We face a challenge in the music technology community. Underlined by a century in which music creation was seen by some as the privilege of a few, in the studio world, and mass music was about records and radio, people might claim music making is niche. It’s seen by those onlookers as the domain of specialists, techies – a weird overlap of superstars and nerds.

But some of us believe that musical expression as as essential as singing, and the tools matter just as much.

You don’t see much music technology in Apple’s latest ad. I think it might be a new record or near-record for the absence of screen time for Apple’s products. But what you do see is unquestionably creation, not consumption. There are subtle hints to every aspect of musical practice – guitar songbooks, multitrack recording, sharing.

And the video, a follow-up to last year’s Creative Arts Emmy winner, goes beyond the technology. It’s about why we make music – reaching other people.

It’s meaningful that a multibillion-dollar company would see making music as a core part of its mission, as the essential value to some of the most successful consumer products in history. Recently, I noted via Twitter that Apple’s own Logic Pro climbs to the top of the paid charts on their App Store – notable not so much because it’s an Apple product as it’s a music product.

Apple’s holiday campaign links to a variety of music app, a nice Christmas present for the developers featured. They show GarageBand, of course, but also include Propellerhead’s innovative Take vocal app, a tool that remembers that, for many people, music is about singing or playing an instrument and not just editing beats on a timeline. There’s also a beautiful app called Chord! that presents scales and chords in a gorgeous, luxurious format. And there’s the fun Sing!Karaoke from Smule, the rare superstar breakout developer that found a way to take music technology prowess and bring it to a mass market.

Now, whether or not you own a single Apple product, there’s a lesson here, about how important music is to one of the world’s biggest companies – and, much more importantly, how to tell the story about what music is to the general public. It’s a reason for the season.

  • drokrolyat

    Great article. It always has floored me how other platforms don’t “get” things like this. And no, I’m not a crazy Apple guy. It’s just that there is that thread from creation to consumption and it helps if you are in both camps and Apple gets it. Plus a lot of that is in the culture because of Steve’s love of music. Kind of like Bezos with books at Amazon. Only unfortunately, books aren’t as bog with the young these days as music. :^(

  • drokrolyat

    Great article. It always has floored me how other platforms don’t “get” things like this. And no, I’m not a crazy Apple guy. It’s just that there is that thread from creation to consumption and it helps if you are in both camps and Apple gets it. Plus a lot of that is in the culture because of Steve’s love of music. Kind of like Bezos with books at Amazon. Only unfortunately, books aren’t as bog with the young these days as music. :^(

  • drokrolyat

    Great article. It always has floored me how other platforms don’t “get” things like this. And no, I’m not a crazy Apple guy. It’s just that there is that thread from creation to consumption and it helps if you are in both camps and Apple gets it. Plus a lot of that is in the culture because of Steve’s love of music. Kind of like Bezos with books at Amazon. Only unfortunately, books aren’t as bog with the young these days as music. :^(

  • neurogami

    “Underlined by a century in which music creation was the privilege of a few, in the studio world, and mass music was about records and radio, people might claim music making is niche. It’s the domain of specialists, techies , a weird overlap of superstars and nerds.”

    Hyperbole much? Plenty of people, approximately everyone, since roughly forever, have been able to make music with cheap guitars, or fiddles, or harmonicas, or home-made instruments and what have you. Making music was never limited to the privileged few, or techies, or nerds, or superstars.

    However, there are some people who would like to promote the idea that music making is out of reach for mere mortals unless you have The True Annointed Product, and Apple is no different. It’s great that they make pretty (if pricey) stuff, but it’s not essential nor ground-breaking nor magically liberating.

    • Two things – as I think you skipped straight over the point I was attempting to make.

      First, I don’t think it’s impossible to be hyperbolic about the 20th Century. You’re talking about going from live music that happens in one place to being able to record it, play it after the musicians are dead, and make it fly *through the air invisibly*.

      You’re otherwise making my argument for me. Exactly: there’s no reason to view music as privileged.

      Second, Apple’s job in making an Apple ad for Apple products is of course to sell you Apple products. Mine isn’t. I didn’t say anything about Apple’s product line here.

      The whole point as I said is that the outside view of the business of making musical instruments is often that it’s done for specialists. I think when the world’s biggest consumer products company makes its flagship ad about music making, they add weight to those of us who argue music making is for everyone.

      And that ability to tell that story matters to anyone making instruments or software or tools – homemade instruments and harmonicas included.

      • neurogami

        “I didn’t say anything about Apple’s product line here.”

        The article is about an Apple ad for Apple products, and mentions a number of specific Apple products by name.

        “You’re talking about going from live music that happens in one place to
        being able to record it, play it after the musicians are dead, and make
        it fly ‘through the air invisibly’.”

        Which is great, but that’s not music creation tech, it’s music distribution tech.

        “I think you skipped straight over the point I was attempting to make.”

        Then I don’t think you made your point clear at all. That
        attention-getting lede was not specific to the “business of making
        musical instruments”, nor about music distribution, but musical creation, period.

        Anyway, I see that text has been edited to be less sweeping.

        I am glad when companies such as Microsoft and Apple feature creation of art and music in their ads instead of pushing mere consumption. Let’s not kid ourselves that there is some cultural alturism at play here (and I don’t say you are claiming that). Their goal is to sell prodcuts. If a side-effect is more, better, easier music creation then that’s a win, unless people are getting locked into a specific vendor or platform in the process.

        I suppose we should be grateful for whatever comes along to promote creating things, but I’m not quite ready to carry water for any self-serving corporation.on the pretense that they “get it.”, promoting some mythology about a “core part of its mission.” I just don’t see it. I think we just lucked out this time with their marketing decisions. We’ll see what their story is next month.

        • Apple has consistently made this music creation point of their marketing, and their case for why you should use computers, since the beginning. There’s a direct lineage to a team at XEROX PARC that made the same argument.

          So, no, I don’t think we just “lucked out” with one random ad. Nor, sadly, do I think this model is followed by any other major consumer tech company. Not one. Every single other one focuses on consumption.

          And trust me, having been working as a journalist in this business for ten years, the thing I hear most often from people outside our field is that anything to do with creation is overly technical and niche.

      • just passing

        > there’s no reason to view music as privileged.

        Unfortunately, privileged is exactly what you are if you can afford to buy Apple.

        • That statement is accurate if you mean “if you can afford to buy a computer.” It’s not specific to Apple as a brand – you’ll find PCs at the same price point; this argument is no longer valid.

          As I note, however, singing is free. And this site has before championed computing platforms that cost far less than *any* PC (like embedded machines, and Linux distributions and tools like Pd), a topic I hope we’ll visit in more detail in 2015.

          • just passing

            > this argument is no longer valid.

            How dare you!

            It’s not just an abstract argument for me! I can afford to buy a PC. New laptops can be had for £150; I just spent £40 on a used Core 2 Duo. But no way I can afford anything Apple, new or used. And I’m lucky that I’m not experiencing the reality that so many people are in the UK under this evil government, of crushing, absolute, can’t-afford-to-eat poverty – although of course I’m only one bad day away from it, as are far too many of us on this sinking ship.

            > singing is free

            So, apparently, is condescension.

            God, Peter, sometimes you really do embody the worst of reality-disconnected smug hipsterism. Check your privilege, and perhaps look around at people who are experiencing real difficulty, people for whom music is just another thing they can’t even hope to afford to indulge in, before you decide to mansplain the wonders of this bountiful age to them.

      • just passing

        Damn, I missed this first time round.

        > make it fly *through the air invisibly*.

        Yes, because sound waves are just so *colourful*… seriously, you could perhaps have picked a better locus for your hyperbola.

        • — as a distribution method (radio), as others note here.

          Yes, radio is invisible, quite literally. You can’t say something that is factually accurate is hyperbolic.

          • just passing

            Oh, well, if we’re getting pointlessly pedantic because our sense of humour has been trampled by galloping defensive hubris… you will, of course, note that I described the factually accurate thing as the locus of a hyperbolic curve, not as hyperbole itself.

            Now, would you care to detail what made you look at what I wrote, and instead of going “ahh, you got me, fair dos” and moving on, get your arse in your hand about it and go on the defensive? Possibly because you were sore about having your privilege called out?

