Paradigm Time? If Not Now When?

Reading tia's thread on poor knob performance on UIs got me thinking about how fast things are changing. Initially I thought I would use iOS as a springboard to a fully fledged desktop DAW. Now I am not so sure. I wish I could remember who and where I saw it, but recently, for the first time, I read a post where someone complained about desktop workflow (primarily mouse usage) not bring as slick as iOS. I was looking at Bradley White's chronology of iOS on his Futuresonic website and realized the timeline is moving at the speed of sound, literally: 2008, the App Store, 2010, the iPad, 2013, Audiobus and 2015, Cubasis.

It seems most of the user technology has happened in the past five years (only after the blockbuster foundation pieces of iPhone, iPad and App Store were in place), and almost full DAW only three years ago. When you consider the economic incentive (iOS is clearly cheaper) and the easier interface (if you agree with that) and finally, the portability (undeniable) then it seems to me it is only a matter of time until desktop production is eclipsed. In fact, if you believe the founder of Roli, it is just a matter of time before the qwerty keyboard itself is replaced by a denser, more flexible input device.

So, my questions are two:

Do you think, when iOS devices achieve equivalent RAM and ROM capacities that the 20" iPad ( and app bugs,such as inaccurate and hard to use knob settings, are worked out) iOS will replace the desktop as the main mode of music production?

And two, if you think that, how long will it take to happen?

My own view is it is inevitable and certainly will happen in the next five years.
If Moore's law still holds the storage on a small device should be no problem, and the app insufficiencies.... Well, I remember my dad behind the Dumont tv
adjusting the vertical hold... What, no color! No remote! No cable! No wifi! No internet! No iAnything!. Yes, it was sixty some years ago, but things, you will agree, happen a lot faster these days!

So, what do you think?

«13

Comments

  • @LinearLineman said:

    Do you think, when iOS devices achieve equivalent RAM and ROM capacities that the 20" iPad ( and app bugs,such as inaccurate and hard to use knob settings, are worked out) iOS will replace the desktop as the main mode of music production?

    No....the issue of cooling needs to be addressed as well, current iDevices have their CPU throttled when heat is high, meaning you still can not do the same heavy processing for sustained periods as you can on a desk or laptop.....if they can nail that one, without having to bulk out the idevice or make it noisy (fans) then yeah, but when it does, don't expect the same bang for buck on apps we currently are lucky enough to benefit from.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    What, no color! No remote! No cable! No wifi! No internet! No iAnything!.

    hehehe....you forgot one....No Channels ! well 3 at a push

  • Hadn't thought of the heating problem... Maybe a genetically modified heat absorbing and energy recycling biomass smeared on the circuit board before they seal it up.... You think they could use me at Apple?

  • How did I miss this, Andy... Something like plankton?

  • Desktop production will definitely not go away, but I do believe there will be more individuals doing iPad/iPhone production than desktop production in 5 years. So far on my iPad Pro I have had no issues at all with CPU throttling when using the same workflow/session duration than I would on my desktop.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    How did I miss this, Andy... Something like plankton?

    hehehe - Bottom of the food chain....responsible for sustaining all life ;)

    And what you said may not be as far fetched as it sounds, they supposedly do already have basic working organic processors that use FAR less energy and therefore generate much less heat in the first place.....which is actually probably the answer to the problem, rather than getting rid of the heat once it's there, do not generate the heat in the first place.

  • @realdawei said:
    So far on my iPad Pro I have had no issues at all with CPU throttling when using the same workflow/session duration than I would on my desktop.

    This is encouraging :)

  • edited May 10

    I think the answer is very simple: Yes, it's possible and no, I don't think it will happen soon.
    Why?
    If you want a tablet that's fully capable of hosting desktop-grade software then have a look at the current Windows Surface tablets, for example. Right, many programs are not optimized for touch operation, but there are workarounds and people were saying this for iOS apps too recently - more today than a few years ago, actually.
    Technically, the same would easily be possible on the iPad hardware but I doubt it's going to happen soon because although it's said that iOS and MacOS will converge more and more, watching what actually happens does not feel like iOS is getting any close to the possibilities you have with desktop OS and apps.
    The reason might be that iOS' main playground are iPhones and non-audio apps, so the focus in iOS development is not exactly on audio optimizations and unlimited file access.

