How is your music shaped by Technology?

EMU SP1200 Sampler

Western music and it scales are hundreds of years old, yet it is a simple fact that for the last century advances in technology have provided the steps for progress. Wether you realise it or not your sound is inexplicably shaped by the limitations and quirks of your tools.  These quirks shape your sound and help you stamp your own impression on your genre.

How do you feel you could push your sound envelope through your musical technology?

Daft Punk, Alan Braxe and the the producers on the legendary label Roule, were all big fans of the SP 1200 – An classic drum machine and sampler by E MU. It was the limitations and simple programming sequencer that shaped classic tracks like ‘Music Sounds Better with You’, ‘Running’ and many others. Check the video below for an interview with Alan Braxe using the SP 1200.

I love the simplicity of this tool and the way it adds such warmth and crunch to the samples. Winner! I’ve been sampling alot of hits and loops from vinyl recently and can’t help but feel it has added a whole new dimension of ‘phatt’ to my sound and productions.  Even this element is driven by technology, in particular the quality of your soundcard when recording in the samples. I’m using  Focusrite Saphire which is renowned for having cool A/D converters, great for clarity but here were actually looking to add some dirt and real life to what I’ve recorded! So I’ve actually been using a cheaper soundcard for vinyl to instead.

So what I’m trying to do is make you guys take a fresh look at your kit, when you load up Ableton, Cubase, Logic, or whichever DAW you prefer, and start working on an idea, have a think about your tool. Think how you could use them differently to anyone else, how you could fuck with them and add a whole new dimension to your sound? how can you use it better than joe bloggs? or maybe is there some piece of kit you always use that its time to throw away and find something better?

I’ll leave to ponder those thoughts, but we’ll be back with more post on making your music technology work for you, not dictate what you can do…

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