      • FrankLogo

        ” they add weight to those of us who argue music making is for everyone.” And..so what ? What exactly is their honourable, hero-esque and alturistic message again ? Oh, ok – “music making is for everyone”.Wow.What a statement.Surely will instantly make the world a better place just like Bono.

        I mean, really – yeah, music making is for everyone.Who ever doubted that ?! You know, this message is one of these feel-good, cozy, heart-warming marketing statements that don’t cost anything to say, that don’t hurt, that no one can deny and that on the surface sound like “real” or “meaningful” when in reality it’s just a shallow phrase.

        • Eric B.

          But what happens when someone’s access point to music is trying to make the music they’re into? You can’t make dubstep or house on a flute. Computers are instruments (in the same price range as a high quality instrument, which you have to admit is much better to begin learning with) too.

          I’m a cynic too, but the fundamental point Peter’s making is still pretty valid IMO (see my TL;DR reply above about iOS coming to the musical rescue when money was an obstacle for me, and honestly a MacBook is in the same price range as a custom built PC DAW purpose-made for pro audio.)

    • just passing

      > Making music was never limited to the privileged few, or techies, or nerds, or superstars.

      Indeed, and the face of music has usually been reshaped by the people who couldn’t gain access to that club – the most recent example is all the people who bought 303s because they couldn’t afford anything else, but the same thing keeps happening.

      Well… kept. The social strata seem to be hardening at the moment. At least in the UK, class is rapidly setting into caste (with the active encouragement of the current government); the days of upstarts changing things may soon be firmly behind us.

      Who knew that we’d all welcome the boot stamping on a human face forever if it had a Nike logo on it?

      • neurogami

        Mr. Kirn made an observation about making sound “fly *through the air invisibly*.”

        Music making has never been out of reach for the masses, so new shiny toys from Apple, while welcome, are nothing revolutionary on that front.

        OTOH, distribution (music or otherwise) has been a difficult matter. The real impact comes from people being able to take what they’ve made and make it available to whomever is interested. And today people no longer need to worry about getting on one or another radio or TV station or placed in some record store chain. Distribution has opened up.

        The most interesting stuff is happening outside the walled gardens and curated outlets of assorted major corporations. It’s on Bandcamp and Bitorrent and Soundcloud. And when they day comes that those places erect their own walls, others will spring up..

        • just passing

          > And today people no longer need to worry about getting on one or another
          radio or TV station or placed in some record store chain. Distribution
          has opened up.

          But the flipside of that is that the selectiveness is either too broad (quality) or too narrow (genre). It gets harder to find what you’re into, and especially it gets harder to hear new things that you wouldn’t otherwise; and within those genres, there’s less pressure to distinguish the truly interesting from the also-ran. Back in my childhood, Radio 1 used to play a good bit of almost everything; there was John Peel, of course, but I even remember hearing some Process-era Skinny Puppy on Annie Nightingale’s show. (That dates me.) Now there isn’t the same pressure on it to be eclectic, because there are so many avenues for niche listening – which is great in that now I never hear music I don’t like… but then I also never hear music I don’t know I like yet, either, which is a bit of a loss.

          And if it’s a pain for me trying to find something to listen to, how much harder must it be for someone trying to reach an audience? Especially with something just a little outside the mainstream. Sure, their audience will be able to buy direct from them once they’ve found them – and that’ll mean that audience won’t need to be so big, too – but will they find them?

          Perhaps what we really need is a dating-style music service. Connect the person with the shiny new ,music they might like but haven’t heard yet?

          (Of course – tacking back to air transmission – WiFi doesn’t take you very far at all for distribution. Even 4G is a tad limited, and purely consumer-oriented; the phone companies I have experience of won’t let you run servers. The infrastructure that’s allowed for the distribution revolution is all centralised and wired, and until WiMAX 2: Mesh Edition takes off, that’s how it’ll stay.

          Which reminds me: why IS nobody working on escaping from the ISP model, given all the problems we keep having with ISPs? I know the same argument could be made about utilities, but while it’s only just feasible to run your own generator in an emergency, anyone and everyone could stick a mesh router on their rooftop.)

  • neurogami

    “Underlined by a century in which music creation was the privilege of a few, in the studio world, and mass music was about records and radio, people might claim music making is niche. It’s the domain of specialists, techies , a weird overlap of superstars and nerds.”

    Hyperbole much? Plenty of people, approximately everyone, since roughly forever, have been able to make music with cheap guitars, or fiddles, or harmonicas, or home-made instruments and what have you. Making music was never limited to the privileged few, or techies, or nerds, or superstars.

    However, there are some people who would like to promote the idea that music making is out of reach for mere mortals unless you have The True Annointed Product, and Apple is no different. It’s great that they make pretty (if pricey) stuff, but it’s not essential nor ground-breaking nor magically liberating.

    • Two things – as I think you skipped straight over the point I was attempting to make.

      First, I don’t think it’s impossible to be hyperbolic about the 20th Century. You’re talking about going from live music that happens in one place to being able to record it, play it after the musicians are dead, and make it fly *through the air invisibly*.

      You’re otherwise making my argument for me. Exactly: there’s no reason to view music as privileged.

      Second, Apple’s job in making an Apple ad for Apple products is of course to sell you Apple products. Mine isn’t. I didn’t say anything about Apple’s product line here.

      The whole point as I said is that the outside view of the business of making musical instruments is often that it’s done for specialists. I think when the world’s biggest consumer products company makes its flagship ad about music making, they add weight to those of us who argue music making is for everyone.

      And that ability to tell that story matters to anyone making instruments or software or tools – homemade instruments and harmonicas included.

      • neurogami

        “I didn’t say anything about Apple’s product line here.”

        The article is about an Apple ad for Apple products, and mentions a number of specific Apple products by name.

        “You’re talking about going from live music that happens in one place to
        being able to record it, play it after the musicians are dead, and make
        it fly ‘through the air invisibly’.”

        Which is great, but that’s not music creation tech, it’s music distribution tech.

        “I think you skipped straight over the point I was attempting to make.”

        Then I don’t think you made your point clear at all. That
        attention-getting lede was not specific to the “business of making
        musical instruments”, nor about music distribution, but musical creation, period.

        Anyway, I see that text has been edited to be less sweeping.

        I am glad when companies such as Microsoft and Apple feature creation of art and music in their ads instead of pushing mere consumption. Let’s not kid ourselves that there is some cultural alturism at play here (and I don’t say you are claiming that). Their goal is to sell prodcuts. If a side-effect is more, better, easier music creation then that’s a win, unless people are getting locked into a specific vendor or platform in the process.

        I suppose we should be grateful for whatever comes along to promote creating things, but I’m not quite ready to carry water for any self-serving corporation.on the pretense that they “get it.”, promoting some mythology about a “core part of its mission.” I just don’t see it. I think we just lucked out this time with their marketing decisions. We’ll see what their story is next month.

        • Apple has consistently made this music creation point of their marketing, and their case for why you should use computers, since the beginning. There’s a direct lineage to a team at XEROX PARC that made the same argument.

          So, no, I don’t think we just “lucked out” with one random ad. Nor, sadly, do I think this model is followed by any other major consumer tech company. Not one. Every single other one focuses on consumption.

          And trust me, having been working as a journalist in this business for ten years, the thing I hear most often from people outside our field is that anything to do with creation is overly technical and niche.

      • just passing

        > there’s no reason to view music as privileged.

        Unfortunately, privileged is exactly what you are if you can afford to buy Apple.

        • That statement is accurate if you mean “if you can afford to buy a computer.” It’s not specific to Apple as a brand – you’ll find PCs at the same price point; this argument is no longer valid.

          As I note, however, singing is free. And this site has before championed computing platforms that cost far less than *any* PC (like embedded machines, and Linux distributions and tools like Pd), a topic I hope we’ll visit in more detail in 2015.

          • just passing

            > this argument is no longer valid.

            How dare you!

            It’s not just an abstract argument for me! I can afford to buy a PC. New laptops can be had for £150; I just spent £40 on a used Core 2 Duo. But no way I can afford anything Apple, new or used. And I’m lucky that I’m not experiencing the reality that so many people are in the UK under this evil government, of crushing, absolute, can’t-afford-to-eat poverty – although of course I’m only one bad day away from it, as are far too many of us on this sinking ship.

            > singing is free

            So, apparently, is condescension.

