Friday Inspiration: MusicTech

Yesterday, the whole World celebrated Music.

A great occasion for us to share an insight into MusicTech and the ties that unite Music and Technology.

 

MusicTech = Electro?

 

Often, when you think about MusicTech you think about electro. No, French MusicTech is not what we called “The French Touch”.

 

What is commonly known as “electro” first appeared in Chicago in 1984 in the Warehouse club before reaching Detroit in 1985 with a more metallic sound.

 

Five years later, France adapted House music and created “The French Touch”.

 

Electronic music brought technology into music. Its instruments – synthesizers for example – eventually infiltrated many music styles to create new ones such as jazz fusion, synthetic pop, synthetic rock and electro-pop.

 

Ever since, innovative music tools such as loopers and MIDI keyboards shape today’s music landscape…and even David Bowie’s work!

 

Why David Bowie? In 1995, he designed the Verbasizer, a lyric-writing program that works on Mac. In fact, Outside, David’s album released in 1995, had most of its content written using the Verbasizer.  

Learn more about the Verbasizer in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Sgq0XoxPw 

 

Music + Innovation = Love

Nowadays, many innovative firms are reshaping our musical environment.

 

Focus on 3 European MusicTech firms:

 

London-based Roli

Roli Seaboard is revolutionary for it provides new way of making music.

 

It creates new sounds with the simple touch of a hand and can imitate numerous instruments. More intuitive and working in 5D, Roli products make it easy to create your very own symphony.

 

These products have in fact also been used in many popular creations such as “All We Got” by Chance the Rapper (featuring Kanye West) or even Drake’s album Views.

 

The very first song entirely composed with Roli blocks was “No Refuge” by Londonian electronic music group PARISI to support the United Nations Refugee Agency.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqLBaH5T0C4

 

A French Touch: Dualo & 3DVarius

 

Dualo

Dualo designed a new instrument named “du-touch”.

Du-touch is a connected instrument that doesn’t require knowledge of music theory to be played.  Intuitive, connected and lightweight, it makes music accessible everywhere and to anyone.
Du-touch is a mix of a futuristic accordion and a game console and aims, just like Roli products, at making music accessible to everyone.
Here is a demo of what a du-touch can do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzw_HseOJVM

 

3DVarius

Another type of instrument is the 3DVarius.

Its name, a contraction of 3D and Stradivarius, well describes this innovative product: the 3DVarius is the first violin to be built with a 3D printer.  Far from being a traditional violin, it is an electric violin with the dimensions of a Stradivarius.

Powerful, lightweight and composed of a unique piece made of resin, it is designed to faithfully reproduce the comfort of a classical violin.

Being electric, it can be plugged into loopers or pedals to create a whole new sound.
Here is an example of what a 3DVarius can do:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF0pOUBS3sg



Whether in composition or songwriting, technological progress has allowed musical experiences to evolve by making them more accessible, more playful, or by shaping new sounds.

 

Technology supports music. As a result, many forums and festivals have been created to support MusicTech: these include the MusicTech in Metz, Next Music Festival, Musikmesse in Frankfurt and MusicTech Fest in Berlin.


Even though not all MusicTech instruments are widespread yet, what really matters is not how popular an instrument is, but how it can make music evolve and how it can contribute to the renewal of music. Take the looper pedal,  partly made popular by Ed Sheeran: it transformed the concert experience as singers don’t necessarily need musicians to deliver shows anymore.

 

With MusicTech, what will future music, concerts, and musical practices look like?

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