave Jones, writer for Performing Songwriter Magazine (July/August 2006)
“Having seen a presentation of Virtuoso I am very impressed with the new capabilities the program has. Working with and selling musical software for several years I am well aware that the options and editing control Virtuoso provides has not been implemented to this degree. Notation programs are notorious for being clumsy to work with and Virtuoso takes this into account in its design, providing a superior solution.”  — James Soloway, Keyboard and Computer Department, Long & McQuade Ltd - Musical Instruments

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