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New Year's Predictions 2018

Against all odds, we managed to make it through 2017 without an armed nuclear conflict! Hurray for us!

At this rate might might just see the other side of 2018. We need to start planning for the future, but before we do let's take a look back at our predictions for 2017.

Successful Predictions

Heretik7, stub, DulceVida, and RedSkyLullaby predicted that BeatMaker 3 would arrive in 2017. Heretik7 went an extra-step and divined that NanoStudio 2 would not.

RedSkyLullaby predicted we'd see desktop AUs ported to iOS and Audio Damage obliged with a whole suite of them!

Rob Fenn, DulceVida, and Blaaaarghonaut predicted a new app from Korg and iMono/Poly made that a reality with its release in August!

DulceVida gets extra points with his further prediction of, "and nothing useful for the Apple Watch."

Failed Predictions

RedSkyLullaby and Heretik7 were hoping for an update to Samplr, but it remains un-updated since 2014.

Erik reasonably expected Cubasis and Korg's classic apps to get Ableton Link, but was disappointed in both cases.

In a similar vein, Rob Fenn predicted we see an iElectribe gadget for Gadget. This is a great idea, but it didn't happen for 2017.

My 2017 Prediction: I fucking nailed it!

Last year I predicted a lot of new YouTubers would start doing app related content, in what turns out to be my most accurate prediction ever. In 2017 we got a lot of great app demos from Electronisounds, Pants of Death, TheAudioDabbler, Expanding Sound, RedSkyLullaby, and many others. And we got all of that in addition to the continued support from Jakob Haq, thesoundtestroom, and myself. Even iPad Loops and Apps4iDevices started doing videos again! 2017 was the best year yet for new original app videos!

What's coming in 2018?

My prediction this year is more of a statement of intent. In years past we've expected larger corporations to get on-board with music apps, and we've been mostly disappointed. From private conversations I've gathered that the driving factor that keeps them out is simple economics. From what I hear, all of the large corporations that are currently involved in iOS apps are doing so out of marketing and good will; rather than reaping any profits from their efforts. We can't change that.

The app economy is insane. We expect apps to be around $5-10, and we all benefit from those prices. I haven't bought a VST since I got my first iPad. I'd rather spend $200 on 20 apps than $200 on 1 VST, and for the many amateur musicians here that makes sense. I'm sure there are thousands of people reading this who have never bought a full-priced VST. And why would they? They're not making music to make a profit, so how could they justify spending so much on a VST?

Unfortunately these prices don't make any amount of sense for large companies. Instead of hoping to see more from Moog, or for Roland to suddenly decide to get serious about apps, we need to focus our effort and support behind the independent developers who are already bringing us amazing apps. These individual developers can make apps that are financially viable for themselves, and we need to embrace them as the pillars of this hobby that they are.

I don't think we do enough of that, and as a community I hope we can change that in 2018. Coding is hard. Coding something original is even harder. Music app developers aren't doing it to get rich, or they'd be spending all of their time and effort on making games. Flappy Birds made more in an hour than most music app devs will make from their apps in 10 years. They keep coming back with new apps because they want to provide this community with new music making tools. But we pester the hell out of them for support and feature demands. I can't even count the number of devs who have confessed to a waning interest because they don't want to deal with the inane support emails they get. Or worse yet, the entitled whining for features on forums and Facebook. "I paid $5 for this app back in 2014, why doesn't it have this new technology that was released after it?" Devs have to be polite in their responses because they don't want 1 Star reviews on iTunes. I don't, so I'm going to come out and say it: You're an entitled ass if you think $5 bought you 24/7 support and free updates for life. Revisiting old projects to add features is boring. They'd much rather be working on new apps and new ideas. If we want developers to continue to bring us great new apps, we need to shift our culture away from being entitled and needy. I'm going to try to do my part, and I hope you will too.

Open Mic: New Year's Predictions for 2018!

I want to end on a lighter note so I'll include a new video from another new YouTuber. Bill Jobs intends to be the Bob Ross of synth apps and he's off to a solid start in his first episode!

In the comments here please share your predictions for what we'll see in 2018!

Reader Comments 24

I agree with your comments, @Tim, regarding small devs. They are the lifeblood of the iOS music app world. Saying that, I hope bigger companies don’t abandon us. With that in mind, here is my prediction for 2018. The new Pro iPads will encourage more serious music producers and VST devs to invest in iOS. The prices will inevitably rise, but we’ve already seen the start of this. What we really need is a conduit for (relatively) easily converting VST/desktop software for iOS to make it more viable. I know there are already options (Audio Damage have made use of these) but we’re not quite there.
January 01, 2018  | person_outline Beathoven
No predictions yet but I wanna leave this here for debate, if anyone is interested: we pay 3 or 4 times the price of a small developer’s app for anything from Korg, Moog or other big name. I know that these apps come with good support and great quality, but...

