The future of the pro audio industry?

Discuss the hardware/software tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Albatross »

Seriously though, I think the future of the pro audio industry is likely to look more like the past with the punter becoming more discerning and seeking out the authentic in a sea of mediocrity. Hope so anyway.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

Albatross wrote:Seriously though, I think the future of the pro audio industry is likely to look more like the past with the punter becoming more discerning and seeking out the authentic in a sea of mediocrity. Hope so anyway.

You’re asking a lot, the more technology we have, and the cheaper it gets, the more you’ll have to endure the mediocre, but that’s just an unavoidable by-product, always has been, you could say it’s worth it, giving those a chance who in the past may not have had the money to experiment or buy the necessary equipment.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by ManFromGlass »

But music-wise wasn’t there a lot of mediocrity and bad copycats during the 60s, 70s, 80s etc?
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by shufflebeat »

Terrible.dee wrote: If you look on youtube for something like "US Military test streaming thought directly into the human mind."....something like that. You will see the US Military conduct a test where they actually stream a FEAR response directly into the brain of about 20 people.

Try "cucumber eating contest".
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Drew Stephenson »

ManFromGlass wrote:But music-wise wasn’t there a lot of mediocrity and bad copycats during the 60s, 70s, 80s etc?

It was ever thus.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Albatross »

'Course there was, but this is about pro-audio. I think you'll see less samples, more real rooms, high production values, people who can play and so on. Hope so anyway.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Eddy Deegan »

I would think I was a good potential candidate for surround sound in the consumer space. I invested in a fairly high-end 5.1 system more than a decade ago and it was a bit of a novelty for a while but over the years practicality overtook things and I now use the rear speakers from that system as a decent bookshelf stereo pair.

The front floor-standing speakers serve well to augment the audio on our TV. The frond-mid speaker is unconnected and currently being used to stand a monitor on, although I do have plans to use it as a mono speaker going forwards.

In short, surround is kinda nice but it's not that nice that I'm willing to reconfigure an entire room for it to do it justice even though I was an interested party.

I find stereo to be more than adequate. I watch films and stuff, but when it comes to music I'm more about the music itself than the positioning.

I recall the day I discovered stereo as a youngster and it blew my mind; I still love it. Surround is interesting but not the game-changer that stereo was to mono, and I don't miss it (surround) one bit.

I suspect the same is true for certain other people when it comes to 3D TV. I watched Beowulf (I loved the book as a child) and Avatar in 3D. Both were impressive but I'd have liked them as much without the 3D.

When it comes down to the audio, we only have two ears and as for video a solid plot and good acting trumps visuals every day of the week :)
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by S.Crow »

Live music isn’t generally a 3D experience, although on the rare times when it is that can be wonderful.
Life is 3D but when you look at the majority of movies scenes 2D audio will cover it.
3D audio makes sense with VR as you have 3D video to go with it.
3D audio with a 2D video screen can be a gimmick or even a distraction to me.
I do wonder if people like the audio in the cinema more because of the bass and volume than anything else?

As for 3D music, I haven’t experienced it so can’t say.
It will have to work with headphones if it is to gain traction I think.
For people who listen to music with a more ‘technical ear’ it might appeal more than to people who want to feel the music.
I tend to want to feel the music rather than listen or analyse it so unless it improves that aspect I don’t see much appeal.
I think it might prove interesting for listening to certain types of sounds/music, but I could also see it potentially as being a distraction.

With Apple moving to lossless and Spatial Audio, plus Logic Pro being updated this year with Spatial Audio authoring tools, there is a chance that it will gain traction.
That may depend on how much the Apple buds with Spatial Audio support cost.
If they are only available at a much higher price point, not so good, but if the standard versions support it then good.
With lossless and possibly also Spatial Audio being free features for Apple users, that has to help interest and shake up the market.
It already has as Amazon now offer HD audio (lossless!) for no extra cost.

Not sure if there might be a new danger on the streets due to all this new tech!
Will spatial audio disconnect people even more from their environment when walking around?
In the sense that it’s harder to place external sounds when you are already immersed in a 3D sound stage.
Add to that, people on electric scooters, electric cars that make little noise and pedestrians glued to their smartphones and that sounds like a mix for more street accidents.
I’m curious to give it go though, at home of course. :)
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

Albatross wrote:'Course there was, but this is about pro-audio. I think you'll see less samples, more real rooms, high production values, people who can play and so on. Hope so anyway.

