Music and New Technologies

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New technologies have transformed music. Today almost anyone can create music from home. To start creating, all you need is a computer and specific software. In the past, people who wanted to produce or record music needed to have a recording studio and a team of professionals for long hours. This was quite expensive and not affordable for everyone. Nowadays, if you have a computer, you already have everything you need to be able to get the song of the summer out of you! In just a few clicks you will have the central part of a home recording studio, the so-called digital audio workstation, or DAW (Digital Audio WorkStation), ready.

Among the most popular DAWs for music creation and production are CUBASE, Apple Logic X Pro or Pro-Tools among others…With just a PC and a DAW we can start creating music based on MIDI digital instruments (Music Instrument Digital Interface) or VST plugins (Virtual Studio Technology) but if we have some musical knowledge and we want to record the sound of our favorite instrument or our own voice, we will also need a sound card or low latency audio interface, it will allow us to connect microphones or musical instruments and record them on the workstation with very little latency and an (almost) professional quality.

Technology has also transformed the language of music. Traditionally, music was written in sheet music, but in the digital world the language of music is called MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), which allows computers and programs to understand the information coming from musical peripherals such as a MIDI keyboard, a guitar pedalboard, etc….It is quite common to find in home studios a piano keyboard that by itself does not sound, but with it, we can convert sounds into MIDI language: when we press a key a MIDI note is created that later (or in real time) will be played on the instrument we choose from our favorite sound bank, being able to choose from a grand piano, a string quartet to the most exotic instruments we can think of. In the same way, the MIDI editor of your DAW allows you to sequence the notes step by step and that makes the task of creating music much easier for people with no previous musical knowledge. Even so, of course, having musical training and culture will allow you, a priori, to give your compositions a greater richness, as long as the muses deign to visit you… or maybe, as the genius said: a masterpiece consists of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration… What do you think?

Jaime Camacho Pastilla

ECM Analyst

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