Tuesday, March 23, 2021


I would like to talk in this new post on the web about the relationship between music creation and technology. Specifically, how this relationship has been changing over the last 30 years, the period of which I can speak with some knowledge becouse it is the one in which I have been able to develop and create my music.

This post is only intended to present my personal point of view based on my particular experience as a creator of electronic music. The technology applied to music, to composition, recording, production, mastering... is, today, the greatest gift that artists have to create without limitations. Technology is creative democracy.


Those of you who have read the post about me will know my journey as a musician which began in the mid-90s. A beautiful time for music, which had already had me in love since I was a child. But let's go to what interests us, let me list the equipment for music production that I had at the beginning of the 2000s:

-Akai S3000

-Akai S5000

-Emu 6400

-Emu Orbit

-Roland JV1080

-Novation Supernova

-Access Virus

-Korg Trinity

-Korg M1

-Korg Prophecy

-Kurzweil K2500R

-Yamaha AN1X

-Yamaha NS10

-Yamaha 02R

-Cubase on PC

The estimated cost of acquiring this equipment (hardware samplers, synths and sound modules) in its day was more than € 30,000 at the time.

As you know I ran a commercial recording studio in the early 2000s. I do not include in the previous list the equipment that I used for recording because really the evolution has not been so much in that aspect in my opinion, and because I currently have no plans for do it again in the future. In addition, the idea of ​​the post is to deal with the evolution of technology applied to music creation and production, not to recording.


My equipment for music production right now is:

-Alesis V61

-M-Audio M Track

-Yamaha HS5

-Cubase on PC

The cost of acquiring this equipment is less than € 2000, I do not include the cost of the computer because there is too much variety and configurations available. And I do not include the software price here since I have not included it in the previous list either. Think that 20 years ago plugins and virtual instruments already existed, but not with the current quality or features.

The results of the change?  

Excellent. My creative flow is practically limitless when it comes to finding inspiring sounds, the art of sequencing flows unhindered from my mind to my computer, and the sound quality I achieved with my songs is far superior.

I have at my disposal tens of thousands of quality sounds, I have no polyphony or multitimbricity limits, I can mix, master and record in the only environment of my computer, without the need for mixing consoles, processors or any type of physical hardware. I don't have to go to a recording studio at all, saving costs and time. Obviously I'm talking about my own experience as electronic musician and for my musical style in particular, chillstep/ambient electronic music.

20 years ago I thought I had the final production equipment at my disposal, today I fondly remember all those machines. Machines that I certainly got a performance from, that taught me to master music production.

But actually, these machines have simply been surpassed in every way by the development of music technology.

And what has changed?

The two aspects that in my opinion have been the protagonists of this change for the better have been the brutal increase in the processing power of computers and the development of musical production software.

I fondly remember those distant days of the last century when I started sequencing on a PC with an intel 486 processor and 128 MB RAM with a copy of Cubase audio. I had learned to sequence with my first workstation keyboard, the legendary KORG M1, and having dozens of available MIDI tracks and 8 audio tracks in front of me on a 15" screen was, wow, epic.

Today I work with a clone PC with an 8-core Intel processor, 16GB RAM, SSDs, and my updated copy of Cubase. The leap in processing capacity of my computer has been so spectacular that it allows me to handle practically unlimited audio and MIDI tracks without problems, use high quality plugins and fascinating virtual instruments together with their corresponding libraries.

The VST instruments I currently use in my songs are:

-REFX Nexus with expansions

-Native instrumentos Massive witn expansions

-Native Instruments Kontakt with library

-Native Instruments FM8

-Reveal Sound Spire

-Arturia Minimoog V

-Korg Legacy

-Synapse Audio Dune

-Sonic Academy Ana

-U-he Diva with expansions

-U-he Zebra

-U-he Ace

-U-he TyrelLN6

-Waldorf Largo

The complete set is:

The main FX plugins I currently use in my songs are:

-Antares Filter

-Antares Harmony Engine

-Izotope Ozone suite

-Sonnox Oxford suite

-Soundtoys suite

-Ohmforce Quadfrogmage

-Ohmforce Ohmboyz

-Cubase Native suite

The complete set is:


I remember those days when a synthesizer's ROM sample memory for sound presets was only a size of 2MB. Or when a hardware sampler used floppy disks to load 1MB samples, and all of this was magical to me.

Now a single virtual instrument preset can occupy hundreds of MB or some GBs, and dynamics processing plug-ins can manipulate sound in previously unknown ways.

I remember making ping pong recordings on 4-track cassette recorders, seeing 24-track analog tape recorders in operation in large recording studios, that cost more than a house. Even higher cost analog mixing consoles with hundreds of physical knobs, faders and buttons.

Now any DAW with a decent audio interface and a reliable computer can handle hundreds of audio tracks with stunning recording quality, and process them using plugins with algorithms that simulate any type of hardware processor, at a fraction of the cost.

30 years ago, the limit in terms of the spectrum of sounds to which we music creators had access was reduced. The keyboard presets, sound modules or sample libraries were what we had, a few hundred, no more. Yes, you could edit sounds, but you started from a limited base.

Now any rompler with expansions allows us to access thousands of sounds, with tremendous editing capacity, on huge screens. Over the years I have built a library of samples that I use in my productions through virtual instruments or directly by importing audio files into my projects. The spectrum of sounds, editability and ease of use has increased exponentially, allowing me to obtain inspiring sounds with enormous ease.

The capabilities of any current DAW in terms of sequencing, recording, editing, mixing and mastering are tremendously superior to those of any professional studio system of 20 years ago. With the proper input (converters, preamps...) and output hardware (studio monitors...), there is practically nothing we cannot do when it comes to electronic music production. Obviously, having some knowledge...

What has not changed?

The only thing that in my opinion has not changed in all these years is the need for any musician who wants to self-produce his music to learn and train in the management and understanding of audio processing, to be able to compose, record, mix and master taking advantage of the wonderful resources that current technology puts at our fingertips.

Everything else has undergone such evolution that for the youngest, having the immense amount of resources at their fingertips and their budget prevents them from appreciating where the music equipment industry was just a few decades ago.

For an indie musician who wants to produce his own music, it is necessary to learn the theory behind each dynamics process, the usefulness of each parameter of an effects processor, the basic synthesis of any virtual synthesizer...

Although technology allows us to save a lot of money on equipment, this does not mean that it is not essential to know how to operate all the resources that it puts at our disposal. Before and now it is necessary, if we want to self-produce our music, to be our sound technician, our synthesis programmer and our mastering engineer.

Invest your money in the music production programs and utilities that are within your reach, and above all, invest time in learning sound engineering applied to your home studio to the best of your ability. Always be restless acquiring knowledge, practicing, trying to squeeze the benefits of your home studio. And remember that many musicians, for many years, have not been able to express their talent due to lack of money and resources to produce their own music. We are in the best time in history to make music, take advantage...