I have been playing with music production software ever since I downloaded a trial version of Cool Edit way back in high school. It was kind of clunky, but I absolutely adored it. I suddenly had a powerful program in my hands the could do all kinds of musical things that I had never imagined possible. I could synthesize my own tones, give them different ambiences and effects, layer multiple tracks on top of each other, play things backwards – you name it. By the standards of today’s best music production software, It wasn’t very powerful, but at the time it absolutely blew me away.
Producing music was a dream of mine at the time. I even contemplated going to college to start a music industry career. One of my brothers was heavily involved in the music industry as a local performer in LA. Although he wasn’t really making a career out of it, he did have a nice tidy supplementary income from his shows. I did not have the skills to be a musician, but I did have an ear for music. I could take a good track and make it better – a skill that all music producers need.
I decided to invest in some serious music production software about the time I left high school. I was a realist. Although the technology wasn’t quite up to what it is today, I still knew that music production programs were the wave of the future. Buying racks and racks of studio equipment was prohibitively expensive – particularly for an amateur sound recording engineer like myself. The software for music production cost several hundred dollars, but this was nothing compared to the prices of goods sound recording equipment.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how many different varieties of music production software there are, and how different the results were between them. A typical music production program could run anywhere from 50 dollars to 500, I know to have the same features. Some were basically music recording and mixing programs, designed to do multiple tracks and clean up the sound quality. Others were designed for electronic music recording artists. They had music sampling, advanced effects, and MIDI capabilities. I slowly realized that if you wanted to be a recording engineer, you needed to have one of everything and be able to do it all. You could not very well have someone come into your studio and not able to access the equipment he needed. I decided to learn it all.