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New Year's Predictions 2015

As we hurdle through space and time into another rotation around the sun, it's fun to look back on the year that's passed and try to guess where we might be going. Last year I asked for your 2014 predictions, so let's see how some of the more outlandish predictions went!

Successful Predictions:

Complaint_Dept predicted more freemium shit, and specifically more MIDI taxes from developers. I'll give him this one as a success, because that is exactly how the year started off. The IAP fad peaked with Mixtikl 6's insane IAPs in June. Fortunately developers have been dropping that more and more lately. I've heard from several developers who have realized that freemium is not the beginning and end of pricing on iOS. It may work for stealing kid's lunch money in games, but the average age of music app aficionados puts us all beyond tolerating any nickle and dime nonsense.

Patrick, Simon, and Adrian, made the unlikely prediction that we'd see latency on Android halved this year, and sure enough Samsung has been doing quite a lot to make that a reality. Already Android has seen several iOS apps jump over; including the ever popular ThumbJam, and Guitarism. This is thanks to Samsung's own Pro-Audio SDK, which is unfortunately limited to Samsung specific Android devices.

Hoyas79 predicted an "unapologetic thinner, bigger and lighter 5.5"-5.8" iPho...iPhablet" and we did indeed get that this year! The iPhone 6 Plus weighs in with a 5.5" screen. Hoyas deserves double points for following that up with a prediction that the battery life of the new iPhablet would be comparable to the 2013 iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 Plus battery actually exceeds the 2012 iPhone 5 by quite a lot. I've gotten used to the larger device in my pockets, but goddamn that side power button gets hit accidentally far too often.

Graham and Dave Magoo predicted Audiobus 2 would have Preset saving. Graham even nailed the preset sharing!

2014 Fails:

Several folks were expecting Borderlands to be updated in 2014... Which seemed unlikely to me at the time, since the developer hasn't done a fucking thing to it since its launch back in 2012. The only change for this app in 2014 was the price doubled.

There were also a lot of hopes placed on Auria getting MIDI track support, but all of those hopes were dashed in 2014. Developer Rim indicated in September that this is still in development. The fact that Auria enters 2015 without MIDI track support irks me. Their plugins are amazing, but... no MIDI sequencing in a DAW? What the fuck?

For some reason this is my favorite picture from 2014.

Several other people were expecting an iPad Pro, or AppleTV running apps, and both of these failed to pan out in 2014.

There were a few mentions of Reason for iPad, but Propellerhead has yet to port their flagship DAW to iOS.

There were predictions from Adrian and Patrick on me growing hair on my head and face, but my best efforts avoided both of these outcomes.

What's coming in 2015:

Last year I predicted we'd see a lot of innovation in the synth app space, and I believe that can be counted as a win. We did see a few apps that slavishly recreated older hardware, but the majority of synth apps released in 2014 were totally unique. We've seen some great synth apps this year, and I hope the trend of innovation continues!

Looking out to 2015 I think we'll see more movement on Android, and possibly even Microsoft. As noted Samsung has released a Pro-Audio SDK, but that is presently limited to a small number of Samsung devices. I think we'll see some of that make its way into Android from all manufacturers and developers start to embrace the Google platform.

It's always been crazy to me to see the developer adoption on iOS. One of the biggest faults in the Macintosh OS has always been the lack of developer support, so for iOS to suddenly run away with all of the developer love has been unprecedented. I have to think there is still a large number of developers and users who haven't yet dipped their toes into mobile because they're waiting for Google and Microsoft to get their shit together.

Open Mic: New Year's Predictions for 2015:

Once again I open up the floor to your predictions. What do you expect to see as we enter the future?

Reader Comments 40

Tim, you already are the Emperor of the Ipad scene! May you keep the crown, as uneasy it may lie!

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Psysword

You'd get my vote Tim

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Joe

Also you should make that pic your Twitter header

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Joe

I predict Tim finally starts the political blog he's been (perhaps unconsciously) hinting at. And the picture in the suit is a perfect header for it too.

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Zymos

I predict that Positive Grid will change the expected ship date on their product page for this from Autumn 2014 to...something else, or never. Bring on Winter NAMM!


January 01, 2015  | person_outline a1

IOS 8 will be fixed just in time for IOS9 to break it all again .
This may be made even worse for musicians by Audiobus guys just having got global midi sync working on 8 , before broken on 9 .
Of course Apple will have made another multimillion music advert implying sync was working...before they broke it ...
Some of the reasons for IOS9 to break music making , (after watches, health monitoring & digital payment were prioritised over realtime core midi/audio in 8 ) were SETI monitoring, supermarket stocktaking algorithms and automatic ley line geo surveyancy subroutines.

