SoundBytes Holiday Wish List
With such holidays as Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus and others approaching, gifts will be forthcoming. Here’s what some of our writers are hoping for.
by SoundBytes, Nov. 2014
The holiday season is just around the corner, and it’s time start thinking of the sharing of good feelings and cheer with the giving of gifts. We asked our writers what’s on their wish list, and here’s what they said.
This holiday season, it’s my wish that Zeus or Oprah or somebody with sufficient clout would issue a decree that mandated all makers of music software use the same mouse/key combination to reset a control to its default value. I don’t care if it’s a double-click or a control-click or something else as straightforward. Just make it always be the same. Nobody, and I mean nobody, can possibly remember which convention is which when jumping between synths and effects and your DAW that all come from different vendors. Can’t we just all agree on this one little thing?
In upcoming year I have just few humble wishes. Globally, peace in Gaza, Syria and other similar conflict areas, along with global fall of Neoliberalism (those two terms are somehow related anyway).
While on a music field I wish that I may live enough to see a less cluttered arrangement window in Ableton Live along with few more options in MIDI editor. It would be nice to have an option to flatten files without losing internal effects and ability to export stereo audio file as separate mono files. That’s about Ableton Live – In Cubase I would like to see “bounce in place” option for VST instruments along with ability to copy loop just by dragging its tail as many other DAWs implemented already – MIDI or audio (with a one click option to make any of those expanded loops unique).
Those things could make my next year much more pleasant. – Oh holy spirit and endless space, I hope that I’m not asking too much.
This holiday season, I wish for everyone to have a joyous time of year, and to stop using auto-tune and lip-syncing live concerts. What is the point of music and musicians in the world? I believe you should let your inner creativity have a chance to shine, and enlighten others to the diversity of musical styles that the world has to offer. It can also show how much talent you really possess as a musician. What are a few flubbed notes here and there; it just shows that you’re human, and not a machine. People love that human side, so this holiday season, let loose a little and just say No to auto-tune.
What I’d like for the holidays is better documentation. For sample libraries, I want to open up the manual (either as a file that comes with the library or a page on the website) and be able to see all the vital stats: how many round robin variations there, how many dynamic layers there are, what method gets used to switch between them, etc. Now I know there are lots of tiny developers out there, but it doesn’t have to take away from the main work – get beta testers or an intern to help if you need to. Or keep a running spreadsheet for your own purposes and just post that at least. In 2015, I want finding out what’s contained in a library I’m buying to be clearer, quicker, easier and more consistent.
1) No more operating system introduction mess ups like Apple’s iOS8. The scheduling for this made most music apps inoperable with Audiobus. Now we wait, and wait, and wait, while all the app developers update their software.
2) for Android – an Audiobus type inter app connection environment would be very lovely. Or else, implementation of a VST-type plugin standard for Android, so music apps could work together.
3) Retrofitting all softsynths on all platforms so that they can use Scala microtuning files, either .scl, or .tun or .mts. And making it standard knowledge that all new softsynths should include microtonal implementation. (Are you listening, Arturia, Applied Acoustics, etc?)
This holiday season, I wish that software developers would look at their DAW products and examine how their DAWs have evolved to become cluttered with countless features. It’s neat to have them, but sometimes these features have become a stumbling block in the process of making music. Not to mention the intimidation it brings to new desktop musicians, DJs and producers. There are hordes of us musicians, like myself, that want a scaled back, easy-to-use and clean piece of music making software. We just simply want to make music…not to be turned off by multiple features. And how many of us constantly use those unique, hidden and unconventional features anyway? All I wished for is something quick and easy. That’s not too much to ask!
Every DAW should allow you to have several projects open at once, with full integration and drag and drop interfacing between several tracks, I’m counting on you for this one, 2015! I also wish for world powers to recognize the priority in action that the environment and climate should have. We only have one planet with VST-plugins! Let’s protect the one we know of, and let cultural activities increase our understanding of what it means to be human.
In 2015, I wish that the world finally understands that having only 24 hours available in one day is not enough. It simply is NOT enough. With so much new music out there being made every day, so much inspiration around us and so many amazing music making tools, having only 24 hours available in one day is simply not enough.
Dear software developers, programmers, scientists, magicians, wizards, Mr. Santa Claus and anyone else reading this – let’s all focus our efforts on solving this problem in 2015. We don’t want any new DAWs in the next year, nor do we need any more compressors and reverbs, and we also have just about enough transient shapers and guitar amplification tools at our disposal. What we want from you guys is to develop a new and improved day with a few extra hours squeezed in. We’re so desperate that even one extra hour would make all the difference. 25 hours in one day, that’s 7 extra hours in a week! Happy new year everyone!
There is so much to be thankful for in life today. We have clean water, sanitation and even twerking in some parts of the world. Any amateur basement hobbyist can be “producing phat beats” in a matter of hours. But as human beings, we need more. Without continuous evolution we would end up as a static species. Also, as one of the guiding lights of modern human civilization, Lex Luther, once said: ”You can’t have enough money or chocolate ice cream.” Humbly, I would suggest that VST plug-ins and instruments be added to the above quoted list. Furthermore, as a 21st century man, I feel this immense and inexplicable sense of entitlement which prompts me to always ask for more, better, faster, bigger, stronger, etc. without really doing anything to earn any of it.
In 2014, what I need and want for holidays is [takes deep breath] to see more intelligent samplers in the market. Mdrummer and TX16WX are steps in the right direction. I don’t want to deal with scripting – I mean, come on, is this 1994? I want platform independent sample libraries/instruments to be the norm (WAV format is still king in my world). These WAV libraries should be able to be imported and mapped in any sampler worth its name without spending 3 years on a remote island doing it sample by sample. The sampler should be able to analyze the content based on simple naming guide lines that it prompts the user for (which is usually clearly documented by the better sample companies). So if I get asked what part of the drum sample name denotes which drum kit component, which articulation, which velocity layer and which round robin for which microphone, this information should enable the intelligent sampler to quickly traverse and map out the whole drum kit sample set as per my preferred mapping. GM Standard is fine by me, but you may be using one of the newfangled YAKUZA ASS-Y 5001 V1 maps. It does not need a HAL level intelligence to do this, contrary to popular belief. An analytical algorithm with a reasoning power greater than the US Foreign Policy makers and less than a squirrel could do the job in a jiffy.
And for all this, the interface should be large and easy on the eyes. Good GUI examples are UVI and Sample Tank 3 (just look at the shiny big buttons and let us not get started on the missing features). Yes, it is possible to have improved functionality without induced blindness, contrary to what the industry standard sampler’s interface implies. Yes, the ubiquitous K (not Ketamine, you sick junkies, but Kontakt) needs to rethink the “humans as ants” art chic. And while we are on the subject, it needs to re-think its business strategy: I don’t need the 50 million included samples that NI thinks are awesome but I think are extortion. All I want is the full Kontakt minus the bloat so that I can pick and choose which sample sets to buy as well as enjoying the huge number of free ones. That will hopefully reduce the price to one fourth of its current value.
And last but not least, Dear God in Heaven: let the war-hungry imperial armies of the world wipe each other out and leave the people of places like Palestine, Syria and Iraq in peace. Amen.
Happy Holidays !!