            God, Peter, sometimes you really do embody the worst of reality-disconnected smug hipsterism. Check your privilege, and perhaps look around at people who are experiencing real difficulty, people for whom music is just another thing they can’t even hope to afford to indulge in, before you decide to mansplain the wonders of this bountiful age to them.

      • just passing

        Damn, I missed this first time round.

        > make it fly *through the air invisibly*.

        Yes, because sound waves are just so *colourful*… seriously, you could perhaps have picked a better locus for your hyperbola.

        • — as a distribution method (radio), as others note here.

          Yes, radio is invisible, quite literally. You can’t say something that is factually accurate is hyperbolic.

          • just passing

            Oh, well, if we’re getting pointlessly pedantic because our sense of humour has been trampled by galloping defensive hubris… you will, of course, note that I described the factually accurate thing as the locus of a hyperbolic curve, not as hyperbole itself.

            Now, would you care to detail what made you look at what I wrote, and instead of going “ahh, you got me, fair dos” and moving on, get your arse in your hand about it and go on the defensive? Possibly because you were sore about having your privilege called out?

      • FrankLogo

        ” they add weight to those of us who argue music making is for everyone.” And..so what ? What exactly is their honourable, hero-esque and alturistic message again ? Oh, ok – “music making is for everyone”.Wow.What a statement.Surely will instantly make the world a better place just like Bono.

        I mean, really – yeah, music making is for everyone.Who ever doubted that ?!

        But doesn’t an ad for a Macbook say quite the opposite – as in reality, not *everyone* can afford to buy a Macbook to make music ?

        Also to suggest a Macbook is the best/first thing to buy when it comes to making music (instead of buying a guitar, flute or whatever) is quite cynical in that regard and i don’t see any reason to applaud Apple for that.

        It’s one of these gentrification ads that try to suggest (with the help of a cozy, heart-warming, feel-good, pseudo “natural” setting) that being able to afford a Macbook is one of the most easiest things and kind of a standard for “everyone”..

        • Eric B.

          But what happens when someone’s access point to music is trying to make the music they’re into? You can’t make dubstep or house on a flute. Computers are instruments (in the same price range as a high quality instrument, which you have to admit is much better to begin learning with) too.

          I’m a cynic too, but the fundamental point Peter’s making is still pretty valid IMO (see my TL;DR reply above about iOS coming to the musical rescue when money was an obstacle for me, and honestly a MacBook is in the same price range as a custom built PC DAW purpose-made for pro audio.)

    • just passing

      > Making music was never limited to the privileged few, or techies, or nerds, or superstars.

      Indeed, and the face of music has usually been reshaped by the people who couldn’t gain access to that club – the most recent example is all the people who bought 303s because they couldn’t afford anything else, but the same thing keeps happening.

      Well… kept. The social strata seem to be hardening at the moment. At least in the UK, class is rapidly setting into caste (with the active encouragement of the current government); the days of upstarts changing things may soon be firmly behind us.

      Who knew that we’d all welcome the boot stamping on a human face forever if it had a Nike logo on it?

      • neurogami

        Mr. Kirn made an observation about making sound “fly *through the air invisibly*.”

        Music making has never been out of reach for the masses, so new shiny toys from Apple, while welcome, are nothing revolutionary on that front.

        OTOH, distribution (music or otherwise) has been a difficult matter. The real impact comes from people being able to take what they’ve made and make it available to whomever is interested. And today people no longer need to worry about getting on one or another radio or TV station or placed in some record store chain. Distribution has opened up.

        The most interesting stuff is happening outside the walled gardens and curated outlets of assorted major corporations. It’s on Bandcamp and Bitorrent and Soundcloud. And when they day comes that those places erect their own walls, others will spring up..

        • just passing

          > And today people no longer need to worry about getting on one or another
          radio or TV station or placed in some record store chain. Distribution
          has opened up.

          But the flipside of that is that the selectiveness is either too broad (quality) or too narrow (genre). It gets harder to find what you’re into, and especially it gets harder to hear new things that you wouldn’t otherwise; and within those genres, there’s less pressure to distinguish the truly interesting from the also-ran. Back in my childhood, Radio 1 used to play a good bit of almost everything; there was John Peel, of course, but I even remember hearing some Process-era Skinny Puppy on Annie Nightingale’s show. (That dates me.) Now there isn’t the same pressure on it to be eclectic, because there are so many avenues for niche listening – which is great in that now I never hear music I don’t like… but then I also never hear music I don’t know I like yet, either, which is a bit of a loss.

          And if it’s a pain for me trying to find something to listen to, how much harder must it be for someone trying to reach an audience? Especially with something just a little outside the mainstream. Sure, their audience will be able to buy direct from them once they’ve found them – and that’ll mean that audience won’t need to be so big, too – but will they find them?

          Perhaps what we really need is a dating-style music service. Connect the person with the shiny new ,music they might like but haven’t heard yet?

          (Of course – tacking back to air transmission – WiFi doesn’t take you very far at all for distribution. Even 4G is a tad limited, and purely consumer-oriented; the phone companies I have experience of won’t let you run servers. The infrastructure that’s allowed for the distribution revolution is all centralised and wired, and until WiMAX 2: Mesh Edition takes off, that’s how it’ll stay.

          Which reminds me: why IS nobody working on escaping from the ISP model, given all the problems we keep having with ISPs? I know the same argument could be made about utilities, but while it’s only just feasible to run your own generator in an emergency, anyone and everyone could stick a mesh router on their rooftop.)

  • neurogami

    “Underlined by a century in which music creation was the privilege of a few, in the studio world, and mass music was about records and radio, people might claim music making is niche. It’s the domain of specialists, techies , a weird overlap of superstars and nerds.”

    Hyperbole much? Plenty of people, approximately everyone, since roughly forever, have been able to make music with cheap guitars, or fiddles, or harmonicas, or home-made instruments and what have you. Making music was never limited to the privileged few, or techies, or nerds, or superstars.

    However, there are some people who would like to promote the idea that music making is out of reach for mere mortals unless you have The True Annointed Product, and Apple is no different. It’s great that they make pretty (if pricey) stuff, but it’s not essential nor ground-breaking nor magically liberating.

    • Two things – as I think you skipped straight over the point I was attempting to make.

      First, I don’t think it’s impossible to be hyperbolic about the 20th Century. You’re talking about going from live music that happens in one place to being able to record it, play it after the musicians are dead, and make it fly *through the air invisibly*.

      You’re otherwise making my argument for me. Exactly: there’s no reason to view music as privileged.

      Second, Apple’s job in making an Apple ad for Apple products is of course to sell you Apple products. Mine isn’t. I didn’t say anything about Apple’s product line here.

      The whole point as I said is that the outside view of the business of making musical instruments is often that it’s done for specialists. I think when the world’s biggest consumer products company makes its flagship ad about music making, they add weight to those of us who argue music making is for everyone.

      And that ability to tell that story matters to anyone making instruments or software or tools – homemade instruments and harmonicas included.

      • neurogami

        “I didn’t say anything about Apple’s product line here.”

        The article is about an Apple ad for Apple products, and mentions a number of specific Apple products by name.

        “You’re talking about going from live music that happens in one place to
        being able to record it, play it after the musicians are dead, and make
        it fly ‘through the air invisibly’.”

        Which is great, but that’s not music creation tech, it’s music distribution tech.

        “I think you skipped straight over the point I was attempting to make.”

        Then I don’t think you made your point clear at all. That
        attention-getting lede was not specific to the “business of making
        musical instruments”, nor about music distribution, but musical creation, period.

        Anyway, I see that text has been edited to be less sweeping.

        I am glad when companies such as Microsoft and Apple feature creation of art and music in their ads instead of pushing mere consumption. Let’s not kid ourselves that there is some cultural alturism at play here (and I don’t say you are claiming that). Their goal is to sell prodcuts. If a side-effect is more, better, easier music creation then that’s a win, unless people are getting locked into a specific vendor or platform in the process.

        I suppose we should be grateful for whatever comes along to promote creating things, but I’m not quite ready to carry water for any self-serving corporation.on the pretense that they “get it.”, promoting some mythology about a “core part of its mission.” I just don’t see it. I think we just lucked out this time with their marketing decisions. We’ll see what their story is next month.

        • Apple has consistently made this music creation point of their marketing, and their case for why you should use computers, since the beginning. There’s a direct lineage to a team at XEROX PARC that made the same argument.