Would users be willing to pay, let’s say $20 on average for apps from small developers provided that they provide the same quality(1) and support as let’s say Korg?

(1) I know that many indy apps have amazing quality, but some don’t and that’s why I included that.
Thank you for the feature! Happy New Year, and best wishes for 2018!
January 01, 2018  | person_outline BILL JOBS
Because Cubase will not embrace Ableton Link, Ableton will bring an IOS DAW to market this year. Also Roland will release Roland Gadget. Teenage Engineering will release an OP Z companion app that will also act as a standalone synth, just to tease everyone to buy the hardware.
Tim will buy a Mac and he will find out just how great the new IDAM possibilities are with both audio and midi connectivity between iPad and Mac.
Happy 2018 everyone!
January 01, 2018  | favorite_border Erik
My prediction - we will finally see NanoStudio 2 in 2018 - but it still won't have audio tracks before the end of the year. 😉
January 01, 2018  | person jimhanks
Apple will release mainstage for iPad, or logic-lite.
OP-Z will be coveted by all.
SampleTank will get AU.
Korg module and gadget will not get AU.
Brambos and embertone will release great innovative stuff.
BM3 will be fun, but still too buggy to get serious work done.
January 02, 2018  | person_outline Ion677
Totally agree on the app economy, developers need to be able to charge $20-50+ for an app and people not suck air through their teeth at the cost.
My predictions:
- The average music app price will not be topping $20 and the yoyo pricing will continue.
- Samplr will update in 2018 (Have to have something to believe in)
- AU will become the standard that users expect in new apps
- Bitcoin will lose some people some large chunks of change
January 02, 2018  | person RedSkyLullaby
I'm sure I've bothered many a developer with my insane feature requests. I don't think I'm a dick about it though.

I usually leave positive reviews, but if I feel justified, I might leave a poor rating/review, but if the developer fixes the dumb thing, I go back and change my review & rating.

I predict that DrumPerfect Pro will get an update that allows us to have more than two f'ing velocity layers.

I predict that BMPLive will do a major new release, and so will BeatMirror.
January 02, 2018  | favorite_border stub
My 2018 prediction. My iPad 2 is going to keep doing what it has been doing and not be affected by anything but also not really doing much important either. My iPad Air 2 is going to start going downhill if I update it ever, and my 2017 iPad Pro isn’t going to be stable enough to be the main sound source for my new band. I’m looking for a backup sound source now, but I have high hopes for iOS being my sound source for a keyboard rig.
January 02, 2018  | person_outline Me
Korg will be relasing more FX's into Gadget that real synths
BM3 will be relased into MAC and will become serious developer. BM3 for ipad will be the most advanced tool to music production, and it will be more than obvious. (Not it's not)
Universal versions for BM3, Neo Soul Keys
No updates with old Korg apps like ipolysix, ms20, ids10 - will be lots of complaining :)
Two more Luis Martines apps :)
January 02, 2018  | person_outline Juby
* Native Instruments will invest heavily on iOS, probably on mass appeal apps for people with no background in music. (A method to compile Reaktor ensembles into VST/AU plugins and sell them in a dedicated store would change the whole market in a major way but it doesn’t sound like a priority for NI.)
* Bigger devs will continue to push for subscription models. One of them might succeed, at least financially, if it really “adds value to the ecosystem”. The Audiobus forum will blow up as a result.
* We’ll get more musicking apps for non-musicians (“you don’t need to know music theory!”), but hopefully with more attention paid to how people learn.
* The next version of JUCE will push MPE support in a wider variety of apps, people will continue to be confused about MPE but the MIDI people will ratify it as a standard while insisting that the new version of MIDI will greatly improve on it.
* ROLI will release a new part of the Blocks system, commentators will widely dismiss it, but people will quickly warm up to it and it’ll be heavily featured in YouTube (and Twitch) videos.
* Bitwig will release a new version of Studio with some form of iOS integration, focused on live control.
* Ableton won’t integrate Live with iOS directly (and Live 10 will mostly appeal to current users), but they’ll release a new product in the Link line to integrate desktop and mobile apps more tightly.
* The AUv3 scene will continue to expand on iOS, including improved support for AU MIDI (à la Rozeta). At least one new major player will release an app with AU support (Yamaha recently did).
* As libPd and VCV Rack will both act as DAW plugins, we’ll get a large increase in the number of Open Source projects built around them.
* Inexpensive Single Board Computers (à la Raspberry Pi) will feature prominently in musickers’ projects, and get tighter integration with iOS devices. The Raspberry Pi 4 will have more RAM than previous models. Along with Tracktion Waveform on the Pi, a wider array of plugins will start appearing on the platform.
* When Apple will release an iPad Pro with 3D Touch, it’ll also release a music app for the pro market, closer to Logic or MainStage than GarageBand. The app will be exclusive to the new devices and cost 30$. People will complain bitterly.
* CDM will experiment with a new business model revolving around tutorials.
* Tim will continue to be obsessed with criticizing Apple but will change his tone a bit in the Summer, after WWDC.
* Bram Bos will continue to crush it.
I would love to see all Your predictions come true. They are great!
January 02, 2018  | person_outline Juby
Apple will pay out on a class action suit
Just musing but, Roland may have a sleeper hit with their GO Keys, introduced last year. The potential integration with iOS apps is intriguing...midi over Bluetooth and USB, an onboard loop player/recorder, midi recorder, etc. Not much in the way of specific app demo videos so far with the exception of a Garageband loop player jam. It would probably have more appeal to me at $249 than $299, but who knows (?). Decidedly not regular backpack mobile though, in spite of the fact it can be powered by batteries.
January 02, 2018  | person_outline a1
- Korg will either release a new set of Volcas, or Volcas mk 2, or a whole new line of portable music making units with a different name
- Apple will do, announce, or release something that will remind the music making community that Apple just doesn’t give a rat’s ass
- Apple will announce a brain implant chip. Despite dire warnings, fanboys will wait in line for days to get the implant. They will later find out that memories are only accessible through iTunes
- We’ll see no less than 15 new synth apps in 2018
- Igor Vasiliev will release another sound-mangling app that will make everybody go “woooowwwww”
- Some people in high positions of government will go to jail, we’ll celebrate for days and nobody will give a rat’s ass about any other predictions
Bm3 will conquer 2 more platforms...phone, computer.

