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Review | How Augmented Reality Will Change Electronic Music

Jim Morrison predicted the rise of electronic music in 1969 when stating that “there’s somebody out there, working in a basement, just inventing a whole new musical form.” This prediction paralleled the rise of BBC’s “Radiophonic Workshop” and popularity of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Today, electronic music may be causing another major shift in music technology with mobile applications, 3D imaging, and augmented reality. This article highlights that shift and predicts where the industry may be heading over the next decade.

Electronic Music and Tech Innovation:

Electronic music and technological advance go hand-in-hand. Use of the Moog Synthesizer, the Roland TR-808 drum machine, and Multi-Track Recording has moved music production from the studio to the home. Also, Musical Instrument Digital Interfaces (MIDI) and Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) make use of musical instruments more widely accessible. And the internet and social media give artists the ability to make their own labels, distribution channels, and promotions straight through Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing and streaming services like SoundCloud. As a result, electronic music is likely to create a major change in how audiences and artists experience music. Here are some predictions for what that might look like within the next decade:

Getting paid for the work produced:

Due to the expanded use of Blockchain technology, musicians will get more ownership of their intellectual property. This will happen through the implementation of smart contract technology that issues real-time payments through distributed ledgers.

Generating revenue from merchandise and touring over distribution:

As a result of venue owners, studio executives, and show promoters generating the greatest profits, artists will look to get in the game through greater touring and merchandising over direct sales.

Augmented reality drives audience experience:

With music production becoming cheaper, more live performances will encourage innovations in 3D imaging, augmented reality, and reinvented speakers and headphones to enhance the audience’s experience.

DJing as an instrument over a service:

Through advances in sound-mastering, beat-matching, and track-transition software, new tools and techniques will inspire an explosion of electronic producers that bring underground music genres to the industry’s forefront.

Music will return back to the oldies:

If the phrase “history repeats itself” is any indication, audiences will likely demand older music genres be brought back into the mainstream virtual and augmented reality-based live performances.