  • CibCib
    edited May 10

    No, never. Different machines, different workflows for different tasks.
    But in some years maybe it´s all the same anyway.
    There are desktops with touch-screens as well.
    There are some good synths in iOS but not really good sample libraries or something like Kontakt.
    No support for extern SSD and bigger projects are any way not possible.
    For the average Joe who like to do some electronic beats iPads are already good enough.
    Otherwise i don´t think anyone want to do a filmscore on an iPad....even if that would be possible.
    Not sure why someone even should try to replace great working things with not so great working things.
    People right now just using these things together and pick the best of both worlds.
    I also doubt there will be a market anytime soon for really specific high end software on iOS which costs some and also needs things like multi-core support and whatever.
    Roli is just like Apple....they seems now to focus on the consumer mass market. They might even to a better cut there (like Apple) but that won´t bring innovations really.
    Not sure why people even wait for something to happen or something to replace which just works fine right now.
    Also the niche might be overrated sometimes even. I think the market for acoustic instruments is even quite bigger still than for software (maybe i´m wrong).
    I finally forgot about all that and think all these tools have a bright future and if these idevices really would replace every desktop.
    We all have everything at our hands now and one missing part seems to be starting now (better hardware integration).
    At the end they are all just computers with different kind of input and all of these have pro and contra.
    I f.e. find touch screens terrible for live input now and it totally takes away the feel and fun (and really learning to play something) away. Some MPE stuff is amazing on it and apps which are really touch screen optimzed.
    But still the best thing is if i combine these things.
    In 20 years all that is past and everything happens in the matrix. Until that happens i find that small touch screens are great for single apps and synths while a notebook is a 1000 times better for a big DAW and hardware controllers are by far the best thing to play an instrument.
    My personal dream hybrid machine would be be maybe still a kind of macbook pro with a keyboard like the Seaboard Rise surface including a real touch screen integrated into the track pad.
    But a car won´t replace a truck and an airplane won´t replace a ship.....
    At the end a listener anyway don´t care about it.
    Also don´t forget that this forum is iOS mainly.
    On other forums you often hear the opposite thinking.
    But the best is to just create stuff right now and don´t wait for anything to happen :)

  • @rs2000 said:
    I think the answer is very simple: Yes, it's possible and no, I don't think it will happen soon.
    Why?
    If you want a tablet that's fully capable of hosting desktop-grade software then have a look at the current Windows Surface tablets, for example. Right, many programs are not optimized for touch operation, but there are workarounds and people were saying this for iOS apps too recently - more today than a few years ago, actually.
    Technically, the same would easily be possible on the iPad hardware but I doubt it's going to happen soon because although it's said that iOS and MacOS will converge more and more, watching what actually happens does not feel like iOS is getting any close to the possibilities you have with desktop OS and apps.
    The reason might be that iOS' main playground are iPhones and non-audio apps, so the focus in iOS development is not exactly on audio optimizations.

    Absolutely....aside from the money to be made from micro-transactions there is no incentive for companies to make stuff for iOS unless it is a way of advertising/getting you on-board and potentially moving on to their higher grade higher priced desktop apps.
    This is what is really holding up the tech, software wise at least. It would be foolish for anyone to say it will never happen and ignore it completely potentially losing your entire user base if you are not ready for it when it does happen, just as risky would be making similar powered products at 10% of the price, you could wipe out 90% of your companies value....it is a balancing act that I am sure is monitored daily by those with the resources to do so.

  • I don’t think the desktop/laptop angle will ever go away for me.

    I’ve spent the last 8ish years as primarily an iOS musician and have been thoroughly enjoying all the benefits of this. As a commuter it’s been ace to miss train stops because I’m lost in the latest shiny things.

    But lately I’ve felt the need to upgrade Ye Olde Laptop and encorporate VCV Rack into my thang and resurrect my interest in using FL Studio (lifetime updates, praise be from someone who dates way back to the Fruity Loops days).