Nanostudio will be too little too late...but everyone will buy it and talk it up to be better than it is...cuz oh boy another drum machine and subtractive synth is what we all need

Caustic will update their ugly GUI....please

Auria pro will remain too fiddley and overly complicated to actually be fun...

Impc pro2 will remain filled with bugs, just like everything else retronyms

Oh...and apple will do as they did the first time there was no Steve jobs and completely fall apart.

I will eat thousands of chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings

Tim will become an expert reefer and buy a much bigger tank!

Sophia will finally walk and become more intelligent than humans thus deeming us trash and starting the beginning of the end...lmao

And apple....will fail and fall apart from internal conflict like the last time they didn’t have Steve jobs to save them.
January 03, 2018  | person Heretik7
Nanostudio 2 will be released in the first quarter. This will be an incredibly useful app and lots of iOS musicians will buy it and love it, even if they don’t admit it. Far from being just a drum machine and a subtractive synth, the new synth/sampler called ‘Obsidian’ looks to be fantastic and well worth learning to program. The best part of this app will be the ease of use of the sequencer to get full tracks completed and how it ties together iOS apps and hardware like the one ring.

More AUv3 apps!

More iOS apps ported to Android, Mac & PC.

Some smart Developers of Music Production apps will realize that in order to support their passion projects, they’ll have to start making a few simple games for the masses. Games such as Flappy Oscillators and Filter Crush will provided a much needed boost to the developers of music apps, albeit not as big as the boost that porn was to the internet.
January 03, 2018  | person_outline Slam-Cut
1. People will be amazed about the impact the file app will have and add the demand for file app support to their feature bucket list criteria for developers.
2. Kymatica will release new apps that blow us away.
3. A VR music app will win Apple’s music app of the year award while simultaneously shaming musicians.
4. The level of conflict on music/iOS forums will reach new levels of self righteousness indignation. This is my contribution.
5. Sebastian lands a lucrative software contracting job for managing either healthcare continuing education software or decides to make eclectic yet practical virtual office furniture for the home based upon harmonic feng shui esthetics.
January 03, 2018  | person PLU Collective
- huge success of nanostudio2 . first release end of february, in april iphone version, then audio tracks update (juny or july). NS2 will be the DAW of year, many people will leave other daw and switch to nanostudio
- brambos will release au sampler app, with ability to create multisample patches by automatically sampling other au synth or hw synth
- sunrizer 2 AUv3 will be released
- jim audio will release another groove box app, maybe inspired by elektron octatrack
- cubasis - au automation, file browser, apple files integration, group tracks, added 2 more send tracks
- propellerheads will release info than mobile reason is on the way - planned release on 2019
- autum - new iphones with cpu twice faster than current fastest chip
- end of year, Monero 1600$, Bitcoin 30-40.000$, Ethereum 4300$
January 03, 2018  | person_outline dendy
1- Surprise New App From Moog
2- The battle of apps that offer iPad, iPhone, Universal, or Universal +..................MAC. Yes, when devs thought it wasn't difficult enough. The arms race will grow. The offer of MAC AU will be a new selling point and market factor.
3- Elektron will enter the iOS world.
4- Huge Novation integration off Circuit and other iOS apps making Novation the most inclusive hardware and software music development team
5-Max Crossover iOS / MAC app integrating Ableton iOS software launch late 2018 before Xmas season. Part of Ableton 10 first year updates..
January 04, 2018  | person TBIRD
I cant begin to predict where things will go,

I know I sure would like to see Native instruments start porting some classics.

