robot playing piano

The Future of Jobs in the Music Industry

As we enter the age of automation and artificial intelligence, many industries are undergoing significant changes, and the music industry is no exception. From the way music is produced and distributed to how it is consumed, the music industry is evolving rapidly. But what does the future hold for jobs in the music industry? Will machines take over and leave musicians out of work? Let’s take a closer look.

The music industry has always been notoriously difficult to break into. Even with the advent of digital technology and social media, it’s still a highly competitive industry that requires talent, perseverance, and a little bit lot of luck. That said, the digital age has created a whole host of new opportunities for musicians, songwriters, and producers. With platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud and whatnot, artists can now reach a global audience from the comfort of their bedroom, without the need for a record label or a massive marketing budget.

But what about the more traditional jobs in the music industry? The jobs that require certain expertise? Well, it’s true that some of these jobs may become automated in the future. For example, there are already AI programs that can compose music and even write lyrics. However, machines can’t replace the human touch when it comes to music. Music is an art form, and there will always be a demand for talented musicians who can connect with audiences on an emotional level.

In fact, the rise of technology in the music industry has created new job opportunities that didn’t exist before. For example, there is now a growing demand for experts in music data analysis. With the rise of streaming services, record labels and artists are constantly looking for ways to better understand their audiences and how to reach them. Music data analysts can help by providing insights into trends and preferences, allowing artists to make more informed decisions about their music.

Another area of growth is in virtual and augmented reality. As technology continues to evolve, there will be more opportunities for musicians and producers to create immersive experiences for their audiences. This could involve creating virtual concerts, interactive music videos, and even new forms of musical instruments that can be played in a virtual environment.

Random Fact

Did you know that the first-ever recorded song was created in 1860? It was a 10-second clip of “Au Clair de la Lune,” recorded on a phonautograph by a Frenchman named Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. The recording was never intended to be played back, as there was no technology available at the time to do so. It wasn’t until 2008 that scientists were able to recreate the sound from the phonautograph recording using a computer.

The future of jobs in the music industry is both exciting and uncertain. While some traditional jobs may become automated, there will always be a demand for talented musicians who can create emotional connections with their audiences. And as technology continues to evolve, there will be new opportunities for those with expertise in areas like music data analysis and virtual reality. If you’re passionate about music and willing to adapt to new technologies, the future looks bright. Just remember, even with all the technological advancements, music will always be a human art form at its core.

high angle photo of robot

My Take on AI like ChatGPT (and the Real Threats)

I fear slowing down the development and implementation of AI more than the everyday use of it.

AI is not inherently good or evil, it’s basically a tool that can be used for a variety of purposes, and it is up to humans to decide how to use it. Many of the concerns about AI are based on science fiction and exaggerations rather than real-world applications and limitations of current AI technology. The development of AI is still in its early stages, and while it has shown significant progress recently, it is still far from reaching a point where it can pose a threat to humanity.

AI like ChatGPT is useful and somewhat impressive (or not) but far from dangerous. It knows less than humanity actually does. It has no capacity for opinion, emotion or decision-making. And it is precisely these 3 things that get us into trouble as humans.

Artificial intelligence is only as “intelligent” as we feed such a system with data. So, it always depends on how intelligent the feeder is and how extensive and balanced the data is. I highly doubt very stupid people would have access to this feeding process or even understand how to feed.

That brings me to our real problem: ignorant or stupid people.

Now if you think I’m about to bash people with a lack of mental abilities, read on first.

The actions of unintelligent or ignorant people have a greater negative impact on society than those of intentionally malicious individuals, like say Donald Trump (who is both stupid and ignorant, the most dangerous combination). While both ignorance and intentional malice can and do certainly have negative consequences, it is also true that people who are uninformed or lack critical thinking skills inadvertently make poor decisions that harm others.

Some people can be a bit dim about certain things, and we often make fun of them in a light-hearted way. However, stupidity can be a serious problem. Stupid people can be even more dangerous than evil people because they are harder to identify and fight against. Unlike evil, which we can recognize and protest against, stupidity is much more difficult to combat because we are more tolerant of it and the stupid person is often not open to reason.

