Technology has revolutionized the way we make music, you have to think of 20 years ago even as early as twenty years ago everything was recorded to tape so it was kind of performance-based and if you made a mistake you had to go back and redo it or do a thing called a punch in where you try to just record a certain section. All of these techniques the computer has just made almost obsolete. Here are some ways evolving technology has changed music production.
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and it was kind of the first foray where computers became really the heart and soul of how to do a music production. The cool thing about MIDI is you are recording just that information, just what notes you’re playing. how long you’re playing them for, how loud you’re playing them, and because it’s just data it’s unbelievably and infinitely editable. The joy of MIDI is that it can be corrected or what’s called quantized since it is just information. Another thing about MIDI is you can transpose these notes.
Essentially think of this as a sound camera so any sound that we can record we could then put into what’s called a sampler and then it could be laid out across the keyboard so we can play it.
If you want to edit with tape, you would have to cut the tape, pull the sections out, and rearrange them, but the cool thing about what computers can do with audio because this is just digital information to a computer it is really easy to grab a tool like scissors tool and start cutting it up into little sections wherever you want. With the pointer tool, you can rearrange this and put these sections anywhere you want. One of the beautiful things about this is you have the ability to cut out any kind of mistakes because it’s just digital and you can make exact copies of your recording wherever you want.
Another way evolving technology has really made our lives better is through something called plugins. Plugins are basically effects processors within the computer and they can affect any audio signal. All I have to do is go to an insert on the particular track and let’s say that you just wanted to do some flange you can simply dial it back and all of this is happening within the computer. Learn more.
Kind of on the same way that we could add a flanger or a delay or reverb to an audio track, we can also generate sound within the computer with a different type of plugin this time called a virtual instrument or a software instrument. With a synthesizer, all the sound can be generated out of a laptop, the midi keyboard controls what notes are being played back, and the parameters can be adjusted just like it could on a real synthesizer.
Technology has changed everything and the techniques highlighted above are now used in every type of music that you hear from country, metal, pop, techno, house, to whatever. It is used in every single piece of music being made today.