Propellerhead Goes ‘Mobile First’, Intros Allihoopa Music Social Network

allihoopaPropellerhead today introduced Allihoopa – a new social network for music sharing for users of their software.

“Today a majority of young people see a future where everything is done on mobile devices,” says Propellerhead CEO Ernst Nathorst-Böös. “In that world, Allihoopa will be the world’s musical hub.”

“We don’t aspire to be a music distribution network, there are plenty of those already. No, Allihoopa is the place where music is made,” he adds. “It’s where you can get a peek into other musicians’ creative process, hear their ideas before they’re fully formed, learn from others, get inspired and find people to collaborate with.”

Propellerhead also released updated versions of its mobile apps Take and Figure. Content previously shared on Propellerhead Discover is moving to Allihoopa. And they say that Reason users should expect more to come on Reason support in the future.

33 thoughts on “Propellerhead Goes ‘Mobile First’, Intros Allihoopa Music Social Network

  1. The second you’re basing your business strategy explicitly on ‘well, young people like iPads and social networking’, you’ve lost.

    1. The second you focus on the past, instead of the future, you become irrelevant.

      Luddite musicians have been dissing the idea of using mobile devices for music making for 8 years now – but mobile is where most of the innovation in music technology is now happening.

      While the luddites are saving up to buy the latest rehash of 70’s analog synth technology, mobile developers are actually innovating.

      All these things are missing in action in the hardware world, but thriving in the mobile one:

      Synthesis options – Mobile apps offer a HUGE variety of types of synthesis, while most of the new hardware rehashes analog designs of the 70s.

      Pioneering of new synthesis approaches – apps like Animoog, PPG WaveGenerator and others actually offer new ways to work with sound.

      New interfaces for synthesis – mobile apps are where most of the experimentation in the way we interact with sound is being done

      Multidimensional polyphonic expression – another cutting edge technology that hardware synth vendors don’t seem to care about.

      Wireless connectivity – why haven’t hardware developers gotten on board with wireless connectivity? Korg and Yamaha announced some ‘baby step’ wireless peripherals at NAMM and that’s about it.

      Wireless sync – awesome, but also missing in action in the hardware world.

      Cloud-based backup, audio publishing and patch backup/sharing – Modal is the only mainstream hardware synth developer that even acts like the Internet exists.

      Cost/performance – hardware synths have gotten less expensive, but mainly because companies are making things ‘cheap’. Nobody can argue that the $500 synths that companies are pumping out are pushing the envelope or are great synths. Meanwhile, there are tons of innovative mobile instruments that are $20-30.

      Future-proofing – mainstream hardware synths are stuck in time, with little in the way of options for future expansion or upgrades. Mobile devices give you the flexibility of upgrading or not upgrading your device, OS and apps.

      Propellerhead is smart to focus on the combination of social networking and music making. They’d be even smarter if they took a more open approach and made the social music making platform that supported any music software or, yes, even hardware.

      1. There’s a lot of truth in that comment.

        Ultimately I think the smart way forward for music makers in general is to keep a leg in the past but embrace the future. There IS a lot of amazing stuff happening in the mobile space. If you’re working on music, particularly anything electronic, you’re missing out if you don’t have an iPad in your rig.

        But just because I have an iPad doesn’t mean I’m getting rid of my Moog or anything else. They can live happily side by side. A hybrid approach is a great way forward.

        I don’t think Propellerhead are foolish for pursuing mobile at all. They see the future. I do think all the competing music maker networks are a bit ridiculous and one needs to pull ahead of the crowd, but that should happen eventually.

        And for those who are railing against the accessibility of music, you’re fools. These people have to make money. If they only sold to people doing professional music work, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business. They have to embrace the hobbyists at the lower end of the market. The trick is to do that while keeping us pros happy as well, and they’ll learn how to do that or they’ll die.

        I know there’s a lot of awful music out there. I hear it too. But I also find lots of extremely cool little bands that wouldn’t be able to survive in the old studio system, who only exist because music making tools are accessible. And I’m willing to tolerate the sea of mediocrity for those few amazing artists that have appeared. There’s more rough, but there are more diamonds hiding in it.

