What I Think Has Changed In Electronic And Digital Music Over The Years?Wolfgang Mueller
Being an electronic and digital music enthusiast since teenage and adolescent years, I have seen gradual yet significant evolution in Electronic music regarding the way it is produced and distributed. While there has been initiative to revive the old-house electro pop and techno music by the independent producers and DJs, the new technologies have flourished rapidly, giving the genres a new dimension. As a matter of fact, during my early fandom years, the craze for electronic and digital music was not this much evident because there were not so many resources and the artists were not aware or inclined towards promotion of their albums.
Just consider the hardships that the producers had to go through while creating a sample with their synthesizers around fifteen to twenty years ago because technology was not this advanced, there were hardly such efficient software creating unbelievable effects. The DAW or Digital Audio Workstation software is undoubtedly the best advancement in the world of digital music because it will let you create the ambience of the hi-tech music studio right inside your room without any instrument, but just with the help of your computer.
With over tens of thousands of downloads right after a single or album is released on a website, the popularity has surely touched the paramount, something which was not so evident ten or twenty years back. While musicians then used to create electronic and digital music with some top-notch instruments which were costly too, now the tools are smaller, cheaper, comprehensive and accessible at the same time. Not only the hardware has upgraded, but also the software has become versatile with extensive storage to enhance the workflow.
The Advancements Through The Years
With the aid of internet resources in compliment with the advanced software, all the electronic mixes and digital tracks are recorded, produced, written and broadcast on computers with the DAWs like Logic Pro by Apple and Avid Pro. Thesoftware’s are basically the powerhouse of recording studios where DJs and other music producers can edit over a hundred audio tracks simultaneously while adjusting pitch, timing and adding numerous sound effects to come up with the final product that enthralls music lovers like me!
While in older times, the analogue sound wave was not so tampered like the producers do now to translate into digital binary signal. This is much like photo processing after shooting pictures with high-end SLR models –the naturalness gets subdued by artificial tint of the software but that only enhances it. Besides, with the growing years, old-house musical instruments including microphones, bass, jazz-organs etc have taken a backseat, but with these software, DJs and musicians have been able to recreate the 80’s vintage extravaganza with their contemporary digital music and electronic music.
Is Advance Technology Killing Authenticity?
With the growing trend, you need to accept the changes and welcome the unconventional over conventional. But, like every modern technology, the DAW too has its draw-backs because no matter how much dependent you become on the digital development, at the end, every musician needs some conventional touch with their guitar, synthesizer, loudspeaker and so on over the tiny ear monitors, simulated amplifiers etc. Even some of the renowned artists have commented on the decreased authenticity of original music as according to them, the artists in pre-digital era had optimum conditions to experiment with instruments, sound effects in real time than relying on the software.
How Instruments Have Changed?
Take for example, the synthesizers have a come a long way since their introduction in the 1940’s and with newer brands offering compact models and even different synthesizers for different synthesis like sample-based and granular, the EDM artists have found a new passion. During the same time, Drum Machines became famous for imitating the percussion, drum and cymbal sounds although their use as rhythm machines for EDM and house pop has given them a new outlook. Once utilized by top musicians and recording studios, sampling technology is now every musician’s cup of tea and that too without spending thousands of dollars. In this context, I should mention the journey of MIDI that denotes to digital interface and communications protocols which has developed significantly.
Gone are the days of spending thousands in bulky workstations, the reduced price of personal computers and wide availability of music producing software have resulted in the rise of advanced electronic and digital music with the help of modern technology.