Music production

Why is it important to add live instruments to your music production

Why is it important to add live instruments to your music production

Virtual instruments aren’t entirely new – smaller project studios and stand-alone artists abound, and access to a huge library of digital instruments and libraries is now inexpensive. They also sound more realistic than ever.

However, song arrangements that rely solely on them can suffer from one minor flaw: a stiff, soulless look, static feel, and lack of humanity that is evident with live instruments. In recent years there seems to have been a huge comeback in the use of live instruments when writing songs professionally and for public performances. We will try to explain to you why it is important to add live instruments to your musical production.

bring emotion

For a long time, studios have used programming instruments for music production, but there are still things that don’t have the same intricacies (at least not the ones you can pull off easily). Virtual instruments based on live counterparts have come a long way in terms of realism, especially with instruments like horns and orchestral sounds.

However, if you’ve ever tried to program a song entirely using virtual instruments, you’re probably familiar with the robotic, chilling effects that usually come with the lack of real backing. Many prominent musicians are successful in bringing emotions back into their music with live instruments rather than trying to replace them with virtual instruments.

Authentic sound

In music making, true acoustic instruments are unbeatable, and for good reason. Traditional genres like folk and country remained mostly unchanged, while EDM and other genres that only require synthetic instruments fueled the development of hybrid forms. These instruments give the music character and individuality, bassoon sound with varying clarity to the sound of a pick plucking guitar strings. Digital instrumentation is becoming commonplace in pop and rock songs. However, in recent years, this trend seems to have come full circle. Live instruments are frequently used in electronic music these days to produce a warmer, deeper sound.

Comparing last year’s charts to those of the previous decade, the amount of music created acoustically has increased. Musicians like Bon Iver and Daniel Norgren, for example, have made albums using only a pair of cheap microphones, a laptop computer and an acoustic guitar. Despite this modest approach, it was enough to pave the way for wide popularity.

Even the most successful musicians have not forgotten their beginnings. Justin Bieber is a multi-instrumentalist who understands the power and authenticity that live instruments can provide, whether we like it or not. And an acoustic base can be found in almost all of Ed Sheeran’s songs.

Useful apps

The number of physical recording studios has decreased. When artists have access to digital alternatives, they simply cannot justify the price. While this has been a boon to amateur musicians around the world, it has also caused many people to make quality sacrifices. In line recording studios bridge the gap between old and new, providing a platform that takes advantage of the rise in digital production as well as the growing popularity of acoustic instrumentation. They were created to make live instrument recordings with professional studio musicians more affordable and accessible, as well as to provide a central point where musicians can interact and collaborate via the Internet. They are now one of the most talked about software companies in North America, with a growing number of established and emerging artists.

Real instruments produce first-order fundamental sounds – sine waves – with added harmonics that give them the woodiness and intonation that we have come to identify with this instrument. A master can identify an oboe from a flute from a violin to a trumpet from a piano because each instrument has its unique harmonic content.

When electronic equipment tries to reproduce a note of a certain instrument, it tries to add the appropriate number of distinctive harmonics. Electronic instruments can be intriguing, but they can quickly become exhausting to listen to, as “normal” instruments can generate far more variation (and even error) of organic expression to convey the player’s ideas (including ideas subconscious). Electronic instruments can give the impression that someone has already explored all potential sounds.

As things have gotten easier, some music lovers have complained that most current music lacks what is called a “natural” tone…that digital sound is too “mathematical” and, therefore, predictable and without emotion. There is also the problem of the “loudness” of the music, which has been discovered in a number of older songs that have been restored and compared to the original. Therefore, live instruments are really important if you want songs to sound as realistic as possible.

Image credit: Eric Masur on Unsplash