Jump to content

Is the Future of the Hardware Synth Dead?


Crazyfoo
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I just watched a demo of the new Korg module for iPad, and coupled with the iRig Pro keyboard, it's light, sounds great and inexpensive.

Since we're still basically in the infancy of this stuff, is this really the future?

Could a guy just have some 8 pound 5 octave MIDI keyboard and an iPad and do an entire gig with it?

Maybe not today, but in the not so distant future? Pipe dream?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
I just watched a demo of the new Korg module for iPad, and coupled with the iRig Pro keyboard, it's light, sounds great and inexpensive.

Since we're still basically in the infancy of this stuff, is this really the future?

Could a guy just have some 8 pound 5 octave MIDI keyboard and an iPad and do an entire gig with it?

Maybe not today, but in the not so distant future? Pipe dream?

 

It can be done today. Depends on the needs of the gig. The biggest issue for many players is that, no matter how capable and foolproof an iPad (or laptop) music config gets, good feeling keyboards remain bigger and heavier, and for that, we don't need more advances in electronics, we need advances in physics!

 

But even without an iPad, there are very light boards that people may find suitable for entire gigs... Yamaha MX, Roland VR-09, Korg Kross... and an iPad can add to what these boards can already do.

Edited by AnotherScott
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

Computers have been everywhere for about the last 20 plus years, including inside hardware synthesizers (Virtual Analog, Digital, Analog Digitally Controlled, Samplers).

 

Have you tried how good the Arturia iMini app for iPad is for example? All you need is a midi keyboard. Just to mention one.

 

The quality of sound coming from computers is at this point so good that famous artist like Howard Jones run entire live shows with MacBooks and Ableton, not only in studio.

 

Personally, I don't think that software alone can be the next evolution. Music has always been a matter of hardware interfaces (the instruments) combined with human peculiar talent based on mind-hand-ear-heart connection. Think about how many musicians love to spend hours practicing and performing on their instruments. If there was a computer able to play our thoughts, I think it would be a great tool for composers, but performers would still enjoy the physical act of playing.

 

So from a musician point of view, I am disappointed with the majority of gadgets available today because it is not the sound or the automatic production of music that I care about (I would be a DJ otherwise), but the quality of the interface, its controls and ergonomic set up that allows me to play it for ours on end without harming my body and manipulate and find my own sound and expression more logically, naturally and inspiringly.

 

Many companies today focus too much on technology at the expenses of the artists. Electronic instrument haven't equaled for example a stradivarius violin. How would you like to play a violin that needs to be connected to an external computer to sound and its ergonomics or building materials do no invite much to playing it? The madness of playing an electric guitar at deafening volume comes from the fact that it is exciting to feel your body vibrating with sound, but it could be more healthily and easily achieved with an acoustic guitar alone which body vibrates in our hands and against of chest and belly for example.

 

I truly believe software should be inside new instruments, fully dedicated to sound production and matching instruments that are very ergonomic, and possibly giving us the pleasure of physical vibration so we can also feel music with our body. In addition to the above touch sensitivity should permit us to modify the sound extensively like it happens on keyboard with after touch or gel -like keys.

Edited by Daniele Spadavecchia
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

RE: Future of the hardware synth - i'm not sure why anyone would get the impression that hardware is dead in 2015. did anyone pay attention to NAMM this year? i checked HC KSS during this year's NAMM, and i don't think many of you even realized it was going on which is really a shame. There has never, ever been more synthesizer hardware for sale. In any time in history.

 

are Romplers and rack mount synthesizers dead? well, yes - many of the professional users of those products have moved on. not shedding a great many tears for those products, but who knows - 90s digital could be the next big craze.

 

 

i think that the 'gigging keyboardist' market is much smaller than it used to be, while those of us making electronic music is much larger - hence the fall of the mighty workstation. and how many advancements can be expected when the end user just wants more of the same sounds repackaged into the next generation of product? the industry will follow the $$$.

 

modular is obviously huge, analog is obviously huge, and hybrid software-hardware solutions are huge. the rest of the music tech market is well serviced by legacy products, and i don't see much future for workstations/stage pianos. YMMV.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Donaldcrunk's point is valid. I'm not sure how many more advances in gigging keyboards there can be? It's really only been incremental over the last decade or so.

 

You look at the Motif/Kronos/Fantom etc. lines----what else are they going to do with these things? Not sure how gigging guys are getting the shaft. We've got a lot of great boards out there to choose from and gig with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Then why are there new hardware products each year at NAMM?

 

I'm assuming the software is made for those not physically musically inclined but would rather click a mouse to build a song.

 

I'm a hardware guy, not to knock the software geniuses. I wish I knew how to work the softwares.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I find software uninspiring. I use Logic Pro virtual instruments when I compose as a tool to write down my ideas quickly in an arrangement form after I hear them in my head or come up with something on the piano. After that, I redo everything on hardware instruments, even the drums. I love to play drums on the keyboard. When I have more space, I'll get a digital drumset!

 

I always found workstation sad too. I tend not to like things that copy other things, where is the fun? I have an old Novation KS4 that sound great, organic and unique, it is VA and works well.

 

To come back to the topic, there is an interesting new keyboard called Seaboard. The idea is very inspiring as it invites to play and practice on it, but the price very high for a software based controller!

 

I totally agree with Donaldcrunk the market is full of hardware products... it is time people start to play them more often now.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
I just watched a demo of the new Korg module for iPad, and coupled with the iRig Pro keyboard, it's light, sounds great and inexpensive.

Since we're still basically in the infancy of this stuff, is this really the future?

Could a guy just have some 8 pound 5 octave MIDI keyboard and an iPad and do an entire gig with it?

Maybe not today, but in the not so distant future? Pipe dream?

 

 

 

Hardware controllers are still needed, even with iPads. Hardware synths can work well as controllers. So I see a future for hardware synths. Not only that, players of other instruments, like guitar, are adding synths to their arsenals. So I see hardware synths staying around a long time.

 

Synth modules OTOH, and rack mounted devices may be on their way out. At least they are for me.

Edited by Etienne Rambert
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Whoa. Seriously' date=' two grand for a 37 note controller? And that's an introductory price as it's says it's going to rise to $3000. lol[/quote']

 

Yeah, but it looks like a lot going on there with each key. Very cool. I won't be an early adopter, I don't think. But if the technology catches on and the price comes down in a few years?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I don't think this is off-topic - but with music being practically given away and the 'live experience ' becoming the focus - how does the modern keyboardist engage an audience? What works? This has always been an issue I think but how do you make fiddling with an iPad or MacBook entertaining? I'm not leading the conversation here - I really would like to know...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Not wanting to be a smart a$$ ... but I'm curious as to how you define an "inconsequential" keyboardist?

 

If we stipulate cause and effect:

 

1. There are consequences that flow from every human being ever born.

2. Keyboardists are human beings*.

3. Therefore, no keyboardist is inconsequential.

 

(*Unless the keyboardist is a monkey or a cat. But consequences flow - even from monkeys and cats born into this world. So they too, are not inconsequential.

 

Even a lowly slug is consequential. The consequences of being a slug involve a trail of slime. Slugs don't play keyboards someone might reasonably interject. But of course, that is yet another consequence of being a slug, the inability to master modern synthesizers. But they could exude a trail of slime across the keys. They could do that. There is no doubt. So they are not inconsequential by any means.)

Edited by Etienne Rambert
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...