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Sparkle

In 2015, we're sure to finally see an app that cures erectile disfunction AND scurvy. Music will be declared "racist" and all devices that are capable of producing music will be confiscated and deep fried. The Spice Girls will get back together in May of 2015 and will become the dictators of Antarctica by late October.

Also in 2015, John Boehner will finally reveal that he is, in fact, a vampire and admit his illicit affair with the president of the United States, which resulted in a demon "love" child. Neither revelation will be widely reported as the news agencies will determine them to be not newsworthy.

It will be anounced on June 12th, 2015 that Auria developers made the deciscion to remove all MIDI from the app. The press release will go something like this: It has come to our attention here at WaveMachineLabs that most people prefer their tracks to be out of sync, and that piano roll editing causes premature homosexuality. Therefore, MIDI editing has been scrapped and no further MIDI development will take place. We are working overtime to make Auria better than ever in the coming year. We plan to remove AudioBus support by late August and IAA by early next year. If that all goes well, we will begin removing plugins from Auria after that.

Finally, in 2015, Retronyms will announce that someday they plan to fix one of the bugs in one of their apps.


January 01, 2015  | person_outline ZenLizard

Just checked the old predictions. Ok, I was totally wrong about the AppleTV apps last year.

I had hinted about a failed prediction coming true -- that was on a prediction by Hoyas79, for streaming of audio between devices. Apollo Remote Recorder was in the plans at the time, and is out now -- streams over WiFi. I had hoped to be able to get things to run over Bluetooth LE, but the bandwidth just isn't there (without adding both compression and latency).

My prediction for the new year: apps on the AppleTV. It's going to happen. I'm going to keep predicting that every year until I don't have to do it again.

Also, Apple Pay is going to eat the credit card companies alive. Tim Cook has found a way for Apple to rake in even more dough, without doing anything. He may not be as charismatic or visionary as Steve Jobs, but he's getting the job done when it comes to making a buck.

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Patrick/Secret Base Design

I was confused last year. I thought we were supposed to be predicting things that couldn't possibly happen in 2014. This year, as you all can see for yourselves, I made realistic predictions. You're welcome.

January 01, 2015  | person_outline ZenLizard

In 2015, I predict boredom in the world of IOS music.
Midi transmission workin perfectly on all apps,
Audiobus & IOS8 being repaired quickly resulting in a
total absence whatsoever of crashes or crackles on our
I can also predict in the following weeks
peace, love and harmony all over the world.

IOS 9 will be anticipated as our new armaggedon,
Ipad Pro as virgin mary and Retronyms will end up
crucified (again)

I predict Florent Roux will disappear from forums
I can almost predict Doug from soundtestroom
to find all this very "brrrilliant"

I could be wrong though...

January 01, 2015  | person_outline suggathang

I'd totally buy an Apple Watch if they could finally combine my love of SETI and ley lines, Sparkle.

Oh, BTW, pretty sure you mean "hurtle" not "hurdle".....

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Zymos

A midi master keyboard controller with built-in usb 2 in 2 out 24bit/96khz audio interface will be unveiled.


January 01, 2015  | person_outline a1

Postscript- I couldn't wait.


January 01, 2015  | person_outline a1

Apple including in iOS 9 release an app for IAA management offering kind of state saving and preset recording. With a way to add MIDI clock sync.
I take my inspiration from the past with Apple vampirizing the best developers from the Appstore.

January 01, 2015  | person_outline Matt

I predict that iOS9 and OS X will show signs of seriously beginning their merge during 2015. Not completely of course, but enough to show that they’re converging rather than remaining separate and distinct. It’ll be like the days when “fat applications” for the Mac allowed the 68K macs that we all had, and the emerging PowerPC machines to run the same program.

I predict that there will be no skeuomorphic wooden panels, screw heads, etc in future apps and if any do appear they’ll be laughed out of the door. Coupled with this, I predict that there will be fewer (perhaps none) of the “classic” existing synths emulated or recreated as iPad versions. There’s simply no point. Most of those earlier synths were not built with the advantages of a touchscreen in mind, and most of them are fairly similar, and all of them can be improved upon greatly but keeping it as a recreated slice of authentic past prevents much improvement. Hardly any of the classic synths would benefit from being on the iPad, compared with bringing specific new iPad synths in, many of which we already have. I can’t really see the point in an app manufacturer producing an Arp2600 for example, when Virsyn Tera is pretty much that already but in most instances, better (well, better laid out for a touchscreen).

I predict workflow aids and utilities will flourish — apps that help an artist or designer to sequence their activities and log what has happened, and be directed to what ought to happen next, given the defined goals and timeframe. If such task development management apps were also collaborative, so much the better.

