Editor's Note
In With the New (Year)

A couple of months back at Remix Hotel in Los Angeles, while doing a Q&A–style interview with Justin Meldal-Johnsen, an audience member asked Justin how he keeps his playing fresh and creative. Justin responded that continually trying new things helps keep him inspired, and related an instance in which he listened to an Aphex Twin song and experimented with his bass to imitate some of these sounds — which he achieved by detuning his strings and using distortion with some other effects.

As a musician, I spend countless hours practicing my instruments in hopes that my playing becomes more comfortable and effortless. But this has proven to be a double-edged sword, as it can lead to developing habits and/or falling into patterns with my playing. To offset this, I’ve found that regular experimentation helps infuse vitality into my creative process. The hard part about trying new things is that doing so sometimes involves abandoning processes that have worked thus far. But hey, just because something has worked in the past is no reason to stop searching for a better way of doing things going forward, right?


In this issue of DigiZine, you’ll read about how several Pro Tools users are taking advantage of the new features introduced in Pro Tools 7 software to more freely experiment with their projects. I too am a convert: The new real-time, non-destructive MIDI processing features alone have made me shelve some of my favorite drum machines in favor of sequencing beats in Pro Tools. Sure there’s a little momentary discomfort and ramp-up time involved with working in a new way — this is to be expected. But this is a small price to pay for finding a faster, more creative way of working.

Some of the greatest creations/discoveries have been arrived at by accident, resulting from experimentation and a general venturing into the unknown. Of course, doing things differently means moving outside of one’s comfort zone, but sometimes that’s just what it takes to stumble upon something really great. And when that happens, all of that time spent experimenting becomes worth it.

Oh, and by the way, if you know of anyone looking to buy some cool sequencing drum machines, please send them my way.

Dusty DiMercurio