Stupidity often goes hand-in-hand with power, which can make it even more dangerous. When someone becomes part of the establishment or holds a position of authority, they often surrender their critical thinking and reflection, becoming more like an automaton. That’s a dangerous weapon because it can be easily guided, steered, and manipulated by evil people. Therefore, while we can laugh at moments of ignorance in our close company, we should be scared and angry when stupidity takes reign.

But there’s also a lot of danger in pure ignorance.

Ignorance is often simply a refusal to use one’s opportunities to do good or right for reasons of convenience, fear, or disinterest. It is the choice to not seek out or engage with information. Ignorance is mainly a decision, and it’s a bad one.

Stupidity, on the other hand, is a lack of intelligence or cognitive ability. It can be permanent or the result of a cognitive disability or developmental disorder. Stupidity is not a choice, and those who are affected by it may not be able to overcome it through education or learning.

In any case, I think the solution is access to education, diversity and experience. People who see a lot and experience a lot become smarter, that’s a fact. I myself also went through the world with prejudices and false misconceptions until I experienced it up close as it really is. That allowed me to learn and correct myself.

It is of secondary importance which cognitive abilities a person has. A mentally handicapped person tends to make better decisions than a person of high intellectual ability who is uneducated.

As such, I’ve always had more problems with intellectually capable people who refuse education, diversity, and experience — such as some religious people, without naming names — than with those who try their best.

The ignorant ones definitely worry me more. AI doesn’t worry me at all. Hopefully, when people are finally relieved of stupid work by artificial intelligence, they will learn to have time for what really matters.

Update 20 February 2023

Check this article: www.vice.com/en/article/k7bdmv/judge-used-chatgpt-to-make-court-…

The Ultimate Harmonic Mixing & Composing Chart

Before you dig in…

The Ultimate Harmonic Mixing & Composing Chart is a visual aid for musicians, producers, composers and DJs to easily create music that always has harmonic chord progressions. This sheet is now widely used worldwide as a teaching and practical tool in music and DJ schools and has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.

The situation

As both a DJ and composer, the Circle of Fifth or the Camelot Key Wheel system — amongst others — have always been handy tools for me to write and mix music harmonically. There are just too many options in chord progressions than I could ever have in my memory (maybe you can, but I don’t).

So yes, I could always have a look at above mentioned helpers to orientate myself through the notes and chords jungle, in case needed, which is not always the case. I have the most common chords in my head. Just not always.

As a composer I’m fine with the musical key/chord system, i.e. “A minor“, but as a DJ it isn’t very likely (for me, again) to remember all the musical chords to know what to mix into what. So, Mark Davis came up with Camelot Keys (used in Mixed in Key, which I prefer, because of its accuracy) and then there are the Open Keys (Traktor). Which is basically a range of 12 keys for each gender, major and minor chords. “A minor” is 8A (Camelot Key) or 1m (Open Key).

In a nutshell: if you mix 1A into 2A (and so forth, up until 12A and then into 1A again) you’re generally fine. Your mixing transitions will always be harmonic, no key clashes. This example is the very basic part of harmonic mixing or composing. And also, a bit boring if you do that all the time. It becomes really good and interesting when you use all the options within the world of chord progressions.

What I was missing in all those years of composing and mixing was ONE chart (to rule them all) that shows me ALL key/chord systems and their equivalents, their piano keys (very useful for composing) and their harmonic keys/chords. I searched the interwebs in order to find out if someone did this, but no one did.

The solution

So, I did it myself. 8 hours work and I had what I was looking for. And since I guess this could be useful for every musician/DJ, I want to share it here with you. This is how it looks like (click to open the full resolution file):

The Ultimate Harmonic Mixing Composing Chart
Click to open large version, right-click to save

You can download the high-res PNG image above, print it out and use it for yourself, if you like. Here’s a PDF and the original EXCEL version of it, in case you want to edit/modify something for your needs (let me know when you find mistakes or when you improved it!):

PDF | EXCEL

What does it do, how do I use this?

