Gino Robair is former editor of EM

Archive for January 14th, 2010

Why Is This So Complicated?

Winter NAMM show

If you read the gear mags or follow music technology online, you’re probably aware that the Winter NAMM show begins today in Anaheim, Calif. Winter NAMM is the most important annual trade show (though, not the biggest) of the “music products industry,? and it’s where manufacturers from all over the world announce new stuff, look for distribution, and talk to the media. Its also great for people watching, thanks to the city’s fair weather and close proximity to Hollywood.

NAMM also means announcements of software upgrades. Rather than repeat myself, you can read my thoughts on the longevity of electronic musical instruments versus the recurring upgrade paradigm here. The upgrades are usually announced with great fanfare, and in many cases it’s warranted—such as the last Pro Tools rev, which was sorely needed to make the product competitive in terms of notation, MIDI, and beat production. Some announcements, however, just seem to pile sexy new features onto an older product while core issues remain unsolved.

Late last month, Ableton CEO and founder, Gerhard Behles, announced on the company’s forum that he was suspending further product development in order to fix the bugs in Live 8. (The product was unveiled at last year’s NAMM show, along with the Cycling ’74 collaboration Max for Live, and the first controller created for the system, the Akai APC40). more

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