Novation are promising something new on the 1st of October. Let’s just say whatever [redacted] may be, we’ll cover [redacted] when the time is right. But what I find interesting is the way they’re introducing the message. Just as Ableton did with Push, the message is about “starting something” – about getting past that initial creative impulse.

I think we’re seeing a shift in the way we talk about music technology in general. The old way of selling was to make the process as mysterious as possible. Serious professionals would tell you how they had the killer tool that you didn’t – the thing you’d want.

Now, we’re saying the opposite. After years of those experts resisting the democratization of music, the people making the tools are talking openly about demystifying music making.

On one level, it’s risky. After all, if you demystify music making, who’s to say that any music tool is really so important, anyway?

On another, what are we doing if not making tools for people who love music for people who will love them? And then it’s up to us writing about these tools, and eventually you using them, to see if they’re something you care about.

There are a number of videos, but my favorite comes from FOXTROTT, aka singer-producer Marie-Helene L. Delorme of Montreal. It’s hard to even describe her genre, in the right way, but it’s hip-hop-influenced, internationally-flavored and modern Québécois pop. She’s an independent, unsigned, unlabeled artist.

And I totally agree with the cooking metaphor. Producers can easily get stuck in endless in-the-box tweaking; the key to starting off on the right foot is getting those initial ingredients. Oddly, this makes me flash back to a similar speech about ingredients and making a stew by George Tsontakis, a new music composer who’s about as far as you can get from FOXTROTT as you might imagine. But the metaphor is universal.

You can hear more here:

And then next month we’ll talk about what Novation are doing, and then we’ll talk about what music you make with what you’re using, and that’s how this is all meant to work.