The trouble is, how do you define someone who can really play?
I’ve never thought that I can play at all, I can, sort of, I had a classical training up to grade 5, then learnt the organ. But I dropped it when I was sixteen and became more interested in electronics and studio production, Brian Eno became my hero and took over from Bach.
I knew I wasn’t going to be the next Daniel Barenboim so I went off and found my own little corner somewhere, the difference between me, and Eno, is that he never ever wanted to be Daniel Barenboim, but I did, but like me, he did go off and find a corner of his own, albeit a lot bigger than my corner, and a lot more luxurious than mine too, so it turned out.
Now Bach could play, that’s for sure, in the traditional sense, and I can too, a bit, but Brian Eno's music is no less significant than Bach’s, but he can’t really "play" at all, in the traditional sense, and he admits it.
Real rooms too, there are some great ones, but there are also untreated spaces in top name artists studios that consistently produce amazing music, and have done over many years.
High production values? according to who? I’ll be the judge of that.

:D;)8-)
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by RichardT »

Arpangel wrote:
Albatross wrote:'Course there was, but this is about pro-audio. I think you'll see less samples, more real rooms, high production values, people who can play and so on. Hope so anyway.

The trouble is, how do you define someone who can really play?
I’ve never thought that I can play at all really, I can, sort of, I had a classical training up to grade 5, then learnt the organ. But I dropped it when I was sixteen and got more interesting in electronics, and studio production, Brian Eno became my hero, and took over from Bach.
Now Bach could play, that’s for sure, in the traditional sense, and I can too, a bit, but Brian Eno's music is no less significant than Bach’s, but he can’t really "play" at all, in the traditional sense, and he admits it.
Funny old world.
Real rooms too, there are some great ones, but there are also untreated spaces in top name artists studios that consistently produce good work, and have done over many years.
High production values? according to who? I’ll be the judge of that.

:D

These days I find it’s quite easy to create music that I can’t play - by recording it slowly for example as midi then speeding it up, or editing the midi manually for example. I think it’s more important to have good musical judgement so that the result sounds convincing. Music is becoming more like painting.

I think as samples get better and better, we’ll see more of them not less. Already piano samples are so good that very few people can tell the difference. String backings now are also very convincing as long as they are relatively simple. Why bother to go to the enormous cost and faff of recording a real string section unless you’re one of the elite artists who can pay people to take care of the whole thing?

I hope production values do go up - but it would depend on people having access to high quality playback to drive the process.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

RichardT wrote:
I hope production values do go up - but it would depend on people having access to high quality playback to drive the process.

Yes, "production values" are relevant to all sorts of things though, musical, and purely technical, trouble is, we all have different judgements, and opinions on those things, especially technical ones, which can be based on personal preferences so much.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by MOF »

Yes, "production values" are relevant to all sorts of things though, musical, and purely technical, trouble is, we all have different judgements, and opinions on those things, especially technical ones, which can be based on personal preferences so much.

Agreed, deliberately adding saturation or distortion makes it technically worse, but that is the new normal for most pop and rock music!!
For me the deliberate use of the bass drum ducking the rest of the track in some strands of EDM/Dance music is a step too far. :lol:
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by RichardT »

I listened to some pop today - something I don’t normally do. Justin Bieber in fact, with Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

I thought the productions were generally very good. The vocals were heavily treated, especially Ariana Grande’s (which sounded like pure saccharine), but generally the music sound much less artificial than I was expecting.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by ManFromGlass »

Being in front of a monsterous sound system with kick drum ducking a track must feel like the air is being sucked out of the room on every quarter note. It must be intense.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by MOF »

Being in front of a monsterous sound system with kick drum ducking a track must feel like the air is being sucked out of the room on every quarter note. It must be intense.

Is that good or bad ‘intense’? :lol:
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Airfix »

The future of the pro audio industry is corporate - AV department guys - with fancy sound devices - snobby bastards
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

Is there actually a future for it like there used to be?
Things are becoming so automated, and consumer managed, listening habits changing, apps etc, l suppose I can’t call my use of recording equipment "pro-audio" as such, but there is still radio, live sound, and "some" recording work left.
I’d say the majority of "pro audio" sales are to non professionals, and the hard core day to day pro studio/touring market is in minority, in pure cash sales.
People like myself, are the ones who keep the Korg's, the Yamaha’s and the Behringer's in business.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by The Red Bladder »

Arpangel wrote:I’d say the majority of "pro audio" sales are to non professionals, and the hard core day to day pro studio/touring market is in minority, in pure cash sales.

This!

