The Importance of Digital Literacy
For people that were in disfavor of what was happening ever since the 90s with the start of the digital revolution, you could probably get away with lack of digital literacy. Today we live in the year 2017 (obviously) a time where it feels like everything has a “smart” prefix in front of it. With that being said, if you aren’t literate with the bare minimum knowledge of technology, then it is probably safe to say that you are at a disadvantage. Sure, some aspects of living that were/are converted into a digital form don’t really need to be in a digital form, but on the other hand a lot of basic human necessities are now managed online or in some type of a digital form.
History of Hip-Hop Production
The way hip-hop, rap, edm, alternative, wave genres and many more sub-genres of beat oriented music is produced has came a long way from the first beat machine techniques. Back then, beats were usually composed of samples from earlier records and this was the case with collecting drums samples and riffs. Producers would gather vinyl records and listen to their library in hopes of finding that catchy riff that they could arrange and alter it sonically to create their own sound. A lot of tools were needed for this process: a vinyl player, a storage device, and a beat machine or MPC (MIDI Production Controller).
Once the samples from the vinyl records were attained, extracting the samples onto to a storage device was the next step. Now in the process was to load these samples into the MPC, set a tempo and tap (to enable playback) each pad that a sample is assigned to in a creative manner to achieve the goal of creating a new beat. Most of the general population of music consumers back then were not aware of how this form of reproduction was achieved, but recognized the use of sampling older work
Today the use of MPCs is still very popular as the success of early hip-hop proved so. But now with the changes the digital revolution has provided, there are now more ways to reproduce music. Now, there are DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) that are available as a platform tool application on your computer for producing music. Inside these DAWs are plugins that emulate pianos, synths, and other forms of musical instruments. They even cater to our topic of discussion: drums and samples. Nowadays in a DAW, you can find a digital version of the famous MPC that we talked about above. Now drums samples can easily be inserted into these types of plugins along with chopping up and mashing together other elements from any form of sound like a 70s song, audio from a movie or a TV show, etc.