The future of DAWs

ProTools was quite simple in the old days and appealed to guys who grew up with traditional recording equipment - it has become the default almost by accident - it has got some nice features but is still very clunky in some areas - it will be the standard until the older pre-computer literate producers die off simply because it’s the tool they know. Younger users are more likely to be able to switch to and adopt different tools as and when required. Of course as computers evolve who’s to say a DAW will still be the heart of an average studio in 20 years time or that traditional big-buck studios will still be required? The DAW might become almost incidental - a way of mixing music into the cloud for consumption which was produced on another platform and no more. I suspect most mixing duties will be able to be performed by software soon - certainly to a standard acceptable to the average consumer.

You may end up with a tiny number of people in movie production suites etc still using DAWs but “pop” music production will break away into a million factions produced on the fly with smart devices. One thing that is for sure, the music industry has completely lost control of the music industry! People are now deciding what they want to listen to - not a bunch of old fat men in a boardroom. PS before anyone gets offended I am one of the old fat men who have been producing music for three decades - but not professionally. :smiley: Pro Tools, Cubase, Reaper - they are ALL facing the same problem - this won’t be the way we’re making music for much longer - the next generation will decide how they want to make music - and I doubt it’ll be in a dark room twirling a mouse, staring at a screen.

You really think artistic decisions will be outsourced to software? Then still - while a lot of people may have adapted to ‘automixed’ music in the future - something ‘handcrafted’ will surely stand out even more clear, wouldn’t it?

As long as acoustic instruments are recorded, there will always be a need for well-tuned acoustic spaces with a varied range of professional microphones and people who know how to use those. It will also in the future make sense to attach a recording environment to these acoustic spaces. Let’s call it, ehm a studio…

I’m talking about complete new interfaces - perhaps movement based - all linked into an artist network with a common output stream. People are becoming more impatient - people don’t want to learn how to be musicians anymore - they want to be artists! If the handcrafted bit sounds better - but who’s to say that will remain? The world chess master can be defeated by a computer these days - that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago.

Other than guitars I get all the sounds I want out of Komplete - studio quality sounds already there for you to use. That’s my point - Studios will become rare beasts run by professionals for particular applications - such as producing samplers - microphone and space modelling with modern reverbs can do 90% of what once required a decent room - all this stuff is becoming irrelevant. Only 1% of the population will actually notice something isn’t “good sound” the rest couldn’t care less - as long as the sub in his Corsa makes Mrs Tipson at no 3’s teacups rattle - Jaydon couldn’t care less about the sound. Anyway, the less we use “real” instruments the fewer people will actually pick up on bad sound - because you don’t know how it’s supposed to sound in the first place! That finely honed vocal sung though a £5000 mic at a million giga widgets sample rate is going to be listened to on ear buds at 192kbits/s (if you’re lucky) through a smart phone DAC - it’s irrelevant.

Please keep close to the topic in the OP, okay? I split the OT part of this discussion to this new thread.

The original thread is at

I’m not talking about just sound, I’m talking about real musicians playing live music on real instruments in a studio for their next album - perhaps jazz or classical album. Yes, maybe you’re right in the case of kiddie music meant to populate the charts, being programmed by kiddies behind computers who can barely play one instrument - usually none. There’s more music in the world than just DAW programmed music - and it will always remain.

computers can`t make artistic decisions ,they may be able to beat a chess player based on previously recorded moves,but so what.

For the readers - this thread was part of another that went off topic which the mods rightly chopped out. :slight_smile:

Yes - something I wish more Mods would do on all forums.

Some simple on topic threads that should only be a page or 2 long turn into mutli-pagers complete with flame wars more often than not.

Ardour looks promising, looks like Cubase Pro 8 borrowed a few ideas from it. For now it only run on Linux and OS X… From what I see everybody is borrowing. Correct me if I’m wrong. Avid Protools have their version of VST Connect. Is that new ?

Garage Band looks like Logic’s little brother they added lots of logic sounds in the most recent update.

I hope they don’t come up with anything like SIRI for DAWs in the future. That would be stupid.
Talk to your DAW and make music. I don’t know about that one.

Computer make me a pop hit now…

I think final production mixdown will still be in a “dark room with mouse and screen” (i.e., not mobile devices) for good while longer due to the CPU roadmap.

While plugins are very good now (e.g., their harmonic distortion models) and have reached a temporary point of diminishing returns, and so it would seem mobile will catch up to being able to execute enough of them to be useful, the time that will pass before that happens will have put the next generation of desktop CPUs (and plugins to exploit them) in striking distance.

We’ll then be back to around the 2002 era where plugin circuit modeling was waiting for a processor to exploit it, and the cycle will start anew.

Don’t throw out your desk and chair quite yet (or your 19" racks for ATX form factor computer chassis, they’ll still be the standard, just new stuff inside).

I felt confident enough about this, I converted all my PCs into rackmount chassis and built three custom racks that fit perfectly under desk height. :smiley:

I think the real innovation of the DAW is going to be lots of small improvements, design and expanded features for surface controllers (of which mobile devices will be an option).

I also suspect there will be more modular and DIY controller surfaces and systems.

I don’t think the love for old gear, knobs and buttons is ever going to go away. To me, the CMC controllers give a glimpse into a future of inexpensive modular surface controllers.

There will also be better workflows between using mobile to start a project and using the desktop systems to finish them.

I think cloud and collaboration (like VST Connect and Soundcloud) will get better, too. Stuff like that.