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  #21  
Old 04-01-2013, 01:30 PM
Oblivion777's Avatar
Oblivion777 Oblivion777 is offline
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Default Re: Altiverb 7 and AAX-DSP

As always thanks for the input Dave; personally I really appreciate and value the input you and the rest of the Avid gurus put in this community. I know we are the customers here (and the "Customer is always right") and I know the restrictions of a public company therefore the input (even if sometimes vague) is that much more appreciated.

As an HDX2 owner I can only hope that your managemet will steer the boat in the right direction...for me - and me alone - 64bit PT will hopefully be a dream come true as I use many VIs and I hope that I will be able to do ALL my work in PT11 alone without the need to use VEP or ReWire or whatnot. If you guys achieve this goal than you will have convinced me for the next decade... :)

Best of luck to the Avid Pro Audio team (or whatever you guys are called these days, hehe).
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Auxilary DAW: MacBook Pro with Retina Display (2012), 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, OSX 10.9.x, PT11.2.1 HD, 1x UAD Apollo Quad Audio Interface /w Thunderbolt Interface (v7.10.1)
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  #22  
Old 04-01-2013, 02:07 PM
Marsdy Marsdy is online now
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Default Re: Altiverb 7 and AAX-DSP

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveTremblay View Post
I talk to a lot of plug-in developers including Sonnox, McDSP, and Audioease. I have never received feedback that AAX-DSP is more difficult than TDM development. Quite the contrary. We've already talked about the reasons for limited instance counts of McDSP and Sonnox, so no need to rehash it here. That limitation was our issue, not the plug-in developers. As to Audioease, I imagine the effort to create a TDM version of Altiverb was herculean. I can't speak for them, but I imagine the AAX-DSP version will be quite a bit simpler.

And Marsdy, I know I've talked about a lot of these other points you're making as well. I think I haven't, or we haven't, done the best job of explaining why we would continue to make DSP accelerated hardware. Platform transitions are difficult, there is no doubt about that, but we think it's worth investing in the future. We could no longer make TDM systems due to variety of hardware issues, but we still strongly feel that there is value to embedded DSP resources in a DAW environment. Let me talk a bit about why...

1) Integrated DSP Systems have lower latency. No matter how much power is in the Intel cores, they still can't run effectively below a 64 sample buffer, and even that is pushing the limits of reliability. With converter latency, that probably ends up around 7-10mS of latency. For some people, that is plenty low enough, but certainly not for everyone. No matter how powerful those Intel chips get, you likely won't be able to push this much lower due to the OS. With a dedicated real-time OS, you can get lower, but still not as low as our HD and HDX cards which mix in a single sample buffer. You simply can't get better than that. And the "simplicity" of the TI DSP chips lends itself well to this type of situation. Intel does not.

2) Integrated DSP Systems have higher determinism. Again, the "simplicity" of the TI DSP chips is an advantage here. The chips run our own real-time OS and have near perfect predictability for processing. This means that we know, with absolute certainty, that the engine on the DSPs can operate without hiccups. We also know, in advance, whether a DSP based effect can fit on a processor or not. Compare that with Native, where you add another effect, it throws errors and you either remove it or go into the hardware settings dialogs to tweak buffer size. You absolutely cannot get this with a Native DAW. Even if you installed a hard real-time OS, you wouldn't have the same level of predictability. You're playing the odds. For some customers, this is a fine tradeoff, for many it is not.

No matter how powerful the Intel processors are, they two reasons above make the DSP resources unique. And that uniqueness is what makes them interesting. Sure, they do add power to your system which many customers appreciate, but don't overlook these other advantages.

The way I see it, it's our job to do whatever it takes to give you guys the resources to create great music and films. And in my opinion, we are capable of doing that like no other company in the world. We can give you every advantage of a fully Native DAW (run AAX Native plug-ins), and in addition, we can provide you with additional resources that have strengths where native DAWs have weaknesses. In the end, you can combine all of the positive attributes of all of these different resources to make a highly reliable, low latency, high performance DAW.

The ideal DAW combines high-power/higher-latency resources with lower-latency/higher-reliability resources in a SEAMLESS way that gives you the advantages of both.

Dave
I understand McDSP and Sonnox have teething problems. However, it does seem a tad disappointing to the layman that nearly 18 months in they are STILL having issues. Maybe that's impatience on my part.

Without wishing to appear vain, I think my portrayal on the DUC as an HDX "hater" precedes me here.

Regarding the benefits of an Avid dedicated DSP solution. I would be the first to concede the many advantages over native especially in conjunction with the power of native. It is exactly those benefits why I use an HD3 system and would LIKE to buy an HDX system. The key disincentive to upgrading is what I and others are seeing as a major shortfall in the numbers of HDX plug-ins compared to TDM. An HDX upgrade would literally be like ripping out half the outboard gear in my studio in effect. That is simply untenable for me at present and to be blunt, I see no sign of the situation improving. In other words, I have far more too lose upgrading to HDX than sticking with HD3, much as I'd like the extra voice count and increased headroom.

You mention it is your job to do whatever it takes to give us the resources to create great music and film. Surely Avid must be aware that the current shortfall in HDX plug-ins is a massive deterrent to the widespread adoption of HDX?
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  #23  
Old 04-01-2013, 02:26 PM
DaveTremblay DaveTremblay is offline
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Default Re: Altiverb 7 and AAX-DSP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsdy View Post
I understand McDSP and Sonnox have teething problems. However, it does seem a tad disappointing to the layman that nearly 18 months in they are STILL having issues. Maybe that's impatience on my part.
To be honest, this was our issue, not theirs. And they were quite aware of that. We just have a lot of irons in the fire right now with AAX and other development work. And I don't think you're impatient, that is a long time to wait. But please don't misconstrue that delay with there being a difficulty in porting to AAX-DSP or the DSPs lacking power due to instance counts of these plug-ins. We just didn't foresee the way that some plug-in would choose to use the chips and we had some limitations built in that we never thought anyone would hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsdy View Post
You mention it is your job to do whatever it takes to give us the resources to create great music and film. Surely Avid must be aware that the current shortfall in HDX plug-ins is a massive deterrent to the widespread adoption of HDX?
That is why I spend a large part of every single day talking with plug-in developers. We have a dedicated developer forum for plug-in developers that I and many other senior engineers patrol every day, and night. We also handle issues via email, phone, Skype, you name it. In those discussions, there are a number of companies that aren't interested in doing DSP development. It is much easier to just write a Native wrapper once to package up all of your plug-ins than it is to actually port every one of your plug-ins to AAX-DSP. But there are also a surprising number of companies that are interested. These transitions take time, and we've done the mother of all transitions mashing HDX and 64 bit into a bigger transition, but we think it was the right thing to do.

Dave
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  #24  
Old 04-01-2013, 02:30 PM
DaveTremblay DaveTremblay is offline
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Default Re: Altiverb 7 and AAX-DSP

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Originally Posted by Oblivion777 View Post
As always thanks for the input Dave; personally I really appreciate and value the input you and the rest of the Avid gurus put in this community. I know we are the customers here (and the "Customer is always right") and I know the restrictions of a public company therefore the input (even if sometimes vague) is that much more appreciated.
Fortunately, most of us developers are also Pro Tools customers, so we get to be right sometimes too.

Dave
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