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-   -   Future of music software - open vs closed systems (https://www.propellerheads.se/forum/showthread.php?t=71124)

raymondh 2004-04-17 01:34

Future of music software - open vs closed systems
 
Hi
Thought I might start a discussion that could contribute to Prop's future product planning....

My prediction is this: "open" music studios will kill closed systems in the next 5 years. That's bad for Reason and that would be a damn shame because Reason is an excellent product. If Props agree with this prediction, they have plenty of time to open up the product. But they're getting mixed feedback from their users based on current technology constraints - so they have a quandry. So you guys... cast your mind forward, not to what you need today in order to create music on your slow old Pentium II, but where you think the software needs to be in 5 years.

So here is the rationale....
1. We all agree that Reason is a wonderful breakthru and Props captured early mindshare (and market share) when they launched their sequencer-synth combo known as Reason. Reasonable sequencer, very good synths, very low CPU overhead.
2. Thru Rewire, they have a story about "openness" that enables Musicians to use their own choice of sequencer with Reason's synths.
3. But those who like Reason's sequencer can't use third party synths. Or effects. And Rewire, while very functional, is more cumbersome than other defacto integration standards like DXi & VST.
4. Other virtual studios are now emerging (or maturing) that arguably do what reason does, but provides users with more choices about how their studio fits together (eg Project 5, FL Studio). Neither (IMO) are as slick as Reason and one of them can't compete in CPU efficiency.
5. ... But hardware capabilities in 5 years will make this a non-issue. You will have 5 GHz machines with 4 GB RAM and they'll be cheap. So the CPU efficiency of Props will no longer be a value proposition. Also, sequencers are getting smarter with "freeze track", enabling more complex synths to be used on less hardware.
6. No vendor wants to have an open system. Props want to lock users into their product. Why shouldn't they - they're in business to make money. Even Imageline have a tactic around this for their open FL Studio product - what they're doing is selling their cool Sytrus synth at a much higher cost than the combi Sytrus + FL studio product.
7. ... but open systems is the future. Business software vendors now realise they need to make their software open and componentised if they are to survive. Customers want to mix and match to their own ideal requirements. This revolution occurred years ago with hardware (who would ever put up with a PC now that requires a graphics card from the same vendor as the motherboard manufacturer). It is happening with software. It will happen with music software. Props need to decide whether they're going to play this game. They need to decide whether they'll ever offer the superb NN-XT sampler as a standalone component etc, or whether Rewire is sustainable to them as a long term solution for integration of their full studio to other products.
8. The same is true with file formats. One day, I think XML will be a platform for defining a common music arrangement format. Wouldn't that be great. Again, we know that Props are hanging on to their closed system stance because they aren't sharing the format of their proprietary Refill format.

If any of you have read the Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen, you'd see a parallel between the great position that Props are in today, versus the risky future it puts them in.

They've built us users a wonderful product. We need to make sure that we give them the right feedback not only based on our current requirements and constraints, but what we'd each like to be using in 5+ years, so they can continue to be our vendor of choice.

Raymond


JahRed 2004-04-17 02:54

Re: Future of music software - open vs closed systems
 
http://weztest.ihost.nu/images/myLogo.jpg
you might want to look at what some of the sample companies are doing they are going to a closed system of getting samples to by coming up with their own plug ins of sounds...

seems other are jumping in on a closed system.....

neoverse 2004-04-17 03:26

very true
 
http://homepage.mac.com/neoverse/welcomelogo.jpg
I just got storm drum. It's 6 gigs of wicked drum samples. the catch is that you music use the sounds as a plug in provided buy NI. It's a pain in the ass but how else are sample libraries supposed to protect themselves? I don't like it but hey. whadda you going to do?

as for opening up reason, HELL NO!

keep it stable and innovative, keep it closed



you might want to look at what some of the sample companies are doing they are going to a closed system of getting samples to by coming up with their own plug ins of sounds...
:
:seems other are jumping in on a closed system.....
Josh Mobley music

qwan 2004-04-17 03:36

Re: Future of music software - open vs closed systems
 
you make some good points but keep in mind you can go to SamAsh or where ever to buy a brand spanking new DSP drivin multi-timbral 48 polophony synth. sounds grreat right? so why do some ppl spend tons of hours and money to track down an old Moog synth thats monophonic and cant even store patches it's feel sound and ideal even something i think reason has reason is kinda a darkhorse in my humble opinion this isnt some million member programming team by the numbers producers these guys are real deal like us real musicians that are passionate about music and technology...if (god forbid) P-heads ever bit the dust i would save the comp i use right now and use reason 4-ever!!!it would sit right next to my 10ghz pc :-p

janhammer 2004-04-17 09:11

in a way you are very true
 
I would love to use Reason's sequencer to steer 3rd party machines. That's all. I want to use a pro-53 from the sequencer I love the most, not the big unhandy monsters.

I wouldn't mind buying reason again if it was a vst host and the reason machines were vsti's. I am a user since 1.0 and I'm a bit sad to see that the main evolutions in music software happen besides reason.

ReWire is nice, but it makes Reason a slave to a host sequencer - I would love it the opposite way.

core 2004-04-17 10:38

Re: Future of music software - open vs closed systems
 
I think that most people want to use the software that gives the results they're after. If it's a closed system, they will buy that. If the best system happens to be open, then people will buy the open system.

raapie 2004-04-17 22:09

Re: Future of music software - open vs closed systems
 
http://www.raapie.nl/images/propforum_logo.gif
I don't have much knowledge about most of the things you are saying, but the thing I am interested in is XML!

Have a look here:
http://www.music-notation.info/en/musixml/MusiXML.html

I hope XML will be the format for storing songs and patches. It might even include file locations for audio files including offset settings.

Using an XML-format for storing patches would be fantastic too!
__________________________________________________ __________________raapie

modsoundmind 2004-04-17 22:27

more options
 
I think it would be great if they keep doing what there doing, but also provide there virtual machines as plugins, for other programs like logic, Cubase.... I havn't been able to slave reason up and actually program its sounds with another sequencer in realtime without some lag. I can program in reason and then stream that in via rewire. But I would love to pull up a subtractor or malstrom in Logic,
by the way any links on tips for rewire would be great.
www.tympanicfrenzy.com

raymondh 2004-04-18 00:30

Re: Future of music software - open vs closed systems
 
you might want to look at what some of the sample companies are doing they are going to a closed system of getting samples to by coming up with their own plug ins of sounds...
:
:seems other are jumping in on a closed system.....


Yes very good observation...
But ironically, they're actually extending the case for modular/component systems, because you can no longer use your "vanilla" sequencer to take advantage of their samples. You have to integrate with their product.

raymondh 2004-04-18 00:40

Re: very true
 

:as for opening up reason, HELL NO!
:
:keep it stable and innovative, keep it closed
:

This is a very important point.

You are not alone in the community of Reason users who have a perception that to remain stable and innovative, you must be a closed system.

I'm not sure that assumption is valid, even today.

Yes many people have trouble with specific compbinations of hosts, plugins, platforms etc. They're the ones that will vent their frustrations. You won't hear from those muso's with stable systems. They're getting on with their Music.

So another question: What if you could have an open system, that remained innovative & stable but also gave you ability to integrate with third parties? Would you want that?

Raymond



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