Music recording

Six tech innovations that are changing music recording

It’s hard to think of an industry or business that technology hasn’t changed. Even the arts, which probably don’t immediately come to mind when thinking of new technologies, have forever changed their course due to technological innovation. From the phonograph to the electric guitar, technology has always driven the music recording industry.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

New technology is still changing music recording today. Here’s a look at six innovations that are shaping the way people record music.

1.MIDI 2.0

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) launched in the early 80s and has since become the standard for digital music. This standard that allows musical equipment to connect and control sound now has a new version: MIDI 2.0. As MIDI 2.0 rolls out to more and more devices, it could usher in a new era of digital sound.

MIDI 2.0 offers higher resolution and velocity, resulting in cleaner sound and more immediate and precise control. MIDI 2.0 devices can also exchange information to automatically configure themselves to work together, providing a more seamless experience. This includes backward compatibility with MIDI 1.0 gear.

With MIDI 2.0, musicians will be able to set up their digital gear faster and have more control over their sound. As new technologies emerge, this new standard could open up new performance and recording possibilities.

2. Pitch correction software

Pitch correction software like Auto-Tune isn’t necessarily new, but it’s reaching new heights. Plugin options are more varied and widely available than ever before, and their underlying technology is more advanced. Modern pitch correction software can analyze leads in multiple waysallowing musicians to adapt his approach to the desired result.

Some musicians may configure this software to analyze tracks percussively to improve the beat or adjust its rhythm. Others may use it to analyze and adjust the pitch of a specific channel, and others may correct multiple tracks simultaneously. This abundance of options gives recording artists more control over how they manipulate tracks.

These algorithms also come in the form of simple plugins today. Any musician or sound engineer, regardless of experience or technical knowledge, can start using them right away.

3. Cobot Musicians

Robots have reshaped heavy industries like manufacturing, and they are also beginning to influence the arts. While robots may never replace human musicians, cooperative musical robots, or cobots, are beginning to appear. These bots can give musicians a willing and talented jamming partner to replace someone who couldn’t make it to the session.

Chimon, a robot marimba player from the Georgia Institute of Technology, is a prime example. The robot can improvise music by listening to human partners and generating melodies and harmonies that match. Since these come from complex algorithms, they probably sound unlike anything a human musician would produce.

Collaborating with these cobots can help musicians produce exciting new songs unlike anything recorded before.

4. Mastery of AI

Likewise, artificial intelligence (AI) can automate the mastering process. This is the final stage of music production and involves balancing various elements so that a song sounds consistent across all platforms. Mastering involves precise earing and complex balancing, which AI is excellent at.

Traditionally, mastering can be expensive thousands of dollars per track for the elite industry expert. AI mastery algorithms are much cheaper because using these programs does not take the time of an in-demand expert. As a result, top-notch mastering becomes more accessible.

AI probably won’t put humans out of work in this field, as there will always be a demand for an artist’s touch. However, these fast and affordable AI options are a great opportunity for emerging talent with fewer resources.

5. Pocket Synthesizers

The synthesizer is one of the most significant musical innovations in history, and new technologies are opening up new possibilities. Pocket synthesizers, as the name suggests, allow artists to take these versatile digital tools wherever they go. This way they can record beats and melodies no matter where they are when inspiration strikes.

Some pocket synthesizers allow users record samples via built-in microphones to play in the moment or save for later. With this function, artists could record an interesting sound they hear in their daily life and then use it in a track. They no longer need to come back later with recording equipment to get the sample.

6. Accessible instruments

Traditionally, many instruments require fine motor skills and practice to play. While this gives musicians a sense of accomplishment, it makes the instruments inaccessible to people with certain disabilities. Fortunately, new technologies work beyond these limits.

One of these technologies, Control One, turns wheelchairs into instruments using their mobility controllers. Control One uses a MIDI controller to translate joystick movements into musical notes, allowing wheelchair users to play music without needing to learn a new skill. It also opens up the instrumentation to a new audience that couldn’t access it before.

Other accessible instruments include gloves that translate hand movements into notes or guitar accessories that help apply pressure for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

New technologies are reshaping the recording industry

Human creativity and talent will always be at the center of music recording, but new technologies are reshaping what that process looks like. These innovations open the door to new melodies, recording techniques and musicians, allowing people to reach their full musical potential. As these technologies become more mainstream, recording as we know it could alter its course for good.

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Last updated March 16, 2022.

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