This is not an ad. Well, yes – obviously it’s an ad, but Microsoft have not paid me to place this here. I bring you this just to spark a discussion about the endgame of music performance and production in the digital age.
Because although this is absolutely excruciating (I struggled to make it right through the video) – and it might just be the FrontPage of music making (and you have no idea how much I detest FrontPage) – there’s certainly something to be said about the idea of Garageband or Logic in every home. Isn’t there?
This is not a discussion about Apple versus Microsoft (unless that’s what you’d like it to be). It’s a discussion about the place of music professionalism in the face of technologically-enabled amateurism. If it’s cheap and easy for everyone to make music, then what?
I’ve talked about making different file sizes available for download before. We’ve acknowledged that there are differences of opinion on the topic. For some, OGG is everything. For others, 128k is sufficient and makes things better for people with slow connections.
For some (myself included), in most instances and for most practical purposes, a 320k mp3 file ticks all the boxes. Most of the time.
But the question I often get confronted with – and it’s one that raises some real passion – is whether people (that is to say, civilians) actually care about audio fidelity anymore.
This might actually be the question I get asked most often. At the end of a seminar, a lecture or a guest talk at some event, somebody will raise their hand, and ask the question. I kind of dread it, because I can only really disappoint every time I answer it, but almost every time I speak, it comes up again.
“Hi, that was interesting and I can see that I’m going to have to pay more attention to the web / put an RSS feed on my site / get my own URL / use innovative strategies to promote my music, etc. I’ve read your 20 Things e-book, and I want to implement all that stuff…
“But can you please point me to an example of someone who is doing all of the things you suggest really well, so I can model my site after theirs?”
Changing or upgrading your website can be a bit challenging and frustrating — especially if you’re trying to do it on your own, or on a laughably tight budget.
I’ve managed to get the site at least looking presentable, and I thought I’d tell you how I’ve done it, what it cost me and what I’ve used, in case there was anything here that you thought might be useful to steal and go and put on your site.
It’s not just for rock bands and rappers, you know…
I was presenting at a ‘getting into the music business’ seminar today, and in the break I was approached by Nuala Pinson who had managed to get hold of one of the (now quite rare) print copies of the 20 Things e-book. She was very enthusiastic about it, so I asked her if she’d mind if I asked her about it on camera.
Nuala’s looking for a bit of assistance with her website – and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind doing an exchange: implement the 20 Things on her behalf, and she’ll help you sleep better at night with one of her relaxation audio programmes.
Its aim is to provide useful resources, advice and strategies for innovation and success in the independent music sector in a rapidly changing technological environment.
NMS examines emerging technologies (and buzzwords) such as AI, blockchain, metaverse and 'Web 3.0', but focuses primarily on sustainability, music as a tool for social change, participation, equality and inclusion, and the ways in which music technologies can build better worlds.