    Mobile music making is great but there will always be temptations on the Other Side.

    Great to have the choice, let’s hope talented people can continue to develop bridges between the two.

  • These threads are always fun to read, because they remind me 100 percent of the desktop vs hardware discussions years ago.

    Back then supposedly desktop would never replace hardware :D :D :D

  • @TheVimFuego said:
    I don’t think the desktop/laptop angle will ever go away for me.

    I’ve spent the last 8ish years as primarily an iOS musician and have been thoroughly enjoying all the benefits of this. As a commuter it’s been ace to miss train stops because I’m lost in the latest shiny things.

    But lately I’ve felt the need to upgrade Ye Olde Laptop and encorporate VCV Rack into my thang and resurrect my interest in using FL Studio (lifetime updates, praise be from someone who dates way back to the Fruity Loops days).

    Mobile music making is great but there will always be temptations on the Other Side.

    Great to have the choice, let’s hope talented people can continue to develop bridges between the two.

    Indeed. But again i see a modern notebook mobile as well.
    So in 5 years many things can happen. I find even now hardware really interesting (never was until recently) and when i see what´s was going on there at Superbooth 2018 it was more interesting and innovative as with iOS software.
    Poeple seems always waiting for the wheel to reinvented. It´s ALL there right now. IOS apps using what´s possible on iPads right now, as well as desktop tools.
    When the times comes an omnipotent OS running on a smartphone (or something much smaller) might be the future and you just connect the surface you want to use to it.
    Then you might consider that small devices are great for mobile but won´t give you the connections and power to charge your USB or whatever future devices.
    In a not so far future music is anyway just a generative random thing everyone expect to be free >:)

  • @realdawei said:
    These threads are always fun to read, because they remind me 100 percent of the desktop vs hardware discussions years ago.

    Back then supposedly desktop would never replace hardware :D :D :D

    And even if i was in the software only team i now think there is more truth in it than ever.
    It´s not about the sound, it´s about control, feel and performance as well.
    IOS is great but all the stuff was already there and real innovations are not happening. It´s mainly adopting a GUI to a touch screen.
    We also see better touch screens in hardware these days.
    So hardware isn´t replaced at all. The market even seems a lot bigger now.

  • @Cib said:

    @realdawei said:
    These threads are always fun to read, because they remind me 100 percent of the desktop vs hardware discussions years ago.

    Back then supposedly desktop would never replace hardware :D :D :D

    And even if i was in the software only team i now think there is more truth in it than ever.
    It´s not about the sound, it´s about control, feel and performance as well.
    IOS is great but all the stuff was already there and real innovations are not happening. It´s mainly adopting a GUI to a touch screen.
    We also see better touch screens in hardware these days.
    So hardware isn´t replaced at all. The market even seems a lot bigger now.

    Yup nothing is replaced..just augmented.

  • Let me be a devil's advocate here:
    1. As things change there are always those who say why change what already works... I am thinking of the ancient Roman brickmaker who sees his first hodful of cement on the way to the aqueduct. (Yes, the Romans invented it)

    1. In 1950 the president of IBM predicted the world only needed about half a dozen mainframes to get along just fine, thank you very much.

    2. Micro purchases did not seem very important to companies like P&G, but somebody finally convinced them of the value of third world markets. 2 cent packets of detergent x 400 million
      Indian housewives... two times a week.... hmmm, let me do the
      math on that.

    3. FLStudio claims 30,000 downloads a day. Wait till Zeynep gets her first cellphone in Bursa, Turkey... oops she already has one and her kid loves Tachyon! By the way, he grows up to make nanobiorg flautist music in a band called Tachyon on Mars.

    4. Is heat buildup really a problem? Remember the technology of a very advanced civilization seems like magic to an entry level technological society. I still am amazed jetliners can stay up in the air! I mean they weigh tens of thousands of pounds!

    As far as creativity is concerned, I've spent over fifty years at it.
    For me going gaagaa over this incredible fantasyland of iOS is just as creative as when I was mixing up odiferous concoctions with my Gilbert Chemistry Set at age 10.

