Millennium Watch – music by computer

Millennium Watch – music by computer – Brief Article

Martha J. Heil

In 1988, Discover asked a group of experts what technology might look like at the end of the millennium.

PREDICTION: “Home computers will be able to make music–we’ll tell them what we want to hear, and they will transform our wishes into sound,” said composer Morton Subotnick.

REALITY: Computers have had a much greater influence on how music is recorded and transmitted than in actually generating it. Programs such as Cubase or Sound Forge make it easy to combine multiple tracks and edit them until the sound has a professional quality. “It’s cheaper to buy a computer and the software to mix music than it used to be to rent a recording studio for just one day,” says G. David Peters, director of Indiana University’s School of Music in Indianapolis. And the popular MP3 format compresses digital sound files so they can be quickly downloaded off the Web.

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