the computer has put an incredible power directly in our hands. but it's a power that comes with a price. as an engineering and experimental tool, it's wonderful.
it is also the gateway to a microscopic hell.
time spent staring at waveforms, zooming in and out, copying and pasting, feels like watching my own brain eroding. zig-zags have been burned into the retina of my mind's eye like a monitor left on with no screen saver. whatever music we work on is reduced to and associated with violent polygraph-like patterns. we think about the peaks and valleys we see as much as those we hear or feel.
instead of dreaming a sound and executing it with the best means possible, we now have a hundred different possible paths to the imaginary nirvana of perfection. there is nearly always another tweak or process that can be done that promises the sound coming out of the speakers will equal or exceed the one in our heads.
we don't fear or reject these tools, or doubt their abilities. we've even become good at using them. the trick is to find balance, remember their place.
out in the wilderness with a huge swiss army knife, we should be grateful for the attachments we have, but also be prepared to use our bare hands.