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George emailed me to say:

I wanted to ask your opinion on what you think computers could do to make it easier for musicians to create and perform music.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and wanted to blog two of my replies:

Collaboration: There’s a lot of opportunity right now for better creative tools. The biggest feature missing from all the major Digital Audio Workstations is semi-realtime collaboration (realtime is probably asking too much until the net gets better). I was just bugging Justin at Reaper about that the other day. Maybe ohmstudio ( will fill the collaboration role but I think it’s a feature every DAW should have within a few years.

Songwriting: For a long time I’ve been fantasizing about rapid songwriting software. Something analogous to a lot of the more creative, less technical software for screenwriters. The software could prompt the songwriter for sections, melodies and riffs and keep them cataloged. It’d let you easily rearrange the structure and experiment, organize your notes & ideas and help you generate new ideas. Throw a good rhyming dictionary in there, a markov chain generator for lyrics, etc. So a musician can quickly hammer out a bunch of song ideas and flesh them out without spending much time dicking around in software. I should be able to write and record an entire song with a guitar, microphone and foot pedal to control the software.

And that’s the tooth.

Posted on - November 23, 2011 [at] 6:55 pm by Brad
Tagged in - , , ,

2 Comments on this post

victor stone on Computers and music
November 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I spent a fair amount of energy a few years ago trying to get DAW makers interested in connecting into a RESTful API attached to ccMixter so musicians could share samples and ‘pells both ways – just to extend the sample library further out – a baby step to collaboration, but one I thought was a no-brainer.

Nobody took me up on it even when I offered to write the client code.

Brad on Computers and music
November 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm

That’s too bad, it would have been nice. Maybe you were too far ahead of the curve?

I don’t know how long ago this was but I think now with Google Docs, wikis and other collaborative tools a larger market is acclimated and open to these sorts of features.

Plus the business incentive is there for the DAW-makers: you can convert your users over to a subscription/service plan instead of this “hustle out a new release each season with buzzword features whether it’s ready or not” bullshit.

You can up-sell everyone on extra services and bullshit and think of the evil lock-in opportunities! Once Pro-Tools gets you hooked into Pro-Tools PRO-CLOUD (or whatever) they can make it harder for you to switch to a competing software.

But I’m sure everyone will just compete on features.

Comments are closed on this post.