Throughout my career, I have gradually become more comfortable with music production technology, which sets me apart from most people who find it intimidating. I consider myself a bit of a gadget geek, which also helps. I have observed how even small things can make a songwriter’s job easier, and that is why I believe technology can be a songwriter’s best friend if used correctly. For instance, if you need a band to call upon 24/7 when you experience a sudden burst of creativity, nothing works better than a 4-track or a sequencer.

However, electronic substitutes can never fully replicate human creativity, interaction, or the ability to play off someone else’s vibe or ideas. Still, if your only other option is to wait until your next practice, there are numerous alternative options, provided you are not afraid to experiment.

Unfortunately, some people run and hide from the mere mention of the word “technology.” Perhaps it evokes images of “Sarah Connor’s Terminator” or Star Trek’s Borg, where machines become our enemies and seek to destroy us.

Today’s technologies are mostly our friends, at least for now. However, one must pace themselves. Being on the cutting edge of technology can have its downsides too. I recall when MIDI was becoming more commercial. In 1989, I walked into Radio Shack and asked a salesperson for a MIDI cable. The guy looked at me as though I had just arrived from a time portal. He kept repeating the letters to me, “MID-E? MID-I?” He had no idea what I was talking about. Nevertheless, I had spent several years in college studying sequencers and MIDI, and I understood how they worked and, more importantly, how to fully leverage them in my music.

As computers and audio interfaces continue to evolve, older technologies are becoming obsolete, but the theory behind many of them still applies. For that unfamiliar, MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. You will not even need to Google it.

We are fortunate enough to live in a time where technological advancements allow songwriters to be extremely fluid in their creativity. It allows them to call the shots. The better the tools, the easier and less cumbersome the creative process becomes. You can move back and forth between various technologies without being chained to electronic anchors.

Do not let technology bog you down. I used to have a lot of equipment. Nowadays, my tools of choice are much simpler. I am fortunate to have the user-friendly simplicity of my Mac computer (worth the investment), and the geniuses at Apple have taken it even further by creating fantastic tools.

In conclusion, find a tool that works for you. Feel free to step outside your comfort zone and experiment. Technology changes incredibly quickly. Feel free to use technology. It can be a handy friend if you do not let it intimidate you.

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