      2. I wasn’t aware Animoog and PPG WaveGenerator were new forms of synthesis. Animoog uses Moog’s own implementation of transwave synthesis which itself was Ensoniq’s take on wavetable synthesis without the wave interpolation which Wolfgang Palm created for the PPG keyboards and is the synthesis method used by PPG WaveGenerator.

        I suspect having a synthesizer “stuck in time” isn’t really a problem for most musicians. Owners of Moog keyboards and PPG systems likely appreciate the ease and portability of Animoog and WaveGenerator but I doubt they would trade them in to be “future proofed”.

        Now I don’t entirely disagree with many of the points you made – I just don’t see this as an either-or choice. I think you can sail into the future with a modular Moog and an iPad.

        1. Ian

          If you read his comment, he doesn’t say that Animoog and PPG WaveGenerator are new forms of synthesis, he says that they offer new ways to work with sound. And they do.

          I think his point, though, was that there’s a lot of innovation going on in the mobile world and hardware designers need to catch up. Where are the hardware synths (outside of the modular niche) that are really pushing the envelope in any way?

          I agree that it’s not an either/or thing and love that there are a lot of affordable hardware synth options now. It’s a good time to be into synths!

          1. What you’re both describing isn’t “pioneering” or “innovation”, it’s translation. Animoog is a mashup of transwave and vector synthesis with a touch interface modeled on the Buchla LEM218 and PPG WaveGenerator is wavetable and vector with a similar interface. Now if you’re arguing that the innovation is economies of scale, in that you can now get an app that sounds Moog-ish or PPG-ish for the price of a coffee, then no argument.

            1. By that logic, you could say that nothing that Buchla or Moog did was innovative or pioneering.

              If you don’t see interesting and innovative work happening with iPad music apps, you’re not paying attention.

      3. one of the cool things about 70s technology is an an open minded idea of what constitutes a musical sound or workflow. Much of that was lost as the minimoog architecture became the norm and many software synths are still stuck with a vco -> vcf -> vca + adsr and some modulation options as a structure.

        the odyssey, ms-20, and modular synths open up doors to sonic possibilities that were shut by hardware synths of more recent vintage as manufacturers catered to the most common sounds people made. Software does open some neat directions up (sample manipulation, granular synthesis, etc.) but I think many of these calls for new approaches to synthesis are from people looking for new presets instead of taking the time to learn the fundamentals behind synthesis and use the ideas behind the tools instead of just pushing buttons.

        back to the topic at hand… what we need more of is definitely social networks..

        1. “what we need more of is definitely social networks”

          I’m hearing sarcasm in that comment, but I the current batch of social networks for music making all fail because they are tied to a single vendor.

          I think they’ll continue to fail unless someone comes up with one that can be integrated into anyone’s app. Look what has happened with Ableton Link. It’s only been around for what, a few months, and already people consider it a ‘must have’ feature.

  2. I can’t keep up with all these networks.

    Also, how can the “world’s musical hub” come from a network based on music made in one specific companie’s software? This makes no sense.

  3. I’ve gotta agree the way they word this is not encouraging. I mean I use soundcloud to explore a huge community of other bedroom producers and learn from it already. Their selling point is it’s mobile and limited to their own software? I’m just not understanding…

    I use rebirth almost daily for my 909 drums, but I don’t see myself eagerly looking for a place where I can hear how others are using rebirth. Really I think we are all missing the point because surely there is a reason (lol) they’re doing this?

  4. Why do they name their stuff with a basic word that is not googlable like Reason …. Or total nonsense like alihoopa. Wtf is alihoopa?

    1. They probably learned that – from both a legal and marketing standpoint – you don’t want to give your new product a generic name like “Reason’ , because if you do, you’ll always have to fight to get noticed in search and to protect your trademark.

  5. I agree with the commenters above- this is not encouraging. I use Reason, and have for 14 years now, but I haven’t upgraded to 8. Musical instruments are for making art, not taking selfies. In spite of its closed-platform limitations, Reason has always been low-CPU, compatible with other programs through ReWire, and, from the avoiding obsolescence standpoint, DURABLE. Gimmickry is last-gasp stuff, and that worries me because I love using Reason, and I hate to think that now this software is just going to fall into the same planned obsolescence cycle as Logic and others.

