Modern technology spawns new generation of artists

 This Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) software is used by many artists creating their own music and though it looks complicated, it is easy to learn.

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This Digital Audio Workspace (DAW) software is used by many artists creating their own music and though it looks complicated, it is easy to learn.

Casey Collins, Staff Writer

The advancement in technology has had a huge impact on the music industry; more specifically music production, the discovery of emerging artists and the overall sound of music.

In the 1960s and 1970s, record labels began to dominate the music industry, signing artists in the hopes that they would become superstars. Together, artists and labels would produce and advertise records, get them onto radio and plan live performances.

Technology used for music production was very expensive and big in size, which allowed production to occur only in a recording studio. Not to mention that the intricacy of the technology made it tough to learn the ins and out of producing a song. Overall, the production process was long and only available to artists signed by record labels.

Producing records proved to be a very difficult and expensive task due to both the technical and physical work put into it. It was also very difficult for artists to get recognized by record labels.

Perhaps one of the world’s most well known country artists, Johnny Cash, had a very tough time getting noticed by a record label. Cash had to work up the courage to visit Sun Records, hoping to get signed. After his first audition he was told to “go home and sin, then come back with a song I can sell.” Cash went home and came back for another audition and was signed soon after. He went on to sell over 90 million albums in his nearly 50 year career.

Today, technology has advanced so that artists can produce music from their homes, promote themselves and earn money doing it. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) allow artists to record, edit and produce music by themselves. With the availability of this technology, musicians no longer have to rely on record labels and are in control of their music.

Social media platforms such as YouTube and SoundCloud provide musicians with an opportunity that musicians decades ago did not have: promoting themselves and getting their music out to an audience. Some people even set up Instagram accounts strictly dedicated to the creation of their music in hopes of gaining an audience and getting their name out there.

Junior Tony Clinkscales who goes by the name Lil Toke, produces his own music and uploads them to YouTube on a regular basis for his classmates to listen to.

“What I enjoy most about making my music is that it’s a really fun way to express myself to many people and I love getting reactions from others that help make me better and know what I’m doing right,” Clinkscales said.

Self-promotion has never been easier or cheaper and is more important than ever. SoundCloud has been the starting point for a lot of now-famous artists. Rappers especially are known to SoundCloud to get their music out there and get discovered by record labels. Rappers such as Lil Uzi Vert and XXXtentacion became famous because of SoundCloud. Another artist who blew up from SoundCloud is Kiiara who was signed by Atlantic Records after she produced her hit song: “Gold”, released in 2016.

Music will always remain an important element to pop culture and be cherished in the lives of many. New production software and advancing technology has made it easier for artists to get their names and music out there, but has overall made music more influential than ever before.