How Has Technology Influenced Modern Music?

When it comes to music nowadays we can see that technology has had a huge influence on not only the style of modern music but the methods used for listening and creating music. Before Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming platforms, people would either have to hear music live at concerts or on the radio. Also, music production especially has seen a dramatic change due to technology. Whether you like tor not, it seems that technology has changed every aspect of music. In this essay, we are going to discuss the specific aspects of music that technology has influenced.

(Logic Pro X is just one example of music production technology)

First, let’s look at music production and how technology is used in the process of creating music. If you listen to the radio, go on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube, or any other streaming platform that is used to promote music, you can see that Hip-Hop has become a huge genre in Modern music. Specifically, we have seen a blend of Hip-Hip and pop music with artists such as Drake. But when you listen to this style of music, do you ever wonder what exactly goes into the process of making it? In other words, how do artists like Drake make their music, and what technology do they use? Turns out that most music production software is very universal when it comes to music production. Meaning everyone from underground rap artists to mainstream pop stars uses the same type of music production software. Logic Pro X, FL studios, and Garage band are some of the main platforms that are used in almost all music production. The reason why these platforms are so popular, even among mainstream artists, is because they all function in the same way. It doesn’t matter if you make a song in Logic Pro X or FL studios, it will sound the same in the end. You can use both software to record and edit vocals, musical instruments, and other sounds used in music production. This software is especially helpful for music producers who make beats for their artists.

(Although this doesn’t look like much, you can still record professional sounding music production with the right equipment)

Technology has had a huge influence on the way people are making modern music, but what exactly does this shift in technology look like. In other words, what are some examples that prove technology has changed the way artists make music? Nowadays we are seeing more and more people making billboard hits just by recording in their home studio. This is more of a recent phenomenon as in the last couple of years we have seen a dramatic increase in artists moving into the mainstream by making hits in their bedroom. This is because recording technology and music production software has become more accessible to the average person creating a wave of hidden talent.

(Lil Mosey)

One of my favorite examples of an artist who became huge off of recording in their bedroom is a rapper/R&B artist called Lil Mosey. In 2017 the young rapper recorded a hit song called “Pull Up” at the age of 15, which kickstarted his career. The reason why I like to mention Lil Mosey as an example of how technology has influenced modern music is not just because his music sounds good, but he is the perfect representation of what modern music is. When Lil Mosey made the song “Pull Up” at the age of 15, he used the technology and resources that were available to him. Lil Mosey used Youtube as a way to find beats or instrumentals to rap/sing over and recorded songs at a home studio that had the basic music production software along with recording equipment to make the song. Also, he submitted his music video for the song to the Youtube channel “Elevator” so it could be seen by more people as the channel had millions of subscribers. The song currently has 34 million views, but more importantly, Lil Mosey now has a fruitful career and has made multiple hit songs in the past three years, and some of these hits were literally recorded in a closet. The point I’m trying to make is that this new technology used for music production is changing every aspect of how music is made. Musicians can now make billboard hits in their own homes because of the accessibility of music production software and social media platforms like Youtube that make it easy to obtain beats/instrumentals from producers.

(Nick Mira, a music producer who has made multiple hits making beats in FL studios for rappers like Juice Wrld, and Lil Tecca.)

This leads us to our next topic, which is the actual process of making music with technology such as music production software. On a basic level, there are two aspects of a modern song which is the beat or instrumental and the vocals. Now depending on what the genre or how professional the mix is, there could be multiple people involved with this process of making music. For example, songwriters, beatmakers, and sound engineers mix the vocals. But for the most part, the majority of people only pay attention to the singer/rapper and producer. You could even argue that the producer is usually left out of the equation as a lot of people don’t even realize mainstream artists don’t make their beats. First, let’s discuss the job of the producer when making a song and also how technology has changed the way the producers make music. The job of a modern-day producer, especially in the Hip-Hop and Pop genre is making the beats/instrumentals for a rapper or singer. Production software like Logic X Pro or FL studios is used significantly when making instrumentals as a lot of the drums, instruments, and sounds are electronic. There are so many ways that producers create these instrumentals to the point where it would be impossible to explain. Production software like Logic X is limitless, as you can download millions of different sounds and plugins to make your unique instrumentals. Also, social media has played a serious role in how music is made. Producers now sell beats and instrumentals on websites so rappers can purchase and use them for their songs. Platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and now Tik Tok, are being used for producers to reach large audiences and potential customers to buy their beats. If you go on Youtube right now and search “Type Beat,” millions of different instrumentals will pop up from producers all over the world. The reason why this has changed modern music forever is that artists now have unlimited potential for making songs. You could find one of the best producers in the world that has a unique style just by looking through youtube videos. What I’m trying to say is that when more people have access to music production technology, there is going to be an influx of talent. With this influx of talent, social media will make it even more available to other people.

In conclusion, technology has changed almost every aspect of music. The way it is made, promoted, and listened has changed dramatically over the past few years.

Sources:

http://www.ronaldshannonjackson.com/how-has-technology-changed-the-way-of-music/#:~:text=The%20way%20we%20listen%20to%20music%20has%20changed%20dramatically.&text=The%20actual%20production%20of%20music,different%20in%20a%20recording%20studio.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/28/17874576/music-production-laptop-studio-producer

https://www.elevatormag.com/behind-the-video-lil-mosey-pull-up-w-yungtada

https://medium.com/@brokenstereo/bedroom-pop-and-the-rise-of-the-diy-artist-1946e83bc7e0

https://www.rollingstone.com/pro/features/lil-mosey-blueberry-faygo-945083/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2017/07/28/300000-artists-are-making-20m-beats-is-the-new-music-industry/?sh=6cfbb30285bc

Student at St.Bonaventure University

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