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The Future of Music and Technology

In our last blog we talked about the future of guitar. Fact is, technology is changing everything. From Amazon and shipping, to robots replacing human workers, and even the dollar with Blockchain, nothing can resist the tidal wave of innovation. Not even music, heck, especially music. 

Streaming changed an entire industry for artists and labels - how we listen to music, and most importantly how we purchase it. The same is becoming true for the instrument side of the music industry. I invented SMASHmouse simply to help musicians like me use video lessons and still keep their hands on their instrument.

Now, we are working on a product that can help you learn, play, perform and record; to control your Digital Music Production and even you’re A/V effects. A one man band of innovation.

This blog was inspired by a recent article I read interviewing Joe Satriani, one of the all-time great guitarists. 

Here's the excerpt that struck me, and a link to the article:

Satriani tells me the same tech revolution that changed what you do with your eyes and hands all day and night must also alter the current guitar radically at some point.

“It has to,” Satriani says. “We’re still really working on (instruments) that were put together in the late ’40s and early ’50s by Leo Fender, and Les Paul, and the guys at Gibson. They really invented the stuff we’re just tweaking.”

From <https://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/celebrity/satriani-guesses-at-future-of-guitar/>

What really struck me about this is a few things:

  1. That tech is changing what we do with our eyes and hands related to activities and technology.

  2. While we are playing the same basic electric guitar of the 40's and 50's, and guitar design that exists for hundreds of years, how we play is changing due to technology. People are plugging into computers, not amps!

  3. The same thing is happening with every instrument. In fact, it's not even instruments that are the rage with MIDI workstations allowing people who can't play ANY instrument to create music. 

The reality is technology, or how we control technology hasn't changed any more than the guitar! I often describe to investors the opportunity market for SMASHmouse like this: 

More than ever musicians are using technology to learn, play, perform and record music. But there is a huge universal problem. If every instrument takes 2 hands to play (except the maracas and that crazy harmonica necklace Neil Young uses), musicians can NOT control their technology while playing. For the most part, they have to stop. They have to lose focus. That's where SMASHmouse is so valuable.

For musicians, their eyes focus on their music sheets and their hands focus on their instrument, but as Joe says, that's changing with all the new digital tools musicians use. Consider this - much like we play the same basic electric guitar technology from the 40's and 50's, we are using the same HCI (Human Computer Interaction) to control our technology. Think about it, the same keyboard and mouse design used on the first computers of the 40's and 50's is what we still use!

Yes, I know we have tablets and mobile that use swipes and such, but this still takes at least 1 hand. Sure, there are now voice commands, but that's not much use for a band playing live or recording. Frankly it takes longer to say something than it does just to use SMASHmouse 1-kick shortcuts. There are hand gestures, but again, tough to do while playing your instrument. These don't solve all the problems. With 2 hands on a keyboard, and 1 for the mouse, we are simply inefficient. If we have to use 1 or 2 hands to focus on a task (e.g. play an instrument, a surgeon or dentist, working with manufacturing machinery, an accountant entering data from spreadsheets, etc.) you are REALLY inefficient.

Digital Music Production and Pro Audio also feel this pain. The instruments they are maestro's of are their keyboard, peripherals (e.g. mouse, workstation) and control boards. It's like watching Beethoven tickle the ivory's to watch a producer work the board. Even amateurs at home using Pro Audio tools, including Garage Band, face similar challenges. Just starting/stopping a recording means taking their focus away from their music. If anyone needs another hand, or an extra leg up, it's Digital Music Producers.

So I invented SMASHmouse.

Technology is great, and it's scary - losing jobs to robots, AI helping machines rule the world (or worse, actually write songs!). No matter which side you take, innovation is the future, so you better get used to it. Embrace it and you can leverage it to be better at what you do.

I sure as heck believe SMASHmouse can help musicians, gamers, people with disabilities, surgeons, dentists and so many others be more efficient controlling their technology. What's great is how many others agree that SMASHmouse solves problems. I want to improve how we control our technology, and what we can be doing while controlling it. Like rocking on our guitars!

More importantly, I want to build a platform where other people way smarter than me can create software (Apps if you will) to be used with SMASHmouse to solve problems. So I'd love to hear what you think about the future of music, instruments, computers and technology. Please comment below and on social media (spread the word!), or email me directly at Robb@SMASHmouseUSA.com. 

That's my vision. Tell me how we can help SMASHmouse solve your problem.

Stay tuned for updates on our pending product launch so musicians, and so many others, can Kick It to Click It and keep on playing.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you very much for everyone's support! 

Filed Under:

Insider, MusicTech
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