Music and Digital Revolution

June 30, 2009

A digital music composing program

A digital music composing program

Decades ago, there was no sign of digital revolution in music. There were musical instruments and there were sweet music played with the real instruments. At that time, all music performers strictly needed to  perform together.  That used to be a tough time for music recording, since record producers had to pay performers extra for over and over retakes. So music production was costly and quality music production was limited to people with heavy pockets.

A Synthesizer

A Synthesizer

Gradually some electronic music equipments were came in notable uses in the mid of 70’s. Music producers took time to adapt these electronic equipments in their studios since the equipments were not as sophisticated as analogue equipments at that time. These equipments, called Synthesizers, are used for recording the sound and some for producing sounds.

Introduction of  electronics gave music production more flexibility and quality. The electronic synthesizers gave producers infinite number of musical sounds. And a number of new kind of music came in light. And quality in music and sound kept going higher and higher.

After revolution of personal computers, Music production got more storms of development. It got a lot of new things in music. Like Digital Work Stations (DAW) and Virtual Instruments which changed the music production’s methods.

You can record vocals and each music instrument separately and then mix all of those on a computer based audio work station with infinite flexibility. Today, almost every studio, big or small, uses a Digital Work Stations. These DAWs give music perfection and a very high sound quality.

Roland Piano Keyboard

Roland Piano Keyboard

Virtual Instruments (Software Synthesizers and Software Samplers) are computer programs or physical equipments, which synthesize sounds or make sound of real instruments. There is a huge number of available software synthesizers. All you need is a good computer, virtual instruments, a good Digital Audio Workstation, a Piano MIDI keyboard (similar or same thing to the Roland, Yamaha, Korg keyboard, which you see a lot in different music concerts or TV etc.) and a creative music mind. You might also need some equipments like mixer controllers, microphone for recording vocals etc.

Usually virtual instruments/synthesizers are used along with recording with real instruments and performers. But there are large amount of music now which are done using only virtual instruments.

These digital things gave birth to types of music which were never possible with classical ways. Now there are some of music for which you will need 4 or 6 hands to play with real instruments. Another advantage of these computer based composing is that composers can compose music with roughly sounding virtual instruments and music sheet based composing programs and later do final recording with real instruments and performers. And of course, you can produce very high quality music without needing to record with real instruments sometimes.

These technologies gave a golden chance to try composing music to people who could never afford going into music composing due to financial issue etc. Now they can write good piece of music just on PC and show their creativity without spending much.

A Virtual Music Studio

A Virtual Music Studio

However many people argue that this type of music is fake music and music made by real instruments is the real music. I would like to say to them that you are talking same like, when a typewriter guy asks a page/ graphics designer that he/she is a fake designer; because typing on typewriter is the real typing and page designing. So don’t be typewriter age person and accept technology. Still you need to use a creative mind to compose music like you needed before and skills on music sheet and piano keyboard. Only thing less is that it’s in reach of so many people who can compose good music but couldn’t  afford music instruments, studios and performers. (Some old fashioned composer have problems with it because they can’t put their steps with technology though). Also those people need to understand that these technologies have given birth to music type which are not possible with real instruments at all. After all, music is piece of sound which you enjoy; music is not a circus which  necessarily needs to be performed live.

Virtual instruments’ quality is going better day by day, but it’s still hard to use these in final music instruments for conventional music types. Making those instruments on computer is harder than hiring a performer with real instruments. So still real instruments are used mostly in professional productions.

Today digital technologies are integral part of music without which, there is no modern music.

PS – I’m also a rookie music composer, using digital methods primarily.


5 Responses to “Music and Digital Revolution”

  1. Najeeb Says:

    Wow.. nice article… btw can u plz suggest me nice PLUGINs (no need of freewares) for Fl Studio..

    • Sais Says:

      Thanks.. :)

      There is huge number of available VST instruments for FL Studio and other VST supporting DAWs. You can find about all of them at .
      Image Line Morphone, Cakewalk Studio Instruments, Pianoteq, SwarPlugs are some good VST intruments. :)

  2. Haroon R Says:

    Yaar, technology has really changed the scenario, and the sounds are not fake as most of them are sampled from real Instruments.
    Only I think there is an increase in competition of musicians. But again, Music is about expressing something, you can’t express in words and if technology is helping in expressing this, why argue..?? :)

  3. Bobbie Jean Says:

    interesting facts,sais. but yeah, alot of people say Synthesizers is a type of fake music. but i realized how it could’nt be fake..if it makes some kind of music note or what not. its known as music. :) so there’s no such thing as “fake” music.. hahah

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