In an interview with one half of Daft Punk, Billboard.com had a chance to catch up with Thomas Bangalter. Questions were asked about the album and its production, but more interesting than that were his words on Pop music, EDM, its producers, and why “They aren’t challenging the system themselves.”
When asked to explain a earlier comment on EDM, he answered with this:
I think it’s mostly the tools; I think they might be missing the tools. The problem with the way to make music today, these are turnkey systems; they come with preset banks and sounds. They’re not inviting you to challenge the systems themselves, or giving you the ability to showcase your personality, individuality. They’re making it as if it’s somehow easier to make the same music you hear on the radio. Then it creates a very vicious cycle: How can you challenge that when the system and the media are not challenging it in the first place?
He isn’t wrong. Most VSTs and producing softwares are loaded with presets that, in a way, do limit your ability to make your own signature sound. Sure you can download sample packs and other synths but the fact remains that all of that is already “pre-made”. Most of the rise of EDM and the hundreds of thousands of producers saturating the market is mostly due to how easy it is to download that software, look up some tutorials, make a little House track, and then suddenly call your music unique. It begs the question if it’s so unique, why was it made with the same process as any other track? With the use of computers, creating EDM seems to be almost too easy. Thomas also spoke on using laptops and computers for the record.
We really felt that the computers are not really music instruments, and we were not able to express ourselves using a laptop. We tried, but were not successful.
Despite being from a previous generation of music making, he has a point. Music seems to have this universal language that can be used to communicate. The problem begins with ‘what happens if your language is already preset’? then you aren’t able to converse or “showcase your personality, individuality.” Creating the same sound with the same process leads to a horrible “Vicious Cycle” because people are too scared to “push the envelope ” and really create something different.