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The future of the pro audio industry?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:01 pm

MOF wrote:
things like the Fairlight, Synclavier, new things at the time, produced very little worthwhile music, considering the amount of musicians that could have taken them up, few made really good use of them, same with alternative controllers, but they are even more difficult to assimilate, in reality they can all too often become forgotten gimmicks.
Just taking the sampling function alone I have to disagree, whether it’s Kate Bush using the Fairlight extensively or the Dance genre taking small samples off records and building up new tracks and no doubt many more subtle uses, i.e. not obviously gimmicky, within tracks the sampler is everywhere.
As for controllers, how about the different flavours of midi guitar, drum pads and such things as the D beam?

Yes! It’s Kate Bush that springs to mind every time I think of a Fairlight, it’s like it was made for her, she used it very well.
Midi guitar? it’s the same thing for me, Fripp and Pat Metheny, that’s it!

:)
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That would be an ecumenical matter.

Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Moroccomoose » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:51 pm

MOF wrote:
Oh and a biggie.... please just let me use more than one audio interface at once! I'm sure we can do better than ASIO4ALL in the third decade of the 21st century!
UAD interfaces can be stacked.
https://help.uaudio.com/hc/en-us/articl ... Cascading-

Indeed, so could the M-Audio 1010s from years ago, but you can't put a focusrite with a Steinberg, or an Apollo with a MOTU, or mix a USB with a firewire etc.... unless you count optical ADAT, but that is limited. I don't know about DANTE, but if that is the way things are heading, I'm all for it!
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Terrible.dee » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:20 am

RichardT wrote:There are three main things I’m looking forward to.

The first is software that understands complex spoken instructions - what a time-saver that will be.

The second is software that really understands music - so for example, sampled instruments that play back phrases as a real musician would, a DAW that can add decent backings automatically, or automatically correct a poor performance.

The third is direct neural stimulation of the brain by playback systems - that way people will be able to hear high quality music wherever they are.

1.......Or you could learn to do the job yourself.

2. .....Or you could learn to understand music yourself.

3.....or you could........HUH?!?!?........Why would you want "music" streamed into your brain?......by the way. This tech ALREADY EXISTS......and it is HIGHLY DANGEROUS.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby The Red Bladder » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:47 pm

The biggest problem with the pro-audio industry is the music industry.

Yes, there have been innovations in audio technology, the latest big one being 3D audio (Dobbly Atmos and DTS-X) but the music industry fights innovation tooth and nail and has dug its collective heels in on 3D audio. They say it is because there is no demand - demonstrably rubbish, because otherwise 3D and other multichannel audio formats such as 5.1 and 7.1 would not be used in EVERY cinema and be on EVERY Blu-Ray disk.

The music business resisted stereo for about 30 years and is still resisting surround sound 80 years after it was introduced with Disney's Fantasia. Going by that form, it will be around the year 2200 before you get recordings made in 3D audio - despite the fact that every major movie release has a 3D audio version.

The music industry moans and complains that CD sales are now practically zero - and have failed totally to learn their own lesson of the great CD bonanza. All the old LPs were rereleased on CD and suddenly they found all their back-catalog selling all over again!

Time to remix and rerelease all the old Floyds and Queens and orchestral stuff for 3D audio. The stupid argument that the punters do not have 3D systems ignores the obvious flaw in that thinking - what's the point of having a 3D hi-fi if there are no 3D records to play on them?

The movie industry started releasing every major film on 4K disks BEFORE there were any significant numbers of 4K players in homes. Time for the labels to pull their fingers out!
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby MOF » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:29 pm

The music business resisted stereo for about 30 years and is still resisting surround sound 80 years after it was introduced with Disney's Fantasia.

"Stereo was aggressively promoted as the latest technological advancement that brought sophisticated sound reproduction to everyone.
Each of the era’s major record labels started pushing stereo sound. Companies like Columbia, Mercury and RCA, which sold both stereo equipment and stereo records, moved to convince consumers that stereo’s superior qualities were worth further investment........By the late 1960s, stereo dominated sound reproduction, and album covers no longer needed to indicate “stereo” or “360 Sound.” Consumers simply assumed that they were buying a stereo record."
Full article here https://theconversation.com/how-stereo- ... lic-103668

Quadrophonic was promoted in the 1970s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadraphonic_sound

Surround sound has been tried but as with Quad, it tends to be a limited audience and so record companies will only release and fund the necessary remixing and separate mastering and duplicating when there's a sufficiently large market.
This is how Quad died, partly for technical reasons and partly because most consumers were happy with stereo and/or didn't want all the faff with mounting extra speakers and cabling them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_s ... le_formats

I myself have never installed a surround sound system, and I work in television.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:28 pm

I would posit that Apple are attempting to address the chicken / egg problem WRT surround / spatial audio and they might just have the industry clout to pull it off.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby RichardT » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:36 pm

Terrible.dee wrote:
RichardT wrote:There are three main things I’m looking forward to.

