Plugins, Presets and Practice: The Impact of Digital Technologies on Contemporary Music Production Processes and the Music Industry

Andy Aubun & Ross McLennan Part of CW17

Mobile devices have not only changed the way we purchase and listen to music, but are changing the way song writers, composers and producers create. Mobile applications and laptop computers allow composers the freedom to make music anywhere, implementing a myriad of music making apps, software programs and plug-ins designed to simplify and, therefore, democratise music creation. The previously vast and complex arts of music composition and production are now accessible to everyone and accordingly, traditional methods of music composition and production are no longer standard practice. This paper explores these new standard methods of composition and production through the creation of a commercial song. Using iPhone applications for conceptualising and refining the song, computer-based methods for recording and production using a Macbook Pro laptop, and the Internet for automated mastering, this paper illuminates and catalogues a new standard in creative practice, and redefines traditional roles such as music composer, music producer and sound engineer.