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  #1  
Old 11-29-2020, 02:46 PM
Tweakhead Tweakhead is offline
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Default Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

This move to a new compact design of audio interface with an ethernet connection looks like it could be the beginning of an interesting new phase. Especially the potential for expansion of the plug-in choices actually encoded for AAX-DSP.

Several manufacturers have always been pretty good at this, particularly McDSP. Are there any others coming down the pipe ? Or perhaps some older ones getting back into the partner game, such as Waves ?

I thought that one of the problems with the AAX DSP chip architecture was that no plugins could span processor chips, so it limited the size of code for plug-ins to run on Avid's proprietary chips. I thought that was why Waves and others gave up on writing Avid-compatible DSP, as plugins became more complex, and demanding. Is that right ?
Does the Carbon Interface DSP have newer, larger-capacity processor chips, or are they exactly the same as those on the HDX processor PCIe cards, but simply in a new networkable box ?

Last edited by Tweakhead; 11-29-2020 at 06:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2020, 08:40 PM
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ZoeMusic ZoeMusic is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

I would like to know the answer to this as well.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2020, 04:49 AM
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Stephen Bond Stephen Bond is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweakhead View Post
I thought that one of the problems with the AAX DSP chip architecture was that no plugins could span processor chips, so it limited the size of code for plug-ins to run on Avid's proprietary chips. I thought that was why Waves and others gave up on writing Avid-compatible DSP, as plugins became more complex, and demanding. Is that right ?
Colin McDowell explains the pains of DSP coding in this video

https://youtu.be/fHzY0AlVsVE

Waves bailed on the DSP as they saw the future of a rapidly expanding Native market and the economics of coding and selling Pro Tools (only) DSP plugins.

Plugin Alliance have held up the banner very well for DSP. It should put them in good stead with Carbon owners.

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  #4  
Old 11-30-2020, 05:28 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is online now
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

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Originally Posted by Tweakhead View Post
Does the Carbon Interface DSP have newer, larger-capacity processor chips, or are they exactly the same as those on the HDX processor PCIe cards, but simply in a new networkable box ?
The dsp chips in Carbon are the same chips in/on HDX cards as I've read. This is speculation but I don't think they could change the dsp chips and NOT update the programming as we all know Avis isn't exactly speedy on updating plugins.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2020, 05:32 AM
midnightrambler midnightrambler is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

Well they had to do something with all those old unused DSP chips hanging around in their factories...
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2020, 08:08 AM
Tweakhead Tweakhead is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

hmm, well it seems that the DSP power is not quite as exciting as I at first thought - at least from reading this excellent S.O.S. article where Sam Inglis gives a very in-depth explanation of the entire Carbon system:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...o-tools-carbon

... from what I gather reading it, Carbon contains about half the DSP of an HDX card, and it's primarily there for low-latency monitoring purposes. So now I'm guessing that this doesn't affect the prospect of 3rd-party DSP-plug programming & new plug-in releases one iota.

I also realized that the small new icon on the Pro Tools mixer channel is not even a "Thunderbolt" icon, but just a simple little lightning bolt - with no actual relation to Thunderbolt ports/hardware. I was half-expecting we would be hearing about some soon-to-be-released Thunderbolt hardware (eg DSP Expanders a la UAD Octo 8), but this kind of puts the kibosh on those hopes.

And I made a mistake in my initial post, it's not even a true network audio device. It's simply using a built-in ethernet-style RJ45 connector to communicate over AVB protocol. I wish Avid had made this a user-configurable expansion port instead, like the Lynx Hilo LSlot - which currently can be configured with either a real Thunderbolt port, USB, Dante, or even HDX (in some devices).

https://www.lynxstudio.com/products/hilo/
https://www.lynxstudio.com/products/lslot/

Last edited by Tweakhead; 11-30-2020 at 08:37 AM. Reason: added information
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2020, 11:14 PM
LukeHoward LukeHoward is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweakhead View Post
hmm, well it seems that the DSP power is not quite as exciting as I at first thought - at least from reading this excellent S.O.S. article where Sam Inglis gives a very in-depth explanation of the entire Carbon system:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews...o-tools-carbon
Last time I checked, TI didn't actually make any faster DSPs. The market for audio DSPs is dwarfed by cars, etc.