    And this conversation is music to my ears.

  • There are emerging technologies that promise to allay the heating/cooling problem, and as we have already witnessed a quantum leap in the usefulness of hand-held technologies I do think this trend will continue. It behooves the manufacturers to step up to the plate and market products that will make all this come together in ways we have yet to imagine.

  • You also shouldn´t forget the market itself and the not so good app store economy. This have to change maybe for these products (think about demos, resell licenses, upgrades for loyal customers etc.).
    And again....a kind of super large iPad Pro would be exact what we already have right now. A desktop with a big touch screen. And as usual if someone has a monopol in a market it is not good for innovations and the customer have to pay for it at the end.
    An iPad with a fixed form factor NEVER can replace what a desktop do and even the best notebook can´t replace a desktop either.
    And of course while RAM and CPU will catch up at the same time you still need that high end desktop for the latest and greatest tech which needs 20 and some cores at 20Ghz to run :D

  • Oh and also until there is really the one omnipotent OS and small hardware to connect to everything (which sure happens some day) you are limited to the pure size maybe and connection a device you give.
    A small touch device is really great to do a lot things in a very mobile thing but it´s also still not large and/or powerful enough for many things. At a certain size i also find touch screens even more terrible to use and really bad for your neck and shoulders etc.
    We are far far away from the ONE tool.
    But we on all the different forum are anyway just a very small part while 95% of the musicians just using whatever they like and don´t care about which brand and which OS gives you one dollar synths for the masses.

  • In many ways independent developers and the Audiobus developers in particular have pushed Apple to provide improved inter-app connections for music creation apps which I think was much more significant for musicians than the existence of iOS devices or the App Store. In many respects the resourcefulness of developers has overcome the lack of support or considerstion by Apple as to how their decisions effect the ability to create music on iOS.

    I think the bigger issue of desktop versus laptop is screen size and workflow. If you like to work with a lot of tracks, having a large screen is a very different experience versus a tablet sized screen.

    Another issue is that there’s a proportion of music creators that are more focused on performance rather than creating a track or album as a finished product. I think for these people, mobile music will become increasingly more functional for them as iOS matures there’s better file support/management and iOS music standards stabilize rather than being the current hodge podge it is now.

    It will not be such a drastic leap between devices so the focus will turn to refinement and a focus on more functional pro level software capabilities for all app categories. I think Apple could do a better job than they have in this transition and will have to in order to justify why people should buy their devices rather than their competitors.

  • realdawei said it right: the discussions used to be can desktop ever replace hardware ( I missed that one, was playing my acoustic piano).

    Devil's Advocate: the Chinese have a super computer that can do 4 quadrillion binary choices a second. The US ain't saying what they have. Don't you think there will be just a little trickle down in the next two years?

    And, not to be overlooked... our technology is fantastic, but it is at the end of its rope. When they make a car that is not a super refinement of the same internal combustion engine Henry Ford used in1910 then we will really be in the future (and, no, the Tesla is not A game changer. Electric buggies preceded gas engines at the turn of the 20th century). Everything old is simply new again. Someone will invent anti gravity, make the first warp drive and harness the mind's full potential. Maybe it has already happened and they just aren't telling us...yet. To go full circle, ancient Indians (from India) used music (also known as vibration) to do their transportation and communication heavy lifting.... just saying. The NYT reported thirty years ago that the universe vibrates at B flat. I knew it was a bluesy cosmos... hm, I'm having a flight of thoughts, and losing my own sense of self.... also known as a fugue.

  • We also just shouldn´t believe what we read in the internet.
    But hell yeah, i guess many inventions get buried under big companies which want to make money out of giving us just tiny beans every few years.
    Even rats and stupid mankind itself holding us back a few 100 years maybe.
    2001 Odyssey? Lol, 2018 now...... :)

  • And the Romans were better at making waterproof cement than we are today

  • @BiancaNeve said:
    And the Romans were better at making waterproof cement than we are today

    Sure...and they also know how to make a good party way back.

