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Innovation v Hype

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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:56 pm

blinddrew wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:Just listen to the inane drivel that comes out of the bedrooms of all your readers! Goofballs noodling with synths and sequencers and calling that 'music'!
I think there might be some kids on your lawn...

It wouldn't be so bad if they were playing football, but they're playing synthesizers :o

;)
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:15 pm

So if we suspend judgement on the resulting "music" for a moment, how can anything innovative succeed without major hype for mass acceptance? And by definition doesn’t mass acceptance infer a dumbing down so innovative is lost?
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:34 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:So if we suspend judgement on the resulting "music" for a moment, how can anything innovative succeed without major hype for mass acceptance? And by definition doesn’t mass acceptance infer a dumbing down so innovative is lost?

Hm, something truly innovative is simply so big that doesn't need hype.

Nobody hyped digital recording, for example - heck, there's still loads of people who are against it purely because of the word "digital" - but it had totally revolutionized recording because it allows you enormous quality an incredible little cost - something it simply wasn't possible before.

Same with digital camera - no hype at all (and it took a lot of time for them to become the mainstream), but also things such as the incredible tolerances which we can now reach in metal manufacturing due to both materials science and hyper-precise computer controlled tools... which silently and quietly - with no hype at all - has made car engines able to increase the power/size ratio to an incredible extent.

Stuff like that is game-changing, but often moves from being under the radar to being simply "normal".
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:58 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:The last time anybody produced a genuine innovation in audio technology that I am currently aware of, it was Melodyne.

FTFY ;)
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:13 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:So if we suspend judgement on the resulting "music" for a moment, how can anything innovative succeed without major hype for mass acceptance? And by definition doesn’t mass acceptance infer a dumbing down so innovative is lost?

I don't think 'dumbing down' loses innovation, though perhaps it masks some of the detail and configurability. Some things don't need even that ... consider the transition from CRT monitors to the flatscreens of today, or the ongoing take-up of SSD storage in preference to HDD etc.

These are great innovations that are pretty much 'plug, play, enjoy the benefit'.

With music tech it's usually not quite so simple due to the more involved nature of the process of music creation, but I'd still say we're benefitting from innovation all the time in ways we don't even think about, such as better digital clocks leading to better quality interfaces, the ongoing increases in performance and reductions in size and cost of components etc.

The exact definition of 'innovation' in this context is open to interpretation of course ... the threshold between 'improvement' and 'innovation' may be somewhat subjective.
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Wonks » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:19 pm

Matt Houghton wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:The last time anybody produced a genuine innovation in audio technology that I am currently aware of, it was Melodyne.

FTFY ;)

And that came out after Autotune.

So monophonic pitch correction is one innovation, then polyphonic pitch correction is another. Gross misuse of both is another, albeit retrograde, innovation.
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Folderol » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:31 pm

Apart from anything else (and I can't remember where I heard it, but it was in a music context) somebody once said that no adult can ever realise the full potential of a new idea. You have to grow up with it.

I doubt that's quite correct, but presumably it has the be someone who is totally uninhibited when approaching something new - and has the time for uncontrolled experimentation!
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:41 pm

As the lovely Lord John Birt explained to me when making swathes of BBC staff redundant, it needs people who are "untarnished by experience"... :lolno:

So the young are inherently uninhibited and not burdened by the experience and expectations associated with older devices and applications... and are therefore more likely to discover ways of using innovative devices in truly innovative ways.
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby The Red Bladder » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:55 pm

Q -
ManFromGlass wrote:how can anything innovative succeed without major hype for mass acceptance?
A -
CS70 wrote:something truly innovative is simply so big that doesn't need hype.
Simples!

When something is truly innovative, users may tend to hype it up. Yes, innovative companies also advertise their latest gizmo, but a true innovation will get that advertising amplified by users telling other users about it.

