How Today’s Top Music Artists are Using Computers as Instruments

baio sxsw

Is this the year that Ableton cracks the live music scene? It sure seems that way.

As reported by DailyDot Tech, attendees of this week’s SXSW festival have the opportunity to create their own music alongside massive pop and electronic artists, including Vampire Weekend bassist and DJ Chris Baio.

At a space called “the Arc” from Deloitte Digital, audio is modified by object movements, while collaborators interact with lit-up instruments to play tracks. Meanwhile, a four-person swing set outside controls four individual parts of a piece of music.


The impressive ARC contraption is powered by none other than Ableton.

As an electronic music artist, Chris Baio is intimately familiar with the software that powers the ARC, and DailyDot goes on to talk with him about his new solo album, “The Names,” and the production technology that brought it to be.

According to Baio, music is “very much a technological thing,” and that artists and fans around the world are beginning to develop a more profound understanding and respect for digital production as a legitimate art.

“I’m pretty familiar with treating the computer as its own instrument, and treating it as its own character… A lot of my favorite records over the years, the people making them were embracing the technology of the time.”

At #SXSW? You don’t want to miss the Ableton pop up shop.

For Baio, technology simply provides another outlet for creative inspiration, and, for him as for many other artists, the computer is just as important an instrument as a guitar or a drum set.

“It can be refreshing and exciting to think about music in different terms,” he said. “To think about, I write plenty of songs sitting at a piano, but there are tracks of my own that are pure computer music

I don’t hold one as more authentic than another, or one is better than another. Always embracing new technology as an artist is a good thing.”

Electronic music and its public perception have sure come a long way…

For the full scoop on Baio and his new solo album, head over to the DailyDot article here.

Want to learn how to use your own computer as an instrument? Check out Mmmmaven’s DJ and Production Programs.

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