Music Technology Posts from September, 2008

Writing Songs With Less Choice

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Modern computing technology has revolutionised the production of music; a laptop running a software DAW can now achieve things that even a multi-million dollar studio couldn’t do twenty years ago. The range of features on a sequencer can be truly daunting, and sometimes this is actually a disadvantage when all you want to do is sit down and write a song…

SanDisk Music On The Cards

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

There has been much speculation about how the music industry can effectively monetise its products in the digital age. Many suggestions centre on licensing deals and royalties, and the decline in overall CD sales has led to suggestions that music will not be a viable physical product of any kind in the future. The folks over at SanDisk, however, have a different idea…

Balloon Tunes And Tongue Grooves

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

In music, and particularly the realm of electronic or computer music, there can be a significant amount of ‘gear snobbery’ in some quarters. This stems from the notion that professional results can only be obtained by expensive high-end gear, that device X is inferior to device Y, and so on. However, here are a couple of instruments that are pretty much beyond compare…

How To Put Life Into Laptop Gigs?

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

For computer musicians, performing live can be somewhat problematic. Despite the fact that it is entirely possible to craft an electronic set ‘on the fly’ with a laptop, there is no real visual feedback for the audience to respond to. I call this ’email checking syndrome’, because from the crowd’s point of view you might as well just press play on a premixed set and sit there reading the latest gossip from your friends…

Third Eye Blind See Stem Potential

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Third Eye Blind are the latest band to jump on the stem remix, er, bandwagon. Although many high-profile acts have previously released individual instrument tracks (called stems) to the public for remixing, Radiohead were the first to create a significant buzz with this tactic…

Vocal Tips For Great Recordings

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Vocals are often the most evocative element of a song, but for a producer the vocal track is also the most problematic. Although professional vocal performances may be tracked through a signal chain featuring equipment worth millions, it’s quite possible to produce a decent vocal track without spending anything at all…

New Keyboard Layout

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The conventional musical keyboard layout has been in use since 1361, so perhaps it’s time we embraced a new design for the digital age. A series of ‘sonome’ keyboards based on the harmonic table aims to take performance in another direction…

R.E.M. Go Viral, Radiohead Go Soft, The Cure Go To Bed

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Today’s band spotlight goes to R.E.M. for their marketing efforts with Warner, to Radiohead for their live performance rig and to The Cure for having a bunch of other artists release an album of covers…

Electric Picnic Almost Avoids Irish Summer

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

After a long weekend of festival absorption, I think I’ll take the easy blog option today and just post a few photos from the Electric Picnic. For those of you not familiar with it, this is a music and arts festival in the Irish midlands, where this year the odds were defied and the rain held off until the very last minute…