  • Here in the US, there has been a big push to get kids (and girls, especially) interested in coding. I would imagine there is a similar movement happening globally. I am looking forward to the time when all of these kids start coming up with innovative ideas to drive the technology further. We will most likely start to see things we cannot imagine today.
    The future will be strange, as always.

    I hope something like Raspberry Pi becomes the focus for a music platform, though. I think real innovation will happen when it is driven by creative passion, not financial interest. We could sure use a lot more people like the AudioKit crew, who do things with the music community in mind, rather than the potential of financial profit.

    I can see Apple ditching the iOS music market as it is now. Apple most likely has peaked as a company, and will be trying to maintain growth while no longer dominating the mobile market. They will have to sharpen their focus, and some things will get left behind. Sadly, I fear we will be left behind.

    Apple could also try to maintain their “professional status” and focus their brand around that. They would shift to an expensive, professional market. The affordable stuff will be no more, but they could make more money possibly.

    If this come about, I really hope something comes along to replace Apple and iOS. Something that is entirely focused on hardware for mobile music creation, with the same amount of creative app developers, or possibly even more than today. Hardware like Raspberry Pi is highly customizable. Tools like AudioKit give people the opportunity to create their own apps to suit their own purpose. Both of these examples are ultra affordable, and already have a sizable following. This is the type of development that would be necessary for me to still be a part of this mobile music movement, if the iPad is no longer an option.

    For me personally, trying to consider the future, I try to place a high importance on being adaptable. Getting too reliant on any tool or technique is a bad idea. Things are constantly coming and going as the years fly by, and it is too much trouble trying to hold onto some rigid workflow.
    But I also try to not get caught up in overhyped new things. It is better to let things settle before moving in, unless you have money to burn.

    I still have some old gear to fall back on if the great iOS experiment ultimately leads nowhere for me. I still have my guitar and a PodXT, and computers are ridiculously cheap now. If we end up back in the Dark Age, I have an acoustic guitar ready, and some hand drums. And if we end up back in the Stone Age, then I’ll just clap my hands and learn to sing better, or maybe master Beatboxing. :D

  • You could decide to not update your iPad and use it for decades. People still using 40 years old analogue and say they sound even better today :)

  • The problem with old hardware is it keeps breaking down over time, and upkeep is expensive, or maybe even impossible Plus to even afford that gear 40 years ago was already difficult, but today’s prices are just stupid.

    But if I were lucky enough to have that stuff, I probably would be enjoying it , too. :)

  • If you remember the movie 2001, Cib, maybe you remember the head scientist calling home in a Bell telephone booth. Even the great Arthur C. Clarke (who predicted communications satellites) could not predict the mass usage of the cellphone (although the creator of the cartoon strip Dick Tracy kinda predicted the iWatch).

    As Cracklepot said it's all about what the kids do. Even you sixteen year olds out there look out, the five year olds are gaining on you! In a sense the great age of invention, where guys like Thomas Edison led small groups of "scientists" to create an invention a month, or an unheralded megagenius like Nicola Tessa invented AC current all by his lonesome and gave the patents away to George Westinghouse, those days may have returned.... and not like a Zuckerberg who took someonelse's concept and ran with it. True, unmitigated geniuses are probably on the horizon who could singlehandedly turn the world on its ear. Those geniuses are wearing Dr. Denton's right now, playing with some form of computer and watching ScoobyDoo (the most profitable cartoon ever created).

    That being said maybe it is impossible to predict anything about the world twenty years from now. But in the world of today I bet my socks that more music is being created and enjoyed globally second by second than all the music made since Eve sang out in joy when she and Adam had their first go round in the Garden of Eden. More people are interested in music than ever before and the common person has access to musical resources and riches unattainable by the all the Kings and Jay P. Morgans of yesteryear. So is music important in our world? Hell, yeah. And will big business ever turn its back on such a tsunami of creators and consumers? Not on your life. Music is greater today than ever and we are living it. Never fear there will always be new gear!

  • @u0421793 said:
    ">

    Yum. Those look like Martian Pootatoes. :p

Sign In or Register to comment.