Computers as musical instruments?  Yes Please!

There used to be a time when computers were used as machines dedicated to complex mathematical problems, data crunching, and word processing.  However, over the decade technology has allowed computers to become the main musical instruments of choice for many musicians.

The influence of software or “virtual” instruments, realistic sample libraries, and physically modeled devices have allowed many more people to explore the world of music production.  What was once left to the geeks and technology junkies has now become common and pretty much a standard in the world of music.

Computer music, or the process of composing music with the use of music specific software, samplers, sample libraries, and instruments is quickly becoming the method of choice for musical composition.

Companies like Apple have taken this concept to heart by shipping every new Mac computer with a copy of Garageband, it's own entry level program which allows the user to put together loops and virtual instrument sound into their own arrangements either for adding to home movies, or creating their next top 40 single!  For those that wish to step into a more professional environment, they offer Logic Pro, which itself is a powerful virtual recording studio which is very popular in the music industry.  Other strong producs like Cubase from Steinberg or Live from Ableton offer users different ways of composing, arranging, and recording their musical ideas in a way that suits their creative processes.

Even guitarists and bassist have been able to benefit from the advances in computer music technology.  Products like Guitar Rig from Native Instruments or AmpliTube from IK Multimedia allow instant access to hundreds of amps, stomp boxes, fx pedals, mics, speaker cabinets, and rack effects for a virtually unlimited combination of tones and textures that allow both the recreation of classic sounds and the creation of totally new and unique tones.

Software samplers like Native Instruments Kontakt allow the use of high quality sample libraries to recreate anything from the most realistic sounding string arrangements to racks of classic analog synthesizers that would cost thousands to own and maintain, yet can be easily accessed from the comfort of your computer.

The amount of free samples and loops available also allow users the flexibility to experiment and create musical compositions without much investment.  Gone are the days when taking out a large loan and equally large amounts of physical space were a requirement for quality music creation.  Virtual studios, loops, sample libraries, software instruments, guitar amp simulators, and computers have all come together to provide infinite possibilities for everyone from the amateur to the professional.  Computers and the technology behind them have literally change the face of music creation now and for the future.

Written by: JK Swopes –