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Electronic Music - The various tools of the Trade

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Electronic Music - The various tools of the Trade
Because the dawn of electronic music a while in the late nineteenth or early 20th century, musicians and inventors are already coming up with creative new approaches to manipulate sound making music. These days, it comes with an astounding array of software and hardware available to any artist. The various tools a musician chooses to create their music are as unique his or her style. Below is a review of some of the devices popular to produce electronic music:

Audio samplers

Audio samplers are instruments that will record, store and playback sounds. They often times include tools present with synthesizers such as filters, pitch-shifters, and oscillators. Usually samplers have a keyboard, sequencer, or some other kind of controller. Samplers are often used to replace real instruments by musicians on tight budgets, but can also be pushed to make new, innovative, and inventive sounds. Talos Bloom

Drum Machines

Drum machines are popular. They are popular in electronic and hiphop music. They are also often used during studio recordings when human drummers are not available. The history of drum machines is quite long, but they never really entered public consciousness until Roland introduced the TR-808 and TR-909 within the eighties. Since then, the beats of the TR-808 and TR-909 have become probably the most recognizable sounds in pop music.

Sound Modules

What distinguishes sound modules using their company electronic musical instruments is lack of a playable interface. They ought to be paired with an external controller such as a midi keyboard, sequencer, or a trigger pad. Sound modules could be synthesizers, simple tone generators, digital pianos, samplers, plus more. Some, known as drum modules, are intended for producing percussive sounds. Most sound modules accept midi input and so are rack mountable. Some famous modules are the Roland MKS20 and the Yamaha TX16W.

Tabletop Synthesizers

Like sound modules, tabletop synthesizers sport a little form factor. Unlike modules, they incorporate a compact controller. Their size and portability is definitely an advantage for touring musicians and the ones short on space. Despite their small size, they could pack an incredible sonic punch. People knowledgeable about club and dance music may recognize the noise of the tabletop Access Virus synthesizer. One other popular tabletop synth is the Minimoog Voyager XL. Talos Bloom

Audio Sequencers

Audio sequencers can trigger patterns of notes as part of a drum machine, sampler, or synthesizer. These sequencers in many cases are referred to as step sequencers and therefore are usually monophonic. Sequencers could also be used to playback and record longer items of music, and arrange polyphonic material. These kind of sequencers can be found in production stations along with other standalone hardware, but have largely migrated to computer software where they are often included as part of a DAW, or digital audio workstation.

Production Stations
Production stations combine the power of audio sequencers, drum machines, controllers, and samplers. These standalone devices could be all an artist has to make music. Oftentimes, they are offered pre-programmed with patterns and full of samples. The grooves of Akai's popular MPC series have unquestionably left their mark on hip hop music.

These days, computers are replacing lots of electronic instruments that used to be only available as stand-alone hardware. Oftentimes, a DAW should include software equivalents of all the hardware instruments mentioned in this article. Despite this fact, leading manufacturers still innovate and release new hardware instruments every year. This is good news for electronic musicians who will have almost unlimited choices as to what tools they want to use to produce their music.


Posted Apr 18, 2015 at 2:16am