Quote:
... from what I gather reading it, Carbon contains about half the DSP of an HDX card, and it's primarily there for low-latency monitoring purposes. So now I'm guessing that this doesn't affect the prospect of 3rd-party DSP-plug programming & new plug-in releases one iota.
A fair assumption, unless Avid suddenly sells a boatload of Carbons.

Quote:
I also realized that the small new icon on the Pro Tools mixer channel is not even a "Thunderbolt" icon, but just a simple little lightning bolt - with no actual relation to Thunderbolt ports/hardware. I was half-expecting we would be hearing about some soon-to-be-released Thunderbolt hardware (eg DSP Expanders a la UAD Octo 8), but this kind of puts the kibosh on those hopes.
Well, there is a second Ethernet port, so perhaps one day there will be expanders that connect via AVB.

Quote:
And I made a mistake in my initial post, it's not even a true network audio device. It's simply using a built-in ethernet-style RJ45 connector to communicate over AVB protocol.
This bit isn't correct, AVB does use Ethernet. It's just that, at least in this release, the Carbon is only qualified for use in a point-to-point configuration with the host system. Perhaps a future version will allow expandability and/or qualify use with a switch, but limiting the support matrix makes sense for now (particularly given that most switches don't support AVB anyway).
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2020, 11:29 PM
mattrixx mattrixx is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

I'm very wary of AVIDs commitment beyond day one of a product release these days. Case in point, the remote port of the OMNI.
Anyway, whilst Carbon looks pretty good, I don't understand (if it is truely a compliant AVB product) why you cannot use it with an AVB supported switch.
I have WAVES SoundGrid (also AVB) and it is just fine with supported network switches. Low latency and all.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:36 PM
LukeHoward LukeHoward is offline
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

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Originally Posted by mattrixx View Post
I'm very wary of AVIDs commitment beyond day one of a product release these days. Case in point, the remote port of the OMNI.
Anyway, whilst Carbon looks pretty good, I don't understand (if it is truely a compliant AVB product) why you cannot use it with an AVB supported switch.
I have WAVES SoundGrid (also AVB) and it is just fine with supported network switches. Low latency and all.
The OMNI port, well, that's a long memory! I don't think they ever advertised that the port would actually do anything (there's certainly nothing in the manual). But, fair point, Avid has chopped and changed a lot in the interface department, between doing it themselves, rebadging third-party products (Apogee and DAD, AJA and Blackmagic, all great companies though!) and now back to their own designs.

I imagine Carbon works fine with an AVB switch, they just don't want to support it. If someone wants to lend me one I'll test with mine

SoundGrid is not AVB (otherwise, the SoundGrid BR1 would not exist).
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:32 AM
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Default Re: Carbon DSP Plug-Ins Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeHoward View Post
I imagine Carbon works fine with an AVB switch, they just don't want to support it. If someone wants to lend me one I'll test with mine

SoundGrid is not AVB (otherwise, the SoundGrid BR1 would not exist).
@Luke I'm sure you're right, supporting third party devices is something that no company wants to commit to. Avid has had years of testing AVB with live shows in the S6L and alike so it's highly unlikely that it won't work. I have Carbon, I tried it with a Presonus AVB switch (not mine) - no problem at all.

I got it because I work with loads of VI's running, the problem happens when I want to do a live overdub, dammit. Previously I would either freeze a gazillion tracks and go get coffee while it did it, or bounce a stereo sub session, now I click a lightning bolt and it's as close to a bare wire as I can get. I've lived with mild latency for so long that it's eye opening to remember what HDX feels like ( I had to dump HDXs and go Native because of the horrendous problems with VIs).

Carbon sounds really good, I've done direct comparisons to MTRX Studio and Red4 and 8 Pres here, I think I prefer the MTRX but it's very close, I definitely prefer Carbon to the Reds - it's not close at all. The impedance options do make Carbon a better instrument recording box to MTRX though.

If DSP power is important to you, then I'd wait for what they said in the presentation, and stick with HDX. I don't really care about the actual power of the DSP, it's useful for compressors and EQs while recording, but whether I use my Mac Pro or a laptop, the computer has way more native power than an HDX3, the hybrid solution is excellent for me. For me, similar sound to MTRX Studio, sub mS recording with HDX level DSP, sub mS headphone low latency for 4 sets and no need for digilink cables all over the shop. I can chuck this in the back room if I need if…
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