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What’s the future of the music experience?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Written by: Ryan Chrzanowski

Technology influences nearly every aspect of the music industry. We’d have to look back to the mid-1800s to reveal when the music recording industry was first started. Since that time, the way people have experienced music has changed drastically. We’ve gone from music boxes and record players to 3D surround sound systems and mp3 players. Most of us use technology on a daily basis to experience music, whether you’re in your car, sitting in your bedroom, or experiencing a concert in real life. All things considered, music really is about the experience, no matter where you are. As a growing artist, we have a host of responsibilities that we tend to, but we shouldn’t overlook the direction the industry is going. The music industry is always looking for new ways to present a musical experience to its listeners.

Most recently, Dolby Atmos teamed up with deadmau5 and a number of other artists to show off what they consider to be the future of the live sound industry. Typically, we think of mixing a track in mono or stereo, but Dolby Atmos gives artists the ability to create and design sound in a 3-dimensional space. This has created the opportunity for consumers to enjoy music in a completely new and more intimate way. “I think that’s going to be my primary compositing technique is now is I’m going to write the tracks in Atmos and then sub-mix down to stereo” says deadmau5. He goes on to explain that Atmos is similar to looking at a movie screen. The action is in front of you, but there are also elements that surround you and enhance the experience. It’s clear this kind of technology can completely transform the live music experience from the club to the festival grounds.

Artists have also embraced virtual reality as a new way for their users to experience music. The music video behind the song Waiting for Love from Avicii’s sophomore album was the world’s first 360-degree interactive music video. Viewers had the option to pick their own angles as they viewed. The video uses YouTube’s 360-degree interactive video support and has made it tough to catch everything happening in the video with just one view. Add in a Virtual Reality headset and you’ll feel like you’re in the music video itself while sitting in pajamas on your couch at home.

Technology also has the potential to create new competition for artists. Take the startup company Pacemaker for example. They’ve created an artificial-intelligence DJ technology that turns your favorite tunes into flowing live mixes. The company went head to head in a test with Steve Aoki to determine how well it shaped up against the EDM star. Aoki outperformed the technology, but the results were notably close according to Pacemaker. Although it may never overtake the human experience, it still holds the potential to appeal to a certain audience.

Music will always embrace technology because it has the ability to enhance our musical experience. There is a trend surrounding successful artists and their push to explore new boundaries in presenting music to their fans through a variety of platforms. As we walk further into the future, pay attention to new trends that come about and different forms of musical engagement. All this technology may seem daunting, but don’t be discouraged if you can’t figure out how to mix in 3-dimensional space or don’t have the ability to create a virtual experience from a fan’s bedroom yet. Good music will always be good music. Even though technology has been able to enhance the music experience for all, there is so far no replacement for the powerful human experience of going to a concert or festival and hearing real emotion from the voice of your favorite artists. So keep working, trust your process, and embrace the future of what technology and the music industry has to offer.



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