Music. A powerful word given the multiple different meanings worldwide. To me, it represents an intangible connection; Something that passes through the air to make you feel something. In many ways this feeling is a positive experience with a rumble from a bassline, the soothing harmonies of a synth or the memorable vocals that flow with the track.
Yet, even with this positive experience I am constantly drawn to the negative comments on products in the DJ world and how their 'simplicity' is ruining or killing the industry. While I believe their comments do raise some valid points about the ease of digital music creation, they simply forget to notice the bigger picture - COMPETITION.
For as long as musicians and producers have been creating music we, as a human race, have strived to simplify every area of that process. Be it the simplicity of portable recording software, digital equipment, USB drives, internet downloads and more. The competition for companies to beat their rivals at bringing out the best products that appeal to a much wider audience has to do with our demands for simplicity. We constantly yearn for updates, changes and modifications so as to create less work for ourselves, make the process more enjoyable and get to the end in a faster time.
This, in it's layman terms, is SIMPLICITY.
I bring to you an example of how simplicity is applicable right now with the invention of the Pioneer CDJ-350 and DJM-350.
I was watching the above presentation by DJ Avicii about the new Pioneer CDJ's and he discusses the new features and explains the simplicity of what can now be achieved with the MASTER BPM LOCK. What that means in a nutshell is that you can lock the Beats Per Minute across both CDJ's, which in turn makes EVERY song in your playlist play at that tempo (speed). I don't want to get to in-depth about this feature, but what that means for most is that by using these pieces of hardware, it makes it ridiculously easy to beat-match tracks together. So instead of a DJ changing the speed of the incoming song to match the one that is playing, it is already done for him. Simplicity.
Now hopefully by now you can imagine the issue seen by most people with this situation. It opens up the debate about how simple have we actually made that product? Eventually will we need a DJ to stand there and mix tracks together or can that be automated also? And it's not just in the DJ'ing arena - this also flows into the ease of producing dance music in general (and also every other field where computers play a part).
So what's the big thing that everyone is missing with the creation of these 'easier' products?
It now means that in whatever field you are in, to stand out you will now have to work harder then before. Rather than complain/argue your point about how the 'industry has changed', instead use this as a fuel to your fire. With the ease of producing digital music from brilliant pieces of software such as Ableton Live, any artist/producer will now have to push that little bit harder to make standout tracks that appeal to the updated world.
The fact that a producer can now create a track, self master and sell it on a website in only a matter of days is an incredible thing, and I am so excited that we are at this stage in the game. While this may scare/annoy or anger some other people in the industry - it is what it is, and just because a new song can be completed in a day does not mean that it will be great. It also does not mean it will be a hit and sell millions.
Simplicity opens doors and allows more people to be a part of their chosen world. And with more people, there is more competition. And with more competition comes the pursuit of the "Stand-Outs" - the people who use the simplicity but push further into challenging waters to rise above the pack. Just because it's simple, doesn't mean it's simple.
If you are a person who constantly reminds others that "the music industry has changed" and "everything is so simple now", then please stop. We know it has and we are aware of the simplicity. We have embraced the changes and are using them to our full potential. We are also excited that women can now vote, wear bikini's legally and that smoking cigarettes is being outlawed due to health concerns.
Keep creating, updating and modifying the world.
- Diesel Laws