I predict a new direction of punk-ethos inspired music makers that intentionally eschew music theory and polished performances, in favour of raw energy and communication of angst. Who wants to know all the chords — that way lies prog rock. Who needs to care about major or minor things — it’s probably going to end up as neither. Why do we need to spend any time at all tediously quantising, correcting, auto-tuning, when we should just open the window and shout “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take any more” in terms of music.

I predict that iTunes will diminish as an important place for a song to be if it wants to reach the mass market. Youtube Music Key is an interesting direction, as is Snoudcloud, as is Bittorrent and are all ways of bypassing the whole idea of ownership of access. I consider that any methods of dissemination that are wholly under control of the artist are those likely to make growth in terms of development and refinement and adaptation to the future marketplace.

I predict that musicians and bands will make no significant money from their music, but will also be required to find the industrial capability, manufacturing expertise and staffing resources to be able to produce an app and market it. Not an app ‘about’ the band or artist, which would merely be a brochure or promotion device and would be ignored. But an app that is decoupled from the band or artist at first sight, and offers some form of use or value, that embodies the direction or goals of the artist, or an app that the band or artist themselves make significant use of in their musical endeavours.

I predict that in the app world, manufacturers will make no significant money from their work, and the market will shift to payment of an app as not defining the lifelong ownership of the app, but rather, a subscription to the app and future updates (or a period of time of future updates), or basically thinking of the money you pay for an app as simply rental. An alternative to this might be that if an app never gets used, it never costs you anything, if it gets used all day every day, it costs you the maximum it could ever have cost anyone as it’s plimsole-line price ceiling (for that particular app).

I predict that the whole review system will be reviewed. It is poisonous, pointless and incorrect.

I predict that 2015 will be a year in which the video synthesiser will be a thing, again. Almost no advancement in video synthesis has occurred since the 60s, if we skip over the Firelight CVI, and even then, nothing since. Being able to “play” the visuals like an instrument will be an area of growth.

I predict that iPad BluetoothLE MIDI and Arduino/Pi/Mbed for interfacing to the real-world of things, will be another area of growth. Touchscreens are nice, but they’re only this big and it would be nice to wave one’s arms and legs around a bit more in data-meaningful ways. Dance and composition as well as dance and performance.

I predict that iPad GarageBand will get Drummer, like GarageBand OS X / LPX has.

I predict that my ideas for hemi-pano four-channel sound will take off.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline Ian Tindale

The bones have told me a mini logic will appear on the horizon to coincide with the launch of the new ipads, ipad mini will gain a cellular phone amulet. The wise sage korg will open up their gadget shop to foreign and local traders, fabfilter plugins will cross the boarder and invade ios.

More effects from the age of heroes will be reanimated, soundtoys will bestow microshift unto the horde, where it will be promptly devoured, slack tongues will still speak ill of retronyms, behold a t-racks. Finally the squire tim of discchord will stop persuing the dream of foliage after a magic ointment, sold to him by a travelling minstrel, goes badly wrong and delivers a pair of lactating breasts in betwixt the under arm and torso.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline mister-rz

I predict that some iOS synth developers will finally get the hint and allow us to turn the hell OFF (and never see again) the virtual piano keyboard display allowing more real estate for other controls display or zooming of existing controls. BeepStreet (Sunrizer) got this forever ago. I also agree with the previous post, don't need to see screws and wood panels so much. Love good design but the wood grain side panels and fake fasteners are gimmicky. Next level please.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline KDub

I'm afraid 2015 will mark my move away from iOS as my primary music making platform. It's been good and I've learnt a lot, but having recently started getting to grips with Logic (given the low cost it's a no brainer if you're running a mac) there's no looking back. Working with mouse is so much more efficient than touch, especially when it comes to MIDI editing and other fiddly tasks.

That's not to say the iPad will left to gather dust. It'll still be used for sketching ideas and hosting that odd synth. I also believe that this year will be more about improving production workflow on iOS rather than just carbon copy cloning a desktop DAW to iOS - Korg Gadget (the very app that got me into this in the first place) has already made some significant and impressive inroads into this aspect and I'm expecting to see more movement in this particular space.

Also 2015 should be the year where skeuomorphism is put 6 feet under. It blights the entire computer music space, not just on iOS. It does nothing for ease of use and in many instances it only serves to complicate matters. Down with skeu this year.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline Slaphead

Last new year, I made a new years resolution, on this site, to go through the iMS20 "everyone can make music" tutorial/series on Tims/Discchords youtube, and learn modular synthesis etc a bit better. I watched the first episode, thinking "well, this wasn't so bad, I think I'm gonna make this"! Well, I didn't. Totally failed. So I'm gonna tone it down, and make a promise to myself to make it through at least one episode per year, starting this year. Sorry a bit off topic, more of a personal "prediction", but wth

January 02, 2015  | person_outline ChrisG

I predict a Melodyne-like app this year...

