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Bowie, genius or not...
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Dog 3000
Dog 3000
4611 posts

Edited Jul 28, 2010, 17:26
Re: Bowie, genius or not...
Jul 28, 2010, 17:16
Couple thoughts:

I started out "analog", then went "digital", and these days am interested in ways the two can be combined (record analog, edit digital, etc.)

The biggest change in my mindset going digital a decade or two ago was the visual element -- looking at the "waveforms" in SoundForge. Before that music was purely "temporal and auditory". The graphic allows you to think of the sound in "spacial" terms. I think that visual cue is hugely helpful in doing the more intricate digital edits -- which could theoretically be done analog, but only at tremendous cost and effort (Perrey & Kingsley and Stockhausen achieved amazing things by editing analog, but it literally took weeks and months to finish a few minutes of music.)

I think the biggest change driven by "digital" may be related to the cost: Bjork (or anybody) can create a world music orchestra with 16 synthesizer accompaniment, just to play around with. To do that "analog" would require a vast amount of money to hire musicians, rehearse them, waaaaay more time in the studio, plus the high cost of analog tape which degrades if you reuse it, etc. The lower cost of digital makes things possible for the layman that only a few well-funded "artistes" could do in the past.

I've often thought the main driver of "sixties music" and the whole global pop explosion was driven by a combination of new tech (which changes the means of production) and equally the ECONOMIC changes brought by new tech (changes in cost & distribution; invention of consumer grade Walkmans and iPods, home taping, downloads, etc.)

Furthermore the rock boom was driven by cheap consumer-grade instruments and amplifiers. By 1970-something anyone could by an amp that sounded "heavier" than what the biggest names had in 1965. The story of electronic pop music is largely the story of expensive moogs turning into cheap casios . . .

Even LSD and other drugs that have played a role are just "new tech" when you think about it. (And what was the secondary economic effect of those drugs on the audience and society, and therefore back upon the music? Now there's a big question! Imagine the 1970's rock scene without the accompanying cocaine economy . . . )
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