My current studio is 100% digital. It is really amazing what modern hardware and software is capable of, and I’m not even using anything terribly groundbreaking. The ability to meld both synthetic and organic sounds all based in a digital domain is extremely liberating as I don’t have to take time to track down sources. Yes, there are drawbacks. One sound form that I have a very difficult time recreating is a simple repeating acoustic guitar strum with all it’s beautifully human inconsistencies. Yet, lacking the ability to mimic certain organic sound sources forces me to be creative and use my existing synthetic tools in new, unknown manners.
Thinking about it, if I go back into my past, I’ve almost always used some sort of digital source in my studio setup. My first years of writing music was done using the Commodore 64’s SidPlayer. It really doesn’t get much more truly digital in a raw sense than that. Three monophonic voices. Four waveform choices. ADSR modulation. All controllable in a tedious note by note manner. I spent countless hours nearly every day, programming notes and rhythms, tweaking sounds, listening to the changes, and tweaking or programming again. And again. And again.
In reality, that distilled process is still how I work, I just have much prettier interfaces to look at.
For fun and nostalgia, I’ll occasionally revisit how I created music in the past, and some of the lessons and techniques learned from those times.
Hop on over to the ‘Equipment‘ page to see a complete list of everything I’m currently utilizing.