There’s no doubt that music has gone through many phases and transformations in the last 40 years. Styles come and go but there has been one particular driving force that has changed forever the way music is created – the rise of technology. Music technology has come down hugely in price over the years, a fact which has launched a new generation of bedroom recording artists who can produce professional sounding material on little more than a laptop. In the latest 5 minute guide we take you through some of the biggest leaps forward in music technology that have not only changed the way music sounds, but intrinsically shaped the way musicians write, record and perform.
In the early 1960′s Robert Moog pioneered the concept of the analogue synthesiser – a series of keyboard controlled interconnected hardware modules covered in dials and switches that looked as if they should be operated by Dr. Who.
Although they were fiendishly complicated to operate, expensive and hugely impractical: early Moog synths opened up a new world of sounds to the few artists who could afford them. Groups like Emerson, Lake & Palmer embraced the new technology by incorporating it into their existing sound with tracks like ‘Lucky Man’. Pink Floyd were enthusiastic users of early synthesisers on the classic ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ while groups like Kraftwerk opted for entirely electronic compositions as on the seminal ‘Autobahn’. As smaller, cheaper, new versions such as the Minimoog and Polymoog became available more and more acts saw the benefits and entirely new genres of music were developed. Georgio Moroder gave disco a kick-start with the throbbing Moog bass-line of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’, and later Gary Numan’s Tubeway Army stormed the charts with help from his Polymoog on ‘Are Friends Electric’ and ‘Cars’