SoundCloud, sampling, production
Blame it on the digital age. With technology, the production and distribution of music is instant through new programs, tools, apps, and platforms.
“Everyone I know uses SoundCloud; it’s almost replaced MySpace,” said David Day, Together creative director/co-founder and DigBoston editor. “When I look up an artist, I’m directed to SoundCloud.”
Evan Langley, aka DJ Vous, is the organizer of the Boston SoundCloud user group. The group, which meets monthly at Good Life, attracts local producers and DJs seeking to pitch their work and share feedback.
“I’d say the main thing about SoundCloud, with everything that it does, it creates a rapidly fast exchange of ideas. It’s kind of a driving force, especially in the electronic music genre,” said Langley. “These are ideas and influences that are working their way faster. [MySpace] didn’t have the power SoundCloud does.”
Larisa Mann, aka DJ Ripley, said the amount of participation is exciting; however, once SoundCloud grew, users began attracting attention in terms of licensing and sampling.
“These communities are fertile and creative. SoundCloud, for me, brought out this tension… because people were getting their stuff taken down,” said Mann. “Creative communities know what’s acceptable in those communities… some [communities] are disadvantaged because of their creativity.”
Who notices the samples? Do they go unnoticed?
“There is a difference between sampling or doing a cover. It’s a big nightmare for musicians to deal with this and make music,” said Mateja Miljacki, systems engineer at Apple, Inc.
Creative sampling creates culture. Day said the nature of electronic music is allowing for this creativity, as it’s born in technology and run by people with technologic minds.
When it comes to original production, tools of creation can be expensive to obtain. But, free tools are making their way to the market. Programs like Ableton, Serato and Reason are indeed popular, yet for a price. Now, in this technological age, more and more open source alternatives are popping up. Just take Mixxx for one.
“There’s a new world of applications out there. We at Apple focus on these as tools. The function is something transformational,” said said Miljacki, noting these devices provide substitution, new instruments and social connection.
“I think musicians are storytellers. We need completely new ways of telling stories.”