          So, no, I don’t think we just “lucked out” with one random ad. Nor, sadly, do I think this model is followed by any other major consumer tech company. Not one. Every single other one focuses on consumption.

          And trust me, having been working as a journalist in this business for ten years, the thing I hear most often from people outside our field is that anything to do with creation is overly technical and niche.

      • just passing

        > there’s no reason to view music as privileged.

        Unfortunately, privileged is exactly what you are if you can afford to buy Apple.

        • That statement is accurate if you mean “if you can afford to buy a computer.” It’s not specific to Apple as a brand – you’ll find PCs at the same price point; this argument is no longer valid.

          As I note, however, singing is free. And this site has before championed computing platforms that cost far less than *any* PC (like embedded machines, and Linux distributions and tools like Pd), a topic I hope we’ll visit in more detail in 2015.

          • just passing

            > this argument is no longer valid.

            How dare you!

            It’s not just an abstract argument for me! I can afford to buy a PC. New laptops can be had for £150; I just spent £40 on a used Core 2 Duo. But no way I can afford anything Apple, new or used. And I’m lucky that I’m not experiencing the reality that so many people are in the UK under this evil government, of crushing, absolute, can’t-afford-to-eat poverty – although of course I’m only one bad day away from it, as are far too many of us on this sinking ship.

            > singing is free

            So, apparently, is condescension.

            God, Peter, sometimes you really do embody the worst of reality-disconnected smug hipsterism. Check your privilege, and perhaps look around at people who are experiencing real difficulty, people for whom music is just another thing they can’t even hope to afford to indulge in, before you decide to mansplain the wonders of this bountiful age to them.

      • just passing

        Damn, I missed this first time round.

        > make it fly *through the air invisibly*.

        Yes, because sound waves are just so *colourful*… seriously, you could perhaps have picked a better locus for your hyperbola.

        • — as a distribution method (radio), as others note here.

          Yes, radio is invisible, quite literally. You can’t say something that is factually accurate is hyperbolic.

          • just passing

            Oh, well, if we’re getting pointlessly pedantic because our sense of humour has been trampled by galloping defensive hubris… you will, of course, note that I described the factually accurate thing as the locus of a hyperbolic curve, not as hyperbole itself.

            Now, would you care to detail what made you look at what I wrote, and instead of going “ahh, you got me, fair dos” and moving on, get your arse in your hand about it and go on the defensive? Possibly because you were sore about having your privilege called out?

      • FrankLogo

        ” they add weight to those of us who argue music making is for everyone.” And..so what ? What exactly is their honourable, hero-esque and alturistic message again ? Oh, ok – “music making is for everyone”.Wow.What a statement.Surely will instantly make the world a better place just like Bono.

        I mean, really – yeah, music making is for everyone.Who ever doubted that ?!

        But doesn’t an ad for a Macbook say quite the opposite – as in reality, not *everyone* can afford to buy a Macbook to make music ?

        Also to suggest a Macbook is the best/first thing to buy when it comes to making music (instead of buying a guitar, flute or whatever) is quite cynical in that regard and i don’t see any reason to applaud Apple for that.

        It’s one of these gentrification ads that try to suggest (with the help of a cozy, heart-warming, feel-good, pseudo “natural” setting) that being able to afford a Macbook is one of the most easiest things and kind of a standard for “everyone”..

        • viridisvir

          But what happens when someone’s access point to music is trying to make the music they’re into? You can’t make dubstep or house on a flute. Computers are instruments (in the same price range as a high quality instrument, which you have to admit is much better to begin learning with) too.

          I’m a cynic too, but the fundamental point Peter’s making is still pretty valid IMO (see my TL;DR reply above about iOS coming to the musical rescue when money was an obstacle for me, and honestly a MacBook is in the same price range as a custom built PC DAW purpose-made for pro audio.)

    • just passing

      > Making music was never limited to the privileged few, or techies, or nerds, or superstars.

      Indeed, and the face of music has usually been reshaped by the people who couldn’t gain access to that club – the most recent example is all the people who bought 303s because they couldn’t afford anything else, but the same thing keeps happening.

      Well… kept. The social strata seem to be hardening at the moment. At least in the UK, class is rapidly setting into caste (with the active encouragement of the current government); the days of upstarts changing things may soon be firmly behind us.

      Who knew that we’d all welcome the boot stamping on a human face forever if it had a Nike logo on it?

      • neurogami

        Mr. Kirn made an observation about making sound “fly *through the air invisibly*.”

        Music making has never been out of reach for the masses, so new shiny toys from Apple, while welcome, are nothing revolutionary on that front.

        OTOH, distribution (music or otherwise) has been a difficult matter. The real impact comes from people being able to take what they’ve made and make it available to whomever is interested. And today people no longer need to worry about getting on one or another radio or TV station or placed in some record store chain. Distribution has opened up.

        The most interesting stuff is happening outside the walled gardens and curated outlets of assorted major corporations. It’s on Bandcamp and Bitorrent and Soundcloud. And when they day comes that those places erect their own walls, others will spring up..

        • just passing

          > And today people no longer need to worry about getting on one or another
          radio or TV station or placed in some record store chain. Distribution
          has opened up.

          But the flipside of that is that the selectiveness is either too broad (quality) or too narrow (genre). It gets harder to find what you’re into, and especially it gets harder to hear new things that you wouldn’t otherwise; and within those genres, there’s less pressure to distinguish the truly interesting from the also-ran. Back in my childhood, Radio 1 used to play a good bit of almost everything; there was John Peel, of course, but I even remember hearing some Process-era Skinny Puppy on Annie Nightingale’s show. (That dates me.) Now there isn’t the same pressure on it to be eclectic, because there are so many avenues for niche listening – which is great in that now I never hear music I don’t like… but then I also never hear music I don’t know I like yet, either, which is a bit of a loss.

          And if it’s a pain for me trying to find something to listen to, how much harder must it be for someone trying to reach an audience? Especially with something just a little outside the mainstream. Sure, their audience will be able to buy direct from them once they’ve found them – and that’ll mean that audience won’t need to be so big, too – but will they find them?

          Perhaps what we really need is a dating-style music service. Connect the person with the shiny new ,music they might like but haven’t heard yet?

          (Of course – tacking back to air transmission – WiFi doesn’t take you very far at all for distribution. Even 4G is a tad limited, and purely consumer-oriented; the phone companies I have experience of won’t let you run servers. The infrastructure that’s allowed for the distribution revolution is all centralised and wired, and until WiMAX 2: Mesh Edition takes off, that’s how it’ll stay.

          Which reminds me: why IS nobody working on escaping from the ISP model, given all the problems we keep having with ISPs? I know the same argument could be made about utilities, but while it’s only just feasible to run your own generator in an emergency, anyone and everyone could stick a mesh router on their rooftop.)

  • dandruff

    Love it. I have records my grandfather made, and after he passed I found a cassette I had made in his dresser drawer.

  • dandruff

    Love it. I have records my grandfather made, and after he passed I found a cassette I had made in his dresser drawer.

  • dandruff

    Love it. I have records my grandfather made, and after he passed I found a cassette I had made in his dresser drawer.

  • itchy

    sweet video – its sad people always bicker at each other no matter what the video – oh the humanity

  • itchy

    sweet video – its sad people always bicker at each other no matter what the video – oh the humanity

  • itchy

    sweet video – its sad people always bicker at each other no matter what the video – oh the humanity

  • Scott Monteith

    I’ll be frank here Peter, but I can think of no better forum on which to start the discussion; Can we please collectively start discussing house and techno as modern folk music and with some academic/intellectual.meme-ish balls? I know the only thing we are suppose to learn about history is that we learn nothing from it but it would be a great and splendid thing for me if a few of my friends got a piece of what was theirs while they were still breathing.

    • Monkeymen Int

      hey..why would house and techno be considered “modern folk music”? folk music is by definition quite a different affair. we could call everything folk music then..

      • just passing

        Indeed. I think the people who are actually making modern folk music, some of them even involving modern technology in doing so, would be a bit put out to have its definition tugged out from underneath them because someone feels there’s one tiny area left where dance music hasn’t stomped all over everything else.

