I`m in Tokyo at the moment (my wife is Japanese) on holiday, and as usual I`ve been to the local music tech store where I have spent a serious amount of money over the years!
Anyway, I was here in the summer of 2001 and I cannot believe the difference in the equipment on display. Maybe one third of the amount of keyboards/modules on display and only ONE `real` mixer (small Behringer!!). I was looking to possibly go back to Yamaha with their new 02R 96, having gone from the original 02R to a Mackie d8b. I was hoping to try it out! No chance!!
It`s all PCs, Macs, virtual hardware mixers and plug-ins! This is obviously the shape of things to come.
One good thing though. I`m typing this on a Toshiba Dynabook laptop, 1.8 GHz, 15\" `shiny` monitor, DVD re-writer (YES, DVD re-writer!), Blue-tooth, Win XP, Office XP etc. Cost... 800 Stirling (approx $1200). It doesn`t even exist in the UK yet, but the equivalent without DVD writer is at least 50% more! It`s for the wife and kids of course (until I dual-boot it with an English version of XP!)