What is Music Technology?

Music technology has reshaped the way that people acquire, create, and sell music. Technological advances in computer capabilities, effects units, and software, enable people to create music through a wide array of different avenues. When you consider music technology, the first thing that you consider is most likely a computer. Computers allow you to implement software in order to record, mix, compose, or store many different songs. A computer allows an artist or producer to make changes to new record albums before they hit the airwaves. As different musical technologies have increased, so too, have the number of successful artists.

Anytime you see a DJ working with a computer on stage or in the recording studio, you might wonder how in the world he controls different aspects of the song. However, music technology is not just created for professional performing artists or producers. It's created for artists who are experiencing the beginning of their careers as well. For example, Apple's “Garage Band” is one of the most popular musical technologies of all time. It comes as a standard app for many Mac users, and people who are not musically inclined can take advantage of it. The program allows you to record and mix live instruments, as well those which are already programmed.

Some old-school record producers and musical artists do not care to understand the value of music technology. They see it as a form of cheating, or superficial expression. The reality is that while playing an actual instrument does take talent, the ability to create and mix music is a talent on its own. Timing, rhythm, chord progressions, and keys are all major concepts that someone must understand, even if they use the technology. Additionally, live bands can lay down different recordings for a song and then mix it to determine which one works the best. Music technology grants a huge amount of access to many different instruments that might not otherwise become available.

Computers are increasingly being used during live shows. This is especially true as it relates to electronic music shows which involve "dubstep" and EDM styles. DJs use the computers to control every aspect of the song, as well as the crowd reactions. This is evident when a DJ incorporates completely new musical aspects during a live show. Musical acts which feature one artist, like Jack Johnson, or a only a few band members, like The Black Keys, rely on technology to provide pre-recorded background music during live shows.

Many great producers and artists such as Skrillex and Deadmau5 got their start through the use of computer software programs. They made it big by revolutionizing the way people mixed songs and used sounds to create a cohesive song. These artists often whip the crowd into a frenzy by controlling every aspect of the beats within a given song. This enables them to capitalize on what works, and what doesn't work. Music technology continues to adapt to artist needs, and it helps all musical talents to realize their creative dreams.