posted on May, 8 2009 @ 09:33 PM
This topic came up on one of my threads on ATS, and i thought BTS would be a more appropriate place to discuss it.
Someone mentioned that they believe the fact that professional recordings are easier to make nowadays is degrading the quality of the music produced.
I have a small recording studio and having worked with the newer toys, i believe that first, the "ease of creation" factor is greatly exaggerated.
Samplers, synths, drum machines, virtual instruments and effects, and digital audio workstations such as Pro Tools are only effective if you know how
to use them properly. Learning to do so is no simple task. It requires hours of manual reading, a good foundation in both music theory and modern
recording techniques, and most importantly, talent. If you aren't a proficient musician, these tools are useless to you.
Secondly, i believe that the (slightly) easier methods of music production that technology has provided actually makes better, or at least comparable
quality music. Great Artists have always utilized the latest in recording wizardry to make their signature sounds. That doesn't mean that their
music is any the worse. The Beatles used what was essentially the first sampler, the Mellotron, on "Strawberry Fields Forever," and the song
wouldn't have been the same if they hadn't.
Digital recording techniques introduced a vast array of processing possibilities. Studio techs were no longer bound by magnetic tape, but were free
to manipulate a recording like any other type of digital file. Sure, audiophiles always complain that the fidelity of digital audio can't compare to
that of magnetic tape and vinyl, but the digital world offers so much more in the way of shaping the audio, that just can't be done with tape. I'm
sure, had they had the opportunity, very few of the great recording artists would've passed up the opportunity to use tempo based effects.
Yes, music technology can be abused. There are any number of people out there stacking loops from sample CD's in Acid Pro and calling it art. Those
people are deluding themselves and will one day find that out. Technology isn't there to make "just push play" music, it's there to smooth the
work flow of the truly talented musicians of the world. Just because a few people out there misuse the power doesn't make the power itself or the
results of using it bad.
Music theory should always be the basis of a songwriters work. All of the cool new toys available are only there to shape the sound, not to write the
song for you.
Tools don't build a house, a carpenter does. And, the fact that he has powerful tools doesn't mean that the end result of his labor is any less an
accomplishment than the man who uses a hammer and a handsaw.