indeed, what this discussion leaves out are things like software, and the informal ecosystem of users who really make a system what it is. that is, I’m not so sure that simple top-down, “build it and they will come” approaches will work. all of these other design and community aspects also need to be in place.
while I’m not in the market for SSP, I do follow percussa because I was fascinated by the idea of their audiocubes. So I still want to like what they are doing but haven’t exactly been impressed by anything done with the SSP so far.
(one of the more extreme examples of all of this is the google nsynth – yes we get that it can morph sounds… but is there a single sound in there anyone can use? i mean who’s really using it? would love to be proven wrong, as i’m obviously interested enough to have watched over an hour of video. sadly, I think that they don’t get it. they will simply continue to throw more engineering resources at the problem rather than understand the design issues really needed to close the gap… i.e. seed content, artist engagement, community… this could have been pursued with a much more primitive and buggier form of the technology…)
aspects of this criticism can be brought within Kyma as well. the original Kyma system with one “capstone” was nonetheless put to some very interesting uses, it seemed they really did hit the ground running with applications… The question is what people are doing with this extra processing power. is kyma music in 2018 really different than kyma music in 1998? in what sense do users find the 72 “capstones” or whatever better than the one?
anyway I’m fine with technological optimism as long as it’s actually reflected in the music! I keep going back to this 1983 piece by jean-baptiste barriere, realized in non-realtime on a PDP-10.
for me this piece performs the idea that “anything is possible”, given enough computing power. of course I don’t believe in this idea in any absolute sense, but this piece nonetheless creates a space where this idea can live. Have things ever sounded more optimistic, in the sense that you become inspired to do your own work or develop your own digital/computer music technology? i’m missing this sense of inspiration with the SSP, tech specs alone just don’t move the needle.