The Technology of Music

The signature sound of an artist or even a generation has often been established by pushing the limits of the current music technology available at the time. As a musician and audiophile, the quality of sound and the creative vibe in the room were paramount in designing my artist performance space. Finding the right mix of music technology and design aesthetics were a tricky line to walk in creating the open performance space as well as the actual recording studio. How many sound panels were enough to minimize the echo and create warmth without turning the room into a black box? What was the proper size PA, microphone quality and mixing board to record live performances from the stage worthy of the quality of performers I hoped to attract. Logic versus Pro tools: the decisions were overwhelming and critical to minimize additional financial expenditures in the future.

Music technology is any technology, such as a computer, an effects unit or a piece of software, that is used by a musician to help make music, especially the use of electronic devices and computer software to facilitate playback, recording, composition, storage, mixing, analysis, editing and performance.  Music technology is connected to both artistic and technological creativity. Musicians are constantly striving to devise new forms of expression through music, and physically creating new devices to enable them to do so.

As technology advances, it finds its way into all sorts of musical applications. For those who are creative and possess musical aptitude as well as computer skills, the possibilities are endless. New sounds and styles of music are created everyday using music technology and the wide array of options it provides. All of this has to be considered when selecting recording equipment, software and hardware required to create quality demos, EPs and tracks for today’s artists and producers.

Music technology and the open file-sharing made possible by the internet have brought about a huge change in how people discover, record and share music and new artists. Even kids, with little or no formal training, are finding ways to compose and record their own music and share it with the world from their basements. With the advancement of technology, music advances as well and so does the potential for creative individuals to find satisfaction in the form of a hobby or a profession.

More than anything else, Music Technology emphasizes the integration of musical and technical skills, collaborations that explore new relationships between experimental and traditional approaches to music. Technology has become the new leading economic indicator of the music trade cycle and will transform the role music plays in contemporary culture.

Today’s music technology has performers, DJ’s, producers and venues experimenting with new methods of music creation, synthetic beat driven melodies creating unexpected collaborations like dance music DJ’s joining forces with hip hop and pop making DJ’s rock stars like never before.

Technology has been and is a double edge sword for creativity in all forms, particularly music. Artists trying to make a living have found that music technology has unintentionally created a generation of music lovers that often feels music is FREE.  The ease of  recording it using apps like Garage Band,  the accessibility of  downloading it through apps like Pandora, and Spotify and ability to watch it through live streaming on You Tube and have made it difficult to identify business models and methods for  ownership and collection of money for all entities along the music food chain.

image from Wikimedia commons

There’s little wonder why there is an  increasing popularity in throwback technology such as analog, turntable, and vinyl music which speaks to a longing for the imperfect, surprising, spontaneous and delightful moments ever possible in live settings, the crackly warm sounds of a 33 LP record and a cozy house concert.  More and more artist are doing it all on their own – from writing,  recording, marketing and distributing their music using the myriad of music services for indie artist popping up daily on the internet.

Music Technology is a major factor behind today’s cultural change and cultural nostalgia. Uber-Techno explorers and Old-Schoolers can find each other in a rather simple recording studio like that of  OFF The Wall Music Lounge – where performers come to perform and listeners come to listen and it all gets recorded through a mic into a computer, processed through some software and replayed through a mic – back into your ears.  Long live LIVE music and small intimate music spaces with great sound, a great vibe and great new artists who can be seen by a few hearty souls looking for real, good music.


Featured image from Off the Wall Music Lounge’s Instagram feed.

What are you looking for?