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Compositional Processes Using Modern Digital Technology


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Hi all

I'm doing a project for Uni (sharp intakes of breath!), the aim of which is to investigate a number of paradigms of digital music creation, using different software. I'm interested in how these paradigms affect the process of music composition itself. I'm particularly interested in comparing these processes to more traditional methods, such as when songwriters (or indeed songwriting partnerships) just sit down and write with an acoustic guit or a piano or what have you, with no digital facilities.

To do this, I am composing a bunch of tunes myself, and analysing the processes used.

Also, I'm doing a lot of web research, trying to find articles and interviews on artists that use digital technology as an integral part of the composition process. I already have qutie a few, but I'd be grateful if anyone has any good links to such material, perhaps relating to artists such as the Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Four Tet, Massive Attack, or indeed anyone. Any good links folks?

I will stress at this point that ANY AND ALL material used will be properly quoted/referenced in my project. This is NOT an attempt to get someone else to do my thinking/searching for me. My tutor has suggested that I do research into other peoples' experiences of using modern digital music creation techniques. I have already done a lot of work on this, but I am posting this purely in case anyone knows of a good article or two which I may not have found.

I would also be interested in getting some e-mail interviews with people on this forum. I'm in the process of putting together some interview questions now, but in the meantime, I'd be interested in hearing any comments or views from you if you fall into any of the following categories:

- You have experience of composing tunes using software like Ableton Live, Cubase/Tools/Logic, Reason, FL Studio, ACID etc.

- You have experience of composing tunes using just an acoustic instrument, and working it out just 'in your head'

- You have experience of being part of a song-writing partnership, whatever methods you use.

- You have experience of composing with samples.

- You have experience of composing tunes confined to just one platform/method - say, purely in Ableton Live, or purely in Reason.

- You have any interesting views in general on modern compositional processes

Like I said, any and all material used will be used for reference/quotation purposes only, NOT as a substitute for my own thinking.

I'd love to hear what you have to say! Please get in touch.

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Having formerly used sequencing software to manipulate samples, the single most significant thing I could say about that is this: club/house/etc type music sounds the way it does because that is what the process lends itself to.

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