    • chaircrusher

      There is a whole body of academic work on dance music. In particular, the work of Denise Dalphond, Rebekah Farrugia, and Mark J. Butler. I know there’s more but I make beats, not academic research….

      http://www.amazon.com/Unlocking-Groove-Musical-Electronic-Profiles/dp/0253218047

  • Scott Monteith

    I’ll be frank here Peter, but I can think of no better forum on which to start the discussion; Can we please collectively start discussing house and techno as modern folk music and with some academic/intellectual.meme-ish balls? I know the only thing we are suppose to learn about history is that we learn nothing from it but it would be a great and splendid thing for me if a few of my friends got a piece of what was theirs while they were still breathing.

    • Monkeymen Int

      hey..why would house and techno be considered “modern folk music”? folk music is by definition quite a different affair. we could call everything folk music then..

      • just passing

        Indeed. I think the people who are actually making modern folk music, some of them even involving modern technology in doing so, would be a bit put out to have its definition tugged out from underneath them because someone feels there’s one tiny area left where dance music hasn’t stomped all over everything else.

    • chaircrusher

      There is a whole body of academic work on dance music. In particular, the work of Denise Dalphond, Rebekah Farrugia, and Mark J. Butler. I know there’s more but I make beats, not academic research….

      http://www.amazon.com/Unlocking-Groove-Musical-Electronic-Profiles/dp/0253218047

  • Scott Monteith

    I’ll be frank here Peter, but I can think of no better forum on which to start the discussion; Can we please collectively start discussing house and techno as modern folk music and with some academic/intellectual.meme-ish balls? I know the only thing we are suppose to learn about history is that we learn nothing from it but it would be a great and splendid thing for me if a few of my friends got a piece of what was theirs while they were still breathing.

    • Monkeymen Int

      hey..why would house and techno be considered “modern folk music”? folk music is by definition quite a different affair. we could call everything folk music then..

      • just passing

        Indeed. I think the people who are actually making modern folk music, some of them even involving modern technology in doing so, would be a bit put out to have its definition tugged out from underneath them because someone feels there’s one tiny area left where dance music hasn’t stomped all over everything else.

    • chaircrusher

      There is a whole body of academic work on dance music. In particular, the work of Denise Dalphond, Rebekah Farrugia, and Mark J. Butler. I know there’s more but I make beats, not academic research….

      http://www.amazon.com/Unlocking-Groove-Musical-Electronic-Profiles/dp/0253218047

  • Luka

    Most people should actually know better: music has been part of people’s lives since ever. It’s actually recording technology in 1900s that made piano start dissapearing from people’s homes. There are people who sing, and play guitar. And this is the core of everything. Guitar or a DAW, doesn’t really matter. Take a year of getting to know the ‘technology’ (piano or FruityLoops) and you can and do make your own music. It’s been for everyone since ever. And I think people know this. They (we) don’t need Apple to remind us that. It’s just plain ol marketing. Taking something already out there, in people’s heads, and claim it’s your own brilliant idea. So that people then thank you for it and in a x-mass-y frienzy buy your products. Frankly I don’t like how a single tech company is all over this article. It makes me think that you actually work for them. No disprespect meant, but it just seems kinda without much self-reflection.

    • Should know better? Yes.

      Do know better? No.

      When I have worked with major magazines, every time — I’ve had to defend music making as niche.

      When was the last time I saw a DAW center in an ad from … let’s see:

      HP?
      Microsoft?
      Lenovo?
      Asus?
      Sony? (who, incidentally, also put their name on their own DAW?)

      Not once. Certainly not in a major campaign, in any meaningful way.

      I actually flew all the way to Taiwan to see an event with Acer. (I might say no to press junkets, but I was intrigued – and wanted to meet with media artist friends in Taiwan.) Their idea of a music event was hiring Tiesto … who DJs on CDJs. Then they showed off a line of tablets, none of which really work well for musicians.

      By the way, if you want to see a tech company that *doesn’t* lavish money on the press, it’s Apple.

      I hate to burst your bubble. I’d love for other major electronics to get it. They don’t.

      But there are two takeaways:

      Apple, a company with a ** US$700 billion ** market cap (this dwarfs GDP for a lot of nations), can see music production as a core message. Do I count market cap or capital as an indication of value? Not at all. But to anyone who thinks those things are *incompatible* with what we do in music creation? They’re wrong.

      Second, I think they get the underlying message right, as far as what matters to people.

        • HA!

          And…

          The prosecution rests, your honor.

      • Luka

        I think we are coming from very different perspectives. To me, I would never interpret the ad as something that a company “wants”. I think all advertising is essentially manipulation and lies. It’s always a deception (yes there are exceptions): you can do magic with those little white glowing devices – bring tears to your grandma’s eyes. Yes, very touching (no sarcasm here). But I think you are very wrong if you think that means that music is important to Apple they way they portray in this ad. For them, the music is important ONLY as long as it brings profit. They proved that in the past, for many decades now. They are smart. And very evil company. And I think people and especially creatives should be much much more critical about it and conscious about the technology that they use: where does it come from, how it is made, by whom it is made, under what conditions developers work for them, under what conditions a developer can have an app in their appstore, what is their ‘open source’ policy, do they give back to the community, what strings are attached to their products, etc etc…

        But I know I’m barking at the wrong corner and opening a big tin of worms.

        Much respect.

        • Eric B.

          I find it strange to be writing something that might be interpreted as pro-Apple given how many years I spent ranting about them, but that all changed when I started using iOS.

          Following the overall strategy Peter mentions above, iOS is the only mobile platform that *went out of its way* to accommodate pro audio from the get-go; nobody else has come close to this day. When I had reached a budgetary impasse and my old DAW wasn’t up to snuff, an iPhone (provided by my job, no less) proved to be not only a viable alternative for composing and recording – in some ways it was actually an improvement over the old DAW. Yes, Apple is a megacorporation who make some questionable decisions on many levels. But whether it’s a cynical desire to corner the music market or good publicity or even an intentional, altruistic bone they’ve thrown us; no matter. Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a job that gives them an iPhone or iPad, but compared to the cost of a full “real” DAW on any platform, it’s a viable and affordable – and most of all powerful – alternative for those who want to make music.

          Now, to balance that out and in Luka’s credit:

          For years random acquaintances who knew that I made music would ask me, “hey, can you show me how to make beats? I’ve always wanted to do that!”

          And I’d say “sure! Just let me know when you have an afternoon and I’ll come over… Maybe we can have a beer and I’ll show you… It’s not hard, it’s actually a lot of fun. There’s free software for it even. Just say the word.” And inevitably, pretty much without exception, they wanted to be SEEN as a beatmaker but couldn’t be bothered to learn (or teach themselves like I did, because it’s not rocket science.) They wanted to put on a beret and be called a painter not understanding that most ‘artists’ are compelled to create and would do so with whatever tools were at hand.

          So I got cynical about this aspect of making music, about the poseurs and the social currency of musicians being “cool” enough to sort of want to be one without… Well, without really making any effort.

          But my cynicism was erased largely when the same job (for a non-musical company – financial services in fact) asked me to teach a ukulele class, knowing I played. Lo and behold! Not everyone who took the class wound up so but I helped a few people who’d genuinely always wanted to learn to play something to do so, and they’re bona fide budding musicians now with a better understanding of and deeper appreciation for music at large… And it makes me feel good to know that.

          So in summation, both of you have valid points. 🙂

  • Luka

    Most people should actually know better: music has been part of people’s lives since ever. It’s actually recording technology in 1900s that made piano start dissapearing from people’s homes. There are people who sing, and play guitar. And this is the core of everything. Guitar or a DAW, doesn’t really matter. Take a year of getting to know the ‘technology’ (piano or FruityLoops) and you can and do make your own music. It’s been for everyone since ever. And I think people know this. They (we) don’t need Apple to remind us that. It’s just plain ol marketing. Taking something already out there, in people’s heads, and claim it’s your own brilliant idea. So that people then thank you for it and in a x-mass-y frienzy buy your products. Frankly I don’t like how a single tech company is all over this article. It makes me think that you actually work for them. No disprespect meant, but it just seems kinda without much self-reflection.

    • Should know better? Yes.

      Do know better? No.

      When I have worked with major magazines, every time — I’ve had to defend music making as niche.

      When was the last time I saw a DAW center in an ad from … let’s see:

      HP?
      Microsoft?
      Lenovo?
      Asus?
      Sony? (who, incidentally, also put their name on their own DAW?)

