MU­SIC SOFT­WARE HALL OF FAME

They might seem prim­i­tive by to­day’s stan­dards, but th­ese gamechang­ing tools trans­formed the pro­duc­tion and the sound of mu­sic

Computer Music - - Contents -

We look back at over thirty years of in­no­va­tion in mu­sic soft­ware

We’ve said it be­fore, but it bears re­peat­ing: there’s never been a bet­ter time to make mu­sic. Ex­po­nen­tial in­creases in com­put­ing power and the tools that in­evitably fol­low have given us the abil­ity to re­alise mu­si­cal pro­duc­tions the likes of which would have seemed im­pos­si­ble a few short years ago – even in the most high-fa­lutin’ stu­dios, much less the com­fort of our liv­ing room so­fas or even on the morn­ing com­mute.

Yet noth­ing comes from noth­ing, and all of the mirac­u­lous tools avail­able to us to­day were pre­ceded by ear­lier ef­forts from in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ers work­ing with­out prece­dent. The clever code crafted by th­ese in­trepid ide­al­ists shocked (and some­times ir­ri­tated) mu­si­cians, pro­duc­ers and even lis­ten­ers with as­ton­ish­ing new sounds and tech­niques, many of which we now take for granted.

We’ve scoured through the past four decades, dig­ging up ten of the most mon­u­men­tal mu­sic-mak­ing ap­pli­ca­tions of all time. Some are the first of their kind, while oth­ers took an ex­ist­ing idea and crafted it into some­thing even more in­spi­ra­tional. Of course, opin­ions will dif­fer, and we’ve there­fore in­cluded a full page of honourable men­tions – many of which could eas­ily have oc­cu­pied a slot in the top ten. Each and ev­ery one of them changed the mu­si­cal land­scape for­ever after.

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