The history of revolutionizing music technology innovations has a great legacy over the decades. The industry is evolving every day with the introduction of new technologies. This electronic age requires more than just analogue instruments and native tools to produce popular music culture among the next generation. Now, computers have taken over the work of modern music making with various software and tools that can redesign the way of editing and processing songs. It is important to realize all the tech innovations. We will look at the most important implementations of the current generation music industry.
Cutting beats were not considered as an integral part of a song’s post-processing stage until Propellerhead released their groundbreaking application Recycle. The application lets the user edit their music which is digitally recorded on computers. You can edit with an accompanying MIDI file that would slice beat across the keyboard.
Guitar Combo Amplifier
These amplifiers became popular because of their mobility and easy controls. When electric guitars boomed the music industry, every guitarist needed these amplifiers to take out their guitar skills wherever and whenever they want. Big brands like Fenders, Gibson etc. started manufacturing these amplifiers and gathered huge revenues of this device.
Thinking ahead of time, experimentalists like Karlheinz and Edgard Varese were trying to create something with using tapes in music composing. As a result, many of the music industry studios started using tapes to simulate echo in the studio. The first commercially available tape echo simulator EchoSonic changed the style of music to a whole new level. People like Elvis Presley’s guitarist Scotty Moore started using echo simulators.
Digital Multi-Track Recorder
The early 1990s was the transitional stage of the music industry. Digitalization of technology was changing the face of music with new and improved devices. Multi-track recorders came into use. The device replaced all the old mastering decks with brilliant features like recording stereo sounds, individual recording of different tracks, mixing of different tracks etc. Super VHS and DAT machines put up the great question about the future of the digital music industry.
Around the end of the 20th century, Synthesizing became a new technique of generating new sounds. Yamaha launched VL1, an instrument that can offer brass and reed models for a huge price. A year later, Korgs came up with a combined analogue synthesis of brass and reed model that costs much cheaper than Yamaha. Digital synthesis of sound changed the style of producing music thus thanks to the processing power of desktop computers.
Quad Track Cassette Recorders
During the 1980s music industry, most of the technology in the music industry was analogue. These technologies cost much less than the modern digital technology as these are easily repairable. The introduction of quad track cassette recorders flagged a new revolution in independent music production. People can now record in four individual tracks in the tape recorder and use the device for mixing audio tracks.
Recording on the Hard Disk
Direct recording to hard-disks enables various features and advantages that may reduce the cost of producing the music. No more single-use tapes and CDs, with direct recording to the hard disk now you can start immediate processing, mastering and mixing if you have access to the sound editing software.
Virtual Instruments were doing good in the early 2000s, when Steinberg introduced the first commercial VSTi that is equipped with model E. This software plugin soon hit the mainstream music industry. People started using these plugins and brought out unique sound productions that became popular in the young generation.
Recording audio directly into one’s computer became a revolutionizing idea. This is the time when soundcards came into existence. You need computer software and hardware to post-process audio and visuals. Fortunately, computer hardware manufacturers started thinking about developing hardware that comes handy while you want to work with sound and audio files. In that case, quality comes on the top of the “to-do list”.
Possibly the preliminary ancestors of the modern day computers, these vacuum tubes work as a rectifier in the circuit boards of an electronic device. John Ambrose invented oscillation valves that were used as a rectifier or a diode that turns any current that passes through it into one way journey. Therefore, this hardware reduced the cost of repairing devices that consist of electronic circuit boards as because replacing a valve is now more cheaper and reliable.
Mixers made creative mixing of music possible with its advanced features and mixing techniques. Regardless of the technology it involves, the mixer became one of the best creative tools in its own right, hence it made the word “remix” popular in the new generation music creators.
Australian musical equipment developer Fairlight unleased their Fairlight CMI, a digital sampling Synthesizer that was way beyond the technology of that time. But the digital synthesis was too much for the processing power available at that time.
Virtual Studio Technology
When it comes to computerized music production, few of the invention can compete for the change that VST has brought. You can now edit, sample, synthesize music and sounds on VST with simple software plugins.
MP3 and Digital Delivery
Birth of MP3 audio file format has changed the way of distributing music and audio files. Now people can access and download the latest music as well as old collections with just an internet connection. MP3 gave music the freedom from monetary hassles.
German engineering gave us one of the most important inventions for music. Magnetic Tapes changed the way of distributing music. These tapes were way ahead of the other audio storage systems in terms of audio quality. Hence, this replaced all the other mode of audio storage and distribution.
String instruments got electrified with the invention of Electric Guitars. Eventually, this instrument became an iconic symbol for the new generation pop culture. Artists like Les Paul, T-Bone Walker started using electric guitars, this gave birth to a new style of music.
Around 1960, the popularization of Modular systems changed the music style. Synthesizers became an essential instrument to produce unique sounds and a new style of music by modulating and synthesizing the conventional sound of the particular instrument.
Multi-Track Tape Recorder
The ability of recording in multiple tracks gave new creators a better playground to experiment with their music. They can mix and master different tracks with the tape recorders. Commercially available tape recorders could record up to 16 individual tracks during that time.
The Native DAW System
Atari launched their Falcon 030 Digital Audio Workstation which revolutionized the way of processing and editing sound. Soon these systems replaced the traditional ADAT system because of the advanced features it offers in computerized music production.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface or the MIDI was one of the first multilayer audio file transfer protocols that can do a lot more than stacking synthesizer tracks. People can record their music from the digital equipment to directly onto the computer hard disk.
One of the most underrated instrument now, without microphones there would be no music industry in today’s modern generation. Thomas Edison and Emile Berliner created the precursors of the modern microphone that can amplify sounds through a speaker or megaphone connected to it.