One of the most amazing metaphors in all of music, and one that has been used my many times by many great artists, is the Butterfly Effect. In a nutshell, it involves seeing how a change in one thing can alter another. For example, you take a look at two men walking down the street. One is wearing a t-shirt that has “Livestrong” on it, while the other guy is wearing a blue hoodie. If one guy changes the shirt to a t-shirt with “Livestrong” on it, while the other guy keeps his hoodie the same, then he has just changed his life.
However, if they both change the clothes, then they have only changed their outward appearance, not really had any change in their inner lives. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. An apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange. How much more so if we were to take a butterfly effect and apply it to the world of music, as the Butterfly Effect has to do with change.
Imagine that you are sitting at your desk, writing a song, while the lights around you are changing colors. The words that you write, as they are created within the mind, will turn into audible words, or music, depending on the quality of the recording. Now imagine that those words, when sung by someone, will be heard by millions of people, all over the world. The words on that recording will have changed your life.
The Butterfly Effect applies exactly to every song that was ever written. Just because someone believes that they wrote a great song, doesn’t mean that it is actually “great”. All it means is that the person in control of the sound recording has changed the quality of the sound that is being created. In fact, if the same quality files are made again, there will be very little differences between the final master recordings, but each artist that sing those songs will have completely different perceptions of what those sounds mean to him.
It’s like this: You go to a restaurant and order a steak. While you are eating, you can see other people enjoying their food. Now, if you could hear that the restaurant owner behind the scenes creating the menu, and playing the music that plays while he makes his food, you would hear the exact notes that make up the flavor of his food. The exact notes that will make the perfect steak.
It is the very same thing that happens in our minds while we create new thoughts. As each thought is created, a different sound comes out. Each word is not “singed” in the same way but in the same way that each word is “singed” is changed by the quality of the recording. We are the ones who create the audio and that which we deliver to the world through the words on those records, is very much affected by the quality of the sound creation tools used. Whether it is digital recordings, live instrument recordings, or classic vinyl recordings, these sound tools have the power to change the way we perceive the world around us, and this can be directly translated to the words on a record.