Form, function, and the Digital Audio Workstation.


What is more important- form or function? Does one follow the other?

As a music producer, I am guilty of harboring extreme prejudice against certain VST plugins simply because they, “look ugly” to me. I have often overlooked amazing sounding software simply because it lacks an interface that looks inviting to me.

On the other hand, I have also found plugins and software that look graphically amazing, but simply do not function in any particular musical way, or do not work altogether. When I choose which plugins I use, there is a careful balance that must be walked. Firstly, what I look for is its appearance. Is it laid out in a way that makes it easy to use and understand? Secondly, does it sound good?


I know many of you are thinking, “Shouldn’t sound quality be your top priority? Why does  how it looks matter?” and it is reasonable to be thinking this. How the plugin sounds should come first, but it doesn’t. From my experience producing, it can be a disaster to my workflow when I have to stop and try to figure out how to do something on a confusing plugin when I could have done an almost as good job using a simpler, nicer looking plugin. If a one plugin’s design means I can get results faster, I will choose that plugin every time, even if the alternative sounds “better”.

So why is that?

At the end of the day, I can spend hours fine-tuning, making everything “perfect”, but it won’t matter if I never actually get my content finished and published. When I spend too long on a project, I will often end up scrapping it as I run out of creative energy to finish it. If a plugin is fun to use, I can get results faster, and am often more likely to finish a track. If I am not having fun with a song, I will usually scrap it. If a plugin isn’t fun to use, it can be a huge creativity killer.

In closing

I think that form and function need to work together if a developer wants the end user to actually choose to use the software they develop. This is why companies like Native Instruments and Arturia have become so commercially successful in the highly competitive audio market. They make their software fun to use.

At the end of the day, if your work is musically interesting, which plugins you choose will not matter.

What do you think? Why do you use the plugins you do?


Fax Machines: the future of music promotion.

Why social media is DEAD for music marketing (and why email works)

Today I read this article.

What the heck.
The last time I heard email regarded as “the future” or as an “innovation“, it was around the nineties, before I was born.


Freakin’ Email.

Maybe they are right.

In the world of over saturation in the music scene, It can be next to impossible to reach people in a meaningful way, and with the slow and painful death of soundcloud, reaching people with your music is getting harder and harder.

Where we check daily for deals, and to see which classes are cancelled, maybe Email is the next reasonable step!email-music-buy-rap-beats



Amped Apartments!

Hey guys! Today I begin posting here, I guess. This page will be for posting my own journey of musical discovery; what I have learned, what I am learning, and how I am applying my knowledge in a practical way to better my arts.

I may also add photography and painting to this blog as well, as I enjoy those outlets as well.

I don’t know what sort of music you guys can expect from me, but I am loving this right now: Bon Iver