In the third part of the book I look at the various technologies that have influenced the story I’m telling. There’s the internet on one side, and how it powered communication and broke down geographical boundaries. And on the other there is music technology, from the hardware samplers that built hip-hop and electronic music in its early days to the software and DAWs that democratised music making and spread in tandem with the rise of internet connectivity.
There are various software programs that could be considered key, or at least important, to this story. Ableton Live is certainly one of them in the latter years. Another is FruityLoops, the product of a small Belgian company that was key in the growth of dubstep and grime but also had an impact on beats and hip-hop. It’s been 9th Wonder’s software of choice for years, and earned him a Grammy, it was used by Dabrye on Two/Three, and it’s been a favourite of the new generation of producers such as Teebs and Jonwayne.
I looked at the history of FruityLoops for RBMA Magazine, unpacking its roots and expansion. The insights in this piece will be worked into the technology segment of the book. You can view the book’s current chapter outline here.
Eighteen years on from its accidental birth, FL Studio remains an important and widely used DAW, an enduring musical tool for the millennial generation. The only other software in that time to create similar disruption is Ableton Live. And while Live can, and is, used to make music in the studio, it’s most often credited with a radical change in how electronic music is performed in a live setting. As such, when we think back to the software that revolutionised music in the early 21st century, it’s clear that FL Studio is one of the tools that transformed how music is made.