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Moving Target Technology

Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, it seems almost impossible to get comfortable with new gear before it is considered obsolete.

I once heard the phrase “moving target technology” as a way of explaining what we’re up against as “graybeards” in this industry.

Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace it seems almost impossible to get comfortable with new gear before it’s considered obsolete.

I didn’t grow up with the internet and endless digital toys like the youngsters who are gradually taking the reins. Some of these folks have grown up playing with advanced technology since virtually the day they were born. Some of us older folks grew up entertaining ourselves with sticks and dirt.

Every piece of new technology seems to be manufactured with an expiration date. Things are changing so fast, how are we supposed to decide which gear we really need?

Glad you asked. Consider this…

I recently began the semi-regular routine of replacing an old and familiar cellphone with a new and aggravating one.

Back in the dark ages, my first one was a small analog phone that only made calls and had no other useful features. It worked fine, but they shut down analog towers and that one was no longer an option.

From there, my new favorite became a flip phone that broke easily but worked great, up to that point. I only recently relinquished my immense collection of these phones and the accompanying stockpile of spare parts. It was a sad day.

Eventually, I ended up with a slider that’s been in my pocket for years. Even though I practically cuddle with my iPad, I’ve not been impressed with touchscreen phones. This new one is all touchscreen and I hate it.

Multiple screens to swipe through, unlimited apps that I don’t need, tiny onscreen keyboard that mocks my Neanderthal thumbs… I want my old flip phone back — or smaller thumbs. Can I just get one that doesn’t judge me for where I am and why I search Google for the stupidest stuff?

Researching the cast of “Spinal Tap,” searching for sweet potato recipes, and shopping for AD converters so I can get my analog console into my DAW shouldn’t influence pop-up ads during a browsing session. But somehow it does.

Here’s the point where most of the old folks are snickering with me, because they understand. The youngsters are snickering at me because they don’t…

But your time is gonna come.

Someday, you’ll be the one desperately clutching archaic tools and avoiding new technology. Sooner or later, you’ll get tired of hearing about the latest and greatest. There will absolutely come a point where you’ll have read all the manuals and updated operating systems to the point of madness. You will be an “old guy” and probably make a final stand with your ideal workflow.

Whatever is the newest, the fastest, or smallest, or shiniest is going to be irrelevant compared to what matches your style and works the best for you.

For instance… When I was first trained on Pro Tools, it was 1997 and there were only a handful of certified trainers on this planet. Over many years of experimenting with various DAW systems, I discovered Vegas. Even though we’re up to version 300 or something now, Vegas 4 was and is my personal favorite.

Stop laughing at me.

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