29 Aug 2017
Can musictech have us playing to a new tune?

Can MusicTech have us playing to a new tune?

Music and tech have long played happily together. Once upon a time, even techno was a type of music taking the charts by storm!

Behind every one of our favourite songs is a producer pressing a million buttons and flicking a million switches. Autotune has become the best friend to many artists. There is even the mantra ‘when on tour, never upset the sound guy’.

So it is no surprise that MusicTech has quite the reputation, and there is much to sing about. We decided to take a closer look and see if tech is really hitting the right notes.

When it comes to MusicTech, the picture it paints is of tech geeks behind large and complicated mixing desks, working magic that nobody else understands. However, MusicTech’s reach is quickly stretching out to the everyday people.

Spotify has changed the way we find it, stream it, and listen to music. This Swedish startup is MusicTech at its simplest, and best, form. Stepping closer and closer to the stock market, it now boasts 140 million users worldwide, far outstripping tech rivals Apple and Amazon.

However, that is not the end of the general population’s love of MusicTech.

Firstly, just ask yourself ‘can robots really make music?’

That might sound like a bit of crazy question, but apparently, AI is making some waves in the music scene.

A recent new project by AI composing tool, Amper, has actually released its first album “I am AI” – a collaboration between technology and humans. Amper provided the notation, chord progressions, and instrumentation, and musical artist Taryn Southern provided the vocal melodies and lyrics.

The general opinion of the new album is that it’s a little underwhelming, but has also provided a new element to the argument of too much “manufactured music”. Plus, does it undermine the real skills of mixers and producers?

When more of this music is released, it will be interesting to find out if it will have us all singing along or reaching to turn it off.

It is not just how we listen to music that has had the tech treatment, but also how we view it.

Just when we thought Virtual Reality has finished changing our lives, up it steps to shake up our concert going experiences. Swedish video experience global tech giant Accado, and its partnership with Telekom Germany has launched the world’s first mass-market VR concert experience – and it is not stopping there.

International music giant Universal has its own VR platform VRTGO and, proving just how big the pull of tech has become to the music industry, recently announced the release of a “360-degree 3-D performance” from Queen and Adam Lambert. At the moment it is just a glimpse of a virtual reality concert experience – covering just three of the supergroup’s hits – but is giving music fans a taste of things to come.

If you are a budding Mozart or Taylor Swift, you can crowdfund your way into getting your hands on some of the most interesting new music instruments around (who doesn’t want a pair of Drum Pants?!). A new piece of tech lighting up the crowdfunding scene is SpecDrums.

Already smashing its funding goal, these app-connected rings “turn colour into sound, making the world you sound machine”. Basically, users need to slip the rings onto their fingers, tap them on any surface, and they shine a light on to the surface. A small sensor then picks up the colour and translates it into a musical beat or sound. All of this then plays through a connected speaker.

Pretty nifty right? Just imagine the fun at dinner parties with these!

Now we cannot even pretend to know about every mixing desks, hardware, and software on the market, but, as we conclude our look at MusicTech, we need to give a special shout out to the best-named music synthesizers technology conference: Knobcon.

New technology is turning the music industry up a notch, and that is music to our ears!

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