Friday, July 17, 2015

Yesterday and today...and the future of music.

By Tim Dolbear

Someone the other day asked me what is the future of music and music technology? I thought for a few minutes and answered:

"I believe it will continue to be more and more automatic (autotune, auto song arrangements, auto mixing, auto mastering) until its gets to the point where its not creative or enjoyable anymore for anyone at any level. And it will go back to basics, but music will only be a shell of what it once was. With no return on investment, nothing of quality will be available and Music will simply fall away as its appeal and stimulus will not keep up with humans' shortening attention spans".

To elaborate more...
Programs like MAGIX Music Maker have one click buttons for making a song; asking what style? upbeat or slow...? and then with one click the music and loops are all added to the project and the song is done. Add to that auto lyric writing, coming soon auto singer, and the song is done. There is software to mix the song to the style you want. Then you have LandR, the auto-matic mastering service that has reported to already master 1.5 million song at $9 each. All of these services and software suck at making music to put it bluntly, but they will get better and better...

"Do you want a guitar for Christmas or an Xbox?"
There are real musicians out there, but as the younger generations come up, they have less and less of a want or drive to learn instruments and music theory. I remember teaching guitar lessons years ago and having student quit because it was harder than Guitar Hero to play a real guitar. They had been perverted in their views by playing the easy and automatic video game. People would even record themselves playing Guitar Hero and put it on YouTube, as if what they did was real music, as a real musician or artist. 

Labels were flooded with demos all sounding the same and using the same beats and music when Garageband first came out. 

Right now...
If people are willing to pay $5 for a coffee but not even 99cents for a song for an artist they like, then there is no way real musicians will continue putting out music, not because of the monetary cost, but because or the lack of return on investments and the discouragement that it brings.

We are surrounded by a flood of really bad music, YouTube is filled with a million bands and singers that are nothing special. But I say they have always been there.

The Real 1989

Back in the 80's when I was in the clubs in Los Angeles, there was a million bands out there all struggling to "Make it". But we only knew of the ones around us we could see and hear in person. We did not realize every town had hundreds if not thousands of bands all trying to "make it". So we had drive, we saw the dream as reachable feed by news of bands getting "signed' and a music world filled with Rock Stars.

Now that the days of Rock Stars are gone and the industry has completely changed, I do believe that just as many bands "make it" to the next level as always have, but its so hard to see them as nowadays EVERYONE is out there and available to been seen. In 1989, if you got to make a record, or got onto MTV, so people on the other coast could see you, you had arrived! And you did have a chance to make a career out of music. But now everyone is on YouTube, everyone records and the same pool that has always been there is now see-able as flooded. We see this flood and think "no one is making it nowadays, I know of all these people on face book and none of them are making it anywhere". Well we just did not have Facebook, let alone the internet in 1989 to see all of the others drowning in the pool. So we held on to our dreams and aspirations.

That's enough food for thought on this day in an interesting time.

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