Electronics & Music

by Arun Sukumar
Percussion & Rhythm Programmer

                     Today's world is known for its technological advancement and hence our era is known as 'electronics era'. No wonder, the field of music has also been influenced by this new change. The impact of advancements in electronics on the field of music is vital. in a way, they have revolutionised the field of music. Hence a fine blend of traditionalism and modernism in music seems to be the dream of every aspiring musician in recent years.

Rhythm Composer (R8 - Mark II Ronald) - which has created a new wave in the field of percussions - is a device which has the sounds of 500 different percussion instruments fed into it as an in-built facility. These sounds, available in the rhythm composer can be manipulated and utilised according to our needs in terms of  'Talas' and different rhythm patterns.

Digital Sampler (MS I Ronald) - is a device through which one can record or sample any acoustic instrument. The recorded sound can be adjusted to any pitch and swaras and could be availed for any purpose. For instance, in the advanced versions of digital samplers, if we record a stroke of Santoor, this sound can then be changed, stretched and used to necessary swaras. Hence recording a single stroke will enable us to have the sound of Santoor in the required pattern without actually recording the pattern live. The tonal quality of this recorded material is said to have more richness than original recording.

In rhythm composers, we have a facility MIDI (Musical Interface - Digital Interface) through which the sound of any percussion instrument could be fed into the device. This sound can later be utilised when and where it is needed and in whichever rhythm we like.

In the latest technology available, many more such miracles can be worked out. Hence can we predict times when traditional insruments are entirely replaced by their electronic counterparts? May not be so, because these electronic devices are dependent on traditional instruments and hence cannot lead independent lives. One more drawback is that these devices are quite time consuming. More importantly, the real experience which one gets through live traditional instruments cannot be matched with any alternatives. Nevertheless, the increasing domination of electronic devices in the field of music cannot, at any cost, be overlooked.