Changing the Music Landscape: Modern Advancements
As the sophistication of today’s hardware, software, and Internet services continues to advance at a breakneck rate, it is important to note that the music industry has been one of the chief beneficiaries of this technological wave, experiencing a revitalisation over the past decade or so. Multinational media conglomerates, such as Sony Corporation, have created a global music industry worth over $42 billion in today’s landscape, and artists the world over are starting to take advantage of this worldwide entertainment platform. For instance, young artist Justin Bieber has been able to gross almost one billion dollars through his North American concert tours, which would have been an impossible feat just a few short years ago.
This brief article will detail the specific advancements that have given life to this musical revival, which might give you some ideas of your own, especially if you happen to be a budding composer or performer.
Musicians, composers, and sound engineers used to struggle with what seemed to be a simple concept, that is, recording studio tracks in one take. The band of performers would all climb into a recording booth and were relied upon to flawlessly execute the soundtrack from the onset. Due to scheduling conflicts, sound quality issues, and human error, producers had a hard time compiling a mistake-free track. This all changed, however, when the multi-track recording style came about, as it enabled musicians to record distinct parts of a song and then piece them together using a computer interface. Producers can now augment specific parts of a song, add instrumental layers, and enhance singers’ voices with ease.
Audio Backing Tracks
The invention of multitrack recording empowered studio performers in the booth, whereas audio backing tracks apply a similar concept in a live setting. In its simplest sense, a backing track is essentially a digital recording of synthesised instruments used to accompany a live performer or band on stage. From theatre performances and live shows to TV spots and musical festivals, performers all over the world use backing tracks, particularly when certain parts of their music are difficult to recreate in a real-time. Harmonies that were once very challenging to perform instantaneously, such as string symphonies or choir refrains, are now extremely easy to weave into a live performance by way of a digital sample. On top of that, there is a wide array of reputable online companies that sell backing tracks at affordable rates, which means anyone can try their hand at professional-level musical composition!
First used by Cher in 1998 and later immortalised by rappers T-Pain and Kanye West, auto-tune essentially takes pitchy, faulty notes and instantly adjusts the sound to the nearest semitone. The resulting effect is a near pitch-perfect vocal performance every single time, although there is a slightly synthesised, somewhat robotic cadence to the final product, which means auto-tune is best used in modern styles of music.
Now that you know more about these industry-altering musical advancements, it is important to note that you can take advantage of these developments even if you aren’t a professional composer or renowned singer. From the comfort of your very own computer chair, you can acquire backing tracks, multitrack recording software, and an auto-tune enhancer to help you create an awesome song! Instead of wasting hours on Facebook or Twitter, try your hand at becoming a composer – it’s easier than you think!