The first piece of musical software I remember sparking my interest was [Rebirth 1.0](http://www.rebirthmuseum.com/). I didn’t have a MIDI keyboard, and I barely had a lick of musical inspiration, but setting up drum loops and turning the knobs on the virtual synth just made me feel…I don’t know, I guess the proper word is *empowered*.
To the best of my memory, my discovery of Rebirth was also right around the time I found myself listening to electronic music. Rebirth came out in early 1997, and the span from 1996 to 1997 was when the US had that big HOLY SHIT **ELECTRONICA** moment. And even if it amounted to little more than press hype, it started me down the musical tinkering slope.
June of 2000: I discover [Igor Engraver](https://vjarmy.com/archives/2000/06/for_the_musicia.php) – a then-free piece of music notation software. I tinker, I toy, I play. Nothing comes of it, but that creative spirit blooms again briefly.
Early 2002: I find my way into Beatmania. I never recover.
Christmas 2003: I receive both a copy of [Traktor DJ Studio](http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=traktor3_us) and an [Oxygen8](http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Oxygen8-main.html) keyboard. I put together a few mashups, and end up putting a few musical blips together to be used in some games.
In the time since, I’ve taken up photography, and as an immediate-feedback outlet, it’s hard to top. But that desire to screw around and craft music has never really disappeared.
Which leads us to today. Today is the day where I acquired [Ableton Live 5.2](http://www.ableton.com/index/live).
I list the software I’ve gone through because of the massive rate of growth the industry has seen. In 10 years, we’ve come from a simple synth and drum machine to something through which [beatboxers can reach new heights](http://www.ableton.com/_common/downloads/pages2/artist_kid_beyond/kid-beyond.mov), [loops can be made out of common household goods](http://www.ableton.com/_common/downloads/pages2/artists/shawn_pelton/down_and_dirty_loops.mov), and [music can be made while traveling](http://www.ableton.com/_common/downloads/pages2/artist_telefon_tel_aviv/telefon_tel_aviv.mov). (Seriously, folks, **watch these movies.**)
I don’t know if anything worthwhile will come out of me having Live. It may just be another plaything, another toy I end up growing tired of. But once again, I feel that grand empowerment that comes from having a magical tool that almost begs to be bent to my will – and bend it I shall.