It is difficult to deny the overwhelming popularity of contemporary electronic music. Like disco, rock and roll, and (what some would argue) the forgotten days of jazz, EDM has laid claim to the hearts of a generation. No longer is the public pre-occupied by the mischievous antics of rock gods. DJ’s are the musical superheroes of the modern era.
Their high status in the music business and sky-rocketing popularity can be attributed in large part to advancements in their equipment. Riding the waves of the tech revolution, DJ’s now have gear at their disposal that makes the music better, their jobs easier, and listeners more turned up than anyone thought possible. Here is a quick run-down of some of the most important advancements in DJ tech.
Everything has a beginning, and for electronic music, the synthesizer is responsible for getting the party started. EDM in essence would not exist without it. The first modern, portable, self-contained version of the instrument was built in 1965 by the mad genius Robert Moog.
If synths are the heart of the electronic music scene, drum machines are the backbone – most notably the Roland TR-808. The majority of young people can probably recall at least one song with lyrics lamenting the virtues of the highly regarded 808 beat maker. Throw MIDI’s and samplers into the mix and you’ve got all the basic ingredients for an EDM hit.
Personal Computers, particularly laptops, profoundly changed the way a DJ interacts with his audience and his music. A live artist cannot survive without a laptop to play sets at a club, and most music is now composed with studio software. Gone are the Digital Audio Workstations of the past. Now a computer screen has taken the place of a room filled with giant sound machines.
Computers also allow DJ’s to access the internet, which has sealed the fate of electronic music as the leading genre of the day. The world of social media, P2P file sharing, and blogs and forums all act as mediums through which DJ’s can communicate their art.
Music enthusiasts across the globe are addicted to the beats of EDM, and the age of technology can take a bow for that. Without their newest musical gadgets and contraptions, DJ’s would still be stuck at a house party with two turntables and a microphone.