  6. im not sure how i feel – i like how props have there own environment for everything
    i really hope they combine recycle and rebirth into reason (focus on reason) . facebook needs to go away so maybe this will help the process in some way. would be cool if there was a way artist can make money and if they allow uploads from any plat from and not just propellerhead products that would be key.

  7. Apparently “allihopa” is the Swedish term for “everyone” or “all people” — which seems ironic, since it appears to be limited to only users of Figure and Take, and by taking Reason out of the picture, even less inclusive than Discover was.

  8. The issue with this is that they’re trying to make music creation something for the masses and this has fundamental problems. 1. The masses can’t make music. This is confirmed by listening to what finds it’s way onto their current “Discover” platform. 2. Music creation is a craft that requires talent, knowledge, experience, and skill. Do we find architects creating social networks designed for mobile on-the-go structure building? “Hey guys, Mike321 created some hip doors for this Urban inspired office building. Who wants to collab on designing some walls?” This sounds silly, but it’s exactly what Props is trying to do with music and it just does not work that way. There’s a small percentage of talent that will get overshadowed by a sea of “made this on the way to work today, just needs some vocals #figure”. I’d say with confidence that we won’t see any successful bands, albums and tours birthed from this.

  9. I wish, they’d rather work on integrating their apps with each other, so you could actually have a decent workflow between them.

    For example: I love Figure and its simplicity continues to help me getting new ideas out of it all the time. And according to Props, the sound engine is built on Kong and Thor, which are well established devices inside reason. Heck, Thor even exists as a standalone iPad synth. But the only way you can export those 8-bar-loops from Figure to Reason is as a single stereo master of all three parts (drums, bass, lead). You can’t even open a Figure file in Reason and have three separate audio files. Not even speaking of opening them as Kong/Thor devices with effects and MIDI data! Ok, I understand they don’t want to open up the Figure file format, so that everyone uses Figure and exports raw data to any DAW – but not even within their own walled garden? Give me a break. And then take a look at NI and how they do it with iMaschine to Maschine export…

    Same goes for Take and Rebirth. Seriously. Nobody needs that bloody “networking platform”. Discover was a joke already, and now they try and basically just re-label it? Well… Good luck with that…

  10. I have no problem using any device for creating music if it’s appropriate to the task. That said, neither Figure nor Take are useful, robust tools for serious composition and production. Figure in particular is a neat toy at best. If they are serious, the first step would be porting a full-featured version of Reason to mobile platforms. Then there’s the issue of whether or not people will buy into this utopian vision of democratic music production. Amateurs maybe, pros… doubtful.

    1. Professional tools don’t make the amateur user a professional any more than an app like Figure or Take makes a professional an amateur. It ain’t what you got it’s the way that you use it – to borrow a phrase from Terry Hall – and the results that you get.

      1. Philosophically true. Anyone with talent can create with what’s at hand, but why would a serious musician or artist limit their creative expression by using rudimentary tools? Figure supports a drum beat, simple baseline, and a mono synth noodle. Its ‘anyone can do it’ design constrains you in musical style and performance. Pros want and need more.

  11. I love figure, use it all the time. I just wish I had the option to turn off the ali hoopa thing as I will never use it and I’m afraid of accidentally hitting the button and sharing something I’ve worked hard on. I wish there was a pro version of figure with more options and no networking, with the ability to automate key changes and other parameters. I would gladly pay for that. It’s a very expressive controller that is being used as a social networking gimmick. Needs Ableton link also.

  12. ” And they say that Reason users should expect more to come on Reason support in the future.”

    Does that seriously concern any other reason users? Does this mean to be discontinued?

  13. I make and play with music on a completely amateur basis and I believe the important thing to remember here is to have fun. Who decides and for that matter who has the right to decide what is art and what is crap when it comes to making music be it on a Steinway, Moog analogue synth, guitar or in Figure. They all sound great in the hands of someone who loves making music with them! Get off your high horses and embrace the future.

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