MIDI or Virtuoso?

Reverent.org has an interesting quiz that challenges you to tell the difference between music played by a computer and music played by a human virtuoso. Most people will probably find it pretty easy. I, however, scored only 63%. I mistook Rachmaninov for a computer (among other errors).


Posted on Mon Oct 10, 2005


Some of them were easier to pick as MIDIs than others. I only managed 50%. I'm going to blame it on the dodgy headphones at work!
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Tue Oct 11, 2005  at  01:34 AM
Hm, I got one wrong and scored 75%. Their math seems a bit off.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Oct 11, 2005  at  08:44 AM
8 out of 8 first try i must say i'm a might bit pleased with myself
Posted by Geekmafia  on  Tue Oct 11, 2005  at  10:50 AM
This test was way too easy. I got 8 out of 8, but I am a classically trained pianist with heaps of experience working with computers and electronic music. (I even recognized two performers: Van Cliburn and Glenn Gould.)

The problem with this test is that it doesn't do justice to what "MIDI" can do. The electronic examples are all quantized at 100% (meaning there is no room for tempo nuances) and played back through really poor quality general MIDI sound modules.

MIDI technology is FAR more advanced than this. Imagine, for example, the excepts played back on a Yamaha DiskClavier (which looks and sounds just like a "regular" piano, except it can be controlled by a computer) and with tempo fluctuations added using sophisticated computational algorhythms.

Furthermore, you can blur the distinctions even more by creating a "hybrid" performance- have a human "play" the score into a computer and have the computer edit the performance to fix wrong notes and to alter the tempo to increase the performer's "virtuosity".

(And if you're wondering, yes, major recording artists DO do the above all the time- a professional on ProTools can fool the ear just as well as an expert Photoshopper can fool the eyes.)
Posted by Andy  on  Tue Oct 11, 2005  at  10:35 PM
i got a hundred percent but it probably helped that i used to play in an orchestra. the midi notes do not blend. they are very choppy and too clean.
Posted by coffee  on  Wed Oct 12, 2005  at  09:53 PM
I guessed on 7 of them and got a 63%. I wonder what I would've gotten had I actually tried,probably lower.
Posted by Jeff  on  Fri Oct 21, 2005  at  12:34 PM
I managed 100% first time. No, I'm not classically trained but I can read the HTML source code for the web page.
Posted by john byrne  on  Tue Nov 08, 2005  at  06:30 PM
i scored 88%
Posted by lopez  on  Tue Jul 18, 2006  at  02:03 AM
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