I recently watched Avenged Sevenfold’s breakdown of their song A Little Piece of Heaven, which you can check out here.
And it was a great video, showcasing both their creativity and most importantly for this post, their dedication to literally creating everything on their own. Seriously, they had like a separate room in which they broke bottles and they even went outside with their phones to record rain and thunder for that song.
Now I know the year was 2007 and maybe VSTs and digital instruments were not as advanced, but I feel that this is exactly the same path they’d have taken either way.
And I always had this sort of debate in my mind…are you less of a musician if you use VSTs for your songs? And the answer is…no, no you aren’t.
Seriously, if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re overreacting. And nobody can tell me otherwise. Music is there to be enjoyed by people. Whether it comes from actual instruments or from MIDI, I don’t really care.
Sure, the people actually recording their stuff are better than me. Ain’t gonna stand around here talking nonsense about A7X in that regard. To be honest, even if I was capable of recording everything myself, I wasn’t gonna talk nonsense either, mostly because M Shadows is, y’know, a better singer than me and Syn Gates is a better guitarist than…most of us.
But I saw this weird stigma on some YouTube comments from some people on a demo video for a guitar VST I use. It wasn’t my demo, it was someone else’s, but some people were like, “ugh, you shouldn’t use these”.
I mean sure, they were your classic keyboard warriors, but the annoyance is still the same. Why shouldn’t people use them? I mean…that’s what they were created for…to be used by people. Either people who know how to play guitar but are too lazy to record (or can’t record for whatever reason) or by people who can’t play the guitar but want to create music.
There’s this Finnish guy, Antti Martikainen, who creates some amazing songs. Mostly instrumental ones. And on his website, he lists all the software that he uses to create his songs. I don’t know how many instruments are actually recorded and how many are MIDI. And I’m gonna be real with you…I don’t care. His songs are awesome and that’s all that matters.
I myself use VSTs for drums, bass (two instruments which I don’t know how to play and don’t own). I also use them for piano and acoustic guitar, two instruments which I can play. As for orchestral covers…if I was that capable of an instrumentalist, I’d probably be off in some orchestra, either conducting or playing in it.
And I’ll be real with you, there will be songs I release which will be made entirely from VSTs, including the heavy guitars. So far, I have recorded every form of electric guitar though.
If people decide to be petty and say it’s not real music, that’s on them. I’m not going to feel bad about it and the people who do enjoy my stuff…those are the ones that count anyway.
In the end, though, I think everyone should do however they please when creating music. If you want to use only MIDI tracks, go for it. If you want to record every whisper, I admire your dedication and you should definitely go for it. If you want to use a mix of these two, no one is going to stop you. So go out there and get yourself heard.