BM3 will implement more than forward and backward in thier sample looping?

BM3 custom controller.

More RGB rotary encoders.

A mixer that lets us plug in two or more ios devices alongside a pc. And NOT from iconnectivity hopfully.

Most audio interfaces will accept at least one ios device audio.

Beatstep RGB released.

Maschine stand alone or something else epic from NI cuz they got lots of resources so they are certainly up to something.

Synthrotek will fold and troll guy will become one of those streetcorner babblers untill one day around halloween he will wonder tooo deep into downtown portland and be disapeared by a mob of atheist nun drug smugglers. He will resurface in bali where it is found the nuns have been using his anus to smuggle herion into europe. He will apear relieved to finally be safe in prison where him and trump will become cellmates.
January 05, 2018  | person_outline Ian
I hope we all find a way to become more connected as a comunity of artists , not just cuz we share the same platform but because we have massive massive resources in our diversity and many of us have been on here rather often. I hope to see more folks coming back to comments and responding rather than doing hit n runs with our opinions ( like im guilty of)
Many of us are solo musicians that could really benefit from working together, we could end up a lot furthur along if we did a skill share swap thing, and we could alllll benefit from cross promoting n such. back in the 90s " maximum rock n roll" a magazine covering underground punk published a tour telephone book for bands on the road who needed places to crash, clubs to play n such. If this had not existed I would not be the same person, and well many folks like greenday and rancid would not be giants. We could bring the diy ethic from punk right into this comunity and start making shit happen. I know im gonna be more active this year.
January 05, 2018  | person_outline Ian
On a site which makes me quite ambivalent, noticed a listicle about NAMM rumours/predictions/wishes. Those events are pretty convenient in terms of generating hope and hype.

The one part of the listicle which caught my attention was the notion that, though Apple won’t be there (guess they used to participate??), we‘ll still get something from them in a couple of weeks. It’s true that Logic Pro X 10.3 was released during last year’s NAMM but has there really been a pattern for Apple to launch things at that time? (That same “article” mentioned Alchemy but it sounds like Logic Pro X 10.2 with Alchemy was released a month after Summer NAMM 2015. It’s true that some Alchemy patches were added to GarageBand during the last NAMM.)

Sounds like many of us are hoping for a pro app for iOS, made by Apple. No idea how likely this is to happen but it could have a huge impact on the whole scene. GarageBand is already a more decent product than many of us are willing to admit. Apple could really up the game with an app for people who want to “graduate from” GB.

Music-friendly OS features would also be welcomed, but they won’t be introduced until WWDC.

On the desktop, my main wishes revolve around MainStage, actually. Not really in the market for a desktop DAW and Logic would probably not fit my needs that well. But MainStage is, really, a very cool product.
It’s pretty obvious what’s missing from MS: plugin versions of all of its instruments. Could seriously change things, for me. Still love those sounds, but it’d be useful to have them elsewhere.
In terms of cannibalizing their sales for Logic, Apple is actually pretty good at disrupting itself. Whole business textbooks probably had to be rewritten because of the company’s tendency to introduce new products to displace its own offerings.
Sure, their overall tendency for the past several years has been to move towards the most mainstream market possible, gradually abandoning professionals. But there’s been a bit of a reversal in this trend, in the past year. So there’s still a bit of hope that Apple can make a big move with their music products.

Maybe they’ll just acquire ROLI, to go with their Camel Audio and Emagic acquisitions. Even that would be interesting. ;-)

Of course, the coolest thing which could happen is if Apple were to release AUv3 versions of all its instruments for both macOS and iOS. Definitely not holding my breath on this but, whew, talk about making 2018 a very different year from 2017 if this were to happen!
Oh, and a rumour which comes “straight from the horse’s mouth”, SynthMaster One for iOS to be released at NAMM 2018.

My prediction is that KV331 may not release SynthMaster 3 in 2018 but might still make a splash during the year. The current implementation of wavetable synthesis can almost rival Serum and PPG apps (not to mention Nave, which sounds like abandonware). When this comes to iOS, it’ll be really cool indeed, especially if SynthMaster Player supports it and/or it works as AUv3.

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