Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

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Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby SammyJames » 03:57, 17 January 2011

There's been lots of talk on this and other forums about Korg's KRONOS. And that is about it.

It seems to me as though there is an industry-wide detente -- I don't see anything all that exciting in hardware or software, apart from flourishes of interest like Cubase 6 and Sonar XI.

The only acceleration in software development seems to be for iOS.And we're all still wating for ARM and x86 32nm technology to become more widely available. So...

What do you all think? Are the giants of the music industry headed for catastrophe? Will iOS soon replace all of our beloved synths and samplers and multi-core computers?

?

- Sammy
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby dbijoux » 05:01, 17 January 2011

For me, the Kronos just put the Motif XF into better perspective.

I'm not a big fan of Korg or their architecture. I don't think they are very intuitive and having an engine that is easy to manipulate/understand is important to me. That said, I liked what little I've seen so maybe it's an improvement... or did they just throw everything they had at it to see if something would stick?

Maybe that's not such a bad idea given economies are still tanking. I'd look forward to Roland's response, as they have equally as much to offer.

On an industry note, the one thing I've noticed with smaller, more innovative, companies is that they seem to have a difficult time getting products to market. It's hard(read:impossible) to compete with the established 'giants' on that front and Behringer might be the only company that does such efficiently.

Catastrophe? 2012?

I guess we'll have to see, but I have my doubts. I'm rather optimistic.

and that has absolutely nothing to do with the iOS.
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby SammyJames » 07:53, 17 January 2011

Hmm... okay. I see where you're coming from. But I wonder how many people out there are really buying all of this professional technology. I'll do some research on it, but if I come up with nothing, then I'll be forced to simply sit back and pay attention to how well iOS does.

I brought that up because I believe that it could be a clear(er) barometer of where the industry is going, than anything else. I don't think that we can discount it, because let's face it -- a lot of the people who buy the "pro" stuff aren't pros. A lot of them are really amateurs with no musical training, skill, or ambition.

I know that a lot of the pros out there have played with the iPad, for instance, and have reported positive things about it. But I also believe that most of those professionals will eventually return to their old-hat keyboards and modules and computers. For me, iOS feels like a passing fad for pros -- but will, I'm sure, continue to be favored by the not-so-inclined-to-spend-hours-every-day-practicing types who just want something fun to do.

And this isn't putting the technology down -- I'm simply being realistic. Nobody who wants to play live in front of people day in, day out wants to be limited by a single touch screen, without a real keyboard or other interface. Case in-point:

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2011/01/16/wnamm11-spect...

I certainly prefer the feel of a real instrument under my hands. Hell -- that is what got me interested in making music to begin with.

What I suspect will happen, no matter what, is that pro stuff will continue to get produced forever (well, for as long as we are alive) but you'll see less of it, and less radically-innovative stuff. I'm not sure why I think this -- I'll have to ponder it more and write again on the suject later.

- Sammy
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby SammyJames » 08:24, 17 January 2011

And here's what I came up with:

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/namm/2009musicusa/#/26

The most interesting thing here is the sales of computer software, soundcards, and MIDI controllers -- all of which shows that indeed, there are way-more people out there spending their money on computers and MIDI keyboards -- not investing in yet another workstation. At least, this is true here in America. And this has been a contentious point on this forum.

Now, I'm curious to know why things would be different in other parts of the world. I suspect that it is because in America, the "default" style of music is still rock. And this explains why, if you look at the beginning of that report, where all of the products are compared by sales, you'll notice that Fretted Instrument top the list -- in a pretty huge way. You have to combine all of the various electronic products into a single number to even compete with guitars -- and you're still coming up short.

- Sammy
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby SammyJames » 08:52, 17 January 2011

And let me continue, because on further reflection, I've realized some more things here,

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/namm/2009musicusa/#/50

This page is illuminating. Here, you see that the U.S. accounts for close to HALF of all music sales, in U.S. dollars. Now, you can argue all that you want to. You can kick and scream and say "YEAH -- BUT WE DON'T WANT to be held HOSTAGE by YOUR market!!!"

And I would agree with you. I would rather be "held hostage," if that were a relevant and appropriate way to think of it (which it isn't) by a country whose population seems to appreciate synthetic music.

What I find even more interesting, though, is the data on guitars -- which, for the U.K., show proportionally-similar numbers as the data for the U.S. Guitars, electric ones (in particular) still seem to dominate that market, by a whopping ten-to-one (!). You would be forgiven if you had thought that, in the land that gave us Haddaway and Seal, that you might find more enthusiasm for MIDI workstation keyboards.

Apparently I was wrong in thinking that way:

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/namm/2009musicusa/#/128

Look at the numbers! 330,000 guitars sold, compared to a measly 30,000 MIDI workstation keyboards for a single year. (The only saving grace is that from 07 to 08, MIDI workstations gained about 5%, while guitars declined -- but I'd need to see much longer trendlines to tell you whether that was meaningful.) And I can't download all of the relevant data because I'm not a NAMM member and can't afford to become one right now.