      Not once. Certainly not in a major campaign, in any meaningful way.

      I actually flew all the way to Taiwan to see an event with Acer. (I might say no to press junkets, but I was intrigued – and wanted to meet with media artist friends in Taiwan.) Their idea of a music event was hiring Tiesto … who DJs on CDJs. Then they showed off a line of tablets, none of which really work well for musicians.

      By the way, if you want to see a tech company that *doesn’t* lavish money on the press, it’s Apple.

      I hate to burst your bubble. I’d love for other major electronics to get it. They don’t.

      But there are two takeaways:

      Apple, a company with a ** US$700 billion ** market cap (this dwarfs GDP for a lot of nations), can see music production as a core message. Do I count market cap or capital as an indication of value? Not at all. But to anyone who thinks those things are *incompatible* with what we do in music creation? They’re wrong.

      Second, I think they get the underlying message right, as far as what matters to people.

        • HA!

          And…

          The prosecution rests, your honor.

      • Luka

        I think we are coming from very different perspectives. To me, I would never interpret the ad as something that a company “wants”. I think all advertising is essentially manipulation and lies. It’s always a deception (yes there are exceptions): you can do magic with those little white glowing devices – bring tears to your grandma’s eyes. Yes, very touching (no sarcasm here). But I think you are very wrong if you think that means that music is important to Apple they way they portray in this ad. For them, the music is important ONLY as long as it brings profit. They proved that in the past, for many decades now. They are smart. And very evil company. And I think people and especially creatives should be much much more critical about it and conscious about the technology that they use: where does it come from, how it is made, by whom it is made, under what conditions developers work for them, under what conditions a developer can have an app in their appstore, what is their ‘open source’ policy, do they give back to the community, what strings are attached to their products, etc etc…

        But I know I’m barking at the wrong corner and opening a big tin of worms.

        Much respect.

        • Eric B.

          I find it strange to be writing something that might be interpreted as pro-Apple given how many years I spent ranting about them, but that all changed when I started using iOS.

          Following the overall strategy Peter mentions above, iOS is the only mobile platform that *went out of its way* to accommodate pro audio from the get-go; nobody else has come close to this day. When I had reached a budgetary impasse and my old DAW wasn’t up to snuff, an iPhone (provided by my job, no less) proved to be not only a viable alternative for composing and recording – in some ways it was actually an improvement over the old DAW. Yes, Apple is a megacorporation who make some questionable decisions on many levels. But whether it’s a cynical desire to corner the music market or good publicity or even an intentional, altruistic bone they’ve thrown us; no matter. Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a job that gives them an iPhone or iPad, but compared to the cost of a full “real” DAW on any platform, it’s a viable and affordable – and most of all powerful – alternative for those who want to make music.

          Now, to balance that out and in Luka’s credit:

          For years random acquaintances who knew that I made music would ask me, “hey, can you show me how to make beats? I’ve always wanted to do that!”

          And I’d say “sure! Just let me know when you have an afternoon and I’ll come over… Maybe we can have a beer and I’ll show you… It’s not hard, it’s actually a lot of fun. There’s free software for it even. Just say the word.” And inevitably, pretty much without exception, they wanted to be SEEN as a beatmaker but couldn’t be bothered to learn (or teach themselves like I did, because it’s not rocket science.) They wanted to put on a beret and be called a painter not understanding that most ‘artists’ are compelled to create and would do so with whatever tools were at hand.

          So I got cynical about this aspect of making music, about the poseurs and the social currency of musicians being “cool” enough to sort of want to be one without… Well, without really making any effort.

          But my cynicism was erased largely when the same job (for a non-musical company – financial services in fact) asked me to teach a ukulele class, knowing I played. Lo and behold! Not everyone who took the class wound up so but I helped a few people who’d genuinely always wanted to learn to play something to do so, and they’re bona fide budding musicians now with a better understanding of and deeper appreciation for music at large… And it makes me feel good to know that.

          So in summation, both of you have valid points. 🙂

  • Luka

    Most people should actually know better: music has been part of people’s lives since ever. It’s actually recording technology in 1900s that made piano start dissapearing from people’s homes. There are people who sing, and play guitar. And this is the core of everything. Guitar or a DAW, doesn’t really matter. Take a year of getting to know the ‘technology’ (piano or FruityLoops) and you can and do make your own music. It’s been for everyone since ever. And I think people know this. They (we) don’t need Apple to remind us that. It’s just plain ol marketing. Taking something already out there, in people’s heads, and claim it’s your own brilliant idea. So that people then thank you for it and in a x-mass-y frienzy buy your products. Frankly I don’t like how a single tech company is all over this article. It makes me think that you actually work for them. No disprespect meant, but it just seems kinda without much self-reflection.

    • Should know better? Yes.

      Do know better? No.

      When I have worked with major magazines, every time — I’ve had to defend music making as niche.

      When was the last time I saw a DAW center in an ad from … let’s see:

      HP?
      Microsoft?
      Lenovo?
      Asus?
      Sony? (who, incidentally, also put their name on their own DAW?)

      Not once. Certainly not in a major campaign, in any meaningful way.

      I actually flew all the way to Taiwan to see an event with Acer. (I might say no to press junkets, but I was intrigued – and wanted to meet with media artist friends in Taiwan.) Their idea of a music event was hiring Tiesto … who DJs on CDJs. Then they showed off a line of tablets, none of which really work well for musicians.

      By the way, if you want to see a tech company that *doesn’t* lavish money on the press, it’s Apple.

      I hate to burst your bubble. I’d love for other major electronics to get it. They don’t.

      But there are two takeaways:

      Apple, a company with a ** US$700 billion ** market cap (this dwarfs GDP for a lot of nations), can see music production as a core message. Do I count market cap or capital as an indication of value? Not at all. But to anyone who thinks those things are *incompatible* with what we do in music creation? They’re wrong.

      Second, I think they get the underlying message right, as far as what matters to people.

        • HA!

          And…

          The prosecution rests, your honor.

      • Luka

        I think we are coming from very different perspectives. To me, I would never interpret the ad as something that a company “wants”. I think all advertising is essentially manipulation and lies. It’s always a deception (yes there are exceptions): you can do magic with those little white glowing devices – bring tears to your grandma’s eyes. Yes, very touching (no sarcasm here). But I think you are very wrong if you think that means that music is important to Apple they way they portray in this ad. For them, the music is important ONLY as long as it brings profit. They proved that in the past, for many decades now. They are smart. And very evil company. And I think people and especially creatives should be much much more critical about it and conscious about the technology that they use: where does it come from, how it is made, by whom it is made, under what conditions developers work for them, under what conditions a developer can have an app in their appstore, what is their ‘open source’ policy, do they give back to the community, what strings are attached to their products, etc etc…

        But I know I’m barking at the wrong corner and opening a big tin of worms.

        Much respect.

        • viridisvir

          I find it strange to be writing something that might be interpreted as pro-Apple given how many years I spent ranting about them, but that all changed when I started using iOS.

          Following the overall strategy Peter mentions above, iOS is the only mobile platform that *went out of its way* to accommodate pro audio from the get-go; nobody else has come close to this day. When I had reached a budgetary impasse and my old DAW wasn’t up to snuff, an iPhone (provided by my job, no less) proved to be not only a viable alternative for composing and recording – in some ways it was actually an improvement over the old DAW. Yes, Apple is a megacorporation who make some questionable decisions on many levels. But whether it’s a cynical desire to corner the music market or good publicity or even an intentional, altruistic bone they’ve thrown us; no matter. Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a job that gives them an iPhone or iPad, but compared to the cost of a full “real” DAW on any platform, it’s a viable and affordable – and most of all powerful – alternative for those who want to make music.

          Now, to balance that out and in Luka’s credit:

          For years random acquaintances who knew that I made music would ask me, “hey, can you show me how to make beats? I’ve always wanted to do that!”

          And I’d say “sure! Just let me know when you have an afternoon and I’ll come over… Maybe we can have a beer and I’ll show you… It’s not hard, it’s actually a lot of fun. There’s free software for it even. Just say the word.” And inevitably, pretty much without exception, they wanted to be SEEN as a beatmaker but couldn’t be bothered to learn (or teach themselves like I did, because it’s not rocket science.) They wanted to put on a beret and be called a painter not understanding that most ‘artists’ are compelled to create and would do so with whatever tools were at hand.