The first is software that understands complex spoken instructions - what a time-saver that will be.

The second is software that really understands music - so for example, sampled instruments that play back phrases as a real musician would, a DAW that can add decent backings automatically, or automatically correct a poor performance.

The third is direct neural stimulation of the brain by playback systems - that way people will be able to hear high quality music wherever they are.

1.......Or you could learn to do the job yourself.

2. .....Or you could learn to understand music yourself.

3.....or you could........HUH?!?!?........Why would you want "music" streamed into your brain?......by the way. This tech ALREADY EXISTS......and it is HIGHLY DANGEROUS.

Yes I can do it myself - but sometimes it would be a lot quicker to have some assistance!

Why would I like music streamed into my brain? To get the best sound quality possible and not be limited by where I am.

How do you mean the technology exists and it’s highly dangerous?
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:30 am

RichardT wrote:[How do you mean the technology exists and it’s highly dangerous?

I suspect he could be referring to infrasound and sonic weapons :beamup:


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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:46 am

There is also that fascinating brain implant that allows deaf people to hear. I’ve met 2 people over the years who’ve had it.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby forumuser931182 » Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:04 am

In the future there will only be one pro audio manufacturer and it will be Behringer and they will copy every instrument that has ever been made until there are no more to copy and then they will have to make copies of Behringer copies and then copies of copies of Behringer copies and then all the Behringer copies will join to become one great musical instrument but it will be monophonic so quite limiting except if Bernie Worrell was still alive to play it and so everyone will take up painting instead.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby The Red Bladder » Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:42 am

MOF wrote:By the late 1960s, stereo dominated sound reproduction.

From 1930 to the late 60s is over 30 years.

MOF wrote: it tends to be a limited audience and so record companies will only release and fund the necessary remixing and separate mastering and duplicating when there's a sufficiently large market.

My point exactly - chicken/egg! A 5.1 and/or a 3D version of 'The Wall' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody' would get the punters to shift and start buying new systems and new versions of their fav. CDs.

MOF wrote:I myself have never installed a surround sound system, and I work in television.

The UK is especially slow in adopting home cinemas with either separate speakers or 3D soundbars like the Sennheiser Ambeo. Most UK hi-fi and TV stores do not even have any on display!

This thread is about the future of pro-audio. The future is 3D. If you are looking for busy audio studios, they are recording, editing and working on mastering for film in 5.1, 7.1 and 3D.

If you are looking for studios that are dark and close to closure, they have two speakers only. That is the blunt truth!
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:54 am

James Perrett wrote:
Trevor Johnson wrote:A.I. The last 18 months, for me, have been stunning in how AI, (OK machine learning, mainly), has revolutionised my still and video output. The same must be on the cards for audio restoration, but the market for that is so tiny, it may be forgotten.

Izotope are possibly starting down that route but their current tools are far from perfect and there is obvious potential for improvement. It is always worth looking at the programmes for the AES conferences to see where the research effort is being expended.

What I sometimes wonder is what potential is there for performance improvement in audio restoration tools (in specific areas of course, and to what degree) whether for entertainment or law enforcement. Forensic audio specialist James Zjalic has written about the problem of unrealistically high expectations of speech intelligibility enhancement, seemingly due to the influence of unrealistically optimistic TV crime forensic shows like CSI. As he said, unfortunately at some point the laws of physics take hold such that there's no point trying to "enhance" a voice which was never captured. But in some the belief seems to persist that it can be. I guess when it is able to harvest/extract (including predict with reasonable certainty) all of the wanted information available on a recording, the technology will have done all that is possible to do within the limits of physics. Not being an industry insider, I dont know if or when that will happen or whether to some degree it has already happened. Time will tell.

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ngineering
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby MOF » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:59 pm

MOF wrote:
By the late 1960s, stereo dominated sound reproduction.

From 1930 to the late 60s is over 30 years.