Let’s take an example for a composing or mixing situation:

The chord we’re working with at the moment is A minor (or 8A, or 1m). What shall be next? Everything in the table below — around the 8A — is possible, it will be harmonic. The closer to the 8A it is the more harmonic it’ll be.

Composing Keys

DJ Keys

Harmonic Keys

Western Music Scale
Piano Chord Keys
Camelot Key
Open Key
Scale Degree
DJ Keys up/down
D minor D + F + A 7A 12m Fourth (Sub-Dominant) -1
C major C + E + G 8B 1d Relative major

A minor

A + C + E

8A

1m

Same key (tonic)

E minor E + G + B 9A 2m Fifth (Dominant) 1
B-flat/♭ minor A# + C# + F 3A 8m Low energy boost 7
B minor B + D + F# 10A 3m High energy boost (supertonic) 2
A-flat/♭ minor G + B + D# 1A 6m Low energy drain -7
G minor G + A# + D 6A 11m High energy drain (leading tone) -2

But your decision what to do next is depending on the purpose. What kind of “feel” do you want to give your mix or composition?

Examples

Here are some possible chord progression scenarios, working with the Camelot Keys (which I prefer, at least for DJing), starting with 8A:

The “River”

That’s how I call it, it’s kind of a “secure standard”, nothing special, it’s just flowing along:

8A > 9A > 10A … 12A > 1A > 2A and so forth, until you’re at 7A and back into 8A again

Audio sample:

Music used: Ingo Vogelmann “Albert” (8A) > Tripswitch “Proximity Effect” (9A) > Mike Griego “What Lies Beyond” (10A) 

You can’t go wrong with this one, you just rock “around the clock”. Depending on the energy level of actual music/sequence used, transitions changes can be very energetic, though.

The “Little Ocean Wave”

The energy of this chord progression has the shape of an ocean wave or a sawtooth:

8A > 9A > 11A (+2 DJ keys, high energy boost) > 12A > 1a and so forth

Audio sample:

Music used: Ingo Vogelmann “Albert” (8A) > Tripswitch “Proximity Effect” (9A) > Bobby Deep “Egopunk” (11A) 

You can do this once in a while to give your mix a little energy boost, which makes it more interesting than the “River”.

The “Big Ocean Wave”

8A > 9A > 4A (+7 DJ keys, low energy boost) > 6A (+2 DJ keys, high energy boost) > 7a and so forth

Audio sample:

Music used: Ingo Vogelmann “Albert” (8A) > Tripswitch “Proximity Effect” (9A) > Michael A “Storm” (4A) > Robert Babicz “Kinect” (6A) 

Here you have a longer and progressive wave of energy rising, until it falls back to normal at 7A again, just like an ocean wave crashing and the next one building up again.

The “Wild Ocean”

It’s a bit stormy, and the waters stirred up, but everything is still harmonic and in place. This is the most “interesting” way of mixing, things shouldn’t become boring:

8A > 8B (relative major) > 9A > 4A (+7 DJ keys, low energy boost) > 4B (relative major) > 6B (+2 DJ keys, high energy boost) > 7B > 2B (+7 DJ keys, low energy boost) > 4B (+2 DJ keys, high energy boost) > 5B and so forth

Audio sample:

Music used: Third Son & Wally Lopez “Geometry” (8A) > Ingo Vogelmann “Empire On Fire” (8B) > Antrim “The Mystic Lovers” (9A) > Michael A “Storm” (4A) > Raw District Feat. Jinadu “Taking You Down” (Habischman Remix) (4B)

I could make up a hell of a lot more examples now (with even sillier names), but you most probably already get the idea. The options are really endless, and you’ll always be composing or DJing harmonic. The above scenarios are just examples. Find out what works for yourself, I’m sure you’ll have fun experimenting with chord progressions, using this nifty chart. Oh, and don’t mind the silly names … it’s just about giving things a name. 😉

It’s free! Download, share, modify, re-publish and generally do with it whatever you want. But please, don’t pretend you did this. Credit would be nice (and fair) but is no condition.