          So I got cynical about this aspect of making music, about the poseurs and the social currency of musicians being “cool” enough to sort of want to be one without… Well, without really making any effort.

          But my cynicism was erased largely when the same job (for a non-musical company – financial services in fact) asked me to teach a ukulele class, knowing I played. Lo and behold! Not everyone who took the class wound up so but I helped a few people who’d genuinely always wanted to learn to play something to do so, and they’re bona fide budding musicians now with a better understanding of and deeper appreciation for music at large… And it makes me feel good to know that.

          So in summation, both of you have valid points. 🙂

  • chaircrusher

    The video is awesomely manipulative, up there with the Kodak ads with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

    But she really rather makes a hash of that song.

    • Well, it’s an ad. But my point is, one of the world’s biggest companies is willing to make the core of what we do the flagship of what they do. That’s significant.

  • chaircrusher

    The video is awesomely manipulative, up there with the Kodak ads with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

    But she really rather makes a hash of that song.

    • Well, it’s an ad. But my point is, one of the world’s biggest companies is willing to make the core of what we do the flagship of what they do. That’s significant.

  • chaircrusher

    The video is awesomely manipulative, up there with the Kodak ads with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

    But she really rather makes a hash of that song.

    • Well, it’s an ad. But my point is, one of the world’s biggest companies is willing to make the core of what we do the flagship of what they do. That’s significant.

  • Thanks for the article, Peter!
    Think about how few products are presented as creative tools in the vast attention-grabbing space of sponsored messages. Most of these messages follow this simple plan:
    – you are inadequate
    – you can fix that by buying our thing
    This ad is about:
    – you are creative
    – we can help you by buying our thing.
    It’s an ad, so it’s always going to end up with “buy our thing….” but at lest it’s not injecting you with fear based messages.
    Of course, working with a 1940s disk recording sound booth would also be awesome.

  • Thanks for the article, Peter!
    Think about how few products are presented as creative tools in the vast attention-grabbing space of sponsored messages. Most of these messages follow this simple plan:
    – you are inadequate
    – you can fix that by buying our thing
    This ad is about:
    – you are creative
    – we can help you by buying our thing.
    It’s an ad, so it’s always going to end up with “buy our thing….” but at lest it’s not injecting you with fear based messages.
    Of course, working with a 1940s disk recording sound booth would also be awesome.

  • Thanks for the article, Peter!
    Think about how few products are presented as creative tools in the vast attention-grabbing space of sponsored messages. Most of these messages follow this simple plan:
    – you are inadequate
    – you can fix that by buying our thing
    This ad is about:
    – you are creative
    – we can help you by buying our thing.
    It’s an ad, so it’s always going to end up with “buy our thing….” but at lest it’s not injecting you with fear based messages.
    Of course, working with a 1940s disk recording sound booth would also be awesome.

  • FrankLogo

    If Apple really cared for musicians or producers they would not have abandoned the Firewire port.Simple as that.

    • subshell001

      Thunderbolt is its replacement. Thunderbolt is faster and slimmer than FW. I am currently using a Thunderbolt->FW800 adapter as we speak.

      If you really cared about ports you would appreciate Thunderbolt, too. Simple as that.

      • FrankLogo

        Except there are only a very few audio interfaces out there with Tb yet and of course they’re like 10 times more expensive than your average interface.And what’s the sense of having a Thunderbolt port only to use it with a FW adapter..?.

        • subshell001

          You sound like you are intentionally missing the point, for reasons I cannot fathom. OK, so:

          1. It doesn’t matter how many interfaces there are, Thunderbolt has way too much bandwidth anyway. You don’t *need* to buy a thunderbolt interface, you know. Anyway, when Firewire was new, the only interfaces that used it were also thousands of dollars.

          2. Thunderbolt has a lot of bandwidth and directly interfaces with the PCI bus. You could run 12 FW800 devices in parallel off of a single Thunderbolt output (24 with Thunderbolt 2). Parallel. Not daisy chained.

          3. Thunderbolt has a lot of bandwidth meaning you don’t need to limit a single output to a single adapter. It’s what I use, because I have no need to get one of those fancy breakout boxes that provides multiple FW800, multiple USB3, DisplayPort and Ethernet outputs. I only needed the dinky (and it is quite small) adapter so that’s all I need.

          4. The sense in having a Thunderbolt port is because it comes standard now, there’s no choice, but that doesn’t matter because it supports literally every possible external connector that you can think of, since it’s basically external PCI (including running PCI cards, like Pro Tools, etc).

          5. I said the word bandwidth a lot already, but if you don’t understand the context, then maybe you can understand that 10000 (20000 with Thunderbolt 2) is a bigger number than 800.

          I seriously am having trouble following what your argument even is. You either don’t know these facts, and that’s perfectly OK (and I hope now you see why Thunderbolt is good), or you are just a grumbling old man and there’s no point in even having this discussion with you.

    • richardcarter

      Yeah, or the floppy disk. Thoughtless bastards…

  • FrankLogo

    If Apple really cared for musicians or producers they would not have abandoned the Firewire port.Simple as that.

    • subshell001

      Thunderbolt is its replacement. Thunderbolt is faster and slimmer than FW. I am currently using a Thunderbolt->FW800 adapter as we speak.

      If you really cared about ports you would appreciate Thunderbolt, too. Simple as that.

      • FrankLogo

        Except there are only a very few audio interfaces out there with Tb yet and of course they’re like 10 times more expensive than your average interface.And what’s the sense of having a Thunderbolt port only to use it with a FW adapter..?.

        • subshell001

          You sound like you are intentionally missing the point, for reasons I cannot fathom. OK, so:

          1. It doesn’t matter how many interfaces there are, Thunderbolt has way too much bandwidth anyway. You don’t *need* to buy a thunderbolt interface, you know. Anyway, when Firewire was new, the only interfaces that used it were also thousands of dollars.

          2. Thunderbolt has a lot of bandwidth and directly interfaces with the PCI bus. You could run 12 FW800 devices in parallel off of a single Thunderbolt output (24 with Thunderbolt 2). Parallel. Not daisy chained.

          3. Thunderbolt has a lot of bandwidth meaning you don’t need to limit a single output to a single adapter. It’s what I use, because I have no need to get one of those fancy breakout boxes that provides multiple FW800, multiple USB3, DisplayPort and Ethernet outputs. I only needed the dinky (and it is quite small) adapter so that’s all I need.

          4. The sense in having a Thunderbolt port is because it comes standard now, there’s no choice, but that doesn’t matter because it supports literally every possible external connector that you can think of, since it’s basically external PCI (including running PCI cards, like Pro Tools, etc).

          5. I said the word bandwidth a lot already, but if you don’t understand the context, then maybe you can understand that 10000 (20000 with Thunderbolt 2) is a bigger number than 800.

          I seriously am having trouble following what your argument even is. You either don’t know these facts, and that’s perfectly OK (and I hope now you see why Thunderbolt is good), or you are just a grumbling old man and there’s no point in even having this discussion with you.

    • richardcarter

      Yeah, or the floppy disk. Thoughtless bastards…

  • FrankLogo

    If Apple really cared for musicians or producers they would not have abandoned the Firewire port.Simple as that.

    • subshell001

      Thunderbolt is its replacement. Thunderbolt is faster and slimmer than FW. I am currently using a Thunderbolt->FW800 adapter as we speak.

      If you really cared about ports you would appreciate Thunderbolt, too. Simple as that.

      • FrankLogo

        Except there are only a very few audio interfaces out there with Tb yet and of course they’re like 10 times more expensive than your average interface.And what’s the sense of having a Thunderbolt port only to use it with a FW adapter..?.

        • subshell001

          You sound like you are intentionally missing the point, for reasons I cannot fathom. OK, so:

          1. It doesn’t matter how many interfaces there are, Thunderbolt has way too much bandwidth anyway. You don’t *need* to buy a thunderbolt interface, you know. Anyway, when Firewire was new, the only interfaces that used it were also thousands of dollars.

          2. Thunderbolt has a lot of bandwidth and directly interfaces with the PCI bus. You could run 12 FW800 devices in parallel off of a single Thunderbolt output (24 with Thunderbolt 2). Parallel. Not daisy chained.

