The new musical equipment at the two major trade shows this month may not have shown any breakthroughs, but the incremental improvements are ones that matter. We’ve seen guitar-shaped performance keyboards before, but this one has a USB interface, so that it can plug directly into a computer. Digital pianos and accordions aren’t new, but the new ones are lighter and less expensive than ever before. Auto-tune isn’t new, but built into a guitar — that’s new. As for drum synthesizers, the latest one isn’t based on samples, and won’t end up sounding like too much of the same tones after a while.
The new thing in guitar stomp boxes was one that is non-dedicated. Plug it in to an online store and you can program it to become any kind of stomp-box effect. These examples from the world of musical equipment show that it doesn’t take an unexpected innovation to change the way people work. Obvious combinations of well-known technology can have that effect too.