The Two Hemispheres of Music Production and The Struggle to Keep Them Separate

BrainModern music production software is brilliant stuff. It gives us the capab­ility to do so much that was previ­ously only possible in expensive studios and with the help of several musicians. There is even the potential to sync to picture and even some (pre-)mastering capab­ility. In the words of Harold Macmillan, “[we have] never had it so good.”

Power brings respons­ib­ility though and one area where this capab­ility can introduce friction is in writing music. The problem is that there is just so much to tinker with, synth patches, eq, effects, bussing, display colours… It just never ends.

Most of this capab­ility has little to do with creating music. It falls firmly in the realms of editing. The problem for me is that writing can be a difficult process and the desire to procras­tinate huge. There may never have been a better procras­tin­ation tool for me than ProTools.

At the other extreme when I was at music college in the 1980s there was an ongoing debate among the compos­ition students as to whether one should even use a piano or other instrument while writing music. The idea was that the purity of the music was better served by creating it only in your head and jotting it down on paper immedi­ately. There is a certain purity to this idea, but it was only taken seriously by us students. The professors, being more exper­i­enced, stayed well clear of such matters and just stuck with whatever worked for them. Continue reading The Two Hemispheres of Music Production and The Struggle to Keep Them Separate