Early in the music industry music was recorded and produced using hardware based equipment. This equipment used analog methods to save the sounds. Analog is synonymous with tape recorders. As technology progressed digital recording replaced analog; we now live in a time where digital is the standard. Digital is used to produce music. Digital is the end product. The digital revolution has allowed musicians and songwriters the ability to record and produce songs in home studios. The center of this revolution is the personal computer. This machine changes the way artist create music. The basic home studio has several items at its core. This core is what makes up a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). The DAW setup consists of a computer, music software package, audio interface, microphones, monitors, instruments, and a midi keyboard.
There are several brands of music software package that make up the digital audio workstation. Here is a brief description for each type.
Music Notation Software
One type of software used is known as musical notation software. This software is used to notate the music creating a musical score. It allows the music composer to use a computer rather than pen and paper. The notation can be exported using MIDI technology. Most music production software allow for midi sequencing. There are also many other features that allow the music producer to modify the sound.
Digital Audio Software
There is another type of digital software. This software allows the creative to record instruments, vocals and other sounds. This software is referred to as DAW software. This software provides functions that allow for edits, recording, manipulation and play back of the audio. Included with these programs is the ability for MIDI sequencing and features to change the characteristics of the original sound.
Audio Sound Samples
A further improvement to the sound is the use of sound samples. These are small digital audio files sometimes called loops. In MIDI sequencing they are triggered by the music notation. Samples are used a lot in music production. You hear them everyday in nearly every genre of music. Samples are compiled into libraries. Samples are created by recording an instruments sound. The sound could be a single sound or a mix of sounds. The mix will create a unique sound that blends several sounds together. Samples get recorded. The samples are added into a sequencer. The notes assigned to the keyboard.
Audio Plug-Ins Software
There is another type of digital software used in music production. This software is called a plug-in. Plug-ins consist of two types. The first type is an instrument plug-in and the other is an effect plug-in. These plug-ins files are installed into sequencing software. They function best for specific actions used in multi-track software programs. A great example of a plug-in is taking a recording of your voice and making it sound like a robot.
As you can see the DAW has revolutionized the music industry by providing tools and software that allow music artist and producer create music using current technology.