Even the mainstream pro brands are nearly all well into the amateur markets. And the professionals are all mixing in-the-box and therefore only need eight or twelve IOs for nearly all work.

This is happening everywhere and with every type of media. Film cameras are now so cheap that it's crazy. A very basic 6K film camera from BMD costs just £1,600 and a set of a couple of decent prime lenses to go with it about £3,000. Add the same again for basic grips and a recorder and about double that for lights, a boom mic and a workstation and for about £14k you have everything you need to produce professional film footage that will even pass Netflix QC.

Fortunately for all of us, it is what goes on in front of a camera that costs real money! That alone spares us from the equivalent of the plinky-plonk noises that pass for music coming from bedroom studios everywhere. (Though there's enough dross on YouTube - some of which I am creating!)

Anyone can build a website - but it takes real money and talent to create one like this one. The SOS mag and website are put together by professionals and they need to be paid.

The same applies to professional audio. Real talent is full-time talent. Real talent will always find a way to get its hands on good microphones and workstations, cameras and lighting rigs. Just as someone finds the means to give Roger Deakins an Arri Alexa to play with and point him at some of the world's greatest actors, real musical talent will be placed in front of real equipment, operated by real professionals.

The cost of equipment is almost nothing when compared to the cost of real talent.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Johnsy »

ManFromGlass wrote:Being in front of a monsterous sound system with kick drum ducking a track must feel like the air is being sucked out of the room on every quarter note. It must be intense.

Even at domestic volume levels, I find this effect makes me nauseous (in the literal, physical sense).
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Zukan »

We have a future?
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

Zukan wrote:We have a future?

Hang on, I’m supposed to say that!

:D
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Albatross »

The future is sitting there waiting to be made. Or, if you believe in the 'block universe theory' then time is just an illusion and the future is already there waiting for us linear thinking apes to step in and discover it.

Either way we're all doomed.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

Albatross wrote:The future is sitting there waiting to be made. Or, if you believe in the 'block universe theory' then time is just an illusion and the future is already there waiting for us linear thinking apes to step in and discover it.

Either way we're all doomed.

Please, I can’t do this on my own, I need a present day equivalent of Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, or a Frank Sinatra to step out of the woodwork and show us the way, but I just ain’t hearing it.

:D
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Airfix »

The future of the pro audio industry may not be music - Can you imagine that?
It's not true of course - someones got to do it.
Wherever the money is, that's where the 'pros' will be.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Arpangel »

Airfix wrote:The future of the pro audio industry may not be music - Can you imagine that?

Yes I can, and it’s been like that for ages, music has been an adjunct to other things for a long time, not the focal point.
Yes, there’s still a lot of music being made, but it’s not a major part of the current Zeitgeist, like it used to be.
It’s video, it’s gaming, it’s films, it’s advertising, it’s ring tones, call waiting music, background, not foreground, it’s not a major changing force in peoples lives anymore.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Drew Stephenson »

Arpangel wrote:
Airfix wrote:The future of the pro audio industry may not be music - Can you imagine that?

Yes I can, and it’s been like that for ages, music has been an adjunct to other things for a long time, not the focal point.
Yes, there’s still a lot of music being made, but it’s not a major part of the current Zeitgeist, like it used to be.
It’s video, it’s gaming, it’s films, it’s advertising, it’s ring tones, call waiting music, background, not foreground, it’s not a major changing force in peoples lives anymore.

Yep, but it can still have a profound effect at a personal level, and the reward when you're able to reach someone in such a way makes it all worth while. :)
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

As an industry I would agree that the money is no longer in recording artists and bands for their own sake. It's now moved heavily into soundtracks for games, especially, and films/ big-budget-TV.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Airfix »

we await the next Elvis - you never caught a rabbit
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by MOF »

we await the next Elvis - you never caught a rabbit

“ You ain't never caught a rabbit”, a strange lyric. Putting aside the use of ‘ain’t’ instead of ‘haven’t’ it’s a double negative, so the hound dog did catch a rabbit. :lol:
Recorded in Mono!!
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Airfix »

MOF wrote:
we await the next Elvis - you never caught a rabbit

“ You ain't never caught a rabbit”, a strange lyric. Putting aside the use of ‘ain’t’ instead of ‘haven’t’ it’s a double negative, so the hound dog did catch a rabbit. :lol:
Recorded in Mono!!

True - i misquoted Elvis there - what was i thinking? Thanks MOF. But i think the song meant the opposite. Bloody Americans.
Mono took away nothing from the energy of the tune. My friend mono. I press that button on drum mixes - great for vol balance.
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