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The Future Of Computer Audio Where's this all going? Discuss your hopes and fears here.

#1 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:10 PM

For the past 12 years, I've attended the Texas Interactive Music Conference and Barbecue, better known as Project Bar-B-Q. (For the last several years, I've been on the technical advisory board as well.) The event brings 50 computer audio insiders to a remote Texas ranch to brainstorm the future of music on computers. Unlike most conferences, though, this one has a tangible result: a collection of reports from the various workgroups outlining their predictions and guidelines.

The reports just hit the Web, and you can read them here:

www.projectbarbq.com/bbq07/bbq07r1.htm

I'll look more closely at some of the predictions over the next week, but let's start with a more general question: What would you like to hear out of computers five years from now? (Feel free to extend "computers" to devices like cell phones, game consoles, set-top boxes, and car audio systems.)
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#2 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:35 AM

QUOTE (David Battino @ Feb 1 2008, 02:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'll look more closely at some of the predictions over the next week


Project Bar-B-Q begins with a series of four speakers designed to get the attendees riled up about problems in computer audio. We then write the problems (there are usually more than 50!) on posters.

After some discussion, we clump the problems into four or five broader topics and then form workgroups of five to 15 people around them. Each workgroup gets a facilitator to ensure that it will stay on track and submit a preliminary written report by the end of the conference. Over the next few months, the groups work over e-mail to polish up their reports for public distribution.

My group tackled mobile audio. As facilitator, I challenged them to come up with bold predictions and guidelines for 2012. (Bar-B-Q looks five years ahead.) O'Reilly blogger Peter Drescher (in the gray T-shirt) was one of the cornerstones of the group, and got inspired to write "The Annoying Future of Cell Phone Headsets" and "earpods (can you iHear me now?)."


Our group's official report is called (deep breath) "iHear the Future: The Binaural Headset as Audio Contact Lenses and Our Inevitable Mixed-In Lifestyle of Personal Audio Networks." In short, we outlined what would need to happen for headsets to become so compelling that you'd want to wear them all your waking hours — and what that simultaneous isolation and connectedness would do to society.

It's a frighteningly appealing scenario: headphones that...
  • Offer the audio equivalent of contact lenses (correcting sound) and x-ray specs (superhuman perception);
  • Extend your communication abilities like cell phones and instant messaging;
  • Augment your knowledge and memory by tapping into online databases and an ongoing recording of everything the mics have picked up that day.
I'm sure I'd pull these earPods off more often than I remove my contact lenses, but I'd also be itching to put them on.
David Battino
Audio Editor
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#3 User is offline   vbashi 

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:37 AM

QUOTE (David Battino @ Feb 1 2008, 10:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...
I'll look more closely at some of the predictions over the next week, but let's start with a more general question: What would you like to hear out of computers five years from now? (Feel free to extend "computers" to devices like cell phones, game consoles, set-top boxes, and car audio systems.)


More channels and more realism in audio, automatic muting/gating of audio when another action interferes (similar to certain semantic interfaces where UI colour changes depending on criticality of the action), more connectivity options, unlimited storage, removing background noise and providing a clean audio, better streaming with error correction capabilities, keyboard-less computers which listen and act to audio, the list goes on smile.gif

http://www.vbashi.com/cms/
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#4 User is offline   DavidBattino 

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE (vbashi @ Feb 18 2008, 09:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
More channels and more realism in audio...the list goes on smile.gif


Great list! One of the interesting ideas I heard at an earlier Project Bar-B-Q concerned surround sound: Humans, the person said, are far more sensitive to location than resolution. He claimed we could identify something like a million audio-source positions. Thus, in the race for more realistic audio, it would make more sense to add speakers than bits or samples. Of course, his company was involved in surround sound, but the idea makes sense.
David Battino
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#5 User is offline   Steve Turnidge 

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:51 PM

Hi David,

I'd like to have more transparency and less IT with my computer audio, please. All the things we have to put up with that is not tracking, mixing and mastering. Backups, updates, crashes, hardware incompatibilites, configurations, learning curves... This is why the "professionals" have studio assistants. It could be that when bandwidth is wide enough all our computing will be in the cloud, and music software will be the equivalent of a cable subscription - the ProTools channel, the Sound Forge channel...

Even so, I am spoiled. When I started mastering 10 years ago, it was one plug-in at a time. This did teach me in depth what everything actually does, but I sure do like my real time plug-in chain now. I guess the tech issues are our current way of paying dues.

...Steve>>>
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#6 User is offline   FallonMySword 

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (David Battino @ Feb 19 2008, 04:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great list! One of the interesting ideas I heard at an earlier Project Bar-B-Q concerned surround sound: Humans, the person said, are far more sensitive to location than resolution. He claimed we could identify something like a million audio-source positions. Thus, in the race for more realistic audio, it would make more sense to add speakers than bits or samples. Of course, his company was involved in surround sound, but the idea makes sense.


Million-channel audio reminds me of a speaker concept I dreamed up several years ago, based on ribbon speaker technology. Basically, it would be a flexible foil or other very thin driver material that you would buy in a roll, like 100' long and maybe 4" wide. Fasten it to the wall at ear level and run it completely around the room. Add a sub and you're done. TOTAL surround sound. It'll happen someday.

I also correctly anticipated the recent trends in speaker cabinet materials. Back in the 70s I wondered why speakers are almost always made of wood, when there were certainly much better materials to use, both from an audio standpoint and a manufacturing one. Poured concrete, injection-molded composites, extruded, cast or machined metal, etc.

Of course, whoever said genius was 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration was absolutely correct. If I wasn't so lazy I could have made some serious jack laugh.gif I also "invented" the PDA back in the early 60s, and the hawaiian pizza in 1973.

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#7 User is offline   jmckeeco84 

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 04:34 PM

I would strongly suggest that in the years to come one of the most important aspects of computer audio will be the drivers in addition to the equipment behind them. Having the right drivers and software to guide to take your rig to the next level. Some great solutions can be found here and are excellent for just about any type rig you operate (gaming, multimedia, etc...)
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#8 User is offline   karenfromCali 

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:24 PM

I would like to add interactive audio to my forum on my website, where people can interact in almost real time. They record what they want to say and it appears similar to how we write text. You just click a button, it records your voice. If you don't like what you sounded like, you just hit delete. That way people can feel more connected online.
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#9 User is offline   Brian Mitchell 

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

The list you have provided is great.
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#10 User is offline   Matthew Crisp 

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 03:49 AM

View PostBrian Mitchell, on 14 February 2013 - 10:22 PM, said:

The list you have provided is great.




Yeah its good . It also helped me thanks...
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