I think it’s fair to say that it was the technology that had to catch up, the record companies were keen to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but only when it was possible to do so. Just because stereo vinyl records were possible in the 1930s doesn’t mean that they dragged their heels until the 1960s.

stereo was given a boost by the introduction of tape recorders in the late 1940s……Inventor Marvin Camras of the Armour Research Institute demonstrated one of the first stereophonic tape recorders, this one using three channels (left, right, and center) in 1949. When several manufacturers of home tape recorders began offering two-channel stereo tapes and machines to play them on in the early 1950s, it looked like stereophonic sound had arrived. But tapes were expensive, and many people had just purchased new equipment to play the LP and 45-rpm records. Once again, stereo had failed to catch on…….A breakthrough came in 1958 when several record companies, including RCA and Decca, adapted the LP record for stereo playback. They used the two-in-one technology pioneered in the 1930s, where each wall of the groove held one of the channels. Backed by major electronics and record companies, stereo now became a hit…… Because few people owned stereophonic record players in the late 1950s and early 1960s, record companies had to release nearly every new album in both the stereo and regular format (which now began to be called “monophonic”). This irritated consumers and record retailers alike. Playing a stereo record on your monophonic record player was sure to ruin the record, because the playing stylus was so different. Record store owners resented the fact that they had to try to stock different versions of each record. Practically nobody objected when the record companies discontinued monophonic records in the late 1960s.
https://ethw.org/Stereophonic_Sound

When Audio Fidelity released its stereophonic demonstration disc, there was no affordable magnetic cartridge on the market capable of playing it. After the release of other demonstration discs and the respective libraries from which they were culled, the other spur to the popularity of stereo discs was the reduction in price of a stereo cartridge, for playing the discs–from $250 to $29.95 in June 1958.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereophonic_sound

A 5.1 and/or a 3D version of 'The Wall' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody' would get the punters to shift and start buying new systems and new versions of their fav. CDs.

They’re available in surround sound, not sure how many people are prepared to pay the premium and upgrade their systems.
I think it’s more likely that a binaural mix will be the best option, given that most consumption is on ear buds or headphones.

This thread is about the future of pro-audio. The future is 3D. If you are looking for busy audio studios, they are recording, editing and working on mastering for film in 5.1, 7.1 and 3D.

If you are looking for studios that are dark and close to closure, they have two speakers only. That is the blunt truth!

Surround formats for most people will be film based and even then I think the majority will continue to use Sound bars that project up to the ceiling for a pseudo Atomos effect.
For music I think stereo still rules.
I went to the cinema with some mates when the right side speakers didn’t work, I found it really annoying, they didn’t care. My point is that it’s only 10% @ of the population that really cares about these matters.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:19 pm

EDIT: Oops... I typed this before reading MOF's post above...but it seems we are of like mind. :D

The Red Bladder wrote:
MOF wrote:By the late 1960s, stereo dominated sound reproduction.

From 1930 to the late 60s is over 30 years.

Indeed... but there was also the small issue of a World War and the associated economic difficulties thereafter. And the fact that the electronics and loudspeakers of the day were expensive, bulky and unreliable. Stereo in the home didn't really take off until the consumer technology caught up with the laboratory developments, with the transistor. Hence it having to wait until the 1960s!

Red Bladder wrote:A 5.1 and/or a 3D version of 'The Wall' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody' would get the punters to shift and start buying new systems and new versions of their fav. CDs.

Except they both already exist, and they haven't had that effect.

The bottom line is that domestic surround sound is impractical and inconvenient for the average domestic environment with the current technologies. And while it's enjoyable when done well, it's simply not worth the effort and cost for most.

Now, if someone came up with an easy-install picture rail that incorporated miniature high-quality speakers and no connecting wires, you'd be onto a winner... but I won't hold my breath!

Red Bladder wrote:The future is 3D.

For cinemas, maybe. At least until the next techno-fad comes along... But not for the domestic consumer until some new technology makes it easier to implement and live with.

And increasingly the market is moving to viewing on mobile devices, so binaural headphones are a far more likely winner than multi-speaker rooms.

If you are looking for busy audio studios, they are recording, editing and working on mastering for film in 5.1, 7.1 and 3D.

It would be nice if they worked on achieving consistent levels and better diction, really... :headbang:
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:24 pm

MOF wrote:I went to the cinema with some mates when the right side speakers didn’t work, I found it really annoying, they didn’t care. My point is that it’s only 10% @ of the population that really cares about these matters.

I had a very similar experience in a large multiplex in Brum. latest 007 film, right-hand speaker channel completely dead throughout. But my family who were with me didn't notice, only my composer friend did... and when I complained afterwards to the duty manager he denied it and tried to explain that cinema sound was different to my home stereo...

I walked out and have never gone back to that venue!

So I agree... probably at least 80% of the population don't care about surround sound... or even stereo... or even just full-range audio. They just aren't interested.
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