With the help of technological expansion, music has left the analog realm for its counterpart, the digital realm.
It’s mind blowing to comprehend the context in which music was placed in the past. It wasn’t even 30 years ago that in order to produce studio quality music one would not only have to fork out copious amounts of money but would need to attend music school to attain a degree as well as knowing the right people to make it all happen.
You just need a computer or even a smartphone, go to Google and download some free music software (or cheekily download professional quality music software for FREE).
After which you can get cracking!
Analog production equipment such as compressors, equalisers, effects processors, pre-microphone inputs, now comes in the form of Plug-ins which is software! Downloadable software!
Now if you’re a Tom Morello (Rage against the machine) on the guitar or a Danny Carey (Tool) on the drums, it’ll run you a little more than the run of the mill music software because you’ll also need a USB interface.
This little gem of a device will cost around $250 AUSD but it allows users to record microphone instruments (microphone recording an amp, or microphones recording Live drums) or even direct-line input (electric) instruments like the guitar or the synth. This piece of hardware, paired with music software like Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, or Ableton Live) offers amateurs a REAL opportunity to make music that can then be shared throughout the world.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) is a psychedelic rock band from Portland Oregon, USA. UMO is the brainchild of Ruban Neilson, a New Zealand-born musician who left his career in music with The Mint Chicks to pursue a career in graphic design.
Ruban had put his music behind him and had moved to Portland when he began to have ideas. Unable to put them to rest, he turned back to recording in his basement where he recorded “Ffunny Ffriends” under the original name Unknown.
He had forgotten that he shared the song to bandcamp.com – an extremely powerful tool in the way of an online music community – until one day his brother (Kody Neilson was in Ruban’s band The Mint Chicks) was showing him a cool band that he was listening to. To Ruban’s (and Kody’s) surprise, it was his song.
His song had been picked up by one blog, out of the incomprehensible amount of blogs where it was then shared by leading music blog, Pitchfork.com.
These days there is some amazing online-community-based sharing sites just for music such as Soundcloud, Bandcamp, myspace (to honestly name a few) that offer listeners and producers a chance to engage with each other to share, discuss and critique music.
By way of the remix, the process of production is even easier. Just cut out the interface as well as all the traditional instrumentation til you’ve got JUST the software (pretty much – for your more basic remixes).
The community behind remixing is also growing at an astronomical speed with the corporatisation of online radio streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Triple J Unearthed, even Apple have joined in the rat race, releasing iTunes radio (there are so much more but I can’t be f*&^% listing them all).
Now. Although the online radio streaming industry seems to be saturating ITSELF, it is great to see that with the internet, the online community has generated multiple uses for the platform, from showcasing up-and-coming talent, to remix competitions hosted by record labels, the original artists of the song being remixed and of course, the services themselves.
The rise of the remix shows no sign of slowing down.
Even I’ve dabbled in remixing.
For a competition.