What will 2016 hold for computer musicians?

Six developers and industry experts have their say

Crystal ball
You'll learn more about the future by reading what's below than you will looking this.
(Image: © Wavebreak Media LTD/Wavebreak Media)

We're a greedy bunch. We've only just finished celebrating the best music tech gear and technology of 2015, but already we're anticipating what 2016 might have in store for us.

Rather then relying on our own guesswork, we asked six developers and industry experts to tell us what they think we have to look forward to. Here's what they had to say…


Molten Music Technology

"What I'm looking forward to is the development and wide adoption of multidimensional polyphonic expression. This is the technology that allows the ROLI Seaboard to be such an expressive instrument, with pitchbend and modulation per note, plus polyphonic aftertouch.

"Second to that is the assimilation of the fabulous external analogue boxes that have grown up over the past few years. We need an audio interface designed to patch modular synths and CV/Gate signals back into the PC."

Robin Vincent


PowerFX

"The two biggest growth trends for 2016 will be more products and services based around non- real-time collaboration, and 'intelligent' instruments or plugins utilising algorithms for personalised learning and producing. Computer musicians need better and simpler ways to collaborate with each other along the lines of a Google Docs-type solution. This will help the future development of music publishing as well.

"Also, more cloud-based services will appear, to assist with mastering, EQ and harmonisation. 2016 should be a very exciting year for music tech and digital musicians!"

Bil Bryant


MeldaProduction

"Well, I may seem a little negative; however, I believe the audio industry is for the most part extremely medieval. If you look at how we mix and master music in the 21st century, you just cannot miss that the whole methodology is prehistoric. Our irrational addiction to analogue gear and vintage consoles is mindblowing.

"So if you ask me, nothing so big will happen. People will stay stubborn. Some will slowly lean towards digital, music will increasingly be created on laptops, the obsession with iPads and other toys will slowly vanish, but it will all be very slow. We may see some surprises, though, but I don't want to release any spoilers yet..."

Vojtěch Meluzin


Kush Audio

"I'd like to see (and create) more tools that give us truly original, unfamiliar ways to manipulate sound... things that break our ingrained patterns and habits. By forcing us to listen harder and think obliquely, tools can lead us down creative paths and help us produce results we otherwise wouldn't.

"I'd also love simpler, more streamlined workstations. Bitwig/Live/etc are astonishing, and tuned for a no-limitations approach to music making. I'd like more of the opposite as well: minimal workspaces with a highly curated, streamlined workflow for people to record songs, limit their editing to nip-and-tuck, and mix it with processors designed to produce an organic, old-school vibe."

Gregory Scott


iZotope

"In 2016 we'll see publishing built into the DAW. Pro Tools and Live already let you export directly to SoundCloud, which is convenient for social sharing, but isn't helping artists make money. My hope is that the major DAWs will partner with digital aggregators like CD Baby, Tunecore etc, allowing users to easily publish to dozens of digital distributors. It's equally possible, though, that the major distributors will want exclusive partnerships, especially in the case of Logic and iTunes."

Izzy Maxwell


FXpansion

"Ten-core desktop chips will prompt many of those who can afford it to upgrade. At the other end of the scale there will be lots of fun, affordable and often hackable digital hardware gadgets running on ARM chips, growing up out of the DIY scene. The Internet of Things may become an internet of interesting things for making noise with. Could this be the year that somebody gets cloud-based recording and production right?"

Angus Hewlett

Get 68 VST/AU plugins for free…
…with Computer Music issue 238