And yes, you can be forgiven if you prefer to look at the TOTAL keyboard stats, which certainly improve the picture. But we, on this forum, seem obsessed with workstations -- something that I also love. There will be little that compares ever with the incredible experience of having owned, for the first-time, a workstation -- an Ensoniq ESQ1 in 1986. But those days are long-gone.

Anyway, this stuff is pretty fascinating and eye-opening. And if I've written anything that is erroneous, I hope that you'll bring it to our attention. I'm not on some mission to prove anything really -- I'm simply trying to discuss things in a meaningful and accurate way.

Later.

- Sammy

P.S. This is illuminating too:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/16/asmyco-each-ios-device...

And for realtime news on iOS stuff, you probably already knew about it -- but here it is anyway:

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/iphone/

P.P.S. I've taken heat before for seeming too bombastic when it comes to hardware versus software versus MIDI controllers, workstations, et cetera. I'm defintiely NOT trying to be that provocative here. The title of this post was designed to get you to read it -- so if you made it this far, then I thank you. But I'm actually concerned -- if only a little bit -- about the state of our beloved keyboards. I wouldn't have joined this forum if I didn't like them -- so rest assured, I'm on your side.
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby Mystic38 » 19:58, 23 March 2011

i have an ipad..

it cost $500.. for that same amount of money i could have bought a great secondhand workstation.. with buttons, knobs and 61 keys.. so nope.. the ipad is a fun toy.. but good luck going to a gig and plugging in the ipad to the house PA then asking for $300 for 2hrs... :)
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby Synthtron » 18:39, 27 June 2012

IPad replace our keyboards, Not mine. I have an iPad 2 with an Alesis IO Dock and use apps like Sunrizer, Animoog, and Garage Band. I still am to much into hardware and I prefer it over any soft synth. I do think the iPad is better than using a full computer setup because of its stability and size but not a replacement for my hardware synths.
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby cello » 15:18, 1 July 2012

Mystic38 wrote:i have an ipad..

it cost $500.. for that same amount of money i could have bought a great secondhand workstation.. with buttons, knobs and 61 keys.. so nope.. the ipad is a fun toy.. but good luck going to a gig and plugging in the ipad to the house PA then asking for $300 for 2hrs... :)


Totally agree - I can't see it ever being any more than a useful add-on and certainly not ever replacing keyboards.

I have the 'new iPad' and have StepPolyArp and the JP-80 editor on it; plus the Animoog and iMS-20 - oh and Symphonix Evolution for notation (great for when I'm travelling; can capture an idea, notate it, email it to self as a midi file, import that into the OASYS and use as a sketch pad to flesh the idea out).

It's interesting the impact the iPad is having in many industries - my day job is as an airline operations consultant. The latest thing is that airlines (and pilots) want to install process-optimising software on iPads. Currently it's not completely approved for flightdeck use - but I guess it will be one day. But just like the iPad will never replace keyboards (IMO), the iPad will never replace flight-critical systems on the flight deck.
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby louparte » 03:29, 5 September 2012

The solo synths I buy in the future, will be iPad apps.

I have an iPad2 64G, Alesis ioDock and Auria 48 track DAW app.

For my music, the iPad synths cannot handle full orchestration compositions.
I haven't even found a decent GM/GS/GM2/XG sound set yet.

But the synth apps coming out for iPad are very impressive and inexpensive.
And with the Alesis ioDock, I can control most of them with my external keys.
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby Méka » 18:01, 5 September 2012

For me, the answer is YES !
Animoog and now WaveGenerator are mostly expressive instrument than hardware VA synthesizers ...
I want at least 4 or 5 ipad with my Jupiter-80 ... With good N/A converters like iODock of course !
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Re: Will the iPad soon replace your keyboards...?!

Postby Gambler » 19:12, 8 October 2012

I've recently bought Juno Gi, Korg M3 and now looking to buy Radias expansion board for M3. I'm not a professional musician, so those things are sort of expensive toys, but they are amongst the best toys I've ever bought. Totally worth the money. I wouldn't buy a dumb keybed that connects to an iPad.

First, I like that my keyboards are completely standalone units. I can work with two of them at the same time just by plugging in two audio cables. I don't have to go plug in an iPad, start up software and so on every time I turn those things on.

Second, having good hardware-software integration is important for me. The only way I would get that on an iPad is if the software was produced by the same company as your music app. That's unlikely to happen, since it kind of undermines the fact that iPad is a semi-universal device. So I would have to heavily customize app settings to match my hardware.

Third, I like to have sensible defaults. I like to know that the manufacturer and other users had the same initial setup. (It minimizes the the possibility that something is completely broken .) I like to be able to select a program, tweak some knobs and get some rough idea about how it is meant to be played or used.

Lastly, iPad is just one product of a single manufacturer, with pretty severe restrictions on software distribution. Even if I didn't care about any of the things above, I'd rather see Overtone (https://github.com/overtone/overtone/wiki) on Raspberri Pi http://www.raspberrypi.org/ or something.
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