Imogen Heap gloves

For decades, computers have been used to record and mix music in studios. However, several of today’s more forward-thinking musicians are also using cutting-edge technology to write and perform songs outside the studio.

While some bands will jam for hours or even days to arrive at the bare bones of a new song, Portland indie rockers Menomena have found a way to streamline (and democratize) their creative process using technology.

At the core of this process is the Digital Looping Recorder (Deeler), a software program created in Max/MSP by band co-founder and former member Brent Knopf. After loading the program into Pro Tools, each member of the group performs a number of variations on a short, improvised riff over a click track. The band repeats the process with each member/instrument, and then the program loops the various parts together.

The members of Menomena then listen to the resulting multi-part loops and collectively choose a favorite to use as the basis for the new song. This allows the group to remove individual egos from the process, so everyone can be involved in the decision making and work together from a batch of pre-recorded files.

Visit iQ by Intel to read more about Menomena’s innovative writing process, Björk’s custom-made instruments, Imogen Heap’s music-making gloves, and more!

This is another is a series of articles written by LAmb co-founder Kristin Houser in conjunction with the iQ by Intel series to explore the link between technology and music.