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Endangered Species in the World of MI

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  • Endangered Species in the World of MI

    So I was thinking...remember when there were hardware samplers, like the Akai S and Z series, Ensoniq, E-,Mu, etc.? Are there any hardware samplers around, other than the MPC-style beatboxes that can store sampled sounds?

    Technologies come and go, too. DeltaLab came up with a 1-bit technology for delay lines that was pretty clever back when RAM was expensive, but as soon as RAM prices dropped, so did the delays.

    I'm starting to wonder if hardware controllers for DAWs are going to become an endangered species...if they aren't already. Between touch screens becoming more common, and iPad apps for control, it's starting to look like the hardware is becoming unneeded. Sure, some people will always prefer physical faders, but will there be enough of them for companies to justify making hardware controllers? Besides, hardware controllers need constant updating to reflect changes in what they're trying to control, and it seems a lot of companies just aren't up to the task.

    What other endangered species are there in our world?
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  • #2
    Hmmm....hardware keyboards (the kind you type on) are still much in demand, altho' technically not needed. The tactile thing is important as any (musical) keyboard player will tell you, discussing MIDI keys versus acoustic keys.

    And the view from a distance when it comes to faders. Besides, you pretty much have to look when using a touchscreen for anything, but you don't have to look once your hands are on a physical fader.

    But who knows what people can adapt to - especially if they grow up on touch screens, they may never miss the advantages of physical controls, not having had them for the most part. Now if touch screens could give some sort of tactile feedback..a tiny buzz or something that tells your fingers where they are, that might do it.

    My guess is that physical faders have at least another decade to go. And if the manufacturers "fade away" on making them, there will be a hardcore group still using them and boutique outfits to make them.

    There have been guitars without strings, keyboards without keys, drums without "drums", for some time now and they still remain novelties or specialties for the most part.

    The one thing I would not miss one bit are physical cables. Wireless everything, please. But that's a ways away.

    nat whilk ii


    • #3
      You can't beat KNOBS and PUSHBUTTONS. That is why I recently bought 2 behringer CMD-DC-1 ....and the price of course...only $50 each at GC. I plan on using them with my FastFingers program and also with Ableton, and Rebirth-LIKE software. I like to play with filter resonance and filter frequency with knobs !! http://www.behringer.com/EN/products/CMD-DC-1.aspx
      http://musicinit.com/fastfingers.php An Experiment in 80's Technology

      http://youtube.com/techristian My YOUTUBE channel
      Music videos at http://musicinit.com/video.php


      • #4
        I don't know.

        On the one hand, touch screens are becoming much more common.

        On the other hand, there's a huge resurgence in knobs, buttons, and sliders in modular synths and analog synths. People cannot get enough of this.

        So...I hope both continue, along with other interesting controller and manipulation methods.
        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven


        • #5
          I can't adapt. I'll start learning to fish when I can't use knobs and faders on a real console.

          I've never tried mixing on a DAW with a hardware control surface that has the typical digital console user interface - fader, one knob, and everything assignable - but when working on a console like that, I feel like I have to spend too much time looking at it and pushing buttons to make the buttons that i want. Templates are helpful for things that fit, but when you never know what you want to to until what you're doing doesn't work, it's too much for my old, feeble brain.

          By the way, I got a press release from NAMM that said that synthesizers were making a strong comeback and that there were going to be more than 130 brands displaying synthesizers and "related equipment" (whatever that is) at the upcoming show.
          "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
          Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then