          3. Thunderbolt has a lot of bandwidth meaning you don’t need to limit a single output to a single adapter. It’s what I use, because I have no need to get one of those fancy breakout boxes that provides multiple FW800, multiple USB3, DisplayPort and Ethernet outputs. I only needed the dinky (and it is quite small) adapter so that’s all I need.

          4. The sense in having a Thunderbolt port is because it comes standard now, there’s no choice, but that doesn’t matter because it supports literally every possible external connector that you can think of, since it’s basically external PCI (including running PCI cards, like Pro Tools, etc).

          5. I said the word bandwidth a lot already, but if you don’t understand the context, then maybe you can understand that 10000 (20000 with Thunderbolt 2) is a bigger number than 800.

          I seriously am having trouble following what your argument even is. You either don’t know these facts, and that’s perfectly OK (and I hope now you see why Thunderbolt is good), or you are just a grumbling old man and there’s no point in even having this discussion with you.

    • richardcarter

      Yeah, or the floppy disk. Thoughtless bastards…

  • someone

    The interesting thing to me is how this ad indirectly highlights a problem at large. People aren’t as good at music anymore, because they don’t spend time actually practicing, as they’re too busy with their computers, devices. The young person shown is typically horrible at music, weak at everything, vocals have no sense of rhythm, grasp of harmony, etc. And yet, there’s this sense of deserving some sort of congratulations, because after all here is a young person actually sitting and trying to learn some chords on guitar for 10 minutes, posing at getting back to the real world. And isn’t it great that you can look at your computer and see the chord diagrams and make a flat arrangement when you want to do some pretending, and that in itself is seemingly more interesting and reassuring than the experience with the instrument itself.

    The overall musical proficiency of humans, in their ability to sing and play instruments, understand basic theory, and be able to generate real groove and phrasing, has gone down. And this seems linked with this seeming over fascination with technology. People will claim their love for ‘music’, but yet show little to no interest or reverence for basic knowledge, technique, history and so on, arrogantly implying that all that ‘old stuff’ isn’t important anymore. Meanwhile, the basic sense, feel and talent of music is being lost along the way.

    • just passing

      People can’t add up long columns of numbers or use log tables and slide rules any more either. Tech marches on.

      • someone

        Yes, people that can’t do math aren’t really mathematicians, regardless of the advancement of technology.

        And yes, that seems to be the general trend with the technology, with the auto-quantize, auto-scale, auto-chord, auto-tune etc. You don’t know anything about music and don’t want to learn or practice anything? No problem, we’ll create software to compensate for your ineptitude so you can pat yourself on the back when the rigid and soul-less series of ‘musical’ events plays back.

        • just passing

          > people that can’t do math aren’t really mathematicians

          But plenty of mathematicians use calculators for arithmetic.

          As regards your other argument, 1974 called; they want it back. Yes, stuff that lowers the bar of entry will mean some people get in that “shouldn’t”. But you know what? Either they’ll get better (more musical, more cognisant of what works and what doesn’t) with time – because that’s INEVITABLE – or they’ll get out again. It’s democratisation, not debasement.

          Of course, authoritarians always equate the two.

  • someone

    The interesting thing to me is how this ad indirectly highlights a problem at large. People aren’t as good at music anymore, because they don’t spend time actually practicing, as they’re too busy with their computers, devices. The young person shown is typically horrible at music, weak at everything, vocals have no sense of rhythm, grasp of harmony, etc. And yet, there’s this sense of deserving some sort of congratulations, because after all here is a young person actually sitting and trying to learn some chords on guitar for 10 minutes, posing at getting back to the real world. And isn’t it great that you can look at your computer and see the chord diagrams and make a flat arrangement when you want to do some pretending, and that in itself is seemingly more interesting and reassuring than the experience with the instrument itself.

    The overall musical proficiency of humans, in their ability to sing and play instruments, understand basic theory, and be able to generate real groove and phrasing, has gone down. And this seems linked with this seeming over fascination with technology. People will claim their love for ‘music’, but yet show little to no interest or reverence for basic knowledge, technique, history and so on, arrogantly implying that all that ‘old stuff’ isn’t important anymore. Meanwhile, the basic sense, feel and talent of music is being lost along the way.

    • just passing

      People can’t add up long columns of numbers or use log tables and slide rules any more either. Tech marches on.

      • someone

        Yes, people that can’t do math aren’t really mathematicians, regardless of the advancement of technology.

        And yes, that seems to be the general trend with the technology, with the auto-quantize, auto-scale, auto-chord, auto-tune etc. You don’t know anything about music and don’t want to learn or practice anything? No problem, we’ll create software to compensate for your ineptitude so you can pat yourself on the back when the rigid and soul-less series of ‘musical’ events plays back.

        • just passing

          > people that can’t do math aren’t really mathematicians

          But plenty of mathematicians use calculators for arithmetic.

          As regards your other argument, 1974 called; they want it back. Yes, stuff that lowers the bar of entry will mean some people get in that “shouldn’t”. But you know what? Either they’ll get better (more musical, more cognisant of what works and what doesn’t) with time – because that’s INEVITABLE – or they’ll get out again. It’s democratisation, not debasement.

          Of course, authoritarians always equate the two.

  • someone

    The interesting thing to me is how this ad indirectly highlights a problem at large. People aren’t as good at music anymore, because they don’t spend time actually practicing, as they’re too busy with their computers, devices. The young person shown is typically horrible at music, weak at everything, vocals have no sense of rhythm, grasp of harmony, etc. And yet, there’s this sense of deserving some sort of congratulations, because after all here is a young person actually sitting and trying to learn some chords on guitar for 10 minutes, posing at getting back to the real world. And isn’t it great that you can look at your computer and see the chord diagrams and make a flat arrangement when you want to do some pretending, and that in itself is seemingly more interesting and reassuring than the experience with the instrument itself.

    The overall musical proficiency of humans, in their ability to sing and play instruments, understand basic theory, and be able to generate real groove and phrasing, has gone down. And this seems linked with this seeming over fascination with technology. People will claim their love for ‘music’, but yet show little to no interest or reverence for basic knowledge, technique, history and so on, arrogantly implying that all that ‘old stuff’ isn’t important anymore. Meanwhile, the basic sense, feel and talent of music is being lost along the way.

    • just passing

      People can’t add up long columns of numbers or use log tables and slide rules any more either. Tech marches on.

      • someone

        Yes, people that can’t do math aren’t really mathematicians, regardless of the advancement of technology.

        And yes, that seems to be the general trend with the technology, with the auto-quantize, auto-scale, auto-chord, auto-tune etc. You don’t know anything about music and don’t want to learn or practice anything? No problem, we’ll create software to compensate for your ineptitude so you can pat yourself on the back when the rigid and soul-less series of ‘musical’ events plays back.

        • just passing

          > people that can’t do math aren’t really mathematicians

          But plenty of mathematicians use calculators for arithmetic.

          As regards your other argument, 1974 called; they want it back. Yes, stuff that lowers the bar of entry will mean some people get in that “shouldn’t”. But you know what? Either they’ll get better (more musical, more cognisant of what works and what doesn’t) with time – because that’s INEVITABLE – or they’ll get out again. It’s democratisation, not debasement.

          Of course, authoritarians always equate the two.

  • Gabriel Heiser

    Very sweet sentiment, but if I were the composer/songwriter, I would have cringed at the wrong chords being played. I’m a professional musician, what can I say!

    • …genuinely missing the point. The ad is about the sentimental, emotional effect the young lady’s effort has on granny. Not her guitar or piano playing skills. Geeez.

      P.S. And about Apple’s selling point about what you can do with their hardware and software, of course.

  • Gabriel Heiser

    Very sweet sentiment, but if I were the composer/songwriter, I would have cringed at the wrong chords being played. I’m a professional musician, what can I say!

    • …genuinely missing the point. The ad is about the sentimental, emotional effect the young lady’s effort has on granny. Not her guitar or piano playing skills. Geeez.

      P.S. And about Apple’s selling point about what you can do with their hardware and software, of course.

  • Gabriel Heiser

    Very sweet sentiment, but if I were the composer/songwriter, I would have cringed at the wrong chords being played. I’m a professional musician, what can I say!

    • …genuinely missing the point. The ad is about the sentimental, emotional effect the young lady’s effort has on granny. Not her guitar or piano playing skills. Geeez.

      P.S. And about Apple’s selling point about what you can do with their hardware and software, of course.