January 02, 2015  | person_outline mikefreq

@ZenLizard If Tim runs for Emperor, you get my vote for vice-Emperor :)

Speaking of Emperors, my penguin sources have confirmed that 3 of the Spice Girls (wouldn't specify which 3, 20 bucks and a herring only get you so far) have been strategically buying up huge parcels of Antarctic ice estate. Coincidence?

Could be wrong, but I don't think Rim ever promised a release date for "The Big Auria Update" which will bring midi and twinkies for all. Yeah, it's taking forever but he's essentially a one man shop.

I think Midi in Auria will drop before Thanksgiving 2015.

I predict an orchestral Module from Korg for use in Gadget before audio tracks.

I hope we see the MIDIbus SDK take off to help standardize midi on iOS.

I predict ambient/electronics on iOS will die an untimely death, as the million synth saturation point is reached and composers inevitably freeze up from analysis paralysis. Then Dwight Yoakam will release his first iOS produced album and we'll finally get all those steel guitar apps we've been missing :)

January 02, 2015  | person_outline Sean

I should clarify. When I said above that “I predict that the whole review system will be reviewed. It is poisonous, pointless and incorrect.” I mean app-store reviews contributed by the general public. Reviews on “pro” blogs and online magazines are different. I myself used to be a magazine reviewer a long time ago (An Atari ST computer magazine called ST World, if you’re curious), and I know what it’s like to be a professional reviewer — it’s a particular mindset that one gets into after a while, and within a few weeks on a product one can drill all the way down to every avenue and depth, and quickly discover what makes or breaks the product in various modes. The general public completely lack such skills by and large. I mean, even I would now, I’m out of practice. These days I find myself baffled by a product that has been released by a manufacturer that assumes everyone out there shares their internalisms and in-jokes and esoteric trains of thought, resulting in a maze or a stupid game I have to negotiate without the help of adequate documentation or a manual. I haven’t got time for that sort of nonsense these days, now that I’m not paid to review things as my day job.

What I mean by the app-store review system being “poisonous, pointless and incorrect” is that the communication contributed by the public has various assumptions of purpose. It probably sounded like a good idea to allow the public to review products, but really, these are not reviews. They’re one of many different things. If you buy a product, do you automatically post a review? Probably not, but if you do, something has stimulated you to do so. This can fall into various categories — are you praising the product, directed at the manufacturer? Are you praising the product to raise a flag to future purchasers, saying that they should jump in and buy it? Are you praising it to existing owners with the intent of solidarity? Are you complaining about the product to the manufacturers about a bug or deficiency? Are you complaining about the product to warn other members of the public against making the same mistake you have? None of those motives are actually a review at all. A new product that doesn’t immediately pander to the public’s first instincts by making it super-usable might get initial negative reviews, which puts the product’s future in high risk and could kill it, and harm the livelihood of the manufacturer from then on, all because the general public found a rough edge or some other mismatch of expectations.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline Ian Tindale


1. Net Neutrality- the big players (who clearly have a lobbying hold on the FCC) will get their way in 2015. Initially they'll charge big content providers extra for "bandwidth". This WILL mark the beginning of a shitty time for the internet.

2. Apple will continue to cater to mass-appeal and might let some crucial core audio, MIDI, and input configurability languish. We'll see more pro users rejecting initial OS releases in favor of older versions- to keep functionality. It will be a difficult time for Mac OS developers.

1. In 2015, I wish that music producers would make a distinction between "music theory" and "music adventurousness". People who don't know music theory can make fine music with only 6 possible chords and only one time-signature. But those same theory-less artists can create WONDERFUL music (without knowing what they are doing) by just listening and letting something new happen with rhythm, melody & harmony. When an artist makes a new and weird thing, something that you may have to "develop a taste for"- well sometimes satisfaction is MUCH stronger than when a standard predictable thing is made. In other words, 2015 will be a battle between "INSTANT GRATIFICATION" and "DEEP SATISFACTION"

January 02, 2015  | person_outline stub

Slightly off topic but of immediate interest, I predict that the apparent Z3ta+ Y2K15 bug will not get fixed until next week. I just phoned tech support and got a recorded message "...we are currently closed...".
I resolve to be patient.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline a1


January 02, 2015  | person_outline Bianca

@bianca :D

@A1 Too bad about Z3ta+ not having a very responsive development team. It's a cool app, but could with minor tweaks be a GREAT app.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline stub

@Bianca- tinker with your Tardis ;-)

January 02, 2015  | person_outline a1

I predict that I will finally reach 100 followers on my Soundcloud account and become the most famous song writer in my home...