In the film industry, excited 'vloggers' are telling their subscribers all about the latest LF cameras from Arri and one-by-one, directors are beginning to realise that digital is not just faster and more convenient, but actually better for both colour and resolution. In TV and theatre, it didn't take long for LEDs to replace tungsten lighting.
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:57 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As the lovely Lord John Birt explained to me when making swathes of BBC staff redundant, it needs people who are "untarnished by experience"... :lolno:

So the young are inherently uninhibited and not burdened by the experience, and expectations associated with older devices and applications... and are therefore more likely to discover ways of using innovative devices in truly innovative ways.

How very, errr... 'innovative'.

I wonder if that approach would work well with, say, power tools, cars, aeroplanes, software development, building, civil engineering, plumbing, healthcare and international diplomacy too!

-sigh-
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:53 pm

The Red Bladder wrote: In TV and theatre, it didn't take long for LEDs to replace tungsten lighting.

My memory of that transition is rather different. I remember when 'innovative' studio LED lights first appeared at the trade shows... and they were all rubbish.

Brilliant, extremely innovative idea, and fantastic potential for power saving and controllability... but they simply couldn't match the required brightness or reliability of the prevailing systems, and they weren't that cheap either.

It was actually many years before the technology and manufacturing matured to a level that really made them a genuinely practical option -- but when they got there everyone saw the benefit and quickly re-equipped.

So it was an innovation but, like most, it didn't really happen overnight and it took a few years to progress from the first examples to the workable products.
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Wonks » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:10 pm

Many are the brilliant innovative ideas that have got no further than a trip to the patent office. You need an idea and a backer with money (at least).
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:00 pm

The patent system itself can also be a huge impediment to innovation.
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby merlyn » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:17 pm

32 bit float recording would qualify as an innovation.

Were there any innovations at NAMM 2020?

Fender's innovative approach was to let a bunch of four year olds loose with a box of crayons :

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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:33 pm

In a way, the Access Analogue stuff is innovative - in that it's innovative access to old tech!
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby jellyjim » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:19 am

Must we really have constant innovation anyway?! Obvioulsy things should improve and progress but innovation for the sake of it just smacks of a hard sell to me. Like new versions of smartphones every year or so. Enough already. The differences are negligible.

Stuff works, does its job. Why mess with it?

It's like everyone keeps trying to reinvent the piano keyboard. The Roli Seaboard was interesting but generally, despite it's limitations, the keyboard kinda works as it is.

There's the environment to think about too. All that innovation risks driving rapacious consumerism with all its deleterious effects on the mothership!

There's lots of good ideas already. Do we really need more? They're all so ... exhausting :bouncy:
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:32 am

If it's not actually improving things it's not innovation, it's marketing! ;)
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Folderol » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:30 am

blinddrew wrote:If it's not actually improving things it's not innovation, it's marketing! ;)
Exactly! And there's far too much of it :(
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:57 am

Like everything it all comes down to money and the economists stupid idea that 'growth' is the only measure of a health economy :headbang:
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Re: Innovation v Hype

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:14 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Brilliant, extremely innovative idea, and fantastic potential for power saving and controllability... but they simply couldn't match the required brightness or reliability of the prevailing systems, and they weren't that cheap either.

It was actually many years before the technology and manufacturing matured to a level that really made them a genuinely practical option -- but when they got there everyone saw the benefit and quickly re-equipped.
About ten years - which is very rapid for new technology and far faster than the adoption of optical laser disks (invented around 1970, CD created 1980, market domination 1990).

BTW, LED lighting still does not work properly for film! I have been playing with various LED systems and they fall apart in two areas - pulsing and subtly true colour. It's OK'ish for theatre and TV but still fails in film where pulsing prevent it being used in more extreme settings, such as low-light. Also, colour aberrations prevent the use of RGB lights - even on the Arri Skypannel (£5k each!) and one still has to put filters in front of them to get a true colour representation (unless you want bright red or green faces).
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