Would it be possible for a moratorium to be called on the launch of new audio interfaces? I’d say that a period of around two years would be about enough. As a concept, they’re brilliant – how would we record or play back our music without them? – but just at the moment, I feel like I’d rather accept an invitation to a street party in Baghdad than read about another one.
I’m not saying that the new interfaces aren’t any good, just that we don’t really need them. I seriously doubt that there are many musicians who are thinking of upgrading – do you really want to get rid of the 24-bit/96kHz box that you’re perfectly happy with just so you can buy a device that supports 24-bit/192kHz audio? – and for beginners, there’s more than enough choice already. Having saturated the USB 1 and FireWire sectors, manufacturers now seem set on doing the same with USB 2.0, but is anyone really that bothered?
The other thing manufacturers are doing at the moment is releasing audio interfaces that do other things (let’s call them super audio interfaces). Typically, these offer some degree of MIDI control. I can see the appeal of these devices if you’re a laptop user or a beginner, but if you already own an audio interface or a MIDI controller (or even both), your interest is unlikely to be piqued.
So all things considered, I’d say that my moratorium idea is a good one. Let’s refer the matter to the council of music technology elders (we might need to set that up first) and try and get a ruling.