January 02, 2015  | person_outline HG

@Sean said, "...ZenLizard If Tim runs for Emperor, you get my vote for vice-Emperor :)

I don't know, Sean... Cosmo magazine ran that "Would You Make A Good Vice-Emperor?" quiz and I scored poorly. I did VERY well on the "Would You Make a Good Random Idiot?" quiz, though, so there's that.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline ZenLizard

@Bianca - that was brilliant! (I nearly laughed the coffee through my nose) Veruca Salt couldn't have said it better herself.

January 02, 2015  | person_outline ZenLizard

Oh and I also predict that Tim will start his apps for cats series

January 02, 2015  | person_outline Joe

This, I predict!

- Propellerhead will fuse the Figure and Take apps together to create a $15 mid-cost DAW. The app will be called "Fake".

- Someone will **finally*** create an "Amen Break" drum app that supports AudioBus. It will be an incredibly basic app but will outsell every other drum app in the store.

- Eno will release an ambient app called "The Sound Of Air". It will boot up and do nothing.

- The Strange Agency will awaken and update their apps it iOS8 with AB and IAA. Of course, this is just wishful thinking on my part.

- The developer of "Borderlands" will continue to post dozens and dozens of tweets about updates to the app. Unfortunately, the app itself is never updated. But it will get a price rise sometime during 2015.

- Retronyms bring out a new app. Before release they post 200 slick videos on YouTube and everyone rushes to buy the app on release day. A week later people realise it is full of bugs and swear they'll never buy a Retronyms app ever again. Then, in 2016, Retronyms bring out a new app. Before release they post 200 slick videos on YouTube…

- Like packs of supermarket meat that have the "Approved by the Heart Foundation" logo on them, iOS music apps will now have "Approved by Doug" logos on their iTunes screenshots. The logo will feature a cheesy mug shot of Doug giving the "thumbs up" with the motto "Brill-ia-yyant!" featured. Rolling Stone magazine does a feature article on Doug titled "The Man Who Lives In The Sound Test Room", and concludes "he is the Jamie Oliver of iOS music apps". O.B.E. and Celebrity Big Brother follow.

This, I predict!

January 02, 2015  | person_outline Simon

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Be sure you want it, because there's no turning back...
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January 03, 2015  | person_outline vampire1200

Some apps would get the Tim Webb seal of approval as fuckin crazy and some apps would also get the lovely jubley seal of approval by doug

January 03, 2015  | person_outline Joe

Off-Topic Comment removed: Please stop posting off-topic comments (here or elsewhere). I have to come back through this in a year and I don't want to have to weed through a bunch of bullshit. If you want to talk to me use the contact form.

Kickstarter promises not kept.

January 04, 2015  | person_outline JD

Oh, and another thing: I predict an increase in apps that suggest use of other apps, either specific apps or categories of apps within a group or type, in order to get something done. Or, to put it another way, a decrease in apps that try to run the whole show by themselves. In other words, apps that recognise that they are inevitably to be part of an ecosystem or team of apps, most of which the customer probably already has. Almost all the many synths I have have their own reverb and delay etc. Therefore why would I have bought separate external delays and reverbs? It would probably be more efficient if none of the synths had their own effects, but suggested good effect apps that complement them, or suggested good arpeggiators or sequencers, etc. Thus, a move toward the “component” app ethos.

January 04, 2015  | person_outline Ian Tindale

It's an interesting point. It also handles both newer devices (that can manage lots of different apps running at once) and older devices (that can't).

January 04, 2015  | person_outline stub

Hi everyone and Happy New Year,

I've thought long and hard about this one and... this year we'll see an iPhone6S as in only a single iPhone release. It will share the iPhone6 body but will have all the iPhone6+ goodies with the battery life of the iPhone6+ thanks to SW optimizations brought by iOS9. Yes iOS9 will come out this year too.

Unlikely but we'll also see an end to specific iPhone / iPad apps (for users of the iPhone6 and upwards), meaning all apps will be Universal. Our beloved iMS-20 will look tiny tiny tiny but it will run :)

The Apple Watch is an obvious one but as it's battery drains in less than 18 hours. Apple will announce a wireless charger device so that you can charge your watch while you are near your computer or power socket...

We will also see deeper Apple Car integration and no Apple TV.

Well, that's it.

January 05, 2015  | person_outline hoyas79

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