EM magazine is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The June 2010 issue includes a long interview/discussion with several famous EM hardware pioneers about the future of the technology.

I went through the whole thing (fascinating get-together), here are my notes/quotes:

• why people want analog gear

– some want a concise musical instrument with a certain set of controls that doesn’t change and will be the same in 10 years, and doesn’t change with operating systems
– analog is less predictable
– the software synth you buy today will not work at some point in the future because it won’t get ported forever.
– software compiled in long-lived languages is easier to port and will continue to support compositions.
– off-the-shelf software … obsolete by the time you figure out where all the menus are.

• a commercially viable instrument recognizable by millions as an instrument?

– a lot of what we associate with quality is in the control of the sound
– the difficult part is getting the right controller that works well
– [Microsoft’s] NatalEigenharpHaken ContinuumSLABS
– no controller good enough to recognize multitouch with independent finger pressure. – Touchco (Linn, extinct)
– software instruments with pressure sensitivity will = far more natural-sounding instruments.
– no builder commitment like a guitar-maker. these instruments are one-shot deals.
– those accepted and used and developed are most closely linked to thought.

• making things more responsive

– Ethernet Audio Video Bridging [AVB] (IEEE 802)
– post-MIDI: Open Sound Controlis now the standard.

Check the article if you’ve time; there are decades of top-notch experience talking.

Related: coming up now: MIT’s color glove controller. Check the latency of this puppy (and the latexy).

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