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DIGITAL IS GOOD
Boy, that digital technology sure is cool! Yay DIGITAL!
Digital allows people to make great music that they could not have if we were stuck with Analog. They can make it themselves and even distribute it themselves.
Thanks to digital technology, EVERYONE can make a record! Now musicians no longer have to hire an expensive studio and watch the clock. Now musicians do not have to hire an engineer to make sure the sounds are good (they are "good enough" for many people right out of the box). Now you don't even have to hire other musicians because you can do it ALL yourself. In fact, you don't even have to be able to read music and if you have the right software, you can just sing in your parts and the computer will automatically fix your pitch, fix your timing, and even convert them to different sounds (so you can sing in a lead guitar part).
You don't even have to be in your house! You can make records out of your laptop while waiting for a bus!
There are plenty of great sounding samples out there, plenty of funky loops for your drums, plenty of plugins that are tons of fun, and lots of help for the musician that cannot afford to make music any other way.
Oh, and you can even make the song files small enough to email to friends and distribute your music yourself on the web.
DIGITAL HAS ALLOWED SOME GREAT MUSIC TO BE MADE THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITH ANALOG. IT HAS ALSO TAKEN MUSIC AWAY FROM MAJOR LABEL CONTROL AND GIVEN IT BACK TO THE MUSICIANS, WHERE IT BELONGS!
The real benefits from all of this come down to four things:
1. Making music has truly become democratized, which means that anyone (and I do mean ANYONE) can do it. No longer do musical ideas have to stay locked away or even forgotten because someone does not have the resources (skill, access to skilled people, money to hire skilled people, money to rent a studio, etc) to do it themselves.
2. You do not have to watch the clock when you perform. You do not have to worry about running out of studio time before you run out of ideas, and if you end up with a better idea after your expensive studio time has run out you can still get that idea into the song. You can take days to work out a part or performance instead of being PRESSURED to get it right within the few minutes of expensive studio time you have allocated.
The same can be said for mixing in digital. If it allows you to work in your own place where you do not have to consider pressure from time, then it is a good thing.
Analog does SOUND better, but making the wrong decisions due to time related pressure can negate all of that. I'll take a well mixed digital song over a poorly mixed analog one any day. Or to quote one of the people that responded to my "Digital = Bad" rant, "Give me a 64kbps AAC encoded piece of genius over a 1" 2-track 30ips master of mediocrity any day."
3. Musicians no longer have to give up control of their music, production and even distribution to large record companies (aka "THE MAN") that may not care about anything other than the all-mighty buck.
4. Archiving music is more stable and longer lasting as Digital signals saved on optical media than as magnetic particles saved on plastic tape. I've had to bake many tapes.
I REPEAT: DIGITAL HAS ALLOWED SOME GREAT MUSIC TO BE MADE THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITH ANALOG BUDGETS. THAT IS TRULY A GOOD THING.
Although I consider these benefits extremely important, my big concern is that the downsides have overshadowed the up, and we have painted outselves into a corner from which there is no way out...
Steady yourself, grab a torch and pitchfork, and when you are ready...read the rant against Digital (aka Digital = Bad).